Tuesday, February 5, 2019

(Bit) Bonkers Relationship Advice


If you want a really strong relationship - I recommend moving abroad.  It needs to be a country where neither partner can a) speak the language b) has lived before.

This, in my experience, will be a little crazy – for example if will make even the simplest task; like talking to a plumber fraught with possibilities to get the wrong end of the stick, you won’t have a family or friends network to rely on, and everything will be an uphill struggle.

But.. you will probably have a rock solid relationship with your wife.  After a few years you will be able to guarantee they can take just about anything in their stride.  Travelling to other parts of the world will be a breeze – and going back to your home town will bring a smile to your face when you have to sort something mildly problematic there.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Business Ideas to try

Sometimes one wakes up in the morning, or takes a long leisurely bath - and "Archimedes-like" you get a brainwave.  Lots of people do, I even heard about a CEO who out a bath suite next to his corporate office to capitalise on this phenomenon.

I get of lot of these "brainwaves".  Most business ideas (to their owners), seem "genius", at least initially.   After a day or two, the shine normally comes off them.  Bitter experience has taught me that peer reviewing your new business concept is the best way to get some honest feedback on whether it's a go-er or not.

So I'm going to try the biggest "peer" review of them all - posting these ideas on the internet!  Of course the idea will have lost it's element of "surprise" - but maybe a reader will fancy using it a the seed of their business empire.  Or just having a good laugh if the idea it too "hare-brained".

Ideas are important, but they are more or less free, and really to make a business succeed its in the "doing".  I don't have much time for "idea's men"; unless they are grafters too.

I'm going to post them once and while, all with the business idea tag

Monday, January 28, 2019

Determining actual pixels rendered from relative settings

So I'm finally.. after maybe 17 years... getting round to looking at CSS in a bit more detail.

Sadly CSS has moved on a bit in the last 17 years... I'm going to have to go ALL OUT.

Doing it via an Udemy course - so far so good.  Just had a pretty mental lecture on how the browser finally calculates the actual "end result" pixel values; and I'm certain I'm going to need to refer to it again.


The main new point here for me, em settings are measured relative to their parent font-size, if used to specify font-size, whereas em settings are measured relative to the current font-size, if used to specify lengths.

em - is a multiplication factor, so 2em could be 2x the parent's font size for a font-size definition.

Mind blown.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Recollections from a mis-spend youth

I came across an article in the Nottingham Evening Post.

https://web.archive.org/web/20180724022708/https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/history/nottingham-nightclubs-you-went-80s-173196

Brings back some memories.  No a lot of memories actually...which is a shame because I spend a large amount of my life during my 20s in these places.  

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Twitter still doesn't allow phone numbers from Andorra

I last posted about this in 2013!  It is now 2019!

Lot of exclamation marks!! yes!!  Very very frustrating!

Just trying to add a company twitter account to my mobile.



And I'm still getting "This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number." message.

My phone number entered is perfectly valid.

Hey twitters..  How about fixing this.

This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number.

This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number.This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number.

This appears to be an invalid phone number. Please enter a valid phone number.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Resistance is futile. Brexit end game.

How will Brexit play out?

Theresa May has just survived her leadership challenge.  The meaningful vote on her deal has been kicked into the long grass and is now scheduled for early next year (2019).

I've been thinking about what the possible eventualities could be.   And I must as a Remainer I'm pleased with what my crystal ball is telling me.

As a "hard-remainer" I'm actually tempted not even to bother pushing for a #peoplesvote.  I'll tell you why:  Living in Spain and Andorra for the last 13 years I can tell you the Euro and Schengen are the two BEST parts of the EU that you can appreciate on a daily or weekly basis.

The ability to travel across borders without any passport control, and then being able to spend the money that is already in your pocket without visiting any bureaux de change and losing a % in the process is wonderful.

As a programmer I like logical flows, so I've knocked up a little flow chart to see what will happen depending on if there is a Norway+ deal, May's Deal, No Deal or a People's Vote.



In the event of the UK actually leaving the EU, all paths lead back to EU membership; either because of the "Vassal" state - which is pointless as all EU rules have to be obeyed but with no ability to change any (Norway+ or May's deal and backstop), or utter economic chaos, such as the "elimination of UK manufacturing", destruction of the welfare state (that means no benefits - what did you expect voting for Rees Mogg, Redwood & IDS??) with "no deal".

Norway+ means single market, free movement, customs union; no "free trade deals" etc.
May's deal means single market, free movement, customs union because the "backstop" will kick in (that's why it's there), and the same arguments about "max fac" or any other nonsense will remain as they do now and have prevented any free trade deal.   Only if the border is in the Irish sea will it work, but the UK government will never accept that because of the Scottish problem - Edinburgh will (rightly) never accept that one part of the UK gets the benefits of EU membership, and they don't.  It is difficult to silence an angry Scotsman.

If there is "no deal"... There will be total carnage.  In a way I would like this outcome.  It would restore some faith in the (mainstream) politicians who argued to remain, and shine a light on the "sun lit uplands" that the extreme Brexiteers promised.   It wouldn't be the eventual outcome for long.  As inflation would soar, the Pound going less than the Euro, interest rates hitting the roof, unemployment would rise, pensions would shrink.  The people that believed the hype would soon turn on their masters.   They would be begging to be go back to what they had before - and that is EU membership.

However things have moved on over in EUland.  If we want back in... all new members of the bloc are required to sign up to Schengen and adopts the Euro.    For me... not a problem,  for some others... well let's say not the outcome they were hoping for.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Website Change Detection Monitoring

I woke up this morning to receive something I have been expecting for some time.

The "death knell" of changedetection.com

I've made a video walkthrough of the site in case someone wants to duplicate it's functionality.   Please plan on making it ad-supported - in most cases private users like me will not stand for a paid for product - certainly not one that costs as much as I pay for groceries for the family on any particular day!


There were a couple of pages (from the top navigation), that I missed on the demo.

The Webmasters link

This must have been useful for self-generating marketing for changedetection.com over the years.

Webmaster's were able to get some generated HTML code to paste into their site.



The Directory Link

This page gives some indication of the scope and capacity of ChangeDetection.com

Today it is monitoring over 2 million pages.  I was monitoring 50 pages (but am probably quite a heavy user).   If we guesstimate average 5 pages per user:  Maybe there are 400,000 users on the system.



There is then an Alphabetic and Chronological list of pages in the Public directory (the majority of pages are however non-public).



The chronological list is quite sweet as you can see early pages being added back in the year 2000



The first proper entry that still exists appears on 23 Feb 2008 and is a link to http://cprr.org/Museum/notify.html (Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum)  That site still exists (although it is showing it's vintage in it's design).




























The Compare Page

This page looks to pull out some of the functionality of the site allowing visitors to manually check the difference between 2 public pages.


There are options for:


  • Full page - HTML changes are shown hilighted on the new version of the HTML document.
  • Text Extracts - A block of text is returned with spans indicating existing, new, and deleted text. Text is ellipsed and limited in size.
  • All Text - A block of text is returned with spans indicating existing, new and deleted text. All text is included.


And Finally the email notification

Alerts are sent via email.  This is an example of the very useful notification I used to get when the local weather site now includes the word for "snow" (I mentioned this in the video above - very handy to have a notification like this!), and a link to the page itself - where I was able to see what day the snow is due.


So long ChangeDetection and thanks for all the fish!

I've archived my list so when I find a decent replacement I can copy them over.  Anyone want to chip in join me?