Computers, Gadgets and Beyond!

Send2Press WordPress Plugin

December 01, 2008 By: webmaster Category: WordPress, WordPress Plugins

New WordPress plugin!

Send2Press Newswire is a press release promotion service. They provide RSS feeds of all their news, and currently there are about 90 different feeds available. This plugin allows easy access to those feeds on your WordPress blog. Either as simple headline links or complete with a 5-10 line summary. CSS can be used to tailor the look and feel.

Please note that even though the GPL says you can do more or less whatever you want with this plugin, including jumping up and down on it or feeding it to your hamster, there are restrictions on how you can use Send2Press Newswire content and trademarks. So please read the terms of service carefully, either on the web at Send2Press TOC or the included text file termsofuse.txt, before using this plugin.

For more information, see the plugin documentation.

Questions in the comments please. Note that this is technical support for the plugin. If you need Send2Press support, then hit their feeds support website on Send2Press Feeds. If you’re unsure where to go, just leave a comment here and I’ll try to answer or pass it on to Send2Press.


Line 719 in the send2press.php has this bit of code: <h3>$title</h4>. That should of course be a h3 ending tag, not a h4.

NEW Edit/Delete of feeds do not work under WordPress 2.7. I’ll release a fix as soon as I can. If you’re adept at editing PHP code, you can try out a temporary fix. Edit send2press.php and replace all references to edit.php with tools.php and see if things go back to normal. Let me know!

    No default feed available

Boomboxes – The New Generation

September 01, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Audio

Rewind to the early 70s, strap two loudspeakers and a radio/cassette-unit to a vaguely portable amplifier and you had the first portable boomboxes. Oh yeah, and insert about ten size-D batteries for every ten minutes of music played with the volume knob turned to eleven. Music type, probably not something you’d be proud of today.

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Asus Eee PC 901

August 18, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Technology

There are now officially six thousand, three hundred and forty-nine different Asus products bearing the name Eee. Or there abouts. Including a game controller called Eee Stick, which apparently . I’m primarily interested in the sub-notebook variants though, like the ASUS Eee PC 901. Shown here are the limited edition Korean pink and lime-green versions dropping in a couple of days, whereas the rest of the world will have to content with the black and white versions for a while yet.

Anyway. In a couple of months I’m off on vacation to Australia for five weeks, and would really like to bring a laptop to be able to check the weather for the next few days, book interesting excursions a few days in advance, check email, upload travel photos to home server etc. My trusty old ThinkPad T41p (best laptop ever) has performed that job for several years, but its days as a holiday computer are numbered. I need a sub-notebook. Any will do, as long as it’s cheap, small, lightweight and has a battery capacity of 4-5 hours at least. Screen, keyboard and looks are secondary objectives.

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Google News plugin

April 07, 2008 By: webmaster Category: WordPress Plugins

Displays N first news items from a selectable Google News RSS feed, inline or as a widget.

Google aggregates news from over 4500 news sources, updated continously. The results can be retrieved as a number of RSS feeds, where you can create your own specific feed by specifying one of more than 40 regions/languages, and an optional topic ranging from Domestic to Most Popular to Entertainment. Currently there are nine topics, including, of course, All. In addition to this, any feed can be filtered through a search query so that only news items matching your query will be shown. Note that not all combinations of region/language and topic has been enabled by Google but it should degrade gracefully.

This plugin works both as a widget, as inline content replacement and can be used in themes. It can be used as both simultaneously, but there can be only one instance of the widget. Multiple feeds can be configured and used accordingly.

NOTE! Always upgrade to the latest version if you experience problems, most things are fixed already. 🙂

The latest version is 2.5.

If you’ve configured feeds that use character sets like cyrillic, arabic and you’re getting errors from WP when trying to view the feeds then your WP MySQL database tables may be created with the wrong character set. Let me know and I’ll give you some pointers.

Download Google News plugin

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Logitech Duet, a problem solved

April 04, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Media Players

You have a nice living room, with a stereo to match. And you have all your CDs ripped in the format of your choice and stored on a server somewhere in the house. Or perhaps you have a decent iTunes collection, or think Pandora is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But actually getting the sound to your stereo in a convenient manner has been somewhat elusive. PC by the stereo? Low WAF, and there is the small matter of where to put the screen and the keyboard. Roku Soundbridge or the old SlimDevices Squeezebox? Three line LCD panels aren’t really readable from the couch. Laptop by the sofa? Doable, but very overkill. Sonos? Better check that lottery ticket first.

Logitech Squeezebox Duet

If that problem sounds familiar, then just buy a Logitech Squeezebox Duet Network Music System. It Just Works and problem solved. If you’re not convinced, see the Logitech Squeezebox Duet-link in the Pages-menu on the right for more information.

CNN News plugin

April 03, 2008 By: webmaster Category: WordPress Plugins

CNN has a number of RSS feeds with current news available, on a number of topics.

This plugin works both as a widget, as inline content replacement and can be used in themes. It can be used as all three simultaneously, but there can be only one instance of the widget. Multiple feeds can be configured and used accordingly. Clicking on a news item will of course take you straight to the relevant article at CNN, as per CNN Terms of Use.

