Events I have missed…

It’s been a funny old week. With alternating bright, warm sunshine and typhoons, rushed-off-my-feetness one day and utter boredom the next, it’s no surprise that some things slipped my mind.

Like (possibly) the greatest day of the yearly calendar: International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Yes, truly. Dave came in to work wearing an eyepatch and carrying a sword, apparently. I’ve celebrated this most auspicious of occasions for several years, but this time … well, I’m a muppet. What can I say. Except, perhaps “Arrrrr”.

And I also missed OneWebDay, a day to celebrate the web and the communities thereon. A good idea, but again I missed the boat. However this time I have a decent excuse as I didn’t even hear about it until today (thanks Rhys).

One this I definitely won’t be missing is Back to church Sunday, a chance to invite people who used to be regular churchgoers back to church. We’re having a Harvest service at church tomorrow for which I am playing guitar, and K has invited a friend. Hopefully it will go well.

Ad, you never know, I may let out a quiet “Avast, yer landlubber!” during the service, just to make amends for my lapse earlier in the week. I’m sure God will understand.

When machines bite back…

I love seeing computer error messages in public places. The best is obviously blue screen of death which I’ve seen more than once on monitors at a local shopping centre. However this is a first for me:

Error message seen on a screen ... but where?

Can you guess where it is yet? No? OK, I’ll tell. It was a screen on board this beast:

Insert 'bus' joke here...

That’s right, on the 268 bus going to Bradford. Obviously in this modern day and age getting a “Disk drive failure, insert system disk and press enter” message is just one of the hazards every bus driver must learn to cope with.

Stastically speaking…

For the last few months I’ve been getting more and more interested in website statistics program. While one of my clients uses the excellent Mint it’s not the right answer for everyone. For instance, it doesn’t handle storing multiple sets of stats for diffeent domains in the same database therefore making it useless for the Wiblog system.

So, last January, I did what I usually do in these situations and ‘rolled my own’. So part of the new Wiblog system is a pretty tasty stats package that shows you not just the usual stuff (number of visitors by day, wekk, month, favourite pages, number of comments per month etc) but some other interesting stats such as popular search terms that brought people to your Wiblog, and even the ability to follow a particular users travels around your Wiblog.

But that’s not enough for me. Oh nosirree. I want to offer the power of usable statistics to my clients. So I’m developing a centralised statistics server that will gather data from all the websites I work on, and send regular reports.

The problem is that Javascript, which is the technology I use to do this cross-site stuff, has limits on how you can share data between different sites. While there are some solutions for these security limitations they aren’t quite ehat I’m looking for. So, again, I’m rolling my own. I’ll post the answer here when I’ve finalised it. In the meantime if anyone else has his the cross-site XMLHTTPRequest problem (you’ll know what it means if you’re geeky like me) then please add a comment with details of how you fixed it.

The summer is over…

So that’s it, we’ve hit Autumn. Summer has gone – that was it just there, did you miss it? So we can look forward to 8 or more months of wind, rain, snow and sleet. Lucky us.

But we’ll be fine, locked up in our big warm house with our lovely baby. It got me thinking today about the world he will grow up in. He’ll never know a year that start ’19’. Probably never watch a film on video tape or buy an album on cassette. Never be amazed at seeing one of the first 3D computer animations.

He’ll consider mobile phones to be an essential item, single glazing to be part of a bygone era, and computers will be an everyday item to him. He won’t have the fantastic eye-opening technological discoveries that I’ve had. However, he’ll have so much more.

What will he see that I won’t? The first manned mission to Mars? Portable 3D displays? Decent digital paper? True artificial intelligence?

For all the problems the world has, and it has a lot, it’s still an exciting time for a geek and his son.