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Really Simple Syndication. If you read websites and blogs, you need to be using a RSS reader like Google Reader or the “Reeder” App for your Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (it syncs for pretty good off-line reading too!).

Written By: Gary on July 10, 2013 No Comment

So Google retired Google Reader on July 1st, I still can’t believe this. They announced it until March but it took me until the last minute to switch, because I really didn’t want to. I did export my data from Google Takeout which you can still do until July 15th, so go get your data! But I’m really glad that I tried Feedly in advance because they didn’t even need my exported data, they just sucked it out of Google Reader and I was ready to go.

feedlylogo.jpgFeedly works an awful lot like Google Reader, it stores my items in categories/folders and they make it really easy to navigate from folder to folder. What is REALLY nice about the folders/categories is you can configure the look and it remembers it for just that folder/category. So if that folder has photo blogs or cartoons, I can configure it to show me the whole thing. If it’s just a news folder, I can show all the headlines. Regardless of how you configure it, it remember it the night time you’re in that category.

Here’s the three reading modes:

Feedly Title Text View
Feedly Title Text View.
You would see more text if you window was wider, but I wanted to show the date.

magazine-view.jpg
Feedly Magazine View.
You’d see much more text if your window is wider.

Feedly Cards View
Feedly Cards View.
You’d get three columns of these in full screen and it appears a little larger, I had to shrink it 20% to make it fit my column width.

They actually have a full feed mode (which I wasn’t going to put above), which is how I used it in Google Reader, but I like these other modes much better!

Plus, it’s super fast. I think it’s great. I don’t like that it always starts in the “All” folder, I’d rather it start in my first folder with unread items. The only other suggestion is that if I’m in a folder with a hundred items and I’ve only read halfway down, I’d like a way to mark everything from there and up as read.

It integrates with multiple apps (and they have their own Feedly Reader). Reeder is my favorite iPhone RSS reader (which is temporarily free, so go get Reeder). They haven’t updated the iPad Reeder yet, but the iPhone app is just as good and works great in 2x more.

So I give it two thumbs up. Regardless of what you want to use, you only have five days to get your data out of Google Reader so go do it!

Written By: Gary on July 10, 2010 One Comment

I like using a NewsReader on my iPhone (or iPod Touch) and one of my favorites is Doppler. It’s easy to use and it synchronizes with Google Reader so it makes off-line reading easy to do. So this means that when you read an article it marks it as read on Google so you don’t end up reading it again.

doppler.175x175-75.jpgIt caches all your RSS feeds for off-line reading so it’s pretty fast when you’re going through the news since it cached it in advance; but this means you do click to click on the link a minute before you’re ready to read since it doesn’t download in the background. I usually tap it before I leave the house since it’s faster on the WiFi, even if I don’t read it soon, it’s cached most of the recent articles so that when I do sync over 3G it’s already got most of the new news…

TIP: When configuring to sync with Google it lists all your individual feeds at the top of the list, but if you scroll to the bottom of the list you can choose your “folders” as defined in Google Ready

I’m mentioning this software today because it’s free for download until July 20th, 2010. It’s worth the money, but free is better, isn’t it?

Written By: Gary on June 15, 2009 2 Comments

feed-icon.pngDoes anyone really care if their feed is RSS 2.0 or RSS 0.92 or Atom 0.3?

I’m assuming most people’s concern is full feed or partial feed? (I like full feeds with images).

I’m also assuming most feed readers handle all types these days?

My experience is most Atom feeds are full feeds, does anyone use partial feeds with atom?

Just looking for some opinions. Deep feedback / technical feedback is optional :)

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Written By: Gary on June 10, 2009 One Comment

So I’ve got a new theme. I figure I have to mention it because if you just read the RSS feed, you’ll never see it.

themejune2009.pngIt’s pretty much the Simple Indy theme by India Fascinates. It really reminds me of a few other themes out there, but it handles my long categories, works well on Mac, was easy to modify, it’s zippy and it works really well.

I’ve modified it a bit here and there to fit my needs but it’s pretty close to the original code. I like titles on all my archive pages and added my header image. I also changed the way it marked posts with the tags and categories. I also like full posts, if it’s the main page, archive or search results. And I like error messages to come with a search box. So other than that a few other minor changes it’s 99% the original theme. I still need to integrate my old logo into it…

If you see any problems, please let me know.

The photo will probably be changed soon, but it was one of the first ones I tried that fit okay. Currently it’s a view of the Pacific from Quepos, Costa Rica. I think maybe December of 2006 (New Years Eve,I think). If it’s not a picture of the coast with two tree trunks (like the thumbnail), then I changed it to something else ;)

I liked my old theme but it just loaded too slow and it had been bugging me for a while.

Written By: Gary on May 12, 2009 One Comment

I got way overwhelmed with my RSS feeds, I’ve got gobs of them (almost 300). Many of those feeds don’t get updated more that once a month (if ever) so they really don’t impact the list, but a dozen or so update 2-4 times a day. Plus, I recently added everyone coming to WordCamp Chicago (list of attendees) another 100 or so feeds; I’ll prune that down later.

I’ve been over a 1000+ unread items for ages and even when it gets back to 700-800 it just jumps back up! Lately , no matter what I do, I can’t even get it under 1000, so I cleared out all my posts. And started over…

THey really need a way to click a button to ‘mark all posts older than __ days as read’ and that would help with when it gets full.

Hopefully I’ll do better catching up in the future.

I’ve got the feeds syncing with my iPod Touch (but if I’m not of WiFi there are no images, which makes some feeds useless) so maybe that will help. I use Doppler (you can try Doppler Lite for free).

