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Offline Kronalias

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Beeboblog
« on: February 25, 2009, 07:09:02 PM »
This is where I\'ll chronicle the Journey Of The Beebotron. If you have any comments on this lot then please post them on the Subjects phorum - I\'d be grateful if you\'d leave this lot just for me. Ta!

Y\'know, everyone goes on a \'Journey\' these days. The Oscars. Strictly Come Dancing. Terry Wogan.

Well, I go on journeys with my wife, Blod. Tesco, holidays etc but that\'s not what this is about.

The JOTB is a real journey, as the Beebotron has been to many places that I haven\'t. As I type, half of the Beebotron is in Missouri, and the other half is in the UK.

Anyway, I thought it was about time I started blogging what was going on with the Beebotron here.

It\'s easier for me to post here than change the html in the Beebotron\'s Beebolog - that\'s why I haven\'t been doing it. So the first post is going to be the entire Beeboblog from the Beebotron and we\'ll see where we get to.

Having read this before posting, I can see that it\'s not a journey after all. So that\'s a good start...

Actually it is, as it pretty much sums up what the Beebotron is all about(tu)

In the next post all the links have been turned off, which is just as well as most of them don\'t work any more...

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 07:11:25 PM »
http://aximsite.com/ - just do a search in there for Beebotron. Plug: That\'s a really good site for info and help for Pocket PCs, and not just for Dell Axims! ( By the way, I have no affiliation to this site, so that\'s a totally independent recommendation. )  Alternatively you could google for \'beebotron site:aximsite.com\' (without the \'s) and you should find where I\'ve gone. Would regular users please take a note of this, as you won\'t be able to read this bit if the site is down!

12 Jan 07 A couple of minor updates - the date-time stamp on the first line of the listings should now be ok, and there shouldn\'t be as many out of date links.

I\'ve also included a compatibility list - which totals the grand sum of one entry, which is my own. I\'m interested in finding out which mobile devices work with the site and, perhaps more importantly, which ones don\'t. If you could spare the time and have a different mobile device from those listed could you email me and let me know what you\'re using, and whether or not the site works please?

A response already - thanks Johnny!

18 Jan 07 I\'ve been tweaking a bit, and the links *should* all update within every 24 hours. Hopefully. Perhaps.

I\'ve also a page which provides a synopsis for each of some selected programmes - they are the ones I was interested in, but if you have any which you want included then let me know and I\'ll try to put them in. As I said in that section, the BBC Backstage feed that I\'m using is a bit ropey - let me know what you think of it!

28 Jan 07 I\'ve been tweaking a bit more, and now everything seems to be running smoothly. Having said that, the page giving the Synopses updates every hour, and the Listen Again links update over 24 hours. So there may be a slight discrepancy.

I\'ve had most of my feedback on various boards, but I\'ve also had some really nice emails coming in (Johnny in Oz is now a regular). Thanks also to Steve for the nice words and the Nokia N61 update.

18 Feb 07 I\'ve had fun for the last couple of weeks -

The PC I use for Beebotron went down, so I took the \'opportunity\' to try Linux (again). I *really* want to move to Linux, but I had too many
problems with wifi (again) so I\'ve rebuilt it with M$ (again). One day.

Apols to all who received emails from me today - I had a shedload when I fired up the rebuilt PC, so the replies were a bit shorter than they would normally have been.

The site is cleaned up a little, and I\'ve introduced the What Was On (WWO) listing pages. These were ready a week or so ago, but my crash stopped me from updating the website. It\'s a great pity that the Beeb don\'t provide Listen Again for everything - like Radio 4 Pick of the Week. As in you\'ll find this on the WWO listings, but it\'s not available in Listen Again.

I\'ve had a request (from Jim) for a Radio Ulster link, which is a reasonable request. The easiest way for me to do this is to replace one of the existing links. But which one?

Your emails count - just tell me ( kronalias [AT] gmail [DOT] com ) which is your *least* favourite station over the next week or so. I get first vote, and I want to keep Radio 2, 3, 4, and the World Service. In addition to these stations I\'ve had emails from people using BBC 7 and Radio 1. So the candidate to ditch is either: 1Xtra, 6 Music, Asian Network or Five Live

25 Feb 07 Asian Network received the least support, so I\'m changing it to Radio Ulster. It\'ll take a week or so for all the listings to update.

The Selected Synopses page hasn\'t updated for a while - it\'s not my software, it\'s the Beeb not updating their API (if and when they repair things then the page will update automatically.

