Daily Archives: Friday, 5th Jan 2007

End of week one

Funny how a four-day week can seem so long…

Quite a busy week at work, dealing with all the usual support stuff as well as trying to get my brain to work properly on some new stuff I’m evaluating[1].

I walked to and from work every day, without even contemplating the possibility of getting on a bus. I didn’t use the lift at work even once. I did a moderate amount of exercise on four consecutive evenings[2].

My weight is showing a bit of a downward trend.

All quite positive, and I’m going to try to keep it up. I also seem to be posting more and more here, and I’ll probably keep that up, too.

And the Torchwood end of series review should appear tomorrow.

[1] rDirectory, which will let us provide more information to users, let people change information without having to let them near actual admin accounts or tools that can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and do other clever stuff once I’ve read the manual a bit more.
[2] Yes, this is my night off, so there :tongue:

WordPress 2.0.6 is out

Update: Shortly after it was released, a small problem was found with 2.0.6, which affects FeedBurner for sites on some servers. More information and a link to the fix here

The latest incremental release of WordPress is now out. This contains a number of fixes and some security updates. It is strongly recommended that all WP users update their sites as soon as possible.

One of the fixes is for a problem that occurred with 2.0.5 on some sites – this is fixed, so there’s no excuse not to update. This is likely to be the last minor release before the next new version (currently known as 2.1, but that number may grow) appears. That will be a much bigger update with new features and a greater chance of upsetting some plugins, so it’s worth having a play with the beta version on a test site, if you have one.

See the WordPress Development Blog for details.

If you have shell access (Unix command line stuff) to your website and you know what you’re doing, you might want to look at Brian Layman’s new improved upgrade script. This makes the process very easy and very quick. It’s even better if you have several WordPress sites on the same server, as it can do them all in one process. But please note that the script is new, and hasn’t had as much testing as it really needs. Use at your own risk, as Brian makes clear. All I can say is that it worked beautifully for me. If you’re not used to playing with command lines and editing script files, it’s probably not for you, though.

Black tape and bananas

It always used to be said that Government offices were best with too much red tape. But all that’s changed! Now there’s an infestation ofblack tape at government offices in the North East. It seems that the government is paying a company called Unipart, who I thought used to do spare parts for cars, but are apparently spare parts themselves, or “consultants”[1] as they prefer to be called, to review people’s desks.

Now there are quite sensible (mostly) regulations governing computer screens and general ergonomics. Is your chair adjustable, is your screen free from glare, and so on. However, the spare parts consultants have gone a wee bit further. They have marked people’s desks with black tape, showing exactly where the keyboard, mouse, telephone, stapler, pens and indeed anything else should go.

This is apparently part of the “Lean programme”, intended to keep workplaces tidy and staff thoroughly demoralised and dehumanised. Well, they only admit to the tidy bit, but I’m sure that’s the intention…

It is alleged that in a Scottish office, a member of staff was asked

Is that banana on your desk active or inactive?

Which is apparently spare part consultant language for “are you going to eat that?”

You could make it up, but people would say you were being silly.

[1] In the words of Dogbert: I like to con people, and I like to insult people. Put them together and…

If you want to know the time

Ask a train driver. BBC News reports that GNER, despite their current difficulties will be issuing their staff with radio controlled watches to make sure they all know when trains are supposed to depart.

I’ve had a watch like that for a few years – it picks up a radio signal once a day and adjusts itself to the current time from an atomic clock. I got it because I like toys like that. GNER have much more sensible reasons…

Of course, knowing the right time won’t help at all when the train’s late because another one has broken down in front of it, or the overhead cables have come down, or there’s a delay getting a free platform at York. But at least they’ll know exactly how late they’re running.


BBC NEWS | Wales | Iconic newspaper cartoonist dies

Damn. I grew up on Gren’s cartoons in the South Wales Echo. And for years my brother sent me his lovely “Welsh and proud of it” calendar, which always made me laugh. They didn’t produce one for 2007, and now Gren’s gone.

There’s a small selection of his work here. They’re a bit small, and it’s hard to make out the details that made his work so special. His trademark was sheep with slogans on their sides – you can even buy small pottery sheep in Welsh gift shops.

More of his work on the official site.