These watches on Amazon UK are updated hourly

I logged into Amazon UK today and on my Amazon homepage, where they try to entice me to buy books, CDs, DVDs and other attractive goodies by showing me things that are related to items I’ve already viewed, I was given a list of “Watches: Men’s”.

“Updated hourly” it said at the top. Well, that’s no use in a watch, I thought to myself. I want a watch that is updated minutely; or, even better, updated secondly.


I suspect that they meant that the list is updated hourly, but that’s not what it says!

Right, let’s all buy #4: the Timex Ironman Watch T5E931 Multi-function Triathlon 30 Lap watch this afternoon and try to bump it up to #1 by 5pm.

Down for everyone or just me?

Is down for everyone or just me?

This is a really helpful Web resource that I’ve needed to use from time to time.

Sometimes you can’t access a website because it’s genuinely down. Sometimes you can’t access a website because there is something wrong with your internet service provider’s (ISP’s) DNS server, meaning that your PC isn’t given the correct address to locate the website. Sometimes you can’t access a website because someone, somewhere needs to switch off the internet and then switch it back on again.

That’s where comes in. It checks to see if it’s down for everyone else or just you.

And that’s it.

As you can see from the result…

It's just you. is up.

University of St Andrews 600th anniversary website


After last month’s almost-a-post-a-day, I’ve hardly blogged at all this month. And there’s been a pretty good reason for it: I’ve been working most of the last three weeks on coding up the designs for the University of St Andrews’ 600th anniversary website, which went live yesterday.

Eat, breathe, sleep code

And I really do mean “most of the last three weeks”. I’d get home in the evening, help put the boys to bed, and then crack on with more code until sometime after midnight each night. I’d crash into bed for about 4 hours’ sleep before booting up the PC again and working for a couple of hours until the boys woke. Then it was breakfast and back to the office for… oh, more coding.


The design was by Edinburgh graphic design company Project and was the first web project that we’d worked on where an external company had mocked-up the design and passed it on to us as Photoshop ‘comps’. We were essentially coding up a design from photographs of a web page, which is a bit like handing a builder a photo of your dream home and saying, with a wave of the hand, “Make it so!”

It’s not our preferred way of working, if I’m honest. But they were brilliant at getting updated proofs to us. Anything involving image work takes hours so it was great having professional Photoshop-meisters on the other end of an email.

I’m going to blog about our experience of the project very soon on the St Andrews Web Team blog.


…and if that wasn’t exciting enough, I also had the Alumni pages to code up too.


Tonight was my first night off in weeks from working on the code. So I chose to blog about it instead!


Yesterday I picked up a book at Borders bookstore in Edinburgh. Actually, I went further than that: I also took it to the cashier and paid for it. It’s mine now. I got to take it home, and everything™!

The book was (and still is) Joomla! A User’s Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website by Barrie M. North.

I’m only on chapter 4 at the moment, learning about creating content but already I’m discovering that this is a rather good book.

The thing that gets me about alot of CMS books is that they don’t take the time to explain the concepts behind how the CMS organises itself (content, taxonomies, categories, sections, articles, posts, pages, etc.).

What I really want to know when I approach a new CMS is: how does it think? how does it all fit together? because a lot of CMSs operate with very different models, and it’s not always clear how to translate your understanding of one CMS onto another. It doesn’t always work like that.
This is — so far — a very clear book that takes the time to explain these basics very well, and with plently of real-life examples.

There’s an accompanying website too:

Website idea

Argos catalogues

Remember my Argos catalogue monitor risers? I now realise that Argos catalogues aren’t necessary the best products for everyone’s monitor rising needs.

How about a website that allows you to specify how high you want your monitor to be raised and it tells you which catalogues to use, e.g.

You want to raise your monitor by 13cm, you’ll need:

  1. One Argos catalogue (Autumn 2006)
  2. One IKEA catalogue (Summer 2007)
  3. Two Screwfix Direct catalogues (Summer 2007)

I didn’t check the measurements for that example. It was just an example.

I just need to find someone to build the site now.  I wonder if Google would be interested.