23 Apr 07 A plea for support. CHANGED. Please see the 10 May update below!

10 May 07 \'A plea for support\' - A result!

You may have noticed that the site hasn\'t been updating as it used to, or as it should do. This was because my web space providers started to limit what could be done with scripts. The upshot was that I couldn\'t run things automatically unless I started paying, so I put out a plea for support, and I\'ve had a goodly number of responses, for which I am extremely grateful. Of these, Rick and Ian both offered to host the site. Thank you both! Rick was first, and I\'m working with him right now. For the moment the site will remain \'as is\' (ie updating spasmodically) until we\'re happy to go public. Please bear with us! We have already carried out preliiminary testing and things are looking good. In the meantime I\'ll continue to update the site manually when I\'m at home.

18 May 07 The new site location!

If you\'re reading this then you\'ve found the new site, hosted by Rick of http://www.timeforabrew.comhttp://beebotron.org

Well, we\'ve moved! The old site is dead, long live the new site, and if you can read this you\'re there!

29 Sep 08 I\'ve added Listen Again in High Quality for Radio 3. Any comments etc would be appreciated - just post on the Message Board or email me...

05 Oct 08 All the available High Quality links are now up. And hopefully running... At present the Beeb don\'t provide these links for Wales, Ulster, Foyle, Scotland or the World Service. They\'ll hopefully provide these at some stage, and if any  kind person notices before I do would they please let me know and I\'ll update the site.

29 Oct 08 Another rewrite! I\'m going to run this version and the previous version of Beebotron in parallel for a while, until I\'m happy that everything is working correctly. So what\'s new? Couple of things - more accurate updates and a few more Listen Again stations. You shouldn\'t really notice much difference (apart from the top banner on the LA pages saying Beebotron 2 instead of iBeebotron.

If the new site is giving problems then please let me know! The old links are here:
Beebotron (iBeebotron version)
Beebotron Lite (iBeebotron version)

31 Oct 08 Things look good on Beebotron 2, so I\'ve stopped updating the previous version (iBeebotron). If you have any probs please email me (usual addy) or put a post on the Message Board.

27 Nov 08 I hadn\'t realised that this site was not accessible to screen readers used by visually impaired people. The HTML code was, quite honestly, rubbish - but IE7 and Firefox would read it. I\'ve rejigged the most important pages - this one, the Beebotron Lite index page and all the Listen Again pages and they\'ve all passed the HTML validation test that you can read about by clicking this. This also means that, if I want to, I can put a little badge of honour on this page. I want to, so here it is:

Valid HTML 4.01 Strict

14 Dec 08 The Message Board has done sterling service, but the Beebotron needs something better - so I\'m starting the Bulletin Board. Both Boards will run for a while until we see how the new one performs!.

04 Jan 09 And we\'re now on the second version of the Bulletin Board!

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 07:34:41 PM »
It\'s Wednesday 25 February 2009.

Mega changes have happened since I posted last to the Beebolog on the main Beebotron site, and I\'ll try to fill in some blanks a little later.

In the meantime, I need to change the main Beebotron website to do a few things:

1. If the Beeboblog\'s here, then it doesn\'t need to be there. So it\'s going. From there, the main Beebotron site, not here.

2. The old message board, if anyone remembers it, was my first stab at a board. We\'re going to stay with this phorum thingy, so that\'s going to get the heave-ho too. The board, not this phorum thingy.

3. And while we\'re at it, my first stab at a Bulletin Board used phpBB. This wasn\'t too bright for mobiles, screenreaders (the software people who are sight-impaired use), or anyone who wanted to use a threaded view (don\'t let\'s get back into that one!), so the links to that are going to get the chop as well.

4. So the upshot of that lot is that the main Beebotron site should only contain information on how to use the Beebotron, and a link to this Bulletin Board. Beebotron Lite should do what its name implies - just do the job with minimal information (and, by the way, that\'s the most used site, bless it!).

That\'s it for now, look out for the next installment...

All the best, K

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2009, 09:35:57 PM »
It\'s Thursday 26 February 2009.

I promised you that I\'d fill in some blanks... here we go!

Way back in December (?) I thought we needed a decent Bulletin Board. We tried something based on phpBB. This didn\'t fit the bill for various reasons, so we had another go on a Board based on phorum. This is what we\'ve decided to stick with.

I needed a testbed - well away from the main site - so it started off on a box on top of the bookcase in my study - this was the beebotron.endoftheinternet thing that a lot of you have been to. Then it got serious, so I thought I could do with a decent backup server that I could turn on if the main site had problems.