I’m really looking for an off-line Google Reader the includes the images for off-line viewing, any tips? Other than storage space, once you’ve written the reader the image caching doesn’t seem too hard, but it still eludes me….

Written By: Gary on January 17, 2009 No Comment

wptv-logo.pngWordPress.tv was announced. Lots of instructional video on how to do stuff with WordPress! And there is a feed for the blog and a separate video RSS feed. All appear to be available in HD. Very nice.

It also includes videos from various WordCamps.

Written By: Gary on December 17, 2008 No Comment

It seems to be going very well so far. I think I’ve got everything imported. Feel free to try a test comment (please).

Most entries and categories and dates should be redirecting. Date based pages are not redirecting (need a .htaccess rule or need to rewrite all those pages in MT with a redirect), but that’s okay, you’re only going to find that from a search and if you clock to comment it takes you to the correct page, just a weird interface change.

Categories still need to have hierarchies and descriptions.

All RSS feeds are redirected, so you’ll probably get a full reader by the time you get this post. And as of right now, they’re all redirected to an Atom feed. Does anyone really care/have a preference?

Not thrilled with this blog template but that’s easily changeable later. I’ll break down the steps of the whole migration later for anyone wanting to go from MT to WP.

Any .htaccess people who can help me with a rewrite rule?
I need date formats like /chapters/2008_12.php -> /2008/12/ and the same for /chapters/2008_12_16.php -> /2008/12/16/ . Actually the latter is really the only one that matters since the first was prevented by robots.txt and I don’t think I did any posts linking to a month (maybe a date).

Honestly, I’ve had harder version upgrades with Movable Type, but we’ll see once I start modifying templates for myself.

Disappointments: I wish the categories could have been in the root directory without having to be in another directory (my /topics/ directory). I wish I could have more easily moved the old files in with their old filenames so things didn’t have to be redirected.

I’ve still got to fix “About”, “FAQ”, etc. and I need the date archives to redirect.

Spam filter is working great! I really like the way the tags work, but they need some cleaning up. Ecto really helped me to turn my technorati tags into WP tags.

Fixed the search engine with a smart redirect. Needed that since I do searches in the middle of my posts (I should be tagging but I’ve have 3 years to go back and tag).

Updated the sitemap.xml files too.

These last few things should really help with the search engines reindexing me (I hope!)

Google has already been cruising through indexing pages….

It imported my pings/trackbacks as comments :( But at least they are still linked.

Some drafts became posts. This may have not been an import/export issue, this may have been something I did after the fact when I reposted posts to get my blogging client, Ecto, to convert my Technorati Tags to WordPress tags.

Written By: Gary on December 13, 2008 No Comment

So after 5 years of using MovableType, and talking about sticking with things yesterday, I’m planning on switching this blog to WordPress. As I said a few months backWordpress-Logo

I think WordPress is easier to setup and it’s also easier for beginners to do quite advanced things with WP than Movable Type. From the other perspective, I think that doing really super advanced things is easier with Movable Type, while doing ultra-advanced things are probably equal between the two.

I’ve slightly modified that a bit to make it more accurate in what I’ve learned since then. I’m also going to add that

Upgrades appear to be much easier to do in WordPress, they’ve all been pretty painless for me. (I never even liked doing incremental upgrades with MT)

Maybe as I customize things more this won’t be as true but for now it’s been pretty easy. And it’s an educational thing for me too, I’ve really enjoyed learning about it…

So for the next month(?) I’ll be changing and testing things. I’ll be running both in tandem stating soon, I’ll want some posts/archives once the switch is made. I’ll probably switch back and forth a few times as I’m testing so be patient with me as I make changes. The worst tests might be for the people using RSS readers, but I’ll try to keep those disasters minimal. If you see things broken for more than a day it means I didn’t notice, so please e-mail me and let me know.I don’t think I’ll be able to ever import everything the way I want to: keeping all my old permalinks and everything else so that I don’t break a million back-links to my site (and throughout my site). So I think when I do the final cut over everything 2008 and before will stay on MovableType and everything 2009 and after will be on WordPress.

I’ll be documenting this since I’m sure I’ll have to do some interesting things for category archives (I think I’ll fudge the last entry of each category to include the old posts) and searching the archives (this may require two searches, but I’m not sure yet).

If I can’t integrate them very well, I’ll just have a prominent button that says “click here for 2008 and earlier”. And I’ll modify a lot of the old templates to say ‘click here for the new stuff’. I’d just hate to have to do that for all the category stuff.

Any tips on the migration from anyone? Any resources?

Written By: Gary on October 12, 2008 No Comment

I’ve made minor changes to my Atom, RSS 1.0 and RSS 2.0 feeds so please me know if you have any problems with it. I’ve also made the RSS feeds be extended entry feeds so let me know how that is working.

Thank you.

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Written By: Gary on October 1, 2008 One Comment

 Xhtml Images Icons 48 48 ReaderI just haven’t been able to keep up with all the blogs and web sites I read. I’ve never gotten into using the RSS feed readers very much. I like using the sites the way people have decorated their layout, what they chose to do tells me something about the person, not seeing it makes me feel like I’m missing something. But if I’m not actually getting to their site and reading, I’m really missing something, right?

So I thought I’d try Google Reader out, I choose Google for several reasons:

  • It’s all via the web so it’s multi-platform; most web readers are multi-platform, but Google apps are pretty Macintosh friendly.
  • If I’m in need of a fix they’ve got a mobile interface for mobile phone browsing (actually you can do most things Google on your phone at http://m.google.com/.
  • No matter where I read the feeds it coordinates them all so you know which feeds have been read.
  • They’ve got an off-line version using Google Gears, this is what motivated me to do do this with Google. This means if I plan before I don’t have a internet connection I can sync my feeds to the computer and read the feeds off line but when I sync the computer back up, it marks the feeds as read (or stars them or what ever other things I do to the feeds).
  • I thought there was a Java version of Google Reader that I could put on my Palm Treo 755p phone, but I can’t find it. That would make this even more useful. Does this exist? Can someone point me to it if it does?
  • ADDED LATER: I guess it doesn’t cache the images for off-line viewing(?), disappointing, but I can live with it.

