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You can also click here to subscribe by email. Thanks for visiting! Darran.

Monday, December 31, 2007


Its that time of the year, the end of it. And like last year, here is the wrap up!

Its been a excellent year here, I've moved to a new domain, masking the fact I'm using Blogger, I've written a total of 95 posts which produced a total of 84 comments!

For those statisticians out there, here is a break down of whats been happening here on the site:

Total for 2007:

  • 10,222 - Page Loads
  • 7,522 - Unique Visitors
  • 6,253 - First Time Visitors
  • 1,269 - Returning Visitors
On average, each day:
  • 28 - Page Loads
  • 21 - Unique Visitors
  • 17 - First Time Visitors
  • 3 - Returning Visitors
Top 5 posts this year:
  1. RTÉ Edits Wikipedia
  2. Bebo Badge
  3. Global Heating
  4. Kandersteg Webcam
  5. Emigrating to Canada
Traffic Sources:
  • 56.63% - Search Engines
  • 32.84% - Referring Sites
  • 10.53% - Direct Traffic
Top Countries:
  • 29.35% - Ireland
  • 19.16% - United States
  • 15.20% - United Kingdom
  • 6.23% - Canada
  • 4.71% - Sweden
  • 25.35% - Other (96 including: Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Brazil, etc..)
Top Cities:
  • Dublin
  • Cork
  • London
  • Växjö
  • Vancouver
Top Browsers:
  • 54.85% - Internet Explorer
  • 38.01% - Firefox
  • 4.32% - Safari
  • 2.82% - Other (Mozilla, Opera, Netscape, Camino, etc..)
Top Operating Systems:
  • 89.79% - Windows
  • 8.20% - Macintosh
  • 2.01% - Other (Linux, Playstation 3, etc..)
Total Feed Subscribes: 41

Hope you all had a fantastic 2007 and looking forward to 2008! (100 years of Scouting in Ireland!!) That's it for me for this year, off to Clon, just like old times! Thanks to everyone again for reading, commenting, subscribing and supporting me :-)


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

happy birthday baby jesus

Wishing you all the merriest of Christmases! This is my Christmas card to everyone I know. It saves paper and the environment! Go me! Plus I only have to write this once and saves loads of time on writing cards and emails and stuff. I also get to wish everyone who reads this blog and I don't know a merry Christmas!

IsItChristmas.com is currently showing me a "IS EA" for some reason. Hopefully it will turn into a "YES" in the morning!!


If you don't celebrate Christmas and prefer to refer to this time of the year as holidays or Festivus or whatever, I could say stop leaching off Jesus' Birthday, but then that wouldn't be very nice, after all it is Christmas!

Click Play to watch the True Story of Santa!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

year in review

Like last year, you take the first sentence from the first post for each month of the year. It gives you a summary of 2007!

January: So I put off this post for a while.

Febuary: I'm going to do a month by month review of my posts on the Team Geared Up Blog here on my blog... *

March: What I've been up to lately: A bit of house keeping, replacing Gurr with Grrr!

April: A new month, some new changed to the blog!

May: This Saturday is 24 Hours of Flickr.

June: Following up on the RSS in Plain English video, Common Craft have created a video explaining wikis!

July: Ever wonder what you might look like as a Simpsons chatater?

August: Mid-July Blogger rolled out a new feature: You can now specify a URL to which Blogger will redirect your feed's traffic!

September: Last week my Aunt received this letter from BSkyB or Sky about Sky+.

October: My RTÉ post got a lot of reaction.

November: Now that Hallowe'en is finished for the year, it has given everyone the all clear to start to talk about the C word.

December: I finally got around to scanning in the newspaper article from the Sunday Tribune about my post on RTÉ editing Wikipedia.

* Not going to use them as the first post each month, coz then this would be a page of links and boring!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

google earth update

Google have updated their imagery on Google Earth. This includes more updated images of Carrigaline. This time the photos were taken in April this year.

Carrigaline Old
This is the old imagery from Google Maps. You can see the green space where Dunnes Store will go, and work is started on Lidl.

Carrigaline New

Then bang! On Google Earth, the new Dunnes and Lidl can be seen as well as a new roundabout! Barry Collins Car park has gotten a face lift too!

If you want to check out the differences, look quick because it won't be long until the update Google Maps!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

flickr goodies

Today Flickr released two new things!

First is their new Uploadr application. Nice design and finally allowing you to edit titles and descriptions before you upload!

Flickr Uploadr

The second new feature (for pro accounts only) is Stats (finally)!
Be enthralled by graphs and chats!
Learn which of your photos are popular today, this week, or over all time
Discover where your visitors are coming from
See how they found you
Thrill at a helpful breakdown of your photos.

Apparently it takes a little while to dig up the numbers for my account, so I have to check back tomorrow and things should be ready then!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I've been trying out a TumbleLog for the last week or so and I like it. What are they:

To make a simple analogy: If blogs are journals, tumblelogs are scrapbooks.
It is basically any video, image or link I find amusing and want to share with the world. I'm not going to writing a post here about every silly video or funny picture I see, because then this blog would loose its perception of high quality and top class I've tricked you all into thinking it has!

So if you want cheap laughs and to see what I've been finding interesting online, you can check out my full rss enabled tumble log! Simply titled Darran.


Monday, December 10, 2007

winter pinkie

Cork Scout Conor aka God has started his weeks training at Kandersteg to become a Pinkie!

He is the first Irish winter short term staff in a long time, and the first Cork short term staff since Summer 2003!

We won't hold the fact he is from Fermoy against him. He is on the other hand keeping us up-to-date with his goings on via a Blog. So far he has been pretty good, with updates from Dublin airport and even after the first nights training!

