A painting of me

Slow Site

   13 December 2006, lunch time

Is it just me, or is this site particularly slow now? I wonder if Dreamhost just isn’t as fast as 1&1. I need to check out my Textpattern setup and see if I can improve on how quickly it generates pages. I hate waiting for this site to load.

Comment [1]  

How to get on the front page of Digg: Part 2

   23 November 2006, early afternoon

Today, dd-wrt made the front page of digg: Turn your $60 router in to a $600 router, FOR FREE. There is nothing new or exciting about dd-wrt. It’s one of the oldest firmware updates for the Linksys WRT54G. (I linked to it in December of 2005, and it wasn’t new or exciting then either.)

This is a common problem with digg. Since everyone who uses the site is a twelve year old boy who has just discovered the Internet, stuff that isn’t new makes it to the front page fairly often. With this in mind, I present my second way to get on the front page of digg: write about stuff that has already been on the front page of digg. It makes sense if you think about it: people liked the story the first time, so of course they’ll like it the second time. And since digg users have memories a little worse than Goldfish, they’ll be happy to rediscover this gem of a news item you are providing them with.

As I cautioned before, use this knowledge for good, not evil.

If digg isn’t your thing, you may recall I’ve also written about how to get on the front page of Reddit.


Moving Hosts

   16 November 2006, evening time

If you are seeing this, it means the DNS server you are using has updated to point to my space at dreamhost. Right now, this blog is all that works. My photoblog and shima’s site are both down. Sucks I know. Lets see how long it takes to get them back up.

update: Well, now seems as good a time as any to stop using Movable Type. I imported all of Shima’s stuff in to Textpattern. Need to do the layout next. We Must Abuse the Broadband will be next.

update: Shima’s site is sort of back up, but running of Textpattern. My photoblog is still down. I’m not sure what to do about it.

update: Krishna’s blog is back up.

update: The photoblog is back up, though without MT in the back-end.


Daring Fireball membership expires on...

   10 October 2006, early evening

I was reading my RSS feeds in Bloglines today when I saw my name in big letters in the Daring Fireball feed. “Wow,” I though, “I wonder what I did to get written about in Daring Fireball.” I read the title more closely: Reminder for Ramanan Sivaranjan: Daring Fireball membership expires on October 26. It’s been a whole year since I bought my Daring Fireball membership. He was the second blogger I decided to support, the first was Jason Kottke. I think Kottke’s Micropatron idea was a failed experiment; I didn’t really enjoy the feel of the site the whole year he was reader supported. I’d say kottke.org has a much warmer feel since Jason added ads and stopped with this patronage business—which, if you think about it, seems kind of backwards. Not that I regret donating to his cause, I liked the whole idea of quiting work to blog. Gruber’s site on the other hand has only gotten better since he started doing it full time, supported by ads and his readers. I don’t regret the money I coughed up last year, and i’ll most definitely renew my membership again this year; I steal so many links from Daring Fireball its nice to have them show up in Bloglines.

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Moveable Type is Free Again

   15 July 2006, terribly early in the morning

Moveable Type is free again. Free as in beer that is.

We also continue to make our personal license for Movable Type even more open: The personal version of Movable Type is now completely free, and supports as many blogs and authors as you want. Of course, we continue to offer paid support as an option for personal blogs, along with services such as professional installation

You may recall some time ago, everyone with a blog went totally ape shit when SixApart declared they wanted to make some money off the product they built and supported all by themselves. Shocking, I know. There is nothing people love to do more than freak out on the Internet. I suspect this announcement won’t generate the same sort of feedback, either in volume or in ferocity, as the last big announcement.


Textpattern Spam

   14 July 2006, mid-morning

I’ve gotten 4 pieces of comment spam at this site in the last 24 hours. To some of you, that may not sound like much, but it’s actually a lo considering I’ve managed to go almost 3 years with probably only a handful of spam comments making it onto my pages. I hope this isn’t a harbinger of crappier times to come.

