Deireadh na bliana

Cantóirí - the choir of which I am a member - recently came to the end of its choral year. Definately, it was one of the most enjoyable I have had for a quite a while. The highlight was the shared concert we performed with Danish choir Panumkoret in April. Hosted by the famous Pepper Cannister Church in Dublin, both groups 'clicked' very well and partied well into the early hours after our gig in Toners Pub. Hopefully 2009 will bring us to Copenhagen to reprise this success. Below you can watch Panumkoret and Cantóirí at rehearsal before our gig, directed by Jon.

Convenient banking? Currently on-hold.

A photo of a phoneYesterday, I called my bank (Bank of Ireland) via their automated phone system. Within the 20 seconds they had infuriated me so much, I just had to complain to the girl who answered me. Why? I had a very simple task to complete. I wanted to check a transaction. I wanted speed and convenience. They wanted to sell me a loan. Their needs came first They made me listen to a long advertisement before I could do anything! Listen to the monstrous Bank of Ireland telephone ad (WAV 4Mb) Just like many awful websites, they forced me to follow THEIR narrative, instead of allowing me to create my own. The girl's response? "Oh yes, we have had quite a few complaints about that." I bet you have.

Radiohead at Malahide Castle, Co.Dublin 2008

According to my colleague, Radiohead may not design great websites, but their music remains as as good as ever. Last night I joined 40,000 others to see them play on a sun-drenched evening in the grounds of Malahide Castle (near Dublin city). Below is a clip from 'How to disappear completely' from 'Kid A'. Listen carefully and you'll hear the crowd cheer when Thom Yorke sings the line "I float down the Liffey". The Liffey is the river that runs through the centre of Dublin. Apparently, Thom wrote this song whilst staying here some years ago. They have been rolling it out as a crowd pleaser at all their gigs here, ever since.

Explosion at StatCounter

An interesting test case for website disaster recovery and failover at StatCounter. According to its blog, StatCounter's host facility exploded at the weekend. This had the effect of wiping our service for most of its customer base. Happily Stat's customers are fairly forgiving and loyal (me included). BUT if this has been my bank, I would have been a whole lot less understanding. This should make you think. How would your customers react if you had significant downtime? What contingency do you have, in case the worst happens. Read a bit more about how to measure website host performance.