Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It's late at night

Just moved files over and activated this new theme. There are loose ends to tidy up which I will do after my trip to Japan.

I don't think I'll have access to Interent as hotels there don't offer access for free.

New Theme

This new one is nice, simple and clean. It's called NewZen v2.0, get it here if you like it.


The live search doesn't seem to work all the time. I have included Google Technorati and Swicki searches in the same group.


Successfully got rid of the border around image links, this is a must before I put this theme to use.


Borrowed codes from Kubrick Theme to show where you are at the top of sidebar when you clicked search, category or archive links.


Removed measuremap link from the footer, I don't have an account it must have been put in by the theme author.


Changed the sidebar color to suit my taste. I used Paint.NET to do that but file ended up 10 times large than original. I'll have to find a way to get it smaller or use something like icon maker.


Added a divider to end of each post, again that image is borrowed from Connections Reloaded.

Monday, May 29, 2006

New Theme

This new one is nice, simple and clean. It’s called NewZen v2.0, get it here if you like it.


The live search doesn’t seem to work all the time. I have included Google Technorati and Swicki searches in the same group.


Successfully got rid of the border around image links, this is a must before I put this theme to use.


Borrowed codes from Kubrick Theme to show where you are at the top of sidebar when you clicked search, category or archive links.


Removed measuremap link from the footer, I don’t have an account it must have been put in by the theme author.


Changed the sidebar color to suit my taste. I used Paint.NET to do that but file ended up 10 times large than original. I’ll have to find a way to get it smaller or use something like icon maker.


Added a divider to end of each post, again that image is borrowed from Connections Reloaded.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Dabbledb

Just got trial account free for one month with this innovative dabbledb.

It's fairly easy to learn how to create and add new data to your database. Import of data from, say a column in excel, is easy. I hope in the future it should allow uploading of a spreadsheet for import to the database.dabbledb login

Surprising it is supposed to be a web2.0 product, i.e. I expected lots of AJAX'ish gimmick. You'll be disappointed as many clicks I have done required refreshing but their server is very responsive therefore you won't complaint. Generally it's easy to get started but to make something really useful you'll need at least half an hour. I would suggest they add tutorial or template for users. Generally I think this is up to par or even slightly better than ZohoCreator. Your account looks professional as it appears as subdomain to their site, such as mine here.

dabbledb view

I surely have not spent enough time for a thorough test drive, for more indepth review see TechCrunch's post here and here, don't miss the comments that lots of other "pros" have made there.

Friday, May 26, 2006

From Flock 0.7.0.11.1

This is a new blogging interface from the latest version of Flock

technorati tags:



Nice to hear from Lloyd again, there are couple of things that I have reported about the latest build of Flock


  • the technorati tag doesn't go into the tag field, it shouldn't be in the body of the post

  • the favorites toolbar button to scroll among collections has gone in this latest version

  • the news import feature is not doing its job, it doesn't like OPML file exported from netvibes

  • the category listing in the blogging tool doesn't really do anything, as far as I can see. May be it does do something but I don't see check boxes?



The good news is that the flickr photo uploading is as good as the flickr's desktop uploadr. It would be perfect if it also provides check boxes for "send to group" as well.

Site Statistics, why do I care?

I used to have site stats plugin wp-shortstat activated which enable to see how many visitors I have, where are they from and what have they clicked. I later found out that the stats plugin generated huge amount of records in the database which is not necessary. I turned it off.

I have also subscribed to free service of statcounter where I could put script in my sidebar to show how many unique visitors have been here. Recently that has stopped loading of the page right in the middle of it due to slow response of the statcounter site. Well, why do I care?

I have now moved it to the footer or even have it deleted later on.

This is not a commercial site and I don't really care statistics.

links for 2006-05-25

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Search via tags

The UTW plugin is supper good that I can't do without in all my blogs.    The out of the box WordPress search doesn't cover text in comments and pages.    There is a plugin out there called Search Everything to cover that.

Too bad when you use UTW to insert tags you can't use traditional WP search to locate posts via tags.    Christine has one done for her site here.   When are you going to release it?

Write for the Hosting

This is again the idea of intellegence of the crowd or collaborative power.    My hosting has a Write4Site5 program where customers can help/contribute to improve the knowledgebase.   The reward is quite attractive in money term, if you writing get accepted, therefore I might have a look at their knowledgebase to see if I could give it a shot.

