TP-Link TL-WA801ND: Nice

I just installed one of these at home, and it’s great. It reminds me of OpenWRT, the open source router firmware, in that it allows you to turn the router into a WiFi client, a wireless bridge, an access point, or a range extender. It’s super-cheap at around $25, and extremely easy to configure with the provided configuration wizard.

Anyone who knows what the different modes are, and how to configure an access point, can set it up in ten minutes.

It even does VLANs! Well, not really – it allows up to four SSIDs and will send each one to a different VLAN. That’s the bare minimum needed to set up access points with guest and private networks. So you can combine that with a lower-end smart switch, and do a little enterprise-style WiFi on a small budget.

It even supports “Passive POE”, which is just a power injector device. The device doesn’t support any of the standard power-over-ethernet standards.

When Does the PageRank Patent Expire? January 9, 2018

January 9, 1998: Google’s filed for its PageRank patent on that day. Patents expire 20 years after the filing date, or January 9, 2018 for this patent.

Shortly thereafter, all the search engines will probably deploy some kind of PageRank algorithm. This will start the slow erosion of Google as the top dog of search engines. PageRank isn’t the only determinant of search result quality, but PageRank made Google.

WordPress’ COOKIE_DOMAIN and Multisite with Domain Mapping

I have been managing a site with multisite and domain mapping, without the traditional plugin. Domain mapping is when you allow a multsite website like mysite.example.com to be used as the website for a different domain, like mysite.com.

The biggest problem I had was getting the admin login working on a mapped domain. This good tutoral explains how to fix that problem. Continue reading WordPress’ COOKIE_DOMAIN and Multisite with Domain Mapping

Some Notes on Site Migration to WordPress

I have a tiny site, sign-in-sheet.com, that was an experiment to see if ads can pay; they can, but it’s a tiny site, with tiny revenues.

I ported it over to WordPress, and it took several hours. It took 9 and 1/3 hours, more or less.

The trade off is that it’s now easier to update.  I have a bunch of modified files that should be uploaded.

The site gets little traffic, but I basically spent less than a day making the initial site. It drives ad clicks, because you don’t have these dense, endless lists of options.  You search, land on a page, and see, along with the content, a big ad. Odds are, a vendor is remarketing something to you, so you are more likely to click.

Webmaster Tools Dinged Me

I found some unpublished printable forms, so added them to the site, growing the footprint. Since this site can now grow, with some effort, I decided to install the Yoast plugin to coach my writing.

Yoast produces an XML Sitemap, so I went over to Google Search Console, aka Webmaster Tools to see if the site was being indexed. As expected, it was out of date… but there were some improvements to the tools, one of them being some tools to analyze how the site will perform in a mobile phone.

There, I had some bad news. Google wants sites to be mobile-friendly. My theme was not.
At least not Google’s version. My CSS and HTML were responsive, and acceptable to my eyes… but Google couldn’t tell.

The lesson here is that you need to get into the search tools asap – meaning as you release the theme. It’ll add a few hours of work to the theme, though.

A Coder’s Perspective on REST API Testing

I’m writing this to post on uTest, a testing outsourcing platform. I have wanted to get a testing job for a while, but lacking anything on my resume that makes me look like a tester (rather than a programmer or a general dilettante), seems to get me nowhere. So, uTest seems like as good an avenue as any to learn formal testing. It’s not as magical as I thought it would be, so far… but that’s the case with most IT tasks, right? Continue reading A Coder’s Perspective on REST API Testing