That\'s what\'s happened, and you\'re on the backup site right now.


The current situation, as I type, is that the main site is working but extremely s-l-o-w-l-y. It\'s too slow to be useable, and it\'s something to do with the MySQL server. Everything was working perfectly there, and apparently it still is if I ftp into the site, but it\'s maxing out in other areas making it practically unusable for you. So I\'m running everything from the backup server until we get things sorted.


I\'m going to be really cheeky in a minute and post the backup server address on the R7 board. I hope they\'ll take the post, but I\'ll understand if it gets kicked out.

Cheers, K

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 07:35:15 PM »
It\'s Friday 27 February 2009.

We\'re still running here, on the backup server. But there\'s light at the end of the tunnel...

Rick, bless him, has identified where the bottleneck was that was causing the slow response on the main server. He\'s going to do an upgrade that involves a few button presses and a restart(tu)

We may be using this backup server for some time#-o

Incidentally One, the Beeb have been very nice to me in publicising the move from the main server to the backup one - see this topic:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbbbc7/F2574422?thread=6361950
It may stay there - but OTOH it may get deleted.

Incidentally Two, I was pleasantly surprised to find that in the 24 hours since publicising the backup server we\'ve had visits from people from 39 countries, one of which is called \'European Country\'. Huh?

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 04:02:00 PM »
It\'s Sunday 1 March 2009.

The problems on the Beebotron main server (beebotron.org) have been cured - thanks Rick, I wasn\'t expecting you to get it sorted that quickly!

We\'re still running the site on the backup server (beebotron.net) as I type, and we\'ll stay here (at least for the Bulletin Board) for a little while yet. There are a few recent posts over on the BBC Message Boards referring to links within beebotron.net, and I don\'t want to screw up anyone clicking those links.

Just to confuse things, I was also running a third server - beebotron.endoftheinternet.org - in a box on top of the bookcase in my study. I\'ve taken that server down today, as I need the box for other uses...

In the meantime, you may remember that the main server\'s response was s-l-o-w, and that was why we moved to the backup. Everything on the main server seems to be running normally now - although the Bulletin Board is read-only (otherwise the Boards get out of sync) - so if you fancy having a poke about there please do... it\'s at:
http://beebotron.org

And it you should spot anything wrong over there could you let me know, please? Thanks!

Cheers, K

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 09:46:50 PM »
It\'s Wednesday 11 March 2009

We\'re firmly back on the main server and, although the site has had to have a couple of tweaks, it seems to be working well....

Ivor\'s been a star! He\'s recommending some good stuff and putting it on the Calendar and, after my third attempt at Rendezvous with Rama without nodding off, I made it... Too late now, if (when) it comes back this is worth a listen to...

I\'ve had to change a couple of things to keep the Beebotron working properly, but with a bit of luck you won\'t have noticed these.

Basically, if Beebotron gets a bit upset it sends me an email, and then I have to rub it\'s tummy to make it feel better... This has happened a couple of times recently, but I think everything\'s ok just now.

If the Beeb, or the Radio Times, could stop changing things then that would be immensely helpful! Dream on....

Cheers, K

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2009, 05:40:55 PM »
It\'s Wednesday 25 March 2009.

I\'ve opened up the site to let discussions on downloading fly - it seemed a bit pointless not to allow people to talk about this topic.

The major update this time around is the introduction of the Beebobodge - if you don\'t know what this is then you can read about it on the Beebotron\'s main site HERE.

It\'s also on the Jump to forum jumpmenu (look northeast, just above the Search box on this, and most other pages).

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009, 05:05:25 PM »
It\'s Wednesday 8 April 2009.

The Beebobodge seems to have taken off! It\'s quite popular, and I like it too. The Beeb have been falling over big time this week, so I\'m pleased to be able to offer something that at least gives a chance for people to catch up with the missing Episode 3 of whatever when Episode 4 is now available.

The rather grandly named The Complete Download Guide is now published, at long last. This makes downloading programmes, using free (and virus-free!) tools pretty painless, although it takes a bit of time to get the hang of it. MPlayer (published under the GNU General Public Licence) is, to put it mildly, pretty powerful, and my hat is elevated toward the developers. Thank you, sirs and madams!

The constant bugs in the BBC feeds (iPlayer and others) have irritated a few people (not least me). I felt that it was time to have a slightly alternative way of going on the Beebotron, so I\'ve done this:

1. All the Beebotron\'s RealAudio Listen Again pages use links that are harvested \'properly\' from the Beeb. That means that the Beebotron works through the BBC schedules and ferrets its way down until it gets to the same Real link that the Beeb uses to supply content. That\'s the \'proper\' way to go.