Forgive the cringe worthy colours used and just subscribe via RSS.

Friday, December 07, 2007

in the paper

I finally got around to scanning in the newspaper article from the Sunday Tribune about my post on RTÉ editing Wikipedia.

Employees of RTE 'edited' competitors' Wikipedia site

Article from the Sunday Tribune 9th September 2007
SundayTribune Web Version

In other news, you can get to my photos by going here: photos.langersblog.com :-)

Friday, November 30, 2007

blogs in plain english

Another excellent Common Craft video. This time it's Blogs in Plain English!!

Click Play to watch!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

my delusional outlet

Found this comic via Nelson's weblog, I liked the analogy!

[Blogs] provide their frustrated creator with the delusional outlet of being a published author, sort of like how the prison warden lets the psychotic inmate scribble "poetry" on the cell wall so he doesn't beat his bunkmate with a toilet seat.

I've also found a way to subscribe to Dilbert and others via RSS! Check out Tapestry Comics! No more emails for me.

On the subject of Dilbert, Boo-urns to Scott Adams for stopping his full RSS feed. Pitty about him, not making as much advertising as he hoped, how about putting ads in his feed?! One way not to win over your readers is to stop your full RSS content feed. I can't believe he is actually crying blogging less because:
Readership of The Dilbert Blog is growing rapidly, but at about the same rate people figure out how to use RSS feeds to get the content without the ads. So there’s no longer a correlation between how hard I work and the ad income I earn. It topped out at “trivial,” even while the audience grew to substantial.
Grow up! Give us full RSS ya cry baby!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

stickers djpc vectors

Worst Title Ever! This is just a quick update.

1. If you want a "Far Too Much Bertie" Sticker just email FarTooMuchBertie@gmail.com and Kevin will send you on one!

via Donncha.

2. My friend Conor has a website that I think deserves a mention. I thought I did this before, but after a search it turns out I only mentioned Conor a few times and not his site. Sorry!

The site got a face lift and I must say is looking rather nice! Then again, I was never a fan of the old version! So here for you Conor is a Love Link!

3. I also found this great tool online (can't remember where tho) and I've been playing with for the last few days and think it's great.. Vector Magic!

It converts any image into a Vector. Very clever and useful if you work with logos or anything!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

year of the iphone

Todays Science Week Ireland Question:

In your opinion what was the best invention in 2007?

Answer: iPhone.

What Apple are doing to phones now what they did to mp3 players in 2001.

Back then there were mp3 players on the market, but they were for the technical savvy user. Apple succeeded to simplify the device, make it stupid-proof and available for the mass market. Now everyone can use any mp3 player and there is a market awash with choice.

Fast forward to 2007 and they are doing the exact same with phones! Simplified, pretty, stupid proof and everyone wants one. There are smart phones out there that do the same as the iPhone (except the multi-touch interface) and more!

In a few years the iPhone you know now will be as old and useless as a 1st Gen iPod!

Friday, November 16, 2007

the internet

Todays Science Week Ireland Question:

Which invention has helped you most with your working life?

Firstly, I'm a student and I don't work more than I have to. For the invention that helps me the most, I would have to say The Internet. It helps me out in so many, uncountable ways. Hey look! You are even using it now too!

Visualization of the various routes through a portion of the Internet.

I bet that loads of people today will be coming up with loads of inventions that they say has helped them with their working life. Maybe. But what about the Internet? They have to write their blog post and publish it on the Internet!

Lets face it, the Internet is the best invention ever. End.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

jamboree video

With a break to this weeks Science Week Ireland posts, I just have a video to show you.

Yesterday I saw a short film about Scouting Ireland and the Irish Scout Jamboree next summer. It went down really well at the AGM with the parents (it could of been about 2 or 3 minutes shorter tho!) I got the DVD last night and *cough* VOB2MPG *cough* Google Video *cough* and found it online! :-D [too big for YouTube]

Click Play to watch. If you look close enough you can see Robin!

ultimate gadget: n95

Todays Science Week Ireland Question:

What’s the next gadget that you want to buy?

It has to be the Nokia N95. It is Nokia's flagship smart phone that as so many thing including:

  • Integrated GPS navigation
    • Installed Maps application covering over 100 countries.
  • 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics
    • 2 megapixels more than my current camera.
  • Multimedia player
    • MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, M4A and Realplayer.
  • WLAN Wi-Fi
    • That's right, surf the Internet over WiFi!
So what about price. You can get it on Vodafone Ready to Go for €599 with €80 call credit, so really only €519. What if you were going to buy all these other devices individually?
  • For the quad band, 3g smart phone with all the bells and whistles this one has like bluetooth and wireless Internet access, you will be paying about €250 at least and that is a low guess.
  • A 5 megapixel point and shoot camera with the Carl Zeiss optics will be about €200.
  • As for the multimedia player, the phone supports up to a 2GB microSD card, and you get a 1GB one with Vodafone. A 1GB iPod shuffle will knock you €79 and that doesn't even include video playback or the FM radio Nokia squeezed in there!
  • Then there is the GPS navigation. The crown jewel in the phone! A stand alone version of this would be about €300, and this phone isn't like those stand alone ones, you can install whatever software you want! If you don't like the mapping system they use, get another one! You can't do that with your tom tom's what whatever!

So to add all that up; €250 (phone) + €200 (camera) €79 (basic mp3 player) + €300 (GPS) = €829

You get all this in one device for €519. So that is the device I would want to buy next!

Then again, you could always just wait for the next big thing from Nokia, but won't there be something after that too?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

free energy

Todays Science Week Ireland Question:

What invention do you want to see most in the future?

