Streetview in the UK

Google StreetView has come to the UK. It’s been handy already, I finally get to see where I’ll be working next year.

View Larger Map

It’s had its share of privacy issues already, including a vomiting man and people walking out of “adult stores”.

You can see it in use in London, Edinburgh, Leeds, Bradford, Cambridge, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Oxford, Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Swansea, York, Newcastle, Dundee, Southampton, Norwich and Scunthorpe.

Really basic form validation

As I know this will help someone, here’s a simple way to use form validation.

One important bit: The function to go in the <head>.

[code lang=”js”]


And make sure you text boxes have an "ALT" attribute, like this for example:
<input type="text" name="fname" id="fname" alt="First Name" />
Important! Only put an ALT attribute for the required inputs!

Finally, tuck this little bit into your <form> tag you want to use:
<form name="contactform" onsubmit="return(checkForm(this));" method="..  >

Processing Forms with JavaScript

Occasionally you can’t use server-side languages to deal with form input. In my case it’s because my university coursework assignment had to be done in JavaScript, but who knows what your reasons could be.

This snippet of code has a few good points:

  • It’ll take standard forms with no javascript and parse the inputs.
  • You can use the GET method to send the data.
  • It’s simple, short and cross-browser compatible.

And some bad..

  • You can’t handle submitted files (not really tested it though)
  • You can’t do things with POST’ed forms.
  • You really shouldn’t be processing anything important on the client-side, as it’s open to a multitude of attacks.

But anyway, I shall walk you through my thinking…

Continue reading Processing Forms with JavaScript

Offline Blogging

I found something quite useful! The same team who’ve been churning out what we still call MSN Messenger have also produced Windows Live Writer, a very nice tool for writing posts. Not only does it tie in with almost any blogging software, have a spell check, but it also has previews including whatever theme you’ve chosen!

Now, if only it could handle plugin things like my..

[code lang=”php”] function test() { echo “something”; } [/code]

SyntaxHighlighter plugin, but that’s probably asking a little bit too much.


BTW, this post was written in Windows Live Writer. :-)

Anonymous visitor chat with Google Talk

It’s old news, but as I’ve been playing with the WordPress blog setup and moving across things from my old static site, I thought I’d mention about Google’s chat back badges.

These chatback badges use Google Talk and allow visitors to your site to contact you by instant messenger while both sides remain anonymous (well, they won’t know your email address). They’re incredibily easy and simple to implement, and I have one just on the sidebar here thanks to a handy WordPress plugin

Very handy.

The Machine

This is a old page copied from my static site, and as such publish dates aren’t accurate.

I built it in Summer 08, with recent additions in Jan 09. I originally had it overclocked, but then decided I like quietness, so now everything’s at stock speeds minus the RAM (and a lot quieter too!).


  • Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz (maxes out at 3GHz)
    I replaced the stock fan with an Arctic Cooling Freezer (set to “silent”)
  • ASUS P5K Motherboard
    With 7.1 HD Audio Onboard (although not using it!)
    Gigabit LAN
    and 45nm ready (for when I need a Core i7 :-)
  • 2 x 2GB OCZ Reaper HTPC RAM
    featuring some crazy looking heatsinks, this is PC2-8500 at 2.1V
  • CoolerMaster 620 RP PSU (a Dec08 addition, since the first one blew up)
  • Antec P182 Gun Metal Grey case
    with 3 Tri-Cool fans (all on low) – Liking the “wind tunnel” for PSU and harddrives)
  • 1.8 Terrabytes of storage
    1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1
    2 x 320GB Seagate Barracuda’s
    and an old Samsung IDE drive with 160GB
  • LG Combodrive (DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
  • Logitech X540 5.1 Surround sound speakers

I currently have an nVidia 8600GT (made by no one special) but because it has the smallest fan ever, and is easily the loudest component I have, it’s being replaced with a ATI HD4650 made by HIS which has a Zalman VNF100 passive heatsink on it instead of a fan. Could’ve bought a much better card, but couldn’t find one any better which didn’t have a fan – at least its silent! The Zalman cooler takes it to about -10 C under stock, so theres room to overclock if I can be bothered (maybe to HD 4670 speeds minus the DDR3 ram).

Future purchases will be possibly watercooling, a better graphics card and maybe having to install my own passive cooling on it, and maybe a Core i7 when the world decides four cores just can’t handle it anymore and we all need four cores with hyper-threading which was a failure in Pentium 4 – even the guy at Intel said it was more of a test run.


Windows 7

This is a old page copied from my static site, and as such publish dates aren’t accurate.

On 9th January 2009, I got Windows 7 beta as it was released to the public. I like it, it looks good and the new task bar is suprisingly intuitive to use for something so different.

My issues with it are:

  • Unable to select correct resolution for my monitor
    I can’t select 1680×1050 in the Windows control panel, nor can I set it as a custom resolution in the nVidia control panel.
  • Media Center froze when scanning for channels, I’ve not tried to repeat this yet.
    Using Hauppauge NOVA-T-USB2 and NOVA-T-Stick
  • I have an old PCI Ethernet card, made by Surecom, and drivers won’t install (they only go up to XP – company seems to have gone bust).

I shall keep trying though!

Ignore below, they’ve finally opened it up.

Download the ISO:

32bit: Official

(Hint: use a download manager)

These 10 keys all work, and would be the same 10 Microsoft would give you if you went to the website:



Note: You can use 32bit keys on a 64bit install and vice versa.

Search box friendly-ness

A way to save space, but still make your search box clear and usable.

This is a simple addition to have the search box ( or whatever you like really! ) contain the label for the input box. In this instance, you can have the text in the search box disappear when you click it.

In your <head> tag:
[code lang=”js”]

And on your text box:

[code lang=”html”]


A way to save space, but still make your search box clear and usable.