Archive for January, 2007

123-reg ARE having problems

January 31st, 2007

Following this report on The Register web site about (now a Pipex company) I felt I had to blog something.

Both my company and I use the service for most of our “.uk” domain name hosting. The email is a recurring problem and as a result we no longer use the email forwarding. This is a complaint that other 123-reg customers I know have complained about as well.

Another interesting “Quirk” is that occasionally, but very occasionally, returns an incomplete DNS record when an name-server is queried. This is a big problem when it happens it leads to one or more people unable to send through email for a 24 hour period. This has happened at least twice, once affecting another 123-reg customer, and I suspect this has caused other issues in the past.

On one occasion, just after one of these “Quirks”, the settings form one of the domains was reset to the 123-reg defaults and completely blank address information submitted to Nominet.

The thing that really annoyed me was when 123-reg had a problem I notified support, 6 days later I received an email stating that “Your website now appears to be fine. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further assistance”. In fairness the web site was fine, primarily because I got sick of waiting and moved it away from there servers.

We are still a 123-reg customer, but now host all the important domains on our own servers. We will soon be reviewing the situation as they have had time to solve the problem, but have not even acknowledged the problem. My hope is that they do acknowledge the problem, publicly apologise, and fix it. When it works it is a good service and a good price but at the moment I can not recommend using them.

Update: At least they are now recognising some problems according to this article.

Good stuff Kwik Fit

January 30th, 2007

Yesterday I pulled away in my little car, and after breaking at the end of the road I felt the breaks were stuck on a bit. After a bit of pressing the peddle they freed up and the car moved with a bit of noise form one of the wheels. We suspected that this wheel needed it’s break changing for a while as it had started to make a noise when breaking more heavily.

I took the car (slowly) to Kwik Fit who took it apart and checked all the breaks for free. The breaks were all fine and after a bit of a clean I drove away without spending a penny, happy in the knowledge that my breaks, tyres and the other thing they checked are safe, and the problem fixed.

Top marks!

On top of the world, or Newcastle at least

January 30th, 2007

Yesterday I got a phone call to ask if I wanted to visit the roof of Newcastle’s CO-OP department store on Newgate street. The store is closing down and Westagte PAST, a local history project sponsored by the Local Heritage Initiative that I am associated with, is archiving images and tails from the store. A good brief history of the store in on this site.

Me being a mug for a good view I jumped a the chance and I am glad I did. There is a great view across the city and across the Tyne. I have uploaded some of the images here.

Microsoft Photosynth

January 22nd, 2007

Now and then I see something in the computing industry that I just think is good. The last one was the amazing Google earth, but this time it was Microsoft Labs that surprised me with Photosynth.

This is, well, not easy to define. You can (or will eventually be able to) load the system with photographs taken around a location and then navigate through them in a virtual 3D world representing where the pictures were taken. When you navigate to where a picture was taken you see the picture.

Although not perfect, it is very impressive and surprisingly easy to use. I recommend clicking on “More collections” in the demo and exploring Gary Faigin Studio. I accept is has a few issues, not least the lack of an actual purpose, but it is early days.

Naturally it only works on Windows and you need to us MEIE, but if Google Earth impressed you I still recommend having a look if you can. If not then why not watch Gary Flake on the Scoble Show demonstrate the system.

Friends Reunited, another site for the naughty list

January 22nd, 2007

Just a quick warning that if you are considering taking out membership of Friends Reunited that the £7.50 only buys you 6 months instead of the original 12.

I took out membership to contact friend who contact me but did not realise that if they did not include there email address in the message I would have to pay to reply. This I can just about cope with, and I can just about cope with the price increase that is just over my comfort level for squandering on a web service, but in my mind the way the that the 12 months has just been halved and all references to the duration bar one not changed but removed from the site is dishonest.

In reality I do not need membership for 12 months but I do feel strongly that I have been conned never the less, and this is not what ITV should be doing to revive the web service. More information about this is on the Guardian Unlimited web site here and here where free registration is required.

Finally if you would like to contact someone through Friends Reunited in the next few days, don’t take out membership, just ask me to pass on you email address for free.


January 9th, 2007

BarCampLondon2 Feb 17-18Last year I attended the first BarCampLondon and despite feeling under the weather it was a great weekend where I learnt allot and met a few new friends. The good news is that Ian Forrester has just announced the dates for BarCampLondon2 in February. You can find out more about the concept of BarCamp here and more information about BarCampLondon2 will be made available here.

This server dead, long live the server

January 8th, 2007

First of all “Happy new year”. It got off to an okay start until the companies colo server and my ISPs server died on the same weekend. This has lead to a small interruption of service in my blog and other web sites that I have hosted.

Most sites have switched to the backup server without significant interruption, but my site will be a little flaky over the next few days as I move to a new server.

Normal service will return soon.