Free Energy.

As a student, I love stuff for free, and I'm guessing it's not just students like free things. Altho I'm sure other people won't just take thing that are free, just because they are free like us students.

Moving back on topic, I would like to see a lot more free energy in the future. I want to see everything from mobile phones to cars to cities powered by free energy. No longer relying on burning fossil fuel, polluting the planet or invading countries to meet our growing energy needs.

By free energy I don't mind what form it is in, it could be just making use of renewable sources and actually coming up with something that works and appeals to the mass market or there is the other crazy way of going about getting free energy. You may of heard about Steorn?

Steorn are a Dublin based company that hit the media with their announcement of a free energy technology. Long story short, in 2006 they couldn't demonstrate the technology. In December they announced that they have a jury who will validate their claim. This summer they were supposed to give a demonstration but canceled due to "technical difficulties". They results of the jury will be announced by the end of the year, but I'm not going to hold my breath!

There is a Free energy suppression conspiracy theory!

Advanced technology which would allow us to better meet our energy needs exists today but is being suppressed by special interest groups to whom the status quo is advantageous.
Even tho I love my fair share of conspiracy theories, I hope this is not true. Some day we will have to address the issue of energy production, where we get it from and how we use it and hopefully we will have an invention what will produce free energy that we can all carry around with us or have in our homes!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

all hail vhs

Its Science Week Ireland this week and they have a little blog post competition (tip of the hat to Damien)! Each day has a different question and todays one is:

What was the favourite invention from your childhood?

After thinking long and hard all day I came up with what I think is the best invention from my childhood. It has to be VHS, cassettes and the player! (That's Video Home System or just videos to some of you!)

Altho after doing a bit of research for this post, it turns out VHS was invented 6 years before I was born in 1976. But then again I don't think VHS players were readily available till the mid-80's as the Betamax/VHS war was only just about over when I was born in '82.

I can still remember two films that we were allowed rent, and we rented them many times. First was Santa Claus: The Movie and the other was Zig and Zag's: Nothing to do with Toast! We didn't mind one bit that we saw them before and could probably could recite the entire movie from heart, but back then there wasn't many children's films out.

We probably got to see these once in a blue moon because we didn't have a VHS player. We either had to rent one from the video store or borrow one but I didn't mind, I got to see Zig and Zag 3 times in a row!!

Later on, I think that VHS had a huge impact on the way we spent out time and our habits. A trip to the video store was nearly a weekly occurrence (with the amount of TV channels we had, you could count on one hand) and we got to bring the big screen into our home and watch films that we were not able to see in the cinema.

The best thing about VHS has to be the possibility to record TV. No longer were we slaves to the program schedulers! We were liberated and free to go about and live our own lives and watch TV as we pleased! Even to this day you can get a VHS player to record your favourite programs!!

Long Live VHS!

Zig and Zag!

Monday, November 12, 2007

free microsoft software

Microsoft are allowing you to download Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition for free!

All you have to do is head over to ImagineCup.com and sign up for the competition. You are supposed to be a student (which they don't check...) and there is no pressure to enter the competition! Sign up, download and enjoy! All legit!

The visual studio bundle includes:

Microsoft Visual Basic 2005
Microsoft Visual C# 2005
Microsoft Visual C++ 2005
Microsoft Visual J# 2005
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Applications
Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2005
Microsoft Web Application Projects 2005
Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2005

You can also download these other full versions too!! For Free!
  • Visual SourceSafe 2005
  • SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Expression Web

Monday, November 05, 2007

quick survey

Some of my classmates doing the Masters in Business Information Systems with me are doing a project and need some market research. Can you help out with this quick survey?

Hi All,

We're a group of MBSBIS Postgraduates and are developing a commercial product as part of our studies.

The product is greeting cards with a recordable device where you can record your own personal message - 10-12 secs long.

We need feedback from you all in order to have these cards available for Valentine's Day so could you please fill out our "REALLY" short survey using the link below.


Thanking you in advance.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

page rank four

My Blog has moved up the ranks to PageRank 4/10!

I only just noticed when I saw a badge that people are putting on their websites to show that they are a PageRank victim after Google dropped a load of sites rank recently.

This is great news considering I went from 3 to 0 earlier this year when I moved domain. This is my highest rank yet :-)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

let it begin

Now that Hallowe'en is finished for the year, it has given everyone the all clear to start to talk about the C word. I'm going to get ahead of the crowd and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year now!

I also decorated my site... i tried so hard to get the snow flakes to fall, but in the end went for a ribbon just wishing my visitors a Happy Christmas!

Let the merriness and jolliness begin... I'm sure it will be over before we know it :-) Only 53 more days to go!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

learner drivers

A recap of the last few days:

New rules are introduced for learner drivers, changing the system we currently have. The major chance would be that all second provisional license holders will now need to be accompanied for a full licensed driver from midnight Monday.
Excellent a shake up in the way things are done! About time!

The Gardaí say they would not be using their discretion on a case-by-case basis in relation to provisional drivers and would enforce the law as normal.
Our Minister for transport Mr. Dempsey also said on the news that the new laws will come into force as announced and went against the Gardaí by stating they will take a 'common sense' approach for 'two or three months' in relation to the short period in which some drivers will have to make new arrangements.
I'm getting mixed signals!

Opposition politicians call for the minister to defer the introduction for six months saying that the government is out of touch with the conditions of ordinary people and the number of people who will be discommoded.
The opposition doing what they do!

Minister Mr. Dempsey announced he was deferring the introduction of the accompanied driver provision until 30 June 2008. This gives the 122,000 people on their second provisional license plenty of time to apply for and sit their test, because they would now have it on demand.
Good for him, listening to the people!

