Archive for the ‘The Internet’ Category

2011 in review

January 1, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

How to filter and label all Gmail email from a specific year

January 17, 2011

Gmail filters

To label all emails from a specific year, say 2010, search with the filter:

before:2011/1/1 after:2009/12/31

And then select all the search results, create a new label, and apply it to the selected items.

2010 in review

January 10, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,900 times in 2010. That’s about 24 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 37 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 236 posts.

The busiest day of the year was January 7th with 244 views. The most popular post that day was Carnegie Porter 3,5.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for how to write japanese, all japanese characters, japanese kanji, reentry visa japan, and busan south korea.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Carnegie Porter 3,5 April 2009


Importing MPEG files from Sony Handycam to iMovie and iDVD March 2010


How to write Japanese kanji – free instructional videos for the iPhone January 2009


How to get a Japan re-entry visa in Tokyo August 2008


iPhone touch screen and static interference February 2009

Twitter spam

April 27, 2010

I don’t use my Twitter account much, and the feed is set to private, so only my “followers” can see it.

Despite that, I still keep getting “follow requests” from random people, mostly spammers, but also recently like this.

Twitter spam

Obviously I haven’t clicked on the link. It’s clearly going to be some kind of spam, or more likely it leads to a malicious website that’ll try to install spyware or a virus/trojan.

I wonder how many people just see the hot girl, the mention of “private pictures”, and click it anyway without thinking?

Twitter spam screenshots set on Flickr.

Surprising Flickr photo popularity

March 9, 2010

Pink woman stencil graffiti

This photo of a stencil sprayed on a wall in Munich is by far the most popular image on my Flickr stream.

According to the stats it currently has more than 10,000 views, which is around 3 times more than the 2nd ranking image (sea cucumbers in South Korea).

I’m surprised. I took the photo with the crappy built-in camera on a mobile phone, and I didn’t think it had come out very well. fail

April 15, 2009 used to be great for buying DVDs and CDs – huge range, decent prices, and free delivery to most of Europe. But recently (well, some time within the last year or so) they’ve introduced a new delivery policy and won’t deliver to Europe if you pay in GBP, or to the UK if you pay in Euros.

This wouldn’t have been a problem while I was still living in Germany, but now I’ve moved to Japan it means I can’t buy stuff on my German card and have it delivered to friends/family back home without paying in GBP and having to pay a transaction fee. And I can’t pay on my Japanese card because they don’t allow Japan as a billing address.

If they hadn’t introduced these ridiculous rules, I’d’ve just bought the stuff there rather than going to Amazon and finding everything that I wanted at significantly cheaper prices…

I love my Japanese internet connection

January 29, 2009

Fast Internet

Getting a torrent downloading at over 1MB/s was unimaginable on my cable internet connection back in Munich. In fact I couldn’t even use BitTorrent on that ISP because they blocked it. Not officially, of course. It just mysteriously didn’t work.

Here, it’s a 100MB fiber connection direct to the building, and I pay less (including the phone) than I did just for the cable internet.

So far I haven’t even got close to maxing it out…

Free wireless internet access in Tokyo

January 23, 2009

I’ve just bought a FON wireless router. The main motivation for choosing it was the fact that it was considerably cheaper than the others that were available.

The reason it’s cheap is that you’re expected to share your internet connection. You get a private channel for your own use, and a public one for everyone else. Once you’ve registered, you can then freely use any other public FON access point.

FON WiFi Locations in Central Tokyo

According to their map page there are plenty of access points in Tokyo, which should be good for connecting the iPhone or laptop while out and about. And even if the free access turns out to be crap in some way (limitations, adverts, etc), at least I now have a cheap router than I can use at home rather than having to trail a cable across the apartment…

Configuring Firefox’s browser address bar

August 29, 2008

Firefox Browser URL Bar Settings

I just upgraded to the latest version of Firefox and the new URL bar is really annoying, the way it remembers every page you’ve visited and pops them up as you type in the address.

