Monthly Archives: January 2009

Iced Coffee Dot IE

The decision came about two months ago on discovering that I was paying over twice as much for 5 times less storage space and almost 7 times less bandwidth on my previous host than Blacknight offer on their ‘Minimus‘ package. It was time to make a move.

From now on this blog will be at icedcoffee.ie
My photoblog can now be found at photo.icedcoffee.ie

Over the last month, thanks to the help of friends, especially Dave who spent a few hours kicking things off for me, Blacknight support, BKsolutions, shortword, micheleneylon, many others in the twitter community, as well as much learning on my own part everything is now live on Blacknight servers somewhere in Dublin.

blacknight

Blacknight have recently developed some-what of a small cult following by giving away .eu (anyone use these besides govt?) and a couple of .co.uk domain names through Twitter in quick-fire first-with-the-correct answer-wins question rounds, as well offering 50% off the price of .ie domains for a day last week – a win for promotion, personality and not being a faceless company but one with character. This resulted in fun times and two free domains.

Problems I’ve faced with Blacknight have been small in number, my main gripe being with the custom control panel. It has grown on me, though it did take quite a while to figure out and I would have really appreciated some sort of manual to begin with. The fact that ‘webspace’ and ‘FTP access’ have to be manually set up for each domain threw me at first. However, the system is easy to read and navigate – all domains listed in one place, application installs (wordpress etc), databases, webspaces, ftp etc all clearly laid out.

blacknight control panel

As I love Gmail so much I have set up all domain email accounts through it’s interface and adding the Google MX values was simple to do – unlike before, I won’t end up filling a large portion of my disk space with undeleted mail.

One thing I did like with my previous host was the pretty Awstats, whereas Blacknight provide the fairly limited on the prettyness scale, Webalizer, though still great for number crunching. In saying that there is statcounter, Google Analytics, and more recently Mint. Mint gives lots of numbers and statistical analysis regarding visitors to your part of the web, including an add-on for viewing feedburner numbers among others – so I have little need of any other stats at the minute.

mint stats

I’ve really learnt a hell of a lot from this process (I didn’t know nameservers existed!), and all that stuff about Databases and fiddling with the wp-config.php file – those databases are scary, and MX records including the time spent figuring out Google Apps and discovering that my mail will still have “sent on behalf of” for certain clients as I choose to manage all mail through the one account, this time though the main account is not my personal Gmail but my new .ie address – changing everything that used my old address may prove difficult for the next few weeks though.

So hopefully everything is working at this stage and no glitches occur, and indeed that I enjoy a lasting relationship with Blacknight, so far, I’d recommend them.

There have also been a few minor changes to the site, some small design alterations (cheers Andy), as well as a new header image, this time of Belfast rather than New York.

managing email

There are changes afoot, which you may have noticed, with occasional glitches or the lack of anything at this address. Basically I have been working on a variety of things behind the scenes, whilst attempting to keep everything looking as normal as possible in the mean time.

Unfortunately though I have been left with very little time to actually update the blogs, so I’m hoping you can maybe help with the process I’m going through at the minute.

The final stage is email. With new domains and new hosting everything is pretty much up in the air and so I’v e been looking at new ways of managing my mail for all the addresses and domains I maintain. I am certainly thinking of cutting it down to just one, or in some cases two for each domain, though it still requires some form of good management to look after.

Previously I had used my original GMail address to manage everything, domain addresses forwarded to the GMail address and I can send mail from those addresses. The problem with this is that some mail clients, such as Outlook tracks that the email has been signed and does the entire “on behalf of” thing. But Yahoo Mail does not.

It’s quite frustrating to discover that my private GMail account has been given out rather than simply the domain-based address. And so I’ve decided to look for something different. Based around GMail, of course, the chosen method must be able to handle all domains and alert me on the desktop when I have new mail.

