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I hate this design

So typical. So So So typical.
I hate this design.
I think the problem is blue.
I use blue too much. I’ve now decided upon a blue moratorium.
How does this look?

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I do not believe the BBC is dumbing down

Fact!

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A Good Reason Not To Swear

I had a thought earlier…

A good reason not to swear: it makes you a whole lot more literate. I guess it’s so easy just to spurt out a swear word, and I find myself often searching for a word and thinking – it’d be so easy to find this word if I was willing to use one consisting of four letters wouldn’t it.

So… next time you think a ‘cuss’ is about to come out, click here!!

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Battle begins: Firefox 1 IE7 0

Check this out “IE7 ‘advert'”:http://www.ie7.com/

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Road Trip!!

Jonny and I are going to America!!
I’ve long talked about my wish to go the US of A again this summer, but finally got round to booking flights a few weeks ago. Dub-Lon-Chicago, LAX-Lon-Dub! 8th – 21st Sept. Five weeks away, but plenty to plan, and plenty of time (two weeks left til I finish my placement!) to go.

A few tips on what to do have been suggested on the textdrive forums. Any suggestions here, or there, are very welcome!

More to come.

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$100 Laptops

Anyone else think it’s absurd? Why should the governments of hunger line countries be at all interested in paying $100 for a laptop which has 500mhz and runs linux and you need to wind up… whenever most of the kids in the country probably (if they even have that option) have to pay for education and more than likely have a severe shortage of pencils and paper?

Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, outlined his plans for the $100 PC last year. The wind-up devices, targeted at children in developing nations, feature a 500Mhz processor, 1Gb of memory and dual-mode color or black and white display that can be read in direct sunlight. the reg

prototype laptops
(Image from the reg)

I mean… look at it? Hmm. Looks like a Fisherprice My First Computer. Looks don’t matter to people who don’t have enough food to eat… but surely $100 worth of grain would go a lot further. Or a couple of goats might go a lot further!

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The Special K Diet

You know, they say eat Special K for two weeks for breakfast and lunch (or something) and you’ll lose an inch (or two). I’ve always been of the opinion: “You’re fat and you want to lose weight? Well… Eat less! Eat Better! Exercise More!”; and I’ve worked out that the People at Kellogg’s have taken this mantra – eat an amount high fibre cereal (mmm) twice a day, (and not fatty fried breakfast, or sugary cereal; and not a large lunch) and you’ll lose weight/retained water (visible waist weight!).

I’m not trying to lose weight, I just happened to eat special k the last two days for breakfast.

The point? ITS HALF TEN AND I’M HUNGRY AGAIN !!

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Edit: August 3 2006, 19:18
Looking through my Stats, I’ve got a shocking number of people coming through google and msn who’ve searched for “Special K Diet”…
Don’t feel defrauded, I offer no great tips for success, but like I said above… eat less, walk more, you’ll be fine! Oh, and Coke and Chips doesn’t make you slim.

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Madness

!http://www.davidlowry.co.uk/images/2.jpg!
I was away last week – Friday-Tuesday at Summer Madness. If you don’t know what that is: it’s a Christian Arts and Worship Festival. So kinda… eight church services with a lot of gigs and seminars and more spread over the five days. Never boring, never the same as last year it was again a great experience.

!http://www.davidlowry.co.uk/images/3.jpg!
I would say it was nice to get away from Computers for a few days, but no… I was helping my mate Ryan out with operating the Words-on-Screen. We’ve always previously used PowerPoint, but this year we used our MacBook Pros with Keynote 2. The system was as such: 2 MacBook Pros connected to a vision mixer with Video feed in and a DVD Player hooked up. The video guy Ronan (ably assisted by Ian, Barney and co.) fed us with imagery which was suitable for the Word overlays we were using (see image) with the text in white at the top, demanding a black, or at least high-contrast coloured background. Ryan & I shared the duty of operating the words and mixed the words ontop of the video when appropriate. The mixer was a ‘Smart Fade’ box, only complaint about it is that it didn’t treat VGA1 and VGA2 as equal partners, and so we could only run cross-fade words/video off VGA1: somewhat limiting, but it worked!

