Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Read my recent technical blog posts over at Amido

Friday, March 29th, 2013

In October 2012 I joined Amido a quickly going consultancy in Brighton as a Full-Time Technical Consultant. Amido share my commitment to Open Source Software and giving back to the community. As a result I get to spend some time getting paid to write blog posts on the Amido Blog.

I shall aim to keep this post updated with all the posts I write, but just in case take a look at my Author Page.

2010 Blogging Year In Review

Friday, December 31st, 2010

I try to do this post every year as it gives me an idea of where my readers come from and what they are looking at. My blog is consistently getting 100+ unique visitors per day, most of these are new visitors who have found a blog post via organic search results (Google, Yahoo!, etc), with a smaller number having found me through links from other sites or directly into the site.

The most popular article by far has been Change your MTU in Vista and Windows 7, this is in no small part because I have written one of the few articles that explains the method to identify your ideal MTU, not just the command to change it. The next most popular article is another one from last year titled Card Reader on Acer Aspire 5100 Series under Windows 7 and my explanation of obtaining an Elevated Command Prompt in Windows 7 comes in at number 5. With the top two entries centred around fixing problems with Windows 7 this suggests more people are interested in getting their computer working than programming, ho hum.

My review of OneNote and Evernote has been fairly popular, as has my review of Center Parcs from 2008. I shall try and review products and holidays as I go along, although I am reguarly stuck for inspiration in these terms.

Visitor Breakdown

  • iPhone/iPad/iPod are the most popular mobile platforms to view my site with over three times as many visitors using iOS than Android.
  • Most popular Browser is Firefox with 40% of the share, IE comes in at 33% and Chrome at 17.5%, strangely Opera has a 4.3% share – I was under the impression that Opera’s market share has been dropping off.
  • Windows holds 95% of the operating system share, presumably the result of my Windows 7 posts.


Unsurprisingly the most of the searches are for “windows 7 mtu” or similar. There also appear to be quite a few people searching for drivers by Googling device strings, this can work well, although in the first instance you should try PCI Database. Further down the list a couple of people have been searching for MSM/PSL which is the prescribed acronym for making a manovure as taught by the DSA, there are some good resources all over the internet including Smart Learners.

Someone has been searching for me on LinkedIn, it may not have been me you were looking for but here is my profile for reference purposes.

One user got to my site looking for an answer to the question “windows 7 what are the blue & yellow shields on desktop shortcut icons for”; unsure what it was for but these icons describe executables or shortcuts that either contain information in their manifest or have had their properties changes to require administration rights to execute. There are quite a few posts on but very little explaining exactly why they are there.

There don’t seem to be any funny keyword sequences any more (I looked through all 7,000 from 2010), maybe some will show up next year. So until 2011, good bye and have a happy new year!

Long time no blog…

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

I had been intending to post up all sorts of bits of news about life, driving, programming and cats but it didn’t happen. I have been busy which is good, however it doesn’t leave very much room for blogging. This post is going to be one really quick catch up entry to try and get me back into the swing of it.

I finally passed my driving test at the beginning of the summer, it was my fourth try and I passed with three minors which was a great feeling… since then I have driven once, as part of PassPlus, which didn’t really feel vastly different, although it was more enjoyable knowing that I didn’t have a test coming up. Catherine and I have decided to wait for a bit before we get a car so we can assess what Catherine will need in terms of model and adaptations in a car to allow her to get the most out of it.

Zoe and KerrySadly Kerry, Zoe’s sister died a few months after Zoe, as a family we weren’t ready to lose her, although it wouldn’t have been fair to let her suffer an operation that might not help anyway, so my parents decided it was best to have her put down. My brother and I got a chance to say good bye to her, she wasn’t her normal self and was in a lot of pain. We are all very sad.

In programming land I spent last weekend learning SQL Server Integration Services and this weekend I plan to get into Analysis Services. Have been doing some utility programming at work to automate some of the file server operations we do, I am trying to automate as much as possible using something similar to duck tape programming to free me up to do more programming to create a more unified and friendly framework for managing the school network. Started using CodeRush Xpress both at home and at work.

