Category Archives: Web

Bot whipping

I finally got round to doing something about the Alexa crawler tampering with the cookies on the Recycling Group finder after Patrick Joyce commented on my previous post.

There’s no reason for me to store information in the cookies for bots visiting my site so I just disabled them for the Alexa crawler (any request where the user agent string matches ia_archiver) by adding a single line to my ApplicationController class:

It wasn’t a major pain in the arse, but it’s a few less emails to delete every day!

Next NW Ruby User Group: 20th November

20th November – Pub meet: RubyConf aftermath

This month the meeting will be two weeks after RubyConf so we will all be getting together to discuss any exciting news that may have found it’s way out onto the blogs. Maybe drink some curry and beer too!


7:00pm :: Social meeting in The Paramount

Sign Up

If you would like to attend this event, please sign up on the Upcoming event page

Monthly meetups

This month also marks the start of regular monthly meetups. These will be the third Thursday of the month, guaranteed, if no speakers are available the meeting will be social.


The FerretCam

Gem has started a FerretCam. Who knew that Ferrets could be so captivating.

Dear Google…

Dear Google,

When I unsubscribe from a google-groups mailing list please unsubscribe me immediately, not after some arbitrary time delay as I have already deleted the relevant filters and now my Inbox is filling up.

Thank you.

Flushing memcached servers the easy way

This is easy right?  Can’t you just restart the memcached server? Well yes, but you may cause errors in applications that are already connected to it. You can follow your memcached restart with an application restart, eg for a Ruby on Rails app:

# /etc/init.d/memcached restart && mongrel_rails cluster::restart

Of course if you have more than one application server you have to restart your app on every single one. This would work on an engineyard slice assuming you have the eycap gem installed:

$ cap production memcached:restart
$ cap production mongrel:restart

Restarting your application is not ideal however, you will lose anything cached in memory, cause delays to users trying to access your site, that sort of thing.

So what can be done? The answer is really simple. Assuming a memcached running on the local machine on the default port:

$ echo “flush_all” | nc localhost 11211


How did they not sell? How?

I despair of eBay, and the internet in general. How did these not sell? How?

8 mouse balls

I mean, who wouldn’t want 8 mouse balls, especially when posed so artfully.  They are pleasantly rubbery, quite heavy; obviously good quality. Someone missed a bargain today, they really did.


Dear ‘People who run the site’,

Your website makes my eyes bleed.

Thank you.

Penetrating Wagner’s Ring

Really, who thought “Penetrating Wagner’s Ring” was a good title for a book?

Penetrating Wagner's Ring

The reviews are great:

As implied by the title, this collection probes deeply into Wagner’s vast Ring piece. Accusations of anti-semitism make Wagner’s Ring a sensitive area today, but it continues to offer pleasure to many. This is a masterful work of musical scholarship that deserves a place on any sturdy shelf. No doubt it will influence appreciation of Wagner’s Ring for many years to come. Among the highlights is the revealing chapter on the many characters than Wagner has managed to cram into his Ring. Also covered are the brass instruments that Wagner designed specifically for insertion within the Ring. There will always be those who are opposed to musical analysis (just the same as there will always be those who resort to juvenile humour, regarding the title). They will say that Wagner’s Ring is ‘violated’ with excessive force of scholarship. For this reviewer, however, Wagner’s Ring remains quite intact and is indeed tightened by the exploration. In short, this stimulating venture in and out of Wagner’s Ring has resulted in a seminal, fluid output.

More amazon weirdness.

Chyrp confuses me

After installing Chyrp today for a client I came across the following two options for saving a post right next to each other:

Two buttons to save a post, both labelled Save

There was no indication that they worked at all differently and in the end I chose the green-ticky-save over official-looking-DB-and-disky save. I am not sure there would have been much difference in the outcome, but I feel empowered from having the choice.