Category Archives: Computing

Migration – Further Progress

Part1: Part 2: Now my diary is settling in on its new server, I thought I’d add a couple of thoughts: It now runs far faster, feeling much more snappy and responsive. No other users are competing for server resources, and the server’s a lot nearer (Ireland rather than the US). NameCheap have […]

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Migration: Aches and Pains

I recently migrated my diary to a new server, and was amused by some of the problems I faced doing so. Deploying PHP applications should be a simple affair – set up the database, upload the code – but moving to a newer version of the language brought many problems. PHP now bothers to check […]

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A link recently bubbled up the frontpage of Hacker News, and I found myself rather curious to find out more. The headline rather proudly proclaimed: “RJSON: compress JSON to JSON”. JSON is a useful and simple way of transmitting data between machines on the Internet, and is commonly-used by many dynamic websites today (see Wiki […]

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Virtualisation and web hosting

I’ve been gradually starting to migrate bits of this site over to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosted on Amazon’s AWS. I’d originally come across the concept of a VPS at a previous job which had been offered a Slicehost instance for test purposes. While I’d experimented with Ubuntu on the desktop before, and had used a Linux […]

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Dvorak – settled in

Current wpm: 98. I’ve been enjoying trying to get my particular flavour of Dvorak working on Linux, and will post more details of how it’s going in the near future…

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Dvorak Day n

Current wpm: 56 (up from 20). Starting to get to grips with things now. I wrote out all the letters on sticky-labels and affixed them to the keyboard, which really did make an enormous difference. I no longer had to feel around for a key, or look at a separate diagram, but simply needed to […]

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Dvorak Day 4

Current wpm: 20 (stable from 20). A weekend away from the computer has prevented any further speed improvements. Maybe tomorrow will see a better result. I’m starting to remember where all the keys are, but am not at all fluent and have to make heavy use of the “backspace” key. On a side note, in […]

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Dvorak Day 3

Current wpm: 20 (up from 12). Did some serious practice today. Also made another keyboard layout so that I don’t have to re-learn all the punctuation. Will this process continue until all the keys are restored? Using the computer is very frustrating. Typing long passages is tiring, and it’s really annoying when doing something as […]

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Dvorak Day 2

Current wpm: 12 (down from 100 or so). Using the MS Keyboard Layout Creator, I’ve put together a UK Dvorak Variant. Am considering using speech recognition instead of typing, which is now tedious.

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The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard

I’m currently typing this very slowly having changed my keyboard layout to the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard. It’s proving quite slow-going, but will hopefully speed up my typing and reduce the strain on my wrists. Next report to follow.

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It’s OK, the software knows best

I find the attitude of some software developers ridiculously arrogant. They all think that they know best. They know the best algorithms, they write in the best language, and above all, they make the best decisions. Sometimes, however, I’m not so sure. Today I decided to clear out the small toolbar which acts as a […]

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In Defence of Spam

Nobody could really be surprised when spam emails started appearing. Every other communication medium is filled with advertisements and unsolicited intrusion. Newspapers are filled with adverts, and we are harassed by junk mail, telemarketing and door-to-door salesmen. Two experiences have give me something more to think about when it comes to spam. Some time ago […]

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Leigh’s Backup Strategy Begins…

I’ve never really had a backup strategy. Now and again everything’s turned to toast, but previously it’s not been much of a worry. As one gets older, however, things start to seem more important, and constant nagging focuses the mind as well. Each loss of data eats away at your soul a little bit. Admittedly […]

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Open Source Software – a Chink in the Armour

The collective wisdom of the Internet states pretty categorically that Microsoft is evil, Google is never evil, Macs are cool and Linux is best of all. Of course not all of that is true, and you can’t always believe what you read on the Internet. Google isn’t evil but colludes with dictatorships to oppress freedom […]

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Is the Network Timeout Dead?

Computers are quite good at waiting. My computer spends a substantial proportion of its day in an idle state waiting for me to do something. It also spends time waiting for network resources, and it makes me wait too. When I go to a webpage or request something online the computer needs to download everything […]

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I migrated this blog in early February – now we’ve reached early April and the comment spam has noticed me. Here’s hoping that WordPress comment spam features work better than Bloglines. In alternative news, there’s an amusing tale at theDailyWTF referring to security at the Halifax. Not too long ago, my HalifaxATM card got deactivated […]

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Linux – Is it the way forward?

I’ve spent most of today compiling packages aiming to produce a bootable version of Linux From Scratch. I’ve downloaded the source and compile it on the machine to produce a working Linux OS (hopefully). It’s quite exciting, although I’m not sure how much I’m learning just by typing in commands from the book. Two early […]

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Windows Vista Released

Windows Vista has now been officially released. It’s available on Amazon for those who want it. There’s been excitement around the launch, with dancers jumping around billboards in the US and other such fun. To mark this event, PC World have reposted two articles, Windows Vista: 15 Reasons to Switch and Wait! Don’t Buy Microsoft […]

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Google Bombing – An End to the Fun?

I’ve discussed Google bombing before here. Apparently, Google have made some algorithm changes to reduce their impact. From their webmaster blog: We wanted to give a quick update about “Googlebombs.” By improving our analysis of the link structure of the web, Google has begun minimizing the impact of many Googlebombs. Now we will typically return […]

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Moore’s Law

From Wikipedia: Moore’s Law is the empirical observation made in 1965 that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months. It is attributed to Gordon E. Moore (born 1929), a co-founder of Intel. Intel have just seen a breakthrough in chip design which have ensured this will […]

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