Archive for January, 2010

Pictures from the Christmas Display

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Pictures from the Sefton Villas Christmas Lights Display, 2009.  We raised fractionally under £100 this year for Brooklands School in Reigate.  Click on the thumbnails for more detail.


Twitter/Blog integration attempted

Friday, January 15th, 2010

A little exercise to see if I can integrate Twitter into my resurrected blog. One of the tools in my work Movable Type installation lets the bloggers there make a tweet when they publish an article. I even use it for my admin blog to tell them what’s going on and when I’ve broken something. Can I do the same for my personal WordPress blog? I think I can.

I’ve actually used two tools – one from for displaying recent tweets, and one from Alex King for the posting integration bit.

Well, if you’re reading the tweet or this post, then it’s done what it’s supposed to do!

Curry – yum yum

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Well – after a hard day Serena and I decided a curry was in order.  As usual we had a take-away from our favourite, the Dorking Brasserie.  If you’re ever nearby and fancy a Curry, then please accept this as a strong recommendation.  You should enjoy yourself.

Nice result

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

After a day spent slaving at my Performance Assessment for 2009, an exercise that becomes more frustrating, pointless and quicker (as I’m getting better at the corporate speak) each year, I’ve had a little work result.

I had to set up a Sawmil log analysis server at the end of last year – and as is the way with stuff you want to get clear of, there was a bug.  Ticket raised, but no clear answer – just the usual “have you tried this” and so forth.  The error was evidenced by a message saying a log file couldn’t be created – and my ticket expressly asked where the log file was – along with a bunch of other diagnostic data helpfully supplied (quite a nice error handling system, I thought).  Anyway, the supplier had to be chased for resolution, after confirming there was still a fault.

The result is that there is a workaround, but you have to let the application create an executable lock file in the cgi-bin directory. Ugh!  At least I can move on, though.

More snow and chaos on the roads

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Woke up this morning to new snow – another 2″ or so, which has fallen during the night.  Set off for work in the Landrover at 0800hrs, and although the roads are quite drivable and the landy coped just fine, the traffic was a nightmare.  By the time I got to Betchworth the pass through the North Downs at Pebblecombe was closed, the A25 movement going East was like driving in cold treacle – and the radio reports of the M25 junction at Reigate was that it was virtually gridlocked.  Decided best course was to return and WFH today.

Now I’m stuck trying to get Citrix to work the way I want!

Still #uksnow RH5 1/10

Getting my blog up and running again

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

It’s about time that I made the effort to get this blog finally up and running properly – with some sort of regular posting going on.  Too many attempts at this in the past have fizzled out – but, working in the IT/Publishing industry, and managing the technology for an installation of over 250 blogs for the UK’s largest business publishing company, it’s about time I did what I do!

Of some note is that this is a WordPress based blog – yet at work I deal exclusively with Movable Type.  Both make good blogs, but it strikes me that the most important thing is to use the most appropriate tools for the job in hand.  For large scale business publishing I don’t think Movable Type can be bettered for us.  Running it on Linux, though, is an absolute must.  The work installation I inherited was two front end Windows 2003 IIS servers with a MySQL/Linux database.  Today, thankfully, it’s twelve front end Linux hosts with MySQL databases (still on Linux).

One or two blogs are worth a mention from this group:

Kitchen Rat, possibly my favourite
Mannerisms – from the wonderful David Manners and his slant on the electronics industry
Any of the Farmers Weekly Blogs

They all keep me amused, and very gainfully employed but back to this blog…

WordPress claims to be famous for it’s five-minute set up – but it took me rather longer.  Some of this was the interminable FTPing of files back and forth, and some was a rather daft attempt at an in-place upgrade which went wrong.  I think it was the style sheets or theme for the older WP version that caused the invisible pages, but a complete scrub and restart  from scratch finally did the trick.  WordPress always remind you to back-up before you start anything like this, and although I’ve never had a problem like this before, ignoring the advice will always bite you in the bum eventually.  I should have known that!