I wonder what effect this will have on the way we buy houses

Reading time: 1 minute

The UK Land Registry have made all Land Register and Title Plan information since 2001 available on the internet.

For £2 you can find out how much your neighbour paid for their gaff.

You can’t search by someone’s name, but if you know their house number and street name you can find out the price paid for any UK property.

The site also allows people to see a property’s boundaries and any restrictions put on its use.


Ivan Noble – “not defeated”

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Ivan Noble has posted his final “tumour diary” entry.

Ivan is a technology journalist at the BBC. He was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2002 and has kept an online diary of his life since. He has become too ill to write.

His final plea:

I will end with a plea. I still have no idea why I ended up with a cancer, but plenty of other cancer patients know what made them ill.

If two or three people stop smoking as a result of anything I have ever written then the one of them who would have got cancer will live and all my scribblings will have been worthwhile.

I wish peace to Ivan, his family and friends.

Minor diversion

Reading time: 1 minute

We were talking earlier about a radio programme I wish I’d heard yesterday.

Apparently someone has been researching in to whether our association of minor keys in music with melancholy or sadness is innate or caused by conditioning. Their conclusion is that it’s something we’re born with.

I’d never stopped to think about it before, I guess I’ve always taken it for granted that it’s something intrinsic in our nature.

But it got me wondering how you go about actually proving it.

You can hardly stick someone on a desert island for their first twenty years and then suddeny expose them to a blast of Mozart’s Requiem and watch their reaction.


Reading time: 1 minute

I’m interested in learning more about localism.

I want to find out what it means, and how its meaning varies from context to context. In economics, politics, food and agriculture, broadcasting and religion both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

This is the current Wikipedia definition of localism:

Localism usually describes social measures or trends which emphasise or value local and small-scale phenomena. This is in contrast to large, all-encompassing frameworks for action or belief.

Localism can therefore be contrasted with globalisation, although the two are best seen as complementary rather than opposing. Localism can be geographical, but often it is not.

I wonder who’s supports it, and what they’re doing about it?

I wonder who’s against it, and what they’re doing about it?

How local is local?

Setting up a WordPress blog on PlusNet

Reading time: 3 minutes

I’ve been getting around to setting up a blog for ages…

One of the things that’s put me off is making a decision on what software to go with, what account type to buy etc. etc.

I was pointed towards WordPress by another PlusNet user in the discussion forum and so I thought I’d have a go at setting it up in my webspace using my PlusNet account.

I’ve put together a brief step-by-step set up guide which hopefully might save other folks a little time…

  1. In order to install the software, which runs using PHP and mySQL, you’ll need to activate your CGI webspace. Do this by logging in to the Member’s Centre on the PlusNet portal, then click on Website settings under My Account. Here you’ll find the option for CGI where you can click through and activate. It’s worth doing this as the first step as it can take up to 24 hours to kick in.
  2. Activate your mySQL database using the PlusNet members’ portal. This also takes 24 hours to kick in, and your username, password and host information will be emailed to you at the address you’ve registered on the portal
  3. Download WordPress and unzip it locally
  4. Follow the step-by-step installation instructions on the WordPress website – this is where you specify the database user name, password and host
    [16 Feb 2005: See also comments from Chris re: name of database and where to upload to in your webspace]
  5. It’s a good idea to copy and paste the Admin password you get upon installation of your WordPress site in to a text file for safe keeping. You can log in to your blog and change it to something more memorable.
  6. View and edit your blog, you can start writing immediately… the homepage will be in the directory where you FTPed your files to on your CGI webspace. In my case this is http://cgi.priceswainson.plus.com/ (the homepage is index.php)

Tip: If you’ve registered a domain name with PlusNet you can serve your blog via this domain name. First you’ll need to configure your domain information in the PlusNet portal. You’ll then need to raise a Help ticket on the site and once it’s picked up it will take about 24 hours to kick in. I’ve done this so that http://www.beatnic.co.uk/ resolves http://cgi.priceswainson.plus.com

I hope this is of some use to other people. From time to time I’ll post up on what it’s been like to use and tips on how to change templates, stylesheets etc.

So far the whole experience has been very positive 🙂

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