Category: Blogging

Cut n’ Paste Javascript RSS Feed/Feed2JS – Update

To those of you that use my Cut n’ Paste RSS Feed/Feed2JS (here),
I will be updating both the Magpie and Feed2JS code in the next few days.

It shouldn’t break anything, but you might see a short outage while I perform the update and subsequent testing.

The short outage will probably mean that any feeds you have displayed via my server will ‘disappear’ for a short while. They will come back once the update has been completed.

The update should increase the speed quite considerably and introduces a number of fixes. (I’ve never found anything broken with it, but I’ll post a link to the complete list of fixes for the update when I remember where I put it).

I’ll add comments to this post to indicate the starting and when I’ve completed the update.

Blogger Help

By way of an update, I sorted CG sorted out (
For some reason, although an account was setup, the blog that she created didn’t exist on that account.
All we had to do was create the new blog using her account and then set it up to post to her domain.

CG chose to have her blog hosted at her site, (which I must say is a very powerful insight to something I couldn’t imagine how I would cope with. Well worth a read).

For those who are considering hosting their blog data on their own servers, here is a rough explaination of what we did.

  1. Logged into the web server via FTP and created a sub folder under the public_html folder called blog (original I know, but you could have it stored in the public_html folder if you want)
  2. Created a archive sub folder under /public_html/blog/archive (just to keep things neater later on).
  3. On the blogger control panel, entered in the FTP address of the web server (this is usually, but you could use the IP address if you know it)
  4. On the blogger control panel, enter the name of the blog page (in this case index.html), the path to the blog (in this case /public_html/blog) and the web address where the blog can be found.
  5. Enter in the username and password for the FTP account on the webserver. I usually like to create an FTP account just for the use of blogger so that I can track access a little better. Whilst creating the FTP account, you can also specify a home directory for that account and limit access to the /public_html/blog/ folder just as an extra level of security.
  6. Made a test post…

So there you go. Five simple steps to having your blog data on your own website, six if you include the test post. (assuming you have one).
There are further settings you can change, but this just changes the way it works, but the information above is all you really need to make it work.

  1. Change the archive path to the one you defined on your webserver (if you did, if not, it will post it to the /public_html/blog folder in our example).
  2. Add an email address to where new posts are sent.
  3. Set up the comments section

Why would you want to do this?

  • Well I like to be in control of the data that I post, (i.e. if Blogger ever went belly up and trashed its machines and the countless backups I hope it has, I still have a copy of the data on my own webserver. Not that I think Blogger would ever suffer such a catestrophic failure I might add).
  • All my posts are still held in the blogger database, but the actual HTML pages that are created are stored on my own webserver.
  • It means that I can have my own domain name as part of the blog URL. (It means I can incorporate my blog into an existing website, just like CG did).

The only downside to the above, is a large blog will use space on your webserver that would otherwise be space used on Blogger’s server. But if you are on a web server with a host that offers anything less than 2GB of storage, you are with the wrong host, so these days, it would have to be a rather large blog to be a problem when it comes to space.

If you ever fancy moving your blog from the blogger web address to your own domain and need a hand, just give us a shout.




D’Amour Road by Sigrid Macdonald,

Sigrid is someone who also frequents the Yahoo Blogger help forum where I sometimes lurk around. She maintains her blog using Blogger here.
She has just released a new book “D’Amour Road” which can purhase the old fashioned way on paper, or as an e-book for download.

D’Amour Road is the story of two women in Ontario who are about to turn 40. One of them goes missing, and the other joins a massive search to find her best friend in conjunction with the police, her colourful women’s collective, and a younger man whom she finds especially captivating. The book explores a number of themes including female friendships, violence against women, wrongful convictions, addiction, cultural biases against aging, and the painful phenomenon of unrequited love.

Career Journal Article

Career Journal
A short while back Sarah Needleman contacted me regarding an article she was writing about Career sites and blogging. She happened across my site whilst searching around and asked me a few details.
The link above takes you to the article.
I’m probably going to have to tread carefully here, if you Google for most of the job titles, I am usually #1, in the top #3 or at worst on page 2 from most of my day old posts. Most of the agencies I repeat from would pay for the type of Google hits I get. (I might sell them the solution one day, but its not exactly rocket science).
But my argument to them is at least it gets people to their sites, for free, and I don’t even charge commission. It was only something I did to try out a few things. Perhaps I should start up a recruitment agency myself.

