Category Archives: Internet

100 Happy Days challenge

For about 4 months or so, I’ve had a browser tab open with the 100 Happy Days Challenge webpage.  I wasn’t looking to do a photo a day again, but the concept of reminding yourself about what makes you happy is one that had been on my mind.  This week the universe/great maker/nature told me its the week to start it.

For those not familiar with the 100 Happy Days Challenge, in brief, the concept is to post a picture once a day of what made you happy that day.  It doesn’t have to be artistic, it shouldn’t be about showing off, its just what made you happy.

I’ve chosen to use the default hashtag of #100HappyDays and my Instagram account as the platform.  Partially to give me an excuse to play with Instagram more.)

Yesterday was day 1.  Follow along for the next 100 days on Instagram!  When I finish, I’ll do another post talking about the experience.

Today we learned Evan needs glasses. He looks damn cute. #100happydays #day1

A photo posted by Keith T. Garner (@ktgeek) on

Direct plugin auto-update on WordPress 2.8

I get a lot of traffic on the site due to my post on getting direct (non-FTP) updates to work on WordPress 2.5.  This method worked up until 2.7.x.  With 2.8 out this week, I found during my svn switch a conflict was created due to a code change in file.php.  Looking at the changes, it looks like the wordpress developers created an easy way for one to short-circuit the update to use the method you want via a setting in wp-config.php.

So, in brief, the permissions and WP_TEMP_DIR settings from the older article still stand.  However, you no longer need to edit wp-admin/includes/file.php. Now you just need to edit your wp-config.php and add the following towards the bottom:

define('FS_METHOD', 'direct');

RSS feed now less Delicious

I recently moved my blog’s RSS/ATOM feed from old-feedburner to new google-flavored feedburner. While I was doing the switch, I looked at what feedburner services I am using. One of the services is called Link Splicer which allows you to inject your links from social bookmarking sites into you feed.

In looking at how little I blog at times, those bookmarks were often the only thing making my feed grow. I also can’t get much feedback on those links in how it works. So in thinking about how I want to present myself and my site online, I’ve decided to separate the tags back out.

For all zero of you who want to follow my bookmarks just follow the feed from my delicious feed.

Twitter annoyances

Generally, I really enjoy using Twitter.  I’m not exactly sure why that is, but all in all I like it.  I think it mostly has to do with exposing me to a subset of people that I don’t get in my IRC and IM windows.  However, there are some trends in use that piss me off…

  1. Thanking people for following you. Stop it, right now, everyone.  Just freaking stop it.  If over 1% of your tweets are thanking people for following you, I will smack you when next I see you.  Maybe I’m bucking the etiquette, but this annoys me more than anything else.
  2. Feeling that you need to follow the people that follow you. No, you don’t.  Its a broadcast medium, and while it can be used for chat, it doesn’t mean you have to.  The closer your following:follower ratio is to 1:1 the less I think you actually have to say and thought you put into Twitter.  If you’re reading the whole world, how to you have time to create your own thoughts?
  3. Changing your avatar more often then you change underwear. You’re not that pretty nor witty, knock it off.
  4. Tweeting only that you have a new blog post. Stop it! I already have an RSS reader, kthx.

That’s my top four.  I’m sure I’m guilty of some from time to time, but damn it, stop it! I try to.  And I’m sure I’ll come up with more, maybe I’ll make this a series.

IRC: yes, people still use it

So, I’ve been having a very geeky IRC-filled Sunday.  It started with my morning RSS reading where I saw Daring Fireball point out the port of Colloquy that appeared in the iTunes App store.  And to answer DF: Yes, I remember IRC, I use it everyday.  I could go into this whole things about how I’m still tight with people from college who are all over the place, but I think that goes without saying, its the whole damn point of the internet, DURH.

As with any iPhone app not made by Apple, when you leave it, it will shut down and that won’t be much good until the notification API is up and around, and even then, it’d need IRC servers to support doing the notification and keeping some sort of connection/client information.  That’s right out as I don’t see any IRC servers really wanting to take on that additional tasks.  Reading the Colloquy FAQ, it suggested that one use an IRC bouncer/proxy.

