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Moving Day

The other side effect of not being able to sleep is that I finally moved this blog over to a new domain.

Welcome to the eponymous oookeeek.com! ๐Ÿ™‚

The two of you that still have my RSS feed, please update it to the new one if you like. The old one will still work since I’ve set up an automatic redirect

In retrospect, I should have done this a lot earlier, just plonk in a .htaccess file with a 301 rewrite rule and move files. All done.

Update (April 2010): Well that didn’t last long. I’ve let the domain expire. I’m archiving this blog on my regular site and also bringing it out of anonymity.

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Why I won’t be buying anything from U2 anymore

Because they have a git of a manager who thinks consumers all steal his stuff and wants to restrict our rights to enrich him and his buddies in the recording industry.

Read his speech.

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Blog updates can be frustrating!

Thanks to Blogger deciding to add cute little icons next every commenter id, my blog layout was broken. Not terribly so, but enough to look ugly.

Since I had to edit the template anyway, I decided to make a few other changes too.

  • Moved the post time to below the title (and removed post author, since it’s only me.
  • Removed the bit of JavaScript that would hide comments on Item pages
  • Fixed the display of icons next to commenters.
  • Some sidebar cleanup
  • Added in some CSS to display labels like other post metadata
  • Pulled the CSS out of the blogger template and put it into a single .CSS file (This alone saved me about 2MB of server space!)
  • Lots of HTML cleanup. I can’t believe the number of places I’d left open elements!
  • Changed my DTD to XHTML 1.0 Transitional (It still won’t validate though, there’s a lot of work to be done before that happens.)
  • Removed the display of backlinks

I also changed a couple of settings in Blogger before I was finally done.

Little did I know…

Since I publish my blog via FTP, Blogger had to republish the entire site, file by file. Hanging every now and then…

And then when I looked at my earlier posts, I found them all in single massive paragraphs. Back then, Blogger didn’t have a rich text editor (or maybe it did, I can’t remember) so I used to type my posts in with 2 hard returns to mark the end of a paragraph. Blogger, in all its wisdom, would preserve these hard returns as <br> tags, rather than enclosing each paragraph withinย <p> tags. (Oh glory days! When we didn’t care about semantically marking up content!) I have known for quite a while that Blogger doesn’t seem to want to create paragraphs for you. Not even the new version released just a year ago. Why? Google knows!

Anyway, I’ve been hand coding paragraphs as I type my posts in Blogger for the last year or so. So most of my new posts display and parse without any problem.

But today since I was making all these changes, I decided I should fix my older posts and even label them while I was at it.

And that’s where I hit a brick wall. Or should I say Blogger’s short-sightedness/cussedness.

  • Making a change to a post’s labels makes Blogger republish ALL the other labels. Everyone single one in your blog.
  • If you’re editing an older post, you have only two options. Either publish it or save it as a draft. No option to save and publish later.
  • Publishing each old post means you have to wait until it uploads all of the labels each time.
  • If you thought that you could mark a whole bunch of drafts as “publish” from the “Edit Posts” page, think again. All you can do is apply labels to multiple posts there.

So what’s the solution? I don’t want to host my blog on Google’s Blogspot, nor do I want to go purchase a new domain just to point it to Google’s servers. This means I have to sacrifice some new features of Blogger, so be it. But I really want to clean up my older posts. I guess the only solution is to temporarily switch to blogspot, so that republish older posts doesn’t involve a round of FTP each time and when I’m done with all my label and formatting changes, to switch back to my FTP site.

Too lazy to do that right now though, it will have to wait for another day! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here comes another bubble

This hilarious video by an a capella group called The Richter Scales is about the current tech bubble (Facebook = $15 billion, really?) and sung to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

My favourite bits? “Blog, blog even if you’re wrong” plays over a clip of Robert Scoble whiteboarding away. And also “29, past my prime” shows a guy labeled as “Product Manager.” Ouch! (Guess what my age and designation is?)

Oh and there’s also a “blog this song,” so I’m just doing my part.

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Add-ons to the blog… or How I love the free services on the Internet

So while spending time chatting on flickr, I came across this website called AllConsuming, mostly because the guy behind AllConsuming, Erik Benson, created a service tied into your contact list on flickr called Connectr. I’ll let you go to those sites and see what they’re all about. What I do want to tell you here, is that AllConsuming allows me to put in a snazzy “currently reading” list into my blog with minimal fuss and with all working links to Amazon and whatnot.

To coin a phrase… “That totally rocks, duuuude!!”

The next thing, HaloScan, the service I have been using for commenting, has now implemented trackback too. More power to them! (More power to us bloggers too!)

And if I hadn’t mentioned this before, both these services are totally free. No strings attached. No pop-up ads, no spyware installed on your computer, no… oh well you get the point.

Let’s tally up a few things that go into this blog: I create it using blogger, that’s free. I host it at webspace my school gives me, that’s free. I use DynDns‘s WebHop service to cloak and redirect requests from oook.blogsite.org to the actual url, that’s free too (with one single small pop-up), and, using HaloScan, I have commenting and trackback, all free. I Love the Internet!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Firefox, the browser reloaded

Ok, sure, cheesy tagline… but the browser is far from cheesy!

For those who don’t know what the hell I’m talking about… it’s about Firefox 0.8, the next generation browser from mozilla.org Too many improvements and generally goodiness in it for me to list here, so instead, you can surf over to their website and read all about it there.

I’m no Bill-basher… in fact, I like and use a lot of MS products… but heck… I just like Firefox so much, I’m beginning to use it as my default browser and phasing out IE. Yay me!!

I’ve done my bit by adding a “Get Firefox” button in my nav bar on the right. Oh and btw, Firefox is the new name of Firebird.

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RSS??

For all web-designers in India and people that live off news and feeds from the web, RSS might be a little hard to get used to. Yes, it’s the greatest thing since hyperlinks (or sliced bread, whichever way you see it) but… (aha, bet you saw that coming!) it’s also the acronym of a fundamentalist political organisation in India!

So, anyway… I just discovered RSS (the web version!) a few days ago… after puzzling over the XML links on the GNE discussion boards, I finally figured out what it was all about.

I downloaded this news aggregator and started playing about with it.

…. and I’m still playing…