Posts by Category

Development

Avoid using switch-case statements

1 minute read

Recently I’ve been asked why switch-case statements should be avoided, it turns out to be a pretty common question, and although I’m pretty happy with the re...

Microservices - Managing the flow of data

5 minute read

There’s a number of companies that have been pioneering the microservices architectural style, including Amazon, Netflix, The Guardian, the UK Government Dig...

Agile, what’s it all about?

3 minute read

Why does the agile software development exist? What’s it all about? Why do people use it? Who uses it? How do you use it?

Keep it Simple, Stupid!

2 minute read

“RTBQ! RTBQ!”. This is the phrase that my high school friends shouted at me when I asked them to remind me of the phrase they remember from school. Mr Fletch...

Story Points Baseline

2 minute read

Given a new team or a team restructure, should you baseline? Do all teams point differently? Do the team need to baseline?

Getting started with Behat

5 minute read

Behat is a test framework for behavior-driven development (BDD) written in the PHP programming language.

Testing as code

8 minute read

In a time where DevOps culture demands “everything as code”, from infrastructure to monitoring, its about time we took “testing as code” seriously.

Delivering Value

3 minute read

By now you’ve probably seen this image, with waterfall on the left, and continuous operations on the right, it’s an evolution.

Devops Best Practices

4 minute read

DevOps started out as “Agile Systems Administration”. In 2008, Andrew Shafer did a talk called “Agile Infrastucture” addressing issues around involving more ...

Have a compromise strategy

5 minute read

Back in February 2016, I went to PHP UK Conference. One of the points resonated with me, so I wrote down the following:

What’s involved in a code review?

7 minute read

We now live in a time of version control, git and github. If you work in software development you should be familiar with “pull requests”.

That Testing Pyramid

6 minute read

Today I want to talk about that “Testing Pyramid”, you know the one, that one, Martin Fowler calls it a “Test Pyramid”.

UX Tips: Carousels

1 minute read

So what’s the deal with carousels? Why does everyone keep asking for them on their website?

Why error suppression in PHP is bad

1 minute read

I appreciate that to most people, this is not a new topic and it almost goes without saying, however I can understand that not everybody knows this, espec...

to.je – The Failed TinyURL.com Clone

2 minute read

Ever since my IRC (Internet Relay Chat) days I'd always wanted to write a TinyURL.com clone, especially since it gained traction on twitter and Facebook. ...

Update: Randles Website Homepage

1 minute read

I’ve been quiet for a little while settling into the new job role and tackling some quick fixes as well as dealing with some larger infrastructure challen...

Enhanced: Randles Website Layout

less than 1 minute read

A couple of days ago we launched the new look Randles website. To the untrained eye the site may not look that different. The main purpose for introducing...

Google’s Official Profanity API

2 minute read

Recently a list of “bad words” were made available through Google's new website which asks: “What do you love?” (wdyl.com).

The rise and fall of WhoisX

3 minute read

WhoisX is a domain name lookup service, similar to the whois service provided by “domain tools”, but ours was primarily for UK domain names.

What is my IP?

1 minute read

An IP address is a unique number which identifies a machine on a network.

The eggtcl project

less than 1 minute read

The eggtcl project is a repository of approved TCL scripts for eggdrop that allow you to easily update them as new versions are released.

Converting your logo to ASCII art

1 minute read

If you're a geek like me or you've just  seen Iron Man 2 you'll probably like the idea of having a custom motd display something cool when you login to yo...

Enhanced: Randles Navigation

less than 1 minute read

After discussing website improvements with the Randles Motor Group marketing manager we decided that the website needed a new navigation menu with simple ...

Replace strings MySQL

1 minute read

If you ever need to make big changes to your site, such as moving directory or changing the domain name you'll know that you'll have to make changes to th...

get_favicon() php function

less than 1 minute read

I was after a php function that would get the favicon for a supplied domain, I did attempt to write my own but it proved more complex than I had first ant...

rglob.php

less than 1 minute read

Today I was having a look on PHP.net and noticed a PHP contest so I decided to submit one of my functions.

PHP OpenSRS Client

less than 1 minute read

This is only a quick message to say that I am now developing the PHP OpenSRS Client project.

worldtime.tcl

1 minute read

Sometimes you need to know the time somewhere else in the world. I find it useful to get my eggdrop to return the time of another timezone…

Gmail needs an API

2 minute read

Yesterday I spent some time investigating Google Wave. A very interesting new product from Google. Not only that but an interesting protocol.

Ident Spoofing

1 minute read

Today I wrote about Oidentd on Wikipedia. Ident as per RFC 1413 is used for a few different services, in particular IRC. A feature of oidentd that my user...

W32Dasm

1 minute read

W32Dasm (or Win32DASM) doesn't seem to exist on the map any more, but it's still a very useful programmers tool, especially if you like reverse engineerin...

cssbase

1 minute read

Yesterday marks the day that I took over the “cssbase” project.

jQuery sucks at browser detection

3 minute read

This week i've been tweaking a little site I've started called “ismybrowseruptodate.com“, which is designed to assist people who don't know wh...

Lame Botnet

1 minute read

Yes, my botnet is pretty lame, but it's also kinda cool. I'm not talking about anything bad though.

Choosing a PHP Framework

4 minute read

Recently I've been writing a lot more PHP based websites and web applications. I've found myself building and rebuilding my own framework, but to no real ...

OpenCart v0.7.9 released

less than 1 minute read

OpenCart is an open source PHP-based e-commerce online shop website solution. Ideal for new or existing stores to start selling online.

Free icon sets for your website

less than 1 minute read

If you don't have the time to make your own icons for your latest product or website, then you need to find some for free.

What’s wrong with low version numbers?

1 minute read

In a presentation entitled “Why I hate Django”, Cal Henderson (head of engineering for Flickr) said, that low version numbers makes him suspic...

Tracking an IP address

2 minute read

In my job I have to manage lots of machines all over the place. Many of them are on windows.

longip perl script

1 minute read

I wanted to create a script that would convert a normal IP address to a long IP, just like mIRC Script's $longip alias.

What is a valid email address?

17 minute read

With the on-going abuse to email based systems, we are in need of ways to validate the email addresses we're handling.

50+ PHP optimisation tips revisited

6 minute read

After reading an article some time ago entitled “40 Tips for optimizing your php Code” (and some others that are suspiciously similar), I deci...

10 wordpress performance optimisation tips

less than 1 minute read

I wanted to prepare my wordpress powered blog for an influx of traffic from social media sites such as reddit.com or digg.com, in case one of my articles ...

Text editors revisited

3 minute read

As a web developer my main tool is my text editor, which I use for pretty much EVERYTHING from coding HTML, to PHP to perl. A text editor is an essential ...

Word separators in URLs

4 minute read

In the world of web development and search engine optimisation you find this topic is frequently discussed, yet often without any reasoning or conclusion....

How to correctly make a PHP contact form

1 minute read

I use contact forms on many websites, and over the years I have discovered many problems with using them, including hijacking, mail injection, server hack...

Finding a Portal Script

4 minute read

I spent a long time today searching for a PHP based portal script either for a small community website or an ISP.

eTicket

1 minute read

For the past few weeks I have been mostly working on eTicket.

Does using CSS affect SEO?

3 minute read

I get asked this question time and time again. People seem to believe that the use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) will help with their Search Engine Opti...

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Internet

Choosing a broadband provider

1 minute read

The advise for any services these days is to change provider every 12 months to get the best deal. Your broadband subscription is no different.

Anti Email Spam in the UK

1 minute read

Many years back I began investigating anti email spam in the UK as a way to defend against the amount amount of email spam we were receiving to certain em...

Paperless office

6 minute read

The “paperless office“: a concept that dates back to the 1970s (before I was even born) with promises of the “office of the future” where record-handling wou...

Google’s Official Profanity API

2 minute read

Recently a list of “bad words” were made available through Google's new website which asks: “What do you love?” (wdyl.com).

The rise and fall of WhoisX

3 minute read

WhoisX is a domain name lookup service, similar to the whois service provided by “domain tools”, but ours was primarily for UK domain names.

What is my IP?

1 minute read

An IP address is a unique number which identifies a machine on a network.

Domain Slamming

5 minute read

Ever received one of those domain renewal notices from companies such as “Domain Registry of America” or “Domain Renewal Group” cl...

Is my password secure?

1 minute read

In light of the recent security breaches of huge websites such as Gawker, Sony and Nintendo I am concerned about an issue that affects us all: Is my password...

Converting your logo to ASCII art

1 minute read

If you're a geek like me or you've just  seen Iron Man 2 you'll probably like the idea of having a custom motd display something cool when you login to yo...

