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Part of me wants to break down barriers, set people free and make the world a better place. A bigger part of me wants to sit on the sofa, drink tea and play through old Nintendo games.

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Category : Blogging, webstuff, programming

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27/08/09 : Tim's tip of the day (#2)

If you hand-code everything, including a blog, you will probably use loads of php-includes to avoid having to rewrite the same bits of code again and again (and to avoid having to re-write practically everything if you want to make any global changes). I would advise anyone doing this to use the variable $_SERVER["DOCUMENT_ROOT"] rather than the actual server path. This will save you the bother of having to change the code on every single page if you move servers, which would be seriously fucking annoying.

I hope you find this advice useful.

Posted by Tim at 09:58 [ permalink ]
Categories: Blogging, webstuff, programming
Comments [ 0 ]


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13/05/09 : Playing with one's organ. And blogging.

Sarah keeps telling me that I should blog more often. So, this is especially for her 'cause I know how much she loves the smooth swirly tones of the Hammond C3 . . .

I just don't understand how anyone can fail to love the instrument (come on, at least watch it to the end. Just ignore the irritatingly enthusiastic bystander).

Seriously though, the main reason I don't write often is that I am the world's worst procrastinator - I think of something interesting to write about but by the time I get around to actually writing it the inspiration has gone. And anyway, Sarah does the everyday stuff better than me. I never think that anyone would be particularly interested in my day-to-day activities (although I am often fascinated with "ordinary" blogs written by people I don't actually know).

I still like the whole idea of blogging though. Twitter doesn't appeal to me (writing about every insignificant thing you do is more that a little weird) and neither does MySpace (horribly designed pages - as though CSS was never invented - from people desperately trying to get as many pretend friends as possible in order to appear popular) or Facebook (lots of people all attempting to contact people they once knew even though they probably didn't like them much in the first place). I may have run out of things to write about on my original blog (rambling social/political rants) and my first anti-religion blog just got silly (getting hundreds of comments per post was an ego boost until I realised that no one was commenting on what I'd actually written about) but I'm not giving up on this blog yet.

So, business as usual - occasional postings to follow.

Posted by Tim at 01:43 [ permalink ]
Categories: Music, Blogging, webstuff, programming
Comments [ 1 ]


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02/06/2008 : Tim's tips of the day

1. When you back up your blog database, it's probably a good idea to save it somewhere safe rather than on the same computer the original database is on (I'm not actually as dumb as I seem here - the backup was incase of a corrupted database, I wasn't actually expecting my processor to melt).

2. Just incase your processor decides to melt, it's best not to have an Acer PC. This is because you wont get a copy of Windows on a disc and the recovery disc you created will not work on with any other hardware. A new processor for example.

Anyway, due to the above I've had a "sod it, I'll do it myself" moment. I wrote this post completely manually, pasting it into the relevant archive and category pages and altering the feed (never tried writing in XML before, but it seems to work).

Posted by Tim at 19:32 [ permalink ]
Categories: Blogging, webstuff, programming
Comments [ 1 ]


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29/04/08 : Happy birthday ...

... to my blog, which is two years old today.

I could use a phrase like "blogaversary", but made up words that don't quite make sense tend to annoy me (like "workaholic" - which presumably is someone who is addicted to workahol?)

45 posts (approx. average - one every 16 days) and 25 comments - not particularly impressive, but then I'm not writing this for any particular reason, it's just something that's sometimes nice to do. I like setting up and designing sites, but maintaining them tends to be a bit of a chore. Still, moving servers has given me a chance to get rid of some of the crap - although I've got lots of stuff to upload or re-write, which should keep me busy - particularly on my other site, which has been rather neglected of late.

Posted by Tim at 13:46 [ permalink ]
Categories: Blogging, webstuff, programming
Comments [ 1 ]


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10/03/08 : Servers, php, heavy stuff

Bear with me while I sort out the comments and stuff - things aren't working properly since the server this site is on upgraded to php version 5.

In the meantime, here's a little light music.

Actually this is the least "light" of all the music I've got; ultra-tight speed metal band Megadeth when they were at their best (1991 I think, but I can't be bothered to reach for the CD to check). Strangely, this has a lot in common with the Shostakovich on my last post as both have an aggressive, almost violent, energy to them.

I do like "nice" music as well . . .

Posted by Tim at 20:55 (edited on: 13/04/08 22:44) [ permalink ]
Categories: Blogging, webstuff, programming, Music
Comments [ 5 ]


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09/01/08 : Welcome, 2008

I remember one year the queen stated in her Christmas day speech that she had had an "annus horribilis". Something I'm sure she could have got some cream for.

Anyway, the main reason for my lack of blogging in 2007 was that I was having an annus boringis. Not that anything bad happened, and things were fine domestically, it's just that there wasn't much of interest to write about.

So, one of my new years resolutions is to write more often. Even if I'm writing complete crap. Like most other bloggers.

Also I'm going to:

1. be more organised financially
2. throw away - or at least properly sort out - the vast amount of crap that I keep
3. go to the dentist about the tooth that's been knackered for about two years
4. try harder to eat better (more seasonal, local and organic stuff)
5. learn a new programming language (Java perhaps?)
6. either finish or get rid of all the web pages and programs I've started.

Happy new year!

Posted by Tim at 20:43 [ permalink ]
Categories: Blogging, webstuff, programming, Just me
Comments [ 0 ]


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13/06/07 : They're on a roll

I write this blog for my own benefit, so I'm not trying to be a link-whore or anything by having a blogroll - I just thought, well, why not? So, added to the sidebar is a list of just a few of the sites I regularly read. Explanations below. [UPDATE: Sidebar now removed]

timsellers.net (that'll be me)

sarahsellers.co.uk (that'll be the missus)

Religion is bullshit - also me, although the blog is mainly written by Ben as I usually can't be bothered and he does a better job anyway. The tagline sums it up: "articles and opinions on the absurdity and danger of religious beliefs".

