Feet up!

Time Pool

Now everyone knows that ntp is a good thing, but something that I've found useful recently is pool.ntp.org

A common problem when setting up ntp (or the Windows net time command) for a small or home network is finding a suitable stratum 2 (or lower) public time server to sync to.

pool.ntp.org uses DNS round robin to share the potential load over many time servers, they even suggest that anyone with a static ip address and a permanent internet connection should join the project, I'll add that to my to-do queue...

[Tue, 28 Sep 2004 20:43] | [tech] | #

Another week, another Nokia

So in the last few weeks we've had the sexy looking 9300 announced, and now the dowdy looking 6670. In between those there were a tranche of mad looking series 40 phones, but I've given up following dumb phones.

To me the 6670 looks like a 7610 with a 6630 keypad hastily glued on, and I'm really not sure whether the design works. However, I didn't really warm to the 7610 at first, but it's grown on me, maybe the 6670 will do the same.

I guess it begs the question though, how the hell does someone work out which phone to get these days? Nokia have a range of at least 8 different series 60 phones in the shops now or in the next month, the specs differ a little, but how would explain the benefits between say a 6670 and a 6600 to your gran?

[Thu, 23 Sep 2004 21:54] | [mobile] | #

Gmail Accounts

Anyone want one? I've got a glut to give away, leave a comment or email my Gmail address (with name and email address) if you're interested. I'm tempted to keep a few back to for GmailFS and other nefarious purposes though.

Update: All gone, I've donated the remainder to isnoop.net's gmail invite spooler, I'd strongly suggest going there if you've got surplus gmail invites or you're after an invite yourself. Via vowe dot net

[Wed, 15 Sep 2004 13:13] | [general] | #

Mobitopia: Dead Blog?

The blog as a Tamogotchi meme is still rattling around, and Gustaf wonders whether that's a good analogy for what's happening with Mobitopia.

Personally I hope not, it's always been disorganised and anarchic, whether our readers like that aspect I don't know, but the freedom to post as much or little as we want is a great relief to the authors. Sure, it's been quiet this summer, but no more so than last summer when I even posted a piece apologising for it being too quiet. After that we had a busy Autumn and Winter (including a frantic December), before slowing down as the weather in the Northern hemisphere warmed up.

Gustaf's suggested changes are good though, and they're in the current plans for Mobi2. Mobi2 is the migration of Mobitopia from Russ's miniblog system to b2evo. Pressure of time has stopped Rafe, François and me from getting the move completed, and I've got a mad week ahead, again.

Last week on Mobi was pretty busy, with a few rants from Frank, and a couple of scribbles from me about the new Nokia 9300. Perhaps there's still life in the old dogblog.

[Mon, 13 Sep 2004 13:26] | [blogging] | #

Pint and Pipe

My local brewers Shepherd Neame are now rolling out Wi-Fi through parts of their estate. A nice move, and they're doing it in a joint initiative with wireless network provider Telabria.

It's a neat sounding project, a nice bit of symbiosis where Sheps provide a location to host the kit and a point where people can sign up and get info about the product and Telabria provide the tech know-how and plumb the pub based mesh network into their RuralMesh service. RuralMesh aims to provide a broadband solution for rural communities that aren't served by adsl.

It's an award winning initiative, and the latest rollout of pubs just happens to include my local!

Rather curiously, it's neither rural nor in an area unserved by adsl, but if they can get a good signal down to the beach and Tankerton Bay Sailing Club I'm sure it'll still be very popular.

[Thu, 09 Sep 2004 14:07] | [tech] | #


XYZZY license plate I was playing a text adventure the other day for the first time in years, I'd forgotten quite how compelling the medium is. It's like the old comparison between books and films where the pictures are so much better in your head, and exactly the same is true with a text adventure.

Even on a game with no time demands for immediate response one can be urged into taking swift decisions by some carefully crafted prose. A text adventure is a great way to wile away my daily commute, the text entry being relatively simple and terse, it's pretty much how Russ and Tom predicted it would be.

What I really want to have a play with is the classic Colossal Cave or maybe even a simple MUD. That would certainly rock and I bet something like that's going to be available soon.

[Wed, 08 Sep 2004 13:33] | [mobile] | #


Given that it's not a spoof after all. I've finally signed up for Gmail mainly out of curiousity, after turning down a bundle of invites. I'm not intending to use it as my primary address (you can still find that on my contact page), but I'm gonna find (yet) another email address useful at times. Treat it as a backup address for me or something, and please don't send it anything you or I think should be private.

