Steve's blog

A blog about what's going on in Analysis UK... is now Open

Well finally I managed to put my bad habits of being a software engineer behind me and open the doors on

As you probably know from my other blog entries, I already have and up and running. Naturally I have been seeing how they are used and trying to improve the sites based on that.

Unfortunately I had been holding back until I got a number of new features in place and some bugs fixed, well I’m pleased to say that I have a number of them sorted out now.

However I still have more stuff to put on the site to improve it further (as with the book and dvd sites!). The decision to have multiple sites each aimed at a specific function has worked well, but really causes problems for configuration management!, the headache or rolling out a new piece of functionality and ensuring it doesn’t break anything in the process makes it all very slow to add new bits.

Well anyway, if you have a large CD collection and want to catalogue it so you can check what CD’s you have before going and buying the same one again…

Or if you want your friends to be able to browse what CDs you have (or vicky verka),…

Maybe you have friends that borrow CDs and forget to return them – you can let manage your loans so you and your friends know who’s borrowed what and how long ago…

Or just want to buy and sell CD’s then please go and take a look around – Membership if FREE!. and some snow.

Well I really managed to do it again didn’t I, forgetting to add bits to the old blog. I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since I last wrote.

I started this blog to give customers an incite into what I was up to with the various web sites and I had also read that it was a good marketing tool to help promote the web sites, so I guess I’m failing miserable with these so far!

Last time I wrote I mentioned a lack of snow here in Cambridge, well as it turns out blogs are more powerful than I ever imagined, the very next day the best covering of snow I’ve seen here in the UK for quite some time, it must have been at least an inch thick!!!.

Now I’m thinking that if blogs are really this powerfully perhaps it’s about time I started complaining about my lack of wining lottery tickets! although I guess really not buying a lottery ticket in the first place doesn’t help the matter.

Big apologies to all of you how make use of (and the other exchange rates sites), the federal reserve who I get the currency feed from kindly changed the data format in the xml file at the beginning of April, how nice!, they didn’t even bother to update the URI or anything to keep backwards compatibility, just a new format.

Well after some major stupidity on my behalf (requesting the rates for the next day) I finally managed to update the xml parsing routines to work with the new file format. It’s times like that I wish I was using or PHP5, but for now my servers running PHP4, one day soon I’ll be getting a Windows Server 2003 server and getting ASP.NET running for my sites, C#/.NET is a very nice language to write in and really improves developer performance however with the way things are I’ll be needing 40hour days and a time machine to even get started with that.

In good news I managed to get some updates to the way each site gets the exchange rates, the way they worked was left over from the days on shared hosting accounts when I couldn’t get all the sites to access a single database to store the rates in, that’s now fixed and sites like should be somewhat faster now.

Also, if you use the Bango numbers to access either or please not that these are no longer supported.