    So I took an hour or two the other day and put all my sites in my blog roll into Google Reader. This took some time, but I think it was worth it. I think I’ll add some of my news sites in there also (those weren’t in my BlogRoll). There were several thousand posts marked as unread since it doesn’t know what I actually have looked at, so I had to bite the bullet and mark them all as read. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to mark “all posts older than 1 week as read” (or something like that) so I had to mark them all.

    WOW! I can can get through all my feeds pretty quickly now. It’s so easy it almost makes me feel like I’m rushing, I need to slow down and chew my food enjoy the reading. Read the help for the key shortcuts! I’ve got it so when the reader starts up, it defaults to all the posts I haven’t read and I can just hit the space bar to scroll through them all, as I space through them it marks them as read and scrolls through them.

    Downsides:

  • I really miss the feel of the site though. Sometimes I’m reading something and I’m like who the heck is this? and I check and realize that I know the person but it’s out of context so it’s hard to tell. Makes me want to figure out a way to brand my feed.
  • They have feed recommendations, but they could be a little better and a few more of them.

    They’ve got some other features like “Shared Items” and “notes” but I haven’t used them yet. Any tips?

  • Written By: Gary on March 16, 2008 3 Comments

    So I’ve really been trying to use Twitter more. I read and tweet more at my computer than when I’m out. When I’m out I tweet some but don’t generally read. I do have it set to get a text message on my phone automagically if someone tweets my name. If you don’t know what Twitter is:

  • You can see what I tweet. All my personal blog posts get tweeted automatically.
  • You can see who I follow with twitter.
  • You can “follow me” (but you have to set up a free account with them) and get all my tweets sent to your cell phone so you can see what I’m thinking about an blogging about.
  • There is a nice mobile interface and you can even subscribe via RSS.

    I really got on the blogging boat late because I didn’t get it, but once I started I was hooked immediately. This isn’t working for me yet, but I’m still trying. On GeekBrief I saw the folks at CommonCraft created a video called Twitter in Plain English and it’s a pretty good explanation with interesting animation.

    But it still feels like Instant Messenger (IM) to me, but only 140 characters. It’s definitely more than IM, but it really just feels like the next step in its evolution. The clients feel like IM, and using the web interface at Twitter fells more and more like a web chat client.

    The biggest difference is that you direct your message to everyone in your group, not to a specific person. So occasionally you see a comment directed to someone else that you never saw the preceding comment, so then you can go see what they said and see if it’s someone else that interests you. You can send direct messages, but I don’t think that’s very common and I can never remember the command (it’s “D TwitterUserName TheText“).

  • Written By: Gary on October 1, 2007 4 Comments

    So I’m always editing my posts. Generally, just in the first hour (or two) but occasionally (rarely) up to a day later. I’ll see little things I want to change/correct or I’ll notice typing errors. Sometimes I’ll remember something I left out and I’ll add it. I’m trying to make the blog post better, more readable and more complete.

    I don’t change the slant or idea of something I had but I’ll firm up the idea sometimes. Sometimes I wonder how that info gets around the ‘net though. I know some people will read me via RSS or Atom or something, but once their software grabs my feed, if I change the article do they get the latest version if I don’t revise the date (and if I do revise the date do they have two copies?)?

    I know sites start to index pages and RSS feeds and update Technorati and other sites like that and I’m not sure what version those end up with in the end, or how often it takes to re-index those files.I guess when people comment they see the full and latest post, but I’d have to assume they don’t really notice…

    REVISION LOG:
    1 – minor correct.
    2 – took out a short paragraph about my RSS feeds, I forgot they were dynamic now; that’s a bigger change than normal (see I was still thinking about it while cooking so I checked and corrected it).
    3 – Minor structure and a spelling error.
    (I think I’m done now)

    Written By: Gary on September 19, 2007 One Comment

    188LaptopThis is probably the best review of the XO laptop (often called the “$100 Laptop”) I’ve ever seen. This is a very cool machine and should start manufacturing this fall. Unfortunately, it wasn’t designed for US sales, but once the demand gets up there I can see it (or something similar) being offered for sale. We have similar type items in the US but not as advanced and for more than double the price.

    With a (tablet-like) twist screen it’s pretty need at how it folds over. And the screen has two modes: bright color and high contrast B & W for outside viewing. It had an SD slot and three USB ports, ethernet, wireless (with the mesh network), web-cam for collaboration, works as a gaming device or sideways as an eBook reader. They had to remove the built in charging crank which is a problem if you’re in a really remote area. I’m sure separate chargers raise the price)?).

    The software running on the XO is just as compelling as its hardware. The Red Hat Fedora Linux-based Sugar operating system is fairly basic, and we got comfortable using it within a few minutes. The home screen displays the XO logo within a circle, and the surrounding circle fills up with running programs. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find the Start Menu and system application icons, including Paint, Write, Chat, and RSS.

    – Laptop Magazine

    I can see something like this really changing computing for a 1 to 1 ratio. This is all really most people want, e-mail, web, portability (3.5 pounds) and a 10 to 1 charging ratio. The high contrast for reading an e-book will (IMHO) give them something they don’t think they want (lots of text on the go). Add some bluetooth to get on-line on my phone and I’m in. And it runs Red Hat Linux for an OS. I want one of these puppies more than an iPhone.