The BBC - great website from the most trustworthy media source around (defended by me here and here)

Guardian Unlimited - not perfect, but one of the few newspapers that seems relevant to a thirty-something liberal like me (CiF is particularly interesting)

Wikipedia - we want ... information ... at the very least this is a good place to start if you're researching stuff

b3ta - known for its photoshop competitions but lots of other fun stuff too (for those with a slightly warped sense of humour anyway)

Bloggerheads - UK political blogging at its best

Scaryduck - local guy, writes about, well, "stuff" really. Read, laugh.

Pub Philosopher - English sociopolitical (is that a genuine word?) blogger, always an interesting read.

Insignificant thoughts - culture, politics and techno-geeky stuff from this New York blogger. I generally disagree with his views (although he sometimes surprises me, and he's less conservative than he used to be) but he's genuine, honest and able to admit when he's got it wrong (and that's pretty rare).

Just a girl in the world - several years ago I clicked on a link to this site expecting ... something else ... I was a little disappointed that the "something else" was only in the background but I stuck around anyway as she was strangely interesting.

A slice of cherry pie - great food blog, nicely presented (but my chicken and broccoli pasta bake is better than hers).

The Sharpener - interesting group blog (I can't be bothered to link to them individually)

Green house by the sea - Sarah deals with most of the homeschooling malarkey, but this is a homeschool blog I make a point of reading regularly

Stupid Evil Bastard - a slightly odd American who I actually do tend to agree with!

Stairway to hell - all things BBC Micro

CSSplay - astounding css-only menus and layouts

A nice cup of tea and a sit down - Mmmm, nice

I'm sure I'll add more as time goes on.

More political stuff, one I should have added earlier, one just discovered, both well written -
Ministry of truth
Webcomics -
Jesus and Mo - features Mr. Christ and Mohammed in a sort of Eric-and-Ernie scenario (sometimes platonically in bed together)
xkcd - slightly odd stick figure webcomic from a physics graduate

Posted by Tim at 18:40 [ permalink ]
Categories: Blogging, webstuff, programming
Comments [ 0 ]


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08/04/07 : Blogger - ditched!

When I first started writing a blog (this one) I used blogger. It did the job and was easy to set up and use. It always had flaws though. The commenting system which they eventually introduced sucked (I've always used other methods). They've only just got round to allowing you to categorise posts - and that sucks too. And if you edit an old post your feed gets screwed up.

I thought about writing my own blogging platform using PHP to prove how clever I was. Unfortunately it turned out that I wasn't that clever after all. [UPDATE: I become clever at a later date].

I looked at Wordpress and Movable Type but they seemed a bit complicated. Quite by chance I found Thingamablog - and I'm amazed it's not more popular. It runs on your PC, allowing to write posts and edit setting offline. You can write different templates for posts, archives and categories. There are no inbuilt comments, but the template tags are similar to blogger's so Blogkomm works with just a few alterations to the code.

A highly recommended bit of software. There's even a slight chance that it will encourage me to write more often.

Posted by Tim at 18:10 [ permalink ]
Categories: Blogging, webstuff, programming
Comments [ 0 ]


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04/11/06 : Beeb stuff

I picked up HTML (and CSS) over the years, and consider myself quite proficient now. I know what I need to know in PHP. But BASIC - specifically BBC BASIC - is the only actual programming language that I ever learnt (and mastered).

I actually still had a BBC Micro until a few years ago, before it finally gave up the ghost and went to Silicon Heaven. I then discovered emulators (like BeebEm) and have recently found BBC Basic for Windows - allowing me to write stuff in BASIC that can be compiled and run on any Windows PC. This means that I can once again delight my family by writing those text-adventures I used to write years ago.

(Actually, delight isn't quite the right word. I think they think I'm a bit sad for bothering. But I shall make them play my games anyway! Bwa ha ha ha ha!)

Anyway, if you're bored, you can download a re-written version of a game I wrote years ago: Darkhall Manor (94.1k, should run from any Windows machine, work safe).

Darkhall Manor

Posted by Tim at 17:40 [ permalink ]
Categories: Blogging, webstuff, programming, Computer games
Comments [ 0 ]


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29/04/06 : Before the first post ...

So . . . I do the sidebar. Set it to float:left so that the main area with the actual posts wraps neatly around it. Write a test post, publish. Discover that the main area gets forced below the sidebar. Check the template. Browser specific CSS positioning problems? Can't see any. Make a few alterations. Republish. Discover that the main area gets forced below the sidebar. Get cross. View source of published page. Discover that blogger has wrapped each post in a <div style="clear: both;"> tag. Did I ask them to do this? No! Is it part of the template where I can remove it? NO!

So . . . I re-write the template with absolutely positioned div tags (which needs adjusting about five times as different browsers render it slightly differently). Stuck with a big left margin for the main area once you get below the sidebar, but it'll do.

div style="clear: both;" I tell you! Bastards!

UPDATE (a little later)

Discover the option "Enable float alignment" on the formatting page. Turn it off.

So . . . I rewrite template so it's how it was to start with . . .

UPDATE (much, much later)

Get rid of sidebar altogether (new streamlined layout, looks better on small screens).

Posted by Tim at 22:39 [ permalink ]
Categories: Blogging, webstuff, programming
Comments [ 0 ]


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