Luckily it’s configurable and you can change the way it behaves. Phil lists all the settings here, but the way he did it switches it off completely.

I just changed the setting browser.urlbar.matchOnlyTyped and now it only shows the URLs that I’ve manually typed in, rather than everything I’ve ever visited.

Moving to WordPress

January 11, 2008

I’ve decided that since I hardly ever post anything on my site recently, it’s not worth the cost of keeping it on a dedicated server any more. The domain name now redirects to a blog on and the server will be cancelled when the contract expires.

All the old entries have been imported onto the new blog, but I didn’t copy any of the photos, so all the gallery links are broken until I set up a pro account on Flickr and upload my photos there.

Importing email from Thunderbird into Apple Mail

November 23, 2007

The easiest way I’ve found to import your mail from Thunderbird into Apple Mail is to use Gmail’s IMAP service. Just upload all your mail from Thunderbird to Gmail over IMAP, and then download it back into Apple Mail, also over IMAP. (Of course this assumes you don’t mind Google having access to all your mail…)

Here’s a guide to importing mail into Gmail using IMAP.

Gmail’s IMAP import worked perfectly for most of my emails, except the ones that were received through the MS Exchange Server at one of the companies I used to work at. All those mails ended up being displayed in Gmail with “(unknown sender)” and “(no subject)”. When opening them the content was OK, but the mail headers hadn’t been correctly parsed.

All the mails had a “Microsoft Mail Internet Headers Version 2.0” line in the header. I found that by manually editing Thunderbird’s mail files and removing that line from all the affected emails, they could then be imported to Gmail successfully.

Firefox plugins

July 30, 2007

I’ve been using Firefox exclusively for about a year now. Here are some of the plugins that I find useful:

Fire Uploader – Allows you to upload media to your YouTube, Flickr, Facebook accounts from a single page.

TabMix Plus – Enhances Firefox tabs, including saving and restoring tab sessions.

Long Titles – Makes sure long titles and alt-texts are displayed properly (particularly useful for reading the image tags on xkcd).

Flashblock – Stops flash objects from playing until you click on them.

IE Tab – Opens a tab using Internet Explorer’s page renderer. Useful for those annoying sites that only work properly in IE.

Rikaichan – Translation tool for Japanese-English. It also does Japanese-Russian, Japanese-French, and Japanese-German.

Google Toolbar –  Same as the toolbar for IE.

Customize Google – Forces GMail to use a secure connection, removes ads, and various other Google tweaks.

Generating website access statistics with ServerAdmin24

March 23, 2007

The default server administration software on my server is ServerAdmin24 which seems to have a problem with the configuration of website statistics generation – i.e. the statistics are never generated.

I couldn’t find any information about this – in English or German – and had to send a support request to the Strato tech support who found the cause of the problem and gave me the following solution:

Find the file:


and edit it so that the “LogFile” line reads:

LogFile /usr/local/sa24/logfiles/

And then if you want the stats to be generated immediately, rather than at whatever time they’re scheduled to be updated, run the script:


Geolocated photos with Google Earth

January 26, 2007

I recently installed the latest version of Google Earth and found that it has a new feature where you can upload your photos via Panoramio and have them displayed in Google Earth at the position where they were taken.

I’ve uploaded a couple of my recent pictures from Gokoku Jinja and Mount Aso but they haven’t appeared on Google Earth yet. I imagine they’re moderating the incoming photos pretty hard to prevent it from becoming too cluttered.

The photos can be forced onto the display by going to my profile page and loading the KML file into Google Earth.

Server Downgrade

January 19, 2007

I’ve just moved this site and the Ex-Sony Munich Community site to a new lower-spec server. The contract for the previous server expired and since I’m no longer hosting the Britboard on it there’s no point continuing to pay for it.

The new server costs half as much. It’s still with Strato because I was quite impressed with the quality of their service (sales and tech support) so far.