XSS: Get linked from Dmoz instantly

1 minute read

Recently, like many of you, I've had some trouble getting websites listed on the AOL owned “Open Directory Project” known as Dmoz.

get_favicon() php function

less than 1 minute read

I was after a php function that would get the favicon for a supplied domain, I did attempt to write my own but it proved more complex than I had first ant...

Trac TCL for eggdrop

1 minute read

I've recently had some fun installing Trac project management software on CentOS5.

Don`t forward virus warnings, delete them

1 minute read

If you’ve ever received a virus warning from your friends, family or co-workers, you’ll know what I’m talking about. These virus warnings are hoaxes and are ...

Alternative name servers

2 minute read

If you’ve ever had a problem with your ISPs DNS name servers then you’ll probably find this very useful.

Gmail needs an API

2 minute read

Yesterday I spent some time investigating Google Wave. A very interesting new product from Google. Not only that but an interesting protocol.

weather.tcl

1 minute read

Update: This script is now part of the eggtcl project.

Ident Spoofing

1 minute read

Today I wrote about Oidentd on Wikipedia. Ident as per RFC 1413 is used for a few different services, in particular IRC. A feature of oidentd that my user...

Pingotron

3 minute read

I've been meaning to publish a post about Pingotron for some time now, but now I fear it's already too late.

EFnet UK

1 minute read

On Sunday July 19 2009 Hardy announced on the EFnet website that Demon Internet will be delinking efnet.demon.co.uk and hub.uk from the EFnet IRC network ...

jQuery sucks at browser detection

3 minute read

This week i've been tweaking a little site I've started called “ismybrowseruptodate.com“, which is designed to assist people who don't know wh...

Customising the Netgear DG834G

2 minute read

I started writing this article a long time ago, however after researching the DG834G I soon found many more articles and sites dedicated to hacking or cus...

Tricked by fake .uk sites?

less than 1 minute read

Trading standards say that consumers are being tricked into buying fake goods online by companies based in China pretending to be based in the UK by using...

When broadband fails

3 minute read

The best part of last week I spent trying to resolve an issue for a business who was experiencing downtime with their broadband.

Twitter for mIRC

less than 1 minute read

I signed up for Twitter quite some months ago, but have yet really found myself using it.

Word separators in URLs

4 minute read

In the world of web development and search engine optimisation you find this topic is frequently discussed, yet often without any reasoning or conclusion....

Why AOL sucks

3 minute read

I have a client that is currently on AOL, and has been getting messages every 2nd or 3rd time they logon to AOL that basically claims the following:

Why I registered mIRC

3 minute read

For those that don't know… mIRC is communication software, otherwise known as an IRC client. IRC (or Internet Relay Chat) to me is a place where peo...

email address on your website

1 minute read

This is something that people don't seem to realise, and although I tell them over and over it seems to go ignored.

Free Stuff

1 minute read

I love free stuff, it's probably why I like open source so much…

Fax to email

2 minute read

Fax to email is perhaps one of the most interesting, oldest and most overlooked technology.

MSN via IRC

2 minute read

Quite some time ago I decided that I wanted to offer support via MSN for a business. This is all very well until you want multiple staff to cover the R...

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Sysadmin

error: no dbpath has been set

less than 1 minute read

I've recently been having trouble with a OpenVZ VPS upgraded from CentOS4 to CentOS5, here's what I'm seeing when trying to rum a yum install of mod_pytho...

exim on another port for smtp

1 minute read

When a business I know had trouble with their broadband I was fortunately able to get them back online by using the redundant mobile broadband on the rout...

Ident Spoofing

1 minute read

Today I wrote about Oidentd on Wikipedia. Ident as per RFC 1413 is used for a few different services, in particular IRC. A feature of oidentd that my user...

Customising the Netgear DG834G

2 minute read

I started writing this article a long time ago, however after researching the DG834G I soon found many more articles and sites dedicated to hacking or cus...

How not to use PHPMailer

2 minute read

I came across PHPMailer usage the other day on a Chinese gadget wholesale site “SourcingMap.com”.

Missing Mediaid.bin file

1 minute read

Recently I got asked to backup a Vista machine. I'm not a big Vista fan, so this was the first time.

Tracking an IP address

2 minute read

In my job I have to manage lots of machines all over the place. Many of them are on windows.

What is a hacker?

4 minute read

Not so long ago I was asked to answer some questions for a friend of a friend who was writing a dissertation about the “hacking and warez scene̶...

Next time i’m buying a mac

7 minute read

Recently I decided to get away for a break, so I left the country with all intention of not doing anything work related for a week.

