Managing and Displaying External Links in WordPress

I've been having a helluva time figuring out how to manage and display a list of links in WordPress. The program has a links feature, but it's aimed at managing the list of links in the sidebar.

Saved by an Old System (Disaster Recovery Story and Case Study)

I had an email spam filter machine (which also did other things). When we got new computers, I figured on replacing the machine. What we did was, basically, copy most of the configuration from the old system to the new system. It wasn't identical, but very close.

Roff, Groff, and the Roots of Computer Typesetting

Today we take it for granted that computers can set type, but from the 60s to the 80s, most computers used either teletypes or character-based screens. The Xerox Star and Apple Lisa and Apple Macs, and PostScript changed this, but before them, typesetting was done using weird command languages that would send pages to special typesetters. The most well known setup was troff, which lives on in groff and in Solaris. The troff system used a computer typesetter called a CAT, and it wasn't a bitmap laser printer. It has these fonts that were spools of film that were photographs of letters. The font sizes were created by projecting the image of the letter onto the page at different sizes. I believe the rest of the process was like a photocopier - the toner goes on, and then is transferred to the paper, and fused.

Does software get old and wear out?

This isn't addressed to anyone in particular, but it's a common question: does software get old and wear out. They ask because their computers have gotten slower, or features have stopped working.

An Idea for More Memorable Identicons

Identicons are those odd graphics you see next to peoples' names in comments.

Comparison Shopping for Toilet Paper, in multiple computer languages.

It's hard to concentrate when you're tired and cranky, so I wasted some time writing a simple calculator in several different languages.

MS Outlook: Dumping MIME EML Email Files for Spamassassin Training

Here's a VBA script that I'm using to train Spamassassin from Outlook. It saves out email messages to a file server where messages are used to train the filter. The problem here is that Outlook doesn't save EML (MIME format) files. You can save messages as text, but lately, spammers have been loading messages with a lot of chaff text that looks like regular email. You can't train with that, because it might cause the filter to start mis-identifying legit email as spam.

Hauppage WinTV-1600 on Linux

I bought this several months back, and finally installed it on the Linux box. It works, sort of. ATSC (HDTV terrestrial broadcast) works fine. FM Radio does not. More info:

MS Outlook: Mass Email VBA Script

This is an outline I'm going to use to fix up a mass email script for Outlook that I'm working on. It was kinda elegant and explains how to do some cooperative multitasking with Visual Basic for Applications.

As you might imagine, there are a lot of mass email tools for Outlook. See Mass Mail Tools for Outlook, but this first version had some special needs (it was a huge list), and the second one I'd like to give to others, so a simplified, stripped down tool is best.

MS Access: Comparing Queries Between Two Databases (a query diff)

Often, when you have MS Access in a small office, and have done the right thing and split the database into a backend of tables and frontend of queries, reports, and forms, you end up with changes to the objects in multiple files. The trickiest is comparing queries, because the query object is modified if even a column width is changed. You need to dig deeper and compare queries.

Heuristics are Nice : (working toward) Facebook-style Previews

I was thinking about how facebook updates parse out the url, then construct a nice looking preview. I think what it takes is scanning the textarea for a url, and then using ajax to tell the server to fetch a summary of the page at the url. get the data back, and insert it into a template, and reveal it.

PNG Colors are Wrong in Firefox (and how to deal with non-sRGB wide gamut monitors at work)

I created a PNG that was bright red, but in Firefox, it is a duller red. The fix was to remove the color profile from the PNG by using the tool TweakPNG.

Haskell Name Game

Main> nameGame "alonzo"
"alonzo, alonzo bo blonzo bonana fanna fo flonzo fee fy mo mlonzo, alonzo"
Main> nameGame "haskell"
"haskell, haskell bo baskell bonana fanna fo faskell fee fy mo maskell, haskell"
LOLz. Here's some real beginner-level source code for a version of the "Name Game". The Name Game was a song from way back. It's silly.
Sources after the jump.

Formatting Mobile HTML Email

While writing a template for spam, I learned the following about mobile email formatting.

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