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Displaying the first 10 blogs in the Website Archives, displayed in the order they were posted


Talking smack

(Posted 18:25:12 on 8th March 2023 by Rag)
Slightly delayed, but the update is here and we're introducing the Race Game smack talk, a place to go to comment on the game, the season, the other competitors or anything you want, really. And it's all mobile friendly. (That link is for the 2023 F1 season).

Now, why have we done this? Well .... imagine this .... let's say Mr O is out getting a bit of daily exercise, playing Pokémon. There he is, catching one over here and another over there. Perhaps stopping to take a gym. Then, in the middle of his daily Pokémoning he thinks about something I wrote on about the last race and comes to the conclusion that I'm a knob. Instead of having to send me an email on the matter, he can just pop to a different window on his browser and post to the smack talk.

You might be fooled into thinking this is a very specific use case, but I like to look at this as service. Where else can you go to get pre-emptive problem solving like that?

But there's more. Oh yes, indeedy! Hold your horses and batten down the hatches. Get ready for this one. We are now emoji friendly 😎😍😋. Not going to lie, this change has been a bitch and will be the subject of another blog, but for now, just know that emoji's can be used anywhere on the site.

Why did we do this? You might ask. Well .... today's teenager is incapable of using words to express their feelings. Instead they rely on these symbols to communicate. Given that William is participating in the competition, I figured it would allow him the opportunity to join the conversation. Although I'm not entirely sure we'll understand what he's trying to say. I got confused the other day when I saw him message his girlfriend about coming over to make a very strange vegetarian dish that mixed vegetables and fruit. Something about him coming over to put his 🍆 in her 🍑. I can't think that would taste very nice.

2023 Fantasy F1 Game is Here

(Posted 16:36:17 on 2nd February 2023 by Rag)
Alrighty everyone, the moment you've all been waiting for. The Race Game returns, this time with 2023 Formula 1 season. The game is really simple, you need to pick 10 drivers that you think will finish in the top 10 positions of each race. In order to play, you must be registered with EastBayRag. You then need to logon (when you try to access the page or any other page that requires logon, you will be taken to the logon screen).

There are literally only two steps to play the game:

1. Go to 2023 F1 Game registration and register.

2. Go to selections for the first race to make your initial selections.

You can leave it there. Your selections will copy over to all the races so you will score points each week. You can update your selections for any race up until the race is locked (set to be two hours prior to the official race start time). You will be able to see practice and qualifying before you make changes to allow you to make any updates for drivers performing above or below what you expect for any given race.

The points system is pretty simple - you start with 150 points. You lose a point for each position each of your predictions finishes away from where you predicted them to finish (e.g. if you predict Lewis Hamilton to finish third and he wins, you lose two points. If he finished seventh, you would lose 4 points). You gain 10 bonus points for every correct prediction making 250 points the maximum that can be scored each week if you guess all 10 positions correctly.

Any updates can be made from your race game account by selecting the appropriate competition.

Good luck!

Dive, Dive, Dive

(Posted 13:10:47 on 29th January 2023 by Rag)
The subs are here! One of the things I've done as part of the website cleanup is implemented sub domains. This now means that you can reach parts of the site quicker and easier by using the following sub domains:

blog.eastbayrag.com or blogs.eastbayrag.com
forum.eastbayrag.com or forums.eastbayrag.com
photo.eastbayrag.com or photos.eastbayrag.com
video.eastbayrag.com or videos.eastbayrag.com

You won't though, but if you did want to, you could. Now, the one that you will probably click on is the one I use to write a shopping list for William and given the nosy nature of people, I'm sure you're going to want to see what I'm asking him to get:


It's all in the name

(Posted 14:04:34 on 5th December 2022 by Rag)
Not really sure why I'm writing this up as I doubt I'll remember I wrote it up if the same thing ever happens again. Anyway, for those observant among you, you will have noticed that last week's mail message was late going out (~12 hours). It didn't send automatically, so need to investigate.

First thing, did the job run - yes it ran and completed successfully. Hmmm, how can that be? Well, it did run and everything ran right except the actual emails never got sent. OK, try to recreate. I've created a bunch of tools to troubleshoot the background jobs. In this instance I can send a test weekly message with a front end view to each process and it only goes to me. Ran that and it failed to create the message because it couldn't connect to host eastbayrag.com. Hey, what? It can't connect to itself, don't be silly ....

... open web browser and connect to eastbayrag.com .... times out and can't connect. Try on work computer and it works fine, the website is there and up and running fine. Which it has to be, otherwise I couldn't connect to run the tools. Connect to site on ipad - fine. Connect to site on phone - fine. Connect on home laptop - fails. Weird ... ok, what's changed. Well, I've been setting up a linux machine, maybe I've buggered something up. Start linux machine and connect on that - fine. What's the pattern? Well, it's connecting from IOS, Android and Linux, but not from either of the windows machines on my home network. It does connect from the windows machine that is VPN'd through work. OK, try gaming machine which is on windows - yup, failed. OK, definitely a windows thing it would seem.

