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Archive for May, 2009

Automated Water Irrigation System

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

I had hoped to plant-out my tomatoe plants today, but I spent much of the hot afternoon installing my Hozelock automatic water irrigation system, now that the frosts have gone (fingers crossed), I don’t leave them out all year, and store them in the shed, after October to protect from frosts.

 

Hozelock AC4 and AC1+ Garden Water Timers

Hozelock AC4 and AC1+ Garden Water Timers

The Hozelock AC4 and AC1+ have since been discontinued, (probably available new and used from eBay.), but newer models are available which do the same thing. I have two different models which automatically water the plants at the top and bottom (greenhouse), early morning at 7am and late evening 8pm for an hour. It takes me a while to setup, because I have to drape the water dripper pipe around the base of the blue berry and goji berry bushes. I use two drippers per 18″ pot for my blueberry bushes, I’ve noticed that blueberry bushes “drink” alot, and it’s very important to keep the plants moist in this hot weather to avoid crop loss.

 

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of blueberry bush

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of blueberry bush

The new style Hozelock, quick water irrigation system is much easier to install with potted plants, I also have three of them. I’ll post some pictures, when I set them up, in the greenhouse.

 

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of blueberry bush

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of blueberry bush

You can see the drippers in this photograph.

 

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of tomatoe plants

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of tomatoe plants

I’ve used a John Guest on/off ball valve (yes, John Guest fittings work on this pipe as well!), to turn off the water if I need to. Oh I think these tomatoe plants have had it, I planted them out early under glass cloches, only problem is over the last two days, with the heat, I think it’s killed them!

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NEW WEBSITE! (hosting server)

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

It would appear that something weird is happening, and the nameserver entries are “bouncing” between the old and new nameservers, the effect of this is, is sometimes you get the old, and sometimes you get the new website. This is out of my control because it’s to do with the DNS cache’s that exist in the Internet and also your computer! It should settle down after 48-72 hours. When the nameserver updates have propagated across the internet. I’ve posted this as a sticky, so you can see if you have reached the old or new website. It may help if you flush the DNS cache on your computer. If I’m talking techie jargon and you’ve switched off don’t worry.

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Website Move

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

All seems to have gone well, I think. Here’s the boring techie, nerdie stuff. I started the move this afternoon at 12.30pm by changing the IPSTAG from the existing registrar to new new one. This change happened immediately, and the IPSTAG was changed to the new registrar. In hindsight, I think it would have been better to change the DNS nameservers first to point to the new hosting server rather than after. There was a small issue, and just my luck, after I had changed the IPSTAG, I noticed that there was a strange error in the transfer to the new registrar, and this is why:

“Unfortunately the company Nominet, the governing body of all .uk domains is currently out of service and experiencing problems. We are waiting for their systems to come back up.”

At approx 5.00pm, I was able to complete the transfer successfully, and update the nameservers to point to the new hosting server. During this time, I started copying the blog software and database to the new hosting server (here).

At present, I’m still waiting for the nameservers to update. So at present the old hosting server is responding to andsyworld.org.uk requests.

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Moved!

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Arrived!

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See you on the other side! (hopefully!)

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

I’m just about to change the IPSTAG on the domain andysworld.org.uk, so I can move the domain registration provider (registrar). This could take between 48-72 hours but when it does change, the website may disappear temporaily. So this may be my last post here at this provider!

But don’t worry we’ll be back!

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Scary stuff…

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Not happy with the current performance of the blog, and wanting to do more adventurous things with it, I’m considering moving the hosting of it, if I cannot get the performance issues fixed. There’s quite a bit of data to move from http://andysworld.org.uk, which has ended up here over the last five years. This is probably going to be a two step process, in changing the domain records and then moving the web hosting (actual data and blog!).

I don’t know how long this is going to take me to organise, so just giving you the heads up now, just in case one day http://andysworld.org.uk doesn’t respond in how it should (which is happening quite a bit at present with blank page responses!).

I’ll try and give you warning with one last post, before I shutdown and move!

