Articles tagged in playground

  1. Hosting for Playground Moved Again

    This "blog" has seriously not been touched for over a year. Moreover it felt like I have not blogged for a very long time and almost forgot how it felt to write. Here is just a PSA -- I have moved the hosting for this Pelica powered site back to DreamHost, just to consolidate. After all it's just a static site -- nothing more than thousands of scattered HTML and resource files. Since I already have a DreamHost account (for the last 11.5 years) with "unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth" I might as well use it to hosting this site and let the experts worrying about the servers.

    On a related event, I recently acquired a Sydney dedicated server from OVH (the big France hosting company) via this OzBargain deal. After much delay the server finally got delivered almost 4 months later. Pretty good spec (E3-1245v5, 32GB RAM, 2x 480GB SSD) but some unrealiable routing. For example round trip to Singapore takes 500ms via New Jersey, and round trip to my Network Presence VPS next door (in Equinix SY1) takes 230ms via LA. Running Debian 8 + LXC at the moment, this will eventually replace the dedicated server I got from Exigent last year. Sneaky Exigent has recently increasing their price by 10% by claiming the plan price is now ex-GST. Actually the 2nd time got stunned by Exigent since 2010 -- shame on me.

  2. New Theme

    Playground v2 I have updated Playground to a new WordPress theme. It's pretty much derived from the old theme, 100% hand coded. These are the things I want from a new theme.

    • Simple one column layout. White background, dark gray fonts, and nothing fancy.
    • Bigger text font. Probably better for those who do not have 20-20 eye sight, but it also looks better with a wide one column layout with no sidebar.
    • Fixed 728px column. That's about 50 pixels wider than the old theme, so I can fit a 728x90 leaderboard across the top :)
    • Breadcrumb at top. I find them helpful for navigation, also tells the visitors where they are.
    • Extended footer. All the guts on the sidebar (actually I did not even have a sidebar before!) are now moved to multiple columns in the footer.

    Everything else pretty much retained from the old theme -- quickies on the home page, gravatar integration, etc. I am still tuning the layouts and fixing bugs, especially those browser incompatibilities.

  3. AdSense Preview for Firefox

    AdSense Preview Tool for Firefox. It basically just creates a pop up window showing what ads would appear on the web page you are looking at, if Google AdSense is used. Very useful for deciding whether you should put AdSense on your website. However it does not have localisation preview like the "official" preview tool, so I cannot see what the US readers have seen.

    Another interesting use is, using this preview tool to see how Google categorises your website. On my index page, I got:

    • Free Bible Study Course (who are United Church of God?)
    • Apostolic Sermon Outlines (pentecostal sermons, yik!)
    • Martin Luther King Jr. (biography software)
    • Voice of the Martyrs (VoM Australia -- do they advertise as well?)
    • Flying Colors (get rich quick via property scheme)
    • Free Bible Software (enter Jesus survey and win $300, what?!)

    Seems to be Christianity-biased, although less than a quarter of my posts are about church and Christianity. Still, more than half of those ads are dodgy, and now I feel sorry for those who have actually clicked on them.

    Update: I actually wondered the same thing two and half years ago!

  4. Domain Transferred to IntaServe

    After my article on Bargain Blog about the cheapest .au registrar, I decided to transfer my yang.id.au domain from NameScout, whom I registered with since July 2002, to IntaServe, because it is (a) $2/year cheaper (b) having an Australian contact number. However, the transfer didn't proceed that …
  5. Robots.txt Stuff up

    Stupid thing I did this week: In the process of moving Bargain Blog back to my own home server, I somehow rsync'ed my entire design/test site, including the robots.txt, which contains deadly commands to forbid all bots/spiders! No wonder for the last few days my AdSense ads …
  6. Issue with New Blogs

    Almost two weeks ago I launched my new programming/Internet blogsite. It does not make me write more -- actually due to my current schedules I actually wrote less. All it did was splitting up the content, so that my programming and Internet related posts get filed elsewhere. Good idea, as …
  7. New Blog -- FuCoder.com

    There have been basically two types of "readers" on this blog. One is either my family, friends, church friends or other strangers who are interested in part of my daily life, my Christian opinions, and my occasional rant over things that do not really matter. They got bored reading posts …
  8. Bargain Blog

    I have been thinking about doing it for a while - a blog that lists all the cheap deals that we have discovered during the week, a blog that might save us a few pennies - a bargain blog. There are actually quite a few bargain blogs or hot deal listings out …
  9. Added AdSense (Part II)

    Last week I looked at the option of adding sponsored links via AdSense to this site. So far I am getting around 5 bucks from the clicks. Not too bad I guess, but at the same time it is far from covering my Internet bandwidth. An interesting exercise nevertheless, as …
  10. Simple MySQL backup

    Donncha shared his simple MySQL backup script that backs up individual WordPress tables into separate .sql.gz files, and keeps a week worth of them just in case something horrible happens. This is exactly what I did this morning! Write a simple Bash script that loops through 20+ databases, and …
  11. Added AdSense

    You know. Managing and providing hosting to two to three dozen websites out of your own pocket can be a costly exercise. I have been quite reluctant to do so for a while, for the fear of 'tainting' this blog. But I see that the dark side is greater, more …
  12. Latest Comments

    As Bruce Schneier has suggested, I have also added a latest comments section on Scott Yang's Playground, so I can keep track the most recent contributors to this blogsite, and remember which ones I need to reply. I don't get as many visitors as Mr. Schneier's security news site, so …
  13. What I have been doing...

    Just updates on some of my current "projects" that have kept me very much occupied. WordPress migration on FOCUSer.net. FOCUSer blog community has been running MovableType 2.x for the last 2 and half years. The code base is very much out dated and not supported, i.e. security …
  14. New Plugins Installed

    I have recently installed two WordPress plugins to slightly enhance the visual of comments. Gravatars - uses the globally recognised avatar to display a 48x48 image next to each comment to identify its poster. IP to Nation - displays a little country flag next to the comment poster's name, guessed from its …
  15. Upgraded to WP 1.5

    Finally, I've upgraded this site to WordPress 1.5 "Strayhorn". Not as straightforward as I initially thought, as there were too many custom hacks from my previous install. I've also changed the theme slightly to get rid of the sidebar completely, replacing with a navigation bar at the top. None …
  16. Re-Styled

    Looks like I've done it again - Playground has been re-styled. Instead of making it a real eye pleaser, I've decided to make it simpler. White background everywhere. Minimal borders around the canvases. No decorating pictures. Bland. Maybe I'll do away with this whole CSS thingy in the next iteration of …
  17. New Domain I Bought

    While I do not agree that changing the domain name would eliminate irresponsible blogging issue (more to that later), earlier this morning I still managed to acquired a new .net domain from GoDaddy for 2 years at USD$8.95 per year. I'm pretty happy about this purchase. Hopefully I …
  18. Unexpected Visitors

    One problem of writing publicly on a blogsite is that you sometimes get unexpected visitors browsing your site. Those you wondered, "huh? How do they get here?" That's the shocking feeling I got after I discovered two instances of unexpected guests. One landed on my website (my on-line resume actually …
  19. Gone and Back

    The server that hosts this website and around 20 other sites had a fault hard disk, which caused a kernel panic last Wednesday. It came back on-line on Sunday, with a new 120Gb disk, a new Gentoo rebuild, upgraded to a fast Pentium III 450Mhz box, and has been running …
  20. Return of the Quickies

    Over a month ago, I started the random quickies section of my blogsite to store interesting links that I have found on the Internet. A "linkblog" as most bloggers would have called it. It was implemented as a separate blog on my old Movable Type powered site, but since my …