Monday, March 20, 2006

The Late, Lamented Ticker

What’s a Ticker?

A ticker is not a teacher who marks school papers, nor a noisy clock, and not even a heart. It’s a clever device that runs across your browser or web page, keeping you up to date on current affairs, news, sports, or stuff like stocks and shares.

At least that’s what its supposed to be. Tamara organised a really nice one from the BBC - free, obtainable, as these things need to be, and usable on a commercial site, which ours is.

The trouble is that after it ticked away for a few days, it abruptly died. So now we are newsless! The door has been slammed shut on our little Ticker, and the daily if not hourly interest it added to our shop. Our customers are bereft of the motion and interest it was creating.

Tamara is usually absolutely magic with these things, but this time, though she sat at her laptop trying to restore it - nuttin from nuttin - dead in the water! No hope of resurrection, even as Easter approaches.

So what happened? A good question, and not without the inkling of an answer, from Tamara, who must have searched a dozen news groups, two million websites, and forty two good friends in the IT business. She even asked Marcus, who was asleep at the time. His response was actually not printable in the classy paragraphs of this erstwhile Blog.

(For More of Marcus’s reactions to Tamara’s late night ideas and symposiums see A Motion At Dawn, an earlier post in this blog)

Back to the bust Ticker - for that is what it remains - a lonely icon of failed IT on the front page of our main website. Certainly not our fault, but who to blame?

Tamara judiciously placed the blame on the fact that Ticker My Feed, the service which provided the php code for our ticker, had crashed. It suddenly flopped into oblivion over the weekend, leaving all who access it with the renowned error message: HTTP 404 - File not found. It may be in the process of being re-instated, or it might not. We have no contact information, no phone, no email… Well, their site is down so what can one expect.

Come on Ticker My Feed, bang some heads and get your nice little site up and running again. If not, we shall bury you in the sad mysterious sands of the desert of failed websites with the following epitaph:

Here lies Ticker My Feed,
Born of hope and desire.
Their little tickers fed our site,
with a brightly burning fire.

Rise again, Oh lonely site,

Unfairly represented,
Better to be slightly late,
Than totally lamented.

Marcus and Tamara