    Written By: Gary on July 22, 2007 2 Comments

    My AppleTV is awesome! An “iPod for your TV” is a accurate description. I ran the software update (painless!) and it gave me YouTube videos and fixed “enhanced podcasts”.

    It mirrors one of your computer’s iTunes just like an iPod does (and allows you exceptions) and will stream from any other computers running iTunes (platform independent) and I don’t think there is a limit. I can’t believe how fast it pulls hi-res movie previews from Apple down to the unit, it’s very very fast. It’s actually much faster than pulling down YouTube videos (many which are low-res).

    It really streams full-scren video from other computers really efficiently. Very rarely does it need a moment to catch up. It has no problem with steaming audio. It almost makes no sense to download podcasts, I bet you could stream them live if you had a way to just get the RSS feeds onto the AppleTV.

    With “enhanced podcasts” it now properly advances the embedded images to follow along with the audio. The problem is that it just shows them to the side like the album artwork, some images are much larger so it really cheats you by scaling them down. Since you don’t use the up/down keys on the remote during this process “up” would be a great way to enlarge the images.

    I have the same image size concern when viewing slideshows with the “Ken Burns effect”, sometimes I want to view the whole image. Once again this would be another great use for the up button. The down button could be used for viewing filenames, date, time and other info about the images. Actually, this would be a good use for the down button while viewing videos or audio.

    A few more features (like on the TiVo) like weather, movie listings and maybe Flickr photo viewing and it’d be even better…What I don’t like is that it only lets you sync with one computer. I’d like to sync music with one, videos with another and podcasts with another (not so sure if I care about the latter).

    What I need:
    1) A way to automatically convert videos and stick them into iTunes for me (so when I drop/download a file to a folder, it starts processing for me). I could probably do this via Mac or Windows….

    2) A way to play other file formats on the AppleTV, such as AVI and DiVX files. I think I can hack it to do that but I’m not sure if I want to take it apart yet.

    Written By: Gary on April 1, 2007 One Comment

    Forget that it lets you create awful looking pages and that it’s ultra slow (partially due to the large quantities of photos and slideshows). We’re just talking about normal software problems that would probably save them bandwidth if they fixed/tweaked things (and make our MySpace lives easier and faster). Let’s get everyone to stop wasting clicks and using it better (which will stop wasting bandwidth!). I might even spend more time there if it wasn’t for all the wasted time…
    So here we go (I hope Tom is listening):

  • If I’m looking at an event it should tell me if I’ve added it to my calendar already when I’m looking at it. It should not make me click it and then add it twice. It should know this already.
  • I need a way to get the calendar out of MySpace. I’ve already got a calendar on my computer, it’s on my phone, it’s every where I go (and it’s all the same calendar). I need a way to get those events from MySpace to my other synchronized calendars. There are standardized protocols for this, if they really want me to see these performers (they really don’t care, IMHO) they need to make sure I know about them.
  • If I add a calendar item from someone’s page it should remember when I got the event from with a link back to the original page.
  • If someone is my friend already say that on the page don’t say “I’m in their extended network”, it says that for everyone. You go to add a band (or someone) and you can’t remember if they’re in your list already and it’s got to go to another page. It should know this already.
  • Artists can set their page to let you download some of their songs (or none) but the filenames are awful (like 89SAD09G89SD0FSDF089SDFS8D00S.mp3) and the songs have none of the tags so you can see who it is when you play it later (on the computer or your mp3 player). Once again, they aren’t helping the artists, it’s whatever they can do to get you to come back to the site for unnecessary things. If you’re hooked your coming back, just let me download something useful.
  • MySpace will send me e-mail reminders and alerts but you can’t choose which ones and it’s hard to get them past your spam filter since they change their e-mail address with every message. If you use some form of disposable address now your friends can’t search for you since they don’t know that address (I only send friends to MySpace to find the links to my bands, I have no real content there).
  • If I go to someone’s page for the first time, I’ll click play if I want to hear their favorite song, don’t start streaming me music I don’t want to hear. I almost want to say the same about a musician’s page too but I can understand that they want it to play (how about a 10 second delay so the page will stop loading first?).
  • They don’t let you subscribe via RSS/Atom to a persons blog, once again, no info unless you go to theirSpace. They could at least let you view an excerpt so then you’d want to come back…
  • If someone has no pics (or videos) it shouldn’t give me an option to view them. There aren’t any there!!
  • There should be a limit of 15 slideshows or 1500 photos per page. That’s sarcasm, have you seen how many photos and slideshows people put on their page? It takes 5 minutes to download them all on a high speed connection!
  • Why can’t I rotate my favorite song? Or my Avatar? Oops, wait those aren’t aesthetic complaints, they’re user wishes. I’ve been spending too much time in theirSpace….

    I really hope I’m not missing an easy calendar solution, I’ll feel kinda silly if I did. If I’m complaining, I suppose it begs the question why am I using MySpace? Because they’ve got my local bands convinced it’s the only place to list their calendars. And occasionally I follow a few other clicks while I’m there…

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    Written By: Gary on February 23, 2007 No Comment

    I’ve been using Quantcast to look at some site statistics. As usual noting is perfect, I know it doesn’t count anything from RSS feeds or anywhere else I might have had info pulled some other way from my site (RSS, my PDA version, AvantGo, etc.) and I’m certain I didn’t get their little piece of code on every page on my site. BTW, you don’t need their code to get information from them, I had information already, this just got me a few bits more but I see I still don’t have any on ‘Audience Composition’ and I’m not sure why.

