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Down For Everyone Or Just Me? ~ The last Monday in August marks a public holiday across much of the UK, but this year at Astrologywizard.com was the occasion for roughly fifteen hours of downtime. Clearly outages like this should never happen but if they do, this is one way of discovering whether the fault lies with my web host or originates far closer to home.
Download Time Calculator ~ Nobody seems to worry about bandwidth any more. But when this site started in 1998, I was struggling along on a 33.6 Kb modem and so was much of my audience. So you had to know the file formats to use and how to optimise your content to be small, efficient and fast. Within reason, I maintain this habit. Smaller is often cheaper, even currently.
Elements & Ephemerides: Observable Comets ~ Continuing with the buzz comets are creating currently, the Minor Planet Center has an ephemeris for each of those presently observable, that you can download to a range of popular astronomy programs to see where they are yourself. There’s nothing specifically for astrologers yet, but somebody’s working on this, surely?
Facebook - Where’s The Dislike Button? ~ Following on from last week’s revelations, here is more from the Free Software Foundation on why Facebook’s user-tracking “Like” button is such a bad thing. Not convinced? Click over to the linked research paper from a doctoral candidate at Tilburg University (TILT) in the Netherlands, then come back and tell me about it…
FreeBSD ~ Although Linux now powers the top 500 supercomputers worldwide, there remains a place for the descendants of the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) and FreeBSD in particular. A permissive licence that allows FreeBSD as the basis for commercial projects, has seen it behind Apple’s macOS and iOS; also Netflix, WhatsApp, the Sony PlayStation 4 and Yahoo!
Free Software Resources ~ Free software doesn’t necessarily mean software you won’t have to buy, although much of it fits this description. It means software you have the freedom to use, study, copy, alter, improve and distribute without contravening any licenses. This page is a selection of links to a range of hardware and software, judged to promote that cause.
Free Windows Software ~ In reality, Microsoft actually provides plenty of Windows software for free. Here is a comprehensive list from Blake Handler and though much of it is quite technical, the programs that deal with multiple time zones are of interest to astrologers, as are some of the tools for customising your desktop wallpaper and screensaver…
Google Chrome ~ I don’t often recommend software not directly connected with astrology, but this browser saves so much time on sites in languages you don’t understand, I had to mention it. At the time of writing it will recognise and translate content from 52 different regions automatically. Naturally, it is also completely free to download…
Google News ~ RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It beams the latest news on the subject of your choice directly to your browser, every time you go online. But if you feel you would rather decide what to look at for yourself, you should try out this service from Google, already set for the search terms “astrology” and “space”…
Have I Been Pwned? ~ Leetspeak (or l3375p34k) replaces the letters in a word with numbers or other characters. It was developed by the computing elite to communicate about sensitive topics that would escape a normal search. Years later the same community has been responsible for many data breaches. This site will check your email address to see if you’ve been pwned yet.
HTTP Archive ~ I came across this useful tool, while trying to find the download size of an average webpage nowadays. It keeps track of the estimated top one million websites and has all kinds of data about the technologies they deploy. In 2000 for instance, you’d aim to keep the weight of each page at roughly 65 KB. During February 2017, averages now near the 2.5 MB mark!
HTTP Status Dogs ~ An esoteric offering, that will go right over the head of anyone who doesn’t love dogs and their web server. Every time you visit any website, your browser sends a request to the appropriate host. It could ask for a page, an image or something else altogether. The server can respond in any number of ways, that are beautifully brought to life using photos of dogs.
IMCCE Ephemerides ~ The Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphémérides (IMCCE) links with the Paris Observatory, upholding a research focus and publishing ephemerides for the nation. You’ll thus get the most from this site with some French yourself, while a degree in astrophysics wouldn’t go amiss. The scope of the data is simply startling…
Internet Addiction Test ~ Apparently this questionnaire measures mild, moderate and severe levels of Internet addiction. Questions include how often you lose sleep or neglect your household chores because you’re online and whether you check your email before doing anything else. Unfortunately there’s nothing mentioned about washing yourself. Yup…
Internet Explorer 6 Countdown ~ Say you aren’t a web designer and you’re not concerned with website administration in one way or another, you may not have realised what an anachronism this browser is and the amount of time it takes to ensure you still have a reasonable browsing experience, despite your computer having origins back in the Precambrian Period.