Expand truncated feeds
I hate truncated feeds in my reader. After subscribing to a feed that turns out to be truncated I usually end up skipping every single post for a few days and then unsubscribe.
Admittedly I’m oversubscribed (a few hundred items a day) and don’t have time to read everything, and those truncated bastards are first up against the wall. Unless they’re from blogs I really like, hi Red!
I subscribed to a few new blogs recently, and alas they were mickey teasing little truncated fuckers. So I cracked open Google to look for a hack or a plugin, but found nothing. Then I thought “Help me Lifehacker, you are my only hope.” Fired off a quick mail and to my surpsise and delight they had a post the next day. http://lifehacker.com/5523024/google-reader-full-feed-expands-truncated-feeds-with-a-keystroke.
I’m using the Chrome plugin. Didn’t seem to work for me at first, but had to do a computer restart last night and today it was working just fine. I just have to press Z and the truncated posts expand.
That’s that problem solved. Next, world hunger…
Test post for posting to WordPress directly from Flickr. Was driving me crazy getting this set up. If you have trouble getting this working this might be the problem:
Go to wordpress Settings page > Writing, then select the checkbox beside “enable XML-RPC”.
Have been meaning to move from the piece of shit Blogger over to WordPress for ages now. The only thing that was delaying me was that I wanted to re-design the whole site but could just never get around to it. So I grabbed the irrestable theme instead. It’ll sure do for now. I think most things are working but I’ll probably be tinkering with it for a while. Hope the feed is working as it was, guess we’re just about to find out…
Irish Blog awards 2009
Just a quick one on the blog awards while I get a chance. What a cracking night. There was something in the air as soon as we arrived. Great atmosphere and good spirits all around. Really was a cracker. The production of the whole night was top notch.
And congrats to Tommy for winning best newcomer (which I got last year), I hand you my tiara Tommy.
And the morning after, as I held my throbbing head, I had to deal with the mocking and dissaproving looks from these two:
Best technology blogger!?
In case you came here from today’s Irish Blog Awards nominations and wondering how the hell I got nominated as a best technology blogger… well, me too!
Ok I knew there were on or two technology posts so I had a look through the years posts and was surprised to find 9 ‘technology’ posts, so there are few more than I thought. Some are a bit of a stretch though.
Hey, I ain’t complaining! Very nice to be appreciated regardless of category, specially seeing as I’ve been very quiet lately. Bizarrely enough I haven’t had so much time to blog since leaving full time employment. Plenty of contracts and what not keeping me busy. I have a to-do list longer than recent dole queues.
So thanks for the nomination! Whoever it was.
Installing and reskinning WordPress
Rate my ISP
Upgrade yer auld browser!
Do you like to chat?
Sat navs are fecking ace
Another Google reader tip
Robot dog parody
Oooh I love a bit of irony with my cornflakes. Blogger have a blog post about making comments easier. I went to leave a comment on it but comments were disabled! I turned on this new feature on my blog…to make comments easier. So now the comments are on the same page as the post, not a separate page, and there are a few other useful options.
But they’ve overwritten my favicon. A favicon is little icon in the address bar. Before this update my favicon was a little cartoon icon of my head but now it’s a blogger icon. My lovely little head is still on any other page of my site, just not the blog. I’ve got a big ugly blogger icon. So, I went to leave a comment on their making it easy to comment post, but couldn’t, and the irony just blew my mind so much that I just had to share it with the world!
Update: I’ve switched back. Someone mailed me to say they couldn’t leave a comment. I’ll wait until blogger have ironed out the bugs.
A thousand words
Last November Claire Gingerpixel decided that instead of moaning about the lack of non-denominational schools (which is all I manage to do) she’d try and set one up. Fast forward 10 months to the start of September, and there she is taking photos of the first day at school in the new Educate together in Greystones. Great photos at that, as ever. What an amazing achievement. First day of school is my recommendation for blog post of the month.
