Phillip Pearson - web + electronics notes

tech notes and web hackery from a new zealander who was vaguely useful on the web back in 2002 (see: python community server, the blogging ecosystem, the new zealand coffee review, the internet topic exchange).


Permalinks active

As promised, permalinks now work.

So now you can link to my first post, note about security, answer to Joe's question and so on.

The date header on each day box links to a list of all the posts for that day (e.g. today), and the title of each post links to the post itself (within the day page). Those are permanent links, so they won't disappear unless I get booted off the Salon server!
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Another familiar face (name?)

Marc Barrot (known for s l a m and ActiveRenderer) is up and blogging on the Salon server now too.

BTW, what is going on with Usernum 3? There are quite a few low-numbered blogs between this one - #2 - and Lawrence Lee - #13 - Scott Rosenberg - #14 - etc. Presumably most of them are Jake and Lawrence testing out the new Salon template, but Usernum 3 seems different. If the mystery user is reading, do speak up :)
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This is pretty cool: there are 74 blogs here already.

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RSS works

More astute readers may have noticed that the comment links only recently appeared on this blog, and they don't look quite the same as the ones on the other blogs here.

The reason for that is that I'm not using Radio to update this blog. Hopefully UserLand and Salon don't mind too much. It's put together using a few Python scripts on a Linux box.

At first, it was just a few commands to quickly post a page, but now I can have multiple days worth of blog posts, and a sort-of calendar (condensed into a single line - the numbers below the title on this page). Now there is an RSS feed as well.

Permalinks don't work yet, so just link to this front page for the moment, but I'll put those in in the next few days.
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Online research successful

Cool, Thomas Scovell is indeed a New Zealander. He's from Auckland, up north -- if you have a map, look at the North Island: it's kind of diamond shaped, with a 'tail' extending north; Auckland is located at the start of the 'tail'. I'm from Christchurch, in the middle of the South Island, on the east coast.
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Posting from multiple computers

Joe, of people are stupid, asks how to post to your Radio blog from multiple computers. I bet Rogers will answer this one too, but I'll have a go at it here.

In short: Radio doesn't have any built-in synchronisation. Your posts are stored on your local machine, and when your blog is published, the HTML pages are generated and posted up to the server. It's not like Blogger, where all your posts live on a server, or Movable Type, where all your posts live on the same server as the blog.

This is good sometimes (if your web host loses all your pages, you can just hit 'republish all' and get your blog back, and if you want to switch web hosts, you can do it very easily) but can make synchronisation difficult.

Radio has two features that may suit you, though: posting by e-mail and allowing remote access.

If you sign up for dynamic DNS service with someone like DynDns or CJB, you can get a domain name that will always point to your dialup or DSL/cable connected PC at home. Go to the Remote access and security config page in Radio and click on the first two boxes (that will let you post from other systems). Leave the third one (access to system pages) unchecked, but check the fourth one (require a password) and type in a username and password you want to use. This is important as otherwise anybody who finds your computer online can post to your blog.

Now, leave your computer connected to the internet when you go to work and connect back to the domain you configured ( or, etc). You should get a login/password prompt, and when you enter the username and password you configured earlier, you'll see the Radio interface and will be able to blog.

If you don't want to leave your PC connected all the time, you can get Radio to periodically check your e-mail and post anything it receives. Only do this if you have a spare address -- don't use your normal address as it will delete all your mail :)

The config page for that is here. Give it your server name, username and password, set 'check mail every XX minutes' to 30 or something, change the secret subject, and save the settings.

Now when you want to post, send a message to that mailbox and put the 'secret subject' in the subject line, and your blog post in the message body. It should show up on yourblog once Radio checks your mail and publishes it.

Good luck ;-)

More details from Rogers Cadenhead
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