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Archive for March, 2007

Never too much!

March 29th, 2007 No comments

So back to basics.. to the main Lifelist idea that was the reason for setting up this site in the first place. A number of people, when creating their main Lifelist, feel that they like so much music or so many films that they can’t be listed. When we set up the site we decided that a main Lifelist has a limit of 256 characters for each category because a main Lifelist covers such broad topics. This is no excuse though! Any number of other lists can be created in any category and those lists can be any length that you like and can be added to or edited whenever you like. So, if you like lots of music you can create as many lists as you want under that category and split them into year/artist or type of music, whatever, it’s up to you. We did it this way because that’s what I want to do myself. There are thousands of songs that mean something to me for whatever reason (but I couldn’t tell you what they are off the top of my head!) You know sometimes, you hear a song that you had completely forgotten about, and it takes you right back to a time or place or reminds you of certain people? Well, why not list it as soon as you can. Because there’s no limit, why not list them all? You’ll be creating your musical identity and you’ll never forget a song again. So there we have it, there never is too much- that’s part of the point of this site.

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Piclists are here!

March 20th, 2007 No comments

I’m delighted to announce that Piclists are now live! Have a go and let us know what you think of them – any suggestions about functionality, display options or (perish the thought) problems will be gratefully received.

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Categories: Lifelists, Tech Tags: ,

Mother Nature shows who’s boss!

March 20th, 2007 No comments

Modern technology can be wonderful. Satellite communications and the internet make it possible to work anywhere and we are lucky enough to be able to live in a really wild, remote area while still being part of the online world. Whenever we start to feel smug, however, Mother Nature is ready to put us back in our place! A really bad storm on Sunday night – gale force winds, hail, thunder and lightning – left us without power between 12:30am and 11:15am Monday. Not too bad you might think, and you should be right. Unfortunately we’ve found that whenever the power goes, so does our broadband. It’s never a simple matter of restoring power. Something dark and mysterious has to be done by our broadband provider to restore our connection. Happily I can report that just over 24 hours after the power came back we are online once again. [NB this doesn’t affect the website, only our ability to access it.]

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Get ready for Piclists

March 20th, 2007 No comments

Any moment now (well, today at some point) Al will be updating the site to include Piclists. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and now we will be able to gather all the pictures that are important to us in one place. When we are feeling blue I’m sure a quick look at one of our Piclists will give us a lift. I can’t wait to start Piclisting. If you want to prepare yourself, the best way to save your pics is at 360 pixels wide and make sure the files are less than 200K. Jpeg, gif or bmp.

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Categories: Lifelists, Piclists Tags: ,

The end of The George

March 15th, 2007 No comments

It’s a funny day today. Al has gone to Limerick to appear in court so that our bar licence can officially change hands. On the one hand it’s great news as, if everything goes ahead as planned, the buyers will have their fire certificate approved and the transfer will be complete. All being well, we’ll have the money to fix our roof in a few days. Fixing the roof is our number one priority and it’s great to know that when the weather is suitable we can get it done. On the other hand, it’s the end of our little bar. Although we’ve been closed for a while, as we still had the licence, we could have opened up again. Of course we wouldn’t have, as I’ve said before, we just couldn’t afford to subsidise it ourselves any longer. For a long time, it was our own savings that were allowing our handful of customers to carry on drinking. Even though we were only open a couple of nights a week I feel lots of guilt about this but there are only 200 or so people in Currane and two pubs. Now there just one. Life in this part of rural Ireland has changed so much in the 7 years we’ve been here and little bars like ours are closing everyday. Anyway, it all becomes final today and our licence is being transfered to a swish new hotel in Limerick. As that hotel can’t open until it has a licence, they booked Al into another hotel last night so that he would be there for the court session first thing this morning. That hotel is called ‘The George Boutique Hotel’. Our ‘The George’ was unofficially named by the locals as a reference to all of their family members living in England, we’ve never even had a sign outside. Now ‘The George’ in Limerick is a boutique hotel! As I’ve been writing this, Al has rung and the licence has been transferred by the judge. That’s it then. I’m a little sad. To have a look at some pictures of some good times in ‘The George’ take a look at http://www.corraunhouse.com/gallery.html

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Categories: Life in Currane Tags:

Some good news

March 10th, 2007 No comments

Picture lists (I think we’ll call them piclists) are almost ready. Al has been beavering away on the coding and he’s almost there. They look great. I’m sure they are going to be a really useful addition to the site and a great way to organise all the images that are important to us. I can’t wait to start using them. Also, on a positive note, it’s still blowing a gale outside, but our roof is still there and the heavy rain has stopped. Our satellite TV dish had to be replaced again this week after the storm (it’s the second time in three years)

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We’ve been hacked!