2. The \'proper\' way is ok until it doesn\'t work, for whatever reason. That\'s where the Beebobodge comes in, and I\'ve used the code behind the Beebobodge to supply links, where I can, on the Beebotron\'s What Was On pages. This has only been released (actually, it escaped) today, so we\'ll see how it goes.

That\'s it for now, see you soon, K

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2009, 05:57:39 PM »
It\'s Sunday 12 April 2009.

The main change is that I\'ve tweaked the What Was On pages.

This was because the BBC started glitching big-time on the feeds that I use, not to mention the problems on the iPlayer. The Beebotron\'s Listen Again pages do things \'properly\' - i.e. extract the information from BBC feeds. When these feeds glitch, I can\'t provide links...

So I\'ve changed things in What Was On - all the links there are artificially manufactered, using Beebodge type stuff. The other thing that page does is to check the links, just to make sure there\'s a stream at t\'other end.

It seems to be quite handy when the Beeb site coughs, which is pretty often...

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2009, 09:00:54 PM »
It\'s Saturday 16 May 2009.

I can\'t believe I haven\'t posted here for so long...

The (rather grandly named) Complete Download Guide, although it worked, was quite honestly cr?p, compared to what\'s going on now.

I\'m speaking of the get_iplayer downloader - the link\'s on the North-East of where you are now, last one on the Jump to forum Jumpmenu, or if you prefer, click HERE. There\'s a large learning curve, but if you\'re willing to accept that challenge it\'s an absolute winner.

As in you may be able to download better streams than realaudio. Even if you\'re outside the UK. And PVR them, so they arrive on your PC automatically... If you want to ask about this then post questions on the Downloading Programmes phorum.

Ivor\'s been a star on the Radio Dates phorum, for which I thank him immensely.

On the backroom front, I now have two servers running - one in the US and one in the UK. I now use the UK one to get HQ links, and the US one to get Real links. Before this I was hacking some proxies - oh sod it, never mind...

That\'ll do for now - hope you enjoy the ride!

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2009, 10:32:28 PM »
It\'s Tuesday 21 July 2009.

It\'s about time I posted something on the Beeboblog, even if it\'s not particularly exciting...

Any of you remember the backup server?

It was on http://www.beebotron.net. That\'s not a useable link, as the people who were supplying it have suspended my account.

It\'s not life threatening or anything - it\'s just a bit annoying. Occasionally (as in actually once, in the last year or more), Rick\'s server (wot this lot is hosted on) had a hiccup and I thought it would be nice if we had a backup server to play with. Nobody\'s used the backup in yonks, but I\'m a bit mifffed that my account was suspended without any warning.

The backup server was hosted by hostmedia.uk and their hosting was pretty good.

I might, amazingly, recommend these people! They answer emails promptly, and they sort out any queries pretty quickly. I think they\'re ok if you want a simple hosting account. With me as an exception...

In my case, I seem to have hammered their cpu. About time they upgraded then. Here are the gruesome reverse emailly details (the spelling mistakes are therz):

Quote

Hi,

There is not x amount for CPU usage as it is shred server wide but your account was recorded uses 10% + by its self which I\'m sorry to say is too much for one account to use.

This mainly gets caused by cron jobs / insecure php scripts and other system usage features.

We are looking into this and going to get your account un suspended asap for you so you can check your account for high usage systems.

Thank you

Best regards

Host Media UK An AeonCube Networks Company

-----Original Message-----
From: Kronalias

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 21:41:34
To:
Subject: Re: Host Media UK Hosting Account

Thanks for the reply, but I\'m confused.

I\'m running scripts, but they shouldn\'t be clobbering your CPU too much.

So how am I exceeding my purchased limit?

Back to my original question: Would you please let me know how I\'ve exceeded
my limits? And if I\'m  within my limits would you please reinstate my
website.

