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Donncha

Life after Text Link Ads

Hi, my name is Donncha and I used to have text-link-ads on my blog. They’re gone now but only after Google slapped me into submission and reduced my page rank to 4. Initially I felt angry and shocked that this happened but I have no excuse, I heard it from the horses mouth, I knew it was coming. I was one of those evil unscrupulous demons who manipulated the pagerank of other sites for money. My guilty conscience is somewhat alleviated by the fact that I refused to show a text link ad for a Viagra spammer yesterday morning. Oh well.
Google’s own advertising, Adsense, is still running here, as is Kontera, (leave a comment and you’ll never see them, isn’t that nice?) and the competitive ad filter advice I gave out a few days ago really makes a difference to your bottom line. Just ask Justin!

What’s in store for the future? Keep an eye on this blog. WordPress MU 1.3 is coming real soon now. There are going to be lots more free and GPLed WordPress plugins, including a pretty cool digg proof cache that also works in WordPress MU. Think of it as WP-Cache on afterburner! A couple of sites are already testing it with positive results. I’m watching the access_log roll by on a server as a digg is happening now. Load average is hovering around 1 and the page loads quickly. Sweet.

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Donncha

When is an Alfa Romeo really a Maserati?

When it’s the new Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. This is the first rear wheel drive car from Alfa Romeo since 1992 and there are only going to be 500 made in the first production run, with 500 made in the second in 2009. Don’t bother going to your dealer, they’re all sold out! As you may know I’m a bit of a fan of the Alfa Romeo 147 having owned one a couple of years ago. Such beautiful cars, and just about within the reach of a single, non-mortgage-paying software developer like myself. Times change however, but I wonder if I’ll ever be able to afford the €159,000 asking price of the Competizione.

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Jeremy Clarkson has quite a breathless review of the car, although he does finish by saying the steering isn’t up to scratch. Who wants to let me drive theirs to find out for myself? 🙂

Climb aboard the new Alfa 8C and you’re immediately aware that it feels “just right”. It’s a fairly intangible quality, but it means the cabin makes a Porsche’s interior feel almost dowdy by comparison. And as your eyes rove around, they avidly consume acres of leather, plentiful carbon fibre and generous milled aluminium before settling on the slightly swollen front wings that are visible through the little windscreen. It has to be said that the aroma of leather with the 8C truly reeks of promise.

What makes it a Maserati?

The only real question is whether it’s an Alfa Romeo at all. It was designed by Fiat’s in-house styling centre, and uses a Maserati platform as its basis. The engine is a development of one already in use by Maserati, and just to make matters a little more complex, the whole is assembled by Ferrari.

The gearbox and suspension are also derived from systems used on the Maserati Quattroporte and the car is built, not by Alfa Romeo in Turin, but instead by Maserati in Modena. And when those lucky 41 British buyers need their beautiful new vehicles serviced, they will drive them to Maserati dealerships rather than to Alfa garages.

There are a few promo videos on Youtube, and a boring spy camera video too, but this promo seemed to be the best. Just turn down the volume please!

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Donncha

Disimprove

Definition of Disimprove
Dis`im`prove´
v. t. 1. To make worse; – the opposite of improve.
v. i. 1. To grow worse; to deteriorate.

Webster Dictionary

And here was me thinking my wife had made up this word because I never hear anyone else use that word. Sorry Jess. 🙂

What unusual words do the people in your life use?

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Donncha When-in-Ireland

Stop sending me junk mail Chorus

The previous owners of my home had a Chorus box and never cancelled their account properly, or told them they were moving so for the past three years they have been sending me brochures every few weeks or months. At least I presume they didn’t, but all the brochures are addressed to “The Resident”. This blog post is a reminder to myself that I finally rang them on 1890 940 940, pressed 1 for sales, pressed 1 because I really wanted to buy lots of channels and told Sarah that I didn’t want to be contacted again.

Within moments it was sorted and hopefully I’ll get no more junk mail from Chorus.

If you’re getting unsolicited email this document from the Data Protection Commissioner might come in handy but here’s what it warns about those anonymous “The Resident” mail that so frequently litters our doorsteps.

This is the traditional and oldest form of direct marketing. For mail received through your letter box to be considered to be direct marketing it must be addressed to a named person and must be promoting a product or service. Unaddressed mail put into your letter box or mail addressed to “the occupant”, “the resident” or “the householder” does not necessarily involve the use of personal data and consequently data protection legislation does not apply.

You can also opt to be removed from company mailing lists by contacting the IDMA.

Apart from contacting organisations individually, you may also wish to avail of a service run by the Irish Direct Marketing Association (IDMA). Under the Mail Preference Service, if you supply your contact details to the IDMA, it will circulate these details amongst its members. This will result in most of the main direct marketing companies removing your details from their mailing lists.

If only those fake charities respected the law too, we might stamp out all the rubbish flyers that drop through the letter box. Reminder: I really must set up clothingcollection.org soon!

