Interested in Judo? Follow this thread

By Laurie

Judo is an Olympic sport. If you saw any of the 2012 London Olympics on the TV and were not impressed then don’t worry. Most Judo players find watching Judo on the TV harder than being on the mat. Olympic players are at the top of their game. When you see this level of Judo you are watching an athlete implement a complex strategy which has been worked out by player and coach over a number of years.
The moves and techniques in Judo are taken from the Japanese martial art of Jujitsu. In Jujitsu the idea of each technique is to maim, injure or even kill the opponent. So, Jigoro Kano took the Jujitsu techniques and transformed them into what we now know as the Judo. People often forget that ‘martial’ arts are war like arts. These are ancient forms of self defence. What this means to the Judo practitioner is that he or she can practice techniques to completion. This is, of course, not possible with martial arts. It important to remember that much of the training ethos and self discipline required for the martial arts is just as important for the practice of judo.

More soon.

Aylwin Judo Club South East London SE16

categoriaInterests, Judo Clubs commentoNo Comments dataJanuary 13th, 2017
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Website or WordPress?

By Laurie

Often the question asked by people embarking on an online prescence but asked from the misunderstanding that they are different.

You can produce a very successfull website using using WordPress. So, lets take a look at the different type of website and their strengths and weaknesses.

Imagine an axis with the most flexible site type at the left hand end and the most rigid at the right end.

At the right hand end we would find the site builder type site and at the left hand end the traditional html designs. WordPress sits between the two. So, lets look at what they offer as the axis is not linear.


A sitebuilder site is often provided by the interent service provider (ISP) who supplies your hosting option.
Sitebuilders are true to their promise which is to have a site up and running in 10 minutes even if you have no experience.
Usually there are a number of colourful useful templates from which to chose and the the user simply selects and continues. Often the ISP will provide lots of useful add ons, which are usually free, to enhance the site functionality.

So right now you are probably thinking to yourself “Sounds perfect, where do I get mine”. Well hold on just a minute. If you have now finished with your website and will never want to upgrade or tweak it, then you’re done.
Most likely, you will want to make some changes and this is where sitebuilders start to become less useful. If what you want isn’t on the menu then you cannot have it.
From my experience I would say that a sitebuilder package is just fine for your family website or local community site as they are quick and easy to implement and maintain


HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, it is the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web.
Tim Berners-Lee was the primary author of html, which was developed around 1991-92, at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland.
The initial idea was to allow researchers to share information amongst themselves.
(Note that the internet, ie the network part had been around for some time before this but was restricted mostly to research and governement organisations.)
HTML is used to define the structure and layout of a Web page, how a page looks and any special functions. HTML does this by using what are called tags that have attributes.
For example <p> means a paragraph break. As the viewer of a web page you don’t see the HTML, it is hidden from your view, however, you do the results.
So html is the base language, that is, the lowest level at which you can work.
In its base form html is what is known as stateless. So, when you access a web page it is downloaded and appears in the browser on your PC. Sometimes referred to as fire and forget. No linkage is maintained between the server and the PC.
Most useful sites use Dynamic HTML. This is acheived using something like PHP (The name is derived from Personal Home Page:Hypertext Preprocessor) which is open source or ASP which is an active server page from Microsoft.
These dynamic languages run on the server but allow the page to be changed before being delivered. It may deliver information from a database or change the colour and style of the pages.
A very basic html page could be produced in about 10 minutes. Very basic meaning a white page with black writing and some headings. Learning html would not take too long but to be really useful you would probably

need to also learn one of the dynamic languages.
The dynamic languages have a form very similar to traditional programming languages such as C or C++.


