Posted on Saturday, April 19th, 2003
When Apple released Safari, the elegant interface and quick rendering speed quickly promoted it to my default web browser. And now that they've added tabbed browsing, I don't find myself missing Camino (the Netscape Navigator spin-off) so much, and internet Explorer is just a bad memory. Unfortunately, some sites have compatibility issues with non-Explorer browsers, which I find contrary to the entire concept of the World Wide Web (not to mention really, really stupid). One such site is Pyra's Blogger, which has been the technology powering my Hard Rock blog for the past two years. And so I've patiently waited for Pyra (now owned by Google) to get off their asses and allow Safari to use their service. Well, my patience has finally worn thin, and I've decided to scrap my Blogger site and start over with the highly recommended Moveable Type. Not only was it shockingly easy to set up, the wealth of features and cool options have me wondering why in the heck I was messing around with Blogger for so long! We'll see how it goes.
Posted on Saturday, April 19th, 2003
Since my blog is starting over, I thought I'd check into the latest blogging technology available for MacOS X. Much to my surprise, there's actually quite a lot to choose from at VersionTracker. But the app that really stood out was 5-star Kung-Log, which had a feature list that seemed too good to be true, and testimonials to match (apparently, people are switching to Moveable Type just to be using this app!). After playing around with it for a bit, I've discovered that, amazingly enough, it lives up to the hype. As a side-bonus, author Adriaan Tijsseling has a nifty blog at that's an interesting mix of life in Japan, MacOS X coding, and Cognitive Neural Science! In any event, Kung-Log makes blogging a breeze, so thanks Adriaan (and since this is "donationware" I'll definitely be making a contribution!).
Posted on Sunday, April 20th, 2003
Okay, now that I've had a chance to mess around with the Kung-Log blogging client a bit more, I'm kind of freaking out over the nifty stuff that's built into it. One of the more intriguing features is the ability to look at what's playing on iTunes and insert it into your post with one click, just like this: To Let You Win from the album "Minor Earth Major Sky" by a-ha. And, yes, the Google search link for the artist is created automatically as well. Frighteningly good stuff! If only you could add your own HTML tags... oh crap... wait a second... yes, you can do that too (and create shortcut keys for them as well!). Sigh. I just set up hot keys for all of Meagan's little photo booth images that preceed my posts, and it took about 2 minutes. Heaven only knows what other features are hiding in here... I suppose I should read the documentation!
Posted on Monday, April 21st, 2003
There's quite a lot of peer pressure to have your site be "W3C Validated." While cruising blogspace, I see the little W3C badges displayed everywhere, and the fact that my blog wasn't validated made me feel like a second-class internet citizen. I guess it's time I care. So, off I go to the W3C Validator to see how things look, and the result isn't pretty. Apparently, tags that have no closing tags have to be closed anyway (by slapping a forward slash at the end). Whatever. A few minutes later and BBEdit (my text editor of choice) has switched all of my line-breaks and image tags to the "new and improved" (and apparently "valid") versions. The next step takes a little longer... adding "ALT" statements to all of my images. The last step, however, is puzzling... I get a cool dozen errors on the same line because the W3C doesn't like the way an URL pointing to a search at VersionTracker is phrased. Sure, the W3C claims this is a limitation of the validating app, but the last thing I want is somebody to check my site and see a bunch of errors, so I delete the link. Oh well, at least people can click on my newly installed "W3C Validated" badges and see that I am a good little web conformist.
Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2003
Just found out from a Windows user that my style sheets "break" under Microsoft internet Explorer on Windows XP (and probably all the other MSWin flavors as well). Oddly enough, things work just fine when I use the Mac browsers: Opera, Safari, Chimera/Camino, Mozilla, and even MS internet Explorer Mac... so apparently this must be a Windows thing (though I haven't heard from any Linux/Unix users yet). What to do? Well, the only thing I can think of right now is to spoil my beloved table-free layout with a table across the top to hold the header graphics and have them flush out to the left and right margins. Crap. Yet another example of Microsoft making my life "better."
Posted on Saturday, June 28th, 2003
Well, Adriaan Tijsseling has done it again... His amazing Kung-Log blog posting app is now at version 1.5 and is ever so dreamy! We now get to preview entries using Apple's WebKit, which makes all the difference for me (as previews have never worked before for some reason). I can honestly say that this blog would not be possible if it weren't for this excellent app. Any MacOS X user who is even thinking about keeping a blog owes it to themself to take a look (and, for you poor Windows-using bastards, this is yet another good reason to make the switch to a Mac!). My donation is on the way... thanks Adriaan!
Posted on Sunday, September 21st, 2003
There are so many things that piss me off, but I work real hard to maintain a sense of calm through it all. Then along comes that one little straw that breaks the camel's back and pushes me into thermonuclear meltdown. Today it happens to be people stealing images from my web site. Actually, if they were to just steal the images, I probably wouldn't be that upset... but they don't. Instead, they just link to the graphic on my site so it displays on their site, but I'm still paying to host it! I tell you, it takes a real ass-wipe to not only steal from you, but then continue to charge you for the theft! No permission, no credit given, just idiots who are working overtime to make the internet suck for the rest of us.
Case in point is a site called "Bluemira" that appears to be from some 10 year-old girl in Germany or something. Somebody who slaps together a lame-ass web site, and then steals all the content, including numerous images from my Hard Rock Cafe pages. What a piece of shit! And, after checking my web logs, I see that this is fairly common... I have HUNDREDS of illegal requests for the various images I've got on my site, some of them really unlikely (stealing from my MIA/POW pages... what the heck?).
If you're going to take an image without permission, well fine. That's kinda the internet for you. But at least attribute it to where it came from... AND HOST IT ON YOUR OWN SITE SO I DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR TRAFFIC!
Posted on Sunday, October 19th, 2003
I wrote a while back about a very disturbing trend that's eating up quite a lot of bandwidth for my Hard Rock Cafe web site at DaveCafe.com. As more and more people become aware of it, more and more people are deciding to steal my photographs for their web pages. If that were the only problem, I would probably just ignore it. But rather than copy the image to their site, they link to the image instead, which means they aren't just stealing the photos but my bandwidth as well!
But not anymore! Thanks to a helpful hint from Jurgen, I've now enable "hotlink protection" in my site's "htaccess" file which makes it impossible for people to make me host the images they've been taking. I tested it out by looking at one of the 32 sites I've tracked down that have been stealing from me, and it works! I guess I can start adding back all the cafe, pin, and T-shirt photos I had to take down last month.
So, if you host images on your site that are at potential risk for this type of thing, you might want to investigate whether your web host offers "hotlink protection" as an option. That way you won't be surprised with a $120 bill for excessive bandwidth usage because somebody linked to a photo on your site in a popular public forum.