March 10th, 2007 No comments

Wow, how glamorous! We must be very important, to have become a target for hackers. It happened shortly after midnight (GMT) last night and, by coincidence, I was working on the site at the time so I noticed it almost immediately. Luckily it was a fairly benign attack; they replaced the index page for this blog with a page that said:

“Hacked by Sh. F**k You Greece [ SonVurus.Org ]”

I was able to replaced the hacked file with a backup so this blog was unavailable for only about 30 minutes. A little research shows that we aren’t actually that special. This group of hackers, apparently Turkish, have attacked hundreds of sites and are very active at the moment. Just Google “sonvurus.org” to see for yourself. Seriously, though, this is very worrying. I can understand (kind of) that some mischievous types might want to mess with the “big boys” such as Microsoft, Google, even the US Government, who (presumably) are a big challenge, with complex security systems and many staff focussed on protecting their online presence. We, on the other hand, are just two people – one designer, one techie – trying to scratch a living on the west coast of Ireland. We don’t have the knowledge, skills or resources to fight these attacks. We are not some faceless, monolithic corporate entity. We thought our passwords were secure (not real words, alphanumeric) and we don’t know what else we can do to protect ourselves. Maybe the attack came through a back door that we don’t control. We can’t host our site ourselves, relying on a web hosting company that controls the hardware and operating system, and a third party for the blog software. This just goes to show the indiscriminate nature – and downright unfairness – of hacking attacks. We were lucky this time. It was a static page that was hacked so there was no data loss. But what about next time? Will they be able to hack our databases? This would certainly result in data loss, which would drive away our users, which would ultimately destroy our chances of making a living. If this happens, these clever hackers will have succeeded in destroying the lives of two simple people. Where’s the kudos in that? Do they have any sense of honour? I don’t want to end this post on a downer so let me end by assuring all our users that we will continue to be vigilant, make even more backups and try to keep mylifelists.com working properly at all times. Happy Lifelisting!

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Categories: Lifelists, Tech Tags: ,

Network problem

March 9th, 2007 No comments

There was a problem with our ISP’s network today – something to do with a power/router problem at the datacenter, which affected several hundred sites – and our site was unavailable from around 16:30 to 21:00 GMT. Our ISP has assured us that additional arrangements are being put in place to ensure this can’t happen again. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Categories: Lifelists, Tech Tags: ,

The roof, part 2

March 5th, 2007 No comments

Yesterday the wind was blowing at 130kmph. It took both of us to open our front door to let the dog out and the poor medium sized dog had trouble keeping her feet on the ground while she did her business. Then it took the weight (not insignificant!) of the two of us to push the door closed. That was yesterday, today it’s much the same except that it’s raining as well. The sound of the wind is bad enough but now it’s joined by the steady plinks and plonks of water hitting the various containers around the place. The front hall is like a lake, rain is coming through our old bedroom ceiling, through the floor boards and wetting the ceiling of our sitting room below. Our staircase squelches, one of the many pint glasses on our office window sill has been emptied four times already today and here Al and I sit wearing as many clothes as we can listening to the wind and the drips and trying very hard not to let it get us down. I’m very worried that the ceiling above the stairs is about to collapse it’s now so cracked and wet but Al tells me that as long as the water is escaping, the weight won’t build up and we’ll be OK. We have now decided that we have to close our little bar. It’s been on the cards for a while and as I may have mentioned before, our licence has a value at the moment and this may not always be the case. We’ve found a buyer- our licence will be transfered to a newly built hotel in Limerick (as sign of the times) and we will have the money to fix our roof as soon as the weather allows. So… there will be an end to this. That thought will keep us going.

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