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Shane O'Sullivan's technical blog… really ties the room together

Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

dojo.beer() event in Dublin, June 6th

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on May 20, 2009

Announcing the dojo.beer event in Dublin on June 6th, in the Ginger Man on Fenian St.

dojo.beer events have been running all over the world for over a year now, where developers and users of the Dojo Ajax Toolkit meet up, usually with a presentation or two from Dojo committers, and always with lots of beer/wine/whiskey/Coke (for the designated driver) depending on the locale.

We’re very lucky to have Dylan Schiemann,the co-founder of Dojo and CEO of SitePen, presenting on all things Dojo/Ajax/Web2.0.  I’ll also be doing a presentation on some of the cooler things you can do with Dojo, and I might even show you how to do them!

So, if you’re interested in the Dojo toolkit, or Ajax/Web 2.0 technologies in general, come along and knock back some beers with us.  The event details are:

When: 5pm Saturday June 6th

Where: Upstairs (private bar) in the Ginger Man pub on Fenian St. Click here for a map.

What: Two very interesting and informative presentations from Dylan Schiemann (Dojo co-founder) and Shane O’Sullivan (Dojo committer).  And beer.

Duration: between 1 and 2 hours, but we’ll be hanging around for beers long after the official event is finished, so stay as long as you like!

Cost: Free!  As with all things Open Source, the event is free entry, but you can buy me a pint if you like :-).

Contact: You can just turn up, or add yourself to the event on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=78088992918 . Or email me at shaneosullivan1 at gmail dot com

Posted in Ajax, Dojo, Ireland, Javascript | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Broadband in Dublin: O2 Admits Defeat

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on January 13, 2009

I’ve been documenting my issues with broadband in Dublin (Ireland for the geographically challenged) on and off for a while – see here for previous rants.  I’ve been using mobile broadband from O2 for almost a year now, and have seen it get slower and slower as the year progressed.

Now they’ve officially told me to piss off and stop complaining about my pathetic speeds, as they have no intention of fixing the problem.

In November it started averaging about 5kB/s between 5pm and 10pm every weekday and Saturday mornings.  Yes, the same speed that I got back in ’94 when I discovered the wonders of IRC channels and bulletin boards.  I reported this pathetic fact to O2, (see here, here, here, and here , ok so I bugged them..) and they replied that a mast in my area (a few minutes walk from the centre of the capital of our wonderful Knowledge Economy) was being upgraded in November and this would solve all my problems.

This being Ireland, it wasn’t upgraded until the end of December.  My speeds did indeed improve: they now average around 7kB/s.

Upon reporting this to O2, I was sent an email with this single line:

You have been taken off contract, and can cancel your subscription at any time

They simply admitted that if you live in the city centre, they either cannot or will not invest in sufficient infrastructure to overcome the contention issues.  So please piss off and annoy someone else with your talk of “getting what you pay for”.

O2 still continue to advertise the product as a 3 Megabit service.  I have never gotten this speed, and have not gotten over 1Mbit for 6 months.  I am sure something in there is illegal…. any ideas?

P.S.  I’ll of course be cancelling my contract with them very soon.

Posted in broadband, Ireland, O2 | Leave a Comment »

Will someone just dismantle Eircom already!

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on September 4, 2006

I was asked recently to fix up a small website for some friends, which was hosted on eircom, the Irish national telecoms provider. So, I thought, fine, I need to find out if they support PHP, Java, ASP or even Ruby on Rails, get the development tools, and away I go – right?

Um, no.

It turns out that eircom (note the fact I refuse to capitalise – cheap shot I know, but well deserved) doesn’t support any server side scripting. Nor do they support any kind of backend database. As I found out, the largest telecoms provider in this fair country of mine in firmly stuck back in 1993 with Windows 3.1 and New Kids on the Block.

Plucky, optimistic guy that I am, I decide to not get too annoyed with my countrymen, and instead get an account from GoDaddy (tacky site, but cheap and with very good account management tools), opt for the LAMP stack, and lo and behold, a few days later the site was up and running.

Now all that was left to do was change the index.html file in the old account to do a Javascript redirect to the new, shinier site, so that the sites that had bookmarked the old one would be auto-redirected to the new one.

Not so fast, says eircom! In order to upload files to the eircom FTP server (whenever it’s not crashed and out of service) you first have to be connected to the internet using an eircom connection, regardless of the fact that you have the username and password for the account. This seems to exist for the simple purpose of punishing you, the naughty naughty customer, for having the temerity to accept one of the plethora of infinitely better broadband deals from one of Eircom’s competitors. So, now I’m reduced to sending a mass email to my friends to find out if any of them have an eircom account so they can upload the file for me.

This whole episode is a fitting microcosm of the problems Ireland is having with it’s broadband rollout. For a country that prides itself on being a “Knowledge Economy”, it has one of the lowest levels of broadband penetration in Europe, and the blame for this can be laid at eircoms door.

Their resistance to Local Loop Unbundling is frankly criminal, abusing a monopoly that they’ve held for far too long, and is the reason why, until very recently, they were they only broadband provider in my area. And it’s not like I’m living in the wild west of Mayo, I live in Dublin, the capital.

Eircom should be leading the way, pushing themselves to win market share by offering better products, better prices and better services. They don’t, and it’s crippling Ireland’s technological advancement. And until the EU’s legislation results in millions of €uro in fines, the chancers running the company will continue to drag their feet and piss me off.

Phew! Try saying that in one breath!

Posted in broadband, eircom, GoDaddy, Ireland, LAMP, php, Technical | 4 Comments »

 
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