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Entries Filed Under "Blogging"


October 9, 2008

Update on Secret Stash

Filed under Blogging

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Check out the stash for a new post.

Don't have access? Let me know about it.

September 7, 2008

Secret Stash Update

Filed under Blogging

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Update is here.

Don't have a password? Let me know.

September 4, 2008

Secret Stash Update

Filed under Blogging

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This one is a must see! Check it out here!

Don't have a password? Let me know.

August 27, 2008

New Post on Secret Stash

Filed under Blogging

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Check it out here. No password? Send me an email request.

Google Reader

Filed under Blogging, Reviews, Web

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If you aren't using Google Reader to read this, then stop what you are doing, click the above link, and continue reading this in Google Reader.

Google Reader is the best way to keep up on...everything! It has become my newspaper.

I'm currently using it to track 104 feeds in the following categories:

  • Entertainment
  • Gadgets
  • Games
  • Geek
  • News
  • Personal
  • Phones
  • Podcasts
  • Programming
  • Sports
  • Xbox

Almost everything on the web has a feed version that can be read in Google Reader: news, stocks, weather, traffic, blog posts, sports scores, movie reviews, podcasts, etc.

The big time saver is I don't have to go from web site to web site to see what is new...when someone posts something new, it comes to me.

For example, I have all my friends and family blogs listed under "personal." You can see from the above picture that I have 21 new posts to read. Those 21 posts are from a bunch of different people. With Google Reader, you just see the new posts in the same location and can quickly read them all.

It also has some nice keyboard shortcuts so you can do almost everything without touching the mouse. I use the spacebar to advance to the next page all the time.

Another cool feature...you can use Google Reader on your phone, too! Here is the mobile version.

And...the feeds in Google Reader don't have the ads that many web sites have, so it is easier to focus on the content without distraction.

Someone at work recently asked for a recommendation for reading feeds and the response was overwhelming: Google Reader.

I can't recommend this enough: Get Google Reader!

June 8, 2008

Password Protecting A Blog

Filed under Blogging

image I did some digging over the past week to figure out how to password protect a section of my blog.

My blog is hosted with an Apache server.

I read this article about how Apache supports access control of files on a server.

There are two parts:

  1. An .htaccess file that contains all the settings for access control. This file also points to a password file.
  2. A password file

The .htaccess file impacts everything at the same level as .htaccess and below. The documentation page for .htaccess is here.

A sample .htaccess file looks like this:

AuthType Basic
AuthName "Password Required"
AuthUserFile /www/passwords/password.file
AuthGroupFile /www/passwords/group.file
Require Group admins

I found that I had to start .htaccess with "<Files DIRNAME>" and end with "</Files>" in order to make it work for me...not sure why. I only learned about this after I called my hosting company (1&1) for help. It may be particular 1&1.

Then I had to create a password file (password.file in the above example).

This page explains how to set up a password file with the command "htpasswd."

I used PuTTY to login to the server and vi to edit the .htaccess file.

May 18, 2008

New Post on Secret Stash

Filed under Blogging

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Good times! Check it out here.

February 22, 2008

New Post on Secret Stash

Filed under Blogging

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Get it here.

December 16, 2007

New Post On Secret Stash

Filed under Blogging

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Check it out here.

December 14, 2007

New Post on Secret Stash

Filed under Blogging

 

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And this one is *juicy*! Check it out here.

November 25, 2007

Windows Live Writer 1.0

Filed under Blogging, Reviews, Software

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I've been using Windows Live Writer for publishing blog posts for over a year now. It has been beta software...until now. You can get the 1.0 release version here.

Highly recommended!

November 11, 2007

Secret Stash Update

Filed under Blogging

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Another update on the Secret Stash. Check it out here.

Trackback Spam

Filed under Blogging

I've been getting an increasing amount of trackback spam on my blog. I've never really used the trackback feature, so I disabled it with all my new posts.

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All my old posts were still enabled for trackbacks. This setting is per entry, not for the entire blog. The only way to turn it off was to go to each old entry, clear the "Accept Trackbacks" checkbox, and click "Save." This process takes *forever* (probably about 1 minute per entry). Considering I had almost 200 hundred posts that needed updating, I decided to just live with the spam I was getting (about one message a day).

