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Wines I Like from Cork'd

©Copyright: 2006 Steve Kirks

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  Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cork'd the wine review site goes live

Dan Cederholm "When I finally find a wine that I like, it's always impossible to remember it for the next trip to the store. Some people keep a journal, writing down what they thought about the wine in a notebook. But wouldn't it be great if you could do this online? And wouldn't it be also great if we could share those lists with our friends through a simple, free interface? And while we're at it, wouldn't it be the bomb.com if this same interface allowed you to review the wine, tag it, and set up lists for wines that you want to buy or that you own in your cellar?"

I signed up but haven't yet added wines I've reviewed. I've got a link on the left sidebar of the website, but there's nothing there yet. Also, I signed up for the recently reviewed and top wines RSS feeds (see links on the right side of the webpage).

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More on FeedBurner's Features

I spent more time experimenting with FeedBurner's features this morning including adding things in the feed itself. One big thing is the automatic building of Amazon associate links, hopefully allowing me to get some credit if you follow the link. Also, there's some features at the end of each RSS item that allow you to add that item's link to del.icio.us or even email the contents to another person.

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FeedBurner Mini Review

I've outsourced my feed delivery to FeedBurner. The RSS feed was the single biggest amount of information my webserver transferred, so I'm relieving a burden from my provider. Most of all, I'm getting statistics. For example, in the left column of the website (at the time of this writing), there's a small dynamically driven graphic that says I have 149 subscribers. On the feed "dashboard" on FeedBurner's site, you get a breakdown of feed readers and it's interesting to note that 39% of my readers come from NewsGator. The NewsGator breakdown is about 75% online and 25% direct by NetNewsWire proving that customers want to access the same information from multiple locations with the "view state" preserved.

FeedBurner has a Pro version, a product which does a whole lot more and costs money, but the free version is satisfactory for most people. It's something that's simple and works and that has value. I can't understand why they don't charge at least something for the low product.

I'm leaving the feed with FeedBurner for the foreseeable future. If I change weblog platforms (again!) then I won't lose readership along the way.

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  Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Going to Feedburner

I'm switching to Feedburner for my RSS feed. Please update your newsreader to:

####

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45 subscribers from NewsGator

From my server logs: "NewsGatorOnline/2.0 (http://www.newsgator.com; 45 subscribers)"

Why this matters

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  Tuesday, May 16, 2006

MacBook has Landed

Apple released the MacBook today and it looks like a winner. Black is the new black, with the higher end model only coming in Henry Ford's favorite color. For the $200 premium over the white MacBook, you get a larger drive and the instant status of having a "black Mac".

Everything that's old is new again. Remember when PowerBooks were only black? Ah...

Bonus: The PowerBook 540's were codenamed "Blackbird"

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  Sunday, May 14, 2006

Radio UserLand's web infrastructure needs an overhaul

Playing inside of Radio again has enlightened me to several problems it has while rendering pages. It's this way due to a desire to "never break user content". That's a noble and even laudable idea, but it's prevented any serious work on the system. Technically, content files from pre 7.1 versions of Radio will still work!

Here's what I propose:

  • make a list of all of the content management features that are key to Radio.

  • implement mainResponder in Radio.

  • port existing HTML code generation scripts to work with mainResponder

or

  • trash everything and start over with mainResponder

I'm inclined to trash everything. The content management system is complicated and only partially documented plus it's unpredictable. It would be easier to write new code to go with mainResponder and fix several things at once.

Thoughts?

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  Saturday, May 13, 2006

Updated Atom support for Radio UserLand

I've started using Radio UserLand as my aggregator again and that means time to fix bugs. Here's a script that replaces the default "feed" compiler with one that will compile Atom 1.0 feeds. Be warned that it will break support for the defunct "0.3" feeds that are out there.

feed.compile.ftsc

It's provided without instructions. If you know what this file is, you'll know what to do with it.

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Rep. William Lacy Clay took the last 15 minutes of his commencement speech at the University of Missouri-St. Louis to blast President Bush. It was sad to see this man denigrate the ceremony by dragging the audience into a shouting match.

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  Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jon Udell asks about OPML data mining

In a brief but pointed weblog post, Jon Udell asks several questions that most weblog writers ask regarding their audience. My favorite is the last question: will the Share Your OPML site share it's data back with us?

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Links for 5-11-06

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  Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brent Simmons: "So I took a look at the recent list activity and noticed a bunch of people from the old days, back when I was working for UserLand (and before!). There was a great community there, no doubt."

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Doug Barron rejoins the Frontier community.

Seth Dillingham writes with good news: Doug Barron is offering to work with Frontier again. Like Seth notes, Doug was one of the original programmers of the kernel, the heart and soul of Frontier. It's good to see more and more of the old guard coming back to visit. While I'm young to the project, I recognize greatness when I see it.

Welcome, Doug!

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Why did I go back to Radio UserLand?

I know it sounds crazy, but I'm back to using Radio. It's not a reflection on Squib as much as an indicator of how much free time I have. Squib had become unpredictable on machine due to a mismatch of software, versions and "user error". I needed to be able to 'blog to keep my sanity, so I switched back for awhile.

After nearly a week of use, I remember my frustrations, but this time, I'm well rested and smarter. I ran some tests to try to nail down some of Radio's slow rendering of local files. It seems to rest in the method that it uses to render the file itself, not the calculation of the file's contents.

For example, to render HTML text of 57 news item stories takes about 1.5 seconds. To serve the resulting text via the webserver it takes about 4.5. Wow.

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Kotaku on Microsoft's E3 Presentation

Kotaku has a great write up of Microsoft's E3 presentation called "The Cynic's Guide to the Microsoft E3 Presentation". A favorite quote:

I'm sure jeans are being creamed all around me, but I'm a cynic, and this game actually sums up what I've neen of the next generation so far. It's nice, it's lovely, it's kick-ass, but it doesn't feel like much more than a minor upgrade to the last generation. Is it really much better than Half-Life 2 for the Xbox? The game doesn't seem to even care about convincing me that it's something new, just that it's louder and bloodier and more brutal.

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Links for 5-10-06

  • Autoblog: "Auto Motor und Sport is postulating that the resurrected VW Scirocco will be here by 2008 and cost approximately 22,000 Euro, or around $28,000 US."

A VW I might actually buy...

  • Tammy Kirks: "I realize I can't do anything about the weather, but something's gotta give here! I feel like I was relocated to Seattle while I was sleeping."

I agree. The weather is very depressing with rain and heavy clouds for nearly a week straight. Bummer.

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