Technical bit - when you connect to the website, you connect to the IP address of the website. When connecting to my own website, it's sending me back to myself. So, figured windows may have updated some firewall rules or something to prevent the system from accessing itself.

Ping eastbayrag.com and tracert eastbayrag.com both work fine, so I know the machine knows where to route the traffic. It literally just won't load in a browser.

Let's hit Google for the answer. Obviously this scenario is very specific and quite hard to search, but getting lots of hits for machines loosing connection to some sites, so I start flushing the DNS and resetting the ipconfig and trying a whole bunch of stuff - nothing works.

Moved laptop into other room as cleaner was here and suddenly it worked. What the fuck? Plug it back in and it doesn't work again. Wait, what? Now I realize that all the machines that don't work are hard wired into the router and the machines that do work are wirelessly connected to the router. Put one of the other machines on wireless and it works fine.

OK, now we're getting somewhere - it's clearly a router problem and something to do with the hard wired part of the router which makes no sense as the hard wired computers are working fine with the exception of the fact that they can't connect to my own website either by using the domain or the external IP address. Using the internal IP address works (I checked that somewhere along the line).

I spent ages searching for the answer, plugging and unplugging computers, switches, routers etc. Re-mapping IP addresses and going mad as it doesn't make sense. I had the router config open and was looking through things in that and I randomly noticed that the router name had gone back to a default of Linksysxxxxx where xxxxx are some random numbers. I looked at my computer and it said it's connected to RagNet which is what the router was named. I renamed the router back to RagNet and everything works.

I still don't totally understand why it didn't work in that everything worked fine except being able to browse my own site. Best I can come up with is that the computer goes "I want to connect to eastbayrag.com", it sends that to the DNS and the DNS says "that's you mate". Computer then goes "oh right, yeah, let me look at my network, RagNet are you there?" And the router doesn't respond, because it's forgotten its name.
1 comment
11th December 2022
Well, this isn't exactly fixed as it stopped working. After several hard resets, it appears that when you setup the router it works fine. When the router restarts, it stops working. If you change the router name (not the wifi name, the LAN name), it starts working again. Then when the router restarts, it stops working again. I can work around it, but it's pretty frustrating.

2015 NASCAR Race Game Open To Register

(Posted 17:53:33 on 8th February 2015 by Rag)
Roll up, roll up! It's time to create your team for the 2015 NASCAR Race Game. When most people are looking for to a valentines day with their sweetheart, I'm going to be watching the Sprint Unlimited race which is the precursor to the 2015 Season.

Register for the 2015 NASCAR Race Game.

NASCAR 2014 Race Game now open for registration

(Posted 10:27:33 on 8th February 2014 by Rag)
The 2014 NASCAR season is almost upon us. It's time to start thinking about who your favorite drivers are and get ready to position them in order of where you'll think they finish in each race. Registration for the 2014 NASCAR Race Game is now open. You can register your team name and get ready for the season to begin. Emails will be sent when the drivers are ready to be selected each week.

New look Graffiti Wall

(Posted 18:27:39 on 2nd April 2012 by Rag)
One of the oldest elements of EastBayRag has just been given a face lift. The Graffiti Wall has been cleaned and is waiting for you to spray some new slogans or quotes. Actually, it hasn't been cleaned - if you were one of the few who actually entered something there, it still exists for all to see. All I've done is taken advantage of some of the new features in HTML 5 to have the wall look more like a wall with lots of graffiti scrunched together as opposed to having to scroll down to see the next bit of writing.

If you have an old browser, it won't display and you'll be taken to the old wall. Well, sort of. If you have an old IE browser you'll be taken to the old wall. I've sort of made the assumption that anyone using a different browser will have updated to the latest version and will be able to view HTML 5. If not ... tough!

Anyway, enjoy the new Graffiti Wall. Take a look and have a go.

Oh! It updates every time you load the page, so if it's showing something in a bad color and you can't read it, hit F5 and it'll be displayed differently.

2012 NASCAR Race Game is Here

(Posted 12:06:13 on 17th February 2012 by Rag)
It's that time of year again when the NASCAR season starts. This weekend marks the start of the NASCAR season with the Budweiser Shoot Out and then the race competition starts with the Daytona 500 the following week. If you want to participate, you must be a member of this website.

To register for this competition click here. You can then logon to enter your picks for the first race of the competition (the Daytona 500).

To find out more details about the competition click here.

If you are not a member of this site and need to register first click here.