WordPress is a free program written in PHP and it is available to download. WordPress claims a 10 minute installation time and this is probably quite accurate for most users. WordPress is a content managed system

(CMS) which is where it differs greatly from html. The whole point about WordPress is that the user can access WordPress and make updates to the site information with virtually no prior experience. When adding
information there are some editing tools which are easily used to add headings, bolding or underlining.
Wordpress requires an ISP package that has a database. For WordPress sites for the complete novice you should find an ISP that supports WordPress and maybe one that has Fantastico. Fantastico is a one click
wordpress installer. These sites have the databases (MySQL) and Fantastico does the rest.
Worpress functionailty really comes into its own with the use of Themes and Plug-ins. For example, you can quickly and easily download and install another theme and completely change the appearance of the site.
Likewise you can download and install additonal functionality with a plug-in. So, if you want a membership site or a shopping cart then simply download and install the relevant plug-in. Both themes and plug-ins can be purchased or downloaded free. In this regard you generally get what you pay for. Until now WordPress has sounded pefect, so whats the catch? Well, PHP, WordPress and many plug-ins and themes are open source.

PHP and WordPress have very professional design and release groups. When you get WordPress it tells you which version of PHP you need and which MySQL Database. Whilst plug-ins will specify which version of
Wordpress they work on they do not usually say which other plug-ins they work with. Not surprising really as there are so many. One easy way to overcome this issue is to have two installations and use one as a
test system to check plug ins and themes before utilising on the live site.

categoriaUncategorized commentoNo Comments dataJune 12th, 2015
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The Cloud – Does it have a silver lining?

By Laurie

There is a lot of talk about The Cloud and Cloud Computing or sometimes referred to as Nebulous Computing.
So, what’s all the fuss about?

Lets take a look at the story so far.

The First PCs

The first PCs were functional and stand alone. Some required a rather laborious swapping of diskettes to load
up the operating system and further swapping for data storage.

The First Useful PCs

The first useful computers contained a hard disk (drive) and a floppy disk drive (Now often termed removable media and used to
refer to devices that allow you to take data from your PC. CD, DVD, Zip Drives etc.)

The First Really Useful PCs

The first really useful computers contained above with the addition of a Mouse (Pointing device), a colour graphical user
interface (GUI) and most importantly of all, a network connection. This last stage is most important as it allows multiple users on multiple
machines to share information with each other.

Sharing Information

This concept of sharing information has been accessible to scientists and engineers since the 70’s but required a more technical approach.
So, now it is available to the common man. (And royalty alike)

Network Model

Although there have been a number of different ways using the operating systems and the applications, the ability to store data has
always been the primary concern for the user. The type of network model and its hierarchy have been of no interest, nor should it, other than
the ability to chose who can access what.

The different approaches to the network model came about as vendors, users and companies decided the best way to use the new technology.

The client server model was used to give individual users and computers permission to access certain parts of the network. It was also possible to allow or deny
users access to different applications and to count the maximum number of users using an application at a given time. This
was very useful, as in the standalone environment each computer would require a unique licence to be purchased for it. Now companies would only pay for the maximum
number of concurrent users.

With regard to the data, some companies would still have a hard disk in the PC and this would synchronise with the server when they were connected. (Useful for remote
working on a laptop)

The Diskless Workstation

The diskless workstation might seem like a step backwards but it wasn’t. There were certain environments where organisations wanted
to control the data very tightly. For example, where the data is very sensitive or maybe in a college where users are given some storage space
on the server but it is not intended for them to leave their data on the PC.


Diskless Workstations (PCs) work by having something called a network boot. When the PC is switched on it requests its network connection
and then based upon its identity it is given the Operating System to load. Once loaded the login determines which applications and data the users can

Fault Tolerance

This type of system requires a fast network and zero defect storage. The sort of storage that would be required would be something like RAID 5.
RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. RAID 5 will continue to work with a failed disk and notify the network controller who can remove
the faulty disk and replace it without taking the system down. The new disk is rebuilt on the fly.

Back to the Cloud

At the start of this post we were going to look at The Cloud. In reality, the diskless workstation is how the cloud is intended to work but with one
major difference. The diskless workstation was intended to work within an organisation across their network whereas The Cloud is intended to
work across the Internet with the storage outside of the organisation. So, although technically very similar there are a number of issues related to security, connectivity and up time which may impede
the rapid deployment to the cloud. So, lets take a balanced view and look briefly at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
of the use of Cloud Computing.


Economy of scale from a data storage wholesaler
Fault tolerance
Individuals can have big company service


Fault tolerance


Reduce data storage costs
Latest implementation of software


Upgrades at the speed of the provider. (Good or bad it may not suit the end user.)
Data security
Does the host have fault tolerance across multiple sites

Is the Cloud for me?

I can see that at some point in the future I will subscribe to the Cloud but I will not be an early adopter. Most of my work takes place in the same location and
my broadband connection is slow and from time to time intermittent. Once BT have upgraded the area to BT Infinity I will look again.
I do not envisage a subscription to Operating Systems or Applications early on as I prefer to work with current version minus one or two.
Like many people most of my work with the popular applications uses only a fraction of their capability

When I do join the Cloud I will be asking the provider for the geographical locations of their fault tolerant data centres. I will want to know how much
bandwidth they have and how much of that I will get when connected.

categoriaTechnical commentoNo Comments dataJanuary 9th, 2014
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Handling Error Messages

By Laurie

Error Messages

Some of the errors you may have seen include 400 which is caused by bad syntax, 403 which is caused by a forbidden request for a page, or directory access. Lastly, the most common, 404 Not Found. That is, page not found

404 Error

In this Post we are going to look at the 404 error ‘Page Not Found’. Although we will concentrate on the 404 error the same solution can be used to intercept the other numbered error messages.

I am sure we’ve all been browsing from time to time and all of a sudden we get a glimpse of a flash of “404 Error Page not found” before we are taken to our ISP’s preferred error message page which tends to be full of adverts for which they are probably charging. (Nice work if you can get it!)

Think about this missed opportunity to interact with customers and potential customers. Not only can you interact with them but you can also find out about the usability of your site by entering into a dialogue with them and build that all important relationship from something that should not have happened.

It’s My 404 Error

Lets not forget that the error was caused by your website or your visitor. Lets look first at how we can redirect the error message to our own page so we can get our customer back on track. Or continue the dialogue.

What we are going to do is tell our website how we want it to behave when it encounters a numbered error. Instead of going to the default page, or even the ISP’s sales page we want it to come to our page. Or more accurately our error document, as it is called.

Our 404.html Error Page

So, lets return to the 404 error. We are going to produce a file called “error404.html” or “404.html” This is a standard html document where we will enter the following code:

html Start

Welcome to our 404 error page. The fact that you are here means that your attempted page request has failed.

This error means that there was no web page with the name you specified at the web site. This could happen for a variety of reasons:

  1. The document does not exist anymore.
  2. The document may have been renamed.
  3. The document has moved.
  4. The document may have been unavailable at the point of requesting it.
  5. The document url has become corrupt or malformed.

Use the browser back button (Usually at the top left of the page) to return to the previous page and try again. If when you try again, you are returned to this page, then please use the contact form below and let us know what you were trying to do so we can fix it.

html end

The above html code is the message and assistance that we want to provide. Remember to make this relevant to your target audience and if you dont know who they are then keep it very simple.

Upload The 404.html Document

Upload you personalised error document to the relevant domain such as This document does not have to be loaded onto the domain from where the error might occur. So, its quite easy to have one really usefull error document for all of your sites.

.htaccess File

Next, create a .htaccess file using NotePad or a similar editor that doesnt put hidden code into the file. So, dont use Word. Add lines which specify the substitution. Here are examples of specifying error documents
which will be called for a given error condition using relative and absolute addressing. (If you are going to use another domain for the 404.html file then you cannot use relative addressing.

ErrorDocument 404 /404.html
ErrorDocument 404

Upload .htaccess File

Upload the .htaccess file into your home directory. You will not see it once uploaded since it gets hidden by the server.

Test It

Go to

Assuming you replace with the actual domain you’re using and that you dont have a a file called anything_you_want.html, the error page you produced will appear.

