GeekLikeMe.net

GeekLikeMe

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Collected web clippings, ramblings, and scribblings from me to you.

Monday: September 21, 2009

Service Pack X

Just inserting my own observations via comic format after recently upgrading to Snow Leopard.

Posted to DotComic filed in Comics @ 3:58 PM | Tags (7) | apple | dotcomic | geeklikeme | leopard | snowleopard | tweaks | upgrades |  | Discuss (1) |  | facebook | twitter | 7 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: June 15, 2009

Five million Facebook users make mad dash for vanity usernames.Five million Facebook users make mad dash for vanity usernames.

Lo and behold, I can't assign a username to the GeekLikeMe Facebook page because it does not meet the criteria of having 1,000 fans. Thanks Facebook!

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Silly @ 9:38 PM | Tags (3) | facebook | geeklikeme. usernames | vanity |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 10 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: May 21, 2008

Writer's Block

Created this one when I had finally hit the wall with making comics. I just opened up my cartooning application of choice, in this case Adobe Flash - and started doodling. The outcome was what see above. Shortly after this, I stopped making comics all together. Though I have aspirations to make more one day.

Posted to DotComic filed in Comics @ 1:00 AM | Tags (4) | block | dotcomic | geeklikeme | uninspired |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 7 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: April 21, 2008

GeekLikeMe on your iPhone.

I've updated GeekLikeMe to display better on an iPhone for my fellow Mac nerdites out there. This version removes all content of the normal site and just shows the weekdaily links (this seems to be what everybody wants these days anyways).

Want to make an iPhone version of your own website? Here are some quick tips. First and most importantly, you need to check if your visitor/user happens to be on an iPhone to begin with. This requires that you check the user agent string accordingly. Being that I code in a Windows world I am going to show how to do this check in two lines of code via ASP:

httpagent = request.servervariables
('http_user_agent')
if instr(httpagent,'iPhone') > 0 then iPhone= 'Yes'

See? Not hard at all. Then just modify your code accordingly to fit that condition. Yes, I'm sure there are much more efficient ways of checking the http user agent string but for a quick five minute update / verbose post - who really cares.

Special thanks to Tom of Optical Poptitude (which is an awesome blog that everyone should read daily) for giving me a heads up that this site was displaying not all that well on an iPhone.

Update: latest version of GLM breaks this post every way from Sunday. Will fix some point down the road.

Posted to Verbose filed in Apple @ 3:27 PM | Tags (5) | apple | geeklikeme | iphone | programming | servervariables |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 3 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Saturday: December 1, 2007

A new verbose post? Really?

A semi-quick little update as to why I haven't posted much of anything to this section in recent weeks months. It can all be summed up pretty quickly actually. I moved, and I'm still on the hunt for a new place call my own. Combine that with other factors like work projects, adjusting to our new temporary residence, holidays, interest rates, the position of Venus in the third house (ok that was really dumb), etc etc. Basically, there a host of other reasons that would just bore you. But never fear dear readers, things are looking up.

I just recently purchased a brand new MacBook (daily grind readers already know this). But what's so special about this purchase? The fact that I can now run Windows on a Mac, that's what! I previously owned a PowerBook G4 (still do, it's just not getting much use anymore). Trouble was (and still is), by day I work in a Windows world as an ASP, ASP.net programmer / web developer. Having a PowerPC Mac just doesn't allow to run the kind of software I need to do any kind of work in my free time while say, commuting home from work or watching television (I like to multitask). And yes, I've heard of Mono, and no it couldn't work for what I need to do for job related tasks.

My new sweet little MacBook, which is both lighter and smaller than ye old fifteen inch PowerBook G4 of yore, is a great little machine. Plus, now I can get back to coding my nerdy ASP and SQL stuff whenever I want to. So basically, things should start happening around here soon. I'm cooking up some potential new features and designs as well as working on other projects that have been sorely neglected.

What's in the pipeline? Well, I really should get back to making some new comics for this site- another sorely neglected section of this site. There is also a project that was supposed to be included in this last iteration of GeekLikeMe that didn't make the final cut. It's going to be spun into it's own little project to see how it fares in the big wide world of web. More on that later when I have something more, uh, well coded to show.

One last note, going on a much needed vacation next week so links will be sparse. My superfluous linking skills will be back on schedule when I return.

Posted to Verbose filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 12:08 PM | Tags (6) | apple | asp | development | geeklikeme | life | programming |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 0 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Sunday: September 16, 2007

New Pet

This comic pre-dates those crazy mutated Metroids from the Prime series.