Installing and reskinning a WordPress blog
This post is both for people with web design experience but who haven’t yet used WordPress and it might be useful for regular Joes or small companies who want to install a default WordPress blog engine on a site at their own URL. So here’s how to install wordpress and how to reskin it. I’ve not gone into a huge amount of detail but it should be a good starting point. Let’s try the questions and answers format:
On wordpress.com you can set up a blog that will be hosted on wordpress.com, and on wordpress.org you can download the blog engine to install on your own site.
Can you be a bit more specific?
On WordPress.com you can quickly set up a blog that will be hosted on WordPress.com, so the address of your blog will be http://websitename.wordpress.com. For example: http://whythatsdelightful.wordpress.com/. You can customise how it looks to some small degree (and a small fee). You would typically choose a template and maybe change the header image as in the example above. However you have limited access to the markup and css and have to access these through a web interface, which I personally hate doing.
However on WordPress.org, you can download the blogging engine and install it on your site. This gives you full access to all the markup (html code) and the css, so you can do whatever you want with in Dreamweaver or whatever you use to code. The other obvious major benefit is that your web address can be whatever you want, or at your existing site.
What’s the easiest way to install WordPress?
A lot of web hosts have good hosting packages that make it easy to install extra bits and pieces and this is by far the easiest way to install WordPress or setup a new site with WordPress. My web host of choice is www.blacknight.ie . I decided to setup http://www.beatingrsi.com one night before going to bed and a couple of hours later I had it setup and mostly reskinned.
- Get a Soho package for €35 a year.
- Go to your control panel and then go to The Installatron!
- Select WordPress and follow the very simple steps to install it
Where’s my blog?
Your blog will now be at the root of your site http://www.yourwebsite.com or http://www.yourwebsite/blog depending on whether you installed WordPress in the root directory or a sub directory. Now you’re ready to start writing blog posts or pages. It’s very easy to use. Go to www.yourwebsite/blog/wp-admin and you’re ready to go.
Can I reskin it now?
Yes. You have two choices, you can install someone else’s theme or you can reskin it yourself.
How can I install someone else’s theme?
The process for installing a theme or a plugin is much the same.
- Find a theme you like. Here are some http://www.freewpthemes.net/ http://www.wpthemesfree.com/ http://www.freewordpressthemes.com/http://www.woothemes.com/
- Download a theme
- Copy it to your themes folder
- Upload the theme
- Go to your Admin page http://www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin or http://www.yourwebsite.com/blog/wp-admin and in the Design section pick your theme.
How can I reskin a theme?
There’s no point in completely starting from scratch. Pick a barebones theme that somewhat fits the layout you want, ie the number of columns, if any, that you want. The default theme that you installed (Kubrick’s theme) is a good starting point for the standard layout. The sandbox theme is another good starting point. It’s unskinned but has all the elements marked up, ready for you to skin with CSS.
The typical process from there depends on your preferences. I tend to design in photoshop. Take a screengrab of the default theme. Then set up your grid to match the width and turn on snap. This will make everything from here on a lot easier. Now, do your design magic! Here’s what I did for www.beatingrsi.com. I didn’t bother with the footer or main content typography at this stage. I prefer to get a basic design and then tweak. This is what a few of those steps look like at a high level:
How did you go from Photoshop to WordPress theme?
Open the original images from your default theme. You will find them in /wp-content/themes/default/images. For example open header.gif. Then copy the header from your design and paste it into header.gif, position it properly and save (or export as gif and save over original). Do the same with the backgound image for the page, or the wrapper image. And you’re off to a very good start. It’s all tweaking from here on. Start messing with your CSS to match the widths and height to your new images if necessary. Then start tweaking your typography, and add your footer if you hadn’t already worked on it in the original design. Then tweak, tweak, tweak.
It’s easier to work locally when tweaking, so open your blog in Internet Explorer (It’s better than Firefox for saving pages) and save it as testpage.html in your site directory and then change the paths to CSS etc.
I already have a blog. Can I transfer to WordPress?
Yes. It’s delightfully easy to import all posts and comments into wordpress from blogger or wordpress.com. At the press of a button you can have all content imported. Although you will probably have to reskin from scratch or just go for a new design as the markup hooks will be different (that’s the only reason I haven’t moved this site yet.)
What about blogger?
