Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Link: A signature cadence

Too many websites (and applications) are soul-less, corporate entities that treat you like just another number.

Rands' article: A signature cadence shows how a human tone can make a big difference in how we view a site. Even tiny details like the copyright wording can help make an overall impression that you are actually a bunch of real people. I think we need more of that.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Squidoo and ssh tunneling

I've found squidoo - a site where you can set up pages called lenses that help direct people to all the relevant information about a specific topic.

I love it!

I've only just begun, but I think I'll slowly add pages on my favourite topics and see where it goes.

ssh tunnels R Us

To start with, I put up a page on ssh tunneling.

For years I've used ssh to login to a remote linux box to get work done. But recently I had to get through to the http server on my work machine - which was hidden behind a firewall. The best way to do that, it seems, is to set up an ssh tunnel and just port-forward the http port to my local machine!

In the process I found several useful (and less useful) articles on the subject, and it took me ages to crawl through each one to figure out which was which. It seems "ssh tunneling" means different things to different people...

So where does squidoo feature in all this?

In the squidoo lens, I gave an overview of ssh and tunneling - and then listed each of the articles with a brief description of the contents. In this way, the squidoo page acts as a differentiator for any people searching for the same thing in future. Hopefully it'll cut down the time people need to spend scanning all the possible google results they can find. They can zero in on an answer all the more quickly.

[Edit...] More squidoo...

So I've now gone and added a few more pages on my other hobbies.

For starters, I quite like brewing mead - which is a wine made from honey. I've been doing it for about 15 years now, and you can read more about it in my lens on mead, or you can jump straight to my (long) howto lens that will teach you how to make mead in three weekends.

Alternatively you can try your hand at home preserving with vacola - an ingenious system of bottling that creates a vacuum seal in the bottle to hold on the lid.

Stay tuned for more fun stuff as I go along.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Link: 13 coding nightmares to avoid

Here is a great list of bad RoR practices - make sure you read the comments as there are some interesting exceptions raised.

Merry Christmas!

So I've been pretty quiet for the past month. That's because I'm running around like a mad thing getting set to make a big move to the UK. Won't be for another month yet, but it's consuming all my spare time.

Anyway, today's been quiet enough to sit down and actually write something so - merry christmas everybody!