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Archive for June, 2005

Registering a Domain

When I first registered, I registered it for 10 years — until 2014 — that is. At the time, I could not imagine that search engines would favour sites that are committed to a long-term future. But guess what? It turns out they do.

Paying your host for domain renewal annually is a poorer choice; furthermore, it is undesirable if your site has real potential. As unfair as it may seem, Google definitely favour sites which are registered for many years and will position these higher in the SERP‘s. This helps in identifying sites that are serious about their vocation and might rule out spam sites or scrapers (site that steal content for fast, artificial growth).

There are important factors when selecting a domain name, which is a very influential choice. A domain name needs to be:

  • Short
  • Memorable (to distinguish from “short”. For example, versus
  • Decent and trustworthy

If you struggle to think of a good name that is also available, have a quick look at the enormous list of deleted (i.e. registered, then neglected) domains in the ICANN-inclined

Changing of a domain is far more problematic than people imagine. Change of bookmarks, loss of SE ranks, update of links (where still possible) and loss of identity are all involved in such transition. A domain change can be a bitter, cruel and highly effort-consuming process, which makes the initial choice of a name very crucial. rising from ~20 to ~1,000 daily visits in less than one year

Syndicating Static Pages

Computer shell
Getting just the valuable data from pages

Feeds have definitely revolutionised the way we use the Internet. We can efficiently seek and exploit content without having to undertake laborious navigations in sites. The content is delivered to the user so there is no need to actively obtain it or ever spend time re-reading segments of text.

I have just finished brushing up the script I developed for syndicating static pages that do not offer feeds. Windows users can use it under Cygwin; Mac and Linux user can use it at much great ease. All details and code are contained in the more comprehensive page.

Googlebot versus MSNBot

Bill Gates
Bill Gates arrested in his younger days (photo in public domain)

An item I have just come across (hat tip Justin Moore) speaks about excluding MSNBot based on poor performance. MSNBot (and Yahoo! likewise) consume a great deal of bandwidth, but are barely used as search engines by the Internet audience.

From Justin:

  • Exhibit A – MSNbot Crawl hits = 9561
  • Bandwidth used = 124.43 MB
  • Visits to as a results from searches @ Google = 683* [sic.*]
  • Exhibit B – Googlebot Crawl hits = 3415
  • Bandwidth used = 51.74 MB
  • Visits to as a results from searches @ MSN = 41 [sic.*]

So, effective immediately:

  User-agent: MSNBot
  Disallow: /

* Order of the visits is wrong and should be reversed.

I spotted similar statistics on my domain, with Google as the top referrer at almost 20,000 visits/month. MSN remain at a miserable 200 and take almost as much bandwidth as Googlebot. I have plenty of bandwidth to spare; So, I might as well let Microsoft spend crawling time in vain.

Server in a Bubble

Bubble and server

A cheaper method has been suggested for cooling down servers: warpping them in bubbles.

Is it just my imagination or is the wrapping going to warm up the server due to the ‘blanket effect’? If one of these temprature-controlling containers (like the ones astronauts use in space) gets used, does it really save energy?It turns out that air conditioners work on pumping the excess heat from the servers out so that they needn’t cool down the entire room. It makes no difference how warm the room gets outside of the bubbles, but how will the engineers feel about it? I am ‘privileged’ to have experienced the unpleasant feeling one gets in a room with hundreds of racks, namely in Manchester Computing where I work.


POV-Ray, an Open Source 3-D rendering package that could compete with the commercial Maya, was mentioned a while back. Some months ago a competition was run which involved POV-Ray artists and a submissions gallery has been put up.

These images serve as excellent wallpapers. Several images are of very high resolution, which works well on dual-head displays.

Might be hard notice that the kitchen is computer-generated
Work by Jaime Vives Piqueres

Satellite Maps Hit the World

High-resolution satellite pictures of the States have been available for quite a few months. These have now been extended, by Google Maps, to including other major cities, London and Manchetser included. I took screenshots of places that are familiar to me and marked up my home among other key locations. It now seems obvious how close I live to most places, with the longest walk — to the health club — which takes only 15 minutes.

Google Maps - Manchester
Click map to enlarge

Internet Explorer 7 Screenshots

Flexbeta have published some Internet Explorer 7 screenshots, which were taken in a recent demonstration. RSS will apparently be well-integrated and sit in the core of Longhorn.

Internet Explorer 7 screenshot

Microsoft seem to be catching up and perhaps it is not too late given that Mozilla Firefox has captured only around 10% of the market. A question lingers on in many people’s mind: how can Microsoft ‘inject’ Internet Explorer 7 to the public? They have had a hard time persuading businesses to upgrade their operating system.

One final nugget: Microsoft are trying to break software of their competitors by actually ‘extending’ RSS.


Windows Longhorn: will it sell or perish?

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Original styles created by Ian Main (all acknowledgements) • PHP scripts and styles later modified by Roy Schestowitz • Help yourself to a GPL'd copy
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