Server Side

October 25, 2007 4 Comments

Today I went with our tech guy to install a few new servers at one of the hosting spaces in East London. It’s not as high tech as our key server locations, so no retina scans or fingerprint pads – but it was still quite cool. It’s the first time I’ve been in a server room, which is pretty much like a warehouse with video cameras everywhere, and lines and lines of racks that carry servers of various companies. A lot were behind lock and key, but I could easily have caused a lot of damage, and been arrested, by pulling out a few wires. I helped install the racks and mount the physical servers – not doing the actual installation stuff. The thing that struck me the most was the heat and noise in the room. Not unbearable, but certainly much louder than you would gather after seeing server rooms on the TV.

On Saturday I have to entertain a kid of 15, so it will be an evening of Wii, and probably also a film. As it’s pretty much the Halloween weekend I thought the film should be horror-ish – but what on earth do you show a 15 year old? I assume he would have seen stuff like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Hellraiser, and have been told he doesn’t like torture porn. Guess I’ll have to dig through the DVDs and come up with something scary but non-gory and with no torture. Hey ho.

Sweet Dreams

October 24, 2007 3 Comments

Last night I kept going in and out of sleep, and remembering my dreams throughout.

It was quite odd, as I don’t often remember my dreams. There were quite a few of them too, and some of them quite random.

In two separate dreams I had sex with two women (one in each dream). One of the girls was the racist one from Girls Aloud…which was all very odd.

I woke up exhausted.

Potter Puppetry

October 21, 2007 2 Comments

News of J.K. Rowling outing Dumbledore simply bored me last week. It doesn’t add anything to any of the books, it doesn’t give me an extra level of meaning to his character and it really wasn’t something I will be giving much thought to at all. I did wonder what the point of it was? If this is a major revelation in any way then it should have been included in the series of books, not in a post-Potter interview.

Perhaps in a few months we’ll find out Ron was a kleptomaniac.

For anyone who may be interested, Dumbledore appears naked in the following video. The video is certainly safe for work, but perhaps not for your sanity as it’s ever so slightly odd. Chipmunks are cool though.




As whoever made the above video ‘chipmunk style’ simply took the original video and made it faster, credit should go to the original slow version as it was the guys behind this who put in all the work and effort. Check out Potter Puppet Pals: Mysterious Ticking Noise

Super Monk

October 13, 2007 Leave a Comment

Here’s a lovely little animation for you to waste a few minutes of your day with. The song which overlays most of the animation does have a few swear words, so don’t blast it out too loud in the workplace.

The Anonymous Mouse

October 13, 2007 Leave a Comment

AnonymouseI often use anonymouse at work, and admit that it’s a great little site for checking that a domain actually resolves.

Here’s why you would use it. Say you go to a website and it’s all shiny and working and such, and then you change the domain name servers to your new host. If you check your site again you can probably see it’s all shiny and working still…or is it?

You see, when checking a website on a standard PC your ISP goes ahead and finds out where to look for that particular domain name (I’m sure you very interested to know that they check right to left, so for www.murphyz.co.uk your ISP would first check where to go for .uk, then where to go for.co, then where in particular to go for ‘murphyz’, and finally where within murphyz to go for ‘www’. Still awake?). Once it has the location, it stores that information and doesn’t bother checking it again for a predetermined amount of time, which for some ISPs is dynamic, others may be 2 hours, others may be 1 or 2 days.

My point here is this. If you check a site and your ISP finds out where it’s going, and store the information for a day, then any changes you make to that domain and where it points would go live, but your ISP may not recheck all of the little bits it needs to for day or so – which means you may be looking at the old settings even if you’ve updated them.

Your PC annoying has this memory function too, in cache, which you can clear sometimes by Ctrl+F5, and sometimes by a DNS flush (within command type ‘ipconfig /flushdns’).

If these fail, your best bet to check if a site is live and correct is to use a proxy service, such as the aforementioned anoymouse.org.

As I make changes to live domain names all the time, this website is extremely handy to me and my clients. The last thing I want to do is leave work on Friday night thinking a site is up and running when it actually isn’t – especially if there’s a press release or product launch the following Monday.

Now for the downside.

I’ve been using anoymouse for so long now, that this word has replaced anonymous for me. I typed an email to a client last week and used the world anonymous three times. Or at least, I used the term anonymouse three times instead of the correct word.

It’s uncontrollable, I just automatically stick an ‘e’ on the end of the word as I type. Added to the fact my spellcheck doesn’t always seem to work I’m sure I must have sent several emails out in the past with this blatant error, and even if I read a sentence it doesn’t look right to me without an ‘e’ on the end.

Nissan Rogue Video

October 5, 2007 6 Comments

Yesterday geeknews.net posted a fantastic youtube video advertising the Nissan Rogue

The Nissan website features a link to a game you can play that tries to emulate the video.

I do like it when a bit of effort and creativity goes into adverts. Even if it’s a product I have no intention of buying – the fact that I like it and discuss it shows that advertising works.

A possible contender perhaps for Advert of the year?

x.com lab site

October 4, 2007 3 Comments

I just headed over to paypal.com by my usual lazy method of entering the letter x into the address bar and hitting ctrl+enter – and instead of redirecting me to paypal.com like it normally does, it instead goes to a PayPal Labs page.

There are only a few projects on the go at the moment, one for Facebook which can be used to get money from your friends, and one for MySpace so that you can raise money for various charities. I assume it will be something along the lines of JustGiving.

It could be interesting to keep an eye on the site to see if any other projects do arise out of the lab in the near future.

Interestingly enough, x.com, owned by PayPal Inc, is only one of 3 single letter .com domain names that are registered.

The other two are q.com registered to Qwest Communications International Inc. and pointing to Quest.com; and also z.com which is registered to Nissan North America, Inc and goes to nissanusa.com

The other single letters are reserved.

I wonder how much they would sell z.com for?

Tutankhamun in London

October 4, 2007 3 Comments

There is a large statue of Anubis, the jackal headed god of the underworld, standing in Trafalgar Square as a promotion for an exhibition that’s going to be on for the next year.

The Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition will be on at The O2 Bubble from 15th November 2007 to 30th August 2008, and might actually give me a reason to visit the ex-dome for once.

Here’s the statue of Anubis:


Anubis Trafalgar Square

Taken with a camera phone so obviously not the best photo – amazingly sunny outside just now too!

Quite looking forward to going to see it, though knowing me I will probably wait until the very last weekend it’s on next year before I do so.

Google History

October 3, 2007 Leave a Comment

Sometimes I will search for something on the internet, but then forget just how I got to it a few days later – which can often be disappointing. This is especially frustrating if you find something and don’t take much notice, say a nice image, and then a few days later realise you really did want that image to use for something.

The browser history only does so much, and I never bother bookmarking things that appear so trivial, so in one hand Google History is possibly quite helpful.


Google History


It could also be quite scary to some that you have the ability to view your own searches.

I’m hoping it’ll just be helpful, and will over time allow me to finder things that I want a little bit faster.

If you are paranoid though, just remember that there has been the ability to log your search history for a while – only now you can see for yourself what you search for, whereas before it was only the people who had access to the logs.

Pain Free Foam

October 3, 2007 Leave a Comment

I love Sky News. It’s not even 9am and here is my quote of the day…

During the time I spent hitting him over the head with the shovel, Richard appeared to suffer no ill-effects.

It sounds like the caption for a Gary Larson sketch.

It’s actually from the story about an inventor who has developed a pain free foam, and was demonstrating how good it was by being hit over the head with a shovel.

Inventors always go that extra mile to show off their discoveries don’t they?