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Archive for August, 2008

Quote of the day

posted by Duncan at 3:08 pm on August 12th, 2008

All good work is done in defiance of management – Bob Woodward

via Michael via twitter

RIP Isaac Hayes 1942-2008

posted by Duncan at 9:34 pm on August 11th, 2008

Forget Southpark, Hayes is all about the soundtrack. Can you dig it ..

Isaac Heyesphoto: Cyberex

Usernames are important too, if only I’d realised earlier

posted by Duncan at 9:30 pm on August 6th, 2008

My friend Michael wrote The Simple Joys of Web-Scale Identifiers, and it made me think about about problems I’m having, because I didn’t think about my username as a unique-identifier.

I got married almost a year ago, and part of the process was changing my surname from Ponting to Robertson (the reasons may be in another post one day). The actual process of changing your name is very simple in the UK, in fact you can do it online for about £30. The real pain has been changing everything else! Changing banks details etc is boring, but easily do-able. It’s websites and more importantly usernames that are the bind. You see, here’s some urls to sites I am registered with:

The problem is I never really thought about the username when I registered with all my favourite sites. I’m now being bitten by that lack of thought. You see, I am no longer known as Duncan Ponting, I am Duncan Robertson, so the username of duncanponting no longer makes sense. As you can see I have used whomwah in some cases where I have been able to change, once I had realised the error of my ways, but sites don’t always let you do that, fair enough.

So, what does this mean? Well nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it does mean that if you wanted to aggregate stuff about me –yeah, I know but just say you did– just by using my username, it’s not gonna get you too far right now. You are going to have to change tack, and use something else. You could scrape the XFN data on my homepage, or maybe via Googles Social Graph API. The My Connections App pulls back loads of great stuff.

These simple examples work, and would get you some of the data you want, but if I had seen my username as a unique-identifier when I first started registering with various websites, you would be able to get all this stuff just using that. So note to self, If I ever get to do all this stuff again.

Find a username, don’t make it to something that could change, and use it for everything.

Rubik’s Cube completed within Flickr long photo

posted by Duncan at 2:02 pm on August 2nd, 2008

This took a few attempts, but I got there eventually. I think completing a tough challenge within a Flickr long photo (90 seconds) could catch on.

Googles Chart API does QRCodes .. very well

posted by Duncan at 4:05 pm on August 1st, 2008

They just make this stuff so simple and user friendly to use. A quick example. Here’s a QRCode for this site using Googles Chart API, with maximum error correction:

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chl=http://whomwah.com&choe=UTF-8&chs=177×177&chld=h|1
QRCode

Updated to WordPress 2.6

posted by Duncan at 1:11 pm on August 1st, 2008

It’s that time again. I knew I had to upgrade at some point, due to the fact I was running WP 2.0.2 which is getting very old. The problem was that migrating was going to be a real pain as the DB had changed quite a bit, and there is no export feature on 2.0.2.

Anyway, it’s done now, and I’ve given the site a bit of a refresh and dressing down. I liked the new look straight away, which is a change. The theme is available to download (v1.0.1) from gitHub.

You can get the scripts I used to upgrade if you like. They are not supported and might not make too much sense, but they might be a good starting point if you need to do a similar migration.

Any comments about the new design, or bugs etc, duncan @ the name of this site


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