Archive for January, 2007

Productive Weekend

It’s been a productive weekend. I’ve been a bit ill over the last week, so have spent a lot of time in bed or just in my room (at a constant temperature), and it’s given me a brilliant chance to get on with BritBlog! Starting out on coding isn’t so easy for me at times (especially when you know you’ve got to struggle with lots of old and messy code) but I get into it then it gets much easier. This rewrite has been one of those projects that’s been especially hard to get into, so I’m quite pleased that it’s finally rolling.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve been stripping out loads of redundant code and re-writing chunks for improved performance. I’ve also written a great wrapper class for Memcache that gives me some pretty cool features (like ETags and 304 headers). I’m going to open source this class when I get some more time and I’m happy with what it does. Anyway, there’s still quite a lot to do with BritBlog, but I really am hoping to get an interim release out soon. Don’t hold your breath, but it shouldn’t be too far away now…

It will be good to test the water with this, and if all goes well we can start on all the new features that we promised ages ago. It helps that I’ve finally got a sensible development environment with an identical set up to the production server too. I know that seems like something I should have had ages ago, but I’ve not been so organised on the BritBlog front. We’ve also got everything in version control too, which is brilliant. I’m almost ashamed to say this, but I’ve never bothered with version control for BritBlog before. Now it’s in subversion it seems to make the whole work process actually enjoyable!

Oh, and did I mention that Memcache kicks ass? OK, maybe that’s a bit too strong, but it really is nifty!

Flat hunting tomorrow, so better get to sleep now.

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FlickrViewer moved to SourceForge

I’ve moved the FlickrViewer code into SourceForge so that the code is in version control (subversion) and so that we have a proper help/support forum.

Files should still be downloaded from this web site, and although SF.Net provides other services I’ll probably not use them for the moment as the site is rather slow…

A couple of people have sent in some code modifications over the last few months, so I’ll try and add these to the project when I get a chance.

If you want to get involved in the project, do please get in touch.

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Motorola MOTORAZR maxx V6


IMG_5392, uploaded by Mark Sweeting.

I finally got around to replacing my old Sony Ericsson K750i. After two frustrating years with these Sony telephones (the joystick stopped working on both of them after just a few months), I’ve gone for something totally different: a Motorola MOTORAZR maxx V6. The MOTORAZR maxx V6 is a bit different to my old ‘phones, so here are my thoughts so far.

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Rollei Magic TLR


IMG_5398, uploaded by Mark Sweeting.

Picked up a Rollei Magic Twin Lens Reflex off ebay a few weeks ago. It’s in pretty good condition as you can see, but I don’t think the meter works.
There doesn’t seem to be a way to set the shutter speed manually either (nor can I find a battery), so it doesn’t look like it’s actually going to be much use now :-(

Not sure if there’s a cable release socket for it, but if there is then I may be able to do some very slow exposures (slow film & small apperture) timed to about a second or so…

Still, it looks nice!

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Behind the times: Five things you don’t know about me

Darren very kindly tagged me with this meme: “Five things you probably don’t know about me”. Difficult one this — it’s almost boundless. If you’ve read much of my blog you’ll know it isn’t too personal, so don’t expect anything revolutionary here…

  1. I like jazz I like a lot of music, but my roots are jazz. I’ve listened to various forms of Jazz since I was 10 or 11, and I still love it today.
  2. Having said that, I like classical music too, and listen to that more and more. Ever since Jazz FM went evil, I’ve found myself listening to Classic FM. I’ve always liked different classical themes, but these days find it great for listening too when driving to meetings…
  3. I’m scared about getting old. I’m not getting any younger, and in many was I feel no older than I did when I was 18. However, I’m going grey, my knees don’t work as well as they used too, and I can’t drink a fraction of what I used to be able to drink. I don’t feel like I’ve lived properly yet, and hate having to think about pensions and old age.
  4. I hate computers. I really do. What good do they do? Maybe a stupid point, but I’d love to have nothing to do with them!
  5. Last but not least… I like to cuddle. Well I do OK?!

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Blog rank and score histories

Historical rank and score data is now available in Technoranki. Up to 30 days of data is displayed in graphical form, allowing you to see how your score and rank has changed over time.

In hindsight I should have added your actual position too as this is more meaningful than your score. (A score of 524 doesn’t mean much, but a position in the charts of number 5 is pretty easy to understand!)

I’ve upped the number of blogs on the Top Blogs page to 300, and you can view the history data by clicking on the appropriate ‘history’ links. Next on my to-do list is to add fully paged charts so that you can browse all the blogs in the system, and then to add a search tool so you can easily find your own blog.

If you look at the score histories you can see that some of them are pretty flat. These tend to be the blogs without the tracking code (of the inputs to the score, the traffic data is the most variable, maining it has the most influence on score fluctuations).

Anyway, feedback and constructive criticism is always appreciated so let me know if you have any thoughts.

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When I’m tailing logfiles…

[to the tune of “When I’m Cleaning Windows“]

Well Happy New Year to both of my readers; I hope you’re having a thrilling year so far!

Over the Christmas break I’ve been working on a tool to help me flag dead or suspect blogs listed in BritBlog. It’s been quite interesting, and I’ve already removed quite a few none-blogs from the database.

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