    They have fun data mostly based on the geographic data of the location of people viewing your site. I don’t think I have that many Asian viewers but that out of country viewing has to be allocated to someone. Can we legally get “spammers” declared as an ethnicity?

    Written By: Gary on February 2, 2007 One Comment

    So while I’ve done my share of dating (friend set ups, personal ads, on-line, etc.) my blog has never factored into dating. I don’t really mention dating on-line and I generally don’t mention blogging to people I’m dating. But when you look at some of the stats from QuantCast and the make up of what they think my readership is you’d think I might have gotten a date (or two) due to that last 3+ years of blogging or at least a little more flirting…

    Garysaidstats

    Now these are stats probably mostly guesstimated from where people are geographically. And since my blog is definitely not a he-man’s sports/gambling/you-get-my-point blog they probably are semi-accurate. Although the Asian stats have to be off (maybe spammers?) since I don’t get any comments that make me think that guesstimate might be accurate.

    It’s just an observation, and some silly points to bring up the fact the the stats here are interesting in the way they present them. You can get a bit on your blog by just putting your site in the search box. Some sites seem to have more information than others, I’m not sure why but it must get some info from other sites.I did put the QuantCast tracker on my site a week ago so the daily stats are probably semi-correct on the web visitors, but I’m not sure how many users use blockers that might stop that tracking, but I’m sure it doesn’t compensate for RSS readers and stuff like that.

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    Written By: Gary on January 31, 2007 No Comment

    So I haven’t really done much at all today. So you get an “about my day” post. I’ve eaten a lot (and often) and had too way much Coca-Cola (but the last few had some Capt. Morgan’s in it so that’s okay). And I’ve been on the ‘net all day (at home, at Wendy’s, at the bar) catching up (and fixing) on things.

    I did participate in a survey that I got $25 for (it might have been $25 for Amazon.com but that’s as good as cash to me). It was a survey about the new extra-secure security features in IE 7. The thing is, I’m not so worried about my information being intercepted en-route; I’m more worried about their servers being compromised after the fact (or someone losing their laptop). My real concern when shopping on-line is that “Bob’s Computer Shack” is just a place that “Bob” set up so he can steal my Charge Card information (he could even have an ultra secure certificate).

    But tonight I need to drive to Ypsi to get a CAT scan of my hand. It’s been bugging me and it’s time to get it looked at. My problem is with chronic problems like this is they tend to not find a cause, which means they can’t find a solution. He has said he doesn’t think it’s anything carpel-tunnel or repetitive anything-ish.So I cleaned up my web site and tried to make it more XHTML compliant (total pain in the ass). But Technorati hasn’t been indexing me lately and I can’t figure out why and Googling-around I some people report that as a possible reason. But Overall people seem pretty dissatisfied on updated with Technorati updates. I know without any effort I used to show up all the time. I ping the heck out of them and I just don’t show up, not sure why, everypne else just seems to look at my RSS/Atom feeds and index me just fine.

    Oh, and I’ve been keeping an eye on Woot since they’ve got a Woot-off today. I did get a bluetooth Keyboard/Mouse that I’ve missed a few other times but I missed the ever elusive Bag of Crap….

    Written By: Gary on September 7, 2006 One Comment

    So I picked up The Rough Guide to Blogging by Jonathan Yang at borders this weekend. This is from the folks who do the “The Rough Guide to _____” different places to travel. It seemed to be a decent book, pretty cheap $10-ish. It had the basic ides, rss, hosting, audio, video, podcasting, increasing traffic and making money and (very) short reviews of 250 of the “best” blogs.

    It’s a nice intro if you have someone who’s been asking about it or if you’re a beginner and want to learn some more. It’s about 100 pages and then about 50 pages of types of blogs (politics, education, etc.) while mentioned some specific blogs and then a bunch of 1 line reviews. I haven’t read it yet, but all the pages I’ve flipped to look pretty good so far.

    Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on April 5, 2006 No Comment

    Profcast Logo SmI’ve seen Profcast demoed and it’s pretty cool. In essence you talk while doing your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation (Mac only) and creates an enhanced Podcast with the images in it! The site says: “ProfCast is the ideal tool for recording and publishing your live Keynote or PowerPoint presentation. All elements of your presentation, including slide timing and voice narration, are recorded. You can then publish your complete presentation on the Web as a Podcast, complete with RSS support.”

    I’ve been meaning to buy it and I finally did this week, why you ask? Because they’re having the “Happy Birthday Apple Sale!” and only charging 30% of the price (30 years of Apple) so it’s only $10.50!

    Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on March 23, 2006 2 Comments

    So I’ve got this podcast with the enhanced images working!

    Two kinds of podcasts:
    this is the “better” enhanced AAC podcast (for iTunes, iPods and Quicktime).
    this is the mp3 podcast (for everything else).

    The enhanced file is a AAC/MP4 (m4a) file so you probably need an iPod or iTunes (or Quicktime) to see the images. The MP3 will just be on it’s own for any software/hardware player.

    I now have both a Enhanced RSS Feed and a MP3 RSS Feed set up.

    (If you get goofy characters you’ll need to save it to the computer first, sorry. This should be fixed, but you never know…)

    I apologize to those using feed software, this (and the feed from the next podcast or two) will be goofy as revise and work out the bugs…

    Written By: Gary on March 1, 2006 One Comment

    Google video is out and it’s nice (but a little strange). It’s fast, but some have charges and some don’t, some are downloadable and some aren’t. It’s just not very consistant.

    Some are interesting (and complete) like this 5 minute intro to the Torino Olympics Figure Skating but then they have these goofy short ones that are 15 seconds like this Emily Hughes one that isn’t even a complete anything (at least in this one they didn’t cut off after 1/2 a sentence.


