April 2006

My sister and brother-in-law just signed a contract to buy their first house today! How fun is that? I remember when Joy and I bought our house. It’s definitely an exciting time, and the start of lots and lots of work getting things just the way you want them. Congratulations Matt and Becca!

NewsGator was down for most of yesterday morning, which was a bummer because FeedDemon uses NewsGator for retreiving and synching RSS feeds, so there was no news available until a little while after noon. I was pretty frustrated at first because NewsGator is a paid service and they were completely down for hours, but later that day Greg Reinacker (the CTO) posted an entry on his blog apologizing and explaing the circumstances of the outage. As far as I’m concerned, a simple apology and an honest explanation go a long way towards alleviating frustration.

Reading about the disk and SQL Server errors they were dealing with sounded all too similar to some of things we’ve had to deal with at work in the past. Trying to fix problems like that under pressure is miserable, so kudos to the NewsGator team for pushing things through and getting everything back up and running. It says a lot about a company when it is willing to publicly discuss mistakes and mishaps, and so I guess the whole thing makes me feel better about NewsGator in general.

UPDATE: Version 0.4.6 has been released. Please see this entry or my CoppermineSC page for the latest information.

I’ve just released CoppermineSC version 0.4.5! You can download the new version or visit my CoppermineSC page for complete details about the plugin. You can also view a sample of what CoppermineSC can do. Feel free to post comments and feature requests to this entry.

This version of CoppermineSC should work with WordPress 2.0.1 and with Coppermine 1.4.3 (as well as with some older versions of both programs). More information regarding compatibility can be found in this post.

New Features in Version 0.4.5:

  • Added new tags to pull the most recently uploaded images from albums, categories, or from your entire gallery (you can set the maximum number of images to include).
  • Added new tags to pull in full-size (original size) images from albums, categories, or from your entire gallery (previous versions were limited to thumbnails only when pulling from albums, categories, or from the entire gallery).
  • Added new setting to indicate whether clicking on an image should open the link in a new window (or tab depending on your browser) or just navigate to the link using the current window.
  • Added new setting to indicate whether you want images to be left aligned, right aligned, centered, or if you want them to follow the CSS classes that CoppermineSC makes available. Previous versions always followed the CSS classes, so that is the default. In order for the left, right, or center options to work (they will not work properly by default), you will need to set the next new setting appropriately, as described below.
  • Added new setting to indicate whether container elements should be div tags or span tags. Span tags are used by default because they will generate XHTML 1.0 Transitional output in a default WordPress setup (but the left, right, and center options described above will not work). In order to use the left, right, or center options in the previous settings, you will have to change this to use div tags. Everything will still render properly if you use div tags, but the output will no longer be compliant with the XHTML 1.0 Transitional specifications (because WordPress will end up putting the div tags inside a p tag because all posts are wrapped in p tags, and you can’t put a div inside a p according to the specifiations). I’m not a CSS genius, so if anyone has a clever way to get an image to align left, right, or center by styling only the img itself, please let me know!
  • A detailed list of all changes is available.


Click “more” to see a list of all of the interesting web sites I found this week. I keep track of my favorite sites using del.icio.us, a free web site where you can access your favorite links from any computer and share them with friends. You can also see all of my favorite links (not just the ones from this week).


He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

Last night Joy and I finished watching “The Singing Detective” (1986), a Dennis Potter miniseries from the BBC. This miniseries is lauded by many as the best thing ever put on television. It’s the only television production to make it onto the Time magazine “All-Time Top 100 Movies” list and rates a 9.2 out of 10 at the IMDb. And after watching all 6+ hours of it, I can’t possibly begin to understand why.

In my personal opinion (and certainly the appreciation of art is very subjective), this series just doesn’t do anything for me. I can understand that, compared to most of the stuff on television, this series is at least intelligent, thoughtful, and aims to deal with real life issues. However, the convoluted and constantly jumping story is really quite difficult to follow. Furthermore, some portions are quite crude and distasteful and, at least in my opinion, the story could have been told just as effectively and much less objectionably with even mild editing of certain sections. I think I have a reasonable grasp of the overall message the creator was trying to get across, but even then the whole thing just doesn’t do much for me. I can’t say I would recommend watching this*, but clearly there are many people out there who love this series. I’m just not one of them.

* Unless you are a potential bidder on the eBay auction where I am selling this DVD set, in which case I highly recommend that you enter the highest bid you can afford. :-)

I heard from my long lost friend Jeremy Grim today! I was coding a new function at work this morning when I was interrupted by a random instant message from someone not on my contact list. I knew something was up because the IM was “Foo Shniggens” (a long story that some of you already know, but suffice it to say that I knew that wasn’t spam).

Anyway, it turns out it was my friend Jeremy from college whom I had lost touch with. Yes, this is the very same Jeremy that I built the cardboard burro with (the original cardboard animal). Jeremy is still up in Rhode Island working for Raytheon, and he has a beautful 6-month old baby girl, Alida. It was so neat to hear from him after all this time, and now that we are in contact once again, I hope we can keep it up!

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