The World is Flat

If The World Is Flat is true where would be the most competitive location for a world class hosting company?

I searched using "hosting india" and found "30,600,000" results.    net4domains says they are the largest web hosting company having more than 75,000 web hosting live...."    Their site shows prices in Rs (Indian Rupee) and "service tax of 12.25% as applicable".

Megrisoft really targets the world market as they have prices in US$     Prices are not cheap as one would expect, e.g. their Linux 4 plan is at US$60/year gives you only 100Mb of storage.

Many site links on the first page of Google result are still using local currency instead of US$, is India really ready for the flat world in this particular aspect?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hosting

You want to do something in cyberspace first of all you need to find hosting.

It's the kind of business, I guess, size does matter and economic of scale will drive competitiveness.    In Hong Kong you can hardly find good hosting with prices and services comparable to the US I think, if you think I'm wrong leave your comments here to corrrect me.

I have tried a few in the US since September last year they are DreamHost, Yahoo Webhosting and currently Site5.    My brother is using BlueHost which is also quite good.


E.g. Site5 has around 200,000 customers websites and more than a hundred of servers. Big players in Hong Kong has around 5,000 customers.


I have done a quick collection of what hosting companies are around here.   The list is definitely not exhaustive as some may not have advertised.    I was told that certain hosting runs from a small flat with only a few desktop PCs, believe it or not.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Database backup and restore

I prefer the WP-DBManager plugin (currently at 2.04 for WP2+) by GaMerZ over the default plugin by Scott Merrill (currently 1.7) that came with the download.

I have used GaMerZ older version for WP1.5.2 with a little trouble (see them here, here and most recently here) but I still managed backing up and restoring it over at a new url.    I have assumed this current version has improvement hence the below experiement.

I have a site here running WP2.0.1, installed the plugin there and backed up a database.

  1. Downloaded the sql file to desktop
  2. Search and replace all url of the old site with url of the new site, use something like EditPad Lite as NotePad may not work due to large file size.
  3. Change also the database name (which takes the format like xxxxxxxxxx_-_database_name.sql) in the file to match that of the new site, this assumed that you have installed and activated the plugin at the new site such that you can read the database name from the plugin page.
  4. Rename the sql file to match the database name of the new site.
  5. Restore it at the new site

No sweat, all done!

Don't forget below
  • You better have both sites having the same theme during backup and restore
  • Once restored admin login at the new site will be replaced with those from the old site
  • In order for any of your customized themes to work properly you have to manually transfer all theme and plugin files across from old to new site.
Why do I have to practice this again.    The recent failure at my hosting Site5 is quite annoying.   If they are naughty again I might have to quit.

links for 2006-05-21

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Which blogging platform

This article by innovationcreators is a must read if you are new to blogging and have wondered which one to go for.    The author used Google Trends, the latest tool by Google, to track popularity or trend of different platforms.

Thank God I have made the right decision 8 months ago on WordPress.    If you are not on the right track, switching is easy.

One thing to note is author's comment on Ruby on Rails I'm sure it's catching up fast.    That proves my gut feeling as well.    I have recently tried Typo which runs on RoR.

links for 2006-05-17

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

PHP Photo Album without database

I need photo album to display photos on my intranet so I looked or some open source scripts which doesn't require MySQL or database because I don't need fancy features and security is not a concern on the Intranet.

I tried scry which is very easy to install and runs OK except that features are primitive and caching is very slow.    Come across this one phpAlbum which is far more professional in a sense that it's ready to go on a real website.    It's a lot faster in caching new photos uploaded and has password protection for administrator and various settings for display modes

links for 2006-05-16

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Very nice Theme by Andy Peatling

Found a very nice theme by Andy Peatling called Durable v0.3 (currently at 0.2).    Got lots of choice available to customize the look of the theme to your taste without fiddling codes within Admin.    Some may like this.

I think theme design (the way I like it anyway) is moving towards customization and even posting without the admin interface.    Too bad the innovative one I like at logahead has been stopped being developed (now a sourceforge project) as I really like the idea of blogging without admin and customizaation "on-the-fly", my attempt is here.

With development in javascript and ajax somehow in the near future I think bloggers, average no-brainer like me, will just blog without getting to know the codes behind the blogging platform but at the same time have a lot more freedom in chosing what they like as to outlook of their theme.