I know there are generic RSS feed widgets out there, but I figured with so many CNN feeds they warranted their own widget with easier configuration than your average generic RSS widget.

NOTE! Always upgrade to the latest version if you experience problems, most things are fixed already. 🙂

The latest version is 2.6.

Download CNN News plugin

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NASA Image Of The Day plugin

March 28, 2008 By: webmaster Category: WordPress Plugins

Very simple widget plugin that shows the NASA Image Of The Day thumbnail and a few words of text. Clicking on the thumbnail opens the correct NASA page for a larger image and accompanying text. The plugin now uses a NASA RSS feed for information. No local storage needed, the feed and image is fetched every time. Does anyone need caching here?

Installation instructions:
Unzip in wp-content/plugins directory, enable plugin and then use as any other WordPress widget.

Download NASA Image Of The Day plugin

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Upgrading to WordPress 2.5

March 28, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Website, WordPress

Moving this site from WordPress 2.3.3 to 2.5RC2 was largely uneventful. But I recommend waiting until there is a properly scripted upgrade path before you try unless you’re comfortable with MySQL restores and the occational PHP hacking to get a particular theme or plugin to work properly. Things have certainly changed under the hood, and quite a few addons need to be rewritten. Some of these rewrites are in the pipeline, so check out the WordPress codex for status.

Since I was fiddling with the site anyway, I decided to go for a new theme as well. It required some code changes to work properly, for example a simple thing as showing comments on pages was missing. Easily added. I also fiddled with the look&feel, so it’s not really a clean Prosumer theme anymore. Not enough changes to warrant a rebadge and release though. Not entirely happy about the colour scheme either, so here today gone tomorrow. Leave a comment if you can recommend a great theme that not too many others use.

Found some cool new plugins while updating. Like the Democracy Polls widget on the left, just below the ahem one click is enough Income widget.

Another thing I found out about WordPress in the upgrade process was that there are quite a number of hard coded references to your web site url in the database. Not just the single config entry you’d expect. So if you want to fire up a copy of the site under another name to see how 2.5 worked without destroying your primary site, you need to dump the database, do a search & replace on the dump and then restore to the new location.

The logo image is an umodified photo taken at low shutter speed in a tunnel, just cropped to show the interesting part.


Excessive SCSI logging under Ubuntu

March 18, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Tech Problems, Ubuntu

For some natty reason, my 64bit Ubuntu 8.04 server sometimes insists that a SCSI logging level of infinite detail is good for my health. Which means my messages, syslog and kern.log files get 50-100 lines like this per second:

Mar 18 23:52:25 home kernel: [ 8661.700076] scsi_add_timer: scmd: ffff81004da8a700, time: 7500, (ffffffff88123ed0)
Mar 18 23:52:25 home kernel: [ 8661.700117] scsi_delete_timer: scmd: ffff81004da8a000, rtn: 1

If you too are suffering from this then do the following:

1. First, stop it right now by starting a shell and typing:

sudo sysctl -w dev.scsi.logging_level=0

2. To make sure it doesn’t start up again after a reboot then edit the file /etc/sysctl.conf and add this line anywhere in the file:

dev.scsi.logging_level = 0

And you should be all set.

Legacy NVidia Ubuntu woes

March 11, 2008 By: webmaster Category: Technology, Ubuntu

Somewhere along the line, NVidia got a lot stricter in their monitor handling. If you used to be able to run X at high resolutions but all you can get after an upgrade is something like 1024×768 then it is likely that you have been caught by the clock check bug. You typically get lines like these in your Xorg log (/var/log/Xorg.0.log):

(WW) NVIDIA(0): No valid modes for "1920x1200"; removing.
(WW) NVIDIA(0): No valid modes for "1600x1200"; removing.

To get the X server to tell you exactly why it’s removing those two modes, try starting X with -logverbose 6 as arguments, and it will log something like this instead:

    (II) NVIDIA(0): Validating Mode "1600x1200":
    (II) NVIDIA(0): 1600 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
    (II) NVIDIA(0): For use as DFP backend.
    (II) NVIDIA(0): Mode Source: EDID
    (II) NVIDIA(0): Pixel Clock : 162.00 MHz
    (II) NVIDIA(0): HRes, HSyncStart : 1600, 1664
    (II) NVIDIA(0): HSyncEnd, HTotal : 1856, 2160
    (II) NVIDIA(0): VRes, VSyncStart : 1200, 1201
    (II) NVIDIA(0): VSyncEnd, VTotal : 1204, 1250
    (II) NVIDIA(0): H/V Polarity : +/+
    (WW) NVIDIA(0): Mode is rejected: PixelClock (162.0 MHz) too high for
    (WW) NVIDIA(0): Display Device (Max: 150.0 MHz).

If this used to work for you, and all you did was upgrade Ubuntu (or some other distro), then edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and add the line

Option         "ModeValidation" "NoMaxPClkCheck"

inside either the Screen or the Device group. Restart X and it should start up in a higher mode again. For more interesting options to set, try looking at the NVidia X driver documentation.

Leave a comment if you’re lost and I’ll try to guide you through the tricky parts.

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