Jul 10 2009

AntiSceptic’s Xbox – Jul 10 2009

Category: Xbox 360 UpdatesChris' Xbox 360 @ 9:20 am

Like a king on his throne, AntiSceptic said ‘awaken’ and for him I did comply. 1,280 points represents the size of our growing kingdom. Ok, enough of this Monarchy stuff. He played Peggle, Zuma, and after we were done, AntiSceptic hugged me with his eyes. It was one of those platonic hugs… you know…

Good thing AntiSceptic and I got some play time in! Every day we play is another opportunity to catch up to Narcogen and that 7,765 gamerscore!


Oct 25 2008

Area Specific Widgets

Category: WordPressChrisM @ 4:20 am

Long term readers (as in REALLY long term, those who were pressganged encouraged to start reading 18 months ago) will remember the fun and games I’ve been through to get area specific widgets to display on this blog. Originally I used the King Text widget, though WordPress 2.2 (2.3?) broke critical parts of the code, and no updates were to be found. I then moved onto using some PHP code within ExecPHP widgets (probably fixable, but I’m a hacker of other peoples code, not a proper coder), though this then prevented me from using PHP within the actual widget I wanted to display. Now it looks as though there is a decent solution. Slayer’s Custom Widgets is able to ensure that any of your current widgets are only displayed on certain pages/categories/posts etc. This would mean I can once again play around a little more with code, and find new and interesting ways to break this site 🙂 As I don’t have the time or inclination to repair my potential goof ups for now, I’ll leave experimenting with this plugin for now, I just wanted to post a quick heads up for other WordPress users who might be interested.

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Dec 10 2007

Details Of Code Changes

Category: WordPressChrisM @ 12:47 am

As I mentioned earlier on, I have now instigated a few changes in the way this blog is coded, to enable WordPress to be upgraded to 2.3.1
As this blog has a few features that only are supposed to work within certain categories, I previously used the King Text plugin; with which you can easily stipulate exactly where the code should be run, and where it should be skipped. Unfortunately, using versions of WordPress above 2.1.3 would disable this plugin, and as no script bodges were announced that actually worked, this blog has been stuck without an upgrade for some time. Not only has this meant that some features (such as native support for tagging) have been unavailable, but also vital security patches were not applied.
Anyway, a fellow forum user (Sorensicai) over at PPP suggested using
{ echo '//widget code'; }

as a way to manually force the site to only use scripts on certain areas. Of course you can change
(is_home()) for (is_category(CaTeGoRy%)) or whatever is required.

Anyway, I took the plunge, as I had not managed to break anything whilst upgrading my other WP blog to 2.3.1, and to my surprise it worked! Having had the shackles of the old plugin removed, I upgraded this blog, and updated a few other plugins, and did a little tidying up of some other code. I also realised I could move a lot of my current widgets from a specialist PHP Exec style plugin to a normal WP Text widget, as no fancy code was involved, just some images.
Anyhow, once I figure out how to call RSS feeds only within certain categories, and whether I can stack different conditions for different code snippets within one widget, I’ll be happy 🙂

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Dec 03 2007

The Internet Is Dead, Long Live The Internet…

Category: Internet Connections,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 4:53 pm

OK, melodramatic post title, but in case it flew right over your head, I’m referring to The King Is Dead, Long Live The King! (or Le Roi est mort. Vive le Roi! (yes, I wikied before posting to make sure I had the correct words 🙂 ))

Anyway, our current internet connection is over priced, under powered, and has a relatively low data allowance per month. This is on an ‘unlimited’ connection. It is currently 256Kbps, which drops to 64Kbps after 7Gb has been downloaded. The new connection will be through Megaline, almost 80% cheaper, and have a monthly allowance of 10Gb. Unfortunately, they only offer 128Kbps on their unlimited packages, and after those 10Gb, the connection is throttled to just 32Kbps – worse than dial up! However, with the money saved, and the extra 3Gb per month, I think we made the right choice.

I’m posting this now in case there is a problem, and we do not get the new connection working once the old one has been terminated – if I don’t post for a while, you know why.

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Aug 27 2007

Busy Day

Category: WordPressChrisM @ 10:47 pm

Today I decided to finally get around to catching up with all the background work on this blog. That meant going through my plugins one at a time, upgrading them to the most recent version, and then checking nothing had been broken by this process. Readers of this blog should not notice any difference really, other than a few tweaks here and there, as well a small increase in speed of loading. Sadly, my collection of King plugins have not yet been updated to work with WP2.2.x, so this blog will remain at 2.1.3 until I find an alternative, or someone comes up with a viable and easily implemented hack – too much of this site’s design relies on me being easily able to display certain widgets on certain pages, and blocking them on others.

Luckily there are only a few days left in this month, as I have just broken the 2Gb mark on bandwidth, for the first time; this blog is limited to 2.5Gb/month, so as long as I don’t receive a sudden rush of visitors, and the search engine spiders don’t all suddenly decide to crawl the site 24/7, all should be fine. When this site was started a little over a year ago, I had a limit of 250Mb per month, and apart from when I hosted videos (I now use YouTube), I didn’t often get close to the limit…

I have also updated the listing of all the search terms this site is/was #1 for on Google. If such facts interest you, then click on the I Got Lucky link at the top of each page. I’ve also tried to re-order them into basic groups by subject, rather than just sticking the newest results in at the bottom.