On and off I always have considered making a middle wear irc server to persist connections and so I could use multiple clients.  However, I’ve never been motivated enough to really do something about it.  In general, gnu screen and ircII/irssi have filled my needs.  With the mobile Colloquy, I’ll want to be able to keep a persistent connections coming in and out of the app.  So I get the happy circumstance of where I go “I’d like something like this” and the Internet provides and saves me a bunch of time and gives me a working solution.  (The downside is a lot of cool coding I could have done, but probably never have gotten around to.)

After doing some quick web searching, I’ve decided to give ZNC a go as that middleware layer.  It seems to do everything I want, including the ability to have multiple irc clients hook into the instances its running for me.  It also works with any standard IRC client, which is a huge plus.  I didn’t have to retrain myself at all.  It doesn’t matter if I’m using irssi from Linux, Colloquy from my MacBook or iPhone, or xChat from wherever, its all the same irc instance with the same messages AT the same time.  Each client hooks into ZNC which has already hooked into the servers and channels that I frequent.  I can hook into ZNC over ssl from any standard IRC client and it just works.  I can also see writing a module for ZNC that will take advantage of the iPhone notification API should it ever arrive.

About 6 hours in, and I’m loving it.  IRC session ubiquity and I’m happy.  I can pop it up on my phone and IRC on the go, or just use a local client on my mac instead of sshing back home and using irssi.  I’ll probably still use irssi 99% of the time, but having options and being able to jump on from my phone will help.  IRC, how like crack you are and how I can’t quit you.  I did run into one problem with irssi and it not being able to do multiple connections to what it thinks is the same host, but I found a way around it after reading this.

Also, in rereading this post before I put it out on the web, I realize it doesn’t take much to amuse me these days.

7 Things You Hate About Me

I’ve been meaning to do some blog posts, but I haven’t had the motivation.  It doesn’t help that I’ve also been distracted by all the video games I got the past week.  (More on those in a future post.)  In any case, I got some motivation in the case of being tagged by a meme.  Evo called me out and I guess I should respond.  By the way, I loved Evo’s #3 as I share a similar outlook/philosophy/happenstances.

This meme requires me to share seven facts about myself.  The hard part about this will be coming up with 7 facts that will be interesting to people not me.

