Archives for August 2007

Xbox 360: Coming home to daddy

I just received an email from Microsoft informing me that my Xbox 360 repairs have been completed! It’s pretty amazing how quickly my Xbox 360 was fixed:

8/6/2007 – Mailed Xbox 360 to Microsoft support via UPS

8/10/2007 – Microsoft received my Xbox 360

8/12/2007 – Receive email stating repairs are done

Microsoft received my package on 8/10 and my Xbox was fixed by 8/12. Keep in mind 8/10 was a Friday, so this means they are working weekends to complete these repairs. I should receive my Xbox this week!

I’ve actually been too productive without my Xbox, so it’s return will be very nice! Now I can finally finish up Saints Row.

Digg.com spell check doesn’t recognize “blog”

I was posting an article to Digg.com and decided to try out the spell check. To my surprise the word “blog” was not recognized as a word.
Digg spell checks
I got a good laugh from this so I thought I would share!

How To: Install WordPress Plugin Twitter Tools

I just added a new module to my sidebar to show my Twitter updates (stalker vision ;). The module is from a WordPress plugin called Twitter Tools create by Alex King.

The plugin is very easy to setup and only contains 1 necessary PHP file.

1. Download Twitter Tools Plugin for WordPress

2. Upload the Twitter Tools plugin into your plugins directory via FTP. From your root FTP folder the path would be: wp-contentplugins

3. Login to your WordPress blog admin account. The web address is by default: www.domain.com/wp-admin

4. Click on the Plugins tab at the top of your admin page.

5. Twitter Tools will be listed as a plugin, but will not be active. Click the “activate” link to enable Twitter Tools to run.

6. Click the “Configure your settings here” or from the Options tab > Twitter Tool

7. Save your Twitter.com username and password into the module. Your all set!

From the Twitter Tools admin page you can add and remove various options. Here’s a quick example:

Show Tweets/Updates on Sidebar

1. Open your WordPress theme sidebar file called sidebar.php. From your root FTP folder the file would be located: wp-contentthemes[YOUR THEME FOLDER]sidebar.php

2. Add the following code anywhere you would like your Twitter tweets to appear:

<pre lang="php"><?php aktt_sidebar_tweets(); ?></pre>

Your tweets will automatically be displayed on your sidebar for everyone to see! For more features be sure to view the Help Documentation

Alex King created a solid Twitter plugin so be sure to support Alex.

How To: Create Custom ASP URLs with Querystrings using ISAPI Rewrite

ISAPI Rewrite is a powerful URL manipulation engine based on regular expressions. It acts mostly like Apache’s mod_Rewrite, but is designed specifically for Microsoft’s Internet Information Server (IIS). ISAPI_Rewrite is an ISAPI filter written in pure C/C++ so it is extremely fast. ISAPI_Rewrite gives you the freedom to go beyond the standard URL schemes and develop your own scheme.

Below are a few very easy to follow ISAPI Rewrite rules using regular expressions:


EXAMPLE 1

DESCRIPTION:
use one querystring as a subdirectory

ORIGINAL URL:
domain.com/member.asp?username=brad

NEW URL:
domain.com/brad

ISAPI REWRITE RULE:
RewriteRule /([^/]+) /member.asp?username=$1 [I,L]


EXAMPLE 2

DESCRIPTION:
use two querystrings as subdirectories

ORIGINAL URL:
domain.com/member.asp?username=brad&page=2

NEW URL:
domain.com/brad/2

ISAPI REWRITE RULE:
RewriteRule /(?!images|js|css)([^/]+)/([^/]+) /member.asp?username=$1&page=$2 [I,L]

* notice the (?!images|js|css) section of the rule. This piece tells the above rule to ignore those subdirectories (images, js, css).


EXAMPLE 3

DESCRIPTION:
use one hard coded subdirectory and one querystring as a subdirectory

ORIGINAL URL:
domain.com/member.asp?user_id=1

NEW URL:
domain.com/widget/1

ISAPI REWRITE RULE
RewriteRule /widget/([^/]+) /member.asp?user_id=$1 [I,L]


Search engine spiders, and users, will ONLY see the newly formatted link. The querystrings are still being passed to the server, but they are not visible to anyone surfing the site. This is a HUGE advantage for making a dynamic site SEO friendly. Search engine spiders have always had issues with long complex querystrings, but masking the URL using ISAPI REWRITE has finally closed the gap between dynamic sites and SEO.

ISAPI Rewrite Homepage

PageFlakes.com: Personalized Home Page

Personalized homepages aren’t a new idea. They’ve been around for some time now. Enter Pageflakes.com. Pageflakes is putting a new twist on an old idea.

Pageflakes.com logo

With the recent launch of a new design and some new features, Pageflakes is making a solid effort at being the premiere personalized homepage site.

Pageflakes is a 100% customizable homepage. The homepage is filled with “flakes”, or modules, that give you access to different features. Some of the flakes include news, sports, e-mail, local events, search, photos, music, videos – even interactive tools like a calendar and a to-do list. Pageflakes has over 240,000 different flakes that you can add to your personal homepage.

So what makes Pageflakes different? Community of course! Pageflakes has a feature titled Pagecasts. Pagecasts allow you to view other members personalized homepage.

Overall Pageflakes is a great site for personlized homepages. Not sure if I’m ready to replace Google.com just yet though.

Xbox 360: Sent for repairs

If you read my earlier post titled “How to return an Xbox 360 for repairs” then you know the troubles I’ve had with my Xbox 360. I received my packaging on Friday and shipped my Xbox out this Monday morning.

Xbox 360 packaging

I was told by Microsoft Tech Support that it would take around 4-6 weeks to receive another Xbox 360. I’ve also heard from some Xbox owners that they received a refurbished Xbox 360 within 2 weeks. Only time will tell.

Dogster.com: Social Network for Dogs

I stumbled into a new social network during some meaningless web surfing today, Dogster.com.
Dogster.com logo
Our goal is to allow for the purest online reflection of people’s love and enjoyment of their dogs and cats

With over 260,000 members, Dogster has achieved just that. Dogster has many popular social network features including custom profiles, friends, diaries, photo albums, etc. There are also some unique features like giving virtual pet treats.

Overall Dogster.com is a fun site for dog enthusiasts. With the endless amount of dog lovers out there (yours truly included), Dogster will easily maintain many active users and keep on growing!

Cat lovers don’t despair. They also run Catster.com as well!

Billshare.org: Sharing Bills Made Easy

At one point or another most of us have had to put up with a roommate. Whether it be in the dorm room at college, the barracks in the military, or an apartment building, having a roommate is a great way to help bring down your cost of living.
Billshare.org logo
Enter Billshare.org

Billshare is a simple web application for sharing bills with roommates, family members, or anyone. Simply create a free account and load in your bills and users. Billshare will split your bills however you like and keep track of who owes what.

Billshare features some pretty catchy stats and charts to visually show who is slacking on their payments. You can also view payment history, expense tracking, and even communicate easily with members of your group.

The real question is how long until we see Billshare.org on Judge Judy to settle a roommate payment dispute?

Free Motorola Q USB Device Drivers

I learned an interesting fact the other day. Verizon does not allow their customers to download device drivers for their phones. Instead you have to pay $30 and purchase a “music essentials kit”, which includes drivers for your particular phone, some software, and a USB cord. $30!? WTF Verizon? Don’t you think the fact that I pay $50/month for EVDO is ENOUGH to warrant FREE drivers?

I’ve located the correct drivers for the Motorola Q and made them available to everyone for download. Enjoy!

Download FREE Motorola Q Drivers