Splurge

December 18, 2008 10 Comments

If you were going to splurge on a present for yourself (something I have been very good at over the last few weeks when I should be buying gifts for others), which of the following appeals to you the most?

1) Canon EOS 450D – SLR Camera – Retail of about £650 with extra lens

Canon EOS 450D SLR Camera

2) Vuzix iWear – 3D 62″ television glasses – £200 – allows me to look like a knob in my own home!


Vuzix iWear

3) iPod Touch – 32GB – £275

iPod Touch 32gb

iphone on Orange

December 15, 2008 4 Comments

A couple of months ago it was annouced that the Apple iphone would be coming to the Orange network. As I’ve been with Orange for many years, and a lover of gadgety things, I was very pleased with this news – and though I have a long contract with my current HTC Touch, which is splendid – I would almost certainly have changed over.

So here we are in mid-December…and still no sign of the iphone coming to Orange in the UK anytime in the near future. Orange have managed to release the 3G version of the iPhone in Singapore, Malaysia and now Kenya. I didn’t even know you could get 3G in Kenya! Yet not here.

O2 are lucky for now – but soon they’ll lose their UK monopoly, and I’ll be much happier for it.

Unless I’ve found another toy to play with by then….

Google Chrome

September 2, 2008 3 Comments

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a Google fanboy.

I use Google search religiously.

iGoogle is my home page.

Gmail is my email preference by far.

Google Reader is my favoured RSS feed reader.

Imagine my delight when I found they were finally releasing a browser. Would I finally be saying goodbye to Firefox?

Well, the Beta version of Google Chrome is finally released, and I must say that it’s ‘so far so good’.

Scrolling up and down pages seems a little too quick for my liking, but apart from that it loads everything without issue, and super speedy too.

I’ve had to add a few tweaks to get a few things back to how I’m used to…and it’s taking time to get used to tabs on the top of the browser rather than as part of the primary window.

Nice, so far. I think it will be a keeper.

They could do with an ‘undo close tab’ feature though.

Orienteering

August 29, 2008 Leave a Comment

How to change the page orientation of just one page within a Word document.

I wanted to test Scribd, so needed a document to upload. voila!


Changing-Orientation-of-a-single-page-with-Word-2007Upload a Document to Scribd
Read this document on Scribd: Changing-Orientation-of-a-single-page-with-Word-2007

Not overly useful, I know, but fits the purpose.

New TV

February 19, 2008 10 Comments

Do I need a new television for my bedroom?

Old TV – 21″, 6 years old, quite large. Perfectly okay otherwise. Freeview box beside it.
New TV – 22″, flat screen, HD Ready, Freeview included, can also act as monitor. Shiny.

The coin I flip to make difficult decisions for me says no.

The fact I keep flipping the coin in a hopeful manner tells me I really do want it.

Google Images

January 14, 2008 3 Comments

One of my blogs has been receiving a lot of traffic lately. It averages at about 300 visits per day, with twice as many page views, and pretty much all goes to one post which is sitting just now on just under 6000 total visits.

The problem is, all of the hits seem to be coming via google images, where an image on the site has a very generic term and appears on page 2 of Google’s image search. Therefore, these aren’t real visitors that I can actually tally up and make use of.

I’ve spent a little time this evening looking around the internet finding out how I should best maximise this traffic, and for the first time I found out about the Google Image Labeler. Basically, you’re paired up with a random partner and you both view the same image for which you have to enter keywords. Google want to use it as a way to get better hits for their image searches – I like to use it as a little game, and also as a way to see how other people view images and if we both see the same thing.

So, the following image came on screen:


Sheikh Zayed

I started tapping in my immediate thoughts on this image: arab, arabic, sheikh, sultan, emirates.

My ‘partner’ made a few guesses and then hit the ‘pass’ button, which I also then hit so we could move onto the next image.

After we had done, with a rather unremarkable 660 points, I checked out what he had written for the images we had been presented with – and his keywords for the above image were: terrorist, muslim, jesus, middle eastren

So…next time you’re doing a search on google and you happen across an image that you really can’t link to the term you entered, you can thank the meeting of two idiotic minds who happen to be labelling images at the same time.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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