  1. I too often accept things the way they are. This description will be mostly slanted in looking at myself as a pogrammer, but this is where I can identify it best.  On a day to day basis this acceptance often makes me feel stifiled in creativity due to my lack of skill in identifying problems.  I can come up with great and creative solutions, but actually finding the interesting problems to solve if difficult because I accept that’s how things are, and don’t find shortcuts/solutions/whatever to make them better.  Eric Raymond described that as the “itch” that drives programmers to create…  As a programmer, I’m not itchy enough.
  2. Beer snob: I iz one. To anyone who’s been reading this blog or watching my twitter feed this is not news.  Part of the blame lies with Jon Roma who introduced me to the good stuff first when I started drinking.  I never went down the good old fashion macrobrew route.  I’ve learned to tolerate the macrobrews so I can drink beer at ball games or social events when something better isn’t available, but its rough going.  I’m no Charlie the Beer Guy, but I’m working on being on his level.  I’m just too lazy right now to take up my own brewing.  Maybe once the kids are older.  In any case, give me a Duvel, something from Stone, Goose Island, etc.  Don’t offer me anything named Bud, Miller, etc.
    Bonus fact 2.5:  I didn’t start drinking until I was in my junior year of college at age 20.  Given that when most people think of me they think of beer, this is probably a surprising fact.
  3. At heart, I’m a Geek’s geek and I’ve come to accept it. A few months ago, I finally accepted If there is a stereotype for being a geek, I probably fit it.  Again, not news for those who have been playing along at home for awhile.  There are exceptions, but all in all, I’m a geek.  I full embrace the geekiness and let it wash over me.  There are much worse ways to view yourself so it works for me.  (Notable exception: I have never played any desktop roleplaying type games such as D&D.  Not sure why that never happened, but it didn’t.)
  4. Needles piercing my skin send me into panic attacks. Its weird, I don’t mind blood, I don’t mind seeing myself cut, and I don’t mind looking at needles, but knowing one is about to pierce my skin turns me into a sweaty little girl.  It doesn’t matter if its the dentist, a lab tech taking blood, or whatever, I get tense and sweaty.  When having blood drawn I’ve learned to mitigate the effects by getting them to take it while I’m lying down, but that’s about it.  If I’m sitting up, I’ll pass out.  Its probably an anticipating thing, but I’m okay when I get cut when doing yard work or making dinner or something like that, but know I’m about to get a needle stuck in just puts me over.  I’m not sure what the deal is.  I guess the good news is that this is yet another sign that I’ll never get addicted to heroin.
  5. I hate small talk. I just can’t stand it.  It could be that I’m just not very good at it and that’s why I don’t like it, but the whole idle chit chat thing does nothing for me.  I’m good and I look forward to actually connecting with people and having deeper discussions, but if I have nothing in common with someone, its very painful for me to try to force the small talk.  I am faced with the slight challenge of how do you know if you have something in common with someone without having the small talk, but there are ways around that and I get by okay so I don’t worry too much about it.
  6. I love presenting and educating if I know the material and/or have a story to tell with it.  One of the great things about my old job and my still-employeer was that on a more than monthly basis I was giving presentations to our members on subject matter I had down cold.  Once I know the “story” I want to tell to educate others I love putting the presentations together, guiding discussions around the material, and generally helping people see the light.  Nothing made me feel better than to see the look of realization and/or understanding on someone’s face.  Or the look of horror once someone realized that they’d have to change their ways to make something work for them, but that’s a different story…  Either way, it means the message got across.  Someone would say this somewhat contradicts #3, as geeks aren’t well known for being showman, but I’ve always had a bit of an extroverted streak in me.  I guess I’m only extroverted in the right circumstances…
  7. I watch way too much TV and my reading and video game playing suffer due to it.  Part of it is the young kids and the job that just leave me energyless at the end of the day, some of it is I just really like good TV.  Heck, I probably like shitty TV too, but I try to keep it on the good side with things Battlestar Galactica, CSI, and Lost.  But I do have the mindless popcorn like Eureka and How I Met Your Mother.  I’m not sure where to put Heroes on the scale these days, but I think its falling in mindless popcorn.  I still love to read, but I manage to only really do it on the commuter train or just before bed as long as Sarah is okay with me leaving the light on.  The video games, those have really suffered, but I’m trying to make up for it now.

Bonus fact so that I cannot be accused of ignoring my wife: I was asking Sarah for some ideas for this post, and she gave me “I like to uphold family traditions.”  I don’t really see that in my indentity when I think about myself, but looking at past actions and what I like to do with the kids, I can agree with this.  From eating under the tree at Field’s Macy’s at Christmas time to vacations in the same spots I went as a kid, this certainly appears to be true.

Okay, so next up I have to call out seven people:

To quote Evo who tagged me: “I subscribe to all of your blogs, so I’ll know if you didn’t do it…”

Oh yeah, the rules part:  Do not talk about meme club…er.. wait

  1. Link your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

I go to 11

A couple of weeks ago I was in Arizona for work.  As I often do when I find myself in Phoenix, I ended up on a podcast.  This time around it was Evo@11, hosted by noted new media douchbag, Evo Terra.  (Hey, that’s his twitter description.)  Along with Evo every episode are his wife Shiela and sound engineer and Strongbow drinker Debbie Walker.  They record at the Gangplank Studios, which is a really cool place I’d spend way too much time in if it was pre-marriage and pre-kids and I lived in AZ.

The episode I was on clocks in at about 25 minutes and I didn’t make too much of an ass of myself.  A lot of random talk, and a heck of a good time.

After the podcast we went to Sheila and Evo’s place to continue the conversation and drink a bit more.  Awesome people, awesome hospitality.  Whenever I’m in AZ again, I’ll definately try to visit them.  Hopefully they do the same when they are out this way.

Podcasting with Evo
Creative Commons License photo credit: CC Chapman