(Posted 20:04:32 on 20th January 2012 by Rag)
This is a div!
So, I'm like a kid in the proverbial candy store. I have all the toys I need and they are well and truly inside the pram and I'm not about to toss them out. I've discovered HTML 5. “What is that?” I hear you say. Well, I'm not really sure and it's pretty difficult to explain. HTML 5 is really just the latest standards for hypertext markup language which is really not that exciting until you combine it with the latest standards for cascading style sheets (CSS) and JavaScript. None the wiser are you really? Just felt I needed to add some kind of description, but if you really want to know, you should probably read the details on another site.

Well, why am I so excited? I'm not really sure about that either, but I am. Basically, it allows you to develop and design stuff much easier and faster. You can also make things do things with less code, for example the rotating div that you can see. What a div is is pretty irrelevant to the readers of this blog, it's simply an object that you can apply attributes to and change those attributes dynamically through the use of some simple scripting. You can apply these same attributes to more or less any object on a web page, I just started pratting about with divs because they tend to be the most convenient to prat about with.

This is another div!
So what's going to change with this site? Actually, it's already done! I converted the entire site from XHTML to HTML 5 last night. Now, I know what you're thinking. If I did it in a night, it can't be that big of a deal. For the most part I would agree, but it does mean updating code in over a 1,000 documents. Ordinarily a big task, but I built my own tool to do this kind of stuff a while back and given that I've kept fairly strict patterns (not really standards) in my coding, it wasn't that difficult. I have added some of the new tags throughout, but these are mostly invisible to the users. One change where you may notice something is in the video section if you try to play a video online. The site was embedding Microsoft's Media Player which, I found last night was not actually working in Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (worked fine in 6, 7 & 8, but seemed to not work in the latest version). Anyway, the site now uses the new <video> tag which works in all new browsers including mobile.

This means we're making a statement. We've gone for cross platform compatibility at the expense of legacy support. I can't be bothered to code in support for anyone on an older browser. Upgrade or ... well, fuck off really. It might be nostalgic of you to have some obscure version of an obsolete Netscape browser and more power to you. There's a place for everyone, but the place for you ain't here.

Div behind a div
Yet another div!

The thing is, the initial excitement I got when I started reading about HTML 5 (and yes, I know I'm over a year behind, but I do have a day job you know) was all the wonderful things it could do more easily. The problem, I find as I start doing my little examples is that the specific coding and support is different for each browser, so you have to write something different for Mozilla's Firefox to Microsoft's Internet Explorer to Apple's Safari to Google's Chrome to Opera. This is painful enough without then having to figure out what version of said browser you're using and adding code for that. If I can do my bit and code for each of these, you can do your bit and upgrade to the latest version.

Not a div. Fooled Ya!
Rather odd that it's called a “standard” when there are so many interpretations of it.

I will take the time to add my bragging rights in that I have my video working under this new model ... in one night .... and Google's still working on getting YouTube up to date. They're beta testing an HTML 5 site to get the same level of functionality I have. Which just goes to show one thing ... they have a hell of a lot more videos to convert than I do. As I mentioned above, although you can use the same tag to invoke a video player, each browser requires the file to be provided in a different format. Not each browser, but you have to provide a version of the video in .mp4, .webm and .ogg. a quick plug to Miro Video Converter that I found very handy for the job. The thing that makes me laugh in that sad thing that passes as my mind is that I sat there and converted about 20 videos one at a time, three times each, watching a green progress bar go up and then a couple of clicks and onto the next. (I was actually working working whilst I was doing this ... such a multi-tasker!). The one at a time is on the basis that the free software I'm using doesn't have a multi-file selection option. I just have this image that somewhere in the YouTube offices there was a meeting to figure out the best way to decide how to convert a gazillion videos. And you just know someone wrote on a flip chart the options of getting someone to develop a script versus hiring a bunch of interns to do the job one at a time.

And the next day, someone was tasked with renting premises to house a thousand interns whist they sit there day after day watching green progress bars.
This div spins me right round baby.

1 comment
Mr O
23rd January 2012
I obviously had to test the video theory and randomly picked hoghorn, I presume this is now installed on the boat?

NASCAR Race Game is here again

(Posted 13:39:05 on 13th February 2011 by Rag)
Back by popular demand. Well, popular in the sense that at least two people want to play. The race game is here again. We're set to run for the 2011 NASCAR season. You need to register for the event first (this is a one time thing) and then you need to logon to make your picks and play the game.

Remember, you only need to make picks in the first week as they copy forward each week. You can make changes to your selections up to two hours prior to the start of each race.

Quick word of warning, I have noticed that the up and down arrows on the selection page are not necessarily doing what they're supposed to. I'm out of town for about 3 weeks, and I'll fix that when I get back. For now, just select from the drop down box.

Displaying the first 10 blogs in the Website Archives, displayed in the order they were posted