Two more days before Unemployment

Two more days left before I am officially unemployed.
My supposed last day is the 20th April but I need to go in before then and sign a few documents. Due to my operation last week, I have been waiting on a reply to a few questions about final pay and other outstanding issues before I sign the ‘release’ documentation. (Perhaps outstanding was the wrong word to use, because the whole layoff process has been crap from start to end).
I’m a lot better off than those people at Rover. As the company is bankrupt I suspect that they will get the bare minimum redundancy payment, (except for senior managers who I bet won’t be losing out, probably at the expense of the workers pension fund too).
Because I’ve just had this operation, I am officially ‘unable’ to work for the next 4-5 weeks. I have quite a few interviews lined up, but I won’t be able to start work until the end of May most likely.
A couple of companies are aware of my recent operation and it hasn’t dampened their enthusiasm as much as I thought it would. I hope that my recent back problems don’t put them off too much.
But in saying that, I have quite a bit of work scheduled that should keep me going until the end of the year if I am lucky. And if things take off properly, I hope to be working for myself for the rest of my time anyway, (but I doubt that will be the case, pessimist that I am).

Sending a Laptop for Repair

A week before my operation my new Sony VAIO A397XP arrived.
I was going to wait a little longer but I managed to find one for under £1200 with quite a few accessories included.
Apart from the fact I needed a new laptop for business work, the main reason for getting it before I went in to hospital was to allow me to take my 300Gig external hard drive and the laptop to hospital with me.
I have all my ‘own’ DVD’s backed up on this drive and it meant I didn’t have to watch the 8 or so channels they had on my TV in the room.
Last night I took it upstairs with me so I could right a few notes just before I went to sleep. It was working perfectly fine 5 minutes earlier but was dead as a dodo by the time I got it upstairs.
It looks like the internal power supply has failed inside since it does not work on batteries or the mains adaptor. (It might even be something as stupid as the main power switch or the one on the screen opening mechanism. Either way, its less than two weeks old and it has to be returned.
Armed with a pot of coffee I sat down to phone Sony VAIO support (which you get charged for at 0.07p per minute !), only to have an operator come on the line within 20 or so seconds.
After trying a few basic things to see if it would work she decided it was best to return it, (and trust me, there were so basic I should post them in my humor blog!!).
So they will be turning up next week with to collect it.
The only thing that got me miffed was the fact that they HAVE to have a password and username of an account on the machine or they will wipe the whole thing. No matter how many times I said, just get the thing to power up and return it and that will be good enough, she said they would just wipe it anyway.
It has a SATA drive which is easy enough to take out and replace with a test drive that has an image that they can use to test the machine. Its not a HDD failure, so I don’t see why they should have to access it anyway.
When I asked them to sign a confidentiality agreement, she said that had never heard of it before. I asked what guarantee I had of my data staying private and she couldn’t tell me the company policy. I’ll be firing off an email to Sony HQ to find out more about that one.
In future, I will set up an user account just in case it has to go back. Its not something I even considered before, as all of my previous laptops have been work laptops owned by Motorola.
Damned annoying that it hasn’t lasted more than two weeks.

Competition Time Again

Over the years there has been a sort of competition between my cousin and myself about who can spend the most time in hospital.
While I was in hospital, my aunt phoned me up to wish me well and we were talking for a while. No-one dared mention the fact that since I was in hospital, it meant that it was my turn. People say things usually come in 3’s, but I totally dispute this, since I reckon with my run of rotten luck, its more like 3,333,333’s. I’d even say I avoid the number 3 I am so fed up hearing the ‘comes in 3’s saying’.
Well today has been my first full day at home. It was great to sleep in my own bed, (which actually fits. The hospital bed was not built for someone who is 6’3″, probably 6’4″ now I’ve had my back fixed).
I couldn’t sleep at first last night, so sat up and watched the Portland – Spurs game on Channel 5. (I am in the UK, so NBA games like this are a bonus. Side note, good to see the Mavericks doing well this season without Nash).
I found out today that my cousin has been admitted to hospital today for tests, probably on an ‘old’ injury. So he didn’t waste too much time in following on with our old game. Apart from giving me a laugh, it also has me pissed off, because it probably means that it is my turn again, and I’ve only just flaming come out of hospital. I just hope that I get a longer break this time. (I even thought about deleting that last comment incase I literally break something. Not that I am paranoid. Well too paranoid)>
The curse of the Perry’s as my wife calls it.

Imported old posts from Blogger

I finally managed to get blogger to export all my old posts, and it only took about a minute to do it.
On the template Tab there is a setting to control the BloggerNav bar, and I had this set to use a NavBar. Out of desperation I changed it to NONE (as in no Blogger Navbar), just in case that was having problems writing to a 320k file (which was the size of the file after 160 posts had been placed in it).
All I have to do now is sort out the template.
One of the reasons I switched to MT was because I am going to finally make the site IE/DireFox/Opera friendly. Even the box standard template I am using now has problems on Firefox/Opera (look at the heading bar where the description gets mashed (but not in IE).