Rackspace’s DNS rate limiting

Today, while I was having lunch, I started receiving email notifications about Niume’s servers not responding. In the beginning it was just one server, so I removed it from the load balancer, then restarted the httpd process and put it back again.

But then the other servers started behaving the same way, even though the load was well under capacity. Between those email notifications, there was a Rackspace support email:

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The Great Return [From Greece to Great Britain]

Some of you may have read about my Great Escape [From Great Britain to Greece].  Many people had various questions about it, but the one question that kept repeating was simple: “How did you come back?”

And then I thought, that there was some space for a story about it, since it was a challenge for me.

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The Great Escape [From Great Britain to Greece]

Many of you might have seen the famous classic film “The Great Escape” where Steve McQueen tries to escape from Nazi captivity by using a Triumph motorbike, trying to reach the neutral Swiss border. It is a great film and I suggest you see it if you haven’t done so already.

My “Great Escape” is a bit different. It is a trip on a motorbike, but I am not on the run from any Nazis. It is still a Great Escape from routine and everyday life. It is a nice adventure and some time in complete solitude and maybe take some important decisions for the future.

So the plan is to travel from London, Great Britain, to Thessaloniki, Greece. If you are still intrigued to know details, carry on reading…

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NHS in Shambles – Is Privatisation a Demonisation?

After three years in the UK, I needed to use the National Health System. I’ve got a really bad lower back pain after lifting my motorbike to put it in a van. The reason why I did that is another story, but it was stupid and the damage is done.

So, in the beginning, I just innocently thought it will go away after a few days, because I thought I was young and strong but this illusion faded away completely when I saw myself in the mirror and realised I couldn’t even stand straight.

All the muscles in my back went to spasm to protect me from snapping in two, it seems.

And so let the NHS saga begin.

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London Estate Agents Ranting

Once again, I was about to hit the road.

In a different way though, as my house contract was coming to an end and I needed to move into a bigger house, not only because I got fatter, but also because we are going to be more crowded this time.

We are forming “Yet Another Greek Ghetto” in London. Nothing special here. To be honest, I don’t miss my old house at all yet, as I felt like a giant and I was tired of hitting my toes in the passage between my desk and my bed.

So, my tale of clashing with the mafia of house agents, had begun.

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Looking back in 2013

To be honest, I always think of year intervals starting from September, so days like this I tend to sit down and do a last minute thinking.

2013 was a year of big changes and a lot of work for me.

It was a really creative year for me, even though I was really pushed to the boundaries of sanity from things happening around me, as I sank deeper into my solitude.

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Recruitment Ranting

As the Chief Software Engineer of Niume Ltd and as a person who thinks that the Recruitment Industry does not perform well within the Software Industry (apart from gathering CVs), I have to personally interview and test the skills of each applicant.

Because of this, I stumble upon millions of things that annoy me and can be pretty well summarized in this blog post here and this one here, written by a fellow software developer in Greece. Since Greek is not the language the masses are familiar with, I am going to translate most of the points made and maybe add mine too, in order to make applicants more successful next time.

So, let the ranting begin.

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One Full Year in the United Kingdom

So, exactly one year ago, I arrived in London Stansted Airport. But this time it was a single ticket.

I went to Baker Street via easyBus. I didn’t have an oyster card, I was in a rush and I was afraid of not catching a train before the underground closes. I didn’t have a clue when the last train was. So I overpaid a single ticket to Earl’s Court.

Earl’s Court is a place I don’t particularly like but I had to visit for various reasons all of the times I was in London. It still works as an index of my progress as a man. It is all the nice and bad moments summarized together. It still hurts sometimes…

So, back September the 12th, 2012. I didn’t have a smartphone, GPS or internet. I only had a printed street map of the area around the station and my hotel reservation along with clothes, a laptop and one thousand quid that fed me for 3 months.

I clearly remember that I was thinking the following: (I still do today)

“That’s it. This is your opportunity. No more lies. Prove yourself now.”

I didn’t really know what I was going to do. But I knew that I had to do something.

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PAT

And then there was PAT.

PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing

Yeah, as I’ve read, it’s pretty common here in Britain. I have to confess though, that it is a bit annoying. As I was living into University’s halls, I had to open the door to the PAT guys to test my appliance.

I will also cite this from the previous Wikipedia article, because I can.

“Misleading advice and advertising, often by companies who offer the testing, is contributing to low-risk businesses such as offices, shops and hotels paying unnecessarily for over-the-top maintenance regimes.

The law simply requires an employer to ensure that electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger – it does not state that every item has to be tested or how often testing needs to be carried out.”

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