“A nearly impenetrable thicket of geekitude…”


Blogging about blogging.

Link Rot

I have been writing here (or on the predecessor site) since 1996. That means that at the time of writing in 2018, some of that content is over twenty years old. If your reaction to that statement is “that’s plenty of time for something to break” then your instincts are perfectly sound.

Comments Return

Courtesy of a custom Perl installation and Jay Allen’s latest MT-Blacklist software, anonymous comments are enabled again.

Using MTAmazon in the UK

I use Adam Kalsey’s MTAmazon V2.22 plugin for Movable Type to put Amazon product images at the top of blog entries (usually book reviews). I had to make a couple of changes to one of the source files to make it work with the UK version of Amazon’s site.

[Updated 2004-11-29 to link to a copy of the MTAmazon.pm file.]

Feed Validator

The aggregator I use at the moment (RssReader) is pretty strict. That’s as it should be: it’s definitely the Way of XML and to a certain extent the Web in general is taking up that approach with the move towards web standards. Recently I’ve hit several blogs whose feeds have been rejected by RssReader for various reasons: even, in one case, just flat invalid XML caused by a malformed CDATA section.

When RssReader sees an invalid feed, it gives you a link to a feed validator put together by Mark Pilgrim and Sam Ruby. There you can see exactly what went wrong, in context, and get some help in fixing it. Everyone should run this on their own feeds once in a while, in the same way that they should be running the W3C validators on their web pages and CSS.

What’s sauce for the goose… you can validate the feed for this blog.

(Of course, the first time I tried it myself I got an error message and had to delay this post until I had fixed it. D’oh!)

[2018-02-09: updated the validation link]


Blog Comment Spam

New medium, same old sleaze it seems. Today, someone wishing to advertise Those Blue Pills placed a comment on each of the fifteen posts I’d made here so far. Just to make sure the message got through, some posts got up to three copies of the advertisement.

This was annoying, but I should have been expecting it.

Essential Blogging, by Powers et al.

Review of Essential Blogging, by Doctorow, Dornfest, Johnston, Powers (ed.), Trott and Trott.

Summary: good introduction to blogging systems, particularly if you’re trying to decide which system is right for you. You’re unlikely to need to read it twice.


Here are some resolutions for my shiny new weblog:

  • Enjoy experimenting with the technology.
  • Try not to rant too much.
  • Write for myself.