Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Logahead - new blogging engine/platform

Read from Ajaxian that there is a brand new blogging engine released called Logahead.

I downloaded it, read a bit about it, and now ready to give it a try. Too bad, Site5's ftp connection doesn't allow me to login for some reasons. I have written to support now awaiting them to come to rescue!

Logahead is a one man's effort believe it or not. He is James and is only 17 and I'm sure he's rocking the blogging world especially I like his widget idea.

How can I not envy him (his age I mean).

When I'm able to upload files I'm going to try it out at papierlos.net

Telecommunication

What is telecommunication, let's look at this from ground up.

Telecommunication = Tele + Communication, i.e. communication at a distance. Tele is Greek and is a common prefix in English for "distant".

Communication is a how information is exchanged, it's a process event or occurrence. Communication can take many forms such as

  • radio

  • telegraphy, pretty old terms they are telex, telegram, facsimile etc. Optical telegraphs could be smoke signals or beacons. Electrical telegraph could be Morse code

  • television

  • telephone, of course these days this could be fixed line or mobile

  • computer network

links for 2006-02-27

Monday, February 27, 2006

UTW

UTW has 3.0.1 for WordPress 1.5 therefore I have immediately upgraded.

Search in WordPress.org

There are some handy tricks to help you search better in WordPress, see this post by podz.

If you go to podz's site HERE, there is a way to add search engines in Firefox, what you'll get is below.

One minor thing to warn is that when you save the codes in your notepad be sure to put file name between quotes, i.e. "codexWP.src" or else windows still set that as a text file not file with ".src" extension.

codex search in FF

Submit to Search Engines

Last night I was considering how to submit my sites to search engines, naturally I hit Google with search text "search engines submit". This one SubmitExpress came first in the listing. Whether they are really popular or then paid to rank first I really don't care.

In the past I only submit to Yahoo and Google. Submit to Google is easy click HERE. Submit to Yahoo is a bit tricky, the link is HERE but I have read some blogs that that service for public has been down for more than a month.

Anyway I have used submit express and I'll see how good they are in due course. I have Shortstat installed therefore I should be able to see what crawlers have stopped by.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

When the article was submitted

I said

I finally have it done but it may not be in the format/style that you normally receive from contributors, see attached.

I haven't got screen shots, code snapshots, etc as I think the code for my project are very specific to my case, e.g. I have a script resolving letter reference numbers to speed up searching of file name within folders. Techniques used are commonly found in dummies books for asp and vbscript.

I am however keen to know (expecting feedback from readers) if there are in fact products in the market doing similar things as I have done, e.g. I would expect such software to do things like:

  1. integrating scanning, converting into pdf file, and uploading to a dedicated document server running IIS. A standalone application to be installed on a PC for a document controller (a clerk) to do just that.

  2. integration with exchange server such that automated mail is sent enclosing a link to the new document uploaded to the outlook inbox of the head of office. The head of office will then view the incoming mail pdf file (using IE as client either in new window or within outlook), distribute the link, add a few lines marking "for action" and/or "for information" to his subordinates via outlook.

  3. "add-in" could be designed for outlook such that the user can customize the UI (e.g. tick boxes) for easy selection of frequently used names. Additional info can also be displayed to show whether each subordinates under his team is online, offline or on leave etc. Also features of outlook can be incorporated in the UI, such as setting task, alarm, follow up etc.


  4. My project was started some 2 years ago and I did it in asp 3.0. I would certainly consider buying a commercial product as described above written in asp.net. As I'm hardly a "pro" maybe you or your readers can tell me if in fact there are products available in the market already.

    If my article gets published I don't mind giving away my code, however I don't have the time now to do a write up explaining features in the code which are specific for the document system in my company.

links for 2006-02-24

Friday, February 24, 2006

Site5 vs BlueHost

Yesterday Anson gave me access to BlueHost's cpanel. I have quickly made 2 dozens or so clicks within it just to have a feel of what it offers.

I would say 95% is more or less the same as in Site5, only the layout looks different. Features/functions available to you are arranged in a grid like layout with all of them in icons. I like the Site5 way because similar functions/controls are grouped together. The response of the server is marginally faster.

