SVN/Tortoise: Log entry missing ‘name’ attribute


Tonight, I’ve been battling an issue with a new Subversion repository, which I couldn’t seem to find a solution for using the world’s favourite search engine. I did, however, manage to find my own semi-solution so thought I’d share. I’m using SVN (1.6.13)/Tortoise (1.6.11) under Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and this occurred using a previous version of Tortoise too.

The problem:

I create a new repository, check it out to a folder, then subst a drive to that folder. This is a technique I’m using with two other repositories on my machine without problem but in this instance, whenever I right-click on the subst drive and commit using Tortoise, I get this error:

Error: Commit succeeded, but other errors follow:
Error: Error bumping revisions post-commit (details follow):
Error: In directory ‘X:’
Error: Log entry missing ‘name’ attribute (entry ‘rm’ for directory ‘X:’)

I also tried this under the command-line client and received the same error so technically I believe the issue is to do with SVN itself. Please note that this issue doesn’t occur if you try to commit files individually, it seems to be linked to commiting from the subst’d root, i.e ‘X:’.

The solution:

My other two repositories, subst’d to drives, commit without problem using the above technique – so what’s the difference? As far as I can tell, it’s files in the root. On my new repository, if I try to commit changed files in the root by clicking on the subst’d drive I get the above error. If I move these files to sub-folders and commit, no errors! So there you go, weird, but true!

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Preventing WordPress featured image being added to gallery


I spent a while whilst working on this site trying to fathom out how to add a featured image to a post, along with a gallery, but to not have the featured image show up in the gallery. The problem appears to be that if you upload an image whilst editing your post, WordPress will automatically attach the image to the post, and thus add it to the gallery.

The solution is very simple: Instead of uploading the image whilst editing your post (which will automatically include it in the gallery), upload the image using the Media tab within your admin area. Then go to your post and insert the featured image from your media library. This will include the image in the post, but not attach it the the post so it will not show up in your gallery. Simple eh!

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The beauty, and savings, of shopping online


(Earn cashback for shopping online at popular retailers: Quidco)

I’m probably the world’s greatest advocate of online shopping, and this is why. I’ll start with an example:

You’ve been given an old iPhone (lucky you!) and would like to buy a contract SIM card for it. You’re a fan of Vodafone and would like to go with them, and are willing to pay £25 per month. You have two options:

  • Travel to your nearest Vodafone store, engage in talks with sales people who may or may not be useful, agree on a £25 per month tariff and then maybe pop for lunch as you’re out and about anyway. This provides 3 main costs to me; time, stress, financial. The first two will vary from person to person (both high for me!), but the third is quantifyable:

    Contract: £300 (for the year)
    Travel: £5
    Lunch: £10
    Total: £315

  • Visit a website, find the plan you like, click to buy and fill in a few details. Await your purchase! This, for me, means minimal time and minimal stress, but most importantly potentially massive financial savings!:

    Contract: £300
    Online cashback: -£150
    Credit card sign-up cashback: -£10
    Credit card cashback: -£15
    Total: £125

This is an extreme (but feasible) example, and would involve a bit of setup (mainly for the credit card) but is entirely possible and can be applied to more than you may expect, I.e. home insurance, the brand spanking new TV you want or that all important holiday.

I recently employed these techniques to pay for a holiday; initial travel agent cost: £2419, amount I paid for exactly the same holiday (from the same company!) online: £1943, saving £476 (19.6%!).

So how you ask?

The most important thing to remember with online shopping is that companies don’t have to pay for shops and associated staff so their overheads are lower. This means prices can be, and most often are, lower. The next biggest saving can be made from cashback sites. These sites are effectively paid by online stores to promote them. A good cashback site then transfers some, or all, of this payment to you, the consumer for buying via. their site.

From my experience, the best, and most popular, cashback site is Quidco – they pay all of the money they receive to you for a cost of £5 per year (which is only taken from any earnings you gain – no earnings, no fee). In less than 3 years, I’ve made over £500 for effectively nothing – just buying things online that I was planning to anyway!

