tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Suits with no socks

Rather more important things going on today, but this is just something that I noticed yesterday and I want to stop it rattling around in my head:

Is wearing suits with no socks a new fashion?

I'm not up on fashion, as anyone who's met me can tell - I have enough trouble getting clothes that fit my orang-utan length arms, without worrying whether they have the right label or not. However, whilst I was doing my laundry yesterday I saw two people wearing suits without socks. The first chap was middle aged and so orange he was like a young David Dickenson, in a black suit and rushing around from his car. While I'd hate to label him, I think he had to be an estate agent, he just had the car, and that sort of look about him.

The second guy was in his early twenties and in the laundrette, unusual to see someone in a suit there, and he seemed to be more after the sort of 50s-vibe. Green pinstriped suit and yellow tie. Erm... nice. Admittedly, he was probably an arts student or something, and quite conservatively dressed for that.

I'm not against not wearing socks, don't get me wrong. But with suits? It just looked a little silly really. Still, if it catches on perhaps I'll be an early spotter of trends, and I can start attending catwalks internationally.

Busy week

As ever at the moment, it's been a busy week. As a freelancer, this is good: work for six different clients (I'm certainly not at risk of falling foul of the IR35 rules) and a chance to finish the first version of the website for my and David's new company: Web Positioning Centre.

All the work is obviously very welcome, but I have two quotes getting delayed at the moment, and really need to fit in some more sleep, and of course the ever-present tax form. Joy.

Review of Broken Angels

My latest review: Broken Angels by Richard Morgan.

I'm hoping to get some time this week to finally get a design up around SF Bookshelf. Still, tax form is rather more important to get done first!

phpBB on Max OS X

I have some PHP coding to do for a client, specifically a load of changes to a phpBB forum I've all ready done a load of changes to, and Matt has done a new look for.

As my main PC is broken at the moment, I've managed to resurrect my old PC, a 400Mhz K6-2 built from an amalgamation of cheap (and now old) and cannibalised parts. I thought it had become a doorstop in my last move, but either swapping the video card (and then swapping it back) or taking the memory out and putting it back in has fixed whatever loose connection was wrong and it's back on it's feet again. Unfortunately, I can't get Apache to install on it properly, it keeps failing to install it as a service. Having got frustrated with trying, I've gone back to trying to do the work on my Mac, which is faster than the PC anyway and only suffers from having a smaller screen.

So, I downloaded a fresh copy of the phpBB forum software, and following the instructions from David O'Donnell for installing phpBB on OS X server with a couple of changes to match my system, and it installed very simply in a few minutes. It's easy to see why phpBB is extremely popular across the web: it's very easy to set up, and there is lots of help for changing it in the forums on phpBB's website.

It looks like the work will go ahead on my Mac. Hopefully it will keep going as easily as it has so far.

Fat chance!

PC Blues

My little Mega PC 651 box built by Scan has broken down. This is rather irritating as I have a load of coding to do which would be easier on my PC than on my Mac, partly because it's both PHP and ColdFusion coding and even though my iBook can do it, running JRun and ColdFusion, Apache, web browser (x4 windows or so), PHP, editor, does tend to stress it a bit.

The PC is one of the small-case ones, which is great when it's working as it's neat, doesn't take up much space, and hell, looks pretty good too. Not so good when it goes wrong as you have to take so many bits out to do anything. I'm pretty sure the power supply has gone wrong, but getting it out to plug another one in involves removing the heatsink off the CPU (which pulls the CPU out) and taking the CD ROM and preferably the Hard Drive out as well. Very fiddly, and I'm worried I damaged the CPU when I got the heatsink out and then plugged it all back in again.

I have my old PC, which seems to have become a doorstop when I moved, but I'm going to try resurrecting it over the weekend so I can do my work on it, although it might be slower than doing it on my laptop. Still, cross that bridge if I can get the thing running again.

Hmm, joy. And I still haven't sorted out my tax return. Hmm, deep joy.

Checking Google PR on a Mac

As my PC isn't working at the moment, I've been doing some SEO for people on my Mac. While Google Page Rank isn't the be-all and end-all of SEO, it's handy when you're doing linking. A while ago the only way you could check PR of pages was to use the Google toolbar, but that's PC Internet Explorer only - not good if you only have a Mac, or indeed if you're worried about the security issues with IE.

However, there's now some checksum code around to let you look up the PR of pages as if you are the Google toolbar, even though this is not officially sanctioned by Google. This gives me a couple of handy options for checking the PR of the pages I'm looking at, which are summed up in this article: Checking Google Page Rank on a Mac

Black and stony

I got in on the Blackstone (ColdFusion v7) beta program (mentioned earlier.) Which is great, hopefully I'll be able to give some useful feedback.

The NDA is quite strong, so I don't think I'll be able to say anything about it until product launch.

Flickr photos

Flickr is the latest popular photo storage site and I've signed up, partly because there's a group for Brighton photos, set up by Pete Barr-Watson. Or you can just see any photo tagged as 'Brighton'.

There's a selection of my photos on the site, and I'll be adding more over the next few days / weeks. I've got some good sunsets somewhere, but I can't find them at the moment.

Mozilla and Firefox extensions

Web browsers Mozilla and Firefox support 'extensions' which let developers write exta toolbars and mini-applications that run within the browser. Flexbeta has a quick guide to Mozilla and Firefox extensions that has introduced me to some I'd missed, like this RSS/Atom feed reader.

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