BlueHost's basic plan will allow you to host few domains/sites but it's not fully Multi-Sites because it doesn't give you separate controls for each site you created. You also can't create passports for your other friends for access.

All in all I prefer Site5.

History

Thanks to Google Desktop Search, I found what I said in July 2003

My article would be named An Amateur Approach. I want to write about my practical experience of paperless office though still very far from it. I managed a billion dollar engineering project with many correspondence. Few years back I was dreaming about a way to find copy of letters without looking up hardcopy files and want all members of my team of 60 to do that quick and easy. In essense online retrival of scanned information from the PC network. There were few systems available in the market that we have examined, one costed few millions some served only a portion of my needs. I have at the end learned the hardway i.e. written a desktop database application using VB6 at the end an intranet solution using ASP 3.0 I consider myself an amateur because I self taught all skills such as VBA for excel, VB6, VB script ASP 3.0 etc to build the solution all on my own. I just want to share the experience.

Papierlos

Papierlos is paperless in German. I wrote an article about "paperless office" back in 2003, I think, and published around 2004?

I built an intranet site with ASP3.0 and with very low tech equipment/software for my office use, of course, just for fun. Didn't learn asp.net, not bothered, but now interests come again for opensourced things like php5, MySql and the like.

I will use http://office.papierlos.net to post my thoughts, email again those readers who emailed me over the years....etc I don't know what else I would do but making a start isn't wrong.

links for 2006-02-23

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Google Page Creator

I just want to show below that I have actually created my Google page using Google Page Creator.

It was saved, viewed in the browser OK but when I browsed it again after logged out, I got a 404 error.

What is this for? Only Google knows perhaps I guess it's to catch up with what Microsoft is doing with Office Live.

page creator

PS: Now I know, you couldn't view it in Opera 9.

BlueHost

My elder brother Anson has signed up BlueHost yesterday. He said from signed up, filling up of credit card details to building his first empty blog took only 5 minutes. It was amazing! I have read earlier that their activation process is fully automated and you don't even have to get email confirmation and activation code etc before you step ahead using one click installation to install your first blog on WordPress.

Anson is going to try creating additional domain/site, in due course I'll give it a try. Anson is currently waiting to get his domain ez-baking.com moved over to BlueHost and from my recent experience here in this post this process may take 24-36 hours before dns servers of major ISP's updated.

Zoho Writer

Discovered another web services for Word Processing called Zoho Writer. It's similar to the Web Word Processor Writely which I have briefly tried earlier.

I found the interface a bit nicer in zoho and most part of it is ajax driven without page refreshing. First loading was a bit slow but it's OK afterwards.

I tried the "post to blog" feature but couldn't set it up. Strangely it didn't require url of the blog but just asks to fill in the name of the blog. I also couldn't find help any where. I have since emailed support hopefully I could find out more in due course.

Another interesting product that they will have is Zoho Creator you can sign up now to wait for the beta launch. From their blog it's a tool designed to help web service developer and it should be so easy that Easy becomes Trivial, Difficult becomes Easy and Complicated becomes possible. I am looking forward to it as I have some big ideas in my head for web services. Nice and easy to learn tools will suit me well.

links for 2006-02-22

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blogbeat

Discovered this web service called BlogBeat from a post in Techcrunch. You can register free for 30 days thereafter subscription is $6/month. Judging from the name I think their target customers are bloggers but why would bloggers pay $6 for such services. I guess unless you are professional bloggers earning far more than $6/month from adsense and really want the statistics to improve your site to attract more clicks. What about tons of good plugins available to WordPressors which could do similar things?

No harm done anyway to try for 30 days. See my stats below after few hours of registration.


blogbeat

pageflakes

PageFlakes has a very attractive layout design but a couple of things essential are yet to come.

  • some feeds don't come with content, just the title?

  • it needs a refresh button for each feed/module, it's obvious as like many others we all have many gmail accounts and we just want to know if important mails have arrived

  • it couldn't resolve chinese characters yet?