No! Blogger is fine if you want a blog at www.mysite.blogger.com and don’t want to change the theme much. www.johnbraine.com is completely modified but it was a very slow process. I had to use the online editor, and managed to get most of the CSS into a separate file so I didn’t have to wait on the VERY slow blogger – it was a very slow painful and painful process, as is working with blogger: You can publish blogger to an external URL, as I do, but after a small amount of posts and labels build up, it times out whenever you publish a post. I’m dreading publishing this post! I will have to hit retry every minute for about ½ an hour! So avoid, if you want to reskin and publish to your own URL. It seems the only “fix” for this is to actually host with Blogger.
For writing, management, publishing, or reskinning, a dedicated WordPress Engine wins hands down.
Update: For a more detailed guide on installing WordPress, see Gav’s Guide to installing WordPress.
Another google reader tip.
Did you know, you can add a next button to your browser and it will open the next unread item in your Google reader list? But it opens the pages on the actual web sites they come from. This adds a bit of colour to your reading, and you get to see comments etc straight away. I also use Google reader to keep up with lots of sites that aren’t blogs, such as creative ireland. So it’s very handy for feeds like that, as I jump to the whole thread rather than just the first post, which is all you get in google reader.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to bother writing about this or not but here’s the clincher. When you’re at the last item, and you click next, this is what you get:
*wags finger at those whacky google guys*
Here’s how: In Google Reader go to Settings then Goodies, and just drag the Nextbutton onto your toolbar
Bonus tip: Open (Windows) Accessibility Options / Mouse and turn on Mousekeys. The when you press 5 on your numerical keypad, it will open the next post, (after you’ve clicked the next button once).
Shocked and stunned
I was shocked and stunned to win best newcomer at the Irish blog Awards last night… for this frivolous little thing. Really. I personally thought K8 the Great or Roy were going to win. Or any of the other great new blogs on the list.
I also had a personal triumph in saying a few words in front of 400 or so people. I’m delighted to see my absolute dread of public speaking diminishing with age! This deed would have been impossible for me a few years ago. The thought of it had my heart pounding so hard I thought it was about to explode but I was assuring myself with the fact that they’d call someone else’s name out. Which they didn’t!
Like I managed to blurt out on the night, the blog awards is such a good-natured event and with such a friendly atmosphere that last year’s event got me blogging in the first place. Well, it was the icing on the cake anyway. This year’s event was great fun too. And it was great to meet lots more of you lovely people again. Special shout out to the girl who ran up to me and asked what blog I was from, then before I had a chance to answer said “look I’ve got a black tongue” before skipping off to someone else. And when I say girl I mean woman.
Thanks to whatever judges seemed to find the same stuff wotsits and thingies as interesting as I do. Fair play to Moviestar for giving out free DVD players to every winner too! I’m happy to give them a shout out, as I experienced some great customer service off them just last week. And also to Edelman for sponsoring best newcomer. And to Damien and all the organisers of course. Booyakasha!
I’d like to thank blogger for making it all so painful
Well I never. I’ve been shortlisted in the best newcomer category of the Irish blog Awards. Didn’t expect that to happen. Oh christ, award cliches already. I’ll be thanking God next. It’s all awards awards awards recently isn’t it? Here’s the other contenders:
- K8 the GR8
- Blog the Bog
- Irish Taxi
- Midget Wrangler
- A Pint of Unionist Lite
- Coffee Helps
- The Friendly Farmer
- John Braine
- All Parts Included
- One for the road
On that note. I’m delighted to see This Is England raking in the awards. one of the best films in years I reckon. There’s lots of great stuff on www.thisisenglandmovie.co.uk and http://www.shanemeadows.co.uk/
Irish Blog Awards
That time of year again. The Irish Blog Awards. I went last year because The Missus was nominated for best personal blog, as she is again this year (well, she’s on the long list), congratumalations. It was a good laugh last year, no one one took it very seriously, and they seemed like a really good bunch of people. Was kind of the icing the cake for me to decide blogging.
The long lists are now out. One of the more interesting lists of nominations is best post. My favourite’s so far are the most exclusive prison cell in the world and Top 5 Scary Moments – #1. At the time, I can remember enjoying Fuck off Katy French, and she did.
