May 28

This is part 16 in a series of articles on obscure programming languages.

What is Pike?

image Pike is a dynamic programming language with a syntax similar to Java and C.  Pike is easy to learn, does not require long compilation passes, and has powerful built-in data types allowing simple and fast data manipulation.

Pike is released under the GNU GPL, GNU LGPL and MPL, which means you can use it for almost any purpose, commercial and non-commercial.

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May 26

The Internet is a fickle beast.  Websites come and go.  Connections break and are restored.  With so many working parts and points of failure, it’s amazing the Internet is as reliable as it usually is. 

But when things go wrong — as they inevitably do — and you cannot access a website, it can be challenging to determine where the problem occurred: your PC, Internet modem, cable connection, Internet service provider, the website itself, or any of the thousands of lines in between.

Fortunately there are free online services that independently check if a website is down:

Most services allow you to enter a domain name to determine if it’s accessible.  However, also allows you to enter a full URL path, domain with a specific port (e.g.,, or an IP address (e.g.,  For websites it cannot access, will continue trying the website every 15 minutes for up to 3 days.  If it can access the website, it will send you an email or SMS text message.