Archive for the ‘ Site News ’ Category

2016: The Year of Automation?

I was at a tech training conference the other month and recently discovered Zappier and If This Then That. So here I am jumping on the bandwagon!

So far I’ve only setup If This Then That and only a handful of things:

  • When NASA’s image of the day changes, change my android phone’s wallpaper
  • Save Fitbit sleep logs to Google Spreadsheets
  • Document Fitbit activity to Google Spreadsheet
  • Log every time I charge my phone to a google spreadsheet
  • Liked YouTube videos post to this site
  • Uploaded public YouTube videos post to this site
  • Twitter tweets post to this site
  • New Flickr photos post to this site

The phone wallpaper change is pretty neat, I like having the new backgrounds daily. Some of the other ones are interesting for data logging. The main big/good change is that it’s much easier to setup integrations here so the old webpage will see some activity. Admittedly all I’ve been mostly using this site for is my tiny tiny rss installation. Ideally this site is a nexus for all these other cool technologies and converging in one space.

This has made me really want to look into the smart lighting and smart car automations that ITTT has with Auto and Hue. Even Nest as well. Setup a scenario where as I leave, the thermostat is automatically turned off when I’m gone. As I come home or as I enter the lights turn on for me, etc. OR this is all a hilarious overuse of technology and it just highlights my want to throw money at my laziness.

Shared RSS Working Again!

Well it’s not perfect but I’ve added a sidebar widget for my shared feed links, which can also be viewed/subscribed to here: http://www.timothyhanson.com/tt-rss/public.php?op=rss&id=-2&view-mode=all_articles&key=552b6e562929f3b0ced7ed3f60ed6fbe15e56888

In the war to win over hearts as the new Google Reader replacement, I’ve tried Feedly, theoldreader, and Tiny Tiny RSS and the winner is TTRSS. Although admittedly I still use Flipboard and Feedly on the iPad. I’ll go into more depth on those later but for now I finally have RSS articles again! I may work on getting them to be posted articles though as opposed to widget feed. Can’t decide.

Testing…

Had to do some mandatory site upgrades. Seeing if this still works. Admittedly last year started out poorly and with the continued decline and destruction of my  beloved Google Reader I’ve been a bit down and out on the site. However lately I’ve been thinking about random content I could add, although still inconsistently, which might be useful.

Google Reader Change

With the update to Google Reader I can’t easily do the link spam share posts anymore unfortunately. This sort of takes a huge chunk out of the post count since that’s mostly what I used my page for (archival awesome links). Maybe I’ll figure out a new thing but for now Google Reader feels like a really private web browsing experience, also slower than it used to be. I suppose I could try using the +1 or whatever but I tend to share a lot of content over the course of the day and it feels nicer to just have it all consolidated into one bulk entry. I don’t want to be that guy who junks up your feed.

I will say though that Aridin doesn’t seem to have a problem getting his site populated still. I wonder how he does it…. I should ask.

Friendfeed Setup

Bwahahaha, the ULTIMATE RSS feed of all my poop:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/timothyhansonff

Combines Flickr, Youtube, Pandora, Last.fm, timothyhanson.com, Google Reader, Twitter, and Picasa.

The regular link is here: http://friendfeed.com/timothyhanson

Site Ramblings

5 years ago I made a huge mistake in choosing which content management system I’d use as the backend of this site. I chose something that wasn’t popular which is the main point against it. For what I used it for it worked great (cutephp) but I was trying to solve a problem that didn’t exist and now I’m stuck with tons of old content that’s on a crappy template and not protected by spam.

I’ve updated my site to run php5 stuff and I’ve broken the loose method of keeping all my old posts (shove them onto a separate page and call it a day) organized. The old pages still work but the search throws out errors. Quite vexing.

There’s no easy way to export from Cute to WordPress without just manually moving entries. If I did this the comments wouldn’t move over which is another annoyance. I think I’ll take my time the next 6 months and start copying things over one at a time and seeing what happens I guess. Very cumbersome.

In other news, I’m considering taking the reader shares off the front page and making it a separate page entirely. I suspect this is a very easy thing to do so hopefully it’ll be whipped out pretty quickly. If it isn’t easy, then I’m throwing my hands up in failure.

No Reader RSS Feed

A hotly requested feature is the removal of my Google Reader shares from my RSS feed, mostly because of the duplication if you’re someone I share with natively through Reader.  So I present to you the feed with the omission:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/thanson-reader

For anyone else using WordPress here’s a nice tutorial for customizing the feeds for your site:

http://dailycupoftech.com/2007/07/25/creating-custom-wordpress-feeds/

Site Updates: Twitter Posting

If you’ve subscribed to my Twitter RSS you can stop now if you also have the RSS feed here.  That is all!

This now solves the RSS problem of duplicate entries. Now if you’ve subscribed to this site you’ll get my reader shares as well as my tweets and regular posts.

UPDATE 1: Or something horrible can happen! My greader share mechanism spammed out like crazy and then the twitter tools plugin puked about it. On the one hand I’m lucky my Twitter account didn’t spam like crazy, however I’ll have to wait and see if it happens again. It will be unpleasant if it does.

Ugh, disabled twitter tools, but the reality is I need to disable the Google Reader plugin and find a replacement so I can go back to Twitter Tools. Frustrating.

UPDATE 2: Turned off Post->Twitter to see if that will help. If not then I’m going to have to scrap the daily greader share post.

UPDATE 3: Well it didn’t help, so I guess the daily spam is temporarily going away until I find a new GReader share output method.

UPDATE 4: Well I’ve recanted on my decison since my Google Shares are more compelling than my tweets. I was looking at various solutions and the coolest ones require PHP5.0 and my host is just slightly behind unfortunately. I’ll see if I can upgrade and then have it all sorted out, but for now, everything is going back to the way it was.

Summer Site Plans

To celebrate 1 year with WordPress, I figured I’d punch up a new theme and call it a day.  However, pouring through all the WP themes leaves something to be desired.  It seems like many of the themes are created with half purposes and the artwork used is simply too specific to fit in general use.  Instead of a generic sort of theme they create a very niche theme.  Ah well.

The main problems I want to tackle are highlighting my Twitter feed and showcasing the Reader news.  If I can do the latter then I feel like I can move away from daily update autoposts to weekly wrap ups.  Additionally for anyone subscribed to all the RSS feeds, you run into a problem of data overlap where my Twitter is telling you I posted a new article and then if you’re part of the reader shares then you get it twice when the site publishes them.  It’s all very annoying.  Hopefully a new version will spawn by August though and I can clean up some of these issues.

Quick RSS Feed Update

Switched to feedburner so the new RSS link is:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/Timothyhanson

I did manage to update the link on the top somehow with this crazy new 2.7 version of WordPress.