July 11, 2008

My Moo cards arrived yesterday, and they are FAB!

100% recycled, they don’t have the glossy look of the non-recycled, but they’re thick, substantial, and very well printed. Fifty different images with full colour on the back (mine are lightish brown with white lettering) came to around €15 – amazing value. They arrived in a few days too. You can chose your own images as I did, or opt for some of theirs and they have a wide range of fabulous designs.

They do a number of products including mini-Moo cards pictured here:

and note cards:

Browse HERE for the full range and order your Moo cards today!

Blacknight FTW!

July 9, 2008

Visualization of the various routes through a ...From Zemanta because it’s pretty
Image via Wikipedia

A couple of weeks ago I registered a couple of domains at Blacknight Solutions.  Some of my twitter buddies had talked scathingly about Hosting365 (which was down a lot at the time) and I’d seen various references to Blacknight over the last few weeks so thought I’d give them a go. All I need for now is a personal site, as I already have two business sites — one that’s been up and running for years, and one that’s waiting to be designed.  I should add that I’m a newbie, a total techno-numptie, and my existing site was designed, executed and entirely run by somebody else, so I hadn’t picked up any knowledge from that.

To cut a long story short, with immediate help from the good people at Twitter and Blacknight, I was up and running in no time. I had some initial problems with Blacknight and complained about them on Twitter, but within half an hour the sales manager had called to see how he could help: he had been prodded by a Twitterer who knows someone in Blacknight.  A follow-up phonecall to an indirect, non-phonecall complaint? That IS impressive.

Register365, on the other hand have been slow to resolve issues and some things are still not as I would like. Unfortunately some of my sites haven’t been with them long enough to transfer away, but I will move them when I can. As others have reported, their support system is permanently broken, though they do eventually answer emails.

So then it was time to install WordPress and get it running.  Twitterers were quick to step in with advice. Remember that at this point I’d never even heard of a  root directory so it was uphill all the way, and if there was any eye-rolling on their part they didn’t show it. :)

So thanks to these lovely chap & chapesses at Twitter and Blacknight, the first stages were sorted out very easily. Since Darragh Doyle asked for a low-down on what I did I thought I’d better oblige.

Having used Blacknight’s ‘Installatron’ and had a problem or two (with multiple uninstalls/reinstalls) before discovering that it’s not very popular, I had a go at installing WordPress manually. Since the “famous five minute installation” instructions include things like “create a dabatase” (eh?) there was a LOT of pouring over this:

The Blacknight tutorials were very helpful too, as were the tech gurus, and I figured out the file directory system, MySQL, FTP-ing and so forth. My first ever FTP worked! (FileZilla is great.) Thanks to the gurus I now know what file ownership and file permissions are (and, yes, a databse!). Instead of being exasperated and making me feel stupid, I felt like I’d really achieved something. I still have only a hazy grasp of some of it, but the mist is gradually clearing and I think I’ve moved up a rung on the geek ladder.

Onwards and upwards.

Zemanta Pixie

I called in to la Banca in Lucan, just outside Dublin, this evening for an impromptu meal with a friend. It looked lovely with a great interior that is both chic and inviting.

I order a steak salad and my friend orders pan-fried chicken. Oh, and my friend would like a cappucino before the meal. “Before? That’s coffee you know!”…  well, fancy that!  But they don’t have decaff of any description (I wanted a decaff Americano).

The first thing I try is my chips. Uh oh. They taste like they’re from next door’s takeaway, reheated from yesterday: i.e. soggy with a flavour of stale oil.

Do they *look* like good chips?

Well do they look like good chips?

However, my steak is surprisingly good (well surprising after that first chip), nicely rare as ordered and very succulent, and there’s plenty of it too, but there’s a peculiar drizzle on it. It looks like it ought to be balsamic vinegar, but there’s something distinctly soy-saucish about it. Would you dilute balsamic vineger with soy sauce? Not if it’s a good one, surely, and why bother if it’s a cheap one?  But the rocket is nice, fresh enough, if a bit sparse: it is garnished with a grand total of twelve small rocket leaves. Not much for a salad really, is it?

Steak \

Steak “salad”

I don’t know about you, but when I think of a steak salad I think of something like this:

or this…

My friend’s chicken arrives in a cheese sauce which was not mentioned on the menu. She doesn’t want a cheese sauce, or any kind of sauce for that matter, but she’s hungry so she eats it (like I do with the chips — I did actually eat some most of them). The chicken is gloopy she says. Gloopy? Well soggy then. Hmm. She says ‘and I bet the cheese sauce is made from two Easy Singles’. I bet it isn’t, but if it tastes like it, well…

She orders veg with hers, and these include green beans. Now maybe I’m wrong, but aren’t you meant to string them before cooking?

Stringy bits

Stringy bits

When asked if everything was all right (not, ‘did you enjoy your meal?’) we did, er, give our opinions, or at least the polite versions, but the server could not have been less interested. She was spectacularly uninterested, visibly regretted asking, and offered no comment.  Except to say, when challenged about the cheese sauce, ‘oh well the chef must have just felt like adding it’. Huh? What if you don’t eat dairy? Maybe it had to be used up. Like my chips.

The total bill, for one cappucino and two main courses was €44.  Way too pricey for the quality and I certainly won’t be back there again.