PlusNet down, blame Telehouse power outage

An announcement (not a permalink) from PlusNet says that their Broadband connectivity, Webmail, CGI, MYSQL, Some mail Relays and wait for it…. “The Phone System” are currently suffering downtime due to a power outage in Telehouse!

After the recent email data loss fiasco where I lost two years worth of email archives I’m starting to get a bit irritated. If I can’t rely on telehouse for uptime, what can I rely on?

Three-dimensional Musings


I finally managed to try out SecondLife last week (by transplanting all the best hardware I own into a single box so that I could run the thing!). Apart from slow rendering caused by the awful packet loss of my current Internet connection the experience has been a good one, it’s cool. I can fly. I can build awesome objects with 3D modelling and logic.


I’ve downloaded and installed Blender, “open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback.” It looks complicated, I really want to play with it but so far I’ve only had time to export a cube as X3D to see what the XML looks like. I know it’s capable of great things.


In December last year I blogged ” X3D + AJAX = …I wonder”. Today I found Ajax3D, which was announced at the beginning of the month. I think it was started by the same people who make Flux, the X3D browser plugin, which I also want to play with.

and more…

I’ve been reading about 3D standards like X3D, OpenGL, KML etc. recently as part of my research into the multimodal web. I’ve also been thinking more about a RESTful and semantic web, separation of concerns, software design patterns like MVC, content negotiation, device independence, XML transformation etc. etc. I’ve started to try and channel all this thinking towards one or more actual software projects to work on and have started wrting stuff up. So many ideas, so little time.

Improving my paper writing skills

I think it’s interesting to compare the feedback from judges on my past two entries to Paper writing competitions…

2005 Entry:
The Judges felt that, although this entry was not of degree standard, it
contained a well developed argument with a clear purpose and a natural
flow, was interesting to read, with a good structure. On the whole the
Judges were impressed with this entry and the thorough research that had
gone into the essays production. The Judges noted that the topic was of
general and wide interest and, although the essay is not particularly
it offers quite a grand vision and suggested that, with some
editing, the paper may be suitable for publication.

2006 Entry:

  • Well-written but without a great sense of interest or excitement
  • Good technical material (although a little dry for a general audience)
  • Figures not of a high quality.

I seem to have tipped the balance too far in the other direction this year after last year’s feedback, next year I need to pitch it somewhere in the middle. Apparently this year’s winner of the IET Write Around the World competition has entered for the past three years. If I can combine “good technical material” with “interesting to read” next time perhaps it could be my turn 🙂

RESTful URL design… and stuff

I have a question about RESTful URLs which is going to sound pretty trivial and boring unless you’re a RESTafarian… apparently they exist.

Say I have a resource with the URL to which I can GET, POST, PUT and DELETE. If I want the user to have an overview of widget 1 they can GET this URL, similarly for DELETE. But if I want to point them to a form where they can edit the widget (which I don’t necessarily want to display by default), what would a RESTful URL be? ? ? ?

What if I have a page which lists all my widgets, should that be
or ?

There’s an article on URI design by Timbl which contains lots of “don’t”s but not many “do”s.

In other news…

I am furious with PlusNet for losing two years worth of emails I had stored on their IMAP server (along with everyone else’s). I had “backup email” on my to do list for about a year, shame I relied on an ISP to back up my data. There were a lot of important emails in that inbox. I’m going to start looking into running my own mail server so at least if I lose data I know it’s only my own fault. I’ve been meaning to play with Hula for ages but I’ve been waiting for their first stable release for over a year! They gave a talk at LugRadio Live and it sounds like the stable release is coming, but it’s still going to be a while (I can’t help but feel they’ve missed the boat a bit). I also have a book on Postfix which I might dig out.

Continuing in the theme of storing my own data, I’ve started on a new Drupal version of my now 5 year old homepage, which I plan to migrate my LiveJournal blog to if and when I figure out how to do it.

I found out that I didn’t win the IET Write Around the World Competition again this year, no suprises there really. The judges’ feedback boiled down to: well written, technically sound but boring as hell! I admit they have a point, I didn’t like it myself once it was finished.