Today I found a quick way to turn all the "Accept Trackbacks" off. My blog is stored as an SQL database. All I had to do was use my website's SQL administration page and enter this SQL command:

update mt_entry set entry_allow_pings = 0

After I did this, I rebuilt my blog (regenerated all the web pages) and now I don't have any pages that accept Trackbacks!

I had an SQL course in college. I never expected to use it because databases were not that interesting to me. But back then, nobody used SQL for personal projects, like blogs. Suddenly, I'm interested in learning more about SQL.

Goodbye Trackback Spam!

September 26, 2007

Secret Stash Update

Filed under Blogging

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Another new post on the "Stash." Read it here!

Don't have access? Let me know and I'll hook you up. Click here and tell me why you deserve access (yes, even father's of the blogger have to click).

September 25, 2007

Shhhh! New post on Secret Stash...pass it on

Filed under Blogging

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Check it out here.

Don't have access? Let me know and I'll hook you up. Click here and tell me why you deserve access.

September 24, 2007

Alert!!! Another New Post on Secret Stash

Filed under Blogging

Another post added to the Secret Stash.

Check it out here.

Don't have access? Let me know and I'll hook you up. Click here and tell me why you deserve access.

September 23, 2007

New Post On Secret Stash

Filed under Blogging

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I added the first post to the secret stash. It's where all the juiciest posts go.

Check it out here.

Don't have access? Let me know and I'll hook you up. Click here and tell me why you deserve access.

New Version of Windows Live Writer

Filed under Blogging, Software

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A new version of Windows Live Writer is out. It is Beta 3, the last beta before the final release.

If you are blogging...get this software! It makes everything *much* easier.

New in this version...

  • Insert videos using new 'Insert Video' dialog

  • Upload images to Picasaweb when publishing to your Blogger blog

  • Publish XHTML-style markup

  • Use Writer in 28 additional languages

  • Print your posts

  • Justify-align post text

  • Better image handling (fewer blurry images)

  • Resolved installation issues from last release

  • Many other bug fixes and enhancements

Download it here.

August 2, 2007

Twitter

Filed under Blogging, Web

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I just setup a Twitter account last night. On my home page, you can see the postings to Twitter on the upper-right.

Twitter is fairly new (little over a year old) and a hot topic in the web world. It is not obvious if this technology is going to thrive or just be a fad.

I hope to get some of my friends that are going to SIGGRAPH San Diego on Twitter so I can use Twitter to keep up with what's going on. I could imagine using Twitter to find out...

  • Where to meet my friends for lunch/dinner
  • Where my friends are on the show floor
  • Which classes/papers/panels are good
  • Which classes/papers/panels are bad
  • What parties people are going to
  • Must-see events
  • If anybody wants to share a cab
  • Where the best swag is

So if you want to try this experiment, we need to get connected! I think the way it works is you go here and click "Follow." You will receive any update I send. Then I know you are "following" me and I can follow you and get your updates!

I *believe* you can do all this from your phone without an account (I haven't tried this). If you text message 40404 and send "FOLLOW RGBA", you should get updates about what I'm doing on your phone.

I am using the mobile web version of Twitter on my cell phone. It won't work from IE7, but it does work with a WAP browser (phone web browser). The address is http://m.twitter.com.

After SIGGRAPH, this might be a good way to get friends together for basketball, a movie, dinner, bar hopping, etc.

...or this might be a big waste of time.

Get your Twitter account here.

Blog Spam

Filed under Blogging

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I've been hit with a lot of spam on my blog recently (about 3/hour).

I tried a few things, like changing the name of the script that posts comments, but it only worked for a few hours.

I read this article in search of a better solution.

I followed a link for a CAPTCHA approach, but it took me to a list of Movable Type plug-ins instead of directly to the CAPTCHA plug-in.

In searching through the list of plug-ins, I found Comment Challenge. I decided to give it a try. It was easy to setup and it looks like it will do what I need. Now when you post a comment, the comment won't go anywhere until you type in a phrase at the bottom.

I'm curious if this works for everybody. I haven't gotten any spam in the last hour, so it seems to be working. I also haven't gotten any real comments, so it might be a bit overzealous. 