My server is down again today

It was exactly 6 days ago, now it happened again. Site5 support said


We have had some problems on this server lately which now seem to be attributed to a hardware problem. We are currently swapping the motherboard out of the server and replacing it with a brand new one. This should clear up the problems that we have been having with this server as of late.

Once the swap is done we are going to take a further look into the server to make sure everything is running smoothly. This should fix the problems this server has been having as of late and I apologize for any problems that this may of caused.


It is now up and running again but I think POP mail service is still down at the moment.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Manage database

Activated LesterChan's plugin here for WP2.0+

I'll see if there are improvements over the earlier version (details in this post) I used in site migration when I was still at WP1.5.2. I may later have to play with site moving again as this domain name which I purchased from Dreamhost will reach anniversary in September.

Typhoon season begins

This one Chanchu is getting near. If it points squarely north after the right turn we'll have pretty bad weather next week.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Billing came back

I have $2 credit for the downtime further to my chase HERE. The responded reasonably although I still don't quite understand how shared hosting works, i.e. is it possible that all sites under my account are down but other sites within the shared server can still be running?

So is uptime statistics meaningful at all as hosting could always say that only you were affected but your shared server wasn't down?

links for 2006-05-11

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My sites were down last night

All my sites hosted with Site5 were down last night. I stayed in front of the computer for around 2 hours going through materials for my investment examination.

Raised a ticket at around 10:30pm and it wasn't fixed by the time I retired to bed at around 12:30am.

It was all fixed in the morning. I am chasing their billing department as to credit because from their Guarantee I noticed at least 2 hours of downtime of my sites.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

My Typo Blog

I have been playing with a new Typo Blog set up HERE in the last 2 days.

It is not easy to get familiar as lots of things are different from WordPress.    The community isn't large their forums has only 167 members but it's growing fast.    I think it's the best way if I really want to learn Rails.

links for 2006-05-08

Monday, May 8, 2006

Caching WordPress

Read Owen's post about caching WordPress for some high traffic sites. I guess I'll try this WP-Cache 2.0 although my site isn't anywhere near the definition of high traffic.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

New Theme Prozac

I still love my last theme LUSH (by the way Jerko One has switched to a new design, check it out). I'm still using it at a site I hosted for my Marketing Professor here.

Switching theme once in a while is my way of learning eventually I'll design one for myself but I guess I still won't keep a theme for too long.

Since I moved to WordPress about 8 months ago I saw a trend of theme design getting very complicated due to WordPress Widgets and may be the use of menu driven customization is "fashionable". These are OK for average theme users who want simple and quick customization. I don't like them because codes required by these new features are in my way of manual customization.

E.g. this theme is clean in their theme files, no widgets no menu driven codes so I find it easy to customize. There are only 9 files while LUSH and Kubrick has 14 and 17 files respectively.

links for 2006-05-06

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Try Ruby

I promise you this is cute.

If you are in the middle of learning php may be you should switch. If you haven't started to learn anything Ruby is the most promising one. Try it here.

try ruby

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Flock update


If you don't use Flock everyday I suggest you turn it on today as you'll get latest upgrade to 0.5.14.2




The download will take a while as it's 8.6Mb. 

links for 2006-05-03

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Blog Search Engine

sphere embaSphere is a new search engine. It does things differently from other fellows like Feedster, Technorati and IceRocket. Relevance is based on links in/out of blog, meta data of the blog (length of posts, post frequency etc). I can't say this is better because I don't see why post frequency has anything to do with relevance unless the contents are relevant. Use this blog as example I have almost daily entry of del.icio.us links. I'm not alone having this.

As a test I entered "my emba" in the search box. This site, surprisingly, came first in the result list. Nobody out there blogging about EMBA? For more inside stuff TechCrunch has more here.

Below shows the profile and quick facts about this blog.

sphere

links for 2006-05-02

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

links for 2006-05-01

Subscription by Email

I've been looking for a plugin to do subscription by email. Skippy's subscribe2, currently at version 2.2.2, is indeed very popular and I have activated that at my test ground here. I have yet to learn how to customize the subscription confirmation page.

There is another version allegedly an improvement using AJAX by Kirill. A not so popular one called "WordPress Email Notification Plugin" is here.

I don't know which is best I guess I have to try them out one by one.