The Driving Instructors Register say that they don't believe it is possible for all the drivers on their second provisional to pass the test before the end of June. This is might be because there is a failure rate of about 50%, the surge in applications in the last few days and the fact it isn't just second provisional license holders applying for the test.
Maybe the Minister and the Driving Instructors should of had a meeting?!

With the new rules/law in place, I guess it is business as usual...

For your Information:
Number of people on provisional licenses are as follows:
1st - 209, 253
2nd - 121,871
3rd - 31,792
4th - 25,076
5th or subsequent - 37,233
That's 94,101 who are gone past the 2nd provisional license stage!

rte.ie/news & rsa.ie

Thursday, October 25, 2007

free tripit tshirt

Free Tripit Tshirt

I got an email today from Tripit!

Since words cannot express our full gratitude for all your support and feedback, we're offering the early beta testers of TripIt a free TripIt T-Shirt...sure to be a collector's item.
Yay me!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

students today

Saw this on Ricks Blog. It is quite interesting!

A Vision of Students Today

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

free stuff: old el paso

Hurry!! Get your Free Old El Paso Fiesta Fun Pack here: GreatNightOutIn.ie

Ireland Only!

via links for everyone.

blog action day post

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
So here is my Blog Action Day post. As I am a lazy man and nearly totally forgot about signing up for this a good while ago this post will be quick. Plus I less than 30 minutes to publish it before it is no longer the 15th of October!

A quick Google search for easiest way to save the world which came up with a nice article from the Guardian with 50 easy ways to make a difference. Here are some of the ones I liked:
  • Let them carry you off in a biodegradable cardboard coffin, saving trees.
  • Buy chocolates from proper chocolate stores, so they are not individually wrapped.
  • Only flush toilets if really needed; follow the Australian maxim: "If it's yellow that's mellow, if it's brown flush it down."
  • Avoid air travel; it produces three times more carbon dioxide per passenger than rail.
  • Bring a mug to the office instead of using polystyrene cups.
  • Cancel that expensive gym membership and walk to work instead.
The air travel one of course makes sense, but why can I get from Cork to Dublin, Return for €20 on Ryanair, yet the train will cost me €67. As for the buses, if you want to solve the fact everyone drives everywhere, here is an idea; only charge everyone €1 per trip. I can't remember where I heard it, but it is a great idea! We are all very price sensitive when it comes to travel!

Oh and the chocolates in a proper shop is brilliant! I suggest Rogers Chocolates if you are in Canada :-D

The article dates back to 2002, before there was scientific consensus that global warming has begun, is very likely caused by man, and will be unstoppable for centuries. Great! Lets all look forward to the next 50 years!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

rte post

My RTÉ post got a lot of reaction. This was mainly thanks to links from Damien and Tom. I also noticed that a few of the papers then picked up on the story!

The Sunday Tribune:

The edits were first spotted by 24-year-old blogger Darran Crowley from Cork, who highlighted them on his blog.

There was also stories apparently from Irish Times or Examiner and the Daily Mail who did not give me any credit!

On a side note, as you have noticed, this blog has taken a bit of a break, I started my Masters Degree in UCC (in Business Information Systems) which is taking up a good bit of time! I will try to continue to update more often. I also stopped contribution to Team Geared Up Blog :-(

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

twitter bots

I've been busy the last few weeks creating some RTÉ twitter bots. They provide an individual twitter channel for all the RTÉ news feeds.

I also got a Nob Nation Twitter feed going to update you with the latest sketches and direct links to the MP3's to listen to! twitter.com/NobNation

I was actually surprised that all the names had not been taken and I even managed to get twitter.com/rte! I was inspired by the excellent BBC breaknews bot and other feed bots from menti.net.

What other names/feeds need to be twitter'ized!?

Thursday, September 06, 2007


weewar.comAnyone up for a Wee War?

This is a online, round based strategy game. Each game can be played with everyone having to move within 5 minutes or 3 days. There can be up to 6 people in a game! Quite interesting concept and addictive!

Head over to the website and if you need an invitation, I can send you one. Just leave a comment or send me a message!

Then you can play a game with me or add me to one of yours!

My user name: ablaze

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

rte edits wikipedia

I've caught our National Broadcaster, RTÉ editing numerous Wikipedia articles. These include rival radio station FM104 and TodayFM's Gift Grub.

Some of the worst edits include changing FM104's article from:

FM104 is aimed mainly at 16-35 year olds, broadcasting mainly popular music and rock music. The station's flagship programme is the award-winning Strawberry Alarm Clock
FM104 is aimed mainly at 16-17 year olds, broadcasting mainly popular music and rock music. The station's flagship programme is the Strawberry Alarm Clock,
I'm pretty sure FM104 does not aim themselves at a 2 year age range, and there is no denying that the Strawberry Alarm Clock has won awards. Why does RTÉ think otherwise? Surely they shouldn't edit Wikipedia if they don't have any knowledge on the article in question!

Other Edits to Gift Grub mainly involve removing half the article or parts of it. They also added the following piece... very bias towards RTÉ.

In December 2006, Gift Grub received a heavy blow when impressionist Oliver Callan left Today FM in a row over his alleged rights to material on the Gift Grub 7 album. His departure left the comedy slot without more than 20 of its most popular characters including Enda Kenny, RTE Newsreader Bryan 'Dobbo' Dobson, intrepid reporter Plastic Sheeting (based on RTE's Southern Correspondent Paschal Sheehy), Dave Fanning, Damien Dempsey, George W Bush, Derek Mooney, Pat Kenny, Marian Finucane and many others.