I want to know if it stops real people from posting. So give it a shot! Post a comment!

 

July 1, 2007

Blogging Problem...Fixed!

Filed under Blogging

Windows Live Writer

I started getting this nice message from Windows Live Writer (WLW) after I published a post to my blog:

Network Connection Error

Error attempting to connect to weblog at:

http://www.davidlenihan.com/cgi-bin/mt-3.34-v2/mt-xmlrpc.cgi

The operation has timed out

The post would show up on my blog, but sometimes there would be duplicate posts.

I also lost the ability to preview my posts using the formatting my blog uses.

I searched around on the Internet and found no help.

I searched (actually I browsed...this forum has no search! Boo!) Microsoft's WLW forum and found lots of good info and a responsive staff at Microsoft...but nothing related to my issue. If I could not figure this out on my own, I'd post a question here.

I tried to narrow down the source of this message by doing various tests.

  • I found that I could build pages fine within the web-based Movable Type editor.
  • I created a new test blog and could post to it from WLW without issue.
  • I removed many of the customizations I'd added recently (recent comments & subscribing to a blog) but that did not help.
  • I removed all my posts from the past month (last time WLW was for sure working correctly), and that did not help.

Then I stumbled on to the issue...it was taking a *long* time to post even a simple post. WLW does not give you any feedback about what it is doing, but the web-based Movable Type editor does! I noticed that the post was generated quickly, but notifying the rest of the Internet that a new blog post was available (pinging servers) was taking 5+ minutes. After the post finished, there was a line that said to check the activity log for error messages.

I looked at the activity log and I had hundreds of error messages from trying to ping servers that did not exist or would not respond.

In the past couple of weeks, I modified Movable Type to contact a list of blog servers every time I post a blog. I got the list from Wikipedia.

When I removed this list...all my issues went to away. I can use WLW without error messages and I can preview my post using my web site's formatting! All is well!

Now I only ping 3 servers when I create a new post:

These servers are ping'ed by default with Movable Type.

June 15, 2007

New Window Live Writer Beta

Filed under Blogging, Software, Web

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I have been using the beta version of Windows Live Writer to write my blog posts for a while now. I love it. A new beta recently arrived with a few new features:

  • Support for tables
  • Spell checking as you type
  • Format text and hyperlinks via right click menu

Get it here.

Technorati Tags:

April 7, 2007

Windows Live Writer (Beta)

Filed under Blogging, Computers, Reviews, Software, Web

I had a bad experience with Word 2007 as a blog editor.

During the process of setting up Word to talk to Movable Type, I learned that I needed to configure Movable Type to allow publishing via external programs.

Ever since I upgraded my version of Movable Type from 3.2 to 3.34, I lost my ability to use Windows Live Writer (WLW). I went back to the old, web-based basic HTML editor for posting. It was painful, but it worked.

I decided to try WLW again to see if it would start working after my modified Movable Type to support external publishing programs...and it did!

So I'm back to using WLW again and it makes me happy!

I noticed that they have added several plug-ins since I last used WLW, which may be worth trying out.

What I like about WLW:

  • Support for tagging
  • Support for categories
  • Resize images to fit a particular blog width
  • Link to original, full size photo
  • Automagically uploads, resizes pictures
  • Spell checker
  • Very fast/light application
  • Free!
  • WYSIWYG...uses the stylesheet from your blog you know what you post will look like before you publish it.

I did notice that if I try to link to a really big photo (like a 1920x1200 desktop), WLW will fail to post to the server with a error message. Shrinking the image size fixed the problem. This is beta software...hopefully this problem will be fixed!

Blogging in Word 2007

Filed under Blogging, Reviews, Software

My brother was nice enough to hook me up with a free version of Office Pro 2007, which normally costs $499. The free offer from Microsoft is over now.

One of the first things I wanted to try out was Word's new blogging support.

