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Category Archives: Blogging

Trying out ecto as a blog editor.

This post was written using ecto, a client application for composing blog entries. You can write entries in rich text format or code HTML entries by hand. I’m just beginning my 21 day trial period. The advantage is that I can put a post together in software running on my extremely fast new iMac instead of doing the editing on the WordPress site. So far so good. Links are easy to insert. I’ll have to try pictures next. If I can do all the editing I normally do for my blogs, ecto will be well worth the $17.95 US price.

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Spam-me-not

So you read my last post and thought, he’s either stupid or crazy to put his e-mail address in a blog post. And you would be right, except that I am using a wonderful tool to obfuscate my e-mail address, to wit, the Spam-me-not E-mail Link Obfuscator. Andreas Neudecker, the author of the tool, has more information about the tool on his original site in Germany. Does it work? Yes, as Andreas notes on his page, the robots that crawl the web searching for e-mail addresses mostly are not smart enough to figure out the encoding. That may change in time, but for the moment, it is a pretty good way to put a mailto: link on a web page and not have your inbox filled with spam because of it. So thanks and a tip of the hat to Andreas for providing this tool.

Subscribing to RSS Feeds from your Browser

Many blogs, including this one, have a little image that says “RSS” or has a little orange square with white arcs like this: RSS Feed Icon. Clicking on this link will subscribe you to the blog or page content on which it appears so you can read it in an RSS reader like NetNewsWire Lite.

Some blogs, like those hosted on Blogger, do not automatically show a feed link like this on the page unless the author has hand coded the HTML to display the image. Modern browsers provide an easy alternative for subscribing to any blog or web page that provides an RSS feed. At the right hand end of the address bar (where you type in a URL, an RSS icon appears if the page has an RSS feed. In Safari, it is a blue rectangle with “RSS” in white letters: Safari RSS Icon. In Firefox, it is the orange square icon: RSS Feed Icon.

Here’s a screen shot from Safari:
Safari Screen Shot showing RSS icon

and one from Firefox:
Firefox Screen Shot showing RSS icon.

So why should you care about any of this? Once you have subscribed to some RSS feeds, you can monitor them in your RSS reader and see previews like in e-mail. If you see a post that interests you, you can click on a link that will either open the post in your browser or in the reader itself. This lets you keep track of blogs and sites you have subscribed to without having your e-mail inbox flooded. You can choose when to go check your RSS reader based on your available time. E-mail typically requires timely response, so having less reading material hit your inbox is usually a good thing for productivity.

Blogging in the New Year with a new blog

OK, it isn’t the New Year yet. But I have moved my blogs to WordPress to take advantage of categories and a nicer editor on the Mac. Blogger is still an excellent platform and with the new version, they have just added a function they call “labels” which are like categories. Unfortunately my templates were not included in the upgraded templates, so I was going to have to re-do them anyway. So here I am! Previous entries are at My Old Blog in the Blogroll. Some entries that I am catching up on are posted on this blog as previously dated entries. This is not the result of time travel but simply my dating entries that I have thought about but not yet written to flow in a roughly chronological order (where that matters).

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