Stuff I Need

  1. One Bridgestone Blizzak Revo 1 tire in size 185/65 R15. Just one, in good shape, to replace my lamented one.
  2. A current email address for Phelps Allis, a good friend from very long ago (married Sara Wolf, apparently).
  3. Salt & pepper packets, or mini shakers for my office. I need them about 5 times a year, but when I do, it’s really annoying to not have any.
  4. A fix for the WordPress 2.6.x plugin error Fatal error: amzlookup() [function.require]: Failed opening required ‘AmazonShowcase_Assets/IsterXmlSimpleXMLImpl.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/lib/php’) in ~/blah/blog/wp-content/plugins/amazon-showcase-wordpress-widget/amazonshowcase.php on line 314 which affects another plugin (I suspect a 2.6.x issue with older plugins)
  5. Better time management skills, so I’m efficient at carving out chunks of time to get serious coding/writing tasks done, instead of fire fighting.
  6. Graphics-fu, to improve my ASF Swag tshirt shop.
  7. That magical Windows-based twitter/WordPress/blog/presence awareness/IM client that ties it all together. Twhirl is pretty and Trillan is useful, but…
  8. A serious yet compact espresso machine that actually fits under our counters.
  9. A way in Lotus Domino to display views with response hierarchies, but with only response and response to response documents: here, I need a categorized column that shows mid-level responses, and then a hierarchy of response-to-responses.
  10. A spare power plug (just the 3 wire cord from the wall to the power adapter) for a MacBook Pro.
  11. Maps, maps, maps. Preferably historical Boston. I already have Mapping Boston.
  12. A new roof. Sigh. Trying out 2Hat Design Build now.
  13. ApacheCon US 2008 attendees to fill out the survey I sent with thoughtful data, so we can better plan future conferences.
  14. A magic password manager that I trust has serious encryption, and is easy and flexible to use.
  15. Better and easier IMAP mail hosting. I’m not sure I want to go all GMail, but I’m sure getting sick of 1and1′s 20K message limit.
  16. A good pool in/near Arlington I can join. Special bonus points for salt water (instead of chlorine treated). My current exercise is too far away.
  17. To blog more. And another Vesper. Damn, they’re good. Please note, I’ve always loved gin.

In no particular order.

Shiny new WordPress 2.2

Just upgraded, it looks quite nice.  I know, there are a ton of blogging packages out there, but I already like this one, and many of the folks who work on it seem pretty nice.  Plus, it’s full featured, and while it offers easy administration, it has enough extensibility built in that if I really want to I can mess around with the internals.  Although I find that mostly I just want something that works well, so I can spend my messing around time with some new software, not stuff I want to work all the time.  Color me wimpy with my main website.

I am interested in living a more secure lifestyle, so if folks have suggestions, especially about getting things like’s SSL secure admin plugin and the like, let me know.  I still haven’t sprung for a decent SSL cert yet, I’m still just using the one that 1and1 provides for you by default.  Partly out of laziness, and partly because I’m still deciding what things to put on this site, like an eventual family picture gallery.  Yes, there’s flicrk, and I have cat pictures up there, but home and family pictures are going to say on my own server for now.  Color me – privacy minded, sometimes.

Apologies for the boring post, mostly just wanted to see how the new 2.2 version works.  Oh, drat, must remember to re-configure my ATOM feed…  Bah to RSS!

Calling Akismet/WordPress Gurus: fight evil trackbacks

Apologies if I’m overreacting – it’s been a long day.

Has anyone else seen wierd trackbacks from elliottback dot com show up on their blogs, esp. WordPress ones?  I just got an odd one, which simply led to a WordPress blog with zero original content – just trackback’d entries, which are all posted to that blog as if they were the other person’s blog post.  Oh, sorry, they’re all credited as:

“Original post by blah blah and software by Eliott the Google Adwords shyster”

Of course, this guy apparently runs a bunch of other no-original-content blogs (from my admittedly 5 minute searching) which all include only targeted trackback posts from other blogs – and of course, a huge Google AdWords install.

Is it just me, or do I have some backing in being a mite pissed off?  I mean, really, I’m totally small potatoes in the blogosphere, so I really don’t expect to be the target of leeches.  (And Akismet makes spammers work invisible, which is perfect – thanks, Akismet-folk!)

Ah, Performancing – Settings, General, Publishing Features

You can turn off the display of their Powered By link in the options easily.  Nice.  I’m happy to list them on my Sliced Bread page, but I really don’t need to link spam them on every post!  Now to start creating some content to post about so I can try a real posting tool on for size (I had been individually logging in, which is so 90’s!)

Performancing as a dual-post editor

Attempting to use Performancing to post to my work blog as well as my personal blog. It doesn’t seem to allow dual-posting with one click, but you can save an entry and re-submit it to both systems. It detected my work Roller-based system fine, we’ll see if it can successfully post there as well.

Hmmm. I just remembered that they post-process your posts to add their own “Powered by…” line at the bottom of your text post. This may be a short-lived experiment, since I can’t have that going on for all my posts. I wonder if I can hack it or change settings to cut it out, or if I should try w.bloggar, something a coworker suggested. Testing…

Ah-ha! They use a class= on their paragraph, so instead of hacking the tool (or buying a license, have to look into that if I use them long term) you could also do CSS-fu to turn display of that off in your blog. However it’d probably still show up on search engines, so that’s not good either. Pondering options…

Welcome to WordPress 2.0.5!

Just upgraded, works fine (had to remember to check the live site).

Many many thanks to the WordPress folks and the K2 folks and the Akismet folks for such cool software.  Although I’m a geek myself, I have very limited patience with maintaining and mucking with certain core tools, like my own website, mail client, and core development environment.  So it’s nice to have a happily licensed, free, and pretty cool (both from simple end user perspective and from hidden geek who always dreams of adding his own plugin) blogging environment.

Still must tweak the K2 theme some; I like blue, but I want something a little different.

And oddly enough I finally realized that I actually know some of the folks who helped build this software!

Oh, but there’s less to do with Akismet!

Along with switching to the K2 theme, I took CJD’s advice and installed Akismet.  Now I get a nice little page telling me how many spams were caught each day.  It’s a beautiful thing.

It was easy to install, and I like how they set it up.  The only drawback is that they re-post each incoming comment across the web to match with their database.  The privacy advocate in me is a little questioning of that, but really, since this is a public web site, it doesn’t much matter.  I mean, people are going to read the (successful, non-spam) comments on the web anyway, so why do I care if someone else’s database might possibly be keeping a copy.

No! Wait! Don’t read that!  (Sorry – stupid Sci-Fi movie where the linguistics expert is going into the newly discovered egyptian tomb and reading – aloud – the inscriptions on the wall.  She’s not bad – she’s just scripted that way.  The mummy’s not actually moving yet, but is now awake.  If you can just remember some simple rules, then you will have little problem surviving if you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a horror movie… like never reading inscriptions aloud.)