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Dates on articles…

Over the weekend, someone wrote to me asking about the lack of dates on my website articles. I tried to reply to them directly, but their mailbox bounced everything back, so I though I would write it here on the off chance they read my blog.

As the original poster correctly pointed out, there are no dates on my website articles. When I started the website many years ago it just never crossed my mind to put dates on the articles and I’ve seen no reason to include them since. Why not?

University of Birmingham CS Alumni Dinner…

Every year the computer science department of The University of Birmingham bring together alumni from the department and current students for an informal dinner to allow the students to get a feel for what goes on in the outside world. It’s sort of like career speed dating. Even though I’m not an alumni of the CS department (I did biology), I’ve been asked if I will come to the next one in March. I’m kinda excited and nervous at the same time.

I feel another outing for the oraclenerd t-shirt coming on! :)



Things that make the internet great…

Google Search Auto-complete.

Nuff said!



Mark Ferguson: I (almost) didn’t recognize you with your clothes off…

On Sunday evenings I usually pop over to see some mates. Jodey fills me in on the latest gossip, while Steve tries to convince me that vitamin C can cure every problem know to mankind. We do some yoga, then watch whatever they’ve got on series link before I go home. At the moment, we are watching Spartacus: Vengeance. We watched the previous series together, so we knew what to expect. Last night we decided to play “body-part bingo”, which involved deciding on a quota of various human body-parts we expected to see during the episode and trying to keep count to see if we guessed right. :)

Business: Honesty is pretty important to your customers!

My hosting company (Fasthosts) has got on my tits this morning. This is not about a service issue or anything like that. It is because they have started a new campaign promoting, amongst other things, their excellent support service…

I’ve been with the company for over 11 years. In that time their technical support has been consistently terrible for a number of reasons, including:

  • Lack of technical knowledge in first level support staff and no access to “real” technical support staff, when the first level support staff prove themselves to be complete Muppets.
  • Providing misleading, or downright wrong information.
  • Never giving a followup once issue are resolved. All you get is, “It’s working now, your ticket is closed!”
  • Excessive times before answering phones/emails when you are trying to log a ticket.

These are just the highlights, so to speak…

Website Downtime…

My website was down for the best part of an hour yesterday, between 15:30 and 16:30 UK time.

I contacted the hosting provider, but each time they looked at the site it was up, so they close the ticket. The fact that 30 seconds later it was down again does not seem to worry them. I asked for something a little more substantial than, “It’s working now. Your ticket has been closed”, but unfortunately it was not forthcoming.

Since that incident it seems to have been stable. Fingers crossed, whatever it was will not happen again.



Captain Support: Not to the rescue…

This morning, the display on one of my computers was a bit odd. I rebooted the machine and when it came up I got no output on the monitor. I plugged my laptop into the monitor and that worked fine, so it looked like the graphics card had died. I popped down to a local PC store and had the choice of remortgaging my house for new graphics card, or buying a cheap and cheerful one. I did the latter. Even so, the new card was much flasher than the old one.

I put the card in the machine and it booted up and I had a display again. Trouble was, GNOME shell had failed to start and I was knocked back into fallback mode, that looks a bit like GNOME2. Sigh. Forgot to check the the card against support for the ever-so-picky GNOME shell.

I now have a choice to make:

Google Connect is dead, long live the Google+ badge…

The Google Friend Connect badge I’ve been displaying on my website homepage and this blog is no more. Google have canned that widget.  Instead it’s been replaced by a Google+ badge. Unfortunately, the G+ badges currently only support Google+ pages, so I can’t connect it to my regular G+ profile, only the G+ page. Not ideal, but that’s the way it goes. :)

Currently, the G+ badge options are not particularly WordPress widget friendly. Even the small option is a bit wider than the width of the sidebar on my blog theme.

Website Updates: Cleanup Complete…

I wrote last month about some issues with my website as a result of an issue with my hosting provider. It’s been a very long and arduous process, but I think I’ve finally finished the last of the cleanup. It’s certainly not something I would like to repeat again. Having said that, there are lots of positives about the process.

Funny Cloud Computing Video…

If you loved this,

And you loved this,

Then you will probably love this,