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Aug 14 2007

Tiscali Begs For Mercy

Category: In The Media,Internet ConnectionsChrisM @ 2:07 am

As you will know from my previous posts here, my opinion of Tiscali is pretty low. Having worked for ISPs in the past, and specifically for Tiscali’s technical support department at one point, I feel I have a little insight into their business methods. For your average, light-traffic user, they perhaps are slightly higher up than AOL, but not by a great deal.
Anyway, Tiscali has warned UK customers that they had better not start using video on demand (VoD) services a lot, or else the ISP will have to shape their traffic. Check the BBC article for a bit of background info. Well? I’m waiting…. have you read it yet? Right, I will assume you at least skimmed it… I loved the section where Tiscali refers to their current traffic shaping of other Peer To Peer based applications. Whilst they make it sound like no harm is done, many of their customers have reported dial-up like speeds. Combine that with Tiscali’s fair use policies, and you begin to see just how restrictive they are becoming.
You can of course see where the company is coming from – if everyone is using connection at 100% of its capacity 24/7, the whole network will suffer. However, as technologies and applications improve, the usage patterns on the internet will also follow suit. You can not realistically expect customers to not use VoD because their ISP has not got the infrastructure in place to cope with the demand. It simply reeks of Canute ordering the tide to turn back. (Though that is not the best analogy, as the King was merely proving one of his excessively complimenting courtiers that he was not all powerful).
Anyway, enough of my preaching on top of a soap box, I understand Tiscali is a business with a need to profit, they just always seem to rub me up the wrong way…

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Jul 26 2007

Malaysian Bloggers Beware

Category: Aware Or Conspiracy Nut...,In The Media,PersonalChrisM @ 5:11 am

I have linked to quite a few Malaysian bloggers in the past, and some have linked back, so when I discovered how the government over there is once more cracking down on them, using anti-terrorism laws(!), it came as sad news. Not shocking really, just a tad depressing.
If bloggers (one would assume their would be a cut off point re. readership) are thought to have insulted Islam as a religion, or the country’s King, they could face prosecution. This section is not new, however I believe that the fact bloggers could now be put in prison, indefinitely, and without a trial or even any formal charges, is new.
Most people believe that the upcoming general election has been the catalyst to the governing party’s decision, as is intended to draw a line that bloggers should not cross, when it comes to critical analysis and condemnation of the government’s actions.


Jun 16 2007

Cornwall Nationalists

Category: Aware Or Conspiracy Nut...,PersonalChrisM @ 12:53 am

Militants in Cornwall (where my brother attends university) have issued a statement warning two celebrity chefs that their businesses are at risk.

There is history of rebellion in Cornwall, reaching back centuries. In some areas, there also strong ties to the Brittany area of France. Around 1500, a protest march was taken to London by Cornishmen unhappy at the extra taxes King Henry VII was imposing, in an attempt to finance the struggle in Scotland. (Any fans of the movie Braveheart might want to actually check what really happened sometime.) Anyway, needless to say Henry was having none of it, and sent his troops out to defeat the Cornish.
The rebellion was put down, and all the leaders executed. Why all this explanation? Because one of the executed was Michael An Gof, and the An Gof group are believed to have combined with the Cornish Liberation Army to form the Cornish National Liberation Army. This group has threatened both Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver’s businesses, complaining that the ‘newcomers’ are responsible for a surge in house prices in the locality, causing true locals to not be able to afford houses in areas that they have lived in for generations.
A couple of apparent flaws in their logic though – 1) Stein has lived in the area, on and off, for a long time, and both he and Jamie Oliver bring a lot of business to agricultural and dairy farmers in the area, not to mention fishermen. Both chefs are proud of the produce they use being locally reared/harvested/caught 2) Jamie Oliver’s business was setup to help dis advantaged youths in the area, with the idea of training them up to be professional chefs themselves.

Neither people really seem to be fairly targeted, perhaps it is simply because they are high profile, and so will bring publicity to the Cornish Independence cause? Either way, I’m hoping the restaurant Nick is currently working in is safe from such threats…

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Jun 02 2007

The Call of the Wild

Category: BooksChrisM @ 1:38 pm

The Call of the Wild – Jack London

Set amongst the heady times of the American gold rushes, the main character in this book is a dog. We see the dog well looked after, and enjoying his position as alpha male dog in his vicinity, and all seems well. Very quickly things take a turn for the worst – he is dognapped! (Hmm is that one word or two?)
Taken for his power, Buck soon discovers that many humans are not as king and well meaning as his old master. Slowly he begins to return to his most base instincts – he could afford to share food back in his comfy original home; when he ends up pulling sledges through harsh environments, he must use all his cunning, as well as his strength, to stay alive.
Without giving away too much, life does improve for Buck, as he is sold from one person to another, and eventually he settles down to a more sedate life with his new master. Until the indians arrive on the scene that is!

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Oct 28 2006

Fixed Issue With IE6 Users Viewing This Site

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 5:11 pm

I’ve previously mentioned that if people use Internet Explorer 6 (rather than FireFox, or IE7) to view this site, they will not see what is intended. I’ve now discovered what caused the 2nd sidebar column to ‘slip’ down the page, below the bottom of the 1st sidebar. It was when a site with a long URL was listed in the ‘We’re Linked From…’ section on the right.
I’ve now removed the original widget, found the JavaScript code to use from www.wholinked.com , and inserted it in a King Text widget. Problem solved.
One day I’ll move onto why the default FireFox extension for viewing online videos (WMVs in this case) results in a loss of audio/video sync, whereas WMP or off-line viewing displays no such errors.
Also created a proper 404 page this week, as I noticed some sites were using incorrect URLs to link to entries on this site, and the original error page wasn’t very useful. To check it out, enter in this site’s name, then invent a page, for example, you could try www.chrismerriman.com/THISpageDOESnotEXIST.htm or www.chrismerriman.com/ABCDEFGH.php etc. etc.

[EDIT] And, thanks, but there is no need to leave a comment that the links don’t work, as requested in the error page – save it for links that are SUPPOSED to open real pages ;>

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