HP Software Update

3 minute read

Today, I am trying to install a “HP Scanjet 7650n”, everything seems okay, until I come to install the software.

Compression Utilities

4 minute read

For years now, for whatever reason I have used WinZip. I don't really know why I continued to use it for so long as from WinZip 8 onwards, I was under the...

Mounting an ISO image

3 minute read

An ISO image usually refers to an archived copy of an optical disc such as a CD or DVD.

Windows Genuine Advantage Removal

1 minute read

First of all for those that don't know, Windows Genuine Advantage or WGA is a peice of software released by Microsoft to validate your copy of windows whe...

DVD decoders and other codecs

3 minute read

Possibly one of the most annoying and confusing issues on windows is dealing with and understanding which codecs you need to do what.

No more Nero

2 minute read

After many years of using Nero, I'm finally fed up with it.

Cannot delete Folder

less than 1 minute read

No doubt at some point you will have experienced this error at one point or another:

A good text editor

2 minute read

I have been looking for a good open source or free cross platform (windows/linux) editor that has php and html syntax highlighting.

FTP server for windows

1 minute read

I have been on the lookout for a decent FTP Deamon/Server that runs on windows. Its not very often that I do require one, but every so often having one do...

An FTP client

1 minute read

I have been looking for a decent FTP client for years, and now I think I have finally found it!

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Software

Why error suppression in PHP is bad

1 minute read

I appreciate that to most people, this is not a new topic and it almost goes without saying, however I can understand that not everybody knows this, espec...

DVD Playback on Windows

1 minute read

One of the biggest annoyances I’ve heard about Windows 8 so far is that there’s no DVD support included.

Office

1 minute read

Gone of the days of getting a copy of Microsoft Office from dodgy Dave down the pub.

How to edit a PDF file

3 minute read

PDF files are by nature not really designed to be edited by the end user, instead you’re expected to go back to the original source and change that before “p...

Paperless office

6 minute read

The “paperless office“: a concept that dates back to the 1970s (before I was even born) with promises of the “office of the future” where record-handling wou...

Change or remove programs is blank

1 minute read

Windows 2000 is a pain, especially these days when something goes wrong because none of the information or tools that we used to use are around any more.

Microsoft Office 2007 Downloads

1 minute read

One of my customers has specialist database software built on the FileMaker Pro database engine. The unfortunate downside to this is that certain legacy plug...

Ways to speed up your PC

1 minute read

I get lots of people asking me how to speed up their computer, more often than not, they don’t need to buy a new computer, there are things they can do to sp...

Replacing Outlook Express

1 minute read

Recently Microsoft have been running a campaign to get rid of their 10-year-old web browser, Internet Explorer 6. This got me thinking…

Find the right software

1 minute read

Software is expensive, sometimes you don’t need to buy it or download it illegally as there’s sometimes an alternative you can get for free!

Open docx, xlsx, and pptx files

less than 1 minute read

If you’ve been sent a file with the extension .docx, .xlsx or .pptx and you don’t have the latest version of Office then you’ll share the frustration that ma...

Report a virus

1 minute read

I’m always coming across new viruses that haven’t even been added to the latest anti-virus software.

RemoveWGA

1 minute read

Back in 2007 I briefly wrote about Windows Genuine Advantage Removal.

Scan to Excel

5 minute read

This week I've mostly been trying to figure out a way to digitalise some of my bank statements to make accountancy and archiving easier.

W32Dasm

1 minute read

W32Dasm (or Win32DASM) doesn't seem to exist on the map any more, but it's still a very useful programmers tool, especially if you like reverse engineerin...

Remove OGA Notifier

1 minute read

I had a call today about Microsoft OGA (Office Genuine Advantage) Notifier becoming an annoyance for a client.

Pingotron

3 minute read

I've been meaning to publish a post about Pingotron for some time now, but now I fear it's already too late.

Blocked links in Microsoft Outlook

less than 1 minute read

When you click a link on an email in Microsoft Outlook, you are blocked from visiting the URL and you see the following error message:

Troubleshooting routing issues

2 minute read

Recently I’ve received reports from clients on a particular ISP are having trouble reaching services on a particular server in a data centre.

C:\Windows\Installer overload!

1 minute read

If like me you’ve recently come across a computer where the “C:\Windows\Installer” directory is overloaded then you’ve probably used something like TreeSize ...

No More Adobe Acrobat Reader

3 minute read

If like me you have ever received a PDF files as an attachment in an email, you will no doubt have heard of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Hardware

Paperless office

6 minute read

The “paperless office“: a concept that dates back to the 1970s (before I was even born) with promises of the “office of the future” where record-handling wou...

