The UEFA Nations League

I tried to understand what a UEFA Nations League is and how it worked.

Firstly, I went to the UEFA website: horse’s mouth and all that. And then, when my brain exploded thanks to lines like this:

Due to excessive travel restrictions, any group could not contain a maximum of one of these pairs: Andorra & Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands & Kazakhstan, Gibraltar & Kazakhstan, Gibraltar & Azerbaijan

I asked online for assistance, which came in the form of a link from The Guru. Thanks, The Guru.

Because yes, Football365 seem to have done a good job in attempting to simplify a rather complex format. And am I alone in thinking that UEFA might actually be onto something here? It actually looks quite good.

And there’s more great news for me too: Supersport – who failed to secure the rights for the English League Cup or the Championship – have managed to scrape some cash together to buy some UEFA Nations League goodness.

Tonight kicks off (quite literally) with the following fixtures:

Kazakhstan v Georgia
SS3 HD (4pm)

Armenia v Liechtenstein
SS3 HD (6pm)

Wales v Rep. Ireland
SS6 HD (8.45pm)

Germany v France
SS3 HD (8.45pm)

Slovenia v Bulgaria
SS11 HD (8.45pm)

Czech Republic v Ukraine
SS7 HD (8.45pm)

I know what I’ll be doing at 1800.

New look

Following on and buoyed, I suspect, from his unqualified success in sorting out the Youtube issue on here, The Guru has gone wild on the coding front, redesigning the entire site (but sadly for you, not the actual writing bits). I got my first glimpse of the new look yesterday evening and it looks clean, crisp and professional (even when you include the writing bits).

It’s not quite ready yet. Initially, having read the email incorrectly, I thought that The Guru was going to do some twerking over the weekend. Knowing the sort of guy that The Guru is, I must say that I was slightly surprised by a) this choice of pastime and b) the relevance to the work he was doing on the blog.
Having looked again though, he plans to do some tweaking. This might iron out any slight issues with the new design, but it does nothing to get rid of the frankly terrifying mental images that had unfortunately already been generated.

One thing I need to try and do is make a new banner. I’m not very good at that sort of thing – the last one took 3 weeks. And look at it. Hmm. Anyway, I’ll try and get that done after my belly-dancing class on Saturday.

Look out for a radical new look real soon now, beloved readers.

Migration… completed

And, as fast as rabbits are migrating to Cape Town, 6000 miles… has migrated all the way from to its new home here in SA.

Of course, you probably won’t notice a difference; the standard of writing certainly won’t improve, so don’t go getting your hopes up.

At this point, I must once again thank The Guru who has made this whole thing almost effortless (for me, anyway). The transition has been seemingly seamless.

Now, let’s see if Afrihost can match Site5’s incredible uptime record.

RAM: What it is, how it’s used, and why you shouldn’t care

I’ve been playing with my new Samsung Galaxy P7500 tablet and I noticed that I was already critically short (my words) on RAM, despite having nothing of huge significance running. It seemed that the device was using about 80% of its available RAM just to run.

I was naturally concerned.

At times of natural concern, we all have someone to whom we turn. Lois Lane had Superman, Commissioner Gordon had Batman, I have The Guru. My initial attempts to raise him by projecting a giant Android symbol onto the moon failed due to intermittent cloud cover over the Southern Suburbs, so I sent him an email instead, asking whether I should perhaps employ some sort of task manager to manage my tasks.

His reply was enlightening:

No – it’s a bad idea, which in almost all cases slows your phone.
Windows people use them, but there are extensive treatises, including by Google engineers, explaining how Linux/Android uses memory, and how task managers screw up the OS’s attempts to do so efficiently.

The “not much RAM to spare” is exactly the Windows-thinking I am talking about. Unused RAM is wasted RAM for Android.
If you want to read more:

http://www.androidcentral.com/ram-what-it-how-its-used-and-why-you-shouldnt-care

I was enlightened. Literally.

If you have an Android device, the article above makes very interesting reading and it is at a suitable level for you and I (ie. basic). The comments, less so on both counts, as geeks take each other on in who can use the most confusing terminology, much of which includes parentheses.

Suffice to say that The Guru has allayed my fears that I have purchased a dud device (which, I have to point out, never faltered in its service to me). I can now enjoy my tablet with a relaxed and untroubled mind.

Viva, The Guru. Viva!

Blog Stuff

“Blog Stuff”

That was the subject of the email awaiting when I returned from a weekend “getting away from it all” – including cellphone signal – in the Southern Cape. After the trials and tribulations of the last week – only 1% of which concerned the blog crashing and burning and the other 99% of which was carefully tucked away, hidden from the prying eyes of the readers of this esteemed site – it was manna from heaven.

The email was from the character who I have, in the past, labelled The Guru. As most of you who can read will already know, that man is Jacques Rousseau. While I was still blogging at ballacorkish.net by writing html by hand in notepad, he introduced me to the joys of WordPress. I can still remember what he said:

…you should give it a try, I think you’ll like it.

But that was then and this is now. While I have been throwing words at your screens, Guru Jacques has been honing the interface for your viewing pleasure. And once I had torn out the spine of 6000 miles… and begun crying on Friday, he set to work rehoning what was left. Basically from scratch.

Thanks be to Jacques, because what he has created is the “Slimmer6000” theme:

  • The functions.php file is 14.4% smaller
  • The style.css file is 59.3% smaller – decreasing load time
  • The menu spacing is “improved”
  • The coding is more efficient and smells better
  • There is an extra 10px width for posts – useful for quota photos
  • Robots are unblocked, boosting my ranking potential

Basically, it’s all good. Aside, it seems, from my sidebar text:

I reckon your sidebar text is too small (always has been) – if you want to play with that, go to lines 82 and 83 of style.css

Later, in another email, Jacques described himself as “a genius”, which I was about to agree with until I realised that he had given me free rein to play around with his work.

Pfft.

He obviously enjoys repairing things.