Cashback sites are readily available to anyone old enough, but if you have a good financial status then you can also take advantage of cashback credit cards – in the above example the American Express Platinum Cashback card. It offers 5% cashback on any purchases for the first 3 months then reverts to a lower percentage. As long as you pay it off in full you’ll be making savings. And would you believe it, Quidco also offer £10 cashback for signing up via. them!

Something else to look out for is Voucher Codes. These are generally codes you can type in whilst paying for your item online that reduces it’s cost. There are many sites offering them but Google can often be your friend here – you have to be careful with some of these voucher sites too as they won’t show you the voucher until you’ve visited the shop (the idea behing this being that they receive a fee much like/instead of cashback sites – but they keep it). Part of the holiday saving I made was by using a £75 online voucher.

So that is why I’m such a fan of buying online; less stress, less time and sometimes massive savings. And let’s face it, everyone likes a parcel! I appreciate this won’t be for everyone and I know people still enjoy visiting shops (especially for clothing etc..), but I wanted to share my feelings, and savings, with everyone.

This is an article I want to expand on, as and when I get time, as I’ve only written a broad overview here. The all important links:

Sign up to Quidco here

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A poem what I wrote

As mentioned on my Twitter stream, I was searching through my ‘old stuff’ box from the loft the other day and found a few old treasures such as the Blue Peter badge I won as a child (for their ‘Lead Free’ competition) and a load of embarassing old photos, which I hope to scan at some point. On top of that I found a poem I wrote for a school project, aged 14, which is quite special to me. It was inspired by a poem written by the late, great, Spike Milligan and made my English teacher cry when she read it for the first time in class. The mature me wants to edit/correct/improve it, but that would be wrong, so here it is, untouched:

It’s a Dog’s Life

My master enters, I slowly rise.
His humble, stuttery voice calls.
I greet him, full of energy, though he is not.
I watch as his shaking hand lifts food to his mouth,
which calmly chews, then swallows.
Chews, then swallows.
He hobbles over to his chair with the aid of his stick,
such a long journey.
He sits staring, staring at me, his only family.
I hear him breathing, his lungs gasping for air.
Then slowly, very slowly, this sound fades.
And as his head drops, mine drops,
as his spirit flies aways.
My master, the controller of my life, has gone.
I sit here waiting, praying that I can join him,
because down here,
my life is not worth living.

This poem was entered into a competition run by the International Society of Poets in Summer 1996. It reached the finals and was also to be included in the book ‘Between a Laugh and a Tear’. Instrumental to this poem and it’s ‘success’ was my mother, Wendy, who lost a long, incredibly brave, battle to an evil disease in 1999. Words cannot describe what we, her family, and most importantly, she, went through during this time. This poem will forever be dedicated to her, along with a profound thankyou. You’ll be forever missed and forever remembered.

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Spam protect ‘mailto:’ links


Whilst working on this site I thought it best to protect my new e-mail address, as my previous mail account had a bit of spam and it was annoying – I’d like to keep this account as spam free as possible.

The standard e-mail link is:

Mail me

This poses an issue as spam-bots can scan your site, read this address, add it to their list and you’ll be forever getting those ‘down to your knee’ e-mails.

Some people like to just print their address in an obfuscated manner, ie. ‘Me(at)Domain(dot)com’, expecting visitors to interpret it and type it manually into their mail client. This is ok but I’m one for convenience – I like to just click on the link.

The solution? JavaScript and a bit of PHP for convenience. The PHP takes a few parameters and emits some Javascript to display the link. I’m not saying it’s 100% perfect but will certainly help:

function ProtectedEmail( $szAddress, $szServer, $szLink = '' )


*NOTE: You’ll need to delete lines 5 and 13 – they’re there to prevent the code being parsed within this post. To pass validation you may also need to use HTML comments (same as you’ve just deleted) around lines 7 and 8.

This code works by inserting broken-up javascript into your page instead of a complete link and should cause a headache for a lot of spam-bots. Call it as follows:

	ProtectedEmail( 'Me', 'Domain', '' );

*NOTE: The image tag should be terminated with a slash ‘/>’ to be compliant but it’s been removed by the code syntax highlighter.

The 3rd parameter is optional and used if you wanted to display a button etc.. If it’s not used then the code will just display your e-mail address.