  • OPML file upload, understand that this is forthcoming may be next week



Beta product like this relies on users to throw in comments and ideas and I hope pageflakes don't mind me pointing out above for them here.

I like meebo that's my default IM channel, have not used desktop clients since they launched. I wrote about meebo, or similar approach (must be someone else working on it), and Ajax Firstpage integration, here I throw this idea to pageflakes as well.

pageflakes

links for 2006-02-21

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

More CSS tweak

This is a test


  • first bullet

  • second one




  1. number 1

  2. number 2

Get_links

Following advice by Matt at BlogIsEverything I have now used this

get_links(-1, '{li}', '{/li}', ' - ');


Further details about template tags/get links are in codex.

PS: have also moved the line for categories to below the post entry.

Ajax HomePage

I have been using Netvibes for a while thought that it's the best so far. Microsoft's Live.com can't even come close. Discovered today about PageFlakes, looks very nice at first glance and will give it a try.

links for 2006-02-20

Monday, February 20, 2006

Scared me to death

The moving of database from me.sfong.net was essentially piece of cake because I have practiced the steps before. Still when I finished restoring the database, which was a success, I saw a blank page when browsed the site.

As usual I logged in directly via .../wp-login.php and saved a few settings making sure it wasn't a .htaccess file issue.

I then realized that it was a theme issue because the database has everything in it, i.e. what theme/plugin I activated/used during backup. After I moved it here I didn't have that theme available so WordPress returned nothing. I had to manually activate this theme, no sweat.

Splog

Learn this new word Splog the other day, definition is here in Wiki. My current ranking in Technorati is as below, which is wrong probably due to how ranking is calculated, but that wasn't my intention.

I have links setup from my other sites for convenient sake but I used those sites for experimental or learning purposes. I'm going to move content of this blog to a new domain fongstanley.com so all those links will be broken and this site eventually will be taken down for other purposes.

technorati_rank

Content moved

Moving of database to my new domain is successful, see this post there.


I will not be posting anymore here. Very shortly I’ll be taking down this site and make it available to friends who may want to use it.


If you visit here once in a while make a step there and set up the feed again.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

3 column Kubrick Theme

I'm going to test out a 3 column theme at my new site, do some workout for javascript and php stuff, last but not least web photo such as zenphoto and Coppermine there, so I looked for a 3 column design based on the Kubrick Theme.

Found this LiewCF then BlogisEverything. Decided to try BlogisEverything at fongstanley.com

Move domain name

I bought a domain name from DreamHost back in September 2005. I left them and joined Site5 later but didn't use the domain name. With the 5 domain name quota of Multi-Site account I then moved the domain name to Site5 to make use of the remaining months.

I edited the dns server address in DreamHost, didn't expect it to work immediately. In about 6 hours I can browse the site. 10 more hours later it failed to show up in browser when I viewed it elsewhere.

The Site5 support said it was due to speed of propagation and some dns servers with certain ISP's may not have updated the database. I then learnt from this experience that there is a useful tool here in DNSstuff to check dns and the world network.

Some more on Meebo

I have been reading comments on this post on Meebo's blog. Although there are lots of comments about how primitive meebo still is but I can see many people actually like it. I'm one of those.

I have IM accounts for MSN, Yahoo and Gmail talk. After many years of using them I know what I actually need from the interface. I don't need fancy UI, ads, tons of functionality and complicated settings....not even smileys, I hate them. In communication text counts most everything else is minor.

For meebo to really take off I think they need to integrate it with other popular stuff such as Ajax first page and browser. There are a lot of these so called Ajax Homepage now, Techcrunch has reported. If users really like you that will be the first page they see and meebo deserves a little corner in that first/homepage.

Currently IE7 beta doesn't support meebo. Firefox is the best outlet for meebo to enhance their functionality if an extension is built for firefox. Imagine meebo could open up on a sidebar with login credentials memorised by the password manager of firefox, alerting me within the browser when someone buzz me or send me a nudge (currently meebo doesn't do that yet). That'll be great.