I’m curious about how everyone else manages their mail before I choose what I am going to use. If you could help me out by completing the little poll below that’d be great. Feel free to add extra info in the comments.

links and stuff wednesday 7th january 2008

RIAA Bans telling friends about songs!

How can you be a food and drink blogger and be off drink for the next 144 days?

Serious marketing win. This is where its at.

iTunes now has 100% DRM free music. Though now that Amazon is also in the business of selling music online, and with most songs at 69p rather than iTunes’ 79p and albums less expensive too (Sterophonics: Decade in the Sun £4.50, iTunes £7.99, Razorlight: Razorlight £5.45, iTunes £7.99.)

The results of the Photoblog Awards 2008.

Claire got some free advertising courtesy of the Irish Times. Do check out her beautiful baby pics at newborn.ie.

How to do: a hell of a lot of social networking stuff.

Similar to the awesome Overheard in New York, Bashed.org is full of comedy quotes, Like these 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Society is funny.

RTÉ have just gone and cut out the talking (non-music bits; the best bits) from Rick O’Shea and Nikki Hayes radio shows on 2FM. The few times I have caught Rick’s show I have pretty much switched off during the music due to it being so shit. Sign up to the Facebook group as way of petitioning.

Comic artist Paul has a new project for the year to do many caricatures, so send him a photo for one of yourself.

In case you missed it, the latest Apple product. We love you Mr Jobs.

2009 resolutions

Another year, another set of goals, new memories and hopefully many good times.
As is the norm this time of year, I have created a short list of resolutions; some vaguely realistic goals and achievements for the year ahead. I’ve never really been one to take resolutions seriously, though this year I think I’ve made a list of potentially do-able things.

Putting it into practice is always much harder while having a few

  • Go to sleep earlier

    I seriously try to try to get to sleep earlier, but I just don’t like going to sleep. I always have far too much on my mind to keep me occupied.
  • Be more creative

    By this I mean that I want to expand my range of photography even more and possibly also improve of Photoshop techniques.
  • Meet more people than last year

    This was really a great year for meeting lots of new people, and Twitter did help a lot with that – I hope that this year will have even more new encounters.
  • Travel more around Ireland (besides Dublin and Cork)

    I have been to the South of Ireland more times this year than in any other year. Many times in Dublin and twice in Cork. This year I want to venture to some other parts of the country; Limerick, Kilkenny, Galway, Waterford etc. There is a small chance of a Road Trip so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
  • Understand the infrastructure of the Internet

    Cables under the sea! Name servers? IPs? General hosting woes. Yeah theres lots about the architecture of the web I would love to understand. It may take longer than a year.
  • Save more money

    I’m terrible at doing this, but this year I hope to try very very hard.
  • Become more confident at public speaking

    Ah yes, public speaking. So many people seem so damned good at it – the ones that are just have a certain amount of confidence in themselves, what they are saying and that the audience wants to hear it – that’s where I go wrong. This will be me year.
  • Take more day trips around Northern Ireland

    I love taking train journeys around NI, usually somewhere by the sea (there are no trains in the West), usually somewhere slightly interesting to take lots of photos. I didn’t do it often in 2008 so big effort for 2009 – as well as a photo trip to the Giants Causeway still in planning.
  • Email friends more often

    I just don’t write personal emails to friends often enough, I feel bad when I don’t. It’s often the feeling bad that puts of not doing it. Friends, you will feel the love this year.

Resolutions are one of those things that everyone asks about in the first week of January, right after saying they have just broken theirs by eating chocolate, having that takeaway, or having those drinks the very next weekend. It isn’t until two or three months later that they realise they still haven’t used the gym membership.

A year can be a long time, better planning of that time will be a major one really. The more variation of activities each day brings, the the shorter life won’t seem. No matter what it is, if each day is the same I want to make an effort to change that. Do more on the spur of the moment, hop on that bus/train when the opportunity arises.

2008 was seriously a good year for me, many people have been involved in piecing it all together, day by day, thanks to you all.