Could Richard Brautigan be my favourite author?

I have finally sorted out some of my books that I still had packed in boxes from when I moved out of London three years ago. Like a long lost treasure, I found books I forgot I had bought, and I struggled to sort through them all without stopping to read everyone – but I managed it – just!

In sorting through two boxes I found my small collection of Richard Brautigan books and put them on the small bookcase next to my bed – which was probably a bad idea – as I haven’t stopped reading them since. But that got me thinking, could the late Mr Brautigan be my favourite author?

The slamming of screen doors and dogs barking and the rattling of breakfast pots and pans and roosters crowing and people coughing and grumbling and stirring about: getting ready to start their day beat like a drum in Billy.
It was a silver early-in-the-morning drum that would lead to the various events that would comprise 13 July 1902.
The town drunk was lying face down in the middle of the main street of town. He was passed out at peace with the summer dust. His eyes were closed. There was a mile on the side of his face. A big yellow dog was sniffing at his boots and a big black dog was sniffing at the yellow dog. They were happy dogs. Both of their tails were wagging.
A screen door slammed and a man shouted so loudly that the dogs stopped their sniffing and wagging, ‘Where in the hell is my God-damn hat!’
‘On your head, you idiot!’ was the female reply.
The dogs thought about this for a moment and then they started barking at the town drunk and woke him up.

Taken from The Drum in The Hawkline Monster (A Gothic Western), and Just one of the many reason why I think ‘yes’ he could well be my favourite author…

Tumbled reaches 200 downloads

tumbledToday I’m celebrating as my first free WordPress theme – Tumbled, has reached 200 downloads.

Now 200 is not a massive amount, but it still amazes me when I see it being used. It was my first attempt at designing a public theme and seems to have worked surprisingly well.

I have been meaning to update it since late last year, but never seemed to find the time. Now it has reached the 200 mark makes me want to do it as soon as possible, so stay tuned for an update soon.

Tumbled is a single column, no nonsense theme loosely based on the popular Block style on Tumblr, and can be found/downloaded here Tumbled – A WordPress Theme.

OS X Leopard – Are you sure you want to open it?

I think by now, every OS X Leopard users will be well acquainted with the warning message “Are you sure you want to open it?”. Apple’s over cautious security feature thats been described by some as a Vista-esque feature, but for me it’s just a real pain in the backside.

Are you sure you want to open it!?

Basically every file downloaded from the internet is tagged by the OS depending on its file type. If the download is an application or script, the OS will warn you with the above message when you first try and open it. Fine if you are opening one or two files, but not if you are trying to open up 20+ files at a time.

There is some reasoning behind this security feature, but I can’t help think that Apple should have included a way to turn it off or at least configure what file types the user deems ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’.

After Googleing for a solution I discovered two options. The first is by Henrik (Lift the Leopard download quarantine) is a simply Apple Script folder action that you apply to your Downloads folder. Every time a file is downloaded the Apple Script removes the ‘unsafe’ tag from it and thus banishes the warning message. The only problem I can see with the script is that is dose not work its magic on files within sub-folders.

The second is by Lazeez (Changing the system’s default settings for html files (safe)) and is my preferred solution. Basically you need to create a file called com.apple.DownloadAssessment.plist with a list of the file types you consider ‘safe’, you then need to save it to the ~/Library/Preferences folder, log-out or reboot to activate the changes, and no more warning messages!

The file looks like this:-

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN"
"http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
	<key>LSRiskCategorySafe</key>
<dict>
	<key>LSRiskCategoryContentTypes</key>
<array>
	<string>public.html</string>
	<string>public.php-script</string>
</array>
</dict>
</dict>
</plist>

You can see I have added two strings, public.html and public.php-script this allows me to open both .html and .php files without the warning. A full list of file types can be found on the Apple Developer site: System-Declared Uniform Type Identifiers.

To add more, simply add in <string>file.type.here</string> (The file type Identifier)

I hope this helps other Leopard users as much as it has helped me – as any unnecessary clicks can really start to slow a work flow down.

Update: Thanks to bradym for this.
The “System-Declared Uniform Type Identifiers” page has moved to: System-DeclaredUniformTypeIdentifiers.

Comment Spam – does Akismet work?

spamA week ago I was receiving on average 10 spam comments a day. I had Akismet running and was more than happy that it was catching all the nasties for me. But while updating a few plugins I appear to have inadvertently turned Akismet off. I didn’t realised this until today when I received an email saying I had 1 comment awaiting moderation.

I logged in to check it out, but soon realised it was only spam — strange I thought, why hadn’t Akismet caught it. Then I realised the Akismet Spam Tab was missing and then I realised I must have accidentally turned it off — but wait a minute I thought — why have I only received 1 spam comment in the last week when Akismet is turned off?

My brain is still trying to work this out, but I appear to have received more spam while Akismet was turned on. That can’t be right? Can it? I am going to turn it back on and see what happens — but I must confess I don’t have it running some of my other sites, and interestingly they hardly ever get any spam.

A question I’d like to ask is — has anybody else noticed anything weird with Akismet? Do you use it? Or perhaps some other spam catching method?

125Cards Leap-Year Special

125entrecardI’ve decided to run a little competition/give-away type thing over on 125Cards.com.

Prizes include:

  1. A custom 125×125 design and 1 month free advertising on 125Cards.com
  2. 1000 Entrecard points to spend however you like
  3. Another 1 month advert spot on 125Cards.com

To qualify, all you have to do is subscribe to 125Cards (via Email or RSS), then leave a comment on the post Win a Custom 125×125 Design, 1000 Entrecard Points and more… it’s that simple.

Lunar Eclipse 2008

Lunar Eclipse

I managed to drag myself out of my warm bed at 2.40am this morning to catch a glimpse of the Lunar Eclipse.

It was a clear night when I went to bed some 3 hours earlier, but it had started to cloud over by the time of the eclipse, but I did manage to take a few blurry pictures as I stood outside for half an hour watching one of natures most beautiful spectacles.

I was also fortunate enough to be working in Dorchester, Dorset when the 1999 total eclipse of the Sun passed along the south coast of England. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera, but it was an eerie experience when all the birds stopped singing and every car in the street stopped to take a look.

125Cards.com has landed

125Cards.com has landed125Cards.com is about design, style and how we can improve those lovely little 125 x 125 Adverts and Cards that we so love to place (drop) on other peoples websites.

They are meant to advertise what we are selling, be it a product, service or even just ourselves. Yet, they really don’t do us justice, they are difficult to read, look gimmicky and hardy every relate to what we are trying to sell.

Remember, they should be driving traffic to your site – so come on, get serious… visit 12Cards.com, grab a free template and start designing a better Advert.

My Powerbook G4 came home!

This has to be one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to me.

powerbookg4Last year I spent two months travelling around Europe in my VW Camper, I had actually planned to be away for four months, but while visiting Pisa in Italy my camper van was broken into and everything was stolen – cloths, food, books, dirty washing and my trusty PowerBook G4, all gone to some thieving ….

Anger eventual turned to frustration as all the things stolen where mealy materialistic and could be replaced, but one thing that frustrated me the most was that my laptop had all my holiday photos on, and although I could revisit the places and take more pictures, the mood and atmosphere would never be recaptured.

So I set about asking for it back, not necessarily my laptop, but the pictures that were on it. I tried a kind of laws of attraction thing, but without all the fuss of the secret (I personally don’t like that film/book). I imagined myself looking at the pictures and even showing them to my family and friends. Then…

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