Songbee 2.1 released

I’ve just released version 2.1 of Songbee. There’s a lot of clean-ups and fixes, and it adds support for choosing Bible verses from different versions, multilingual worship, and automatic updating. If you’re currently using Songbee, I really urge you to get this update. If you’re not currently using it, and you’re involved in a Japanese church, check it out. Read more about Songbee 2.1 released

Five ways to save money with Asterisk - at home

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We’ve deployed Asterisk to manage our home phone system. Asterisk is a business-class PBX, but it’s released as free software, so I would hope that businesses realise how easy it is to save money using Asterisk for their office systems. But home phone? Isn’t that a bit overkill? I don’t think so. Here’s five ways that you can save money by using Asterisk at home. Read more about Five ways to save money with Asterisk - at home

Deploying Perl web applications

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So this is a bit of a diversion from the whole theology thing, but… (This’ll probably confuse everyone on the CCBlogs site…)

In the missionary job, I’ve been setting up various web sites (including this one) and to make maintainence nice and easy, I’ve been using Drupal rather a lot. It’s a nice framework. One of the really nice things about it is that it’s very, very easy to install - untar the distribution into a directory on the web server, fill in some forms, and you have a new CMS. It really couldn’t be very much easier. If you get things wrong, it tells you what they are and how to fix it.

Coming back to Perl, I’ve been embarrassed at our web applications. Well, we have CPAN, which is a wonderful rich resource and people use CPAN modules liberally, as they should. But it does mean that deploying Perl web applications has required a lot of systems administration experience and often a lot of pain and aggravation.

So I’ve been working today on a Better Way, and I’m about 60% of the way there… Read more about Deploying Perl web applications

The egg-laying wool milk pig: the myth of integration

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We're moving into our new house today, but we don't have any furniture. I don't think we'll get any for a while, though, because I'm looking for a combined bed/table/chest of drawers/fridge/TV/easy chair. Then we need to get some things around the house done, so I'm trying to find someone who's a plasterer/painter/electrician/plumber/gardener.

Train fare hacks

So I've been travelling by train a lot recently, and have got very, very frustrated with the UK's insane policy on train fares. Money Saving Expert points out that you can save a lot of money by buying split tickets. For instance, a ticket from Gloucester to Oxford might cost you 29 pounds; but buying two tickets for one journey (Gloucester-Swindon, Swindon-Oxford) will cost you a total of 16.10 - a saving of 45% on exactly the same journey, even using the same trains.

Wedding album blather

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So as you probably know, we're planning a wedding at the end of this month, and these things are full of lots of fun expenses. And most of those expenses are overinflated because, well, it's a wedding. One of the expenses is getting the wedding photos into an album, and wedding albums are sufficiently overinflated that I've started looking at why and how we can do it ourselves. Here are some notes on what I found out.

What's wrong with IT consultancy

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I take a dim view of IT consultants, particularly having been one, and I am not the only one. Barely a week goes by without a story in the press about yet another government IT scheme failing to meet budget or timelines due to the incompetence of these charlatans; the only surprising thing is that people continue to fall for this when, if you think about it, it should be perfectly obvious that consultants' work is in nobody's interests but their own: