About Me

Curriculum Vitae

A brief list of my current skill set


Changing the Order of the jQuery Event Queue
Wednesday, 3rd July 2013, 20:27

It's just a push to the left

How Do Spammers Get My Email Address?
Wednesday, 15th May 2013, 18:03

I think these days I have a pretty good idea

XSLT, node.js 0.10 and a Fun Two Days of Native Modules and Memory Leaks
Thursday, 25th April 2013, 17:14

documentation makes things less cryptic, so lets not write much of it

Fixing CentOS high cpu usage when running as a virtual machine under VirtualBox
Sunday, 21st April 2013, 20:28

innotek rocks! I mean Sun... I mean Oracle...

Repairing a dK'Tronics Keyboard and Scoping Out a ZX Spectrum 48k - Part One
Sunday, 17th March 2013, 23:51

What signals inside of it actually look like

Tabs vs Spaces and Why You Should Always Use Tabs
Monday, 4th March 2013, 19:51

Spaces are bad, just real bad

Why you should ban Amazon's Cloud IPs
Thursday, 27th December 2012, 14:50

And how to do it in nginx, Merry Christmas Amazon

Building Better jQuery DOM Inserts
Thursday, 20th December 2012, 15:18

Break it down baby

SEO Companies - Don't Waste Your Money
Wednesday, 12th December 2012, 16:16

Spammers by any other name

Pulse Width Modulation and How 1-bit Music Works
Wednesday, 5th December 2012, 23:34

Beep beep multi-channel!

Making PDFs from HTML on your webapp in CentOS
Thursday, 29th November 2012, 14:00

Not as easy as it should be

Some Days I Wish For an Async String.replace
Monday, 19th November 2012, 12:59

MinnaHTML to the rescue!

Object Oriented Programming for Javascript Dummies - Part 2
Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 15:33

OOP it up to the OOPballs

Object Oriented Programming for Javascript Dummies - Part 1
Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 16:01

Not using OOP? Are you mad?

Strange Windows Errors and a Bowser in My Event Log
Wednesday, 24th October 2012, 11:10

It's like my own DailyWTF round-up!

Projects and Sillyness

MAME Cabinet Diary

How I built my own arcade cabinet

Loading Screen Simulator

I don't miss the ZX Spectrum, I still use it!

The Little Guy Chat Room

It's a Pitfall inspired chat room


A fully featured MP3 player what I wrote

GP Space Invaders

My first little emulator

GP32 Development Page

Some info and links about this cute little handheld

Disney Nasties

Uncensored images, you must be 18 to view them

Diary of a Hamster

Learn about how hamsters think, first hand


Time Calculator

A simple little online utility for working out how many hours to bill a client

A Few Links

SEO Companies - Don't Waste Your Money
Wednesday, 12th December 2012, 16:16

There was a time when you could do a bunch of things to your website which would take your pages from the 100th to the top spot on Google, but things change. Sure, there are a small number of things still worth doing, I'll note those at the end after I've had my moan, consider them payback for reading the whinging.

But the main fact is, all the main search engines, of which Google is obviously the biggest, know the difference between gaming the system and genuine content. At times they can be fooled, but none of these times last very long, so at best any advantage you gain this way is short lived.

The SEO Company Bull'o'meter

I'm going to quote a message we got which is not untypical of the sort of contact we regularly get from SEO companies trying to flog their crappy services to us.

Is anyone free for a quick chat this afternoon? I wanted to ask you how business is going and if you are genuinely getting enough website leads via your website? Personally, from what I can see (using our "top secret" ninja SEO analysis tool) I think you could be doing a lot better!

They have a top secret tool, do they? I have a very good one myself, it's an interesting combination of View Source and Google, and it's far better than any top secret tool.

What makes me qualified to say that? Well, we're an Award Winning, Results Based SEO agency (based in London, UK) and can guarantee you results.

Interesting, that the email address they sent it from redirects to a different website, which also offers SEO and has no mention at all of any award they've won. Also after a quick Google, I couldn't easily find any award they had won either, so perhaps they might want to seek the services of another award winning SEO company to help them out?

I've noticed some simple, yet important key things you must consider changing/implementing on your website to generate you more business literally overnight.I personally have spent about 45 minutes finding improvements which could be made with your keyword strategy. Additionally, the website meta data really must reflect this and be more engaging which its not currently.

I also found it interesting that they could suggest changes that would generate more business literally overnight, firstly because we aren't a retailer, so we don't sell anything, and anyone who really did spend 45 minutes on our site would have known that. And secondly, any significant change you make usually takes a week at the earliest before you see any changes to search engine traffic.

In fact, if you make a major change, like we have recently, search engines tend to heavily back off sending you traffic whilst they re-index and re-evaluate your content.

Also, looking into your current backlink profile there are some dangers you should be made aware of so Google doesnâ?Tt penalise you.Iâ?Tve been spending the past week looking over your website (and many of your competitors to show you a comparison) and genuinely feel we have some important analysis to share.

We have no control over backlinks, we've never paid some (crappy or otherwise) SEO company to create a load for us. That means it doesn't matter how potentially dangerous these so-called dangerous links might be, we have no control over them having not actually made any of them.

Iâ?Tve looked into your competitorâ?Ts traffic sources and keywords ranking to find many things you should also be doing. May I send you the report (100% complimentary) that I've worked on which highlighting all the top 3 key areas to improve and how we can help? I am positive we could increase the amount of enquires your website is currently getting very quickly and easily.

One day, I'll take up one of these SEO companies on their free complimentary report, they all seem to offer one, but I know they'll all have some stupid generic advice. It will probably have the same amount of spelling and typing errors as their emails.

I'm hoping that this will result in you coming on board (£250+ month) but even if not, sure you will get great value from it.Please let me know if you want to see what we've found. It's all bespoke and created by my own hands, not some automated rubbish you find online which is often wrong.Have a great day and look forward to hearing from you soon.Best regards,Justine

Well bless you Justine, I'd hate to think all this SEO help you were going to give me would be automated, it's nice you'd be using your own hands to do it, and not somebody else's. Automated rubbish is truly often wrong, as you say.

A bit like the message you sent me.

The SEO Company Con'o'meter

There is of course another side to this coin, which sites like MyReviewer.com also get to see. One thing that SEO companies do to bolster your ranking with backlinks, apart from posting spam messages to message boards, which we also have to delete on a regular basis, is offering free content.

We'll write you something for free, they say, it'll be great and relevant to your users, they say. Here's recent emailer Dave to explain:

I hope you do not mind me contacting you like this but I have just been on your website dvdreviewer.co.uk and think that our styles of content are pretty similar. I write posts for sites that I like free of charge and was wondering if you would like me to write you a free 500 word post.

What a nice man, he just likes to run around writing for sites like mine, and specifically 500 words long posts at that.

I am trying to get our work covered on great sites and your site fits the bill. The article would be 100% unique to you and all I ask in return is that I include one of my sponsors in the post as a hyperlink. They would be totally relevant to both article and your site.

Oh, a hyperlink, now we see where this is going. You want to write some crappy article and include a bunch of keywords with a backlink to a site you are flogging SEO to.

I have some great ideas for titles but can easily work to your brief if you would like me to. If you are happy with the article, I would love to write more for you and build up a partnership that would be mutually beneficial.

Of course when he says mutually beneficial, he means to whatever poor person he's convinced to pay for his SEO services, only for at some point Google and co, to notice they've been gaming the system and then penalise, no doubt long after he's got his money for his work.

Oh and they'll probably start downgrading our ranking in the process, but hay, Dave won't care about that either because he'll just carry on with offering his free content for other websites.

I look forward to hearing from you soon and hopefully getting started for you.

Sorry Dave, but I'm closing the pod bay doors. Because we aren't that stupid.

The Only Search Engine Optimisation Worth Doing

Write Good Content

I know it sounds silly, but really, have something people want to read. And just accept the fact that people might not be interested in it. Some of the best films ever made have been seen by a tiny proportion of the population, don't join the Internet revolution with a strange idea that you can be better than Amazon or out-do IGN.

That said, if you find a niche you enjoy, then search engines will help people who share your niche find you. There is probably no point in doing any SEO at all.

Structure Your Pages Properly with H1, H2 and P tags

Make the main title of a page a H1 tag, make subtitles H2, and make sure your content is in P tags. That makes it easy for search engines to find and index the important parts.

Put Your Title in Friendly URLs

All search engines like a friendly URL, so just put the title of your page in there somehow. Use dashes instead of underscores wherever there is a space. Have keywords in there by all means, but only if they are naturally part of the title.

Keep Page Content To Unique URLs

Make sure that any page has only one URL, the last thing you want is multiple URLs pointing to the same content. If you have to do that, then put in a canonical meta tag.

Add a Meta Description

Sometimes what the search engine shows as a short excerpt from the page isn't what you want it to, so just make sure the important key description of the page, usually the first few lines of the main body of text, appears in the meta description tag.

Encourage Social Bookmarks

It's often worth trying to get anyone who likes your page, to like it in Facebook, or share the URL via Twitter, or Reddit, or StumpleUpon, or Digg, or whatever. Make it easy for them to do this, because natural links shared this way are worth far more than one as a comment on some blog.


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