This category is for anything network / internet related. I use it mostly to describe website updates though.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

It Lives?

Just about 4 more years later, an update!  Life has changed dramatically since my last post.  There are people here now who weren’t here when the last post was made.  It’s incredible how fast time can fly by. 

This update is prompted by my move to a new server.  The old server was in need of software updates and rather than risk performing a command line update, I opted to create a new machine.  This site is the testbed for the copy and reinstall process.  Why go through all this trouble to avoid some updates?  Since my last post, my app development company has taken off dramatically and I can’t afford for the other server to go down anymore.  So rather than risk a botched update erasing everything, I’ll just create a duplicate and switch the DNS over to the new machine.  The old server was giving me errors when I tried to post here so, it has a nice side effect of fixing this site; something that I never really had time to do before. 

I really do want to write here more and making the first “I’m back” post is hopefully the hardest.  The longer you go without posting, the more you have to cover when you come back.  I don’t like the missing 4 years of my life on this site so I’ll try to make a post about each year or something.

Posted by eclipse on 12/11/2016 at 08:31 AM
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

MagpieRSS with RSS2.0 and Atom1.0

RSS 2.0 / Atom 1.0 / Wordpress Fix / Category Fix

This post is for the Googlers.

As I was making my Friends 3.0 page, where I have my friends' blog entries as if they were posted on my site, I came across some limitations of Magpie RSS. The software is very good at making a big array out of an RSS feed, but it can't handle some of the newer web standards like RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0. When I started to add a lot of personal feeds to the friends page, magpierss's limitations became more apparent.

As much as I searched, I couldn't find a real solution other than completely rewriting my friends page based on other RSS parser like Simple RSS. Luckily, I came across a hack of Magpie on Google, and I wish I could remember where it came from so I could give credit. The page wasn't even available anymore, but Google had cached it, and I managed to copy it. I had to do a lot of editing to remove the HTML formatting, but it does what it promises, and gives magpieRSS the RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0 support it so desparately needs these days.

That's not the only thing special about this hacked together MagpieRSS file though. It seems Wordpress sites have broken most Magpie RSS feeds with it's "media:content" tag. For some reason, when MagpieRSS parses this tag, its "content:encoded" tag changes simply to a big letter "A". It through me for a loop for a while, and not seeing a good fix online, I simply edited the Magpie parser to ignore "media:content". This fixes the content:encoded issue, which I think is more important than some media file anyways.

The last edit of the MagpieRSS deals with categories. Many feeds list assigned categories with by having each one in a tag, like:

MagpieRSS will simply append the category array value each time so you end up with "SportsBaseball". My version appends a '@@@@' at the end of each category, so the array value will be "Sports@@@@Baseball@@@@". From there you can use the php function 'explode' to separate each category from the string.

Hopefully, someone out there will find this useful.
Posted by eclipse on 02/13/2011 at 07:08 PM
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

PHP Programming and Google Adsense

I haven’t posted much here on DarkMercury lately (Happy New Year btw) because I’ve been pretty busy with a new website I’ve written for work.  It’s a PHP script that loads schedules and sorts them depending on different criteria you input into it.  Each month every pilot and flight attendant in the company looks through these lines to figure out which is the best for them and lists them in the order they want.  The people who have been there the longest get the first pick, and so on down the line.  On the ATR, I’ve only had about 35 lines to look through so it wasn’t much of a big deal to do it by hand.  As I make the change to the Embraer jet, now I’d have to look through ~280 lines.  I looked into other commercial bidding software and decided it wasn’t worth the cost.  It’d be easier to just write my own.  So for the last 2 months I’ve been working on a pretty powerful and unique bid software that I finally announced on company forums last night.  So far, it’s gotten very good reviews, and because I can capture a little niche market here, I enrolled in the Google Adsense Program.  Google displays relevant ads on the bidding website, and when someone clicks on them, the advertisers pay google and google lets some of that trickle down to me.  It’s not a bad program and I’ve been watching it throughout the day as people learn about the site.  Hopefully the system can kind of sustain itself and bring in some pocket money each month during bid time.

I rarely get much actual traffic on my DarkMercury website, and the traffic I do get is usually on my AppleTV and Freenas posts, so I’m running a little test to see if google ads work well with my site.  I have one strip along the right menu bar, and individual blog entries that I choose can display an ad header.  I pretty much set these only to pages linked from google for the visitors.  I know most of my friends simply use the RSS and nothing will change for them.  So far, the adsense program is looking good and I hope to open up another website with the same model in the next few months.  Until that one is ready, you can check out the bid program, written from scratch at [link removed]:

[Edit 05/02/11: I removed the actual name of my work website due to Google showing my personal blog in its search results for the bidding program.  While I realize that anything posted online should be expected to be read by anyone, I’d rather disassociate the two to the best of my ability.]

Posted by eclipse on 01/25/2011 at 06:17 PM
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Future of the AA Category

This website has always been about my life, my thoughts and my experiences.  It’s hard to separate different parts of your life and cut out some parts of it.  In my opinion, we shouldn’t have to.  Where I work and what I do for a living is a part of me and I’d like to continue sharing different things here.  But there are people out there who will take something the wrong way, and something bad will happen.  So as much as I hate to censor myself due to fear and intimidation, my job is important to me and therefore I am forced to come up with an alternative solution.

We’ve been getting notices at work a lot lately about staying off twitter and facebook and blogs and stuff.  I notice people find my site from a variety of different web searches.  A lot are interested in my post about rutorrent on the apple tv, others want to read my review of the linksys NAS 200.  The standby travel post is bringing a lot of visitors as well.  From there they can read my work posts and potentially get me in to trouble.  One of my YouTube videos was already traced back to me and had to be removed.  However, this blog is mine.  I write it for myself to look back upon later, and I don’t want to never write about stuff that happens to me at work.

Right now, about half my AA posts are now marked “Friends Only”, and the older half are closed for now.  While creating new entries with “Friends Only” access is a possibility, it really hurts the flow of the archive pages, and the company logo is still displayed.  I think I will be editing the template to automatically hide all AA posts, unless you are signed into my website as a user with enough privilege to read “Friends Only” posts.  The good parts of this plan is that I can still write about work without fear of google or idiots finding it, but the bad part is that updates to the site might be harder to follow for my friends.  Announcing AA Posts on twitter might be an option.  As always, being logged into my site makes commenting easier, lets you keep track of custom friends on my friends page, and will soon display work posts as well. 


Posted by eclipse on 06/27/2010 at 02:20 AM
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Friday, January 22, 2010

It’s Been a Long Time

But my time is finally here!

Friends 3.0

Title continues with the “Faith of the Heart” lyric tradition started when I unveiled my Friends 2.0 page.  Today I am finally done with the third major revision to my friends page’s operation.  I announce Friends 3.0!  In my twitter feed I said you might actually care about this update, and here’s why.  My friends page has always acted similar to Livejournal’s friends page, except without the need to be a LJ user, and it can pull data from any website, not just Livejournal users.  To a guest, or someone who never sets it up, you probably won’t notice any difference between 2.0 and 3.0, but if you’re a user on my site, the new features are available to you.

Friends 3.0 is my friends page, but now with your friends on it!  I understand that not everyone I am friends with are friends with each other, and so it makes following my friends a little pointless.  Now you can remove people you don’t want to follow, and add any rss feed you do follow, and get all your RSS feed updates on one site!  It’s tied in with the user names on this site, and already available.  All you have to do is set it up. Sign up, log in, follow instructions.  It’s pretty easy.

Posted by eclipse on 01/22/2010 at 10:23 PM
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