Gravatar


Gravatar is a fairly cool service. It basically is a site for globally storing those little pics of you (avatars) that you see on some websites. You can also attach other info about yourself if you wish.

I use them on my site – I’ve attached a few pics of me. Whenever you put your mouse over a pic of me here it’s calling gravatar. It works because the site knows my email address. If you post a comment to my site and leave your email address it tries to look you up on gravatar and display a pic on the site, and pick up any other info you have.

The provide an easy programming interface for people wanting to use Gravatar, and certainly on WordPress there are plenty of plugins designed to use it. It’s one of those things I questioned to begin with but am now happier about!

There are a couple of other services out there for creating ideas that are worth a mention. My favorite idea being monster ID – that takes your email address and uses it to draw a unique monster of you. Every time it sees the same address you see the same monster. I would be using that one myself if it wasn’t for the fact the monsters don’t look that good.

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Plugins For WordPress

OK, I am new to plugins in wordpress and the ones ive installed i may not keep in the longrun but these are the top ones i am using so far:

Zemanta

Literally as i type on my right hand pane it shows me pictures and suggests articles that may be related to what I’m talking about. Ive only had the functionally but already its cool.

Headspace2

Used for proper tagging of my pages which theoretically will help my blog become more popular. Ive never bothered with metadata tagging before but this makes it easy, so i thought i would give it a go.

W3 Caching

Ok i probably dont need this as i cant imagine my blog will ever get that popular but it allows me to control the way my site is cached and can be used to produce a static version of the site which would be useful if i was a high load site. Im not but I always want to be aware of these things.

Akismet

To help against SPAM SPAM SPAM. This was pretty good on my wordpress.com site but its not stalker proof.

Broken Link Checker

Does what it says on the tin – i was really suprised to find i had a broken link.

Disk Space Pie Chart

Gives an easy to use database usage chart in your admin panel. I get a bit concerned about this because my content database is capped at 1gb. – i can have 25 1gb databases with my hosting plan and was figuring that later i would just have archve blog. No need to worry about that yet though as I’m using 3%

Quick Flickr Widget

Im using it on the right hand side to display my flickr feed.

Regenerate Thumbnails

I havent used this yet but iI’m hoping it will be good – one of the things that annoys me about BlogPress is when it uploads media there is no thumbnail – im hoping this will fix it.

Revision Control

Removes old versions of postings. I dont tend to revise existing posts, so i dont need to keep revisions. generally i will post, then maybe come back a second time to correct either bad spelling or add an image.

WordPress Editorial Calendar

Lets you see your blogs on a calendar in the admin panel so you can see how evenly spread out they are over time….

Google XML Sitemaps with qTranslate Support

Creates sitemap XML for all the major search engines

Wordbooker

Publishes new articles to facebook and provides some cool widgets (Which i wont use because i dont want to promote Facebook.)

myStat

Gives Awesome site utilisation figures….

WordPress and Aperture all the way.


Ive spent an incredible amount of time this weekend organising aperture images; moving things around the libraries – but its not that i a really want to talk about. The last few hours ive done tons of things with this site. Its called geeking out, and its a weekend alternative to a social life.

Some of the things i have that i didnt have with a wordpress.com account, i got pretty much through installing plugins but ive also customised some of the php as well. I will blog in the morning about some of the plugins ive installed, it took quite a bit of research to figure what i wanted and im now pretty close. I had to figure ho

Some of the things i have now that i didnt have before:

  • Much better tracking of visitors and site utilisation
  • Better integration with gravatar
  • Random posts (although im not finished customising them)
  • A sitemap (although its lousy)
  • Better facebook integration (which ive broken already as i posted too many things, and hit the upper limit)
  • A more organised site (i spent a bit of time categorising better, and titling a lot of old blogs)
  • Proper meta tagging.
  • interactive lookups
  • the ability to regenerate thumbnails (which wont bother you but had nagged me)

Theres still a lot more stuff to do… But im done for tonight. I doubt this will appear on facebook but it will be a pleasant surprise if it does :) Im frazzled. My appologies to anyone who tried reaching me by phone this weekend, the sound is off and i dont have a clue where i left it. Time to leave this for the evening, and prepare for work!

Migrating to wordpress.org

Ok so I spent all day playing with my site – with my new hosting I get new analytics and with moving to wordpress.org platform I get the ability to use plugins.

Installing was simplicity. It would have been easier still if godaddys easy install facility worked – that got stuck half way through an install. In the end I did a manual install – created a subdomain, created a mysql db and FTP’d the files to my server. Then I had to run an install script, tell it about my db and everything was done for me. All I had to do then is import the XML that I generated from the export tool on wordpress.com and job almost done!

