About Me

I was born in Luton, known for hat making, Vauxhall cars, London Luton Airport and a great football team who once beat Arsenal at Wembley in a Cup Final, currently languishing in non-league football for the 4th season. I moved to Edinburgh in 1990 and now live in Leith, Edinburgh's 'waterfront'.

Married for 24 years to Louise (who is on day release from Fife), I have 4 children: Holly (aged 28) who's studying medicine at Dundee University, William (aged 26) at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, Alice (aged 23) and Maddie (aged 16).

We live in a 226 year old Georgian house which we are slowly renovating. We once had a note from an artist posted through the letterbox asking if our semi-derelict house was available to rent as studio space. Things have improved lately; the stonework has been repaired and we have shiny new railings. Just the inside to do now then.

Current CNPS score: 999


Header Image: Richard Bloomfield

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    Hacked off

    How was your Christmas? Hope you had a good time.

    Me, I’ve been at war since Boxing Day. And I’m not talking Playstation game, this is real life electronic warfare against an enemy I can’t even see. If you thought hosting websites was an easy business, think again.

    One of my servers was hacked on Christmas Day, then used in a DDOS attack on Google on Boxing Day, resulting in the dreaded phone call from my suppliers in Texas: “Your server’s been unplugged for violation of AUP. We’re sorry this has happened to you but we’ve taken this action to protect you and other customers on our network.” Dozens of client’s websites vanish without trace.

    We managed to clean the offending worm from the server and I got it reconnected on Monday morning, only to be reinfected and unplugged again by Tuesday morning. They don’t reconnect twice: the only course of action now is a restore (nice clean hard drive). But they do connect up your old drive for 48 hours as a slave for you to get any data off. Dozens of client’s websites. Gigabytes of files to copy over to a new server (I always have a spare waiting in the wings).

    This has taught me a big lesson. The reason this has happened is that I was a bit slack in upgrading and patching the server. It’s a constant battle. Relax for one minute and the hackers are in, wreaking their virtual vandalism.

    And you thought comment spam was a nuisance?