East of the Sun, West of the Moon



Filed under: Site — Erwin @ 11:33 am

I’ve added some Podcasting directories of sorts to the collection of links in the column on the right. That collection has been getting a bit out of hand and I’m pondering moving it to a static page all by itself, instead. I’m sure that would be doable with a bit of PHP trickery so that I can still manage them through the WordPress interface. But for now, they stay.



Filed under: Site — Erwin @ 1:15 pm

Ugh. Just powercycled the cable-modem and the Vonage device and apparently something was unhappy there because I seem to have my regular bandwidth back, without the 40% packet loss that I had been seeing recently.

In other news, added some links in the Podcasts category and added a percentage graph to the Spam Statistics page, comparing the number of blocked message attempts to total attempts (blocked and successful ones). There’s a trend visible there. *smirk*



Filed under: Site,Software — Erwin @ 12:27 pm

Keeping in mind that I’m the only one writing here (M officially has an account but has shown no desire to write anything with it yet, plus if she felt that way she might dust off an old blog elsewhere rather than adding here) I added a content filter that enables me to insert little snippets of PHP in my entries. Indeed, I was not foolish enough to enable it for comments! After some experimenting with limited success, I ended up doing this:

function evaluate_this_match($matches) {
    return ob_get_clean();

function evaluate_this($text) {
    $text = preg_replace_callback('|(\[$PHP$\])(.*)(\[\/$PHP$\])|', "evaluate_this_match", $text);
    return trim($text);

The current single use is in the Spam Statistics page where I check the modification time of a file at the end of the entry, but when I get around to converting other PHP pages of mine I’ll definitely be putting it to good use then.

Update: Extended the (.*) pattern to ([\t\r\n\x20-\xff]+), to allow for newlines in the text, as I’m sure I’ll be wanting that.


Static Pages

Filed under: Projects,Site — Erwin @ 10:03 pm

I’ve converted one of the pages on my regular homepage into a static page on this blog. I plan to do more of that in the months to come and eventually I’ll either move the blog to that URL or redirect that URL here.



Filed under: Site — Erwin @ 9:20 pm

Anyone actually browsing my blog page will already have noticed that I’ve removed the list of categories in the left column, as it seemed to be (relatively) pointless to have that sitting there. In general, I’m not really happy with the categories I’ve got anyway, but renaming or reorganizing those is a major pain.

So let me use this post to do some solo-brainstorming about what categories I really do want:

  • Site, for meta-updates/announcements about the blog software or how it’s set up. Like this entry.
  • Projects, for mumblings about various pet-projects.
  • Tech, for anything software/hardware/technology/science related? With possibly sub-categories for OS X, Linux, Hardware and Science, although it feels like I’m already going overboard then.
  • Personal, for anything family/friends related that doesn’t fit in any of the above categories. Probably should also include the occasional meme passing by.

What categories did I miss? What is unnecessary, redundant, or otherwise not needed?


Double trouble

Filed under: Site,Software — Erwin @ 11:05 am

This post has a double function.

  1. I’m wondering if Zzot! uses NetNewsWire basically as his main browser, if he has that many tabs going all the time.
  2. A test to see if track/ping-backs work (again) now that the WP software has been informed more properly of where the proxy is that this internal webserver needs to reach out to the world.

*crosses fingers*



Filed under: Site,Software — Erwin @ 11:44 am

I’ve been fiddling with the static pages, giving them a slightly different layout than regular blog entries, which meant figuring out how the WordPress templates work (not too difficult). The only minor obstacle was that the regular template elements the_date() and the_time() show the creation date instead of referring to the last update, so I ended up hacking in something like:

  <?php echo mysql2date(get_settings('time_format'), $post->post_modified); ?>,
  <?php echo mysql2date(get_settings('date_format'), $post->post_modified); ?>

Not the prettiest approach, but it’ll do and it does look like it might survive a future upgrade to a newer WP version… hopefully. 🙂


Trackback spam

Filed under: Site,Software — Erwin @ 3:25 pm

Great. Now that WordPress has quite decent comment-spam preventing measurements, I got 3 trackback spam entries in a row, and aside from disabling them altogether, I don’t think there are any hold-for-approval abilities available there.

Yes, I could start disabling comments/pings on old(er) entries, but I don’t really want to. I like the idea that someone might not read my blog all that regularly but still be able to catch up and comment from time to time, including the old(er) entries.

Time to (a) check all menu options again and (b) check the WP development website and forum to see if anything is being done already about this kind of thing.


WordPress Dashboard

Filed under: Site,Software — Erwin @ 12:19 pm

When the webserver is behind a firewall — as mine is, I merely forward the 8000 port — it helps to convince the PHP software running on it that for outgoing HTTP requests it needs to use the appropriate proxy settings.

For WordPress 1.5, you can do that by editing wp-includes/class-snoopy.php and adjusting the variables named $proxy_host and $proxy_port as needed.

What tipped me off that I was missing something was that I was fiddling around with a test-install of WordPress elsewhere and I noticed that the Dashboard used the RSS feed of the WP blog to show recent news, etc. I had never seen that with my own copy! It’s all better now. 🙂



Filed under: Site,Technology — Erwin @ 10:16 am

A few bits of Google today:

  • I signed up for a Google AdSense account and it now lists some ads on these blog pages, hopefully vaguely relevant to the content. I don’t think I’ll get rich from it, not enough visitors for that, but I was curious what would be involved in getting that setup and it wasn’t all that bad, really.
  • I read in the Google Weblog that they’ve added satellite images to their Google Maps service. My first reaction was one of cool! but as a friend pointed out it is a step closer to every idiot being able to see what’s in your back yard, if your car is in the driveway, etc. As it is, Google’s images don’t zoom in that far, nor are they real-time (there is no indication of how recent they are), but what’s the next step?
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