Category Archives: general stuff

Fiddling with Inkling

They say Nero fiddled while Rome burned… Well instead of making any progress on actual content for this site, I’ve been fiddling with WordPress trying to figure out how to bend it to my will. The progress has certainly been hampered by the fact that the last time I wrote any PHP code version 3.0 was all the rage. However, rustiness and my usual A.D.D. aside, I did manage to achieve my objective: I’ve added a page onto the Inkling site that presents all the entries in chronological order. While it is more convenient for a frequent visitor to a blog to read the most recent entry first, it can be confusing to a new visitor who wants to get caught up on all the back posts, hence the Newbie link.

The way I did it was a little quick and dirty, and I am sure that any real programmer worth their salt would be aghast, but at least it didn’t require too many lines of code and kept most of the default template intact. All I really did was exploit The Loop by cramming all the wp_query objects into an array incremented on each iteration. Next, reverse the array. Then walk back through the array in a foreach loop, plucking the wp_query objects back out. It may have been a bit heavy-handed, but then I could use all the WP loop functions just like normal. At some point I may dig deeper into the WP source because I am sure there is a cleaner way (and feel free to chime in if you know one), but this met my needs of the moment.

Beware the Ides of March!

Actually this post has nothing to do with March, Shakespeare, Julius Caesar or the grave warning about the Ides. What it does have, and in abundance, is humility and guilt. I can’t believe I let two weeks go without an update. Unfortunately I’ve let life get in the way of blogging. I don’t know how some people do it – maybe I need a staff of writers. Or maybe I need a staff to take care of all those little distractions that pile up like fixing the toilet, geting bitten by the cat, cleaning litter boxes, maintaining other web sites, trying to eke out a living. Whew! What a complainer! anyway, for all the angst and delay I have precious little to show for it. Not even any new interview material! At least be thankful for this, I waited one extra day to make this posting, otherwise the title would have been “3.14 Happy Pi Day!” Yes Virginia, there really is a Pi Day. ;)

Miscellaneous updates

  1. Inkling is rising, but slowly. The smartest guy I know is working on an episode and I have some ideas, but they are not ready for prime time.
  2. I’m totally slacking on interview questions despite the fact that I’ve had several folks give me the nod of approval. Chris, Randy, Edith, Jeff – they are all waiting for questions. Fortunately for me they are all REALLY busy so they probably haven’t noticed that I’m behind. Shhh.
  3. I’m waiting on Sidney’s responses. I’ll have to noodge him a little.
  4. I’m still getting some comment spam, but fortunately not too bad. HOWEVER, a genuine, legit, bona fide comment sure would be appreciated :)
  5. Pligg has a new version coming out soon, so I’m waiting for that to come out before I resume slacking off on building the Books By People YOU know section
  6. I’ve increased the frequency of my abuse of CAPITALIZATION
  7. I threw my back out and had to cancel a dance performance. I was bummed and so was my dance partner. AND I lost one of my best excuses for slacking on this site!

Randall Mason in the queue

The list gets longer, which means I’ve got to get on the ball and get some interview questions written. That’s right, I’ve gotten another thumbs up for an interview session. This time it is Randall Mason, the brother-in-law’s brother, and co-author of Giving Preservation a History. I might have to seek out some help for this one: the subject matter is one that I know very little about, and guess what? I haven’t read the book! Oh well, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to wing it. :)

Spring VON 2006 coming March 14-17

One of the authors that I know and feature on this site is Jeff Pulver, and one of the many things Jeff does is promote a show called VON. The name is an acronym for Voice On the Net, and it is one of the most important and longest running shows in the Voice Over IP (VOIP) industry. The show is in San Jose this March (or if it is more convenient you could always hop over to VON Europe in Stockholm, Sweden). To find out details about the show visit www.von.com. Unfortunately I can’t go this year, which is a bummer because it looks to be another great event with over 300 companies exhibiting VOIP and IP communications products, services and solutions. Also Jeff always throws a great party at his conferences. It’ll be a stimulating and exhausting event for all who attend, but that intellectual and social stimulation helps continually drive progress and innovation in the industry.

Art reflects life

And sometimes, so do ads. In case you haven’t noticed this blog makes use of Google’s Adsense program. I won’t go into a lot of detail about that now, but one of the cool features of their system is that their ‘bots automatically parse the text of a web page to come up with relevant ads by means of some mysterious algorithm. The operative word here is relevant, and the operative site in this case is the newly posted Emphasis of Inkling that of course features our favorite international operative, the cruel and industrious Anders Inkling. If you’ve checked out the site (and you really should) you would know that there is plenty of text there to parse. So with all of this prosaic Inkling fodder to feed the ‘bots what turned out to be the resulting relevant ads? Well of course the system served up ads for schizophrenia therapy and narcissistic personality disorder. Certainly the Smartest Guy I Know is amused, and surely Larry and Sergey have much to be proud of.

Inkling rising

He’s kept a low profile since 2001, but you just can’t keep a man as resourceful as Anders Inkling out of action for long. He’s a jet-set, scourge of nations. He is willful, plotting, devious, but seldom irascible, and never risible, except when he wins.

What am I talking about? Good question. To find out the answer visit the first collaborative project under the auspices of the Books By People I Know umbrella: The Emphasis of Inkling

They found me!

I suppose I should be grateful that it has taken this long before getting comment-spam on this blog, but it finally happened. Hopefully it won’t become an epidemic. I certainly understand the desire to make a buck, but I really can’t fathom how a spammer hopes to see any profit from posting a comment to a blog, particularly when all the comments are moderated before getting posted to the live site. With any luck the number of real people comments will start to grow soon and then if a spam message sneaks in it will hopefully be lost in a crowd of intellectual, book-loving, commentors, like you my gentle reader.