Friday, February 17, 2006

What I have spent so far

I have to maintain a log here to save time looking for them later on


  • 21.9.2005 signed up DreamHost $142.30 for 1 year

  • 21.9.2005 signed up GoDaddy for 2 years of domain sfong.net at $18.40

  • 22.9.2005 signed up Site5, one year for $83.40

  • 6.10.2005 cancelled DreamHost account, refunded $132.35 (balance to keep the domain name)

  • 27.9.2005 bought emba2006cu.hk domain name at HKDNR at HK$250.0 for one year

  • 20.1.2006 signed up Yahoo webhosting for $8.76/month

  • 4.2.2006 cancelled Yahoo webhosting account, actual cost should be $11.95

  • 10.2.2006 upgraded Site5 for $13.38 to multi-site

  • 17.2.2006 transferred domain name fongstanley.com to Site5 dns servers, a blog has been installed there

  • 23.2.2006 bought domain name papierlos.net for $$9.20 from Godaddy, a blog has been installed there

  • 3.3.2006 bought domain name andrewchan.hk from HKDNR at HK$250.00

  • 18.5.2006 transferred domain names fongstanley.com and wilsonkwok.net at Godaddy for $7.2 and $8.2 respectively. Order acknowledged on 23hrs 17 May and completed 22hrs 18 May US time

Meebo

I have been using meebo for a while now, glad to see new features are coming up.

I like meebo because you can do away with desktop based application which eats up your resources. By the way you must have a browser, right?

Have just signed up this morning, now you save lots of typing if you have many IM accounts. The beauty of meebo is that you see what account your friends has signed on to all at once.

There are few things for meebo to catch up one of them being that it is still not displayed correctly in Firefox 1.5.0.1, I mean buttons are hiding behind the window etc.

It'll be cool if they create something like "meebo me" for blog and website now users have their identify/user account.

links for 2006-02-16

Thursday, February 16, 2006

More domain names

To make full use of my account with Site5 I have now provided a passport to my elder brother who has just transferred his 2 domain names there under my account.

The new sites, ez-baking.com and fonganson.com, are not working yet. Anson will be experimenting a little before I can see anything there.

links for 2006-02-15

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Adsense moved

It's moved to the bottom of the page. The adsense codes are moved from sidebar.php to index.php just before the call to sidebar. The sidebar should be a lot shorter now. It was a bit too long with both Amazon ads and Google adsense.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Opera 9 preview 2

Further to my last post, Opera 9 does display my theme here correctly like Firefox 1.5. Only IE7 doesn't display the javascript sidebar expand/collapse feature correctly.

2 against 1 therefore I don't bother fixing that minor flaw of the sidebar just for IE7.

Browser, nobody is the overall winner yet

I have been using IE7 beta 2 public preview for a while and found it OK. The good thing about it is low memory usage and pretty quick. It doesn't support meebo by the way, if you login to your IM via meebo it will tell you that passwords are not encrypted because you are using IE7. This is OK for Opera 9 (preview 2), Firefox and IE6.

Opera 9 preview 2 has a good start, it supports fully gmail now. See screenshot below. In version 8 the wysiwyg editor wasn't available. I still can see little flaw such as display of attached photos, I'm sure Opera will have that sorted out later. Too bad Opera 9 doesn't support meebo.

Both Opera 9 and IE7 don't support Yahoo Mail beta. Opera also doesn't support Windows Live Mail beta but will display it. Opera 9 will prompt you to go back to old version of Yahoo mail.

I guess nobody is perfect, yet!

opera 9 preview 2

Friday, February 10, 2006

Moving database between sites

Now I have created a new site emba2006cu.hk then I have to move the database from My EMBA to there.

I have done a successful rehearsal here, details are in this post. I repeated the steps there, to my surprise it didn't work?!!!

