Setting trends - high value IP addresses
Monday, June 18, 2007 4:49:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
In a somewhat random chat with Chris Anderson today I decided that I wanted to obtain the IP address 80.08.13.55 (IP6) or even better 18.104.22.168 (both timeout atm). It got me wondering whether you can you purchase a specific IP like that and whether that could be the new trend...
wants felt 22.214.171.124 was more appropriate for our American comrades but I think that’s a little boring...
For those of you who didn't make it to school, type it into your calculator without the periods and see what you get (note my primary school calculator example -I'm returning it to it's roots)...
See it yet?
No? Turn it the other way up:
How about now?
Server management 101 -part 1: Website directory structures and Identifying folder sizes
Monday, June 18, 2007 10:24:35 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Since getting our own dedicated server a couple of years ago we’ve had a fairly step learning curve which a lot of the time has been a tad hit-and-miss (never at the detriment of our customers I might add). Luckily we’ve had the superb support of Rackspace behind us but as others may not be so lucky, I thought I would post up a few nuggets we’ve received over the years. As I remember more, I’ll add additional posts.
One of the first issues we came across (and I’m sure many people have already got into this position) was the structure of the folders on both the server and development machines. The solution we came up with was to have a common folder –for argument’s sake lets call it “WebsitesFolder”. Within “WebsitesFolder” you then create a new directory for each domain name and finally within that, a folder for each subdirectory i.e. www, blogs etc.
By creating a new folder for each subdomain, you are able to quickly find the correct folder for the domain. Then locally you are able to store the source files outside of the site’s root which will (or should) speed up your FTP transfer process as you won’t need to select which files to upload1. The structures might then look like this:
- /Source Imagery/
- /Some Irrelevant Folder/
1It might also be worth you checking out SyncBackSE which is an excellent FTP client that only uploads files you have changed since the last transfer. It also has the added advantage that it has customisable filters allowing you to ignore source files and folders as _notes, .cs, .vb etc. http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/sbse.html
Finding large directories
The other day I noticed that one of our server’s disk space was running a little low but as far as I was aware there was plenty of space left. As we tend to store all client data within set folders I was able to quickly identify that it wasn’t the client folders that was taking all the room so what was?
When you don’t know which folders are taking the space, there are a couple of tools you may find useful. The first I was told about was TreeSize (http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/index.shtml) -a free program that gives you a graphical representation of each folder’s usage:
It then allows you to quickly traverse the directory structure and identify the offending directory. There’s a load more information available through the easy-to-use interface but if all you want is a number it’s a little overkill.
The alternative to TreeSize
A heading? Just for this? Yes –this little tool is the Mac Daddy of directory size info as far as I’m concerned as it’s a free (we like free ;)) command line tool found on Microsoft’s site called “Directory Disk Usage” –DIRUSE.
DIRUSE is really easy to use, simply load up CMD and type in:
diruse /m /* c:\
and you’ll get a report of your chosen folder’s sub folders, related sizes and a count of the files within it. Ok it’s iteration can be a little slow but it gives you all the information you need quickly and easily.
The syntax is as follows:
DIRUSE [/S | /V] [/M | /K | /B] [/C] [/,] [/Q:# [/L] [/A] [/D] [/O]] [/*] DIRS
- Specifies whether subdirectories are included in the output.
- Output progress reports while scanning subdirectories. Ignored if /S is specified.
- Displays disk usage in megabytes.
- Displays disk usage in kilobytes.
- Displays disk usage in bytes (default).
- Use Compressed size instead of apparent size.
- Use thousand separator when displaying sizes.
- Output overflows to logfile .\DIRUSE.LOG.
- Uses the top-level directories residing in the specified DIRS
- Mark directories that exceed the specified size (#) with a "!". (If /M or /K is not specified, then bytes is assumed.)
- Specifies that an alert is generated if specified sizes are exceeded. (The Alerter service must be running.)
- Displays only directories that exceed specified sizes.
- Specifies that subdirectories are not checked for specified size overflow.
- Specifies a list of the paths to check –you can use semicolons, commas, or spaces to separate multiple directories if required.
Note: Parameters can be typed in any order. And the '-' symbol can be used in place of the '/' symbol.
Also, if /Q is specified, then return code is ONE if any directories are found that exceed the specified sizes. Otherwise the return code is ZERO.
Example: diruse /s /m /q:1.5 /l /* c:\websitesfolder
The use and abuse of AccessKeys
Thursday, June 14, 2007 8:02:59 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I’ve been meaning to post about the use of AccessKeys on websites now for some time (I wrote the post but never completed the list at the end). Then, this morning I saw a post from Tony Crockford on the WAUK list along similar lines so thought it was time I got the post online :)
Just before Christmas, we were looking for a new house so I was spending an increased amount of time on Rightmove and it really started to bug me. I’m really pleased by the fact that they tried to make their site simpler to navigate by introducing AccessKeys to their pages but in my view they’re defeating the purpose of them by overriding browser shortcuts. In this case, the one I’m referring to is the use of Ctrl+K which I use a lot to access Firefox’s search bar.
Why oh why have they chosen to override this key combination, in IE it’s not too irritating as it doesn’t activate the link, in Firefox however it automatically loads the link, so I’m forever being sent back to the buying homepage.