Posted to DotComic filed in Comics @ 1:00 AM | Tags (4) | metroid | nintendo | dotcomic | geeklikeme |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 1 Click | Posted by Vin


Tuesday: July 3, 2007

Speed Dialer

Comic derived mostly from my experiences in showing off my iPhone to other friends when it first came out.

Posted to DotComic filed in Comics @ 1:00 AM | Tags (4) | iphone | apple | dotcomic | geeklikeme |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 1 Click | Posted by Vin


Thursday: April 26, 2007

Important Quest

I had been reading a lot of PBF Comics at the time of making this comic and I had wanted to try something different from the whole 'guy on the left says this, guy on the right says that' scenario.  End result was what you see above.  Was fishing really essential to saving the Princess this time around?

Posted to DotComic filed in Comics @ 1:00 AM | Tags (5) | zelda | fishing | dotcomic | geeklikeme | quest |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 2 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Tuesday: February 27, 2007

Intro to Web Design

I always road-test these comics on several people before I throw them up here. Out of all seven people I was still the only one who thought this was remotely funny. Nerd alert.

Posted to DotComic filed in Comics @ 1:00 AM | Tags (5) | web | parenting | dotcomic | geeklikeme | programming |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 0 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Tuesday: December 12, 2006

GeekLikeMe Dashboard Widget for your Mac.

If you've been reading my daily logs you might have noticed that I've been messing around with creating dashboard widgets for Mac OS X over the past couple of days. What exactly is a dashboard widget you ask? In a nutshell, its a mini-application that you can run on your Mac's dashboard section. In this case, the mini-application I put together displays the last three days of links that grace the front page of GeekLikeMe.net.

Widget Screenshot

I tried to keep the layout and design of the widget to be compact as to not disrupt anything else that might already be running on a user's dashboard. This is my first attempt at making a widget but I have a feeling I'll be making more as time goes on. Of course, with the next version of Mac OS X Leopard right around the corner I think everybody will making a lot more widgets. More on that coming in a verbose post later this week.

Widget Download

To use this widget you must be using Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Download the file located in this post and double click it to unarchive it to your desktop. Then click on the black widget icon to install to your dashboard. If there are any questions or comments regarding this widget feel free to leave a comment.

Download the GeekLikeMe Widget Version 1.0.

Posted to Verbose filed in Apple @ 11:02 AM | Tags (4) | apple | dashboard | widget | geeklikeme |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 0 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Friday: July 7, 2006

GeekLikeDad!

I recently became a proud parent to a beautiful baby girl. I got to thinking about some of the pros and cons she may have while growing up with her overly geeky dad. This list probably (and obviously) does not pertain to all geeks, it's primarily speaking from my experience and current available skill sets.

On with the list:

  1. Advantage:  Multilingual skills. HTML, CSS, ASP. Sure these are programming languages, but it's a start.
    Disadvantage:  Actual foreign language skills are probably far more important. I'll leave that to my bilingual wife.

  2. Advantage:  A vast library of useless movie quotes/facts ranging from Monty Python to Count of Monte Cristo. This makes for some decent comedic timing which Dad hopes to pass on.
    Disadvantage:  Sometimes Dad isn't nearly as funny as he thinks he is... at all.

  3. Advantage:  Her Mom has a very good fashion sense.
    Disadvantage:  Her Dad, not so much.

  4. Advantage:  She will probably have every cool techie toy that comes on the market.
    Disadvantage:  Dad will have to play with it first.

  5. Advantage:  She already has a large library of modern and retro video games.
    Disadvantage:  Possible pasty white skin from lack of sunlight, just like Daddy.

  6. Advantage:  I can't cook. If you tried my cooking you would understand why this is an advantage.
    Disadvantage:  Same reason.

  7. Advantage:  I can teach her how to play up to 3 musical instruments of her choice: drums, guitar, kazoo.
    Disadvantage:  I have no athletic skills whatsoever. Seriously, none. Once again, my wife will be in charge of that skill, too.

  8. Advantage:  Dad is an avid Phish fan.
    Disadvantage:  Dad is an avid Phish fan.

  9. Advantage:  Dad doesn't do drugs of any kind despite attending many, many, many Phish shows.
    Disadvantage:  Since Dad didn't do any drugs, he has no wacky stories to tell.

  10. Advantage:  Three words - Internet Parental Control.
    Disadvantage:  Since this site is primarily PG, one day she will find out that her Dad once ran a website called GeekLikeMe.

