Feet up!
Monday, October 28, 2002
Beta feed
I've got a beta feed sort of running now, NewsNow.xml although it's not much use if you're not a Southampton Football Club supporter (feel free to amend the script for your favourite selection of news), and it's a little unreliable (I'll get it running on a proper cron job over the next day or two).

I've scraped it from NewsNow.co.uk (purveyors of fine news) with NewsNow.py a rather crufty Python script. Have a play if you feel brave...
Friday, October 25, 2002
More Orange Blobbiness
Some minor changes to the infamous orange blob on the left, thanks for all the positive feedback chaps!

I've gone to the simpler design from AntiPixel.com which makes sense as I'm only supplying a full post feed, when I have both summarised and full post feeds I expect the bigger buttons will re-appear.
Thursday, October 24, 2002
LocustWorld releases Wireless Mesh Access Point
LocustWorld has just announced a wireless mesh access point for 250 pounds (plus VAT), it looks like a nice little box, this could be very interesting...
Orange Blob
I've finally added an orange blob on the left for the RSS feed for Feet Up. I think it's rather pretty and I got it from AntiPixel.com maybe it'll make it easier for people to find the feed.

The feed is still RSS 0.92 mainly because it is trivial to generate. I'll be moving to RSS 1.0 over the next month for a few added goodies. However I can't really see any advantage in going to 2.0 as it just appears to be a lax merger of 0.9x and 1.0, but hey what do I know...

Also, most importantly, it's invariably valid!
Thanks to the infamous "Yank-in-exile" Russ for this link to Brittle-Bones.com very bizarre, slightly gruesome, but still quite exquisite. Probably not one for the kids...
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Cricket legend
As the preliminaries of the Ashes tour have already kicked off, now is a good time to recount the epic tale of one Australian cricketer's record: David Boon - 52 not out

Serious cricket news can of course be found on CricInfo, and Test Match Special has to be heard to be believed...
Monday, October 21, 2002
Open Source PIM
I'm certainly not the first to blog this one, as already I've seen it in Russ' notebook and on The Register, but this new project of Mitch Kapor's codenamed Chandler looks really neat, details are on the Open Source Applications Foundation website. Looking at their technology page, it's like reading a checklist of good stuff: Python, Jabber, RDF, Mozilla, etc. etc.

This is certainly something to keep tabs on.
Friday, October 18, 2002
I want!
CarPC - this would be great in the new car, now I wonder how I can persuade the toy budget supervisor?
Python redux
Hopefully brief and to the point...

The infamous ACCU mentored developers Python project keeps rolling on, the fast track chaps are supposed to have passed chapter 5 of the Learning Python and the slow track should now have finished chapter three, I'm in a sort of fast/slow dilemma, I'm supposed to be following the fast track but leading the slow track, in reality I've read most of the book, but not yet completed the exercises beyond chapter 4 and I find I keep looking back at chapters 2 and 3 for reference.

It looks like it's time to update that Python project website with the next deadlines...

Anyway there's plenty of other Python news to go around as Mark Pilgrim points out that Python 2.2.2 is released. Which rather leaves me wondering how to write version agnostic Python code, sure the newer versions always bring a few more goodies to the table, but I'd like my Python code to run without grief in as many environments as possible.

I guess one possible solution (certainly for running Python apps on Windows) is to use py2exe.

Another Python goodie, to work around the problem of daft MS proxies is the NTLM Authorization Proxy Server, I've had a quick play with it here to get to some of our intranet stuff that wouldn't work with Moz, and it seems pretty good, it seems as solid that IIS, but that's not saying much...
My links
I'm going to add a page with everything I've linked to recently (and not so recently), all neatly categorised and annotated, but in the best spirit of prevarication, I've not done it yet...

However, in the meantime, here's one that Organica made earlier, if nothing else it's helped me spot most of the million and one ways I've misspelt Rusel Baetie (sic).
Thursday, October 17, 2002
Feck it's cold!
Ok, the Weather Pixie says it's about 5 degrees (Celcius, or 41 Fahrenheit for the elderly and Americans) here in London, but it feels less.

After a couple of coffees I've just about thawed out from the train. It was one of the elderly slam door trains this morning with an icy draught blowing through the gaps around the door onto me, I think it's time to dig out the winter coat, gloves, and scarf.
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Jan gets DNS
Jan Wessely's news has now got a proper domain, so I've updated my blogroll and even (hopefully) spelt his name correctly this time, sorry Jan...

I wonder, does "jawe" sound like Java (Jar-Ver) when it's spoken by a German speaker?

Oh, and whilst I remember; Jan, heute ist nichtraucher tag funf, ist das richtig? Glueckwuensche und gutes Glueck!
More Wallace and Gromit
The BBC are hosting a short new Wallace and Gromit clip, I now know what my kids will be watching non-stop for the next few days...
Today's silly Flash movie
Viking Kittens - ok it's Flash, but it's funny, and I'd never have thought kittens would go so well with Led Zeppelin!
Friday, October 11, 2002
DiveIntoMark get's even better
Mark Pilgrim has expanded his "further reading" section it's now really neat. Having a useful referrers section for each post and also providing this as an RSS feed brings a lot of usable functionality to the table.

Mark is hot on usability!
Thursday, October 10, 2002
I've been playing with Peerkat for a few days, and it's really nice. Peerkat is a personal syndicated data aggregator living on your computer desktop.

One of the nicer bits being that it's written in Python, which causes me far less headaches than Perl...