Callan's claims are the subject of threatened legal action and he even went on RTE's Liveline programme to air his grievances, which generated much press coverage and dinted Gift Grub's album sales. Oliver Callan has since set up a rival comedy slot on RTE Radio called Nob Nation, which now has a much bigger audience than Gift Grub due to it being carried on both RTE Radio One and on 2FM.

I've found all this using the WikiScanner. See more of RTÉ's Edits here, including a request to create a Jenny Huston article!

Any response RTÉ? I know you have read my blog before!

Monday, September 03, 2007


Last week my Aunt received this letter from BSkyB or Sky about Sky+. The offer she received gave her a Sky+ box for €69 with a saving of €80.

Pretty good deal, I wanted in on it too!

The background: She is a customer for about 2 years, has a 2 mix package and Multi-room. On the other hand we are customers for over 5 years, have a 6 mix package and had Movies and Sports for 2 years. We have never once received any offer off Sky like this.

I phoned up and enquired to see if I could get this Sky+ Box, and eventually, after 3 phone calls lasting about 30 minutes each (they hung up on me once) I found out that because we did not get a letter we could not get the offer. They prefer to give their newer customers or customers on smaller packages better (or any) offers.

We have to pay the full €149 to get a Sky+ Box. Since then, I have dropped our packages down to 4 mixes (after considering cancelling it all together). It's a shame SCTV Digital (that website was bloody hard to find!) has such shite service, after all it has taken 2 years to begin rolling out the promised digital!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

world scout jamboree site

While I am waiting for some photos from the World Scout Jamboree to be sent to me, I have been messing with Google Maps. I noticed that Google have yet again updated their imagery for the UK and now included detailed images of Hylands Park where the Jamboree was held.

As everyone who was on the Jamboree knows, the Jamboree Map was constantly being used as reference, as a site with about 40,000 scouts on it is quite big!

I marked out roughly where every sub camp and hub was, just like the map, but on a Google Map! The result:

View Larger Map

First impressions have been quite good from anyone who was there! There will hopefully be photos to come, I didn't use my Camera once, but Miri promised to send over a CD.

Monday, August 20, 2007

skypes downtime

On Thursday Skype went down. The cause? Microsoft!!

The disruption was initiated by a massive restart of our user’s computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine software update.
Could Microsoft take down other services across the world with the power of mass restarting and simultaneous logging on?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

more subscribers

Mid-July Blogger rolled out a new feature:
You can now specify a URL to which Blogger will redirect your feed's traffic!

This means that I was able to redirect all my feed traffic to my Feedbuner Feed and I've been given a true picture of the number of actual subscribers!

It is nice to see my subscribers jump from about 10 to 25!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Jiingijamborii Logo

This week I'm off to Jiingijamborii, the Swedish national Jamboree and their dry run for the next World Jamboree in 2011! I'll be helping out on the Information Stands and giving tours! I'm their native English speaker! So not sure about connections and blog posts while I'm there. If there is any wireless Access to be found I will be updating Twitter! I had added the New Twitter Badge to my side bar for those of you who just visit the website and have no idea what a Twitter is!

I'm then flying from there to London on the 24th of July for the World Scout Jamboree. I'm a KISC Bitch there. Again if I do have access, I will Twitter some Updates! Oh! I may also have a UK Sim :-) so I could cheaply update Twitter via txt!

But I'm sure there will be posts on both these topics in future!

Take it easy and Enjoy the Summer or whatever this time of year is supposed to be called. Talk to ya in August!


I've been here in Sweden almost 3 weeks now. I'm having a great time!

My first impression of Sweden looking from the plane is that it is very green and full of forests! It puts Ireland to shame considering were billed as the emerald isle. Still tho there is a vast amount of open space and unpopulated areas. You can see when I put Ireland on a map next to Sweden. It is quite a big place!

Ireland and Sweden

The Swedish people like one thing as far as I can see and that is the Eurovision! They sing songs from previous years and are surprised when I am unfamiliar with what they are singing. Yet they couldn't recall last years Irish Entry, but i doubt many Irish people could. (It was Brian Kennedy - Every Song Is A Cry For Love for those of you about to fire off a Google Search) I even experienced a SwedishSingStar night!

Their licence plates on their cars are a load of TLA's. (All you business students will know what i mean!) So that keeps me amused also seeing POO on a car is quite amusing... I wonder if they paid extra for that?

In Sweden (the land of the mid-night sun) they celebrate Mid-Summers. You know, the longest day of the year. I headed up north to Rättvik where We celebrated the longest day by Decorating the May-Pole and then Dancing around it singing songs like some kinda cult. I was assured that it wasn't a cult afterwards, as it was traditional Swedish custom. They are a funny nation. Photos on Flickr!

I also went on a visit to Stockholm. Stayed at the Backpackers Inn (twitter review) and met up with Lovisa for a mini reunion! We saw the changing of the guards (12noon Saturdays and Wednesdays and 13:00 on Sundays!) as well seeing Old town which was really old. The Treasury and the City Hall. Again, Photos on Flickr!

One of the most interesting places was the Vasa Museum:

The Vasa is the world’s only surviving 17th-century ship and one of the foremost tourist sights in the world.

I didn't get to Skansen due to the weather. It was really shite, really Irish. There was a break in the weather for a few hours the first evening, and the city looked quite nice and amazing in the sun! So more of an excuse to go back and visit.

I also succeeded in my mission to visit and IKEA! Not to bad for my first visit IKEA (Yes, you have to type it as tho you were shouting it each time.... IKEA!!!!) being a Swedish IKEA!

