Archive for April, 2006

Run IE7 without installing it

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

If you're like me you're probably itching to start using the Internet Explorer 7 beta, but putting it on your main computer is a big risk and everyone knows that despite Microsoft's best intentions there are bound to be bugs and security loopholes in it ... so let some other sucker find them out the hard way first. But now you canrun IE7 without installing it. Excellent!

I've only tried it in a VMWare environment so far (which is where I already test IE7 anyway so I don't really need this hack) but do take care if you're trying this out for yourself.

Amazon This is the page you made – Oh no it isn’t!

Friday, April 28th, 2006

Amazon’s ‘This Is The Page You Made’ page used to be a really handy feature for suggesting items that I might like, based on previous purchases and items I’ve looked at recently.  But the last few days has changed all that because the only things Amazon.co.uk suggests I might like are pornographic art books or homosexual erotica!

I’m beginning to wonder if, based upon all the geeky gadgets and tech books I’ve bought from Amazon over the years, they haven’t discovered something deep down inside me that I’ve yet to discover about myself.  Nah!

Seriously though, this new bent certainly changes Amazon’s family-friendly image.  Of course there’s always been erotica and sex manuals on the site (and why shouldn't there be!) but it’s not something Amazon offers you unless that’s what you’re searching for (well except for that  time they sent me the Karma Sutra instead of the XML book I’d ordered, that is).

I wondered if it was maybe a temporary glitch or if something in my recently viewed items history was producing this (although I couldn’t imagine what it might be!) so I tried messing around with the Page you Made settings by deleting my previously viewed items. 

 20060428b[1]

The ‘page I made’ now tells me this:

          
And then it got a whole lot worse! When I view the Amazon front page or any page it now offers me a whole load more of what I've dubbed Ama-porn!


So does this mean that showing erotica on the front page is Amazon.co.uk's default setting when no information is available about the user? Has some cheeky monkey at got into the controls somewhere??

Someone suggested that maybe it’s because Brokeback Mountain is the featured movie on [tag]Amazon[/tag] UK right now, and it’s skewing everything else that’s offered up to site visitors. 

Hmmmm … I haven’t seen the film but it all sounds a bit ‘brokeback’ to me!


Buy Dilbert: Don't Stand Where the Comet Is Assumed to Strike...
Buy from Amazon.com
| Amazon.co.uk

Phone, Lipstick, Keys … Web Server!

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

 Kingston Data USB Key - 2 Gigs!!   Here’s a great little tool that we’ve been using for a few weeks now and it’s made such a difference.  The Web Server on a stick is just that … a complete Apache webserver with PHP & MySQL running off a USB memory stick.  I’ve found it so useful that I rarely go anywhere without it now.  I run the server locally from harddisk and then synchronize it to my key (using Second Copy.  I carry a lot of USB keys so this program is especially handy as it identifies the USB key that I’m using and only copies to that key and no other.)
WOS - Web Server

When I’m away from my desk it means that I can carry with me the installations that I need WordPress, Gallery, VBulletin.  (Haven’t got Movable Type to run yet … but I’ll crack the darn thing yet!)  I don’t have to test out changes on live websites and I don’t have to rely on the remote servers and test sites.  It has really increased my productivity and I’ve got to say it’s a product that I’d happily pay for … but WOS Portable is free!

Update: Got an uncharacteristic attack of conscience after writing and decided I really did want to pay for it so much so that I upgraded WOS to the WOS-X version, not so much because I wanted the higher version, but because wanted to give the developer something for such great software.  Now I wish I’d hit ‘Donate now’ instead as the upgrade didn’t work and it took out my previous WOS installation along with it.  Probably my fault as some of the dialog boxes are in German (and don’t ya know I only took French in school).  Luckily I still have a backup of WOS as I have it installed on my hard disk as well as my USB key.  Not sure if I’ll be installing WOS-X again as I don’t really need the additional functionality and WOS on its own runs just fine!

Update II:  Here’s a great link on how to install WordPress onto WOS.

Widgets

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

I've just installed the widgets plug-in for WordPress and so far I'm very pleased with what I see.  It certainly makes it easy to customize the website sidebar and there's pleasant additions like Recent Posts (which before now I've always added manually (with <?php get_archives('postbypost', '10', 'other', '<li class="prev_posts">', ' </li>', false); ?>).  I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out in template development ...

 Widgets Screenshot

Spam Eaters

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Just installed Spam Karma on a couple of my WordPress sites. It's nothing new, on version 2 now, just that I've never tried it before myself.  It works really well and had trapped a good 30 over on my partner in crime Adi's site (PC Doc) this morning before I took the plunge and installed it on mine.  Very quick and easy to install and no configuration, just away you go.  And it reports back on any new comment or trackback spam that you find so you're helping to catch the spammers too! 

Another good spam eater is Askimet but I've never quite understood the process for getting the WordPress API Key to use it.  It's a little confusing as in order to get the key you're also applying for a WordPress blog on their site, and indeed that's what you get (not quite sure what I'll be doing with that ... perhaps I can put in a redirect? Or there is an option to delete the blog that's create - I wonder if that would delete my API key too??) 

Begun …

Friday, April 21st, 2006

...macroIt's never easy to write a first post.  What do I say?  Who am I talking to?

So I'll just say that my web development related blog is started and I'll begin properly on Monday.

Contact Me

Friday, April 21st, 2006


Please type your message below and click "Send Email". (Please type in the verification code which appears in the box on the right. This helps prevent spam. It is not case sensitive.)

Your email address and or other data are not divulged to any 3rd party or used for any purposes other than for replying to your message.

Thanks for commenting

*denotes required field.

Warning: strpos() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /nfs/c01/h13/mnt/7921/domains/vexentricity.com/html/wp-includes/shortcodes.php on line 193

 

%d bloggers like this: