June 2007 Archives

Limerck Traffic Gone Mad?

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While I was dropping Ewan into the Train Station in Limerick today, we were both surprised to see every traffic light flashing either yellow or red. Ewan rang the Gardaí to find out what the story was, only to be told that they were all off because of the Limerick Vs Tipperary replay.

This might make some bit of sense if they had Gardaí at the intersections doing point duty, but there was nothing. Trying to drive across O'Connell Street was like playing Russian Roulette with oncoming traffic, but people had no choice but to take silly chances in order to get out. It was surprising that there was no accidents.

Can anyone thing of any valid reason to turn off all traffic lights in a city because there there might be a bit extra traffic due to a match? Maybe turn off traffic lights at some of the major choke points and put Gardaí on point duty at them in order to keep traffic flowing, but all lights? Imagine what would happen in Dublin if they turned off every traffic light in North Dublin just because there was a match on in Croke Park.

Useful DNS Queries

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I have come across a couple of handy little trick for DNS recently which I'm going to throw up here just to save me searching when I need them in the future :)

Getting The Version Of A DNS Server

To get the version of a DNS server, you can run the following command:
dig @dns_server_you_want_to_check +short version.bind chaos txt
It is very easy for the server administrator to change this to whatever they want, but it's still a handy command.

Getting The Whois Server For A Top Level Domain

I found the following command for finding the whois server for a TLD on the Nominet Blog.
dig +short _nicname._tcp.ie srv
This should return:
10 0 43 whois.domainregistry.ie.
This means that the whois server for .ie is listening to port 43 at whois.domainregistry.ie. Unfortunately, not all TLDs support this, most noticeably .com.
I went up to an Ulster Bank ATM during the week, put in my card, and pressed the option up on screen for €40. The machine buzzed away for a few seconds, and then kindly informed me that it could only give out multiples of €50. This is by no means an uncommon occurrence. But why should it be so common? It can't be all that hard for an ATM to keep track of whether or not it has a certain note available. Why can't it check what notes it can provide before giving options to the user? This is simple maths which anyone can do, never mind a computer. We trust banks with our money every day, yet this simple maths problem seems to elude them.

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