    Okay, it’s a few minutes later and I’m back with a few interesting ones:

  • What is a Blog?
  • What is RSS?
  • Bells (MSU Beaumont Tower).
  • Dream Sequence (a dearborn high project)
  • Water Rocket
  • “Kate” (from Lost) in a singles line ad…
  • Unveiling of the new Sparty Statue

    Okay, I started off not thinking Google videos was a little strange. Now I know it’s just a way to kill a lot of time…

    I’m sure it’ll get better (and worse). The original list of web sites was just a list with a dozen or so added every few days. There just wasn’t much to find at the time. This’ll get better (especially once they add tags).

  • Written By: Gary on February 22, 2006 One Comment

    Here is an audio file of me talking on the way home from the Aimee Mann concert (it’s got a slight disclaimer on the quality at the start). It’s not polished nor is it what I plan to have as a podcast once I get there. It’s me talking over Aimee playing on the car stereo, I’m recoding it on my digital camera.

    So I’m testing audio enclosures with MovableType and MT-Enclosures. I’m just playing with it (it’s only supposed to be in the RSS 2.0 feed as of now, does anyone else use MT-Enclosures in other feeds?). The file is too big, but it should have good ID3 tags (names and info) including album art. Can anyone tell me if it’s working? (In your feed, with your podcast downloader or anything?)

    Written By: Gary on December 3, 2005 No Comment

    Let me start with me saying, “If I had to put two names to the success of Podcasting it’d have to be Dave Winer and Adam Curry.” But this story is a little more about Adam. This is not really a “history” it’s an offshoot of my previous post on memory but it got too long to stick in as part of that post (it started as a just few sentences).

    To me, Adam has been one of the biggest proponents of podcasting and moving items onto iPod-like players. He’s not the creator of podcasting or even the word “podcasting”, he’s not the creator of attaching files to RSS feeds (though I think he suggested it to Dave Winer who did do it), he’s said he couldn’t even get people to do some of the work he needed to make this work, I’ve heard him say “I couldn’t get people to ‘do my homework’ for me”. He makes it sound as if the original program for receiving podcasts was parts that he found and cobbled together and had to learn applescript to do it (I may not be giving AC enough credit here).

    Adam Green editing parts of Adam Curry and Dave Winer podcasts into a 35 minute history (I haven’t listened to it yet, I found it after I posted this and just added it).


    A podcast that he and Dave Winer did (Trade Secrets, I think?) often gets credit as the first podcast and he denies it (although says they did earlier shows). So it seems to me it’s not like he’s just trying to get credit (he’s getting it for that item, but still denying it), it really seems as if he’s just trying to get some of it straight. During some of this the rival to RSS, RDF, already supported audio attachments but no one really utilized it.

    He’s certainly one of the biggest proponents of podcasting out there and he’s always said he wants to somehow figure out how to make money off it. He’s not going to make money off of the actual concept, that’s done and gone and that’s where the history so it really doesn’t matter that much from a monetary standpoint. It seems like it’s just a history thing. Apple’s stuck it in iTunes and there are a million other pieces of software out there. His money is probably going to be from selling tools, space, advertisements and maybe his own shows (I’m guessing). I don’t know if you can really make money off the talk show network? and interviews? Oh and he does a great show and is very entertaining! This is probably key in the whole process.

    It’s possible I’m getting some of this wrong (especially the RDF part, I’ve only seen that written once and maybe heard it once). But AC comes off as pretty charismatic and people who generally disagree with him seem to come off more like grunters/complainers (at least the stuff I read) and that’s always going to make things fall in his favor. Without Adam podcasting would have happened (no doubt in my mind), but he had a big part in it and people like him since he’s the old Mtv face. I’m not aware of any of the other “big names” out there trying to make money on the scale that he is and a lot of the “big names” out there have jumped on board of what he’s trying to do. In an alternate universe where Adam had nothing to do with podcasting I think he’d still have jumped on the bandwagon and be doing stuff awfully similar to what he’s doing now; he’s got the connections, history, money(?) and motivation to do this kind of project.

    As I said, if I had to put two names to the success of Podcasting it’d have to be Dave Winer and Adam Curry. I’m not saying others weren’t there but those two seem to be the big push no matter where you look.

    All this “stuff” just builds on previous technology. Web browsers were after Gopher browsers (I don’t think University of Minnesota ever gets credit for that) which was after WAIS, FTP and any other processes that it used and tapped into. All most of it was doing was putting a nice front end on “stuff” that was already out there. It’s possible that Gopher was concurrent with the original web stuff, but the web certainly wasn’t more popular until images was added and NCSA Mosaic was out (although no one remembers Mosaic, they remember Netscape).

    Another way to look at market and getting credit: Apple didn’t create music files or create music players. They just took a idea and built on it on it and ended up with a huge percentage of the market of the MP3 players and a great on-line store. Now iPod is synonymous with music player.

    Written By: Gary on November 20, 2005 No Comment

    WorldstatmapThis is one of the best parts about blogging. People from all of these places came to read my blog today. Yes, I said came to read my blog, sure they read a bunch of others out there but they also came to mine. :)


    I’m sure some more read from some of my RSS/ATOM feeds and the PDA version (I only have tracking on pages with the images on that load the blogflux logo at the bottom of the page) and there are probably a few false positives but I’m sure the numbers are higher. Heck if they don’t load the graphics or hit stop before the bottom loads or if it’s somehow cached somewhere it won’t count it.

    I’d blog even if I didn’t know how many people came by but it’s sure nice to know.

