Posted by Jarsto in Category 42, Meta
May 28th, 2015 | No Comments »

Do you ever look at your website/blog and sort of shudder at the thought of how long it’s been since you’ve updated it… Maybe it’s just me, but let’s say that yes, for all the good intentions I keep having about blogging more it seldom seems to happen.

Posted by Jarsto in Category 42, Site News
September 22nd, 2013 | No Comments »

Once again I haven’t been active on this blog in far too long. I’m looking at being more active online in general again, which includes this blog. But I still have some thinking/balancing work to do to figure out what I want to do where online.

Posted by Jarsto in Technology, Writing
October 8th, 2012 | No Comments »

I recently switched to SpiderOak as my new backup solution for a lot of things, including everything I write. In this blog I want to give you some of my reasons for doing backups as well as my reasons for choosing SpiderOak. If you’re considering getting SpiderOak yourself you might want to use my referral link. This means I get 1GB extra storage when you sign up, and so do you (so you start with 3GB free instead of the normal 2GB SpiderOak gives you).

Posted by Jarsto in Photos, Site News
July 8th, 2012 | No Comments »

After dealing with the new photos from the Hortus a few days back I decided to kick myself in the butt to finally get another set, taken during a holiday in London last Autumn up on the site as well.

Posted by Jarsto in Photos, Site News
July 6th, 2012 | No Comments »

It’s been a while since I added anything to the site. But a trip to the nearby botanical gardens yesterday yielded a beautiful set of photos, the highlights of which I’ve selected and uploaded here.

Posted by Jarsto in Site News
June 2nd, 2011 | No Comments »

After thinking about it for what seems like forever I’ve finally decided to go ahead and import everything from my old blog into the new setup. This means that officially no longer does anything, so I’ve gone ahead and set up a .htaccess redirect for it.

Posted by Jarsto in Photos
May 9th, 2011 | No Comments »

It’s been far too long since I’ve done anything on this site, something I keep meaning to remedy but never seem to quite get around to. Finally some activity today though: I’ve managed to make a selection from the photos I took on a trip to Andalusia with my father about a month and a half ago and put them up in the Photo’s section.

Posted by Jarsto in Media, Technology
June 24th, 2009 | No Comments »

As those who follow me on twitter will know, I’ve been doing without my PC for a few days now. Not because I want to, but because my motherboard decided to short out on me. Even though this is not a nice experience, there are some positive sides to it. Granted, I’m not sure I’d see any positives if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve been able to re-purpose my file server to serve as a temporary desktop without too much trouble.

But as I do have my re-purposed file server keeping me connected to the essentials I’ve decided to do a little blog post about the surprising positives I’ve noticed in being cut off from my regular PC. Not that I’d recommend anyone get their mboard shorted out just to experience these…

Item One

I no longer have all the links I’d normally take for granted in my bookmarks, toolbar, and history. This may sound like a weird positive, but I find it is. It’s made me realise just how much of a creature of habit I really am. There are sited I visit regularly, sites I know the address off, which I simply can’t be bothered to go to when I have to actually type that address. Not bothering with those sites has left me the time to do a lot more reading than I had been doing for a while.

Item Two

Another positive thing for me is that lacking my PC has forced me to make some decisions. I’d been thinking about a Magnatune streaming membership for quite a while, but I only got around to actually getting one because I’ve been cut off from all the music that’s stored on my desktop. As a result I’ve listened to, and enjoyed, more new music in the last few days than in the previous month or so.

Item Three

Related to the missing links, but a little different, I’ve found that aside from my browsing habits my routine has also changed a little. Most the changes aren’t massive, I’ve made sure my backup desktop is now running pretty much the same software my PC normally uses, but it has made me reconsider other things – like that large number of RSS feeds I’m subscribed to, even though I mostly click “Mark All Read” because I haven’t the time to read them. I’ve already mentally scheduled a thorough RSS cleanup for when the PC is up and running again.

Looking Back

So what do I feel looking back after a few days? Well I’ll still be glad tomorrow when I can pick up my new board and get my regular PC up and running again. But even so these intervening days haven’t been as bad as I’d first thought they might be. And the replacement I’ve ordered – replacing mboard, proc & memory – is also an upgrade that should put off the need to buy a new PC entirely at least a while longer.

And of course when I do get the (upgraded) PC back up and running I can carry some of the changes to my routine made during the last few days back there. That way the crash may actually have a positive effect in the long term.

Posted by Jarsto in Technology
June 2nd, 2009 | 2 Comments »

It’s been too long since my last update to this blog. I don’t know why, but every time I decide to blog more, I keep it up for a little bit and then drop off again. And my last burst of activity was, of course, no different then the others in the end. And recently there’s been Twitter, which has replaced blogging, at least in some cases. But Twitter is, in a way, also the reason I’m blogging now. Because I’ve been having fun with code again lately, and it’s thanks to Twitter.

I was somewhat intrigued at first by mentions of the Twitter API. And then I started noticing (I must have seen them before, but I’d never actually noticed) some of the various ways people display Twitter statuses on other websites. And while there were some pretty good ones, I ran into the usual problem: none of them did exactly what I wanted them to do, the way I wanted them to do it.

Granted I could have lived with some of them, but I decided it would be more fun to write my own. Which is why I’ve been blowing the dust and rust off my PHP skills recently, working on my first ever wordpress plugin. It’s not done yet, and it’s only seen limited testing, but I’m hoping to take the code public as of version 0.5. Now I just have to figure out what features I want to have in 0.5.

The main problem seems to be one of balance – which I’ve always thought is probably the main trick of life anyway. In this case the balance is between allowing the user to customise the way they want the plugin to appear, and having something that runs without the user having to (virtually) write their own plugin.

Posted by Jarsto in Technology
December 15th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday, as well as most of today so far, playing with code. Some PHP and some javascript. I’ve never done much with the latter until quite recently, so a lot of that is not much further than “Hello World”, but it’s fun.

I’m actually still in two minds about most javascript uses. Or rather in one mind: don’t do it. As a rule I believe sites should use as little javascript as possible. For one thing javascript, like flash and other client side scripts, is somewhat impolite. Rather than using serverpower to present the site you want, you use the processor power of person showing an interest by visiting the site.

Granted there are things that simply can’t be done serverside, and javascript is usually a better way to deal with them than flash. But quite a few sites use javascript even when there are perfectly valid serverside alternatives. In fact there are sites where, even when I’m not doing (or looking at) anything special I can still watch my processor usage spike just from having them open.

I’ve had a look at some more advanced code as well, and I find that it’s getting easier and easier to figure out what’s going on just be reading the code. That should translate into an ability to either adapt or write more advanced pieces of code, which is my real aim: Combining the clientside effects of javascript with the serverside power of PHP through AJAX.

Most of that’s still in the future (though I hope in the near future), but however that may be, I’ve rediscovered something: playing around with code is almost as much fun as writing fiction. My ideal is still to make my living by writing fiction some day, but if I can make some of my money by writing code, that would be good too.