I then changed plan, here are the successful "Plan B"

  1. use Lester's WP-DBMANAGER instead of skipper's to backup the database from the old site

  2. download the gz file off-site

  3. the gz backup is prefixed with a date code, write that 10 digits figure down

  4. unzipped the backup then change url reference to match the new site

  5. the database file name reference in the file should also be changed to match the new site. Am not sure if this is required but no harm doing this

  6. rename the sql file such that it has the same 10 digits prefix, e.g. xxxxxxxxxx_-_databasefilename.sql

  7. the databasefilename should be the same as the database file name of your new site

  8. upload the sql file to the wp-backup-db folder of your new site

  9. Good luck, click restore button



It's advisable that your new site has the same theme, same plugins activated before the restoration of database. This is what I did.

You probably couldn't login after restoration unless your login name and password are the same for both sites. You may get "session expired" message then you'll have to load the login page again.

New Site is done

A few troubles that I have created have now been corrected.

I typed in the wrong domain name (cuemba2006.hk) for the new site when I set it up in Site5, then installed WordPress at its root which obviously didn't work. Now have last installation removed, as per advice by very good Site5 support, a new one is now installed and the domain name emba2006cu.hk issue corrected, no sweat, thank God.

Next step would be moving of database which I have practised already. Wish me luck.

PS: Site5 support has also helped me to correct the wrong domain name reference in couple of places within the control panel.

links for 2006-02-09

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Multi-site at Site5

I have just upgraded and created a new site at Site5. I made a terrible mistake, I entered the domain name wrongly. I went on to install a WordPress at the root, obviously it didn't work. I found out and amended the domain name, it is still not working.

I'm now waiting for technical support to come to rescue me!

The multiAdmin is easy to use and each site has it's own NetAdmin interface for everything you need to do with your site.

Chat in Gmail

I have Chat activated for one of my gmail accounts, see screenshot below. It's strange that the account with Chat activated is the one I rarely used. I am still seeing "Chat is coming soon" at the opening page of those accounts that I open everyday.

Techcrunch has also reported this with screenshot at this post 2 days ago. Well I guess I need to find someone to chat with in order to test it out.

chat

I remember this

It wasn't me who remember this, it's the blog which recorded this. The daily del.icio.us blog post didn't come through last night so I searched here and found this earlier post about how to set it up.

I may have to edit the "thingy" again.

I have also added a feedburner's animated number of reader display at the footer. As I have an account with them I may consider just providing their feeds in here instead so many others at subscription page. RSS 2.0 is now becoming the standard therefore any news reader aggregators should be able to use this standard feed protocol.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

del.icio.us

Have edited again the daily blog posting of del.icio.us, have to wait to see if that works again.

Found a few mistakes at subscription links, amended them and hope that it's now working for those who wants to subscribe via feeds.

Added del.icio.us link rolls to the sidebar at the bottom. Strangely it doesn't wrap I'll have to find out why and fix that. There are many plugins to integrate del.icio.us with WordPress, may be I'll look for one I like later.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

RSS feed

I experimented exporting the database of this site by RSS feed, see earlier post, hence setting number of posts in "options\Reading\syndication feeds" to 1000 posts. Apparantly this made the xml feed file too large (feedburner said no larger than 256k) and feed readers didn't like it.

I noticed this because Netvibes reported an error and also that Feedburner stopped working for me. I have now changed the number of posts back to 20 and burnt a new feed, it should be working by now.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Stop Crawlers

Have read this again as to how I can stop crawler to look into a particular folder of my site. Firstly you could only have one robots.txt and that should be at the root of your html folder.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /emba/


By this I will stop crawler to look into just one subfolder /emba/. My post detailed earlier setup, i.e. used just "disallow: /" which means entire site will not be crawled/indexed.

I have also removed the index.html file at the root which redirects visit to My EMBA if someone hits just sfong.net.

What I will do is to upgrade my current plan to multi-site then I could make the class blog to run under its domain name emba2006cu.hk without redirection. Currently a domain name pointing is setup so visitors will be here if they use http://emba2006cu.hk

Firefox Crashing

Am i joking or what?

No, FF crashes, a few times on me recently. You'll see what had caused that by opening up your Windows Task Manager and look for "Mem Usage" under "Processes" tab.