In sys. admin world I have been continuing to use and learn Windows 7, I now have RTM installed at work still waiting for RTM to arrive at home on or around the 22nd. Been reading and listening to various resources surrounding Windows 2008 R2 particularly some excellent podcasts on RunAs radio.

New Webhost

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

I have transfered to a new web-host, if you are seeing this message it has worked. That is all I have to say about it.

Driving Lesson #37

Friday, March 6th, 2009

I am getting slack updating the blog, I had my first lesson after my driving test yesterday, in an odd kind of way I actually felt more confident. I know I failed the test however having someone else in the car and not having it all go totally wrong gave me some confidence.

The lesson yesterday basically involved driving round finding places to do manoeuves, I make a point of saying “finding” as it was strangely difficult – at one point a van driver decided to park on the corner I was in the process of reversing round, amusingly enough he even nodded and smiled at us.

Anyway, should be doing some more lessons over the coming weeks I will try and keep up with the updates, thanks for the comments, texts and tweets regarding my test.

Driving Lesson #27

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Today was a new skill, parking in a shopping center car park. Or at least an adaption of existing skills.

  1. Get yourself parallel to the line kerb equivalent, roughly a doors width from the bounding line of the parking space.
  2. Reverse until the near side bounding line of the parking space is about half way through rear window.
  3. Once at this position steer full lock to the left.
  4. Keep reversing, making corrections by straightening up then moving back to full lock.
  5. As you finally come round to parallel to the left and right bounding lines straighten up.
  6. Reverse until the front bounding line is level with the mirrors.

That’s roughly it, I think. Hopefuly I will get to practice it again next week and draw you all a diagram. This week I was less hesitant than I had been in the past, I still made mistakes and got confused by the trafic but I was more decicivie. Felt conftable and confident in the car, if a little weary of being asked to do emergency stops again.

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

This is just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I have been wanting to post some statistics gathered through Google Analytics for some time now so here we go. The following data covers 1st January 2008 until the post time 31st December 2008, all data excludes administrator visits and search engine crawlers.

Visit Statistics

  • Visits: 3,066
  • Visitors: 2,708
  • Page Views: 4,935
  • Bounce Rate: 74.72%

Top Visit Origins

  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • France

Most Popular Posts

  1. Lakeland Revival
  2. Center Parcs Longleat
  3. Google Chrome
  4. EasyWorship

Top Search Terms

  1. lakeland revival
  2. richard slater
  3. easy worship
  4. breaking distances
  5. easy worship


  1. Internet Explorer (56.23%)
  2. Firefox (37.18%)
  3. Safari (3.59%)
  4. Google Chrome (0.95%)
  5. Opera (0.27%)

Operating Systems

  1. Windows (89.11%)
  2. Macintosh (7.47%)
  3. Linux (2.67%)

The main thing that I get from looking at those statistics is I would like to get the bounce rate down, the average time on site is only 51 seconds, which I would like to increase. The only way I can go about that is by creating more useful content and the only way to do that is to keep plugging at it.

See you all in 2009!

Learn a Little More About Richard Slater

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Graeme Arthur tagged me, normally I hate these things but this is kind of a reverse chain letter… sort of… maybe if i re-write the rules slightly.


  • Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on my blog.
  • Share 7 facts about myself in the post – some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

