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Month: October 2003

Snippet: Microsoft Frontpage 2003

As much as my hatred of Microsoft Frontpage is known, I must admit I’m seriously thinking about MS Frontpage 2003 [Order from] amazoncom:B0000AZJV8 . Why? Well until now the “horrible code” it produced and the very templated look of the sites (I can usually tell within seconds if it’s a Frontpage site) has put me off even considering maybe getting a copy – but an advertisement over at Slashdot which pointed me towards this Flash Demo of FP2003 is seriously making me reconsidering. Clean code, “code snippets” (something that my “editor of preference” – EditPlus doesn’t yet offer), regular expression search and replace, “split screen editing mode”, Accessibility checking, and XML data connectivity…. *drool*.

Only two things are putting me off at the moment: The £153.49 price tag (how much!?!?) and the fact it’s a Microsoft product. Oh well, I’ll just have to do without for now.

Spam: Telephone Soliciting II

Further to a telephone call I received (along with some of you) on the 16th of September, I have just received the following letter from ICSTIS (the regulatory of premium rate telephone numbers in the UK) which basically states the company has been fined £10,000 and barred access to “The Prize Warehouse”‘s service for twelve months (so it’s quite a breach: checking action they’ve taken against other companies shows an “average” of around £1,000 fine and 6 months barring).

Success! Just shows – if you complain to the right people you can get the scumbags removed! I’m just waiting for the response from The Telephone Preference Service and mwhhaa! I’ve actually just received a spam SMS text message to my mobile phone (which is registered with TPS) so I’ll be sending off another complaint in the next day or so.

Read on for a copy of the letter.

Work: Job Offers

Wow. Even though I’m currently in full time employment (and actually just had a pay rise), I’ve had a number of job offers in the last 5 days. £20,000, £24,000 and the last one is £26,000 (oh, and there was also the “1 week contract for £1,000” telephone call). People want me and it’s nice to feel wanted 😉

However, I like it in my current position: it’s near to home (around 30 minutes walk – others are in London and Kent: if one was in Leicester or in a certain town in the South West I might have to think about it), the staff are nice (even my new biatch – don’t ask, but I’m sure a couple of lurkers here know what I mean by that 😉 ), and it’s doing what I enjoy. Of course, the job offers are relate to what I enjoy doing AND are much more money (nearly double what I’m currently on) but.. but…

I’m sticking where I am for the time being (although my boss does know in around 6 years I’ll be looking for another job OR if I make several millions a month from self-employment), but I can’t deny the offers are very tempted. I just want to know why in 6 months unemployment I didn’t receive a single offer from these companies *grr*.

Techy: Standardised WHOIS records

Can somebody please point me in the direction where I can either get a Perl, PHP or C/C++ module/script that will handle at least 90% of all TLD’s (top level domains) and registrars and be able to parse out “discreet” data records (such as the registrant’s address or the expiry date).

I’ve come across Perl’s Net::ParseWhois (no longer being maintained AFAIK) which only supports around 50% of the .com and .net registries and Net::Whois which supports .edu, .net and .com domains and even those not very well. I’ve also tried Geektools WP Whois Proxy scripts: but that doesn’t parse the data (plus it seems extremely slow for what it does do).

I don’t have to write handlers for 134+ registrars do I? Surly someone else has done this before me and somebody reading this blog knows how/where to get access to the script/data… Please….

If only all the registrars had agreeded on a standardised WHOIS record format *sigh*

Snippet: And whilst on the drunkard ramblings front…

Those Natwest adverts on TV are really getting to me now. Why? Well, the way they advertise “You can contact your local branch” and “You can speak to your own business manager” – erm, aren’t all account details stored in a central computer location which can be accessed via all branches: therefore making it a little bit pointless to make you contact your own “individual” branch? Perhaps back in the days of paper records and “passbooks” (I’ve still got my old “Leicester Building Society” book by the way: the Building society is now known as Alliance and Leicester Bank PLC!) where only one branch had records of your details, but nowadays…

And the “own business manager” – at work, I deal with around 40 SEO clients and even then I occasionally forget which ones I deal with. How is any bank manager going to remember “you” as an individual when they deal with several hundred different accounts every couple of weeks? Unless you pop into the branch every week, they are unlikely to know you from Adam (unless your name does happen to be Adam – in which case substitute Adam for Bob Dole as Bob Dole just likes hearing Bob Dole talk about Bob Dole) – and, like any well run business, they will need to keep notes of the last conversation you had with them, your account number, your needs/assessment, your “value” to the bank etc. And where are they likely to keep these nowadays?

Yep – on computer records which will be stored in a central location and can be accessed by any branch of the bank….

Coincidentally, for the last year or so – there have been plans to convert the old very large Natwest branch in Leicester city (near to St.Martins Square) to a trendy wine bar 😉