New Design 3.0beta1

The first round of changes to this blog have landed. Obviously the most prominent is the first design change in about 18 months.

The design isn’t final, there are a dozen or so things that will be changing (some big, some small). There are also some more backend changes to be made, as well as port over some of my old hacks. Also some new toys coming. So keep an eye out and see if you can spot some of the changes as they happen.

Oh… the “blue” thing going on is just temporary. The top part will be changing somewhat often (as often as I feel). It’s just cold out, so I felt wintery. I’m going to get that in gear at some point in the near future.

So many changes going on here as we get a bit more professional. If my old blog was “freeware”, this is the “pro” version

This is 3.0 now! and surprisingly, we’ll be approaching a 2 year anniversary sometime soon (about a month). It’s great to see how popular this thing has gotten.

Again, this is “beta 1”. Were going to have at least 1 more beta, and a few release candidates until the blog is stable like the old design. So report problems, suggestions. I’ll be making tweaks over the next few days.


Quick Stats

Just thought this would be interesting to some… here are some quick stats on this blog:

  • 534 Posts
  • 561 Comment Posters
  • 9 Links
  • 80,248 Words

Not quite 2 years… but it’s pretty cool to see so many people reading!

I’ve got some big things coming up soon. I’ve been working hard for a long time, and I’ll be making some announcements here in coming months. Of course any beta program I do for any upcoming project I have will be announced here first (should I do a public beta). And I’ve got a few other things in mind πŸ˜‰

Yes… it will be a very interesting next couple of months. Keep your eyes on this blog. I won’t give out any more details than I have so far (so don’t bother trying). But trust me. I’ve been a busy bee the past few months.


Word Press Still Rocking

Quick status update on the migration to WordPress:

I’m still tweaking, but the site is coming back. Lots of the rendering quirks should be gone at this time. XHTML validation should work for most pages.

Kitten’s Spaminator royally kicks butt. Very good spam protection.

Seems to be quite a few useful plugins. Mobile support seems to be functioning correctly. Those with a cell phone or pda capable of viewing non-wap mobile browsing (HTML), shouldn’t have an issue here πŸ˜€

Another great thing is dynamic pages. It would sound more efficient to create static pages, but apparently it isn’t: When a spammer is attacking the comment area, they tend to post in batches of 4 (or more). MovableType then regenerates the page, causing a significant spike is CPU and RAM consumption. WordPress only has to add an entry to the DB. Then it’s done. By using Kitten’s Spaminator, it prevents even that from happening without good reason.

Unless I get slashdotted, I think this is a much better solution. What would be best is if my host would install MMCache. MMCache would also benefit Smarty based applications.

But regardless… as good as MovableType was. WordPress seems to be better.


Fun With Wordage 3.0 {Beta}

Last night I shut down this blog for almost 24hrs. It’s now open, but not fully restored. It will take me a while to put everything back, finish cleaning up, and debugging. There are known issues (I’ll talk about those and how you can help in a moment).

I’m no longer using MovableType. Instead I choose to go with WordPress. I choose it for several reasons (in no particular order):

  • Licensing (GPL) – Is very friendly and open source. I’m an open source kind of guy. So that makes me feel good.
  • Good HTML validation – Unlike MovableType, it doesn’t seem to want to put tags everywhere mangling the HTML. It’s very smart. I don’t need to do stuff like make posts all 1 line to get it to stop messing up my code.
  • Compatible – I’m was able to import everything with no real trouble.
  • Feature Packed – look at the comparison
  • Spam Prevention – I find it easier to hack with WordPress than MovableType. So I can put some good anti-spam solutions in place. Rather than wait for plugins to evolve. This isn’t an insult towards Jay Allen. I’ve said more than once his mt-blacklist saved this blog. I just don’t think it’s the best solution. Nor do I like being so reliant on others. His list goes down for a day and the spammers get the upper hand. I don’t like moderating all comments either.
  • Speed – fast UI. Database driven, no rebuilds. Very nice.
  • Learning – I plan to use WordPress a bit professionally, so getting acquainted with a blog is a perfect first step.

MovableType is good, and still is by far the most popular. It’s also the best choice for someone running a large install. If you have an organization for example, MovableType is bar far the best solution (as of this posting date). But for a geeky individual like me who likes to tinker, and likes features and open source, WordPress is better. I found WordPress to be more innovative and open. It’s administrative features are better. Though MovableType has a slightly nicer skin. The PHP based templates are far superior to those proprietary tags.

Overall, I’m pretty happy so far. Some new features already are in place, and more will be coming.

New Features

  • Smilies for your comments. As well as select HTML tags.
  • You should be able to view this site fairly well on a PDA or cell phone now.
  • RSS feeds galore. Including for comments on a specific post.
  • Lower Page Size. Should be much faster for my 56k friends.
  • Highlighting text on search.
  • Much more!

And more is on the way.

Known Issues

  • Images in some posts overextend the div (anyone know why?)
  • Some feeds still broke
  • Some toys on the left hand column are missing
  • Spam Prevention stuff is considered ‘beta’. Checking out how well it works.
  • Contact form hasn’t been brought into new system.
Mozilla down, and I’m lost is nice, but I’m a Blogupdates fan myself. Seems a hardware problem has down. I’m lost without it. Just shows how essential blogs are to Mozilla communications and ideas these days.


Comment Spam is driving me nuts

Come on Jay. We need 2.0. We know it’s good.

Seriously. I’m sick of deleting all these spams. And I don’t want to give up on it.

Problem with TypeKey is that people hate signing up for things. So it limits people from commenting. I hate that. I love when people post comments here. I really do. It’s my favorite thing about this site.

Ugh. No more Spam.

And my email inbox is 100X worse.

We need real laws against spam now!


MT 3.0 upgrade

Upgraded to MovableType 3.0 tonight. So far, smooth.

I’ve got one question though:

Anyone know of a hack to get MT to correctly encode HTML entities? Hence making & &? I’d appreciate any help. It’s an essential little hack if you expect any page generated by MT to validate.

Other than that, seems good to go. Post any issues you might have.

BTW: It’s not required yet, but signup for TypeKey. If Spam continues, I might eventually require it. But for now, I’ll leave it off, and see how we do.

For the curious, the upgrade took about 1hr in total for all the installing, playing, config etc.

Much faster performance. Especially posting/rebuilding.

That’s all, good night.


In the spirit of changes

In the spirit of changes, I did take about an hour today and update some of my older blog posts. They are now formatted much better, such as putting quotes in blockquotes (rather than another color, or italics), and separating code from the content.

Lots of little stuff like that, but it makes the site much nicer.


Planet Mozilla

I normally visit Henrik Gemal’s Blog Updates. Makes reading Mozilla blogs a breeze.

Though I have also been using Planet Mozilla, which is pretty spiffy itself. If you didn’t check it out yet, I’d recommend you do so. Really cool.


Blog changes

I’ve been thinking of changing how this blog works a bit. Let me know what you think.

Adding More categories:

Right now the categories list is:

  • Accettura Media
  • Apple
  • Funny
  • Hardware
  • In The News
  • Mozilla
  • Personal
  • Programming
  • Software
  • Tech (General)
  • Yankees

I think I’m going to add:

  • Open Source
  • Networking
  • Internet
  • Spam
  • Space
  • Web Development (different from my Accettura Media, MacVillage, Programming, and Software)
  • Blog (for blog related stuff)
  • Politics
  • Photos


  • Academic (could just stay part of personal)

Obviously this change involves resorting and filing my old posts. But that shouldn’t take to much time.

Now that I have a camera phone, perhaps every so often if I see something interesting, I’ll post photo’s? Hmm, not sure about that, but we shall see. I can integrate Gallery, with Movable Type pretty good if I want. That could serve as a nice infrastructure.

So if anyone has an opinion, now is the time. This will happen sometime soon I guess.