7 Facts About Me:

  1. At the time of writing I have been alive for approximately 871 million seconds.
  2. I first started programming (in Spectrum BASIC) at about the age of 8 since then I have coded projects in [[Wikipedia:Visual Basic]], [[Wikipedia:Pascal (programming language)|Pascal]], [[Wikipedia:C (programming language)|C]]/[[Wikipedia:C++]], [[Wikipedia:Java (programming language)|Java]], [[Wikipedia:Ada (programming language)|Ada]], [[Wikipedia:PHP]] and [[Wikipedia:C-sharp (programming language)|C#]].
  3. I have played [[Wikipedia:EVE Online]] for almost five years now, have been playing less often of late however I still get to enjoy the time I do spend in EVE, although it is getting increasingly more and more lonely in space.
  4. I have been learning about [[Wikipedia:Sharepoint]] over the past few weeks, I have already completed most of the Microsoft e-Learning on the topic and read several blogs, I recently signed up to the Sharepoint User Group UK.
  5. I wrote my dissertation on the future of [[Wikipedia:MMOG]]s, I disagree with a good proportion of what I wrote, however it was one of the most enjoyable parts of my Degree.
  6. I type at between 40 and 60 words per minute, it has taken me 5 minutes to get to 300 words in this blog post, some of them however were copied and pasted from Graeme’s post.
  7. Like Graeme I also play bass (albeit I play badly) and dabble in live PA, although I don’t really enjoy the later any more.

7 people to tag:

  1. Catherine over at I Married You
  2. Haly over at Halycopter
  3. Tim over at Thoughts of a musing pedant
  4. CrazyKinux over at CrazyKinux’s Musing
  5. Winterblink over at
  6. James Glass over at Outthere
  7. Peter Arthur over at Robotii

I know the last two were on Graeme’s list, however I honestly can’t think of anyone who would appreciate it most of the blogs I read are a strictly one way thing. I was tempted to link JoCo, Felicia Day and Mark Russinovich – however I really don’t think they would appreciate it.

Twitter by SMS is no more

Monday, August 18th, 2008

In Europe at least, [[Wikipedia:Twitter]] was unable to come to an agreement with mobile phone operators to continue to send incoming Tweets to mobile phones via [[Wikipedia:SMS]], at least one person thinks that SMS is a deceptively profitable service for the network operators. Surely services that use SMS are going to generate more revenue as people pass funny Tweets onto non-Twitter users.

After all, all of those jokes that zip round like wildfire whenever something happens in the news aren’t just the creative juices of the masses expressed in a short message, they are written by the networks to encourage people to send more messages (by passing the jokes on).

All is not lost however, I have been using jTwitter for a long time and it does a great job of keeping me up to date on the move. The Twitter API seems good enough to allow anyone too interface with the service without extensive programming knowledge – I suspect we will see more services that allow access to Twitter from a mobile phone.

Driving Lesson #5

Friday, August 8th, 2008

My tenth hour of driving lessons is over, and I am pleased with my progress. It takes a surprising amount out of you driving around, it is possible that because I am quite tense while driving I am making it worse for myself, I am relaxing more. My steering has improved and I am more or less getting everything done. That is not to say that I am not making mistakes – I am making a lot of mistakes – but that is okay mistakes are part of the process.

Today I drove from part of [[Wikipedia:Hove]] (not quite sure which part) over to [[Wikipedia:Woodingdean]], we did some loops in both places to get use to using junctions before heading home via the A259 again. I am still struggling with “panic” when something doesn’t go right, my mind went blank a couple of times when I was coming up to a junction. Kev went through the Mirror-Signal-Manoeuvre-Position-Speed-Look procedure again which is a really good procedure for any hazard including junctions (yes, i do feel that anything that isn’t a straight road is a hazard)

The procedure makes much more sense in a car than on paper, however this is my attempt at getting it down:

Mirror – check internal and the mirror on the side you are turning to
Signal – let the people around you know what you are doing with your indicators
Manoeuvre – make the move, this is split down in the three more steps
Position – Move the vehicle into a position to complete the manoeuvre in plenty of time
Speed – check your speed you should be moving at below 10mph and thus be in first gear
Look – look to make sure it safe

Again this is my own inexperienced understanding of what I have been taught, it is not meant to be instructional if you disagree please do post a comment (giving reasons rather than random abuse would be appreciated).

I am still enjoying it, I was particuarly pleased that Kev was happy to let me drive from Hove to Peacehaven. We are moving on to making turns in the road. I shall post back next week when I have had my next lesson.