Archive for the 'Website' Category

Published by Niels on 14 Oct 2007

Aikido exam images added

Just added some more pictures from the aikido exams in Amersfoort on 6 October. You can find them here.

If you really like them as I do, just contact my lovely wife.

Published by Niels on 12 Oct 2007

Comment spam (a big 132 to spammers)

Ever since I changed my CMS to WordPress, the ability to comment option on my postings has been switched on. Of course I do not want all kinds of spam on my weblog, so at first I made sure that only comments from people I approved would be allowed on this weblog. This caused me to have to disapprove a lot of comments a day, so I installed the Akismet plugin for WordPress. That caught a lot of spam comments automatically, but the plugin retains the comments for 15 days before finally deleting them. So after 15 days I had +/- 900 comment spams in my database, waiting to be deleted once they are 15 days old.

Since I am a cheapskate (read: I don not want to pay for more storage than necessary). I was wondering how to reduce the number of comment spams that Akismet had to catch. So I installed a CAPTCHA plugin called reCAPTCHA. It has the nice side effect that it not only generates good captchas remotely and with disabled (i.e. blind) people in mind, it also is used to help in digitizing old books. The words that you type in are scrambled images from a book that needs to be digitized. What a wonderful project!

Lets see if this keeps down the amount of comment spam. And if you are wondering what the ‘132’ means in the title: just show this number in binary using your fingers :).

Update 11:36:

First it seemed that the CAPTCHA plugin did not prevent comments from being processed by Akismet. After some Googling I found that the Akismet plugin had to be switched off. But reCAPTCHA is seems to be easily defeated as I already have 6 comments waiting to be moderated. So for now I will switch Akismet on again, saving me some time moderating.

Published by Niels on 25 Jul 2007

The finald leads

Are the heaviest. Or so they say in Dutch. It means that the last task you have to do is the hardest.

This is just a message to let you know that the internal links should now all point to the correct places within this web site and that this website is now fully functional.

Published by Niels on 24 Jul 2007

Looking better and better (2)…

The overview of the archives in the sidebar was a bit too verbose to my taste. So in a natural reflex (stupid software engineers) I studied how to write my own archive list creation function. Luckily I thought of searching for a WordPress plugin that filled my needs. Thanks again!

Published by Niels on 24 Jul 2007

Looking better and better

The default WordPress theme is so….


So I went searching on the web for nice themes and this was the one I really liked. Only a few minor tweaks were necessary thus far.

Check out the creator’s site, he has lots more where this came from. Thanks!

Published by Niels on 24 Jul 2007

One step closer

One item of the list. If you look to the sidebar then you might notice that there is a link to a download section again. It was a bit of a puzzle to create this one as I like my download pages to appear as simple as possible, i.e. just as file pages in my browser. But when I created the subdirectory I got a 403 Forbidden message.

After some searching I found that it could be solved in the following way:

  1. Create the subdirectory in your website’s root.
  2. Create a page of the same name in WordPress.
  3. Add Options +indexes to the top of the .htaccess file in the root directory of your website. Make sure that the subdirectories do not contain any .htaccess files.
  4. Make sure that the downloads directory and its subdirectories file permissions are set to 755 and that the permissions of the files that are stored in there are set to 644.

So now just the tedious task of validating links in my posts is left before this site is fully functional again.

Published by Niels on 22 Jul 2007

What a job (read: Thank you Diona!)

As mentioned I converted this weblog to use WordPress as a CMS.

My initial thought was to write an import filter to have my Nanoblogger based data converted. But Diona convinced me to do it by hand (OK, writing the import filter probably does take more time).

The initial import of all the posts, galleries and categories is now finished. The things that are left to do are:

  1. Give all downloadable files a place on this site. If this will be done in WordPress has to be seen.
  2. Validate all links in the posts.

Probably there is more left, but now I have at least reached a point where I find I can use this site again for what is has been intended.

At least the manual conversion is a good excuse to get to know WordPress and to find out that at least all the functionality I had with Nanoblogger can be replaced.

  1. For the gallery replacement I used myGallery. It has the simplicity I like in a plugin, and has at least the same functionality as the Nanoblogger Gallery plugin.
  2. And for the source code syntax high lighting I found WP-Syntax. It has not as much languages to choose from as my own solution but it gets the work done nicely.

Published by Niels on 04 Jul 2007

Goodbye NanoBlogger…

As you may notice this website’s content management system is no longer the Bash driven NanoBlogger. It became just too cumbersome to run it from the command line and keep the site’s source synchronized between several computers. Even after creating my own tool to do it. So I took the easy route an installed WordPress instead. So now I can hopefully keep putting stuff on the web.

I would like to thank some people for reminding me that I should really do something with this site. If my better half is right it shouldn’t take too long to have (most) of the old contents back on this site.

Published by Niels on 02 Aug 2006

NanoBlogger and ViM

NanoBlogger is a minimalistic approach to blogging as vi (or ViM) is a minimalistic approach to editing. Okay, not as minimalistic as ed or ex, but you get the idea.

Using ViM as the default editor for NanoBlogger is as simple as setting the variable $EDITOR in .bashrc, $BLOG_DIR/blog.conf or, if you want control of NanoBlogger settings for each machine that you work on, $HOME/.nb.conf.

But the default settings for editing entries or articles are not particularly nice. Fortunately ViM can have settings on a per-file basis using modelines (if you don’t know what they are just type :h auto-setting on the ViM command line). To make editing with ViM a bit nicer, just edit the following files:

  • $BLOG_DIR/templates/entry.metadata
  • $BLOG_DIR/templates/file.metadata

and add the following line at the end of the file:

vim: set ts=4 sw=4 ff=unix fo+=t et:

This should provide you with some decent ViM settings across all machines that you are working on.

NanoBlogger versions <=3.3-RC5 have a bug that will overwrite the template files with the default template files and undo your modeline setting. This can be fixed by either using a later version (not available at the time of this writing), using the CVS version or editing the file lib/ in the same directory where your NanoBlogger binary is. Search for a line that has the following:


and change that to:


Published by Niels on 25 Jul 2006

New link page

In several blog entries I made references to sites I found useful, interesting or funny. I also have the habit of archiving links to interesting, funny and useful sites in my inbox. No more. From now on the articles section will have a page with categorized links.

If you think anything is missing please let me know.

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