I love this story from boards.ie:

Apparently the postman in my hometown was removing all the spam and advertising from people’s post, putting it in a bag and dumping it in a bog outside the town. Had been successfully un-spamming people for years before he was found out and fired.

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Donncha

The origins of my name

A friend emailed me regarding my post about Dingle signage commenting on Eamonn O Cuiv’s surname and how likely it would be for him to change his name to O Caoimh. His email prompted me to search and I found this interesting titbit.

An Leiriu Shimpli simplified the Irish spelling system by eliminating extraneous letters from a word or surname. Thus, O Seaghdha became O Se and O Laoghaire became O Laoire. However, the only ‘simplification’ in all of the thousands of Gaelic surnames to add a foreign letter (in this case ‘v’ was the adulteration of O Caoimh to O Cuiv, a very recent introduction made within the last three generations.

Irish surnames are the oldest permanent surnames in Europe and O Caoimh is one of the most ancient, becoming permanent by the end of the 10th century.

According to this page the “O Caoimh” surname first appeared in the 11th century and has an interesting history.

O’Keeffe, and Keeffe, are the anglicised versions of the Irish O’Caoimh, from caomh, meaning ‘kind’ or ‘gentle’. The original Caomh from whom the family descend lived in the early eleventh century, and was a descendant of Art, King of Munster from 742 to 762.

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PS. Thanks Derek!

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Donncha

Such bitterness and anger

A week away from the Internet really desensitizes one to the ranting and raving that is part and parcel of life online. Reading through some of my feeds is a struggle. This did cheer up my morning however!

Does anyone else have good news?

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Donncha

Back from Dingle

Oh wow! We really have a beautiful country here in Ireland! We are just back from a week in the town of Dingle, Co. Kerry (or An Daingean as it’s officially known, why can’t they have both English and Irish names on the signs? It’s silly. Locals stencilled “Dingle” on many of the signs anyway!) and it was both amazing and refreshing. 7 days without Internet access. Could you survive? I admit I was tempted by the local net cafe but I resisted and we wandered the roads and explored the beaches of that rugged coastline instead.

Weather is always a concern in Ireland and it rained and it poured and gales blew for the first 2 days of our stay. Thankfully that completely changed for most of the remainder of the week and the blue skies were filled with white fluffy clouds casting shadows on the distant mountains. Breathtaking.

Bringing a 23 week old baby away on holiday does present it’s own difficulties but Adam enjoyed himself and made a huge impression on everyone he met. He was generally well behaved while out, and I have to thank the kind staff of the Old Smokehouse Restaurant for their patience as we made 2 trips there with him. On the other hand, the grumpy floor manager of the “Happy Garden Palace” up the street didn’t live up to his establishment’s name. Nice Kung Po though.

Photos will appear in time but tomorrow we’re going to head down to Kinsale for a look at Haydn’s Kinsale Gallery where some of my work is on display. Adam’s been down there already and now it remains to be seen whether any of the pieces attracts a buyer or not. Thanks Damien for mentioning the gallery too!

In other news, WordPress 2.3 came out and I need to upgrade my blogs. WordPress MU will need to be synced with the new release but it will also need a separate upgrader. Upgrading one blog and adding 3 tables is simple, but when you need to do tens of thousands (or millions) of them, you don’t want all of them doing it at the same time or your database server will melt.

Oh, and not one person mentioned the All Ireland. 🙂

Update on Sunday: Jacinta and I visited the gallery today and we’re impressed! Haydn’s son was taking care of the shop and I noticed a number of the larger prints had sold a couple of copies. Two of my images are visible behind the door if you look carefully at the second image: Innovative Streets and Rusted and Abandoned.

Gallery ICA

Gallery ICA

Gallery ICA

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Donncha When-in-Ireland

Waterloo Renewal Fundraiser

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Originally I thought we might head to Youghal tomorrow but someone called to the door a few days ago selling raffle tickets to support renewal of the local area. It’s organised by “Waterloo Renewal Group” who have great plans for the local river area and walk. There will be a BBQ at the Waterloo Inn so it looks like we won’t be going far from home on Sunday!

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Donncha

Cork Open Coffee Tomorrow at noon

I’ll try to make it into the the Open Coffee meetup tomorrow in Luigi Malone’s. I confess to knowing little about the business side of startups but as I’ve only ever worked for startups I guess some of it has probably rubbed off on me!

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Donncha Movies

Must be the rain in Cork

Rain spattered onto the windscreen in drops and a light drizzle sprinkled the car as we drove through town on our way home. It was warm today and I was looking forward to getting home, putting the baby to bed and relaxing for the evening. The windows were half down to let the air circulate in the car and traffic was going nowhere fast.

As we waited I heard the slowly increasing beat and volume of loud music from behind. A car drew alongside us and the cheering and laughing faces of the guys in it were clearly visible and their music blared into the evening. Their exuberance was catching and we were soon smiling and laughing with them! I think God must have heard their music, because suddenly the heavens opened and the car almost shook with a torrential shower of rain. We all looked at each other and laughed again. Why? Click play and you’ll find out!

Continue reading “Must be the rain in Cork”