Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Monthly Archives: June 2003


If I had a telescope (and the time to use it), this would be even cooler: It’s a graphical summary of sky visibility over a 24 hour period.

Link Potpourri

All-natural decaf QTVR shot on the Hogwarts Express in Australia (requires QuickTime) Spike vs. Spike vs. Spike Multi-screen display (whoah!) Ancient Incas may have used binary language Automatic Bad Movie Trailer Generator

Asynchronous Pings

Hey, Dave Winer — how about implementing a method of invoking the ping that doesn’t do an immediate site check? It could just return a success code, then queue the request for processing. A cron job could then reap the queue every few minutes in an efficient multi-threaded way, and add the legitimately updated sites to the list. This would eliminate the long wait and the associated timeouts for pinging clients, and hopefully would … Continue reading

I’ve been working on a project at work dealing with PGP. Basically, we receive some sensitive information from a business partner, and it needs to be secure. They were considering setting up a rather expensive solution involving leased communication lines and virtual private networking. But I happened to mention that we could automate some of it with PGP, and in an unusual fit of common sense, they decided to let me have a go at … Continue reading

Scott Adams Speaks Out

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, speaks out about terrorism in his latest newsletter: “Peer pressure is the most powerful force on the planet, and we need to use it to our advantage. For example, I recommend that the Western media and politicians stop using the menacing-yet-cool phrase “Al-Qaeda” and start referring to the group as the “frickin’ Induhviduals.” Like the proverbial dog chasing a car, the Induhviduals haven’t considered what would happen if they caught … Continue reading


Ah yeah, nothing like new toys to get you motivated. I just got my new desktop PC at the office. It’s a 2.4GHz P4 with 1GB of RAM. But the best part will be the dual-monitor support. This should be a nice step up from my current machine — a 600MHz P3 with 384MB RAM. Now I begin the laborious process of copying several GB of files and applications from the old computer to the … Continue reading

Unified RSS

For whatever reason, there has been a split in the RSS community for a while. Ian Davis proposes Unified RSS, in which RSS 1.0 becomes “RSS Metadata”, and RSS 2.0 becomes “RSS Content”. For this to work there has to be agreement between the two sides. Some concessions will have to be made in both camps. As a starting point I’d suggest that the following principles would have to be agreed: Both formats have equal … Continue reading


We’re looking into options for web server failover at my work. One option is to get Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, and use its clustering features. I’m sure that there are less expensive alternatives, however. Surely, there’s a turnkey solution that will work under Linux or FreeBSD, that can provide reverse network proxying with transparent failover? Any pointers?