I found that YouTube videos weren’t running properly because wordpress.com had some plugins which they don’t declare, and I spent a few hours today finding good plugins. Found a ngood flickr widget, one to cache things, one to track db usage, and will continue a bit later.

With godaddy I’m hoping to take a closer look at their analytics, I will look forward to it later today. All in all it was smooth sailing – a lot easier than it used to be to install things, but still it demands a little more attention. Its going to take about a week to get through all the options that are available.

Oh, and on that note a minor annoyance – when you use the publish to facebook feature on WordPress.com please note that the link it creates back to your blog always uses the wordpress address even if you have a custom domain. I have been using blog.owenrichardson.com for a while now, and was rather surprised to see i am linking back to the old site from owenrichardson.wordpress.com. I dont think i saw a custom option to change this.

If anyone still has my old URL – Lose it!

I do this syndication thing so i dont need to ever publish anything to facebook. I dont like it there much, as you will know if you’ve read my blog for any length of time… I keep my photos in flickr, my social commentary here… lol. For the first time i am actually going to get two way syndication working, so comments on facebook get published here. that way, i never have to log in there lol.

Destination Unknown!

This is my dads favorite video – he has youtube stream to his TV in the living room, and gave me a big screen demo. It cracks me up that he would be so proud of this, and i felt i had to share it…..

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6B0F6edMy8[/tube]

….and when i showed him that posting he pointed me to Babycakes…

The passport

A UK Passport

Most people seem to think of the passport as a form of ID but it is soo much more than that. On the inside it reads:

Her Brittanic Majestys Secretary Of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom may concern allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hinderance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.

Its a formal document, effectively a formal request from one government to another to protect you.  It also notes should you go on to read the text that the document remains the property of the government.Its kind of cool…

Beware of system outages!

Ok, my blog site may go down for a little while this weekend. Its basically because i am moving it from being hosted at wordpress to being hosted at godaddy. Ive done this because i have a whole host of other hosting requirements and i want to keep everything together. It means i have to configure up the new server and transfer all my data which shouldnt be too big a deal. I will try to be a bit smart about how i change my DNS entries, so you may not notice the actual outage, but you may see a different looking site for a while.i may have to swap the dns entries early, at this point i dont know, i really want to migrate in all the data to my new site.

On my new godaddy account i am planning to host more than one website, and i will have better functionality.

Update: I have implemented base functionality now but haven’t jet sorted out videos yet or the webparts I had before. Later I will implement a flickr feed and my gravatar profile and some other cool things :) the install of wordpress on my own server was real simple and only took 10 mins but there seems to be some differences between the hosted .com service and my own .org service.

Doctor Who

The Doctor - Over the years....

I have to admit of all the fictional characters that exist, this is the one I would want to be most. For those of you that don’t know, the doctor, who is never named is a traveller in time and space, a timelord from the planet Gallefrey. The last timelord, as the rest were wiped out on the time war with the Daleks. Theres a lot of mystery surrounding his past.

He travels through time and space interfering with the timeline, generally trying to do good, although it does require the occasional act of genocide. He’s 900+ years old, and when he is killed he gets to regenerate; he takes on a new human form, though he has yet to regenerate as a woman. Each regeneration brings new quirks to the character.

His ship the TARDIS is a time machine that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside. Originally designed to be flown by 6 pilots, he manages to run around the console and fly by himself. It’s got a bust chameleon circuit which means rather than disguising itself to blend in it always appears as a blue police box.

The tv series is a low budget series, and at times is laughable, but each episode normally has a fairly strong story. It’s not the series I love so much as the idea. Being the last of an ancient civilization knowing how to manipulate time and space, hot-wire alien machinery, understand every language (including French).. Fighting evil the doctor is known as the destroyer of worlds and the oncoming storm. He is a silent protector, a legend, and a savior.

… That’s a job I would like, something u could put all that anger into. The video below is a fan video from one of my favorite episodes in recent years, The girl in the fireplace; its not the most amazing episode in terms of special effects, or action but is a beautiful story none the less.

If i was a baddie…

An example of a poorly constructed bomb.

Ok theres a couple of rules i would put in place if i was a bad guy,that commonly get commonly get screwed up in movies. If the CIA or any security service is reading this having picked up on the word bomb, please note that im just applying a little common sense here, and i am not in fact a master terrorist… of course, thats what they all say.As a baddie I would send a memo to my entire evil organisation. My email to my evil henchmen would read as follows:

Dear Henchmen/Women

It has come to my attention that there are some bad practices in our organisation which I feel need to be recified immediately in order to reduce business risk and improve profitability.

