Life is sweet with UK Nova

 by Martin Belam, 9 December 2007

When we were living in Salzburg, pretty much all TV was dubbed into German, and so UK Nova became something of a cultural lifeline for us. With no internet connection where we stayed, we relied on downloading podcasts and radio and TV at the weekends in various internet cafes around the city.

[And, I should add, most certainly not whilst in the offices of Sony, advises my legal team].

UK Nova logo

However, UK Nova has restricted membership, and your account is terminated if you fail to login for a 30 day period. With our recent trip back the UK I got rather slack, and sorry to say, we lost our account.

With Christmas coming up and a full Yuletide of TV goodies in the offing, I felt I had no option but to cheat. I wrote a quick Perl script that pinged the UK Nova 'Sign up' page, and, if it didn't spot the message saying that the site was full, it would email me straight away that there was a possibility that accounts were on offer. I had a similar script running every 30 minutes for about 7 months this year, waiting to spot who blinked first between Sky and The Sun over keeping Madeleine in their primary news navigation.

Anyway, I tested my new UK Nova script on Saturday, and then, lo and behold, the very first time it ran as a cronjob, it sent me a 'Vroot! Vroot!' alert. I was still at the internet cafe so within a couple of minutes I was once again a fully signed up and verified member of the club.

UK Nova alert email

If only I can work out a script that will fool them into thinking I've logged on, once a day, every day, I need never worry about losing my account there again...


Dude. You could simply get into a routine whereby once a day at a specific time you can simply refresh your user profile page or do a quick login/log out. Et voila, no problems at all with keeping your login active and current. I do this automatically to keep track of my user score just so I can make sure it's above an arbitrary number I've decided upon. (This month it's 190. Next month it may be 200.) But it's managed to keep me in there since December 2007, which is way awesome since I too lost out on a previous user ID I had with the site. And it only took me a month. So yeah, doing considerably better. Plus artificial benchmarks of accomplishment are always super duper awesome in this day and age. ;)

It sounds simple Diane - but astonishingly when I think about it, it has now been 30 months since I lived in a home with a broadband internet connection. That makes internet 'routine' kind of hard to establish.

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