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    Written By: Gary on November 18, 2005 No Comment
  • Apple 12 inch Powerbook: Software, Internet, Music, Audio Books, Podcasts, eBooks, Movies and more. It’s got just about everything I need.
  • Palm OS Cell Phone (Samsung i500): Phone, Day Planner, Address/Phone Book, a few games, slow internet (but I can get info and check my mail), it’ll work as a modem for my computer in a pinch.
  • Digital Camera (Minolta Dimage Xt 3.2MP): Photos, short Movies, Audio recording and in a pinch it’ll work as a thumb drive (I think it’ll work as a webcam on a windows machine).
  • iPod 60GB color (no video): Music, Podcasts, eBooks, my (read only) calendar/addressbook, some eBook files and works as a really big thumb drive.
  • TiVo (250 GB DVD recorder): Plays TV (what I want when I want), Records what I want every week (and makes suggestions), plays CDs, DVDs, Video CDs, streams audio and photos from my computers. With the new (free) HME options I can check the weather, movie listings, RSS feeds, photo feeds, flickr streams, play games, play my iTunes, back up shows to my computer and more (people keep writing these modules).


    All are pretty mullti-functional devices that are converging. The Powerbook + TiVo have pretty similar capabilities and the phone + palm + camera + iPod are certainly sharing some capabilities too. Merge those in to two devices that let me doc them together and life would be good. The only thing missing is a real video recorder (and that’s probably coming soon).

    I’m pretty covered, I’m not sure what else I need. Other than the newer / faster / smaller versions of these same gadgets, of course (I’d like the iPod video player). Maybe something to power/charge all these gizmos. Obviously I need a TV/projector for the TiVo (and speakers for the surround sound) but other than normal appliances these do pretty good for me.

    From Top 5 Friday.

  • Written By: Gary on October 26, 2005 3 Comments

    BlogFlux Map (from Google)So I adding this new BlogFlux badge to the page (it’s down in the footer). If does two different things:

  • It generates a map showing the last 25 visitors (which then has a link to list a map with more than that and other stats).
  • Lists the location of the last few visitors (I have this in the sidebar on my main page). It’s neat, it’s free and I’ve got a thing for maps…

    I had no idea I had so many overseas readers that that weren’t spam (when you look at a site’s raw stats it’s just jammed with spam sites).

    If you try this tool keep in mind stats are never perfect. It’s not going to list stats that they don’t know where they are geographically and probably won’t list RSS feeds or any pages that don’t have graphics and/or JavaScript activated and proxies will probably affect it in a few different ways.


    Real numbers are almost certainly higher. And for any service the you depend on for information put the parts you link to at the end of the page so that if their service doesn’t load correctly or fast or something that it doesn’t affect your page loading (you want your “stuff to load first).

    Pointing at the pointers on the map will give you additional information about the source. BlogFlux has some other services too, like: a button maker, a pinger, a directory, page rank checker a few other things you might like…

  • Written By: Gary on June 30, 2005 2 Comments

    Easy3BlogSo I’ve got a new very easy place to recommend to blog, it’s called Easy2Blog. It’s got loads of options and it’s easy to configure. They’ll do ad exchanges for you, an about me section, a blogroll-type thing, counter, rss, sydication badges that automatically add your blog to others myYahoo/feedburner/etc., commenting, easy to add photos to posts, search, counters and an easy way to add blocks of html for other services like blogrolling or whatever you’d like (you can easily reorder them too).


    Downsides: It doesn’t let me post with Safari (Mac Firefox & Mac IE is okay). It lists your e-mail address on the site (this doesn’t appear to be an option) so get a spare if you don’t want it listed (I’ve still got free gMail to give out). It’s got ads (but that’s how they pay for it) and you can deny explicit content (or request it) for the ads. It doesn’t appear you can use a client for editing.

    This company provide bunches of other sites for free but with add-ons for a cost so I bet they’ll offer ad free options for now, but even if they don’t it’s an easy place to start up if you want to try this “blogging thing” out…

    And it’s really easy to use.

    FYI – My new blog is not an Easy2Blog. I’m still faithful to MovableType.

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on November 27, 2004 No Comment

    As they’d say on Jeopardy, “What is Podcasting?”. This is the greatest new thing people with iPods (or other mp3 players) use to get their own custom “radio shows”. People on-line have been doing different kinds of audio broadcasts for a while now. Places like ITconversations or people doing audio blogs (etc.) have been puting the audio out there but you would have to go get it and put it on your player. With programs like iPodder you can subscribe to these services and automatically check and pull them down and put them in your iTunes to be synced automatically the next type you plug in your iPod. Not all audio programs out there are subscribe-able yet. I’ll list some of the programs below that I like and you can subscribe or just listen. To subscribe you’ll need the RSS feed for that site so if you’re just looking you’ll want to check out the main site.


    Different services out there that you might like I like are:

  • IT Conversations RSS
  • Inside Mac Radio RSS
  • Reel Reviews RSS
  • PurpleStars: daily adventures of a techy girl RSS
  • The Laporte Report Audio Edition RSS
  • Engadget Podcast RSS
  • Written By: Gary on August 2, 2004 No Comment

    To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later). (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)

    REQUIRED FIELDS-
    (1) I found this experiment at URL: The Daily Meme http://thedailymeme.com/
    (2) I found it via “Newsreader Software” or “Browsing the Web” or “Searching the Web” or “An E-Mail Message”: Browsing the web
    (3) I posted this experiment at URL: http://garysaid.com/8-15-questions-for-meme-propogation/
    (4) I posted this on date (day, month, year): 2 Aug, 2004
    (5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 13:05
    (6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Dearborn, MI

    OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS-


    (7) My blog is hosted by: 1and1.com
    (8) My age is: 38
    (9) My gender is: Male
    (10) My occupation is: Director of Technology for a School District
    (11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: No
    (12) I use the following software to post to my blog: Ecto http://ecto.kung-foo.tv/
    (13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 12 Dec 2004
    (14) My web browser is: Safari
    (15) My operating system is: Macintosh OS X

    Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

    This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

    The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet
    http://novaspivack.typepad.com/nova_spivacks_weblog/2004/08/a_sonar_ping_of.html
    results and commentary will appear there in the future.

    Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate — the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

    The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010920352598gawst (this GUID enables anyone to easily search Google (or Technorati) for all blogs that participate in this experiment). Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)

    Tags: [, , , ]
    Written By: Gary on August 1, 2004 No Comment

    Found new blogging service that I like. It’s called IlohaBlog and it’s at http://ilohablog.com/ (no longer in service). It’s got comments, links and trackbacks, categories*, archives, RSS, links (with different categories), extended entries and support the MT posting API (so if you use a client like Ecto, it works). Includes a “recently updated blogs” list on the front page. Oh and did I say it’s free!

    Why was I looking for this? Because I was poking around looking at Expression Engine (because I like the way they do categories) and wanted to see if Ecto supported posting to it and found a list of items it did support and started geeking around with it.

    Back to IlohaBlog — It’s easy to use, free, and it seemed nice enough for me to post about it. I think it might get my next few recommendations that I give to people for a place to start… It’s really got everything you need to get going. The web interface might even be basic enough to use from a cell phone.


    * I am slightly confused if a post can go into two categories or not. The web doesn’t support it, but it sure seems like my Ecto click wants to (sorta).

    Written By: Gary on May 23, 2004 No Comment
    1. Blog confession time: Is there a topic that you shy away from on purpose on your blog? What is that topic, and why?
    I barely ever complain, so that keeps me out of trouble but that’s a topic as much as a concept. Dating is something I avoid, I’d probably mention holidays or something in regards to it but just generally talking about dating I’d avoid. Because if I blog less or more it’s sure to mean something that I didn’t intend and I don’t want people comparing notes (that I supply)…
    2. Define your blog to the world – in six words.
    Nice, fun, happy, non–politcal, geek-ish, thoughtful…
    3. Repeat question from RE: Blogs 1: What is current, most favorite blog tool?
    Ecto is a great blogging client for the desktop for OS X, be sure to check it out (I thin ikthey just did a windows version). Also, I just added PHP to my Movable Type system, that was a breeze and helps me do a few things more efficiently…
    4. RE:Blogs that have captured your attention – – no number limit here – – hand out some link luvin’s from your blog to theirs
  • Here In Katie’s Head I get to read about a semi-normal person through their on-line diary.
  • Heather thinks Rambling is Good for the Soul and she’s been a friend for a ling time, it’s interesting to keep in touch without direct communication.
  • Sarah is definitely a SassyPants I don’t know where I found her but I like my daily dose.
  • I just got Dawn hooked on blogging so she’s been a must read lately.
  • Melissa is Anything but Ordinary and posts a good read too.
  • I’ve been using The Daily Meme and Lost (and Found) Memes lately when looking for things to blog about, they’ve made it easier which means I do it more. Not sure if that’s a good thing. (Shameless plug)
  • This Fish Needs a Bicycle even has an application on-line.
  • This is taking forever to do this part… I’ve either got the above memorized or I was playing with a RSS feed beta in Yahoo! so I had the addresses on hand. I’ll have to elaborate on these and others more later…
  • Written By: Gary on January 5, 2004 No Comment

    I’m addicted to blog! (To be hummed to the rhythm of Robert Palmer’s tune.)

    Then: So I thought Heather was crazy (crazier) when she told me about this Movable Type software she was using for her blog. I mean there are about 80 jillion ways she could be keeping this diary(?) on-line, why Movable Type? I had even seen it before and thought it was interesting, but still… I’m the guy who still hardcodes his own HTML and I just didn’t get it.

    Now: It’s like wow! I’m not even talking about the software just the posting is kinda cool. It’s like therapy without having to make the appointment. I don’t know if anyone is reading but it’s not like your shrink is really listening anyways…

    Okay, back to Movable Type: This is very cool software at a nice price. It kinda violates what web servers were originally supposed to do: serve documents with out altering (parsing) them. MT just parses and parses and if you loop it right, it parses it again. Actually it does all the parsing beforehand, but it’s really hard to tell. But that’s all fine because what it does is do exactly what the web was originally supposed to do (actually what the pages were supposed to do). Wait, I’m not contradicting myself (yet), there’s a big difference between the web and web servers and web pages.

    Part of what web pages were supposed to do is provide text, emphasize different blocks of text (headings, bold and italics) and link pages together. This was so that you could use any kind of browser and it could show you how you want to see the text. (I’m doing most of this from memory, it’s a blog not a research paper.) This also helped to make the pages accessible to the blind (flashing graphics with text dancing around generally cannot be read aloud to the blind by the computer). I was always surprised there wasn’t a web browser that didn’t show you just the headings any then you clicked on it to get the content below it; one reason is probably that people never format text the way it was intended so it wouldn’t work very well. (Did you know the guy who designed(?) the web, it’s a shame I can’t think of his name, just got Knighted?) But now we have different kinds of syndication (xml, rss, etc.) which does (almost) exactly the same thing, MT almost forces you to create your pages this way. Actually the less you know about programming the more likely you are to create good formatted pages. It’s amazing.

    Why don’t I post more: Besides having the time? When I have the time – Half the time I can’t decide what to post. The other half of the time I’m playing around with it from the geekier side, it reminds me of the good old days on Unix working with Lex and Yacc. Wow, talk about full circle, I’m back to using Linux (Unix) and parsing text…

    PS – Thanks Heather!

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