Non disclosure

Employees are reminded of the non disclosure agreement they signed upon entering employment with our company. Our master plan to take over the world is considered company confidential, and as such should not be shared with anyone. This includes Friends, family and ESPECIALLY members of the British Secret Service.

Do not discuss operational matters over phone, email or any other electronic communication device. Avoid meeting in public places.

Bomb Making

Please refrain from utilising a digital display with a countdown timer (or any other visual display). If you feel this rule stifles your creativity and feel you must use a timer then please do not count down to zero – try counting down to 35:21 for example, if the explosion doesnt get the good guys then the suprise will.

Please avoid using a red and green wire. make all wires the same colour.

Please avoid putting lights on your bomb or any audio devices.

incorporate motion sensors, audio sensors and a geiger counter

no exposed wires – put the whole device in a plastic box.

Please avoid the use of nuclear devices as its bad for the environment.

Ettiquette & Grooming

Whist in general it is considered rude to not introduce yourself, when you meet James Bond, please, just shoot him.

Beards are no longer mandatory in the organisation, nor is either the black or white dress code. Introduce some colour into your wardrobe. NO WHITE SUITS.

Religion

Please note we are tollerant of all religions and you dont have to be muslim to join our organisation.

Killing Good Guys

Whilst we encourage imaginative innovative ways of killing good guys, please do not leave your machinery unnattended during its operation. Ensure the good guys are dead.

Quick simple dispatch mechanisms are preferred.

Please remember bullets go through things, and be sure to practice aiming your weaponry.

If you shoot or maim a good guy and hes left lying on the floor – put a couple of extra bullets in him to be sure. Cost of ammunition will be re-embursed

When shooting good guys please aim for the head rather that the kevlar protected areas of the body.

Language

Please avoid using words like bomb. try using codewords, such as chocolate.

Avoid offensive and descriptive nicknames. Badass is not a good name for a henchman – consider Eugene.

Your continued good work and evilness is appreciated, and i look forward to meeting you all at the annual wine and cheese doodle night.

Regards

The Dark Overlord.

..As an afterthought, i wonder if Paul Mccartney is on a terrorist watchlist… i mean how does the frogsong go? bomb bomb bomb… bomb bomb bomb… bomb…bomb bomb bomb bomb.

Bond… James Bond!

The current Bond - Daniel Craig

Most guys like james bond… its cool, guns, gadgets, women, punch ups, and the odd martini… your typical bond movie has everything it needs to be successful. Over the years the bond experience has changed a little to move with the times but keeps its same old fashioned roots, and sticks to that formula. Heres my favorite bonds and why:

  1. Daniel Craig – My favorite bond has to be Daniel Craig. I kind of felt sorry for him for the flack he got when it was announced he would be Bond. Many people said he wasnt a pretty boy. I dont personally give a damn if his ugly or not, but i cannot imagine spies are ultra pretty… i mean come on… a spy wouldnt want to draw attention to himself. I like the films that hes been in because they are more brutal than the predecessors, the action is more raw. He still manages to occasionally defy the laws of physics, but he gets a lot more bloodied up that the other Bonds.
  2. Sean Connery – The definitive bond for most i have nothing bad to say about him i like his films, though they were a lot more sexist than most of the others i can think of. Who can forget Pussy Galore.
  3. Timothy Dalton – Not many people liked him as bond i think, but i did. There was something reserved about him, he was a charmer but had a sense of mystery.
  4. Pierce Brosnan – hes been in a few good films but isnt my fave because he never got his hair messed up, had too many cheesy lines, and the whole thing about getting bond to open up with his feelings was just bollocks.
  5. Roger Moore – he was a pretty good bond and the one i wss brought up with, but when i rewatched his films they were not as good as i rememeber. When i was 12 i dont think i had such a developed acting taste. He went down in my estimation massively when i found out they hired a stunt double to do his running.
  6. George Lazenby – Hes probably a good bond but i dont remember any of his films that well. For that reason alon he goes in last place.

..Bond is cool. Even the Simpsons episode with Scorpio – was cool (where homer got bond killed accidently). It had some great bad guys too, like Jaws, and OddJob – Not to mention some very attractive women

For more information on bond – check out wikipedia!

… and I’m curious – feel free to comment on this one, I’m interested in everyones favorite Bond!

 

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