So far the only down side to the trip is the weather. Global warming is really kicking me in the ass since it dealt me a lovely and snowy winter! There has been only a small few days I can say were Summer days; wake up and it is warm and sunny and stays that way till night. Instead it has been like the successful Scottish pop band of the 80's, 90's and noughties, Wet Wet Wet.

Overall it has been great! :-D

Monday, July 09, 2007

things i dont like

At the moment I would like to take my anger out with the following:

Facebook - It won't let me import my (feedburner) feed to my notes! It says:

Import Failed
We couldn't find a feed using the URL you provided.

Also what is the deal with signing out if I leave to use the bathroom... It can't seem or want to remember passwords. On saying that... way better than Bebo! And it updates with my Twitter! :-)

Blogger - I have a feeling the problem above is related to Blogger giving out terrible feeds. But it is the posting that is giving me a pain in the head. Insert images was all messed up, not giving links to original images, yet on mouseover the curser changes to a hand, confusing everyone! Example: My post on Comics. They also decide to re-arrange the post with unnecessary fields in the HTML... *sigh*

I'm converting to Wordpress the minute I get my new laptop! Or maybe google will buy wordpress and do away with blogger?
Also no future posting. Come on!

Eh... at the moment that is all... besides iTunes, but that is a losing battle.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

history of my blog

History of my Blog
Originally uploaded by Mr Darran

True Story! But who can blame us... Twitter is still the buzz word!


Thursday, July 05, 2007

dove ad

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...



Click Play to watch.

It really makes you think... I wish I has those Photoshop skills!

via Will

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


I like Comics. I love them via email!

I get Dilbert every day thru my email - Tip Top Comic, I also like Scotts Blog!

I also used to get Garfield then switched to Calvin and Hobbs, but I find both of them really boring. I also haven't found anything interesting on GoComics to change to!

I found wulffmorgenthaler, a free comic emailed everyday. Quite good!

Then there bLaugh, The (Un)Official Comic of the Blogosphere! Emailed every day that there is a new Comic!

Explosm.net also has come quite good comics, they have a feed but no option to have the comic emailed. Their feed also just alerts you to a new comic does not even show the image! You then have to go onto the website to see it! Pain in the ass!

Anyone know any other good comics sent by email?

UPDATE: I nearly forgot about xkcd! Yet another good webcomic, with a RSS Feed, and no email feature :-(

Wikipedian Protester!

Monday, July 02, 2007

darran in the simpsons

Darran in the SimpsonsEver wonder what you might look like as a Simpsons chatater?
This is how I see myself!

With the new Simpsons movie coming out this summer, only a matter of weeks from now, everyone is jumping on the bandwaggon! 7-Eleven Stores are even being turned into Kwik-E-Marts selling "Squishees", "Buzz Cola", and "Krusty-O's" Cereal!

News Link

Go here and click on "Create Your Simpsons Avatar"

Sunday, July 01, 2007

team geared up - june

It has been a quiet few months with no activity on the Team Geared Up Blog for May! But I managed to squeeze in 2 posts in June!

28th - Season in Whistler

29th - Jetpack Flights for Sale

Sunday, June 17, 2007

how to: fill your ipod

(like a bus, there is none for ages and two come along at once)

There are loads of music videos online on sites like YouTube where you can watch them all for free on your computer. Set up your own playlist on the site and leave it run in the background for constant music. So why can't you listen to it from your ipod?

Here is a step by step on how to get a video off you tube and onto your ipod as a .mp3!

1. Find the song you want to put on your iPod or music player.
Example: The current No.1 single: Rihanna - Umbrella - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7bK4Vee36M

2. With the url of the song (similar to that link up there) head over to KeepVid and get the download link.

3. Save the file to your computer and rename it from get_video to songname.flv, in this example Rihanna - Umbrella.flv

4. Download, install and open SUPER ©

5. Drag the .flv file into the box at the bottom and choose MP3 as the output container on the top left, then click Encode.

6. The MP3 is then usually saved straight onto the C Drive, find it. Move it to where ever you keep your music. (You can rename it too... Rihanna - Umbrella.flv.MP3 to Rihanna - Umbrella.mp3)

7. Open iTunes and add file to Library. Rename the file and Sync to your iPod.

8. Wash, Rince and Repeat.



From Weebls Stuff, this is classic Internet! Reminded to me by Seb.

Click Play to Watch!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

wikis in plain english

Following up on the RSS in Plain English video, Common Craft have created a video explaining wikis!

Click Play to Watch!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

emigrating to canada

November 1st
Moved to Canada. I am so excited. It's so beautiful here. The scenery is great, the trees are so tall. Can't hardly wait to see them with snow covering them.

November 5th
Canada. It is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have turned all colours and shades of red and orange. Went for a ride through the beautiful countryside and saw some deer. They are so graceful. Certainly they are the most wonderful animals on earth. This must be paradise. I love it here.

November 211th
Deer season starts soon. I can't imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it snows soon. I love it here.

December 2nd
It snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed with white. It looks like a postcard. We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shovelled the driveway. We had a snowball fight (I won). When the snow plow came by, we had to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place. I love Canada.

December 12th
More snow last night. The snow plow did his trick again to the driveway. I love it here.

December 19th
More snow last night. Couldn't get out of the driveway to get to work. It's beautiful here but I'm exhausted from shovelling. That fucking snow plow.

December 22th
More of that white shit fell last night. I've got blisters on my hands and a sore back from shovelling. I think the snow plow hides around the corner until I'm done shovelling the driveway. That freakin idiot!

December 25th
Merry freakin Christmas! More freakin snow! If I ever get my hands on the freakin idiot who drives the snow plow I swear I'll kill the idiot. Don't know why they don't use more salt on the roads to melt the freaking ice.

December 27th
More freakin white shit last night. Been inside for three days now except for shovelling out the driveway after that snow plow goes through every time. Can't go anywhere, the car's stuck in a mountain of white crap and it's so freaking cold. The weatherman says to expect another 25 centimetres of snow again tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow 25 centimetres is?

December 28th
That freakin weatherman was wrong. We got 75 centimetres of snow this time. At this rate it won't melt before summer. The snow plow got stuck up in the road and that idiot came to my door and asked to borrow my shovel. After I told him that I had already broken six shovels shovelling out all the snow he had pushed into my driveway, I darn near broke my last one over his freaking head.

January 4th
Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on my way back a damned deer ran in front of the car. Did about $3,000 damage to the car. Those freaking beasts should be killed. They are everywhere. Wish the hunters had exterminated them all last November.

May 3rd
Took the car to the garage in town. Would you believe the thing is rusted out from all that salt they put all over the roads?

May 29th
I am going back to Ireland. I can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever want to live in such a God forsaken place as Canada!

Friday, May 25, 2007

towel day

Don't forget today is Towel Day!

It is the Tip of the hat to Douglas Adams Day! I must get thru the rest of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy over the summer.

Today is also the first Universal Day of the Jedi.

Some online suggestions have including dressing as a Jedi to work and attacking colleagues with Force FX Lightsabers; or stating "May the Force be with you" to everyone one passes by.

Anyone going to dress like a Jedi with a Towel? Now that would be confusing...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Last week I posted a little test about Google's Adsense Program Policy about encouraging clicks. It mustn't of violated any policies because I haven't heard anything from Google (yet).

The real test was to see if talking about your ad's or encouraging click would result in any actual clicks. With about 300 page views I got 0 clicks in the last 7 days.

Maybe my ads are placed in the wrong area of the site or blend in too well!

I was just curious anyway... Now I know!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

cormac harrington

A hello and welcome to the world to my new cousin Cormac David Harrington.

Cormac, you'll be looking at this when your all grown up after Googling your name. The time stamp is a day before your Birthday because I'm in Canada! I can see into the future!

UPDATE: First Photo!

Friday, May 18, 2007


"What are you doing?"
Yup, that's Twitter.

Bebo also asks the same question, and Facebook wants your status. Google also has a Daily Me Gadget you can easily make for your iGoogle page.

However the only one I update is Twitter. Bebo is stuck on "twitter.com/darran" and Facebook gets that same status every week or so!

Why isn't there a service/website that you can sign up to that will update everything all at once. Everyone then can just see your status on which ever service they prefer!

Now that is an Idea!

P.S. My little test going well... update this Sunday.
P.P.S. I'm thinking of picking the "Closed sign"as my Flickr Photo for the 5th of May.
P.P.P.S. You can get to this blog by just typing in langersblog.com :-)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

mr tayto

I'm sure this is all over the news and everyone knows about it at home. I heard about this a couple of weeks ago, there have been a few "Vote for Mister Tayto" election posters up. I just found their party political broadcast!

Press Play.

UPDATE: I just found this one too:

Monday, May 14, 2007

a little test

Google's Adsense Program Policy about encouraging clicks states:

Encouraging clicks

In order to ensure a good experience for users and advertisers, publishers may not request that users click the ads on their sites or rely on deceptive implementation methods to obtain clicks. Publishers participating in the AdSense program:
  • May not encourage users to click the Google ads by using phrases such as "click the ads," "support us," "visit these links," or other similar language
  • May not direct user attention to the ads via arrows or other graphical gimmicks
  • May not place misleading images alongside individual ads
  • May not promote sites displaying ads through unsolicited mass emails or unwanted advertisements on third-party websites
  • May not compensate users for viewing ads or performing searches, or promise compensation to a third party for such behavior
  • May not place misleading labels above Google ad units - for instance, ads may be labeled "Sponsored Links" but not "Favorite Sites"

Does talking about your ad's violate the policy?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

my 24 hours

With a shift change at work, my plan for getting up the mountain in the afternoon was interrupted. Instead I managed to take a load of pictures around the village and at work!

Take a look here and leave a comment on which one I should submit to the group!

personal dna

I am a Generous Leader, apparently!

Not your typical way of answering questions. Be warned, at 11 pages, it is a long survey/quiz!

Give it a try!

Friday, May 04, 2007

flickr day

This Saturday is 24 Hours of Flickr. What happens around the world in one day? Life.

To celebrate this global community, we invite you to join us in "24 Hours of Flickr" – a day-long global photo project. On May 5, 2007, grab your camera and whatever else you need, and chronicle your day in pictures. The group's photos will be featured at Flickr events around the world this summer and in a companion book, which will contain a selection of photographs chosen from the group (more about this soon!).
So get your camera, charge the battery's, clear the memory and get snapping on Saturday. Then Join the 24 Hours of Flickr group and upload!

This is similar to Ray D'Arcys project for the book "Us". I'll update you with how I get on. I'm working Saturday so I don't think I'll get any photos on the mountain skiing, but I might head up as a foot passenger for a few snaps after work...

UPDATE: If you have a photo that is selected to get in the book, they will send you a free copy!

Monday, April 30, 2007


5 years down, and now it's d-day...

My SSIA Matures Today!!!

Yay me!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

vote cork

Official Ireland Poster
Click Here to Vote for Cork!

Roscommon seem to currently be in the top spot. But the other place that we should aim for is #9, St. Stephens Green which is the most landed on spot!!

Spread the word, tell the entire county, and vote every day!! Vote Cork!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

rss in plain english

I found a great video to explain RSS and that that big orange button does in Plain English!

Click Play to Watch.