!http://www.halfords.com/wcsstore/HalfordsConsumerDirect/images/catalog/400-213074.jpg!:http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10151&storeId=10001&productId=209219&categoryId=55069&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=55069&crumb=33980-33957&varient=
Also, I got a new bike today. Excuse the badly cropped white space (I didn’t crop it, that’s why!) I kinda feel like a 9-year-old again, but maybe I’ll get to use it’s Mountain Bikey features a little some day! Not just ride up and down and up and down and up… the street like in the old days! It’s a Carrera Vulcan 20″, if you care. I chose it over the GT Avalanche 3.0…. I guess because it wasn’t RED. Bright red! Hope this link doesn’t disappear any time soon…

Oh yeah – and I’ll fix my Image styling so that you don’t have to skip the images to read the text some day soon. (Please note ‘soon’ is a relative concept; indefinable therefore).

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Updated

Hey, so I’ve done some updating, with simplifying the layout and design, and I’ve enabled comments, though I don’t have the proper links and indications on the front page summaries… Will fix that, and also gotta make better styling on my comment forms. They’re nasty. There – I said it!!

Hands up if you hate poster design!!

Oh, I was feeling arty (laugh please, please do) and decided that I was going to try and make Fireworks work to my bidding and made a bit of a background. Check out http://flickr.com/photos/davidlowry and look at the two files called ‘my background’ (or something); there’s a Macbook Pro sized Widescreen and a bigger than 1158 x something size – which fits my work computer…. Please do note… I’m not trying to imply it’s good, but I worked out how to use brushlike stuff I guess.

Oh, and I moved home today, check out the happy (that’d be me then) picture of the flat half-empty on flickr too.

Good night all.

Oh, one last thing, honest, Fraiser Crane’s dog from the TV shows died today. Very sad.

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Tidying up your urls

By no means am I the first to write about this, but, hey – it’s my blog, and I can write what I want, right?

h3. What I’m at today

I set about rewriting my very first commercial site; four whole years ago… And while looking at it now with an eye for standards and all that jazz I really don’t like it. But then, I didn’t like the first three designs for this site either… Have a look at the site, here.

I’m doing the site in PHP, not because I want to, but because I know it better than Rails and I really want to get my stack of projects cleared and get on with things…

So… I wanted to help along the SEO for the site, to give it user and indeed machine-friendly URLs. As far as I know there are a few ways to do this. Through .htaccess or through the server-side language of choice. I chose .htaccess because it provides a central point of reference; means I don’t have to write “preg_replace” six hundred times; and so on.

h3. Here’s what I want:

My site sections will be as follows.
* home
* interior
* bedrooms
* gardens
* location
* reservations
* contact

My untidy nasty url looks like this:

/index.php?section=4&page=3*

What I want it to look like is this:

/gardens/3/

h3. Here’s what I’ll do:

The RewriteRule and a bit of ^, & and $.

Ensure that…

RewriteEngine on

And then…

RewriteRule ^gardens/([0-9])$ gardens/$1/
RewriteRule ^gardens/([0-9])/$ index.php?section=4&page=$1

RewriteRule is the command which takes the first string and processes it into the second. ^ and $ delimit the first string and the remainder is the second. [0-9] means that you have a number. In the same way [a-z] would be a smallcase letter and [A-Z] would be a capital.

h3. A quick lesson in Reg Exps

You might want to ask some people who know better… but here goes.

Through being ‘required’ to use stuff like Vi at work I’ve had to learn some regexps to make life more managable!
* [0-9] Number
* [a-z] Letter (smallcase)
* [A-Z] Letter (CAPS)
* [a-Z] Letter (any)
* [0-9]+ Series of numbers (+ is applicable to a,z etc as well as 0-9s.)

Just in case you missed it: to have gardens/536 (If I wanted 536 pages of garden content…) then I would need to replace
^gardens/([0-9])$ with ^gardens/([0-9]+)$
This will of course allow gardens/1231231 if some viewer wants to be smart, but that’s what error handling’s for. Isn’t it?