Peerkat looks really nice so far, I'm going to have a play doing some silly stuff with it to see what else I can turn it into! My first obvious thought is using it as an intranet news dissemination system, it'd be nice to use for document management too.
Cool bass
I'm a lousy guitarist, but one of these Kona Walkingstick basses would be a great toy, please Santa?
That makes sense
Sense Worldwide are a research organisation (via Ben Hammersley), but they seem to be doing things in a better way, I'm an old cynic but they really do seem to be looking beyond the cruft and detritus that normally gets spun, glossed, and presented as insightful research.

Sense certainly appear to "get it", it'll be very interesting to see if they really do.
Russ is back, and he doesn't sound happy...
It looks like Russ has almost got everything back up and running again, but he's far from happy about his former hosting company, in fact he reckons that "CWI Hosting is the worst isp on Earth", they certainly sound far from ept, but the absolute worst ISP? I dunno, I've seen some complete clowns out there with operational checklists along the lines of:
  • red noses? check
  • baggy trousers? check
  • buckets of water? check
  • valid DNS entries? eh?
  • working web servers? nope
Wednesday, October 09, 2002
Nice redesign at Blogtastic
Ben at Blogtastic has redone his template (again), I thought the previous design was nice, this though is cool, very grown up!

I wonder what the building is he's using in the masthead image? It looks to me a bit like the Paris Bourse or maybe one of the buildings near the Bank of England in the City, possibly the Royal Exchange.
Tuesday, October 08, 2002
Russell update
Not being a Java-fiend I missed the update from Russ that Dave posted on his Roller weblog:
Russell Beattie has had a tough week, but he is OK - at least in the physical world. In the digital world of cyberspace, however, he is not doing so well. First, he lost his client by accidentally installing Linux over his Windows partition. Next, he lost his server because his ISP, CWIHosting.com, has mysteriously shut down his account. CWIHosting tells him this is because of "police reasons". The CWIHosting support people told him that he needs to email the CTO and CEO to get any further information. Unfortunately, they are not responding to his emails. He is a little worried that he might not be allowed to get into his account and rescue his weblog archives. That is a scary thought.

Russell thinks that "police reasons" might be actually be a mis-spelling of "policy reasons" and perhaps he simply overloaded his shared Java VM by misconfiguring something when he set up OSCache. I hope that is the case. Anyway, Russell is setting up a new account at JohnCompanies.com ISP and hopes to be back on line by Monday or Tuesday. Good luck Russell!
I'm looking for a hosting supplier, and it sounds like I can cross CWIHosting off my list.
New car
Picture of our Seat AlhambraOk, it's a damn great bus, but hey, I've got three kids and a mad dog so we need the extra seats and room.

Here's a (rather large) picture of it when it still looked shiny and unmolested by small sticky chocolate covered fingers.

Anyway so far so good, it drives well and the kids seem happy with it, although I have no idea why they want to sit as far away from the front as possible, don't they remember that I backed the last shiny new car into a tree at 60+mph?

It's also the first non-French car I've owned for 14 years, I suppose it's Spanish even though Seat are owned by VW.
Sunday, October 06, 2002
Russ, what's happening?
Maybe it's the wacky browser setup I've got here, but all I get from RussellBeattie.com is 403s, I hope it's not the caching thing he was waxing lyrical about...

Update: I've just (07 Oct 2002) had a wander around around Russ's other sites (simpleface.org and manywhere.com) and they're hosed too, although the front page of each has a little note saying something along the lines of "server problems, back soon" how very Christopher Robin. I got a minor dns warning from one of the sites too, so it looks like he's having fun...
Busy weekend...
Yep, another one. Nothing too major. We bought a new car late Friday afternoon, and I spent all day and night Saturday at a stag do, paintballing in the day and pub crawling afterwards. So I'm feeling tired, skint, bruised and hungover! Fuller story later, when I've had some sleep.
Thursday, October 03, 2002
Dumb site of the week...
Digital sweetener for music fans says the BBC, so I go to the site offering the free downloads, which incidentally looks like it's been designed by a five year whose parents wouldn't allow him near crayons. And I get the following message
The site you have tried to enter requires Internet Explorer 5 (or better) with Windows Media Player 7 (or better) on Windows XP, 2000, Me or 98. Click Here to use our Doctor Download application to help you check your configuration alternatively Email Dr Download.
So let's check those points
  1. IE5 (or better), I'm using Mozilla 1.1, so yep, that's better than IE5 in more ways than I can list. Check
  2. Windows Media Player 7 (or better), I'm using Zinf, and again this is far better than their bog standard player (no security holes, plays Oggs, isn't double bag level ugly, etc etc.) Check
  3. Windows only, I even tried the site from a Win2K box. Don't they believe you can play music on other platforms? Hell I've even played mp3 on NT4, why can't I use NT4? Check
So why do I get the error message?

Ok, I'll email "Dr Download", nope can't do that, they don't even give an email address...

Music industry, see that light in the tunnel? That's the cluetrain and you're watching the tail light as it moves into the future.
Multilingual madness
Seeing as I'm even getting referrals from an Italian search engine, here's a bit of multicultural stuff for you all...

Thanks to the wonders of Google, you can now read this blog in French, German,
Italian, and Spanish.

I was quite impressed with the quality of the translation, sure there's a few real howlers but on the whole it's pretty coherant. If your French, German, Spanish, Italian or English is better than mine (that's not too difficult) then let me know what you think. If I get some positive feedback I'll add links to the translations to the blogroll.
Number 1 on Google!
Blimey! Ok, "Feet up" isn't one of the more commonly used phrases, but it's still made my head too big to fit through the doorway!

Maybe more importantly a search for "Jim Hughes" put this weblog at number nine, I'll have to work at that. I'm just ahead of some baseball player which I suppose is fair it's not like it's a major international sport or anything :-)