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Planned Website Downtime…

The recent server switch within Fasthosts has not solved the availability issues with my website. It was down for 30 minutes again yesterday. Since the initial (accidental) server move in December the availability of the site has been terrible. What’s worse, Fasthosts seem incapable of giving me any information as to why. It’s on a shared hosting platform, so there isn’t much I can do to diagnose the issue myself.

ACED Annual Self Evaluation…

If filled out my ACE Director Annual Self Evaluation today. Between 1st June 2011 and now, which is about 10 months, I did the following:

  • Over 40 new website articles (close to 1 a week). This does not include rewrites of existing articles, some of which I could legitimately claim as new articles, since they bear* little resemblance to the originals.
  • Over 150 new blog posts (every other day, give or take).
  • Over 3500 new forum posts (about 11 a day).
  • 9 conference events.
  • A random assortment of Twitter, G+, Facebook, LinkedIn and email messages.

It’s quite scary when you list it like that. :)



How much does IT cost?

One of my friends used to own a sandwich bar. He knew the exact profit margin on each product. He knew the impact of a price change from one supplier on each of the products he sold, as well as the overall affect on his profits.

So compare that situation with your average IT department, where to be frank, nobody has a bloody clue about costs. Yes, we all know the headline grabbers like licensing cost for Oracle and you can probably find the bit of paper that tells you the yearly hardware maintenance fee, but I’ve not encountered many companies that have a handle on the real cost of projects. If a company can’t say, “Project X cost £Y to complete and costs £Z a year to maintain and this is the breakdown of costs”, with a reasonable level of accuracy then they’ve failed.

University of Birmingham CS Alumni Dinner (update)…

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my invite to the University of Birmingham CS Alumni Dinner, which took place last night…

It was really weird being back on the campus after all these years. I finished my PhD about 18 years ago (or something like that) I popped in to my department (Biosciences) a couple of times soon after I left and I used to train at the University gym for a little while, but it must be over a decade since I’ve been back. I don’t know about the rest of the campus, the part where I spent most of my time as changed a lot. Very freaky. :)

Windows 8 Rant Continued…

One of the comments on my  rant about Windows 8 suggested this might be a good thing for desktop Linux. I just don’t see it myself. The only people I know who run desktop Linux are techies or immediate family members of techies. I don’t see this changing any time soon. Why? The same reasons that have been used for years…

Windows 8 Consumer Preview : Complete Abortion!

I wrote some time ago about the Windows 8 Developer Preview, which I didn’t like at all from a desktop perspective.

Today I installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. What a complete abortion of an operating system! I thought the developer preview was bad, but it’s like they’ve taken all the comments people made about that steaming pile of crap, given everyone the bird, then made it even worse just to spite them.

Now let’s get this straight. I’ve never used Windows 8 on a phone or on a fondle-slab. It may be awesome on those, but I’ll probably never find out. I’m talking here about a desktop machine with a keyboard and mouse.

The Truth About Exercise and 100 Rep Challenge…

A couple of days ago I watched an episode of Horizon on the BBC iPlayer called The Truth About Exercise. If you can’t use BBC iPlayer, you can read about the show here. It was a pretty interesting show. The take-home messages were:

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!