Firefox eats up a lot of memory, it's also called memory leak, if you has many tabs open up and downloaded a lot. Review this from the knowledge base and it can easily be fixed, normally, good luck to you.

I use IE7 beta with FF concurrently most of the time. It's noticeable that when IE7 is minimized it uses a lot less memory (could be just 10%, I have seen few cases). FF doesn't have this trick therefore if your PC/notebook is lack of physical memory you may have to restart firefox from time to time to get rid of piled up memory usage.

Goodbye Yahoo Web Hosting

I have cancelled my plan with Yahoo 4 February 2006. For record purpose, I have stayed with these people before


  1. DreamHost, 14 September 2005 to 6 October 2005

  2. Yahoo, 19 January 2006 to 4 Feburary 2006

  3. Site5, 21 September 2005 until now



I will later do another drill of backing up and restoring database using the codex way, i.e. in phpMyAdmin or even at MySQL shell.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

The Site5 Way

I have just done the Site5 way to manually install a WordPress 1.5.2, the new site is HERE.

Steps taken were:

  1. Create a new database

  2. Create a new user for the database

  3. Set password for the new user



All the above were done within cpanel of Site5 without going into phpMyAdmin which is a lot easier for no-brainer like me who trusts the hosting design rather than doing scary thing in phpMyAdmin.

A new folder was then created using ftp client, uploaded a good archived copy of version 1.5.2

Point the browser to \...\new_152wp\wp-admin\install.php, it was done like a charm! Error free in few seconds.

I did this drill because very soon fantastico used by Site5 will have one click installation of the latest WP2.0.1 then if I want 1.5.2 I'll have to do it manually.

The restore of database to the new_152wp was also very successful using Lester Chan's (GamerZ) WP-DBMANAGER, be warned you have to do these first

  1. backup your database, I used Skippy's plugin

  2. unzip it to sql text file, change url within it to suit your new url
  3. be warned that notepad may not be able to that job if your file is too large

  4. don't forget to change the database name to match the new database name of your new installation at the new url

  5. upload the sql file to the folder 'wp-backup-db'

  6. assuming that you have wp-dbmanager already installed you could then restore it within wp-admin


What I found was that after database restoration the site is blank. I then login to wp-admin by pointing browser to /.../wp-login.php I have done a few clicks within wp-admin and clicked view site again, it was done perfectly. The site new_152wp now has the same content as in this one, except this post of course.

I didn't know what had happened perhaps MySQL took sometime at the backend and I was too quickly launching the site.

With this experiment successfully conducted now I think I'll find out how to quit Yahoo Web hosting now. Nothing is better than layman comparison like this.

Live Mail beta

They got that beta activated for me today. It's still pretty primitive, I would say, as I don't see much new features. A little disappointment that the link at the right hand pane didn't work and there isn't any way to get rid of it. That right hand pane has reduced the viewing area, however, if you are using IE7 you could zoom in (as in Opera) to view more.

Too bad I have only 25Mb of storage therefore I can't really seriously test this out.

live mail beta

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Yahoo Mail Beta

I wrote about the little display flaw of Yahoo mail beta here. Apparently they have it fixed. It's OK now when viewed by Firefox.

Firefox has gone up to 1.5.0.1, if you haven't been notified check it out here.

By the way IE7 doesn't support Netvibes and Yahoo mail beta.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Backup & Restore Database

Followed this thread in the forum and downloaded the WP-DBManager for 1.5.2 from HERE. Thanks GamerZ for showing me the way.

Before trying this I have installed the famous plugin from Skippy. Now before trying this one I deactivated Skippy's.

Installation of GamerZ was easy and smooth then I downloaded the 3.1Mb sql file, which is a backup of this site, to desktop top. Following the instruction here in codex for Restoring your database I login into phpMyAdmin of my test site hosted by Yahoo.

Before I upload the file I saw below error.

sql error

I did try anyway but what I got was an 500 internal server error. So I can't proceed to Changing the site url.

IE 7 beta release for public

It's out finally for everyone. Read about the Yahoo News HERE. Get the download here. It's huge in size of 11.2 Mb.