Gravatar – Do You Have One?

July 26, 2009

On many sites nowadays, especially on blogs, whenever you leave a comment a little picture will display in a small square beside your comment. This is known as a gravatar.

A gravatar is a little picture that represents you on the web. It is a simple picture that you can choose to show who you are. It is similar to if you are on a social networking site such as twitter, you will have a profile picture to show who you are.


The way a gravatar works is very simple, you simply go to the Gravatar website here, and then click on sign up. All they ask for is your e-mail address!

So why do they only ask for your e-mail address? Basically that is the only thing they need to have your image follow you on the web. So how does it work? Whenever you are on a site that has the gravatar feature on it, such as this site ๐Ÿ˜€ ,ย  when you leave a comment, it will ask for your e-mail address. By entering your e-mail address into that comment box it then checks to see if you are a gravatar member and if you are it will pull down your image that you chose and then display it next to your comment.

It is really simple and it will give a more personal touch to your comment. On some sites if you do not have a gravatar it just shows the gravatar logo, on my blog here if you do not have your own gravatar, a little cartoon character will show ๐Ÿ˜€ .

So go on, get yourself a Gravatar!

Why Did My Analytics Break?

July 22, 2009

On this blog I use Google analytics to track how many visits I get to the site. I also use it on all my other sites that I have made. It is by far the best tool to get statistics on a website.

For some reason though, about 15 days ago, my Google analytics stopped recording data on my visitors! I now have 11 days of stats that are just 0, I do not mind that I cannot see how much traffic I got, the thing that I am wondering is how it stopped working!

I use a plugin in wordpress to add the code to the site, it makes it simple, less likely to break the source code of the site, but it is not very likely anybody could possibly break the source code of their site by adding the Google analytics code.

So for the few days that my analytics were down, I was trying loads of different plugins to try and get them working again, but I had no luck. Then suddenly one day it started to work again.

analytics stopped working

The graph above shows the traffic to this blog for the past few days, you can see the sudden dip in the graph; this is when the Google analytics tracking stopped working! It is strange that it suddenly begun to work again.

I know that other users of Google Analytics have experienced this before and as far as I know there is no known reason why it happens. If I were to make a suggestion to what might have happened, it would be that maybe there may have been maintenance occurring at Google, however I doubt it would affect tracking for more than a day or 2. Also maybe there might have been a huge increase in traffic to Google analytics.

The Way To See Tweets – VisibleTweets!

July 21, 2009

Over the last week, I have really gotten back into the whole tweeting thing ๐Ÿ˜€ There were always tweets coming onto my twitter profile however they were just links that would direct people to my latest blog post!

I used to always use twitter when I was in college, however now that I am on my summer holidays, it has been getting neglected a bit ๐Ÿ™ . So now I have kind of become addicted to sending out tweet updates.

visible tweets search box

I have also started to follow more people now on twitter, to widen the information that I am receiving, I am trying my best to find more people from Ireland on twitter so I can follow them, and it is always useful to stay up to date with local info too!

Anyway that is kind of going off topic, one night when I received a link on one of the updates from twitter to a great websites that displays tweets in a kind of unique way.

The site is called VisibleTweets, you just type in a word you want to know about, or you can @ someone to just see their updates, so if you @leateds you will just see my updates! It displays in a really colourful way, the background changes every so often and the text kind of falls into place.

letters fly in to replace others

The transition from one tweet to another is done in a clever way, some of the letters that are in the current tweet that are in the next tweet stay while the other letters fade out, then the letters that stay behind are re-ordered and extra letters are added to make a new tweets message.

It really is an interesting way to see twitter updates.ย  There are many different methods to searching, any of the search operators that can be used on twitter can also be used on VisibleTweets.

High Blood Pressure

July 20, 2009
Positron emission tomography functional imagin...
Image via Wikipedia

For a few years I have always had some very bad headaches. Usually when someone gets a headache, they might let it pass by itself or take some medicine to relieve the pain. However when I used to have really bad headaches I would take some medicine and it would work at times and other times it would have no effect.