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How to get on the front page of Reddit

   10 March 2006, late afternoon

Reddit is a cool site, but is not without its problems. Since I took time out of my busy day to make fun of Digg a little while ago, I feel it is only fair to make fun of Reddit as well.

Reddit works reasonably well, but as with Digg, could use a human hand to help keep its front-page clean. The quickest ways to get a link you post to the front-page of Reddit are:

  1. Link to an article about Reddit (or another Y Combinator site).
  2. Write about how great LISP is.
  3. Link to an article by Joel Spolsky, it doens’t matter how old the article is.
  4. Link to an article by Steve Yegge, it doesn’t matter how old
  5. Link to an article by Paul Graham, it doesn’t matter how old

These are some sure fire ways to see your link on the front page of Reddit. Why would you care if your link makes it there? Why for all the Karma of course. Why would you want to earn Karma? I really don’t know, but the fact that your Karma is visible to everyone makes you want to earn it; trust me, it does. This is yet another problem with Reddit. I am certain people post simply to try and earn Karma. (This is probably why their are so many duplicate stories, and so many old stories on the site.)

Comments, recently added to Reddit, are for the most part better than those found on Digg, but I suspect this is solely because it has a smaller user-base. There is currently no way to filter them as far as I can tell. As more users start using Reddit, I imagine the quality of the comment will decline. (They are already pretty lame for the most part, but there are so few of them this is OK.)

The hot page is a bit of a mess to read; the page changes throughout the course of the day, so if you check back, you will find a mix of links you saw earlier in the day and new links, all mixed together. (If you made it a point to rate all the links you saw this wouldn’t be the case, you could identify new links on the page as those without a highlighted arrow.) The recommended links page seems to suffer from this problem as well.

All of this said, I still like Reddit. For the most part it is a good source of interesting links.

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Feed Auto-discovery Plugin

   28 February 2006, the wee hours

I’ve finally fixed the feed auto-discovery links on this site, and in doing so made a new plugin. This plugin will generate the auto-discovery links that you place in the head section of your HTML document. These are what feed-readers use to find the feeds available at your site. This plugin lets you specify whether you want the feeds to be “smart” (aware of what section and category they are in) or not. You can download the plugin here.

This plugin will produce audo-discovery feed links. There are two parameters:

  • smart – this can equal 1 or 0. If it is 1, then the feed links will be section and category aware.
  • flavour – this can equal ‘rss’ or ‘atom’. This is how you set what sort of feed link to produce.

Also, if you find my feeds are all really broken, please let me know.

Download the plugin: rsx_feed_auto_discovery_link-0.1.txt

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The Upgrade

   25 February 2006, the wee hours

I finally upgraded to the latest version of Textpattern, 4.0.3. (I remember when I used to be so cutting edge when it came to all things Textpattern.) If you see anything that seems wrong on the site please post here.

Read the rest of this post. (491 words)

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How to get on Digg's front page.

   24 February 2006, terribly early in the morning

Digg is a technology website, similar to Slashdot, but with really dreadful comments—and compared to Slashdot that’s saying a lot. That said, Digg is usually on the ball when it comes to discovering interesting stuff on the internet.

One easy way to get on Digg’s front-page is to write a list of the top ten Mac applications no one should go without. It doesn’t matter how many such lists have been posted to Digg in the past week, month, or year, your list will shoot up to the front page. It might take a little while, but it will happen.

Use this knowledge for good, not for evil.


I'm Back

   10 January 2006, lunch time

I am back from Tokyo, and, since you are reading this, back online.

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A Referrer Filter Pepper

   12 December 2005, lunch time

I will write a proper post about the Referrer Filter Pepper shortly. Till then, briefly, the Referrer Filter Pepper is a plugin for the web statistics package Mint. This plugin is a more generic version of the Google Images Pepper I wrote for Mint 1.14.

