can you recommend a hosting service?

I have a little toy in development, and I’m looking for a different hosting service, because my current lot don’t seem in the least inclined to support Ruby, let alone Rails. So can you recommend a great host? Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • full support for Ruby and Rails
  • install my own gems as required
  • Perl
  • CGI
  • reasonable control over .htaccess files
  • huge MySQL databases
  • shell access
  • ftp access
  • domain hosting, preferably with control over DNS entries
  • friendly, honest and transparent support
  • business accounts permitted
  • upto 1GB disk space
  • crontabs
  • must be secure, and have high availability
  • preferably UK based

Oh, and it must be cheap! Thanks for any recommendations.

what brings people here

I’m forever surprised by the web and the people who use it. For example, here is what Google reports as being the top search strings that brought readers to this blog recently:

  1. jidoka
  2. spinach
  3. 5 whys
  4. cause i me spinach
  5. gavin hope
  6. go ugly early
  7. kevin rutherford
  8. scrum
  9. crucial conversations
  10. hexagonal architecture
  11. “go ugly early”
  12. wikipedia throughput
  13. throughput accounting
  14. going ugly early
  15. scrum book
  16. throughput wikipedia
  17. other terms for agile coach
  18. task board scrum
  19. features not to be tested
  20. scrum task board

Most surprising, perhaps, is “cause i me spinach” (if you typed that into Google, please email me and tell me what you were really looking for). “5 whys” is also a surprise, because I only wrote about it a couple of times. And interesting to see the pairing of “wikipedia throughput” and “throughput wikipedia“, and three versions of “going ugly early” too.

Now I’ve seen this list, I’m doubly curious to see what the next few months will bring…

integrated tagging anyone?

The other day I wanted to conduct a survey of what’s out there in web2.0 on the subject of the Theory of Constraints. Wherever I went – technorati,, flickr etc – I had to try a few different tags and tag formats before I found everything I wanted. I found I needed to type the words five times, either all run together or separated by “+”, “-“, “_” or space. So it strikes me that web2.0 suffers from one of its strengths – the completely “personal” (ie. unstandardized) tag space.

toetag I’m really looking forward to web3.0, when all of the hundreds of tagging tools in web2.0 are integrated into one seamless whole. Imagine being able to tag your photos or blog posts with a multi-word tag, without having to worry whether the words should be separated by a ” ” or a “+” or just run together. Imagine being able to pick one tag, and know that all the tag-based services out there will understand it to mean the same thing.

Note that I’m not asking for standards. There’s an opportunity here for someone with expertise in, say, neural networks, to build a complementary tag service. Something that would find the “same” tag(s) on flickr,, technorati et al and display search results. So if I typed in “personal productivity” this service would return links to everything on, flickr, technorati etc that had been tagged with any of “personal productivity”, “personalproductivity”, “personal-productivity” and so on.

I’m too busy to write the whole thing myself, but drop me a line if you would like to collaborate on implementing the idea.

Update, 5-jun-06
Synchronicity. Lots of related material posted today over at Controlled Agility.


Yet again I’ve given this blog a facelift – I hope you like it!

The main substantive change is that I’ve moved away from Movable Type’s category system. Instead, I’ve tagged each post, and I’m using to organise those tags. So clicking on a tag link will take you to a page that lists all of the other posts in this blog that I’ve tagged with the same keyword. It saves me a lot of rebuild time, and it makes it easy for you to find related pages elsewhere in the web. Etc. Call it delegation.