Glad to see everyone I nominated on various lists including The menace.com for best design blog. The rest are kind of usual suspects, so I won’t mention them all.
Ooh look, I’m at the bottom of the very long long list of best newcomers, ha!
Amusing blog stuff in newspapers this week
There have been a couple of amusing articles in the papers this week about blogs that I read. First of all, just who hasn’t written about Pat Kenny being a total plank? Grandad’s post about the exact same clip a while ago was pretty funny. Graham Linehan’s Why That’s Delightful blog isn’t much different . Albeit comic genius that he is, his blog is still fairly down to earth… waffling away like the rest of us about random stuff. So I think it’s hilarious to see such a po-faced article in the Independent about “Chat kingKenny letting the country down” quoting the post in detail.
Limmy’s show was one of the best at last year’s Fringe. And I really enjoyed his ‘magic pen sketch’. Have a look at the recorded version before reading on…
Then, in this week’s Sunday Mail, there’s an article about the clip. And it turns out, the newsreader really was doing a magic trick on the sly. Hilarious! Original Pengate post.
Couple of Google Reader tips
Came across a couple of Google Reader tips last night. Or rather, they magically appeared in my Google Reader inbox:
1. Add a dynamic blogroll directly from google reader
This is very handy, and very easy to do. You can add a blogroll to your blog that mirrors folders in your Google Reader. This means that I can maintain my blogroll without going near Blogger. And that’s always good news. Obviously you can leave out whole folders and still retain privacy where needed. Of course I only discovered this a week after doing a blogroll by hand. See how atOfficial Google Reader Blog.
2. Integrate your Google Reader into Gmail
This is just one feature in Lifehacker’s Better Gmail Firefox extension.
You can set up Google reader to appear under your emails or/and have a link in your sidebar so you can flick between email and feeds.And if you like your shortcuts don’t miss out on Gmail macros.
It’s about time I got with the program and added a blogroll. So here’s most of the blogs I read in my feedreeder. If you don’t use a feedreeder, get with the program! Why go to the post office to get your letters, when you’ve got a postman to bring them to you. If you have a gmail account, the easiest thing to do is go to www.google.com/reader, and start subscribing to feeds. Or any blog or webpage just look out for a feed icon. If you want to see RSS explained further, here’s a simple video. Subscribe to my feed here.
Anyway, here’s most of the blogs that I’ve get in my feedreader & added to my blogroll…
Just everyday comings and goings of a girl called Annie but I like her style. A very witty kitty.
And if you’re a movie buff check out Annie get your gun too.
Great photo blog, with the occasional insight into good photography tips and techniques.
Mostly technology news, which I don’t follow that much to be honest but there are lots of other interesting bits and bobs of fluff.
Twenty mostly makes up stories about his imaginary mates and there’s also lots of good old down to earth rants about the idiots that live in and run this country.
This really is a great resource to subscribe to if you’ve any interest in web design. Lots of practical tips, advice and downloads.
the first place to look for industry standard techniques. The regular features are great but it’s taken second place in my favourite web resources. Smashing magazine is just that bit more useful and to the point.
I’ve already given this a mention. The designed tree is an Irish based blog featuring well designed sites from around the world.
Good Irish Web design blog, occasionally outing some of the many web design cowboys on the go at the moment. And I love the blog header.
Turning off colour for Blog action day!
To save the amount of power it takes to colour your monitor, I’ve turned the colour off in your browser window. Erm, it won’t work in a feedreader etc, you need to actually come to www.johnbraine.com and hit refresh.
Normal service is now resumed. This site looked like the image below for one day. I’m sure I saved a million Megawatts in energy. Just like blackle.
- My top 10 Irish Movies
- The Blathering
- Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease
- Top 10 books of 2012
- The truth about tattoo removal
- CABBAGE CONTROLS – some thoughts on Prometheus casting
- Power’s Short story
- Books of the (last) year
- Pruning your feeds
- That other time I went to the States…
- Quincy M.E. and Cameron Diaz doing the La Bamba
- Different folks, different strokes
- Family cinema design