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Most Recent (Last update: 2200 01/26/03)

Fair enough. Let's talk a bit more about news feeds and aggregators... The question came in a couple different formats, but they all boiled down to "What's the point?". K', that's legit, especially if you're only running through a limited number of sites per day or per week checking for updates (limited being defined as your amount of discretionary time divided by the reciprocal of the number of sites on your 'to visit' list multiplied by the coefficient of how often each site updates <g>).

What I mean is that if you run through a small number of sites that routinely update once a day, it's just no big thing. ...but if you're trying to stay up to date with sixty plus sites, several communities and the news as I do, things can fall apart fast. ...and that's where the news feeds and other services can help.

The prototype 'update' service was the old Weblogs "Favorites" javascript pull. That worked very well until scaling issues forced a change. It took a little while, but several providers filled the gap (including Weblogs in the form of their 'ping' system).

...but one of the limitations of 'Blogrolling" and related sites is that they'll show an update for almost any activity on a site, especially one that's set for automatic pings as most of the Moveable Type sites are. So, if an author updates and republishes, or if a comment is added (in some cases), you'll get a blip. That's cool. ...or maybe not. It depends on your level of interest. ...but how about if you could see some data about the site updates? Like maybe the title of the piece and the first few sentences? Yeah, that would be cool; that's like skimming the table of contents in a magazine...

...and those same MT sites that automatically ping the update servers also provide 0.91 and 1.0 RSS feeds right out of the box. ...and with reasonable defaults (I say that because the feeds can be customized or ignored to where they are a bother; more on that in a tutorial on the Surreally Support Board. No really; I promise!). ...and if you're running a freebie reader such as Amphetadesk (I don't have any personal experience with FeedReader), you're golden! So, day to day, whenever I care to check, I can see the latest from any MT or B2 site I have entered into my installation. ...and the Reuters Health feed. ...and the Moreover headline feed. ...or anything else I can find out there! ...and what I've found myself doing lately is adding links to my Amphetadesk installation rather than my links page.

So, there's some of the "why" of it all...


Briefly, to Ken Scott, who asked about Trackback in Moveable Type, here's an excerpt from the MT Manual:

TrackBack itself is a framework for peer-to-peer communication between weblogs; it can track cross-weblog discussions, it can provide remote content repositories, it can emulate guest authoring, etc.

In it's most basic form, Trackback can simply let you know that someone has referenced your post (as will be done here in a few moments when I ping your post); in a more advanced format, multiple trackbacks can be set up to be viewed as a threaded discussion of your subject (there's a test thread here set up by Mena Trott (although that is perhaps an extreme example).

Consider yourself pinged <g>!


I guess it's only been two days, but it seems like forever since I've been blading... Hmmm... Thinking back, I did manage to get out twice over the weekend, even though I'd had to abort Friday and Saturday due to the fire we have burning twenty miles away. I'm guessing my stress levels are up, if I'm missing it after just two days <g>.

I did get the newer wheels on and they're working okay. The change to 80mm wheels was more noticeable than I thought it would be: the geometry shifted enough to bring my abs into more action than before and the larger circumference means I have to work a bit harder for per stroke. On the flip side, cruising with the wind is still about the same and the downhill stuff is nicely faster...

Let's see... Tuesday was the soccer awards banquet and tonight was dinner at my Mom's... Maybe tomorrow?

I'm thinking I'll need it by then!


The winds of change are blowing once again over at the Surreally Domain Triad... If you're an end user or a host, there'll be server moves coming up in the next few days. Check in on the portal-type-thing every so often for updates (or sign up there for automatic notification). Please post problems to the Support Board and we'll get back to you with an answer as soon as one is available.
...and that's it for tonight!


One of the reasons I ended up with my brain so fried last night was I was revamping the page that allows me to manually ping Moveable Type sites that use the Trackback option. I started off figuring it wouldn't be that big a deal, since all MT's designers did was deprecate the "get" function in favor of the "post" function for sending pings; but heck, why not rework the entire form?

Yeah... You've BTDT too. ...and I had that sucker, or thought I did <g>. I made one little cosmetic change... Well, and one stuctural one also. ...but yeah: hosed. Wonderful. ...and it took me a while to get things back to where they were. ...'cause all of a sudden I lost some of the functionality I'd had. Silly little "+" sign...

But things finally got under control. So... If your a non-Moveable Type user and you want to ping an MT's site's post back to your place, here you go. ...and if this is all just gibberish to you? Well then, welcome to Friday!!!

...and the start of the weekend!


Well, there are no longer any computers in "Brad's room" <g>, just a monitor on a desk. The body count so far: Janus (the server) has been out in the garage for a week or two and handling things well enough; he'll last until the summer heat but should be replaced by then with a newer machine (yeah, like a P-120!). Athena (the Win95 box) has likely pulled her last batch of email from the server as an archiving machine; she's likely going on a missions project in St. Louis. Wolf bit the dust during the move; his motherboard lost an IDE channel (WT???) and perhaps a drive or two (certainly the OS). He'll come back up again as Brad's machine.

On the Linux side of the street, Tux had his attic cleaned out and burned to CD today; now I can upgrade his Linux install. I threw an Onstream tape unit in to play with since he may be handling backup chores for the household under the new configuration. He'll show up out here in the kitchen sometime this week and resume his regular duties as the main workstation for mail and web work. I have two Fujitsus in line for configuring as routers and servers; that's now possible since the connectivity in the garage is working out just fine: Shelley's back up on the Cat5 segment and Mainspring (the Win2k box) is rocking on the wireless segment (otherwise you wouldn't be seeing any of this...).

Off to catch a movie if I can find where I packed them away...


Okay, the Superbowl is history. ...but the commericals will be around for a while (Ken has the list if you're interested <g>).

The day started late after the silliness of last night (I think I neglected to mention the skunk upwind from us about the same time?); but after church, things got on track: I removed the track lights from Brad's room and re-established Shelley's connectivity that had mysteriously disappeared (crimp twice the first time?). ...and since the closet doors are back on, that's about it before the painters come.

I still have to install a ceiling fan (and the ceiling fan mount [and the X-10 remotes for the fan and light {and the X-10 controller for the X-10 remotes}]), but that has to happen after the painters (but before the carpet people so I'd best get all that ordered up). All that's really left to do is to roll the desks out so the tradesmen can do their thing.

...but that's another day.

The Conjuror
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"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

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