Download the referrer filter pepper: funkaoshi-referrer-filter-pepper.zip
View the forum topic in the Mint Forum: [New Pepper] Referrer Filter

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Funkaoshi: Year 2

   22 November 2005, the wee hours

I missed this site’s anniversary by a day. A Funkaoshi Production has been online for 2 years now. Not much has changed on the site in that time. I still write about the inane details of my life. I still watch a lot of movies. I still bitch about America. I imagine these things will be standard fair for the upcoming year as well. Hope you guys are still enjoying things here.

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Daring Fireball

   25 October 2005, evening time

I’ve been reading Daring Fireball for a very long time now. John Gruber writes about Apple, and is for the most part usually pretty insightful with his commentary. I mentioned in passing that I was going to support his site for the year. Today, sick at home, reading through the Daring Fireball archives, I decided the site is definitely good enough to worth supporting. I mean, I gave Jason Kottke money for his blogging venture, it seems only fair to support a site with some quality content. So I sent Mr. Daring Fireball some of my hard earned moneys. Also, I really wanted the t-shirt.

Update Oct 27th: John Gruber says a little bit more about his goals for this membership drive, and the amount of support he has received so far: Membership Numbers.

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A Google Images Pepper

   19 October 2005, the wee hours

I get a lot of hits from Google images. They end up cluttering up the referrer pane in my copy of Mint. The latest version of Mint lets you filter out domains you don’t want to see in your referrer pane anymore, which is nice and all, but it would still be nice to have these hits tracked somewhere. Being a tech-savvy guy, I thought I would try my hand at writing a plugin for Mint that does this very task, tracking hits from Google Images.

Read the rest of this post. (220 words)

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The Funkaoshi Thought Police

   5 October 2005, the wee hours

Victor: Hey Ram, did you censor my previously light hearted comment on grenades?

Yes. I also erased three comments from Sunny and Ryan because they were not on topic. I do that sometimes so that there isn’t a lot of noise in the comments. It’s nothing personal. I just thought your comment, following the quote from the story I linked to, didn’t fit. I thought it was too light hearted.

I don’t erase comments often, so I don’t have a real system for saying they are gone, or explaining why. I think I’ve only erased comments here because I thought they were off-topic, or were mean-spirited. (Your comment was off-topic, as were the comments by Ryan and Sunny in another thread here.) Usually if I edit a comment, I will leave a note at the bottom saying what I have changed.

I don’t erase stuff I don’t agree with here. (Need proof? Sunny is the second most frequent commenter here! :) If I’ve removed a comment, it is almost always because I think it takes away from whatever I posted here, or whatever other people have posted in the comments.

Update: Remember Big Brother is still watching. So no crap comments God damn it — unless they are my own.

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Have a Mint

   18 September 2005, evening time

As I mentioned in passing a few days back, I spent some of my hard earned money on the web site statistics application Mint. I hate buying software—a lot. Paying money for a bunch of PHP pages was even harder for me to do, but I am glad I did it.

Read the rest of this post. (544 words)

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She's Popular

   13 September 2005, early evening

I’ve been running Mint for little under a week now. I’ll write all about it once I’ve used it a little bit more. So far I am enjoying it, and think if you are sufficiently dorky it is worth the $30 price tag. One thing I have learned from using it is that the most popular page on my site thus far, not including the home page and the recent comments page, is this photograph of Carvill’s legs I posted some time back. I think I’m going to stop letting Google Images index my photoblog.

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Hot Linking

   8 August 2005, late at night

”[Hot linking] is the placing of a linked object, often an image, from one site in a page belonging to a second site”. When someone links to an image I post here for the purposes of using the content on their own site, they are essentially stealing my bandwidth, since it is 1&1’s web servers that are serving up the image, not their own. Nevermind the fact that people shouldn’t be using my photographs without my permission—especially on ugly-ass web sites.

So how do you stop someone from linking to your content like that? Well, if the site that hosts your web site lets you use .htaccess files, you do so with the following snippet of code I found at the comprehensive guide to .htaccess.

