It’s geeky but still very cool…

Now being the geek that I am, unashamedly so as well I might add, I was looking around for an application for my HTC touch that would tell me how far I was walking when I took Bert the staffie out.

She who must be obeyed looked doubtful the other day when I reckoned I was walking about 20 miles per week so I needed proof dammit!

Anyway I came across this rather natty application called TrackMyRun which has been developed by a chap who runs quicker than I walk to log his training schedule.

It’s in Alpha/Beta at the moment but works really well on Windows Mobile 6 although I did have to upgrade the .NET Compact framework from 2.0 to 3.5 to get the beast started.

Basically it will use GPS to track your walk/run/drive/aeroplane/whatever journey, calculate the distance travelled, average speed, calories burnt etc and will also give you a rather cool map of your route using Google maps as the base.

A nice find I thought and ideal for anyone who enjoys anything more exertion than sitting on a chair reading blogs 😉

Domains and where to purchase…

A subject I see coming up quite a bit on business forums is never buy domains from the same company as your host. Now for the “kiddie” hosts who answer support tickets when they get home from school this may be true but for other business like ourselves this doesn’t hold water..

You know just as a test I have just been to Godaddy to make a trial purchase of a .com and what a faff on it is!

The checkout is very confusing and they do an almighty job of trying to add additional extras onto you.

When you finally get to the end, the price comes in at £6.59 for a one year .com registration. Obviously there is no VAT as they are a US company but this price will fluctuate with the exchange rate so you will not know how much it’s going to cost you to renew.

Now ours are registered through eNom which is the second largest registrar in the world for £7.99/year which ex-vat (if you’re vat registered) is £6.94 so 35p difference and you register with a UK company that actually have a good customer service record

In addition they charge for transfers in, we don’t…

I know domains are one of those point and forget things but what about when something goes wrong such as the domain not being renewed or worse still, being hijacked; which has happened to GoDaddy customers in the past.

Turning to 123reg for UK domains, they proudly state domains are £2.99 per year and don’t obviously advertise the facts that the price is subject to VAT and is also a two year registration. So a full registration would cost £6.88 inc vat whereas we are £7.98 a whopping £1.10 over two years more expensive

They, as we are, are members of Nominet so they get charged exactly the same for UK domains as we do. Interestingly their .com is £9.99 + vat

So onto protection…

Lets say we go bust today. There is more chance of me giving birth to twin headed alligators but I digress..

For all non-uk domains, eNom would be able to step in and allow you to manage the domain, move to another provide just by contacting them. Their response time is about 4 hours which for a multi-national is unheard of.

For UK domains, Nominet would be able to update the IPS tag in about ten minutes after a phone call allowing you again to move the domain.

Protection all round…

So to summarise, for the sake of a few pence per year you are going to a multi-national company, both of whom do not have a crystal customer service record and there is absolutely no risk whatsoever from buying from the “little guy” as long as you have done your research.

Domain name registration

Renaults Briatore out over race fix charge

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8258987.stm

I’m not actually that surprised to be honest. Piquet jnr. was never going to make such a massive allegation if he had no evidence of race fixing and now that Briatore and Pat Symonds have quit it just confirms the race was a stitch up.

They simply would not have quit before the hearing if there was no truth in the allegations.

Personally as a Formula one nutjob I hope they kick Alonso out as well but keep the team in, or at least those who were innocent.

For Alonso to say he knew nothing about this is utter rubbish and he deserves to be banned from next season. It won’t happen though as the FIA is a toothless tiger. All this shows is that F1 has again been dragged through the mud which is a real shame…

Installing PHP on IIS6

OK I’m replicating this article on our blog here as it is the only guide I have come across that works flawlessly every time.

Full credit goes to the author for the original article which can be found here:

http://blog.tjitjing.com/index.php/2006/05/php5-with-iis6-on-windows-server-2003.html

PHP5 with IIS6 on Windows Server 2003 in five easy steps

I thought installing PHP would be as easy as just using the install program. Well it wasn’t… But by learning from my mistakes it can be almost that easy.

Just follow these five easy steps on how to install and configure PHP 5 on a Windows Server 2003 running IIS – after trying the manual and several guides and tutorials found on the net (of which some were very long and very complicated and some were short and easy but partially incorrect) this is what it all came down to. Enjoy.

This is tested on PHP 5.0.4, IIS6 on Windows Server 2003 SP1. Be aware that IIS is not automatically installed with all editions of Windows Server 2003, this guide assumes that IIS 6 and Windows Server 2003 is already up and running on your server.

1. Download PHP at http://www.php.net/downloads.php. Make sure you dowload the “zip package”, the installer package won’t work.

2. Extract the downloaded zip file to a directory of choice on your harddrive. The rest of this guide will assume you are using C:\PHP

3. Add C:\PHP to your path. From the Start menu, right click My Computer and select Properties. From the Advanced tab click the Environment Variables button. Under System Variable find Path and click Edit. At the end of what is already present in Variable Value add a semicolon (;) and then C:\PHP.

4. Configure IIS. Open the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager from Administrative Tools (found directly in the Start menu or in the Control Panel)

a) Web Service Extension. Click down to the Web Service Extension folder. Right click the folder and select Add New Web Service Extension. Set Extension Name to .PHP and add C:\PHP\PHP5ISAPI.DLL to Required Files . Check Set Extension Status To Allowed.

b) Web Sites. Click down to Web Sites. Right click the folder and select Properties. From the Home Directory tab click the Configuration button. Click Add to add an Application Extension. Enter C:\PHP\PHP5ISAPI.DLL as Executable and PHP as Extension. Leave the rest as default and click Ok.

5. All set! To test your PHP installation simply create text a file with the php extension, eg. test.php. Add the following three lines of text to it and then save it to your web site directory, eg. C:\INETPUB\WWWROOT. Then use your browser to read the file, eg. http://localhost/test.php

< ?php phpinfo(); ?>

Other things you might want to consider:

– Some tutorials state that you need to restart the World Wide Web Publishing Service after having installed and configured php. I haven’t needed to (ie everything worked fine without restarting the service) but if you do it is found under Services in the Control Panel.

– As you start using PHP, in the not too distant future you will probably need to make some changes to php.ini. PHP works fine without the php.ini file but you really should have one and it should be in your Windows directory. Copy C:\PHP\PHP.INI-RECOMMENDED to C:\WINDOWS\PHP.INI

– If you are going to use MySQL you will need to make sure to uncomment the line “extension=php_mysql.dll” in php.ini and copy C:\PHP\LIBMYSQL.DLL to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 (Simply setting the PATH won’t work as this is apparently hard coded in PHP5). If you don’t follow these steps you will get an error message similar to this: “Call to undefined function mysql_connect”

– Read the manual at http://www.php.net/manual/en/install.windows.php