(Not so) Sharp printer stuck offline

1 minute read

A client called explaining to me that they were unable to print to their Sharp MX-1800N network printer. Upon inspection it said that the printer was “Offlin...

Ways to speed up your PC

1 minute read

I get lots of people asking me how to speed up their computer, more often than not, they don’t need to buy a new computer, there are things they can do to sp...

Customising the Netgear DG834G

2 minute read

I started writing this article a long time ago, however after researching the DG834G I soon found many more articles and sites dedicated to hacking or cus...

Why I should probably buy a Mac

2 minute read

For a long time now, I have most of my allies have remained very much in the Windows and Linux camps, almost to the point of me being anti-Mac. I’m certainly...

HP Software Update

3 minute read

Today, I am trying to install a “HP Scanjet 7650n”, everything seems okay, until I come to install the software.

PSP firmware and homebrew

6 minute read

I decided to go all out, and purchase possibly the best media device out there. The Sony Playstation Portable.

Fixing a faulty laptop DC jack connector

4 minute read

I was recently informed that my old laptop, a HP Pavilion ze4111s, (now being used by my girlfriend) that “it doesn't charge”, which then chan...

IHTOOM pmp

6 minute read

Despite my problems with purchasing mp4 players in the past I decided to purchase a new one.

Siemens CX65 Review

3 minute read

I bought this on the 20/08/04 for £179.99, which actually seems quite a lot for such a phone, but it was not bad at the time for a brand new unlocked phon...

4GB Mp4 Player ebay Scam

6 minute read

Just before Christmas, I decided I was going to get an MP3 player for my girlfriend as she wanted a new mp3-player, as her 40gb one was too much and now o...

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General

Welcome

less than 1 minute read

So, It's begun!

UK Business License

1 minute read

We recently had an issue with a US based company who asked us for the following:

PlusFM Track Feed

1 minute read

Recently an online radio station I listen to called PlusFM stopped displaying track titles on their stream. This was a pain for quickly displaying the cur...

Tech support blog

less than 1 minute read

I've recently launched a tech support job, which combines aspects of my day job with aspects of this blog to form “fixr”.

Xen on CentOS Host running FreeBSD Guest

3 minute read

Recently i've been investigating Xen. In short, Xen is open source virtualisation software that provides you with the ability to split a physical hardware...

Telemarketing

2 minute read

The thing that has been bothering me recently most of all, even more than online spam and junk mail, are telemarketing calls. I recently had an increase o...

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Business

Wavemaker - An open letter

10 minute read

After the last Wavemaker board meeting I started writing a letter to the board members. This is the contents of that letter.

Domain Slamming

5 minute read

Ever received one of those domain renewal notices from companies such as “Domain Registry of America” or “Domain Renewal Group” cl...

British fuel cost per mile

less than 1 minute read

I was trying to work out how to estimate how much fuel was costing me per mile at the moment based upon my car's average mpg.

upgrade.co.uk sucks

2 minute read

I've been trying to get a quote for a part for a Dell laptop, when I contacted Dell UK, they told me to contact “Upgrade Options”. They offere...

Create a unique company name

2 minute read

When trying to create a unique company name for your business, I found that there was a three step approach to creating a unique name.

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Advice

Should I upgrade to an SSD hard disk?

3 minute read

It’s always been my opinion that the hard disk is really the crux of your computer because it’s the only mechanical part that affects the speed.

The paradigm shift

2 minute read

The next “computer” you buy will be a paradigm shift, a change in the way of thinking.

Paperless office

6 minute read

The “paperless office“: a concept that dates back to the 1970s (before I was even born) with promises of the “office of the future” where record-handling wou...

Computer support phone call scam

1 minute read

Just recently I’ve read about “computer fault scams” and phone calls from someone claiming to be from Microsoft.

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Security

XSS: Get linked from Dmoz instantly

1 minute read

Recently, like many of you, I've had some trouble getting websites listed on the AOL owned “Open Directory Project” known as Dmoz.

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Announcements

Calling all hackers

less than 1 minute read

Are you a technology enthusiast? An engineer? Perhaps you’re a creative mind or just like making things?

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Future

Why I should probably buy a Mac

2 minute read

For a long time now, I have most of my allies have remained very much in the Windows and Linux camps, almost to the point of me being anti-Mac. I’m certainly...

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Technology

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