Monthly Archives: September 2007

We have been upgraded

Well, that was fun. I had to thump a couple of plugins, fix a couple of little things in my shiny new[1] theme, make some mystical passes and generally mumble a bit, but Losing it[1] is now running on WordPress 2.3.

Before upgrading, I used the nifty WordPress Upgrade Preflight Check plugin, which helpfully looked at all the installed plugins and themes, and pointed out any potential problems – very useful, and could save a lot of head scratching, muttering and general frustration.

As promised, this site is now running on an all-new theme, which looks remarkably like the old one, but is less messy on the inside. It’s quite likely that some things may be slightly broken at the moment, but I’ll pick up on that over the coming days.

[1] Which looks remarkably similar to the old one…

WordPress 2.3 is out

Just a few hours ago, the latest major WordPress update was released. Details are on the Develpment Blog, and you can download it from the usual place.

Bear in mind that this is a feature update, not a security release, so there is no need to rush to upgrade. Read the notes, and make sure you disable plugins before upgrading. Some plugins and themes may not behave themselves if they rely on databases tables that won’t be there any more. Themes will need to be updated to show tags, if you want to use them.

Expect an update here at the weekend, when I’ll have the time to do it carefully.

If you are upgrading, make sure you have a backup of your database and any files you’ve changed.

The Colour of Magic

Following the success of last year’s Hogfather adaptation, it was inevitable that more of Mr Great Writer Pratchett’s[1] quite wonderful Discworld books would get the TV treatment. And indeed, The Colour of Magic is now in production. Details and other stuff at the official site.

I mention this as a public service announcement, as unless Virgin Media kiss and make up with Sky, I won’t get to see it until the DVD is released. :wah: :wah: :wah:

[1] Or “Terry” as most of us prefer to call him

Targeted Advertising

Here I am in sunny[1] Manchester, ready for my latest techie training course, and I’m using the wireless connection in my Hotel. And that connection seems to have confused Goooooooogle. Their adverts appear to think I’m in France, perhaps because the wireless if provided by Orange France…

It’s even more fun at work sometimes, when Google decides that my company is in Germany and keeps redirecting people to…..



[1] Or not

The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and espresso

Yes, it’s that time again: Les has a new mobile phone. I’ve had the Nokia N-70 for nearly two years, so I felt it was time for a change. Now my original plan was to wait until late November or early December, and get an upgrade from Orange in the usual way. But instead, I made a rapid decision to make a big switch and get a new contract with a shiny new (and free) phone. On Tuesday, I found just the deal I was after – the Sony Ericsson K800i free with a £20 per month contract from Virgin Mobile. I opted for an 18 month contract, as that seems to me to be a good life for a phone, and I get 50% more minutes and texts that way. And at the end of the contract, I can either get a new phone, or a reduction on my bill if I sign up again. Everything was done on the web, and the phone was delivered the following morning, which is the kind of service I like.

So far, I’m quite happy with my new toy. It does the phone thingy quite well – clear sound, buttons that are finger-friendly, usable user interface. But the main reason I got it was for the camera. It’s a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and a lot more manual settings than you’d normally expect on a phone. It responds a lot quicker than the Nokia, which tends to suffer from shutter lag, resulting in blurred or totally missed pictures.

The Answer

The Answer

I’ll be taking and displaying more pictures over the next few weeks, and probably going into more detail about the phone and its features.

I deny all knowledge of this

I saw this in Gateshead town centre yesterday. I’m obviously very concerned that the council apparently have a department dedicated to operating on me, of which I was blissfully unaware. I can see I’ll have to keep a close eye out for scalpel-wielding Gateshead Council staff. :uhoh: :eek2:

Not me!!

Not me!!


Aye, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day! You should all make a point of talking like a pirate at all times today. Eye-patches and parrots should be added where possible.

And if you’re running WordPress, you too can make your site incomprehensible for a day with Dougal Campbell’s Text Filter Suite plugin.

All together now:


No more Virgins!

More fun on Britain’s streets. It’s reported that Richard Branson is selling off his Virgin music stores to a management team. I have a vague recollection of him selling most of the shops once before, to the Our Price chain, which subsequently disappeared with shops being re-branded as Virgin Megastores. This time, it seems he’s getting out of music retailing altogether, and the shops will get a shiny new name: Zavvi, which is probably meant to represent or symbolise something or other…

Now perhaps he can spend some time with Virgin Media and get Sky One back on!

On the rocks

Anyone who’s been paying any attention to the news in the UK over the last few days will be aware of the precarious position of Northern Rock, the Newcastle based former building society.

After it was revealed that the Bank of England had stepped in to act as a lender of last resort, many of Northern Rock’s customers quite understandably became concerned about the security of their savings. And so long queues developed at branches, their internet banking site couldn’t deal with the load caused by people logging on to move their money, and it all turned a bit nasty…

For anyone who’s missed it, lives in another country, or is reading this three years later, there’s a run-down of what’s been happening here.

The latest development is that the government has stepped in to guarantee all savings in Northern Rock – the usual protection is limited to around £30,000. Now in one way, that should reassure the people who have been planning to withdraw their savings, but the fact that they’ve found it necessary to do so can only fuel speculation that Northern Rock’s days are numbered.

Now normally, I wouldn’t bother to post about a financial institution that’s got itself into trouble, but this is a bit different. Northern Rock is a very major employer in this area, its charitable foundation does a lot of good work, and it’s a major sponsor of sport and the arts in the region. If, as seems increasingly likely, it’s taken over or broken up, the loss to the North East would be drastic.

Personally, I don’t have any money in Northern Rock, so I’m not going to pontificate about what people should do with their money. This is more of an observation on what’s going on…