I can understand that they want to make the key relevant, but what does “K” have to do with buying? I could understand if they were overriding “B” –and it wouldn’t bother me as it’s related, but K? I realise that it’s unpractical to avoid all shortcuts in all browsers but I would have thought they’d look into the main shortcuts first.
I had planned to compile a list of common shortcuts but I’ve not had time yet –another thing on the list ;). What’s interesting however is that since I wrote this post in January, they’ve replaced a couple of the shortcuts already –Buying is now “B”.
So what’s Tony Crockford got to do with this all? Well he referred the list to the WCAG Samurai’s point on AccessKeys which I think is a valid one:
So there you have it, just don’t ;) -I think that now there are so many different browsers out there it’s impossible to account for them all so it’s probably the best methodology.
The Cheshire Ring Race -It’s a monumentally stupid distance
Monday, June 11, 2007 10:35:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I've been somewhat quiet on the blogging front recently as I have been training hard for the mammoth canoe race we're competing in at the end of this month. The Cheshire Ring Race for those of you who haven't been keeping up with the little news I've been posting recently is a 96 mile canoe race we're doing this year in aid of charity (if you've not already made your pledge, why not pop over to www.paddlathon.co.uk now and make a donation -we've got a fair way to go to our £2,000 target).
Last night I decided it was time I sat down and started planning the route for the drivers, which first meant plotting the route for the paddlers and oh my god is it a long way! Until now I've thought "100 miles, yeah that's not too bad, we'll do that in a few hours..." (ok the few was around 20 but still). Plotting it on the map however shows just how far this thing is!
Instead of feeling daunted by the distance, I'm now even more psyched than before -and have even more reason to hit the gym hard! If you're interested, I've uploaded the route plotted on Google Earth. Currently it only holds the point data but in time I'm going to expand it so it includes information about each route (for the paddlers and drivers) and perhaps once we've done the race, pictures of each point.
For those of you interested in how my canoe training routine is going -it's good. I'm holding a steady 12st 6lb at the moment -sometimes dropping to 122st 4lb and I've blown my previous routine out of the water. Sam and I -despite some misfortune with our kit- have been kicking ass on the past couple of races -taking around 10-15minutes off our times from last year. I'm hoping to complete The Cheshire Ring Race in less than 18 hours at this rate...
FREE BEER -and the chance to chat to like minded media types
Friday, June 08, 2007 12:39:02 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
This has to be my laziest post yet, it's just a paste of the press release but I'm to excited at the thought of free beer to re-write it ;) -Hope to see you there, shout if you're going.
Chinwag Joins Forces With Top Software And Media Brands For Supersized Digital Networking Party
The UK digital media industry is gearing up for a soiree of grand proportions in July at Chinwag's Big Summer 07 networking party (http://bigsummer07.chinwag.com).
Giving the bash an extra boost - and supporting the inventive and fun entertainment programme, plus the lavish refreshments on site - are Chinwag's three party partners: Adobe (http://www.adobe.com/), Channel 4 (http://www.channel4.com/), and Purple (http://www.purple-consultancy.com/).
The free event, to be held at the historic Imperial College Union in Kensington, London, will be the largest-scale bash of its kind for people working in the digital sector, with the party encompassing 5 large rooms and the enclosed quadrangle, allowing a total capacity of 2,000 revellers at any one point in time.
Hosted by new media community Chinwag, it will to bring together professionals in web, mobile and other interactive media to make useful connections, celebrate the return of the new media sector as a sustainable growth industry, and mingle in style in the sunshine of a London summer's evening.
Dominic Eames, editor, Online, at Channel 4 New Media said: "Channel 4 is always open to new ideas from the New Media community and is delighted to support Chinwag in this event.
Toby Thwaites, managing director of Purple said: "Having worked with the team at Chinwag for a number of years I am delighted that Purple are able to support what will undoubtedly be the Digital event of the Summer"
Sam Michel, Chinwag MD and founder said: "This is a great opportunity for the new media industry to do some "First Life" networking. The UK scene is buzzing with life, and it's great to bring everyone together en masse."
"The party takes place on July 5. More details will be released in the forthcoming weeks with promotional activities, partnership with brands, and innovative use of social networking tools and technologies such as Facebook and Twitter included in the mix."
More information & registration: http://bigsummer07.chinwag.com
Chinwag aims to be a connecting rod for ideas and talent across the new media industries. Having provided Internet-based community forums, websites, email newsletters and consultancy for the new media sector since 1996, its website (http://www.chinwag.com) will be re-launched in July, aggregating information for the digital industries and updating its community focus. In February 2007 the Chinwag Live events series (http://live.chinwag.com) was launched. Topical panel discussions founded to cast light on issues and trends affecting the new media industries, the monthly sessions have also gone on tour to Internet World and Ad:Tech.
In addition, Chinwag publishes Chinwag Jobs (http://jobs.chinwag.com), the leading recruitment website for online marketing, digital media, web, design and technical positions. It is used by the BBC, MySpace.com, Yahoo!, Amazon, Vodafone and the majority of recruitment agencies who place staff in the sector.
Chinwag - Connecting New Media People