01 2006

Menu

Diary
OldIRC
URLs
misc
techie
writing

More content will be added to fill this space at some point in the future.

Welcome

Another redesign. This time with BlogPower™. Not sure what will happen about content. Probably will get content until I get bored, then wither.

It seems that I haven't been updating my website as often as I should. There's a lot of information that I want to share with people, but I haven't come up with a simple way of getting it all across.

In the mean time, there is a menu to the left there <--

The reason most people have web pages I do not know, however I do like to be able to find out about people by looking at their web pages. I am less interested to find out about their gerbil though. It is like Internet spying, but spying on what they want you to know. So that people can find a little about me I have written these pages.

My PGP/GPG key is available as this file

There is a more blog-style diary here

Recent Changes

I've signed up for Amazon DVD rentals

After creating a long list (which may feature here soon), of films that I wanted to watch but did not get around to seing in the cinema, or that I didn't think were worth it at the time, I decided to sign up for one of those online DVD rental programs that have sprung up over the last couple of years.

Dom had signed up for LoveFilm before. They had a program where you would pay £14.99 a month and get 3 DVDs at a time, and a new one whenever you sent one back. This is probably a good system if you are a student, or film buff. But we didn't watch the films at a particularly great rate. Some of the films he got were a bit on the weird side like Delicatessen, and you really have to be in the right mood to watch that. This lead to them just sitting there taking up one of the limited slots. I think that we may have averaged watching just over one DVD a week.

Amazon's cheapest offering limits you to one DVD at a time and three rentals a month. This is a level that means that you don't feel obliged to watch DVDs when not in the mood. The fact that you only have one means that you don't get a lot of choice about what to watch, but then it also forces you to watch some of less frivolous DVDs (assuming that you put one in your basket in a moment of self-improvement). £5.99/month for up to three rentals (and three a month is an easy amount to watch without feeling pressured) means that the rentals work out at £2 each. This is less than blockbuster charge for most DVDs, but you do have to plan in advance what you want, rather than picking a movie based on your mood. Update: And they give you 10% off the DVDs you buy whilst a member, so I paid for my first month's subscription as I wanted to buy two seasons of Babylon 5.

Anyway, so far it is working, and I have quite a list yet to watch. Will I get bored of the rentals before or after I run out of films in the list? I'll try to remember to let you know (does anyone apart from Mike read this?).

Last updated: 22:46, 15 Jan 2006 Link..

Locking in Coldfusion

There is something screwy in Coldfusion's locking. If you make a cfm page that contains the code below. What you would expect is that executing the code would never take more than a shade over 15 seconds, as it can wait up to one second to aquire the lock, and then spend 14 seconds sleeping.

It appears that in some cases, this is what happens. For example, if you get the page from two wget sessions. It also will show you the error message if you go to the URL, then (whilst waiting) hit refresh. Unfortunately if you go to the URL in two different windows in Firefox, it appears that the second window will wait the whole time for the lock to be released (so up to 28 seconds total). I can't see why this would happen. Could it be something session related?

<cftry>
<cflock name="testLock" timeout="1" throwOnTimeout="yes">
  Got lock, sleeping...<cfflush>
    <cfset thread = CreateObject("java", "java.lang.Thread")>
    <cfset thread.sleep(14000)>
  finished.
</cflock>
<cfcatch type="Lock">
 Another process already has the lock.
</cfcatch>
</cftry>

Last updated: 16:51, 15 Jan 2006 Link..