HDD Killers


Posted on Tuesday 15 November 2005

So I’ve not written anything for a while. I’d say I haven’t had anything to write about, but that’d only be half true. It started out that way, but then something happened, and rather than write about it, lazyness took over. So I’m forcing myself to write this now. So, things that happened in the last week…

Well five days ago my dad wrote off his car, as he put it in an email, “Sadly the Omega is no more as I managed to plant it in a field last week and needed a crane to get it out. It was a Dukes of Hazard style jump through a hedge…”

So naturally I replied with, “How did you manage to write-off a car by putting it in a field? Surely you could just scrape the mud off and it’d be OK again.”

And the explanation went thusly, “The mud in the field wasn’t the problem — it was the fence and hedge that it went through to get there that was the problem. The nearside and some of the front was all crumpled.”

Unfortunately there are no pictures of this, which is a great shame because I am fascinated with destruction. I’m hoping that there are some pictures of it on the back of a truck or in a garage at least.

“What else has happened?” I hear you cry, naturally I don’t answer, your cries of anguish amuse me.

Pfft, fine, whatever, well this morning I’ve been installing some plugins for WordPress. It’s pretty cool how there’s oodles of addon’s that I can use that are almost plug and play, the upside of using a widely available blog code as opposed to writing one myself I guess. The plugins I’ve installed are as follows:

Basically I just looked at the list of plugins that Dan had installed, then found some more all on my very own. Unfortunately they didn’t all work perfectly (and two still don’t). The “Get Recent Comments”, “Tiger Style Administration” and “WP-ContactForm” all went very smoothly indeed and all worked straight away, however for some reason the “Elegant Category (In)Visibility” plugin prevents any of the pages I’ve written using the wordpress admin panel from displaying. I think it’s because all pages are plonked in “Uncategorized” (which is spelt wrong incidentally) and even though I told it to display all categories, it seems to ignore that instruction, so I’ve currently got that plugin disabled.

The Gravatars plugin requires the users email address to be passed to a function which it generates an MD5 hash of, then requests an image of the Gravatar site and passes the MD5 string in the URL, then if you’ve signed up to the gravatar site and have an image, it will be returned and displayed next to any comments you leave. Unfortunately I don’t actually know the variable name that contains the email address for a user comment and I can’t be bothered to find it right now. So that’s a job for another time. Maybe I’ll ask Dan, he seems to have it all set up on his site.

I should also point out that I don’t actually like the tiger style administration (which is a skin for the admin panel by the way), but it’s FAR better than the default admin panel skin.

I’ve also added a couple more links in the sidebar, one to an about page and another to a contact form. The about page is just the short intro that used to be at the top of the side-bar, however I decided to put it on it’s own page because it looked a bit silly with just the contact link in a section by itself.

And finally, yes I am fully aware that Stagnatation isn’t a word, however there’s a cool (93min long) video that you should all check out, it’s a video of Richard “Lowtax” Kyanka speaking to a very large audience indeed about his site (www.somethingawful.com in case you didn’t know). It’s quite funny and very informative, well worth the download and time to watch. Here’s a description of the talk.

    Tuesday 15th November 2005 | 1:35 pm
    Daniel's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Yeah, I feel the same way about Tiger Administration (in fact, I left a comment on a blog a week or two back regarding it).

    As for the Gravatar plugin… I couldn’t be bothered to go and look right now, as it’s 7:35 in the morning. Ask me later 😉

    Ben Rogers
    Tuesday 15th November 2005 | 8:05 pm
    Ben Rogers's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Wait, wait, wait.

    The only meaning of wrote off I can think of has to do with taxes. And since your dad wouldn’t be able to write off a wrecked car in his taxes in any way I can think of, it must be some silly British term, yes? That brings me to my next question. If you planted your parents car in a field, what kind of saints are they to NOT CARE?!?

    Not that I blame you. Your country roads are tin(ier than ours).

    Wednesday 16th November 2005 | 6:33 am
    David's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Well I got the gravatars working with some help from Dan, it turns out that the gravatar plugin itself will grab the user email itself. The gravatar plugin is quite flexible, it will let you resize the image to fit your layout, it will let you filter out the more mature gravatars should you wish, it will let you specify a default image if the user doesn’t have one themselves, and it will also let you specify a border.

    However, if you don’t specify a default image and a user doesn’t have one, it will return a 1×1 blank square. What I want to do is simply not display anything at all, which means leaving out this nonesense:

           <div class="gravatar">
            <img src="http://www.gravatar.com/avatar.php?gravatar_id=md5string"
                 width="80" height="80" alt="Someone's Globally Recognised Avatar" />

    To do that, Dan suggested that I could simply detect the dimentions of the image like so:

             $gravatar_URL = gravatar();
             list($gravatar_width) = getimagesize($gravatar_URL);
               // All that junk from up there ^

    Quite frustratingly though, I can’t do that, I get an error. Something about not being allowed to detect the image dimentions. Therefore anyone that doesn’t have a Gravatar will simply get a white square next to their comment and it looks kind of naff. So unless anyone has an idea as to how I might be able to solve this issue, I’ll probably have to create a default gravatar image.

    Ben Rogers
    Wednesday 16th November 2005 | 5:29 pm
    Ben Rogers's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Meh. Everyone who posts here has a gravatar, yeah?

    Wednesday 16th November 2005 | 9:44 pm
    David's Globally Recognised Avatar

    No, Zach Blume doesn’t and Antony doesn’t yet. Check the first 3 comments on “BSOD’s!

    Ben Rogers
    Friday 18th November 2005 | 9:00 pm
    Ben Rogers's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Well, set ’em straight, fool. How about you just have a gay pride banner for those without gravatars?

    Saturday 19th November 2005 | 12:02 am
    lilcrazyfuzzy's Globally Recognised Avatar

    hmm, i’ll vote against that!

    Ben Rogers
    Saturday 19th November 2005 | 1:36 am
    Ben Rogers's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Dude, your name is little crazy fuzzy, and you have purple female eyes representing you. Your vote ‘gainst it don’t count. (Gravatares are easy as hell to get, just go grab one.)

    Monday 21st November 2005 | 8:32 am
    lilcrazyfuzzy's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Right, i’ve got one now, but they taking like forever to make it available

    Monday 21st November 2005 | 8:10 pm
    Antony's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Mine seems to have been “Rated” now, took just less than a week i think (the days seem to mesh into one another so i can’t be sure.)

    Ben Rogers
    Monday 21st November 2005 | 8:04 pm
    Ben Rogers's Globally Recognised Avatar

    I got mine accepted same-day…

    Monday 21st November 2005 | 10:24 pm
    lilcrazyfuzzy's Globally Recognised Avatar

    c’mon, i want mine!

    Friday 25th November 2005 | 9:50 pm
    lilcrazyfuzzy's Globally Recognised Avatar

    yipee i got my gravatar!

    Saturday 26th November 2005 | 2:26 am
    David's Globally Recognised Avatar

    Heh, and a very nice Gravatar it is too.

    Sunday 27th November 2005 | 8:33 pm
    lilcrazyfuzzy's Globally Recognised Avatar

    thanks, i scanned it from an old sketch

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