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Up and Running Again

March 8th, 2011 1 comment

Last weekend the server that hosted this website went flat line. At first I feared I’d face a severe data loss much like the one Jeff Atwood experienced last year; For one thing, my current backup strategy doesn’t include uploaded images.

Fortunately the good people of Joyent, whose service I can really recommend, have worked hard to restore the website. It should now be fully functioning.

Now I need to work on my backup implementation. Maybe you should too?

Cheers!

Categories: blogging Tags:

D Brush For SyntaxHighlighter

July 22nd, 2010 No comments

I’ve been looking for a way to display prettier code snippets on this blog. The SyntaxHighlighter by Alex Gorbatchev, nicely packaged into a WordPress plugin by Viper007Bond, had what I was looking for.

I’ve been using the plugin for a couple of months now and I’m quite happy with it. The only problem, for me, has been that it doesn’t support The D Programming Language. Since I couldn’t find any on the internet, I decided to implement a D brush myself. (It’s quite simple.)

Following Viper’s advice I implemented the support as a tiny WordPress plugin. If you’re using SyntaxHighligher Evolved and want to be able to display syntax highlighted D code, feel free to download shBrushD from my new Shared Stuff page.

Cheers!

ModRewrite Problems

July 5th, 2008 No comments

As you may or may not have discovered I have been on a long vacation, and intentionally stayed far away from any computer. Unfortunately my blog seems to have broken while I have been gone, particularely the single post pages.

Somehow the ModRewrite rules got screwed up, no idea how. Anyway, it has been taken care of now and the site should be up and running as usual. Many thank’s to Robert Ames who pointed it out for me.

Now, back to vacationing (I still have a week left).

Cheers!

Categories: blogging, off-topic Tags:

New looks and stuff

January 23rd, 2008 4 comments

I haven’t been happy with the way code snippets look on my blog. Yesterday I decided to do something about it, but, which is typical me, the number of changes got a lot more than I set out for, including a WordPress upgrade and a new theme.

After a couple of minor layout and style sheet changes, I was satisfied with the new look – in Firefox that is; When I tested it in Internet Explorer 6.0, I noticed that the content of the sidebar got displaced when there were code snippets in a post.

Display Bug in IE 6

With a little investigation, I discovered that the triggering factor of this annoying bug was the following css rule, or more precisely, the padding property.

code{
  font:1.2em 'Courier New',Courier,Fixed;
  display:block;
  overflow:auto;
  text-align:left;
  margin: 10px 0 10px 0;
  background: #FBF5DF;
  border-top: solid 1px #EDE0B3;
  border-bottom: solid 1px #EDE0B3;
  padding: 5px 10px 5px 10px;
}

When I changed it and removed the right hand side padding, the problem went away.

code{
  font:1.2em 'Courier New',Courier,Fixed;
  display:block;
  overflow:auto;
  text-align:left;
  margin: 10px 0 10px 0;
  background: #FBF5DF;
  border-top: solid 1px #EDE0B3;
  border-bottom: solid 1px #EDE0B3;
  padding-left: 5px;
  padding-top: 10px;
  padding-bottom: 10px;
}

One may wonder how an internal space property like padding could have this effect on the positioning of other objects, but then again, I’m not surprised. I can see why Internet Explorer is not the favorite browser among web designers, or among you for that matter.

Anyway, I hope you like the new looks of my blog; If you don’t, please let me know.

Cheers!

Categories: blogging, web-design Tags:

Support Your Favorite Small Software Vendor Day

December 1st, 2007 2 comments

I support the initiative of Jeff Atwood who declared this day to be the “Support Your Favorite Small Software Vendor Day“.

Categories: blogging, tools Tags:

I’m back!

October 28th, 2007 No comments

I’m back from my three week vacation!

I had a great time, but as suspected I wasn’t able to stay away from computers. In the warm evenings, just for fun, I started to implement a ray tracer in the D Programming Language.

I have been looking for a suitable project that would give me a chance to get deep into D, and a ray tracer seems to be the perfect fit. D is supposed to be great at floating point programming and now I have the chance to find out on my own.

To make it a little more interesting I have used a more top-down breath-first kind of approach than I normally do. I want to see how that affects a test-driven development technique. As a part of the experiment I keep a detailed development log which I plan to share with you when I reach a certain point. It could be within a week or take several months depending on work load and inspiration level.

So stay tuned. I’ll be back with ray tracing, or other topics that comes across my sphere of interest.

Cheers!

Vacation – at last!

October 7th, 2007 No comments

Tomorrow I’m off to a well needed vacation. We’re going to Turkey for three weeks and I plan to stay as far away from computers as possible. That almost never works so don’t be surprised if posts keep coming.

Well, off I go, so

Cheers!

Categories: blogging Tags:

The Search Engine Game

October 2nd, 2007 1 comment

SEO is obviously something that is occupying a lot of people’s minds nowadays. Digg and other community websites are full of posts with the three-letter abbreviation. The challenge is to outsmart the search engine algorithm so that your content (well, ads) will show amongst the first search results. The number of SEO experts out there are legio, but so are the skeptics. Alastair Revell, for instance, thinks that all you need is a good grip of basic web design.

“What I believe is that writing search engine optimised pages is part and parcel of good web design and not a black art to be practised by specialists.”

I agree with Alastair on this. To me, SEO with the sole purpose of climbing as high as possible on the Google ladder, is a lot like cheating. It’s like skipping a cue. The effect is that more legitimate content could be pushed downwards. The problem then, is that if some does it, everyone needs to follow or lose their legitimate rank.

A parallel can be drawn to driving in big cities: in order to prevent cars from behind to pass and take your place, you need to keep a short distance to the car in front. This way of driving use up more fuel than necessary. It requires you to accelerate faster, and break more often than what is optimal. The same is true for SEO. The time you spend on optimizing search engine results is waste in the sense of content quality.

Instead of worrying about duplication or other SEO related problems, your time is better spent on improving content and users’ experience. In my opinion, that is the only way to be a long-term winner in the Search Engine Game.

Categories: blogging, web-design Tags:

How I Reward Good Blog Posts

October 1st, 2007 3 comments

I sometimes come across a blog post that makes me want to reward the author a little more than the normal Digg, Reddit or Stumble voting. This is usually the case for content that enlightens or inspires me, or just makes me feel good.

I wouldn’t go so far as to pay the blogger, but since I’m willing to spend a little time there is another way. Here’s how I do it:

When I decide to reward the author, I scan the post for an ad that catches my attention. If (and only if) I find an ad that is worth spending at least 30 seconds on, I go ahead and click it. In that way the author gets a little money (usually a fraction of a dollar), I accomplish my goal of rewarding him or her, and the advertiser gets the chance to present his offer to someone who is suffering from severe ad blindness.

Please note that this is not some kind of click fraud. I only click on ads that interest me, and I do spend time to investigate the offer. In fact, my habit of rewarding good posts is every advertisers dream. Since I use Firefox with the Adblock Plus extension, I need to turn that off in order to see the advertising on the page. Nothing but the wish to reward the blogger could make me go through that procedure.

Categories: blogging, reading Tags: