home computing

This blog is no longer being updated. I have MOVED to my new home.

It was nice here, while it lasted, but hopefully a fresh start will make life more interesting elsewhere!
6th June 2006

Site repaired

The normal theme is now reinstated.

I had to upgrade to Drupal 4.7.x, which then entailed an upgrade to all of the modules. This led to an incompatability with Gallery 2, which needed an upgrade. This broke the Wordpress blogs I host, so they needed upgrades.

To cap it all, this theme broke horribly. I eventually tracked it down to some of the stylesheets not loading on every page.

tags: home computing |

5th June 2006

Broken site...

The theme for this site, along with the gallery integration is broken at the moment.

Hopefully, things will be back to normal soon.

tags: home computing | 2 comments

20th December 2005

Drupal Theme coming along

I have done the main grunt work in readying the MinimaPlus style theme for Drupal. There are still lots of niggles, but I thought I’d set it up as the default now.


  • Add searching
  • Tidy up masthead, elements are not displaying in quite the right places (worse in IE)
  • Hover permalinks (Decided I hate them anyway, so they are gone)
  • Bring back the little calendar icons
  • Tidy up the post trailers.
  • Do something about the login box
  • Embedded Gallery very messy

Update: Everything is now converted.

tags: home computing | 1 comment

19th December 2005

Site migration

I am in the process of migrating my blog to Drupal, which is my preferred system. Wordpress is still recommended for other members of my family.

So, the theme is the basic one at the moment, but over Christmas I will be customising it greatly.

tags: drupal home computing | 2 comments

14th December 2005

Web server died

Angier.co.uk was down for about 12 hours today due to a blown power supply. I hope it didn’t inconvenience anyone!

Since my server is about 200 miles away from where I now live, and I didn’t truly know the nature of the problem, I was relieved to find a friend of mine (Roy) was in the vicinity. Roy kindly popped around to Maplin, bought and then fitted a new power supply for me, and we are now back in action.

Thanks very much Roy, you’re a star!

tags: home computing repairs server |

1st December 2005

GTD, MLO, Tracks

I’ve got into a bit of a bind finding the “ideal” software for managing my “Getting Things Done” action lists. I really like Next Action, but some of its issues have turned into major show stoppers. It has two problems that have ruled it out from being my software of choice:

  1. It doesn’t have a built in Save function, or an autosave function. This makes it a right pain whenever you change anything.

  2. If the browser goes to another page, for example if you click on a link in an email, then you lose the changes since you last saved. ARGHHHH.

I couldn’t stand having to press CTRL-S, enter, enter, enter every time I changed something in case I accidently navigated away from the application.

So, the hunt recommenced. I found My life organized. Quite nice commercial software, but over featured with extra key presses to do the simple things I needed. It felt a little clunky which put me off putting simple things into it, and the looming end of the trial period with the associated $60 bill further discouraged me from getting too into it.

So, back to the free/cheaper options. Eventually, I stumbled across Tracks, which is a web based solution. Cons – you need a web server and you need to be prepared to jump through hoops installing a shed load of bit of Ruby, Ruby on Rails, MySQL integration stuff, etc. It certainly is not a typical end-user installation process. The program isn’t as neat as Next Action, and can be a little clunky – nowhere near as bad as MLO – but the basic need, a trusted system, it fulfills, unlike Next Action.

Despite having a version number of 1.03, implying a degree of maturity, it is still very much in development and it shows in places.

As a computer geek, though, these negatives don’t phase me and the normal workflow is a good fit for my needs (at the moment).

I am going to stick with this as I can’t really afford to keep hunting around – if Next Action sort out the basic problems then I may go back to it, but Tracks is a reasonably rounded (and free) alternative which has the massive advantage of security of data.

tags: home home computing work |

15th November 2005

Messenger OK again

This morning, MSN Messenger has decided that my email address is now valid, even though I never received the verification email. Wierd, it must have been having a bad day.

tags: home computing |

15th November 2005

Google backs off

Since I setup Google Sitemap and robots.txt across my sites the GoogleBot has become slightly less intense, and is now only responsible for about 25% of the bandwidth that the sites all use! I still think that the spidering is a bit intense for personal web sites, and it seems not to be taking much notice of the sitemaps recommendations, but it is now down into the realms of acceptable behaviour.

tags: blog home computing web |

14th November 2005

MSN Messenger forgot me

MSN Messenger has suddenly decided that my email address is unverified, and when I go through the steps to send myself a verification email I don’t receive that email. Duh. I hope this is sorted out soon.

tags: home computing |

2nd November 2005

Harddrive failure

I wish I’d acted on this reminder to backup yesterday. Mid-evening yesterday, I was working on some slides for our next customer seminar, when my work laptop started slowing down very badly. I rebooted it, and it didn’t come back. I spent an hour or two trying various things as it sometimes would boot to the system menu, sometimes get as far as the progress bar during loading. Eventually, I gave up and went to bed – to no avail, since I was going over in my head all the things I had lost in the month since my last backup. Some time in the early hours I fell asleep, only to be woken up by Tiffany at 4:30am when she got up due to being ill.

At this point I gave up with sleep, got up and tried again – totally dead PC, booted for about 3 seconds before automatically rebooting. BIOS diagnostics said “no hope, your hdd is a gonner”. I just left it looping and gave up, not even motivated to switch it off. Then, about 30 minutes later I looked to see it at the login screen! I plugged in the external HDD, and 30 minutes later had backup up all the important stuff. It was the last flicker of life, and I had saved my work – hurrah.

Dell were great, I rang up the Gold support line and within 5 minutes they had accepted the fact I had a genuine HDD failure and had arranged for a courier to deliver a new one for tomorrow. Great.

I might set the alarm tonight, after the lack of sleep last night I don’t want to be lying there worrying about over sleeping!

tags: home computing work |


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