It'll be interesting to see how their spam filters cope with torrents of 419 and Viagra related crap and whether TacoJim@gmail.com gets all the same rubbish that I usually get...

Update: Well that didn't take long, 2 hours and 2 minutes before peteryoung20@yahoo.com sent me some 419 crap via Yahoo webmail, Gmail to it's credit spotted it as spam.

[Tue, 07 Sep 2004 13:21] | [general] | #

Blog ads, where next?

Musing with Terje about where to go next with adverts on our respective sites. He's using the infamous Google adSense programme right now, and isn't too impressed with either the relevance of the ads provided or the subsequent revenue. He's getting pretty good traffic, which is increasing rapidly. 25,000 unique visitors last month and on current growth rates probably 70,000 this month.

I'd be tempted to recommend Blogads to Terje, because I like their approach and the fact the you're in control, but Blogads seem to be very focussed on the high traffic political blogs right now, and it's quite possible Terje would get no ads at all.

I think part of Blogads problem (for Terje and me at least) is location, we're in Europe and Blogads appear to be a New York orientated entity. Blogging is possibly less of a mainstream activity in Europe, so the focus here is less on politics and more on technology and other early adopters' activities. Hence a different set of products to sell and a different audience.

What other alternatives are there? From a quick search, I've found RSS Ads and Adbites, neither of which seem to offer anything too exciting though.

Maybe the solution would be to form a small co-operative of small/medium European tech based sites and cut out the middle man by chasing the advertisers directly or at the very least provide a central contact point for them to reach us. A Lazyweb idea or a call to arms? I'm not sure yet.

[Fri, 03 Sep 2004 15:05] | [blogging/adverts] | #

Traffic News

fun-1 small logo Fun-1 is still going from strength to strength. Despite a 3 week gap between races, a testing ban, and light posting due to Ewan moving to the frozen North we blew past August's (rather conservative) target of 6,500 visitors and exceeded 7,000 for the first time.

We're still aiming to be conservtive for September, and the new goal is 8,000, I think we might be pleasantly surprised yet again, especially if we mention Jos Verstappen.

It looks like our overall figures are doing ok so far:

May  200
June 500-10001500
July 3000-50005000
August 65007000
September 8000?

[Thu, 02 Sep 2004 13:28] | [motorsport] | #

Changing Codes?

After last week's events, this week brings even more weirdness down at St Mary's.

Last week, the manager was sacked and head of the coaching staff (Steve Wigley) was promoted to head coach, with further organisational changes "to be decided". This week Sir Clive Woodward, England's World Cup winning coach resigns and is linked with a senior role at Southampton, sporting director, perchance?

Strange stuff indeed, but if anyone can make this sort of transistion it would be a proven winner like Clive. The Guardian provide a little more background

[Thu, 02 Sep 2004 13:27] | [football] | #

Wikis and Blogs

I'm wondering what would be the best way of representing my wiki content on here. There's content like my Series 60 Getting Started post that really aren't static and will evolve best in a wiki environment.

But how should I show them on the blog? Currently I've got the first revision of the content on the blog and a link to the current content on the wiki, I don't know whether it would be best to have the most recent revision displayed in both places, and it would open the blog up to spamming.

My current thoughts are to keep the status quo, and possibly show the recent changes in a weekly post here.

[Wed, 01 Sep 2004 14:14] | [blogging] | #

Shit and Win98, spot the difference?

I had a fun evening last night, rodding the drains and providing family tech support on a Windows 98 box.

Guess which was the more satisfying experience? Yep that's it, five feet of water and bobbing turds is still far nicer than Windows 98, and it doesn't take as much work to make it go away.

[Wed, 01 Sep 2004 14:12] | [rants] | #

Foaf updates

I've updated my Foaf document a little, nothing too major and the Foaf lint tool complains rather less, although it's still not entirely jolly.

Main additions are some support for Jen Golbeck's Trust and Reputation project, courtesy of the Trust-O-Matic. I suppose I really ought to add to my Foaf some of the folks I've been involved with in creating IRC Hacks...

I'd register for the FriendSpace demo if it was working, FriendSpace is one of the papers being presented at the FOAF Workshop in Galway this week.

[Wed, 01 Sep 2004 10:32] | [Foaf] | #

Jim Hughes
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