Really Remote Live Internet Video Streaming on a Budget

The I.T. industry is made up of lots of companies who declare themselves to be solution providers of varying sorts but I wonder how many times a prospective customer really goes to one of these firms and says “I have a problem” and how many times the provider actually has to go off and come up with a solution.

Not too long ago I was presented with an interesting problem that really needed a solution. And an inexpensive one at that. Continue reading “Really Remote Live Internet Video Streaming on a Budget”

Dynamic DNS or “New Adventures in Old Routers”

Paracetamol is a wonder drug. Whenever I get the man flu (which can kill!) I have found that plain old paracetamol works far better than the various cold and flu remedies offered at outrageous prices at the local pharmacy. The way that particular medicine can deal with a man flu and the crippling symptoms that come with it is truly amazing. While many think that the age of wonder gave way to the age of reason a long time ago, I still find wonder in how things work, be that painkillers or computer networking systems. Continue reading “Dynamic DNS or “New Adventures in Old Routers””

Hotmail & the iPhone

When I was in college our Programming lecturer cautioned against a career in I.T. due to the need to keep up with the constantly changing technologies such a career entails. Personally, I thought that sounds brilliant, always something new to learn and play with, bring it on, I said. Later on in my education I encountered other lecturers who said that yes, keeping up can be difficult as well as fun but there are some fundamental skills you can learn that transcend specific technologies (which is why good developers are able to learn several languages as long as they have a good grasp of the principles of programming).

I.T. is constantly changing and with that pace of change some technologies come into and slip out of fashion quite quickly. As technologies like smartphones and other internet devices become accepted by wider audiences than traditional I.T. people, fashion plays an increasingly important role. For example, the iPhone. Continue reading “Hotmail & the iPhone”

Sowing the seeds of the KnowledgeTree

I’ve always had an interest in knowledge management and how tacit knowledge in particular can be captured within an organisation. I once read about a management consultancy that use a specially constructed database to store information about the different industries and past projects the consultants have worked so that less experienced consultants can access the knowledge of the senior staff when dealing with situations unfamiliar to them. The value in a management consultancy is in the experience (and therefore knowledge) of its consultants so the database they use is an incredibly valuable resource that forms an integral part of the offering to clients. It occurred to me that a database like this is pretty valuable to any type of knowledge worker, in my case I.T., so recently I set about implementing a personal level version of the management consultancy knowledge database.

An Inconvenient MessAn Inconvenient Mess: Al Gore’s office space and his unique system of knowledge management

Continue reading “Sowing the seeds of the KnowledgeTree”

How to Host Multiple Websites on Apache

A pdf version of this posting can be downloaded here.

Introduction:

Websites, in all their different forms, are hosted on web servers and the Apache web server is one of the most popular currently available.  It would be incredibly inefficient to only host one website per server, particularly in a commercial web hosting scenario, but for designers and developers at any level there is often a need to work on different sites, or different versions of the same site, in the same environment. In order to make the most of your resources the logical approach is to host multiple sites on one installation of Apache server.

On Apache each website is treated as a Virtual Host, with the concept of hosts relating to how DNS is configured in order to route traffic to a website. When a web browser requests a website via a URL the request is handled by DNS which knows that, for example, http://www.somesite.com relates to a specific IP address – the address of the server that’s hosting the site. DNS forwards the traffic to the server which in turn responds with the information requested. As far as DNS is concerned the URL of the website bound to a specific IP address is just another host in its database.

Continue reading “How to Host Multiple Websites on Apache”

Everything I know about Career Advancement, I learned from watching… Robocop

As a serious fan of movies I love it when I watch something very familiar and gleen something new from the viewing, like some obscure detail in a scene that adds a new dimension to the story. Recently I caught an airing of Robocop on the TV – which is a classic example of once again watching a film I have on DVD just because it’s that good.

…from the director of gems like “Showgirls” and “Hollow Man”

As I watched this classic piece of 80’s sci-fi my mind drifted to the different things that films can teach us. Some movies are pure entertainment, some tell a story that needs to be told and some, like horror films (I’m a huge fan of horror movies) are actually modern day morality plays designed to teach the audience serious lessons (teen slasher flicks usually preach about the dangers of drink, drugs, and promiscuity – check out Scream for an overview of this and Halloween to see it in action).

Continue reading “Everything I know about Career Advancement, I learned from watching… Robocop”

House of Pain and the Deadly Art of Business Analysis

My current contract has come to an end and I am facing into a new role starting on Monday. So, my next assignment beckons but, as House of Pain famously asked, “How d’ya know where ya’re goin if ya don’t look back?” So, with the last contract just over, and in the best traditions of PRINCE 2, what were the lessons learned from the past seven months?

Management Gurus "House of Pain"
Management Gurus “House of Pain”

Continue reading “House of Pain and the Deadly Art of Business Analysis”

Microsoft Courier – is the Computer Book finally here?

Check out this link for a first glipse at a new product coming from Microsoft.

http://gizmodo.com/5365299/courier-first-details-of-microsofts-secret-tablet

Fist impressions are very favourable, though the device is in late prototyping and MS aren’t even near an official announcement (all the details on the web are the result of a leak from Microsoft).

This could be the form factor to put a much needed spark back into Microsoft and the computer world in general. If nothing else, it looks like the computer book Penny had in Inspector Gadget, so that’s cool!

553 sorry, that domain isn’t in my list of allowed rcpthosts

Here’s an annoying little error that I’ve just come across.

I’ve tried to send an email from Outlook and I’ve received a reply from “System Administrator” with the word “Undeliverable” in the subject field along with the subject of the mail I tried to send.

In the message itself I get the following:

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

Subject:    Out TEST 1
Sent: 09/10/2009 14:49

The following recipient(s) cannot be reached:

‘mtminnock@gmail.com’ on 09/10/2009 14:49
553 sorry, that domain isn’t in my list of allowed rcpthosts (#5.7.1)

The message is a little bit cryptic as the idea of a list of allowed recipients indicates that there’s a list of disallowed recipients and that might lead you to believe that your firewall or anti-virus systems is acting up and doing more than it’s supposed to.

What’s actually happening is that Outlook is trying to tell you that your outbound email settings are wrong. In my case it was the “Outgoing mail server (SMTP)” setting that was wrong and this had been caused by my changing Internet Service Providers. My new ISP has a different SMTP server and I needed to tell Outlook what this servers name was.

In order to change the SMTP setting for a given e-mail account in Outlook you need to do the following:

1. In Outlook go to Tools > Account Settings. Select the account you want to fix and click on Change.
2. About halfway down the window that opens is a section headed “Server Information”. In the third box down enter the correct name of the SMTP server (this can be obtained from your ISP). Click Next and Finish and that’s it!