 

What I like:

  • Spell checking
  • Easily create bulleted lists by starting a line with an asterisk (*)
  • In the same fashion, create numbered bulleted lists by prefixing your lists with "1."
  • Add pictures to a post by pasting them into Word…it will automatically convert them to .png and upload them to the server…a big time saver!
  • Lots of nice picture formatting options

What I don't like:

  • Word supports adding categories to a blog post, but for some reason they don't get transferred to my blog.
  • Word supports tagging, but these tags are not included with the post.
  • Images are resized in inches, not pixels. I know my blog works with pictures that are 320 pixels wide, I don't know what that is in inches.
  • Does not have a way (that I could find) to link to the full size image automatically. I believe you have to manually upload the full size picture and then create a hyperlink to the full size picture. This is a deal breaker!

The poor support for image resizing and hyperlinking to full size pictures is enough for me to pass on Word 2007 as a blog editor for now. Hopefully Microsoft will address my concerns in a future release or service pack.

January 23, 2007

Blog Technical Difficulties

Filed under Blogging

Over the past few months I started getting some error messages when I would build my blog. Here is the exact error message:

Error title:
Error 400! - Windows Internet Explorer

Error message:
INTERNAL SERVER ERROR
An internal server error has occurred!
Please try again later.

Most of the pages would build, but some did not. Several category pages and monthly archive pages would not build.

I searched around the internet for help to no avail. I talked with the people hosting my web site (1&1) and they could not help me.

So I tried upgrading my blog software from Movable Type 3.2 to 3.34. The upgrade went smoothly, but the problem persisted.

This morning I decided to create a new MySQL database (which stores all the content of this blog) and then import my old blog entries from the old database.

That worked!

I lost a lot of customization, but gained some new features from the upgrade to 3.34. Over the next few days I'll reapply my customizations so I should be back where I was with a fully functional blog.

January 4, 2007

My Xbox 360 Started Its Own Blog!

Filed under Blogging, Xbox 360

My Xbox 360 has started writing its own blog. It only has one post as of this writing, but more will follow. My 360 refers to me by my Xbox Live gamertag, "RGBA."

Read my Xbox 360's blog here.

The 360 keeps track of a lot of information. As long as you don't keep it private, this data is used to generate all sorts of crazy things...my gamercard on the top right of this page, gaming statistics, rankings, and, apparently, a blog! This blog is computer-generated using actual information about how I've used my Xbox 360.

To have your Xbox 360 start its own blog, register here. It takes about two days for the first post to show up.

August 15, 2006

Blog Posting

Filed under Blogging, Reviews, Software

I normally use Movable Type's default web browser interface for posting. It is very simple...just a text field that takes HTML tags.

Posting via tags is a good skill to have. Many web sites (like MySpace) allow you to use HTML tags to spruce up a comment or an email. If it wasn't for my posts on MT, I probably wouldn't have the HTML tags memorized like I do now.

That said, posting via HTML tags is tedious...and I think I may have found my new favorite way to post to my blog.

Microsoft recently released a free beta of a blog posting program called "Windows Live Writer."

Writer is like a specialized version of Word designed for blogging. It loads the stylesheet from your blog so your new posts have the same look as when the post is published on your blog.

Since Writer runs locally on your computer, it is very fast and responsive. It has a nice spell checker, which I absolutely depend on. You can easily add photos and Writer will automatically upload them when you are finished and ready to publish to your blog.

Writer has an SDK so more features will (hopefully) be created. There is already a Flickr plugin for Writer to make integrating photos from Flickr into a blog easier.

Even though this software is beta, it is very refined and usable. I did notice a bug once with a photo showing up in the background where it could not be deleted. I modified the view a couple of times (from normal to web layout) and the background photo disappeared on its own.

I started using Writer with my previous post, and plan on using it going forward.

July 24, 2006

CSS Updates

Filed under Blogging

I'm trying to fix some formatting issues on my website. If you see something that looks weird or wrong (formatting, not content), post a comment with what issue you see and what browser (including version) you are using.

Thanks!

July 10, 2006

#1 on Google!

Filed under Blogging

When looking for the fugative David Lenihan in the previous post, I noticed that a search for "David Lenihan" on Google brings up my blog as the top entry! With all the attention to the racist David Lenihan and the sue-CA David Lenihan, I'm a bit surprised I've moved into the number one position! Thank you Google!

May 29, 2006

Makin' Bank!