PHP Problem

The code above will not work with php files. So, if you use PHP pages then you need to do the following:

Adding the following piece of code to the .htaccess file
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule (.*) /errordocument.html

Create a file named “errordocument.html” containing your error message content. Or rename errordocument.html to 404.html

Home directory here means the directory your domain is pointing to in the Control Panel. It could be root directory (/.) or a directory named mydomain etc.

categoriaTechnical commentoNo Comments dataJanuary 7th, 2014
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Round Corners and Cascading Style Sheet 3 (CSS 3)

By Laurie

CSS 3! I didn’t even know there was a 1 & 2

Well the plot thickens. With traditional software we could expect a release of software but, of course, CSS isn’t software it’s more of a protocol. This is where things get tricky. The CSS 3 standard exisits today but now we must wait for the browsers to become CSS 3 compliant.
Most of us can guess which ones are lagging behind. It also appears that the functionality offered by CSS 3 is being rolled out rather than a browser being completly CSS 3 compliant.

The reason I started looking at CSS 3 in the first place was because I wanted to produce a tabbed menu but I wanted the tabs to be curved. So, I Googled something like CSS curved corners and so began my journey of discovery.

It appears that the most popular browsers are capable of rounding the corners but this is done as a workaround.

For example, the CSS line to acheive the rounded corners at each corner is border-radius:10px;

The following lines need to be added for other browsers:


or the additon of a file called

The above list is not by any means complete and there are still workarounds which involve using curved .gif images.

None of the solutions appears to be complete. For example some of the solutions and the .gif image, which is a fixed size, will not scale when the users changes the zoom. This means that anyone producing pages for large organisations will have trouble complying with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) for those people who need to see the pages in larger fonts or magnified.

To get solutions to work in some browsers where you use layering requires additon JavaScript to maintain the consistency of the page rendering.

If at this stage you are asking yourself what all the fuss is about then take a look at this site using Firefox, if you usually use IE, and IE if you usually use Firefox.

That simple act of taking the edge off of the corners, I believe, transfers the site from a very functional technical solution to something more slick and more of the sort of thing you would expect from the marketing solution.

So what now? For me, I am going to put the border-radius:10px lines and some of the other lines which are independant of additonal code to make them work into my new sites and test them in the browsers which currently support the command and/or work. I’ll wait for the other browsers to catch up and when they do the curves will appear.

Of course, using feedback from my Google Analytics account I can see that almost all of my visitors use IE or Firefox. So, thats where I will concentrate my efforts.

categoriaTechnical commentoNo Comments dataJanuary 5th, 2014
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South London Area Judo Kata Course December 2009

By Laurie

categoriaJudo Clubs, Videos commentoNo Comments dataFebruary 27th, 2010
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Smart Marketing Warriors

By Laurie

The Smart Marketing Warriors is a group of people who are determined to succeed with an on-line business. You may be bringing your current business on-line or starting from scratch. The group runs a membership site full of content and meets monthly in London on a Saturday for a full day of Internet Business and Networking.
During the meeting feedback is sought to provide the input for the next month. We also aim to bring in guest speakers to provide up to the moment presentations on current issues. Members who attend the meeting are invited to take a ‘Hot Seat’ session where we address any issues they have and agree an action plan. We then follow up on the plan at the next meeting to review progress.
As the URL above is a membership site the information available is restricted so go to the Smart Marketing Warriors, Meet Up site for .lots of information and comments from both members and non members.

I hope to see you soon at one of our meetings soon.

categoriaBusiness, Interests commentoNo Comments dataNovember 28th, 2009
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Nage No Kata Te Waza

By Laurie

categoriaInterests, Judo Clubs, Videos commentoNo Comments dataOctober 26th, 2009
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Cranberries Dreams

By Laurie

categoriaInterests, Music, Videos commentoNo Comments dataOctober 26th, 2009
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And Now Vivaldi Gets The Guitar Treatment

By Laurie

categoriaInterests, Music, Videos commentoNo Comments dataJune 10th, 2007
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