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Customer Service gone to the dogs!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Back in April, I held a little competition between two high street shops, where items had failed and I returned it to their Head Office c/o Managing Director. Well Congratulations to Clarks Shoes, not only did they respond very quickly, they also provided a nice cheque and apologies for the inconvenience caused. All DSGi (businesses include Currys, Currys Digital, PC World, and Dixons Group Business Services.) could do was send me a nice standard letter from PC World Customer Services directing me back to the PC World Store, oh and arranging for the items to be returned to me (that was 3 weeks ago, and I’ve still not received the items), despite chasing them on their new 0844 telephone number which has already cost me £6.00!

So my advice the next time you want to purchase some computer equipment, and when it fails, expect it be replaced under the 12 month guarantee, because you can take it back to the shop, where purchased:-

Follow my simple four step guide.

1. Give the DSGi group a wide birth (this includes Currys, Currys Digital, PC World, and Dixons Group Business Services, PC World Business, MacWarehouse and Equanet, Pixmania.com, Electro World, Elko).

2. Don’t purchase any Adent rubbish. (because PC World will tell you to contact Advent if it goes wrong!)

3. If it develops a fault, throw it in the bin.

4. Better off purchasing from a market trader of eBay! (you’ll have the same level of difficulty getting a replacement or repair!)

Light touch paper and retire…..

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It’s all gone Pete Tong again!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

I don’t know why I bother… After spending time, testing, painting a new fish tank, removing all the existing tanks…..moving the new glass tank carefully into the fish house, in amongst all the other glass tanks, manouevering into final position.

It doesn’t fit!

There’s not enough clearance, because of the larger 6ft x 2ft x 2ft tank! (and I’m not moving that!), and to add insult to injury, I then thought it would be a good idea, to move the bottom two fish tanks (2ft x 15 x 12) to the second shelf, and put the 4ft x 15 x 12 fish tank on the bottom shelf, only to find, I could only fit one 2ft fish tank on the middle shelf, and the 4ft x 15 x 12 fish tank on the bottom shelf, still wouldn’t fit!

Umm… looks like, I’ll be putting everthing back to how it was!!!

Well that’s a day in the life folks!

and

I’ve got a headache…..

Anyone want a cheap 48 x 15 x 12 glass tank, painted matt white? Contact me?

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All change!

Monday, May 25th, 2009
Two 48 inch replacement tanks for the fish house
Two 48 inch replacement tanks for the fish house

I’ve not blogged anything about the fish house in a while, because nothing really exciting has happend, and I didn’t think you be interested in feeding the fish, or bi-weekly partial water changes. To conserve electricity, I shut down six small fish tanks in December 2008 (18inch x 10inch x 10inch, and smaller), they were used as quarantine, and for smaller fish, but more recently I’d increased the fish house, by six tanks, so these weren’t really used a great deal. These four fish tanks, were the first four that started the fish house in 2004. Time for a change.

I’ve had three four foot fish tanks in storage since the fish house move of July 2006. One four foot tank would replace these four nicely!

I’ve cleaned, soak tested it for leaks, and painted the sides white with some spare matt emulsion. It’s not the tidest of fish tanks, but it holds water, ideal for the fish house.

Before - fish tanks that will be replaced
Before - fish tanks that will be replaced

These are the four dirty fish tanks in the fish hosue that will be replaced by one single 48×15x12 fish tank. I just noticed that one of the tanks, has a successfuly breeding colony of snails. Most of the time, I’m trying to get rid of these with Clown andCandy loaches, and have successfully removed all snails from the fish house. I’ll keep these in another small tank, so I can rear them for live food for the loaches. (I’ll regret it later, I’m sure).

After - removed!
After - removed! Fish tanks removed.

wires, and new polysterene required, and a bit of tidy up required before I site the replacement fish tank. That’s another day.

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Cheap Multi-purpose compost

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

When you use as much compost as I do, (I’ve already used 500 litres of homemade from the compost heap and now it’s empty) it’s always nice to be able to find a cheap bulk supply of multi-purpose compost. I’ve been visting the local independant garden centres, chains and DIY stores, the best deal around seem to be 3 (three) 75 litres bags for £12, of one brand of the other. I then  notice this offer from Wickes, 4 (four) 75 litres bags for £11.74 (which makes me think, I think the garden centres are ripping us off, because the bags would have been marked up with £12 before the VAT cut to 15%!. So four bags were dumped into the back of the car. I thought it was a good deal anyway.

Wickes Multi-Purpose Compost

Wickes Multi-Purpose Compost

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