Filed under Blogging

This is kind of exciting...I got notification today that somebody (I don't know who) clicked on the one ad I put on my website and actually bought something...so I get a commission! I made a grand total of...$2.50! The power of the internets is amazing! Here is the article I wrote that got me my $2.50. Now if I could just figure out a way to get a million more people to click that ad and buy something...

I've been accused of being tragically hip in my communications, so in case you don't know what I mean by "bank", read the definition here.

May 20, 2006

Mixing Entries and Comments in a Feed

Filed under Blogging

If you don't know what a feed is, you should read this first.

One of the things that annoys me about blogs is how comments are handled. If I make a comment on a blog, how do I know if someone responds to it? Do I need to keep checking the blog entry to see if there is a response?

I've come up with a solution for people that subscribe to my blog feed. Now comments are posted to the feed just like entries are. Moveable Type (the software I use to do my blog) lets you do a list of entries or a list of comments, but not a single list of both. I looked through the Moveable Type forum for a solution and I found a plug-in called MTCollate that does exactly what I want. MTCollate lets you combine multiple lists into one list and then sort by any property of the list. So I combined a list of the last 15 comments with a list of the last 15 entries and output the most recent 15 comments/entries. Here is my atom template (right click and "Save Target As..." to view) for Movable Type. Clicking directly on this link won't work because the browser will try to interpret the XML tags instead of just showing you the text.

I used this site to make sure my changes to the feed were valid. It found several problems and gave enough documentation to help fix them all. Now my feed is validated. One problem that required a bit of investigating was how do give every entry/comment a unique id. This page has a good explanation on unique feed id's. The description of the atom feed format is here.

For people that don't subscribe to the blog feed, or want to know immediately when a comment has been added, I want to add a "email me when a new comment is posted to this entry" option to my blog. I haven't looked into how to do that yet. If you know how to do it, post a comment.

May 11, 2006

Web Page Icons

Filed under Blogging, Software

You'll notice that most established web sites have an icon. Icons for web pages are known as "favicon's". For example, checkout Yahoo's red "Y!" icon. The icon usually shows up to the left of the web address in your web browser. Favicon's are used in your web browser's favorites list. It is also used as the icon on your desktop if you right-click a web page and choose "Create Shortcut".

To create your own favicon, just place an icon named "favicon.ico" in the root directory of your web site. The Wikipedia article link above mentions a way to put your icon in a different location.

To create my favicon, I used a program called IconXP. This is a really well done program that is loaded with features. Some of the features that really stand out:

  • Screen capturing which allows you to easily paint an icon in another package bring it into IconXP
  • Test your icon quickly on top of various backgrounds. This helps ensure your icon is easily recognizable on different color backgrounds (black, white, and a custom color). It also shows you which pixels will shine through the transparent parts of your icon.
  • Supports custom resolutions up to 3000x3000
  • Supports monochrome, 16 color, 256 color, and 16 million color icons
  • Support for 8-bit alpha transparency (256 levels of transparency instead of just transparent/not transparent)
  • Create icons of various formats from another icon. For example, you can create a 64x64, 16 million color icon and then let IconXP generate a 16x16, 256 color and 32x32, 16 color icon from the original icon.
  • Dither painting! This is a nice feature. When working with 16 colors, you can use a technique called "dithering" to make it look like you have more colors.

An icon file can support multiple representations of an icon. If you don't create the format an application is looking for, it will try to create the one it wants from one of the existing formats. For Windows XP, IconXP suggests an icon file support the following formats:

  • 48x48, 16 colors
  • 32x32, 16 colors
  • 16x16, 16 colors
  • 48x48, 256 colors
  • 32x32, 256 colors
  • 16x16, 256 colors
  • 48x48, 16 million colors, 256 levels of transparency
  • 32x32, 16 million colors, 256 levels of transparency
  • 16x16, 16 million colors, 256 levels of transparency

For my favicon, I used the 9 formats suggested by IconXP. It seems to work well. I did find one issue, though. I noticed that My Yahoo! doesn't work with favicons correctly when it draws the favicon next to web site feeds I'm tracking. It uses the 48x48, 16 color format to generate a 16x16, 16 color icon. This is probably a bug in their software since I am providing the format it is auto-generating. The problem is that my 48x48, 16 color down-sampled to a 16x16, 16 color didn't look very good. To fix this, I took my 16x16, 16 color icon and had IconXP create the 48x48, 16 color icon from it. That way, when Yahoo down-samples my 48x48, 16 color icon, it gives me the correct looking 16x16, 16 color icon. My 48x48, 16 color icon does not look as good anymore, but that is not a format that will be used much, so it is probably OK.

