Archive for the ‘Non-genealogical’ Category


Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Fast - reliable - strong - and defunct

It’s hardly worth mentioning because I don’t suppose anyone visits this site regularly, but if anyone did, they would have noticed a few problems with it lately. One very noticeable problem is that it simply wasn’t there for a week or so. Before that it was undergoing some serious speed issues and intermittent downtime (as we web professionals call it when the server doesn’t work).

The problem seems to have been with the service I was using to host the site, Ninjalion. They have been uncontactable for a few weeks now (although they did send me a reminder about my monthly payment a few days ago, which I’m afraid I’ve chosen to ignore). In fact they are now doing a passable imitation of having gone bust. I’m not particularly surprised – they didn’t charge very much.

Well, I’ve now made other hosting arrangements for But unfortunately, although I had a recent backup of the main family history website, I didn’t have one for the Webtrees site. That’s a bit of a pain, because I’ve put in quite a bit of time updating people’s details, uploading pictures etc. Without access to the database files on the old server, all that work is lost.

I’ve restored a basic version of the Webtrees pages, and I’ll gradually try and return them to the position they were at before everything went into meltdown. But it may take a while.

If anyone happens to have downloaded a GEDCOM file from the Webtrees site, that would help a lot in restoring all the data, so please get in touch. But I won’t be holding my breath.

Historical spell check fiasco

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

cuttingThis has nothing to do with my family history, but it does need to be on the internet somewhere, so I’m putting it here.

The article below dates from May 2 1996, when it appeared in the Braintree & Witham Times (more usually known as the Brainless and Witless, quite appropriately as will become clear).

The journalist whose by line it appears under, Eve Sweeting, may or may not be married to the music journalist Adam Sweeting. She ought to be though.

The article, about an Essex youth football club, is intrinsically humdrum, but it was livened up by someone’s injudicious use of a computer spellchecker. They clearly set it to run, perhaps accidentally, accepting all suggestions without checking for themselves to make sure the corrections were sane.

Unfortunately I didn’t save the following week’s paper, which contained a corrected version of the article, but I have managed to retrieve most of the original names that ended up being mangled by the spellchecker. They are:

She’ll Brochures …………………… Sheila Broadhurst (more…)