Category Archives: General

It’s nice to be right some times

Five short years ago I wrote an article about my desire for a Nokia N900. I was extremely enthusiastic about the device, which I saw as the future of computing and a sign of things to come. I also said:

Personally I think Linux usage overtaking Windows on personal computing devices is inevitable, and this is how it’s going to happen (although the capabilities of the N900 will have to move down to a much lower price point first). We’ll see if I’m right in 5-10 years time.

It’s now 4 years and 4 months later. I was right about Linux overtaking windows on personal computing devices, but I was wrong about how, and it happened far more quickly than I could have imagined.

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Which laptop to buy, 2014 edition

In what could only fall firmly into the first-world problems category, I’m currently suffering a dilemma as to what laptop I should buy. My requirements are common – a good balance of power, performance and portability. I’ve decided the specification I should go for is:

  • Intel Core i5 (4th generation, Haswell)
  • 8Gb ram
  • 256Gb SSD
  • 13″ display, resolution at least 1920×1080

I think these specs make for the best price / performance balance on most of the laptops I’ve priced up.

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The GX1 is a veritable bargain

Just picked one of these up at the airport on the way through. They have been going for around £350 for the GX1 body and 14-42mm Vario lens, or £330 with the standard 14-42mm lens. Originally an £800 kit, the discount is because Panasonic is clearing inventory to make way for the GX7, which looks amazing by the way. Far from 2.5x the price amazing however.

GX1

The Sony RX100 and Fuji X100S were also on my radar. The RX100 is a great camera and much more compact than the GX1, but it has a much smaller sensor and is still twice the price at around £600. The only snag is that I’m going to have to spend another £200 on a prime to exceed the low-light performance of the RX100, but the result is a more capable kit, and it’s still £100 cheaper!

I also made the mistake of handling the Fuji X100S. It was a mistake because it almost cost me £900, but I quickly realised this and put it down before I could get more attached! That is one sexy piece of kit, and is in a different league IQ and interface wise. I would LOVE one, but at nearly £1000 (!), it’s hard to justify with the GX1 being such a bargain.

The GX1 won’t replace my SLR (no affordable wide angle lens), or my old Canon S90 (not quite pocketable). But it is much much less of a burden to carry than an SLR, will go many places the SLR wouldn’t. I shall be putting it to good use while in Amsterdam!

Site move

Just moved this site to a larger VPS. If you can see this message you’re visiting the new host so the migration was clearly a success!

It should also be accessible over IPv6, although this has yet to be tested.

Google’s new app policy seems a little… hypocritical

Google updated its Play Store policy recently, and the changes appear to be designed to reign in spam on its app store. One of the policies reads “Product descriptions should not be misleading or loaded with keywords in an attempt to manipulate ranking or relevancy in the Store’s search results.”

Amusingly, the description for Google’s own Maps app contains a block of text which would do just that:

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Q: How does well does adsense perform on a site like this?

A: Haha:

Not quitting my day job.

Despite increasing revenue by 50% over the previous month I still need to increase revenue a further 500% to cover the costs of running this site. And at the moment it’s a tiny 256MB instance on Rackspace Cloud which, traffic depending, costs me a bit under £10 a month. To run WordPress properly however you really need 512MB minimum, even with the meagre traffic this site receives… so the cost should be closer to £20.

What I’d like to do is be able to justify running a cloud load balancer with two front-end web nodes and a separate DB node at the backend. Assuming all 256mb instances the cost of that setup would be about £1 per day, which should be too hard to deliver on an affiliate site, even if it isn’t this one. Hmm. Project time. :D

While this site does reasonably well on a few Ubuntu-related terms, it’s not hard to see why this site has such a poor click-through rate. For one thing the articles are mostly tech-focused, and I know myself when I’m Googling for a solution I literally skim the article for the code blocks, maybe think “that looks right”, and I’m gone in 10 seconds.

If it was a particularly tricky problem or the solution was a good one I might hang around long enough to leave a comment but most of the time I don’t, even though I like receiving comments myself.

The other reason it does badly is that I don’t really want the ad banner to get in the way, you’ll notice there’s only one banner, and its to the right and not even at the top.

Plus I’m using a stock theme and update once in a blue moon.

This site needs some love.

Or for more people to click the following link and spend lots of money with Rackspace. ;)

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Changes

I made a small change recently – I’ve moved from WordPress.com hosting to a self-hosted server.

The main reason for this is education – I want to learn more about e-commerce and running my own site, which is a bit difficult when WordPress.com places adsense ads on your site (and not on your behalf!). This way I get to keep any adsense revenue, although to be honest if it covers even the small costs of running this site I will eat my hat, shorts and tshirt.

An unfortunate side effect of this is that WordPress.com accounts can no longer comment and you need to manually enter details each time, so I expect comments will drop. But for those that do I appreciate the feedback!
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