The pain in my head I used to get was really bad, the headaches would last for a few hours, sometimes 2 or 3 hours or sometimes more!,ย  sometimes I would simply go to my room, shut the curtains and turn the light off so that I would have complete darkness and would have less strain on my eyes. I always thought that these headaches might be some kind of migraine.

I had these kinds of headaches for a few years, and I was just too lazy to go to the doctor to see what might be causing it or how I could prevent them. Well about a month ago now I finally had enough of the head-aches and decided I would do something about them.

I went and visited my doctor and he was a bit confused on what I might have. He said it could possibly be a migraine but there are not enough symptoms to be a migraine. He then decided to have a quick look at my blood pressure, not expecting to see anything wrong, and he turned out to be really surprised.

It turns out I have really high blood pressure and that was what might have caused my head-aches. He then went on to prescribe me medicine to try and lower my high blood pressure. Also he referred me to a cardiologist so that I could have further tests carried out.

I got my appointment dates and I had to get a blood pressure monitor put on me for 24 hours, which I am currently wearing as I write this post. And then tomorrow I will be going to get an echo scan and to see the results of wearing my blood pressure monitor.

The idea of these tests are to find out the cause of the high blood pressure and then find a way to bring it down to a normal level. The medicine I am currently on will most likely be either increased in dosage or be replaced. But usually with high blood pressure, once you are on the medicine, you are on it for life.

The doctor was surprised to find that I had high blood pressure because it is apparently rare enough for my age, 19! So I am looking forward to finally finding out what is causing the high blood pressure. I am in no way worried about it, it is easy to deal with, a tablet or 2 a day and you are sorted ๐Ÿ˜€ .

One thing I have noticed so far is that since I was given medicine my really bad head-aches have gone! It’s great, no more pain ๐Ÿ˜€ . Anyway as soon as I find out my results, I will make another post about it.

Eircom Hacked?

July 19, 2009
eircom Group plc.
Image via Wikipedia

My internet service provider (ISP) is Eircom. I always notice that my c0nnection is really slow, and apparently that is to be expected with Eircom.

However last Monday my broadband was actually cutting out now and again and was becoming slow at loading pages every so often. I thought nothing of it, I just put it down to the fact that Eircom’s broadband was always that slow.

Then on Wednesday of this week I was reading the newspaper (The Argus) and found an article saying that Eircom had been in fact hacked on the Monday night that I had experienced the really slow page load speed!

Apparently a lot of unwanted traffic was directed to the Eircom servers, which caused a strain on the servers and by chain reaction caused a lot of users to experience either really slow speeds or to lose their internet connection completely.

I then went over to Eircom’s tech support page and saw a customer notice explaining the problem that occurred, the article below is the notice they published to their site which was put up the day after the problem was fixed.

eircom notice

I was also reading an article about how Eircom are fully aware that there network is slow at times, and apparently they say they have no intention in the near future of upgrading their networks. You would think that since they are one of the most popular Internet Service Provider’s in Ireland that they would want to have the best service available.

We currently subscribe to a package for our landline and our broadband to be in one bundle. When you sign up to Eircom you must take out a one year contract with them, it is a clause they have built in to keep their customers.

However our one year contract is up and we have begun to look at other providers to see what they have to offer. Recently Vodafone have started to offer a bundle for your landline and broadband and are giving it at a much better price.

My current broadband speed it 3mb however I could change to Vodafone and upgrade my broadband to 7.6mb and still save money!

The only thing stopping me at the moment from changing is that I have to find out more about their broadband.

First I want to see if it is actually good and second is they say they have a 30gb download limit, I want to know if they actually enforce this limit or do they let you away with going over it because I know with Eircom they have the same limit however they do not enforce any penalties if you go over it.