The PHP isn’t essential, you can just use the JavaScript from the function above in-place but I like to save my typing for things like this!

It’s possible to obfuscate the javascript a lot further, which I may do at some point, but that’s an exercise for another day.

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The ‘Turnbull’ name


(03/12/11) I’m updating this post with the sad news that on 2nd December 2011, at 11:15am, my dear grandad, Walter Turnbull, passed away peacefully. Once again taken by that most evil of diseases that my family, and indeed the world, seem to have far too much experience of. A true Scot through and through, he battled bravely to the end, rejecting life-extending treatments in favour of life quality. Grandad had a good quality life, many thanks in part to the wife he leaves behind, my nan, Margaret Turnbull, the nicest, kindest, most considerate and generous person anyone could meet. The tour de force of grandparents; A statement I feel honoured to be able to make.

So many happiness evoking memories feature the words ‘nan and grandad cats’ – from their penchant for the feline critters – nan would cook exceptional food whilst grandad listened intently to my often incomprehensible computer talk, with interest, enthusiasm and encouragement. When I was very young, post-dinner, he would get out the Atari 2600 for a few rounds of Pacman and Frogger with me, which later moved to me helping him with his spreadsheets and in return being thrashed at Minesweeper. I thank him immensely for his role in helping me become the geek I am today. Along with beer, whisky, haggis and curry lover of course. I’m proud to have his genes, the Scottish genes, the Turnbull genes; which my daughter, Amber Turnbull, can carry forward with amour-propre.

Rest in peace grandad, a great man, a man’s man, a real man; you’ll be forever loved and forever missed. X

This is my first real blog post and so I thought I’d start with my family name/heritage. Just over ten years ago I acquired a document via. my great-grandfather which outlines the Turnbull clan name and it’s origin. I always knew my great-grandfather as Papa but his ‘real’ name was Andrew. He lived in Hawick, Scotland, to the ripe old age of 100 (yes, he got his letter from the Queen!) and amazingly lived through 3 centuries! (Born 1899, passed away 2000) – our memories and his name live on. From what I was told, I believe this document to have been written by/for a great-[insert required number of great's]-uncle of mine, John Turnbull, which alluded to his, and thus my, descendancy from the original Turnbull clan:

The 'Turnbull' name - Page 1

The 'Turnbull' name - Page 1

The 'Turnbull' name - Page 2

The 'Turnbull' name - Page 2

The document is quite hard to read but basically states that the name ‘Turnbull’ descends from a strong man named ‘Ruel’, who turned a wild bull that was charging at King Robert Bruce by the head, thus saving him from certain death. For his bravery, and for saving the king, he was given the Lands of Badyruel in Teviotdale and the name ‘Turnbull’. John Turnbull is documented as being a descendant of the family of Badyruel and therefore a descendant of the original Turnbull clan. My ancestry would be as follows:

Ruel Turnbull (from the document, he who turned the bull)

John Turnbull (from the document, believed to be my relative)

Andrew Turnbull (my great-grandfather)
Walter Turnbull (my grandfather)
John Turnbull (my father)
Richard Turnbull (myself)

Here is a photo of the latter four people in this list, I would estimate taken circa. 1985:

Four generations of Turnbull

Four generations of Turnbull - Andrew, Walter, Richard, John

I’m hoping to update this article with more information as and when I can. I discovered a site dedicated to the Turnbull clan here: Turnbull Clan Association and will be making them aware of this post as, hopefully, my family’s little contribution to the Turnbull family.

- Richard Turnbull

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I’m trying out my new blogging setup – hopefully this post will be sent automagically to Twitter. Hopefully. Maybe. That is all!

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That’s better!

Well, it’s been a while (again!) but a lot has happened.

I’ve been doing a lot of website work recently and so bit the bullet and have become a web-hosting reseller. It gives me the flexibility to create as many sites as I like, when I like – you can find out for yourselves here. It’s given me the flexibility to make some changes I’ve been planning for a while.

Firstly, what was has now become, along with a re-design, move to Apache/PHP (yay!) and a few other changes. I’ve finally got some propper blogging software in place! (Although I’m still working on it’s integration).