So now I have a favicon for my site. Next up, a cool looking banner! The favicon is a hint of what my banner will be, although I doubt anyone will be able to guess what it is. Yes, my favicon is a stylized "D"...but from where?

March 28, 2006

Choosing a Web Host

Filed under Blogging, Reviews

A web host is when you pay a company to serve up your web pages. You could host web pages yourself, but you miss out on several advantages of a web host:
  • Backup is automatic and transparent
  • Internet access to your web pages is typically faster than what you can serve up from home
  • You don't have to buy/configure a server
  • You don't have to worry (as much) about people exploiting security holes in your server
  • You don't have to worry about sharing bandwidth with a server
  • You don't have to worry about fixing/upgrading hardware
In short, it is a good idea to let someone else host your web pages rather than try to do it yourself.
 
I started shopping for a new hosting company when I decided I wanted to use Movable Type as my blogging software. I ask my previous web hosting company, Hostway, if I could run Movable Type. They said I could, but I would have to switch my account from Windows to Linux, and they would charge me $40 to do that. I used Hostway since April 2002 and was happy with their support. I paid $215 a year for the Windows Gold Web Hosting Plan which came with 600 MB of storage. Rather than pay $40 to switch my account to Linux, I decided to do some web host shopping to see if I could do better.
 
When researching Movable Type, I saw that Yahoo! Web Hosting came with Movable Type already configured. This sounded perfect, so I signed up. Yahoo! also gives you a temporary domain name. The domain name I have (http://davidlenihan.com) still pointed at my Hostway account and I did not want to disturb it until I was able to get my new web host working the way I wanted. The temporary domain name allowed me to setup my web site on Yahoo! without moving my domain name. BUT, I quickly ran into a problem...Yahoo! (for unexplained reasons) does not support uploading files that have spaces in the filename. This file, for example, would have to be renamed to something without spaces. That would break a bunch of my current HTML pages. I considered this unacceptable, since I plan on using spaces in photo names in the future. So I canceled my Yahoo! account, and they gave me a full refund.
 
Next, I tried godaddy.com. You may remember their infamous super bowl ad. Unlike Yahoo!, Go Daddy supported spaces in file names. However, they did not give you a temporary domain name. They charged me a fee ($6) to get a static ip address to setup my web site, which I could cancel once I switched over my domain. I got my web site copied over, so I started working on installing Movable Type. I ran into SO many problems...it was very frustrating. I finally found this thread which had a quote from the president of Go Daddy saying, "We understand that there are a few instances of MovableType running on our servers, however, we agree that installation is almost impossible." The issue has to do with a security sandbox Go Daddy uses, that forces any software to be modified to run correctly. At that point, I canceled my service and Go Daddy gave me a full refund.
 
Next I tried 1&1. They gave me a free .info domain to get started, so I grabbed http://davidlenihan.info. They support filenames with spaces, so my web site transfered without any issues. Movable Type installed cleanly. Two other features 1&1 has that are very useful for server side software installation: SSH and CGI Output Monitor. SSH lets you login to the server from a command prompt so you can run scripts. CGI Output Monitor lets you see the error log from when you run a script...not sure how you are supposed to diagnose script problems without these two features!
 
So I decided to go with 1&1 for my web hosting. I chose their 1&1 Business Package. It is MUCH cheaper ($120/year vs $215/year) and has much more storage (100,000 MB vs 600 MB) than my old Hostway account. I'm really happy with 1&1's price, features, and slick web administration interface. Two thumbs way up!
 
If you want 1&1 to host your web site, click on this banner ad to set one up. They will pay me a commission and I'll think you are really cool!
 

March 25, 2006

Subscribing to a Blog

Filed under Blogging

How do you keep up with a blog? Do you check it every day? Every week? When someone tells you to look at it?
 
