Why the Quietness?

It is rather strange for me to be quiet. Especially online and on this blog specifically.

Twitter is partly to blame: it is where my creative mind finds an outlet.

Another is a little more sinister. And I use the word sinister also meaning left-hand-side

In April 2007 I talked on my experience of Bell’s Palsy.

Over the last month, the left-hand side of my face didn’t go numb nor fall, but there has been an intense ache.

Now the right hand side of my face is showing some weirdness. A nervous twitching when I yawn, eat, talk, look up or smile. This twitching lasts for 1-2 seconds and is noticeable, and changes my speech pattern. It is quite disconcerting giving presentations and having your face go crazy. I am quite self-conscious about the visual effect.

From reports from other Bell’s sufferers, this is a potential issue. Doctors report that this is a function of the muscles and nerves of the face rebalancing the weakness on one side.

So, its working online and from home with a few outward bound events.

And rest.

So, if you don’t see my “in the flesh” or being prolific online. There is my reason.

Random Neil Finn Lyric Server

All Lyrics are Copyright their respective Copyright holders.
Service Privacy Policy.

Fast Start:

To get an lyrics superimposed on image, use the following URL:


For JSON, use the following URL:


For SOAP, use the following URL to get the WSDL


Simple XML, use the following URL:



In 2002 I had a brainwave whilst driving to work. I don’t know where it came from, but here’s the result of some late night coding.I think that Neil Finn is the world’s best singer/songwriter – and this service is a tribute to his work. There are over 280 phrases from over 70 songs Neil and his brother Tim has written in the database. This collection spans from 1979 with the Split Enz album Frenzy to their most recent work in 2004 on his second Finn Brothers album, Everyone Is Here
To incorporate the Random Neil Finn Lyric Server into your web page is easy. Just copy and paste the following HTML into your web page editor of choice. As an image:http://www.nickhodge.com/nhodge/finnwords/finnwordsimageengine.php

<img src="http://www.nickhodge.com/finnwords.jpg" width="300" height="174"/>

or using iframe

<iframe id="finnwords" src="http://www.nickhodge.com/nhodge/finnwords/finnwordsengine.php" mce_src="http://www.nickhodge.com/nhodge/finnwords/finnwordsengine.php" width="175" height="175" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" hspace="0" vspace="0" frameborder="1" scrolling="no"></iframe>

If you would like to bookmark something to see a quote on a daily basis, just use this URL: http://www.nickhodge.com/nhodge/finnwords/finnwordsengine.php

For those with an RSS Reader, add the following URL to your feed, and get a Random Neil Finn Lyric:http://www.nickhodge.com/nhodge/mungenet/mungenetrssengine.php?ver=2.0&content=finn

SOAP Server URL: http://www.nickhodge.com/nhodge/finnwords/finnwordssoapengine.php

endpoint: getRandomNeilFinnLyric

parameters: returnType a string containing the text xml, json, html or text to indicate the return format

Here is some sample PHP5 using the SOAP (Web Services) functions to call in a Neil Finn quote

$parameter = array("returnType","html");
$soapclient = new SoapClient('http://www.nickhodge.com/finnwords.wsdl');
echo ($soapclient->getRandomNeilFinnLyric($parameter));

Moore’s Law and Compounding Interest

In deploying the small Ruby on Rails application on an old Dell 8200 running Debian-sarge, I decided to see how the application would perform under load.

Apache comes with a great little application meekly called ab. ab is a small command-line tool that slashdots your web application, and gives you a nice measure (in pages per second, amongst other things).

Measuring the performance of the Dell 8200 using the Mongrel web server vs. my Mac Book Pro running the same versions of all the stack of software (except, obviously the OS) – the speed difference is 16x. Now as these machines are about 4 years apart from each other in the Intel-world, 16 is exactly what you would expect: the performance doubles every year. Very wise prediction from 1970 that continues to drive this whole crazy industry.

What has this to do with Compounding interest? Exactly 22 years ago one of my kind, late great-uncles started a bank account for be with the grand deposit of AU$200. Which I’ve subsequently forgotten about.

Mum found the Deposit booklet somewhere, and sent it to me. Today that account is worth about $640. This is a compounded interest rate of 5.4%. In another 22 years it will be worth AU$2,023 at the same rate.

Now, if it had compounded at Moore’s Law over the last 22 years: the amount in the bank would be a grand $6,276,211,921,800.

Now I know why I work in IT, not finance!

Parallels Idleness

Post cup noodling around doing not much at all and decided to download the trial version of Parallels Workstation for Debian Linux. After some aptitude fixing packages that were not installed; finally managed to get Parallels booting.

Next step: attempt to get the X11 appearing from the client application (installed on the Debian server) to the display server on my Mac.

Something with the video is hosed; and it’s possible that Vista won’t work over the X11 connection.

Anyway, that killed some bits on the Bigpond and a couple of hours.

Geek and Roman Toys

Apple finally releases Intel Core 2 Duo versions of the 15 and 17″ MacBook Pro. The concept of 200Gb of disk space and 3Gb of RAM is attractive, but we’ll have to see … I don’t think Santa is that generous. Unless someone wants a 5 month old 15″ MacBook Pro.

Myriad of things from Adobe. Apollo gets US$100m of backing from Adobe; but still no code to get your hands dirty. Flex Builder 2.0 for MacOS is out. Woot!

DigitalEditions comments from Ryan Stewart; in fact, Ryan has some excellent comments on Adobe Apollo too.

However, the biggest announcement is a parry to Microsoft’s XPS: Adobe Mars project. This is a representation of PDF in XML, but packed in a ZIP container. This one has been bumping around for a while: and it seems the SVG might just be getting another run at Adobe.

Just as Adobe starts to head toward the moon in the Apollo, we have another space metaphor to deal with: Mars. Or mabye it’s just a penchant for Roman Gods?

Fittingly, Mars is the Roman god of war.

Too much stuff, my brain hurts. Especially as I have some serious Javascript and Adobe Extendscript revolving in my head.

Technorati Tags:

Google within del.icio.us using Custom Search Engine

I’ve always wanted a search engine for just the sites I’ve tagged in del.icio.us.

With Google Custom Search Engine, I’ve added my del.icio.us subscriptions page to the Included Sites. You could probably do the same thing with Google Marker from your subscriptions.

Yes, a smarter way of setting this up could be a dynamically generated page containing just links from your tags.

The simple connection method seems to work.