Back For Real

So, when I said the site was back up last week, I was lying. I neglected to check and see if you could actually read posts, and you could not. That’s fixed now, but if you bookmarked any links, those links are broken. Use the handy search box to find the new URL.

The RSS feed also has a different URL. Grab it here if you’re so inclined.

I am pretty sure that if I hadn’t misread one simple instruction in the WordPress support forums things would not have wound up being quite so destroyed, but it’s hard to say. I was also having trouble with the default theme, and everything on the support forums says to use that if you’re having display problems. Frustrating! As soon as I switched to something else everything was fine.

If anything else seems weird, please just let me know. Also I’d appreciate it if someone could leave a comment on this post so I can make sure that’s working. Thanks!

We're back!

Hey! We’re back in business over here! There is still some dust to clean up and I need to choose and configure a theme, but this is good enough for now.


At some point (recently? I have no idea) some of the settings regarding comments changed, and if you tried to comment on this blog you got a WordPress login box, which didn’t work for any of you since none of you have an account on my blog. (Since I host this, not WordPress, your login would not have worked either.) That has been fixed. Providing that the email address you enter with your comment has been used on my blog before, the comment should automatically post. (If you haven’t used the address you input to comment here previously, I’ll have to approve the comment.)

This has happened before–the settings seem to change, without any action from me. If you ever go to leave a comment and something funky happens, please do let me know as I have no real way of knowing if anything is wrong unless someone tells me. (After all, it’s not like I get enough comments that a few days without any signifies anything.) Thanks to Abby for the heads up this time!

Google Reader

A couple of days ago, I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader. I had started thinking about it a few weeks ago, when Bloglines was having some weird problems. Then they cleared up, and I stopped thinking about it. And then, of course, late last week there were more weird problems – every feed in my inbox was updating, in some cases showing me hundreds of old posts. This is not the point of an RSS aggregator. I gave up and exported my subscriptions from Bloglines and dumped them into a Google Reader account, and I’ve been using that since I think Thursday.

So far I like it. I like that you can toggle so easily between list view (headlines) and expanded view (stories). I prefer to go through my subscriptions feed by feed, so I tend to skip the homepage, where Reader mixes together all the updates from all your feeds. (I also feel like there is too much stuff on that page. There are three columns — the regular panel on the left with your updated feeds & navigation for Google Reader, the middle column with the stories themselves, and then a right column that has a box recommending new feeds and another box of ‘tips and tricks.’ It seems like I can’t get rid of the right panel. It’s not really busy, per se, but it still feels cramped.) The only ‘save’ feature I was using within Bloglines was the ‘keep new’ checkbox, which Google Reader also has.

I can’t see any reason to go back to Bloglines (except to bookmark the few things marked ‘keep new’), which is a shame. It feels like the end of an era, especially since I taught so many of my GSLIS classmates about RSS by getting them started with Bloglines. I hope they haven’t been too frustrated with it, or if they have they’ve given another reader a try.

UPDATE 11/19: Jon points out the Better GReader Firefox addon, which is pretty slick. You can get rid of the nav at the top and also bypass the “add to iGoogle or Reader?” page when you add a new feed. Thanks!


I made a change to the settings for commenting on this blog. I had an option checked off to required users to be logged in before they could comment. I’ve turned that off — you will have to provide a name and email address, and the first comment you make with a particular address will be held for moderation. But after that they’ll go up right away.

Thanks to Mr. Darius for pointing this out. I think it’s been like this since I moved over from hosted WP, which was not my intention.

Cool stuff – August edition

Lots of this was collected from LifeHacker in August – what’s not from LifeHacker is noted.

  • EjectUSB – force programs & processes to let go of your darn flash drive. Windows only.
  • Two from a great post — “Top Ten Printable Paper Productivity Tools.” PocketMod – DIY pocket notebook – this will be perfect when my last cardboard-cover Moleskine hits the recycling bin. Very easy to quickly create your custom version — includes the usual things like calendars and a variety of list types, but also games and a tip calculator. D*I*Y Planner – all kinds of crazy inserts sized to fit a few standard sizes of planner. I’ve gotten out of the habit of using mine regularly (blame GCal), but it still serves as grocery-coupon holder and address book.
  • The WordPress theme directory had stopped taking new submissions a while back, which was really annoying if you didn’t like much of what was posted. They have finally started up a new one, hooray! Check out the new theme directory. via the WordPress blog.
  • Did you know you can turn off the clipboard bar in Office? There’s an options menu down at the bottom of it — I didn’t even notice. Sweet.
  • Iron Chef Secrets Revealed at ABC News. via Not Martha.
  • Do you use Firefox’s password manager? Go turn on the Master Password that protects the stored info.
  • Opt out of getting (some) credit card & insurance offers in the mail. via Consumerist.

Round up: Cool new stuff

Some neat things I’ve found lately but can’t necessarily vouch for as I haven’t used all of them:

  • Anyvite: Evite – required accounts for invitees (+ social/photosharing tech!). via Demo Girl.
  • The Bicycle Tutor: Video tutorials for bike repair. Now if only I had the tools and the space . . . via Googling to learn more about shifting.
  • Wirewize: Customized explanation of how to hook up YOUR A/V system. Someday when I have more than two components this might help. via Lifehacker.
  • Bikely: User-submitted bike routes. Via Googling for (nonexistent?) Baltimore City bike map of marked routes.
  • GMaps Pedometer: Not new, but I love this & Bikely made me think of it. Go against the flow of traffic! Cut across parks willy-nilly!
  • GMail is apparently rolling out a new feature that will allow you to see if you are logged in somewhere else, and remotely disconnect. Helpful for those of us who bounce between computers. via Lifehacker. Also, did you know you can put filters on your outgoing GMail? Neat.

Sorry, Nick

I swear I hit publish on this last week! Grumble grumble.

I’m changing back to a summary-only feed to see if this cuts down on the content scraped from here and dumped on one of several spam blogs (all hosted at the same IP) that seem to have found me. This is one of those things where a defensive posture is your best bet.

If you get annoyed by this — for example, if the site regularly loads slowly for you — please speak up. I’m open to changing to a lighter-weight theme. This one stopped working anyway*, so it’s no big loss.

* I think it’s probably a PHP problem since daily blog posting won’t work either, but I don’t quite know enough about what I’m doing to be able to fix it.

Pingback spam

Since moving my blog off of hosted WordPress, I’ve noticed that I seem to be getting more pingbacks from spam blogs. I’m wondering if this is related to the move, or if it’s just that the volume of spam coming in is less, which means I can actually look at it all.

Today’s pingback spam really annoyed me. Two blogs from the same domain (different subdomains) both linked to my Greyhound post (which, incidentally, inspired quite a lot of commentary). Supposedly these blogs are aggregating content about 8stops7 (a band from California) and All Wound Up (the Godsmack album, I guess?). What’s interesting is that they both sport about pages with practically identical wording explaining that they are aggregating this content (though not really doing anything to promote either the band or the album) and if you would like anything removed, please email their admin address. They also encourage you to consider the benefit of having an increased readership to your blog from the exposure. The attempt at legitimacy is laughable at best, given the fact that the content they’re capturing has nothing at all to do with the stated purpose. Continue reading