It is no fun to check a blog only to find out it has no new content. If you keep checking a blog and you never see any new content, you will probably just stop checking.
 
There is a better way! Instead of wasting your time looking for new content on a blog, what if the new content would come to you! That is what is known as "subscribing to a blog."
 
Not every blog supports subscriptions, but most do. How do you know if a blog supports subscriptions? Look for an orange icon like this: . My website has one on the right side. This orange icon has become the industry standard for a blog subscription. The icon is from the Firefox web browser. Rather than creating its own icon, Microsoft has standardized on this icon as well for both the upcoming version of Internet Explorer (IE7) and Microsoft Office as of December 2005. The Opera browser will switch from a blue "RSS" button to the orange icon. It is good to see these competitors work together on this. This is too cool of a technology to get bogged down with confusion.
 
The industry standard orange icon is new, so you will likely run into many other variations until everybody moves to the new standard. They all mean the same thing, they just have a different look. Here are some of the ones I have run into...
It is good that we have a standard icon now. The same is hopefully true about what to call this technology. It appears that "webfeed" is going to be the standard name going forward. However, there are still many other names for a webfeed because there was no standard initially. Webfeeds are also known as:
  • RSS
  • RSS feed
  • RSS stream
  • RSS channel
  • Feed 
  • RSD (Really Simple Discovery)
  • RDF (Resource Description Framework)
  • RDF feed
  • Atom feed
  • Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91)
  • RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0)
  • Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0)
  • Syndication
So we now have a standard icon () and a standard name (webfeed), but what about the data itself? There are several data formats for webfeeds. One of the first was RSS 0.9, created in 1999 for use in the "My Netscape" web portal. As Netscape died, so did updates to RSS 0.9. A successor to RSS 0.9 arrived as RSS 2.0 in 2003. It addressed some issues in RSS 0.9, but it had problems of its own. One of the biggest issues is RSS 2.0 is frozen and cannot change. Rather than try to fix issues in the established formats, a new format called "Atom" was created to address all the issues in RSS 0.9 and RSS 2.0. Atom is an internet standard that is overseen by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
 
How do you read a subscription? There are a few ways. I use My Yahoo. Google and My MSN also have webfeed readers. Here is what my blog looks like from My Yahoo as a webfeed. 
 
If you look at the right side of my blog, I have added a few buttons for webfeeds to my blog. The first, with the orange icon, is the standard webfeed and can be used any where that supports webfeeds. The next few are convenience buttons that will automatically take the webfeed of my blog and add it to the respective readers. To learn how to make these buttons yourself, see this page. Yahoo also has a nice page on how to promote your blog with webfeeds.
 
If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm a huge fan of webfeeds. I look forward to the day when I can litter My Yahoo home page with webfeeds from all my family and friends. So if you don't have a blog...get one! And if you do have a blog, make sure it supports webfeeds!

February 8, 2006

Blog from a cell phone?

Filed under Blogging

I am stuck in a lab without internet access waiting for my software to build. Thought I would see if I can write a blog entry while I am waiting.

Looks like it worked! Cool!

February 5, 2006

Website transfered to Blog!

Filed under Blogging

I’ve spent the weekend transfering my old web pages to my new blog. So now I’m going to make http://www.davidlenihan.com/ point to my blog, blog.davidlenihan.com. What a pain! But I’m glad I’m done and now I will hopefully be more likely to add more content. Now I can go watch the Super Bowl!

February 4, 2006

Moving to a Blog

Filed under Blogging

Blog’s are all the rage these days. Blog stands for Weblog, which is essentially a diary. The main advantage of a blog is that it is REALLY easy to update. I hope that means I will be more likely to add content to my website.

So I’m going to throw away my old “davidlenihan.com” web page and replace it with this blog. First I’m going to add all my old content to the blog and then (hopefully) I’ll be better about adding new stuff.

I’m using the blog software from the people that are hosting my website (Hostway). If you are interested in starting your own blog, check out MySpace, Yahoo! 360, or MSN Spaces. They all are free and should be easy to setup.

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About Blogging

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to David's Blog in the Blogging category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Beefs is the previous category.

Cars is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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