i’m so full of ideas

Archive for the 'meta' category

A word for my longtime RSS subscribers

February 16, 2010 5:00 am

According to my access logs, the RSS feed for this blog is the most popular thing on my website, by a large margin. I know next to nothing about RSS, so I can’t gauge how many readers I have. Could be two, could be a hundred.

Most of the articles I write here are about technical subjects. I assume most of you found one of them via web search, liked what you saw, and added my blog to your RSS reader. That’s great! I love having readers.

But now, based on the nerd rage I see in my inbox, I suspect I’m going to be writing a lot of articles that are aimed at users of my card games, rather than technical articles. I think these people would be more sympathetic to my plight if they understood it, so I’m going to be writing about that. This is liable to put you off, if you came here for my technical articles, causing you to unsubscribe from my RSS feed.

Instead of doing that, I encourage you to subscribe to a subfeed, in which I’ll post “the good stuff.” Pretty much all of my technical articles include the tag ‘programming’, so I’m going to use that one to for those articles from now on. Here’s the new URL to add to your RSS reader:

http://www.platinumball.net/blog/category/programming/feed/

more meta

February 2, 2009 9:44 pm

At the time of this writing, one of my entries is the second google hit for “ideas bash scripts unix” and “complex bash scripts”. According to my access logs, a couple of people have found me that way. Cool!

Unfortunately, the spammers also found me, in record time. So I’ve currently got comments pretty thoroughly locked down. I think I’ve allowed people who have created accounts here to comment, and nobody else.

I’m not trying to discourage discussion, I just don’t like having to clear the crud out of my blog two or three times a day. Until I get the hang of this, you are encouraged to email me at the address on my “About” page.

california dreamin’

December 18, 2008 2:27 pm

Do recruiters all use the same keyword-search software?

Today I have received three emails for the exact same job. The description is generic. It sounds like something that hundreds of people could do. It’s in San Diego, so it’s not because I am a good geographic match. This seems to happen to me frequently. The recruiters of the world come together as one, and all decide that I am perfect for a particular job. Heh!

I’m working on a couple of programming-oriented posts, but I guess I forgot that technical writing is hard. If I’m lucky, people much smarter than I am will read them. I have to be accurate, which requires research. So I decided to write something fluffy first, to keep the blog from looking dead. Hello internets, I am your scintillating host.

According to the access logs, my Mac newsreader is downloaded about one hundred times per week. This is a program that I stopped working on over a year ago, that was never all that well-suited to its audience, and was never all that finished, either. A program that accesses a discussion network that is pretty much dead. One hundred times! Per week! Who are all these people?

There really should be a way I can make money off of this.

Well, I’m trying. I am hard at work on yet another program, this time targeted at the Mac and the iPhone.

The biggest mistake I made last time was underestimating Mac users’ need for apps that look good and conform to Apple’s user interface conventions. I am not immune to this myself, as a user. I prefer Safari over Firefox, because the latter might have more technical bells and whistles, but the former is much more satisfying to use, on a day-to-day basis. So this time I am going to recruit a designer to work with.

Another mistake I made last time was recruiting beta users who mostly followed me to the Mac from BeOS, where pretty UIs were not a priority. Next time I will look for users who have been using the Mac since System 6 ruled the earth.

I plan to do a really good demo app, so I can get hired at another startup. What I learned from my first startup is that I am even better than I thought at tackling technical problems of almost any sort, whether they involve technology I’m familiar with or not. I learned Actionscript, Flash, Amazon EC2/S3, and MySQL in about two months, total, for all of them. I could perform similar miracles for any other technology.

UPDATE: the final number of emails today for the San Diego job was five. weird.

Hello, world

December 13, 2008 11:01 am

Well! This wordpress business is not so easy, is it?

In my first attempt, I used Dreamhost’s “for complete and utter idiots” installation method. That was far too limiting. I don’t get any log data that way, and I can’t set a custom site icon. So here I am on my second installation attempt, which put the wordpress files into my own hosting space. Better, but I’ve still got a ways to go.

My “archives” and “about” links don’t work. I’ve been trying to fix them for an hour. Not to brag too much, but it is a very rare problem indeed that I can’t fix with three or four minutes of googling and experimentation.

In my site logs, I can see I’m already getting a small amount of traffic to this blog. Probably due to the influx of readers I got from the Flash article I wrote. Can one of you nice people tell me how to make this blog’s “about” and “archive” links work?

I’ve got a gigantic list of blog topics I want to write about, if I can ever get this thing working.

UPDATE: never mind, I fixed it.  Sure wasn’t easy, though.  The documentation at wordpress.org was just flat-out wrong, as far as I can see.