Art as Background

The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1839, oil on canvas. National Gallery

J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851) was growing up, and remains to this day, one of my favourite artists. He painted, printed and drew prodigiously, leaving to posterity a collection of more than 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours and 30,000 works on paper.

Part of my fascination with Turner stems from my god-father, who wrote the book Angel in the Sun, about Turner’s vision of history. He sent me a copy in the late 1990s when I was in my first flush of university study, an impressionable age, and my interest in Turner’s work has blossomed ever since.

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Nibbled By System

Year 2000 Bug: the sign indicates January 1900 instead of January 2000

I am a simple man who fears being nibbled by system. I like things I can see and touch. In the technological realm, I like things I can see and organise. This is perhaps why I am happier with knobs, levers and buttons than I am with touchscreens and complex scripts I can’t understand. To take a line from the book of Potter:

Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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To CDN Or Not To CDN

As the great bard made a Prince of Denmark once say:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,And by opposing end them

Or in the case of my journey to an more optimised site would have it: to CDN or not to CDN, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler to let your webhost suffer the traffic and attacks of an outraged internet, or to use a CDN in a web of trouble, and in load balancing end them.

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Site With Less Byte

Susty Theme screenshot

I have been musing on ‘how I publish’ a lot of late. This is in part because I am now blogging every day, but also because I am reading more of other people’s blogs than I have for some time. Some of the blogs are specifically about blogging. Two of the finer examples of this genre are from Kev Quirk and Marko Saric, the latter of whom is part of the brain trust behind the excellent analytics software Plausible.

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To Federate, But How?

Map of unitary and federal states

Thanks to all those who provided feedback on yesterday’s musing. The general consensus is that the ‘drop’ in readership is a result of my posts no longer being syndicated on read As a short term fix, I have linked my Ghost blog with to see if the reading statistics tick up again. If so, the experiment will have proved the hypothesis. Or more properly, it will not disprove the hypothesis.

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Losing Readers?

It’s been 6 days since I switched from to Ghost and I have noticed something odd. The analytics of my blog are showing far fewer readers. About a 90% drop. While I am not a popularity junkie, it is more gratifying to know one is writing for a large than a small audience as I write to try and assist others. If there are no ‘others,’ then there is limited scope for impact.

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