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Month: January 2008

Free Domain Names

Are you looking at starting a new project but can’t afford the domain name? Well, my other half may well be able to help you free of charge. She’s got around 20 domain names (some registered and paid for until August 2009) available free of charge – with names ranging from (for fans of the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin novels), through the “Microserf”eque, through to me strange ones such as , and .

Check out her list of domain names and drop her an email (or comment) if you are interested!

Techy: Should I move from a dedicated server to co-location?

I recently assisted somebody in deciding whether to move from a dedicated server to a co-location provider (a “co-lo” is where you purchase the hardware, install it etc etc: the “co-lo” provider provides the physical space in a secure environment, links to the internet, power, cooling etc) and I thought my thoughts on the matter may help anybody else who is thinking of moving from a dedicated server at at a Datacenter to a co-location company:

Don’t forget that a dedicated server company isn’t just offering you the hardware, the software, the IP addresses, the multiple provider bandwidth (some co-lo’s will only provide one provider), and as much electricity and cooling is needed: they also provide you with “humans”.

Ok, you can automate remote reboots (as most major dedicated server providers now offer), KVM over IP (as a few dedicated server providers and datacenters offer) to provide most remote administration: but what happens if your hard drive fails, PSU or even mother board fails?

Most dedicated server providers guarantee replacement within 4 hours – how long will it take you to purchase a new HD/PSU/motherboard/SCSI controller etc (dedicated server provider hardware replacements are free: with co-locaiton you’ll have to account for the replacement costs), drive to the datacenter, get access to your cage/rack (some require 24 hours notice for security), open the server up, replace the parts and then get things running again…

I know some co-lo providers provide “on site hands and eyes” and “free hardware replacement” (IF you use the hardware they specify), but then the costs start equally or going over the dedicated server cost AND you may not have the network the dedicated server provider provide.

Of course, if you’re within 10 minutes drive of a major datacenter (such as Telehouse or Redbus) AND you have backup staff within the same drive-distance (for when you are unavailable) AND you have a couple of hundred servers you can afford to buy “outright” straight off with spares (and maybe account for a couple of “hot-spares” for critical servers) AND are willing to commit to an 12-24 month contract with the datacenter then it may be worth considering…

Thank You Tesco for the cheap Lexmark printer

I’d just like to say thank you to Tesco’s Beaumont Leys store for supplying me with a Lexmark Wireless All-In-One X4850 printer for just £69.97 – it should retail for £129.99 according to Lexmark (and, according to Tesco, £129.97).

So how do I get it so cheap? Well, I saw a yellow “Discount” shelf edge label promoting the printer for £99.97 so I thought, since I’ve been looking for a cheapish wireless printer for a while, I’ll buy it. Got to the checkout and it was rang up for the normal full price of £129.97. So I wander over to the Electrics customer services – point out that they’ve overcharged me by £30 and they check and agree. They then remind me (although I hadn’t forgotten and would have reminded them if necessary) that Tesco’s pricing promise means that if they make a pricing mistake – you get refunded double the difference. So my £30 over-payment became a £60 credit in my favour.

I’ve just finished setting it up, and the setup was very simple (hardest part was finding where in the house to situate it) and it works well with our SSID hidden WPA2 protected wireless network (much better than the Nokia N95 Series 1 phone which needed the SSID to be visible). Print quality is as good as you would expect from an inkjet on nearly 10 year old cheap 80gsm white laser copier paper (I brought a whole box full from Office World when I was at college and I’ve still got over a ream left) and scanning seems ok. Only disappointment is that the PictBridge software on the printer won’t talk directly to my Japanese-brought Ricoh Capilo RX camera over USB: I’ve got to eject the SD card and insert it into the printer: but at least it gives the option to manipulate/change the photo a bit (borders/frame, red eye reduction, cropping, rotation etc).

Not too bad for £69.97 IMHO!