There is a quote I’ve always liked, “It’s like a swan on a lake. On the surface everything is calm but underneath the webbed feet are paddling furiously!” While this is equally true of many things it’s always seems to be most apt when I think about the start-ups I’ve been lucky enough to work at. The sales team and management doing the VC road-shows make the company appear to be a stable, healthy environment where everything is working fine and nothing un-expected arises on a daily basis. Read on →

As part of my daily server housekeeping I keep an eye on the Apache error logs for each of the servers I’m responsible for. If it’s a quiet day I’ll grep through the attempted exploits, attacks and formmail scans for any useful error messages. While attempting to track some 404’s back to the corresponding access-log entries I got bored of converting the error logs date format into the default date format of the access log so I wrote a small bit of shell that I (badly) named but without the studly caps, to do it for me. Read on →

As anyone who has ever read this site will have noticed, I have no artistic ability; and a love of torturing innocent punctuation :). Even the comet tail / mosaic at the top of almost every page was done for me by an amazingly talented guy called Pete Jones. One of my side projects (which typically move at near glacial speed) could do with a splash of colour and some photos. Read on →

Do you want top notch searching on your local machine? Do you want lightening fast results on your (non-commercial; read the EULA!) desktop? Do you want people to stop blogging about the Google Desktop Search? Well the answer to number three is probably going to be yes pretty soon! I’ve not had enough time to form any real opinions yet but it does look pretty cool so go and have Read on →

I’ve actually been receiving a fair bit of mail about my IE plugins recently, a couple of very nice people sent me thank you mails for the BugMeNot plugin (which is amazingly popular!), I had a couple of requests to port some of the ‘View In XXX’ plugins to an IE based browser called Maxthon, which I’ve done, and I had a request to add one for using the online Lynx viewer. Read on →

Do you have a couple of spare Gmail invites laying around (guvner)? If so you probably already use FireFox as your web-browser of choice, and a good choice at that!, but just think of the poor untold hordes of IE users just waiting to be saved. “What can I do to help?” you may ask, well for a start you can donate a couple of GMail invites to the Spread FireFox GMail Project. Read on →

Like most geeks I’m an information junkie, I have news sites, developer blogs, security alerts and even a couple of system logs piped to me via the bandwidth eating medium of RSS. I started off using FeedReader but soon felt the need for something a little more powerful and swapped to the excellent, if quite memory intensive and slow to start, SharpReader. After six months of happy usage the restriction of only accessing my subscriptions from a single machine began to get to me. Read on →

I know this is old ground but it seems to come up a lot and annoy the arse off me, if you are going to log something then please ensure it has: A date and time... ...that is easy to sort The name of the application that spawned the something you are logging The fully qualified name of the machine it is from If you can’t produce at least those details then what use do you expect the logs to be when someone tries to debug using them.

And I don’t mean the .torrent file, I’m more focused on the file containing the actual content. For a personal project I’d like to be able to search for information stored in text/DOC format or in compressed archives but short of scripting a down-loader to get each file I find, pulling it apart and searching manually I don’t see any options. As far as I can tell the main search engines stop at the .torrent file. Read on →

I hate to jump on any bandwagon that starts at Slashdot, although even a broken clock is right twice a day, but I find myself agreeing with a number of the Slashdot comments made about the new WS-Management spec. Firstly, and most importantly, SNMP is still the most widely used management protocol in production. Secondly it has survived the invention of a number of replacements, WBEM and CIM spring to mind as standards chosen to replace a lot of the functionality it provides; oddly enough those specs were also backed by Microsoft and Sun. Read on →