  1. RewriteEngine on
  2. RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
  3. RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?mydomain.com/.*$ [NC]
  4. RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|js|css)$ - [F]
  5. Download this code: /static/code/10.txt

That should refuse access to your images from pages that aren’t hosted on your own site. (That said, if people notice anything broken here, please let me know!)

Some of the people at myspace.com need to learn some internet manners.

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My Most Discussed Posts

   7 June 2005, the wee hours

I’ve added another listing to the archive page; you can now browse the top 20 most commented on posts at this site. I don’t think these posts contain the best comments I’ve received here, or are in anyway the most interesting things I’ve posted here, but for whatever reason they generated the most disucssion. I will continue to add little listings like this to the archive page in the hopes that it will be of interest to people who stumble on this site and want a quick primer on what the site is like.

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Oh Snap.

   27 April 2005, lunch time

Jason Kottke was all like, “6A is like a black hole for creative people.” And then Mena Trott was all like, “Oh no you didn’t.”

Oh Snap.

(Actually, the discourse is more intelligent than I would have you believe. Jason discusses the recent hype around Internet technology, while Mena discusses a few things, the most interesting being the fact that people are a bit too self-obsessed in the blogosphere, and the nature of her company SixApart.)

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Scar Your Children

   14 April 2005, early evening

Mena Trott, of Six Apart fame, runs the blog Not A Dollar Short. This in and of itself doesn’t make her particularly interesting; however, her bizarre childhood certainly does. I enjoyed reading about her dreams of being on Star Search. I have long dreamed of lying to my children about anything and everything I can; her parents had the same idea, telling her she had a brother she didn’t and that she didn’t need a rock tumbler when they were shopping one day since she had a rock tumbler at home. There are some pretty melancholy stories too, which I can’t help but like. Her particularly bleak entry about camp is excellent. So, How do you like them apples?

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Usability and my Photoblog

   29 March 2005, late evening

I wrote this on May 5th, 2004. I don’t know why I didn’t post it then.

My old roommate Alex is one of the few System Engineers I know that can build stuff. That’s a whole other post. When I showed him my photoblog last term, he made a suggestion which I was too lazy at the time to make. If you look at where I placed the previous and next links, every time you click on one of the links, your mouse will probably not be over the links on the new page. The size of the photo and the size of your browser window will determine where the links go. I didn’t think this to be much of an issue, because I assumed most people would read the blurb, and then click on the links. He suggested that if you wanted to quickly scroll through the images, the links I had would be a nuisance, since you’d need to reposition your mouse on each new page. So, my site now has navigation links at the top of the page.

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Google Likes Me.

   24 March 2005, the wee hours

Search for anything thing I’ve written about in Google, but tack “Blog” to the end of your search string. As of today, my site is the number one hit for lots of things I would never expect—for example: Magneta Lane Blog, Esthero Blog, Ivana Santilli Blog, Drake Hotel Blog, Mitsou Blog, Korean Man Blog, Memory Allocation Blog, Dark Sun Blog. I’m the number 3 hit for Swades Blog, and I wrote about Swades yesterday. I’m the number 5 hit for Supermaket Blog. Mind you, a lot of the crap I write about other people simply don’t. Searching for Mac Mini Blog you won’t see me, as I imagine other blogs, real, popular blogs, wrote about the Mini. (I am on the 4th page.)

I wonder if google is trying to make me feel better by returning my page as the number one hit whenever I search for anything.

I should also mention my site is the number one hit for Bukkake Blog—please don’t search for Bukkake at work.

Update Oct 24th 2005: Google’s love affair with my site seems to have ended.

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Spam Spam Spam

   8 March 2005, the wee hours

I’m going to turn off comments for the night. Whoever is spamming me can go fuck themselves.

Update: I turned off commenting here at 11:06 PM, and got another piece of comment spam at 12:00 AM. Son of a bitch. So chances are there is a bot posting here. I’ll need to look into this more to see how the bot can post when comments are turned off. Comments are back on since turning them off isn’t a cure for comment spam.

Comment [4]  

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