Secondly, iWisht has started the transition to WishForThis. It’s partially live, and still work in progress – you can visit it but not register and there may be bugs.

Right, this is just a quick update - I’m going to work on the blogging code right now and once in place will hopefully be posting a lot more often, with comments enabled etc..

Until next time..

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Remember me?

Well, it’s been a lot longer than it should have been since my last update! – things have been a bit hectic.

The swift kick up the backside that caused me get this site up and running ASAP was the unfortunate demise of the previous company I worked for. It was a messy, protracted, experience for all involved and has only just been wrapped up. Luckily, I managed to find a new job very quickly and all is now good. It made me want to write a guide as to what happens regarding invsolvency in layman’s terms as it really did seem like we were venturing into the unknown at the time. Hopefully this’ll happen one day.

Along with this, I’ve also been getting to grips with what I now believe to be IBS; causing abdominal pain, dizzyness and nausea – I’ve spent over a year having various tests discounting potential issues and was recently discharged with the affirmation that “it’s nothing serious”. It’s a frightening complaint that I now seem to be coping fairly well with but it’s something else I’d like to find the time to write about to help others who may be just starting their journey of discovery.

At the same time I’ve been beavering away on It’s had quite an overhaul – new name, new design, new site. All should be revealed within the next couple of months but I’ve spent more time in Photoshop than PHP recently! That’ll change once the new site is deployed – lot’s more to do on the code side..

On top of this I’ve been trying to allocate more time to working on theRedEngine – it’s not dead! Up until recently I’ve only had a laptop to work on which, whilst good, I found restrictive – especially for engine/3D work. Now I have a shiny new desktop/server/media player/beast to work on, specs for anyone bored/interested:

  • Case: Silverstone Kublai KL01B-W
  • PSU: 750W Seasonic X-750 DC- DC Ultimate Performance PSU Gold 90% Efficiency
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 930 2.80GHz
  • RAM: Corsair 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz XMS3 CL8
  • GPU: XFX 1024MB GDDR5 ATI Radeon HD5770
  • SSD (Boot): 128GB Crucial RealSSD C300
  • HDD (Data): (*3 in RAID 5) Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB SATAII NCQ 3Gb/s 32MB
  • Monitor: (*2) SAMSUNG SyncMaster 2443BW 24″ wide TFT
  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Needless to say, it’s rather good! Windows 7 is brilliant and SSDs make such a difference – the degradation does concern me, hence storing all my data on a separate HDD RAID array, but if it can sustain this performance for a few years (355Mb/sec sequential read!) then it’s a price I’m willing to pay. Now all I’m missing is time!

Along with this update I’ve made a few fixes to this site, it now views correctly on iPhone/Safari and the menu button hover shouldn’t flicker blank anymore (for anyone interested you need to combine the normal/hover image into one and use the CSS “background-position: bottom;” to reference the hover image). I’ve a lot more plans for this site too – better design, blogging, code snippets/tutorials etc.. but a lot of what I want to do relies on me using PHP/MySQL which I can’t currently do with this hosting.. I feel a migration may take place at some point..

I think that’s enough rambling for now.. :)

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The calm between the storms..

I hope a merry Christmas was enjoyed by all. The highlight for me, other than seeing family and gluttony, was receiving the latest album of one of my favourite musicians: Jamie Cullum: The Pursuit (Special Edition). The included DVD features Jamie (and his brother, Ben) performing live improvised electronica with Darren Emerson. Jazz meets Dance, my dream comes true!

I’ve recently been working on, trying to make the URL’s a bit friendlier, mainly for SEO and OCD satisfaction. This was relatively simple, involving .htaccess/mod_rewrite and means that a link like “/Shop.php?ProductId=1″ becomes “/Shop/Products/1/” – much nicer! What I was very annoyed to find out is that there is no simple equivelent under IIS, there are a couple of paid options but nothing easy out of the box. So this site isn’t going to get quite the same treatment unfortunately..

Whilst trying to figure out some compatibility issues with IE today, I discovered quite a handy utility: Internet Explorer Collection. All versions of IE in one install, handy!

Have a happy New Year!

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