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Quality Without a Name

I like to cook. Especially using quality utensils.

I was making mashed potatoes and gravy to go with one of our favorite dishes: 40 cloves and a chicken.

I was peeling a pile of potatoes, ripping through the pile with my trusty peeler. I started thinking about just how nice it is to use a really good peeler.

Timelines

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I have been thinking about building timeline-based modules for Drupal, in order to present alternative views of time-based data present in every Drupal system.

Well, Arto Bendiken beat me to it. First, the timeline module and now, a timeline-based RSS aggregator that displays any RSS feed in a timeline.

It's based on an existing tool, SIMILE Timeline.

Great stuff!

When DID you load that page?

Page rendered on Thu, 12/14/2017 - 9:12pm
(0 seconds ago)

When I'm viewing Drupal administration pages, like referrer logs or other time-sensitive pages, I like to know the time of the last 'refresh' (and therefore how stale the page content is).

So, here's a quick and dirty Drupal block definition. (The javascript is not very idiomatic, but it'll do for now until I can update it. In fact, I plan on making it a pure client-side javascript widget, but that's another post for another day.)

It will display the date and time the page was last loaded, and the 'age' of the page in seconds - it uses a javascript interval timer to update this every second.

Insert AdSense Ads Automatically in Drupal Nodes and Teaser Lists

Here's a useful Drupal module that tweaks a node's body or teaser to insert an inline AdSense ad, when a node is rendered on a full page or teaser list.

This allows site administrators to enable automatic insertion of an AdSense ad into the page without the content editor having to insert inline [adense] filter tags, or having to edit a site's template.php (or other template files.) This offers a big advantage, as you can change the ad format, group, and channel on the fly without hand-editing each node (which is the only way I can think of doing it if you are using inline filters). Another advantage is that you can enable/disable the inserted AdSense with just a click of the mouse - no need to edit each node.

Do you want to stop debugging?

I catch myself chuckling under my breath when Microsoft Developer Studio 2003 asks me this question:

Do you want to stop debugging?  Oh, my, yes indeed!

My mental response every single time: "Oh, yes, very much so. Can I please stop now?"

SysTrayScanCmd 0.0.9.2b released

Version 0.0.9.2.b (Beta) of the Windows shell tray scan utility is now available. This command-line utility provides a list of programs that have placed icons in the Windows shell tray, including the path to the executable file.

How Cable TV REALLY works

How Cable TV REALLY works. Click here to open a window with a larger version (800x600) of the poster.

Once upon a time I worked with a 'media' company (what is now referred to as the main stream media, or MSM) - this is before the internet was available to mere mortals, back when the IBM PC had just passed being the Next Big Thing, and Windows was a new option for PC users.

Here's a little poster I made up to decorate my cubicle - using an old version of Corel Draw, printed on a low-resolution printer, then scanned a decade later (my way of saying sorry for the poor quality).

RIP DMOZ/ODP?

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It appears that the "Open Directory" project (or DMOZ) is doomed. There have been problems over the last few months, including a big crash, lack of backups, and what can only be characterized as benign neglect on the part of AOL (who have provided funding for the project.)

List of PayPal buttons - cheat sheet

Here's a list of PayPal buttons to help avoid wasting time filling out forms on Paypal's site.

I find PayPal's site to be cumbersome at best, and if you are not on a fast internet connection, browsing through all the "user friendly" pages to find the information you need can take a long time.

So, this page contains a list of all PayPal checkout buttons I can find, and I include a link to each button so you can copy and paste it in to your own web pages with minimal fuss.

User profile spam attack

On Christmas Eve day, several of my sites were 'visited' by what I presume to be a bot, all from the same source IP address.

The attack consisted of attempts to register many new user accounts, each having a username containing the term 'DVD':

Soccer DVD, DVD Immature, Underworld DVD, Adult DVD, Enigma DVD, DVD shrink, Blues DVD, Trick DVD, Portable DVD Player, DVD Decryptor, Federation DVD

The email addresses were all unique of course - since the bot attempted to register multiple user names on each site. The sites were configured to include a text field user profile, so that users can share interests, etc.

The spam bots were stuffing URLs and text ads for DVDs into the profile fields, in an attempt to generate search engine "link love", or so it appears.

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