Archive for September, 2007

September 24, 2007
Filed Under (Environment, Technology) by Ollie Cronk on 24-09-2007

Seeing as I now work for what is predominately an Energy and Environmental consultancy these days – I’m doing a fair bit of reading and research into Carbon Dioxide and other climate change issues. There seems to be a real momentum building behind green Information Technology. Today I came across The Green Grid who are a consortium of technology companies that appear to have joined forces to create a panel of experts on green data centre design. Interestingly their members feature:

2 of the companies I am currently considering using at work to replace our current hosting company (Donhost) who have let us down recently (more on that in about 12 months – when our current servers expire!!!)

Additionally I dugg a BBC article on Green IT which happened to be headlined under technology tonight and discovered that Google plan to be Carbon Neutral by 2008. Strange how patterns can emerge from web surfing at times!

I might blog a bit more about Green IT issues in the future – particularly once a big (and rather exciting project) that I am currently doing the analysis and architecture for goes live.



September 18, 2007
Filed Under (Linux, Samba, Technology) by Ollie Cronk on 18-09-2007

Why are most (small) IT support companies not interested in supporting Linux? If you are an IT support provider in the London area who can support a small network of Windows XP PCs and a Ubuntu (Samba) Fileserver (which pretty much takes care of itself) please get in touch!

I will post up details when I find someone on this in due course. [Edit opps I should have done more Googling before posting – it looks like Canonical might offer what I am after – but what I am saying here holds up – support for both Windows & Linux from IT support providers is needed…]

I think this could be an interesting/lucrative potential market – stop selling the over priced and bloated MS server offerings and sell the more cost effective and robust Ubuntu Linux based solutions for small businesses. What with web based management systems its got to be the way to go. Particular as lots of basic NAS boxes are going down the embedded Linux route.

Surely some of the saving in licensing costs can be passed on to the customer and some kept back as improved margin? I guess what this really needs to take off is a robust Open Source Email/Calendaring solution (Exchange Server killer) – I suspect Exchange is the reason a lot of businesses still go for Windows Server.



September 02, 2007
Filed Under (PHP, Web Development) by Ollie Cronk on 02-09-2007

If there is one tool that has revolutionised how I develop (or more specifially investigate/re-engineer and analyse) web sites and applications its got to be Firebug: http://www.getfirebug.com/

Its great for those situations when you come across a site and think – how did they do that?! Clicking on the firebug utility (a green tick in the bottom right of firefox – once you’ve enabled it) and getting it to inspect the page soon reveals all!

Firebug Screenshot 1

Its also really handy for CSS – borders and spacing are visually displayed:

Firebug - DOM view

Recently I found a great little video on debugging AJAX applications with Firebug and the Zend Debugger which looks really useful. The Zend Debugger is another great PHP development tool which works really well if you have the Zend Studio IDE – when I find some more time I may well blog about that too!

Update – I discovered Yslow today – http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/ – a plugin for Firebug that gives tips on Web site performance – pretty nifty.