Cheers, Martyn Edwards

----- Original Message -----
From: \"Host Media UK\"
To: \"Kronalias\"
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: Host Media UK Hosting Account


> Hi,
>
> It was not your limits but CPU usage, it caused the sever to almost shut
> down
>
> Best regards
>
>
> Host Media UK An AeonCube Networks Company
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kronalias
>
> Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 20:08:32
> To:
> Subject: Re: Host Media UK Hosting Account
>
>
> Hi
>
> I don\'t think I\'ve exceeded my allotted bandwidth, and I don\'t need a VPS.
>
> I have a number of scripts running, but these would not exceed my monthly
> allowance.
>
> Would you please let me know how I\'ve exceeded my limits please? And if
> I\'m
> within my limits would you please reinstate my website.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Martyn Edwards
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: \"Host Media UK\"
> To: \"Kronalias\"
> Sent: Friday, July 17, 2009 11:24 AM
> Subject: Re: Host Media UK Hosting Account
>
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> The data centre has got back to us with a report and the sever was being
>> overloaded by some scripts which the data centre management team acted on
>> to make sure the server did not go down.
>>
>> Do you know what scripts would be using a high load? Also we would maybe
>> recommend a VPS for your hosting needs. We can give you some quotes for a
>> VPS.
>>
>> Thank you
>>
>> Best regards
>>
>> Host Media UK An AeonCube Networks Company
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Kronalias
>>
>> Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 10:24:42
>> To:
>> Subject: Host Media UK Hosting Account
>>
>>
>> Hi!
>>
>> My website ( http://www.beebotron.net )seems to have disappeared!
>>
>> I\'m getting redirected to http://www.blend2host.com/suspended.page/
>>
>> Can you help me please?
>>
>> Thanks!
>>
>> Martyn Edwards


There y\'go, I\'ve come out of the closet and you know my name now! The last email from them was 17 July, and it\'s 21 July as I type...

I\'m confused by this, as I\'m running the same stuff on Rick\'s server (wot you are on right now!). No prob.

I\'ve also run exactly the same stuff on a server at home, that some of you may remember (the box on top of the bookcase in my study). That\'s the kit that\'s migrating into MythTV....

Neither of these got clobbered cpu-wise, so I don\'t see why hostmedia.uk are getting so uptight.

I\'ll let you know what happens...

[EDIT] 22 July 2009. Well, that post had the desired effect;) The backup server\'s back! [/EDIT]

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2009, 09:07:13 PM »
It\'s Monday 27 July 2009.

I had a really interesting email from someone pointing out that the Beeb have been doing all sorts of things that would make life easier for all you listeners, both in the UK and outside.

I\'ll post it here, and I\'ve just updated the main Beebotron site to reflect these enhancements. Hope I\'ve got it right...

The only thing I haven\'t changed on the site are the .ram links. These are Real files that can contain various Real presentations, and the way Beebotron works currently is to open the .ram file, get the url of the Real audio file and give you that. If anyone has any probs with this then please get back to me!

Anyway, the upshot is that the Beeb have *really* worked to make things better, and it\'s nice to be able to give credit where credit\'s due (btw, I notice that on this site nobody\'s slagging the Beeb off. Quite rightly. Isn\'t that nice? Isn\'t that how it should be?).

Here\'s the (slightly cut-down) email:

Quote
In your \"high quality\" section, you say \"The Beeb are a little behind their schedule and currently are providing very little which could be considered high quality audio.\" Um - 128kbps AAC streams are higher quality than any other broadcaster.

You\'re most wrong under \"BBC live radio links\"...  

\"UK console links\"  - not true ; the console works everywhere in the world. ~128k AAC streams for UK users, ~48k aacPlus streams for international ones. And if your Flash isn\'t up to scratch, you get a Real/Windows stream.

\"WMA links\"...

\"These should be 96 kbps for the UK, and regrettably less for International listeners.\"
- not true; these should be 128kbps for the UK (and regrettably less for international listeners).

\"Doubly regrettably, International listeners cannot currently access Radio , Radio 2, Radio 3, or Radio 4\"
- not true; all links work wherever you are in the world.

The RealAudio links aren\'t using the proper .ram playlist files (so your links may break regularly); but \"all should be at 64 kbps\" is also wrong; they\'re 64kbps in the UK and regrettably less for international listeners. These links will work if you link to the proper .ram playlist files; I suspect your links simply won\'t work for many users.

The Beeb have done lots of good work recently, and it would be good to have that reflected on your site.

Offline Kronalias

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Re: Beeboblog
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2010, 05:13:47 PM »
It\'s Friday 11 June 2010.

Well, I\'ve been having fun trying to bin RealAudio links from the Beebotron and provide Windows Media Audio instead. It\'s finished now, or at least until Ivor finds some other problems on the site...

The Beeb finally decided to pull the plug on Real, which is a crying shame... It was useful to people on low-bandwidth, and it worked!

Still, that\'s progress for you  #-o