Monday, April 16, 2007

bank of ireland

I'm just sitting here, waiting and watching the clock. I'm waiting for 1am to come around.

I need to contact my Bank. Bank of Ireland in Carrigaline. The problem with being here in Canada is that to get in touch with any business at home requires you to stay up until the wee hours of the morning.

I just checked out the Bank of Ireland Website and it turns out my branch isn't open until 10am (2am Canada time)! Just brilliant! Banks in Ireland are really a joke. How come they manage to stay stuck in the stone age. This is 2007. Take this for example:

Earlier this year I wanted to change my billing address to Canada so I could buy stuff on-line and get it sent to my billing address here in Canada. Like buying iPods or other things off websites. My branch told me that I had to submit this request in writing. An email wouldn't do. A fax wouldn't do. I had to write the request in a letter and post it. Taking the 2 weeks for it to get to Ireland and another 2 weeks to process it, I felt it wasn't worth it. Especially since I'll only be changing it back about now.

Another example: My friends are with AIB. They offer their on-line customers the ability to transfer funds to an international account, so they could send themselves money over the web, no worries. Bank of Ireland on the other hand... "Sorry, we don't do things like that on-line". The request has to be written and posted into the branch. They can then transfer the amount once they confirm that it is you making the request (this process made harder considerably as I'm about 7,000Km away). Repeat as necessary for each transaction.

Why is the Irish banking sector so power happy and feel they can do what they want? They have banking 365, but all their operators seem to like referring me to my branch to answer questions. So going back to the opening times; they are open 36 out of 168 hours a week (21% of the week)! Opening at 10am gives all their employees a lovely lie-in and they can avoid the rush-hour traffic. Then closing at 4pm must really cut into their drinking time down the pub, after all they don't have to be back at work until 10am the next morning!

When I get home I'll be considering moving my SSIA money to anywhere else but there! Not a happy camper here.

Thankfully I have my new addiction to Desktop Tower Defence to keep me company for the next hour thanks to Ambrand... ya bastard!

start of telus

It is the start of the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival here in Whistler. This comic was in the Question this week, and it sums up the feeling of nearly everyone here. We did get 22cm on Saturday tho!

This is also my first Post via Flickr...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

scouting ireland news feed

I think I've gone mad with feeds...

The Scouting Ireland Website is great. There is loads of information on it for all sections and the chat forum is a great source for news and information that can't be found anywhere else on the website.

Unfortunately it's still shite. There is no RSS feed for the news page or any page for that fact! So those of us looking for updates have to guess when they post something new and then go to the website to check it out!

It got me thinking, is there a service or website that can take a page on the Internet and update me, via a feed, when there is some new news. After a bit of searching I found FeedYes.com

So I have created a feed for the news section of the Scouting Ireland website! If you want to keep up to date with the news, add this feed to your reader!

Feed: Scouting Ireland News

Monday, April 09, 2007

turning canadian

You know you’re turning ‘Canadian’ when...

  • You understand the phrase "Could you pass me a serviette, I just dropped my poutine, on the chesterfield."
  • You eat chocolate bars, not candy bars.
  • You drink Pop, not Soda.
  • You know that a Mickey and 2-4's mean, "party at the camp, eh!!!"
  • You know that a pike is a type of fish, not part of a highway.
  • You drive on a highway, not a freeway.
  • You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers.
  • You know that Casey and Finnegan were not part of a Celtic musical group.
  • You get excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.
  • You brag to Americans that: Shania Twain, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion, Michael J. Fox, John Candy, William Shatner, Tom Green, Matthew Perry, Mike Myers, Neve Campbell, Pamela Anderson Lee & many more are Canadians.
  • You know that the CEO of American Airlines is a Canadian.
  • You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
  • You know that the last letter of the English alphabet is always pronounced "Zed".
  • Your local newspaper covers national news on 2 pages, but requires 6 pages for hockey.
  • You know that the four seasons mean: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road work.
  • You know that when it's 25 °F (-4°C) outside, it's a warm day.
  • You understand the Labatt Blue commercials.
  • You know how to pronounce and spell "Saskatchewan".
  • You perk up when you hear the theme song from 'Hockey Night in Canada'.
  • You are in grade 12, not the 12th grade.
  • "Eh?" is a very important part of your vocabulary, and is more polite than, "Huh?"
  • You say "aboot" instead of "about"
  • Your Beer Case handles Are Big Enough To Fit Your Mitts
  • You froze your tongue to something metal and survived to tell about it.
  • You know that we don't all live in igloos and ride polar bears to work
via the SWAP E-Bulletin 2 April 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Comon... this year 55% of people here on my blog are using Internet Explorer. Only 36% use Firefox. Get those numbers higher!

Monday, April 02, 2007

changes to my blog

A new month, some new changed to the blog!

First thing you may or may not notice is the address. I purchased LangersBlog.com, for the mess, to check out Google Apps for your Domain. I then wanted at see if I could then use that domain for Bloggers 'Custom Domain' hosting option! With a bit of messing around and a email to the hosting company sorted that out! Now everything is up and running on the new address: LangersBlog.com [which then forwards to blog.langersblog.com :-) ]

I have also added a few more subscribing/feed options. Under the regular feed button (the huge orange thing on the bottom right of the page) there are two more options for you:

  • - You can subscribe to my comment feed.
And for all you technophobes:
  • - You can subscribe to receive updates directly into email inbox.
To Sum Up: You can update your bookmarks or whatever, or not, it doesn't matter! Everything is the same and continue to work as normal! So what changes?!

P.S. For those Twitter fans... check out the twitter of the blog: twitter.com/LangersBlog

Sunday, April 01, 2007