Web

My blog's notable Octopress tweaks

July 11, 2013 · 1 min read

My plan is for this post to serve as an index to the upcoming posts. Unlike the ASP.NET MVC posts that fizzled (sorry), I need to chronicle these changes in the event I need to dissect them again.

Here's the collection in no particular order:

  • Copyright date - This one is simple and almost not worth noting. I use a copyright date range of [start year]-[current year] and this post simply explains the what and why.
  • Tag generator - Octopress will not support tags. Tag index pages are trivial to implement but I'm also starting to agree with the premise that one taxonomy should really be enough.
  • Feed excerpts - These aren't generally created to my knowledge, or specifically the summary section. The general way to create excerpts is a little awkward but smart.
  • Google Form notification full service sample taken from ...

Migration from WordPress to Octopress Complete

July 10, 2013 · 1 min read

In case anyone was watching, I switched the blog from a generic WordPress with a slightly customized theme to octopress. I'm using the excellent Octoflat theme with a few notable tweaks. I reintroduced the search and feed buttons as well as expanded the navigation to allow nested menus. The theme allows for nested menu elements and while 2 levels deep is highly acceptable, I happen to use 3.

I'm writing this post using the excellent MarkPad which serves all of my needs perfectly. You don't need a markdown editor, but having one with live-preview that reinforces the markdown syntax is killer. That I can insert a URL and it automatically format the document accordingly is a small but useful to ...

ASP.NET MVC hosting lesson: Elmah and SQL Server 2000

April 3, 2010 · 2 min read

Background

Technically this isn't specific to ASP.NET MVC at all, that just happens to be how I use Elmah. I started work on an ASP.NET MVC project with certain erroneous preconceived notions. I originally started the database with SQL 2008 in mind because I run Windows 7. An easily accessible staging server used SQL 2005 and it was here that I ran into my first compatibility snag. A database project may be set for an earlier revision but you can't transplant those .bak files and expect them to restore. This is generally 101 level stuff but something I tend to keep in the back of my mind at the worst times.

This staging issue foreshadowed production: the shared hosting company I use is running SQL 2000. Argh! Luckily this process was less painful: I used SQL Publishing Wizard and SQL 2000 in a virtual machine to get the database on the lowest common demoninator. Once in SQL 2000, the backup fil ...

Using jQuery to Simulate the <Blink> tag

March 15, 2010 · 2 min read

While this post actually has nothing to do with ASP.NET MVC directly, the only common denominator is that I came up with this technique while working on the platform.

To be a true 1:1 copy of the previous website I would be converting to ASP.NET MVC, I had to come up with a way to reintroduce the <blink> tag to XHTML. While you are perfectly able to use <blink> it doesn't actually do any blinking in IE8 or Firefox. To show that properly, jQuery comes to the rescue.

The technique is really pretty simple:

  1. Define your element with an arbitrary id or class (i.e.: <div id="#alertheader">)
  2. Style the content accordingly
  3. Use jQuery/javascript to show and hide content on an interval
setInterval(function(< ...

Moving...

February 1, 2010 · 1 min read

I'm still in the process of moving but managed to move the computer + desk. I've moved to a much smaller room but the group of friends is a little more in sync compared to the other living arrangement. I still need to share living with other people which tends to suck in certain directions.

I'll reiterate the obvious: moving sucks. I'm sore. I haven't slept much but I'm thankfully about 80% done. Cleanup is going to suck and thankfully I can take trash to where I am now then dump it at work periodically where they have a bigger trash collector.

The only costs so far have been time and gas money, with a large help from my fiancee Miranda.

I was living with someone who has easily gotten by without the internet for a week. Myself? Not so much. I enjoyed "time off" but as a visual learner that needs to see things in front of him, it became incredibly difficult to walk anyone through anything internet related. I made it a point to be very much a part of a plugged-in culture and that showed ...