Nostalgic eBay impulse buys

Oh yes! This is what eBay is all about. You remember something from the past, you have a look on eBay, place a speculative bid and lo and behold you win it. Then the anticipation as you wait for it to arrive, with a little bit of doubt creeping in as you wonder if will be as good as you remember it. Will the mists of time cloud your perspective and will it turn out to be really rubbish?

Late last week, after a conversation in work, I placed exactly such a speculative bid, won it at a rock bottom price and it arrived yesterday. I had kind-of half-forgotten about it, what with all that’s going on elsewhere just now, so it was a pleasant surprise to see the packet drop through the door.

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New code display plugin

kbdI took the opportunity to replace the code formatting plugin I was using. Previously I was using codesnippets, but was never 100% happy with it, for a couple of niggling reasons, but mainly due to the lack of horizontal scrollbars, which meant longer lines of code were truncated and messed up the layout when displayed.

I’d seen a couple of better looking ones in use on some of the tech sites I’ve come across, so, after pinging Pro Blog Design (thanks Michael) I’ve replaced my previous plugin with a new one – wp-syntax.

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Include count in search results

searchAnother little tweak to the blog today (my plan is to conquer WordPress one tweak at a time and maybe learn a bit about php in the process).

This time I’m including a count of search results in the search page. Thanks to Pro Blog Design and their article 3 codes for a far better WordPress search page for this.

I now realise the theme I’m using seems a little bit out of whack, when I looked in my search.php page only to find a single line to include the contents of archive.php, so need to have a proper dig sometmie and understand how it all hangs together.

So, in search.css or in my case, somewhat bizarrely, in archive.css, I replaced:

<h2 class="pagetitle">Search Results</h2>

…with:

<h2 class="pagetitle">Search Result for post_count; _e(''); _e('<span class="search-terms">'); echo $key; _e('</span>'); _e(' — '); echo $count . ' '; _e('articles'); wp_reset_query(); ?&gt;</h2>

Nice and easy and the results now come back with a count. Next up, make it a proper search results page, instead of full posts…

Boats, on trucks

It's a boat, on a truck!On my drive home last night, in the dark, pretty much on automatic pilot, I noticed I was following a truck with an unusual load.  It was transporting a boat.

The Randan 2 wasn’t a huge boat, but big enough to require a flat-bed articulated lorry.

I’ve seen trucks carrying boats before, but never gave them a second glance.  Being stuck behind one in the rain made me think of how out of place it really was up there, towering over me in my car.

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Twitter integration redux

Twitter** Note: This hack has subsequently been superceded by a plugin **

Another couple of new tweaks built in to the blog, to make it easy for readers to tweet about a post they are currently reading on the blog, with a handy link included.

Inspired by a very nice article on Wp Recipes (thanks catswhocode) that I found via one of may fave tech online magazines: Smashing Magazine.

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Noppleganger, moi?

My mate LynvalSince purchasing my new domain names, I started to get some strange eMails, addressed to one of the domains; the stevemccallum.com one.  I was regularly getting 4-5 per day and they all had a few things in common that ruled them out from being common or garden spam.

i) They were all addressed to ‘me’ at my domain,  ii) They were exclusively new ‘friends’ on MySpace and iii) the majority seemed to have ska/rudeboy/rudegrrl oriented names or pages on MySpace, the latest of which being Lynval Golding of the Specials and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

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Is this art?

Stumbled upon a post in design mag, and initially I thought ‘cool, that’s great’, but on reflection I reckon I’m maybe not so sure about it.

Digital art

The post is a collection of ‘digital art’; specifically portraits created by computer methods that are, admittedly, stunning reproductions of the original photographic image. They are pretty much all very photo-realistic and you’d be hard pushed to tell they are hand-crafted at all, without perhaps a side-by-side comparison with the original.

This is where my doubt comes in.  Is there much point in spending many hours faithfully reproducing an existing digital photo in Photoshop?  You could argue you may as well have the original photo and be done with it.  I’m not doubting the immense skill required to achieve the end result; I’ve used PhotoShop and it takes some work to get good results.

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