Posted to Verbose filed in Life @ 1:45 PM | Tags (3) | paretings | dad | geeklikeme |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 0 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: June 26, 2006

A slightly better search for your GLM enjoyment.

If you didn't know already there is a nifty search tool at the top of every page on this site that uses AJAX technology to give back result suggestions to you as you type them. These suggestions simply pick up your searched term and check the weekdaily links to see if there was a post regarding that subject or keyword. While I freely admit that the search is still a little buggy, I also admit that I think it's pretty cool. But it seemed to me that the overall search needed a little something.

glm_suggest

To try out the 'suggest' feature just start typing a search term in the search box at the top of the screen and results should pop up (see screenshot for example) while you type.

It's not quite as perfect as I'd like it to be. Sometimes, if you type too fast the system gets confused and won't give you any results at all. I think that is due to the amount of power the server is currently packing. Sure, if I had a larger server farm with far more power behind it, I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem. Alas, that is not the case (and probably will never be the case) so until then I have a lovely homebrew fix for that: type slower.

Onto the next problem. The suggested results only return twenty or so links based on the search term. You're not getting an entirely clear view of the history of your particular search using that method. Additionally, if you are the astute web user and hit the enter key after filling out the form (basically the only way to submit said form due to the absence of a submit button - yea, I'll work on that) - you would get redirected back to GeekLikeMe with no results at all. Zip. Nada. Zero. This left some users confused, at least the ones who actually tried it.

glm_suggest

To solve that problem, I decided to build an actual dedicated search page. To get to it just type your search in the above form field and hit enter on your keyboard. You will then be zipped away to a more robust result set than the twenty or so that were suggested previously via the AJAX popup.

This can be handy tool if you want to jump back to that one link I happened to post here without sifting through the deluge of other unrelated links. It also helps me primarily as a tool for checking if I have already posted a link. See? Everybody wins.

There are some other neat features of the new search as well. On the right of a result set you see a section labeled Recent searches. I also give you a link back to the post the link came from so you can what else was interesting that day. Basically it's yet another fun way for me to see what (if anything) people are trying to do with the site.

Enjoy the updated search. It was certainly a challenge to build (my internal database for weekdaily links is not pretty nor is it friendly). But sometimes the challenge is half the fun. Here is the sample search from the screenshots above: Search for Apple links on GeekLikeMe.

Posted to Verbose filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 11:38 AM | Tags (2) | geeklikeme | search |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 0 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: June 7, 2006

Designs that were rightfully tossed.

While there are still several things to fix with this site (a long list in fact) I'd like to share with you the designs that didn't make it. These failed attempts were done over the course of the past year or so. Just so everybody knows, I have this fun habit of designing things and constantly being unhappy with everything and anything I can find to criticize about basically anything and everything. I'm sure this is not uncommon among designer-folk. Amplify that by ten and you have me.

On with the garbage:

glmd_1

Why it didn't make it: Too weird.

I had this idea of throwing a strange abstract 3D rendering that would rotate on every page either randomly or by a user's choice. Looking back that might have been potentially annoying. I'm not sure where I was going with that top middle section either (why am I here, why do I care). I think I was trying to be funny. But then again, looking back at it now I don't get my own joke. Genius. I was also toying with the notion of having users create accounts to be able to comment and do fun things with profiles but that fizzled out into oblivion. In the end I rationalize this attempted design with the following statement: It's one of those designs that you spend lots of time on - then go to sleep. Then when you wake up the following morning and look at again, you realize it's not as good as you thought it was.

glmd_1

Why it didn't make it: Too cute.

The aspiring cartoonist took over when I started mocking up this design. Still clutching to my little line drawings, I wanted to keep some kind of sketched element but also have a techie feel to the site. That little geek icon was to be all over the various sections of the site. Commenting on a post would have looked like the icon was speaking them (think comic book style balloons). Users could have potentially uploaded their own caricatures so their comments would look in the same fashionable way. The thought of that kind of customization scared me off. In the end, I got sick of looking at that stupid drawing and put this design in the 'never speak of again' file.

glmd_1

Why it didn't make it: Too trendy.

I think every trendy element in web design is well represented here. Glossy navigation, check. Reflective logo that simply has to reflect on something, check. Slight but not overly powerful gradient in the background: check. The rest of the design below the navigation was beginning to look like your average blog template. I'm sick of talking about this design already. Moving on.

glmd_1

Why it didn't make it: Too dark.

This is me trying to be radically different with design. I'm usually big on white backgrounds in web design so I attempted to try something different. It did however lead to what eventually would become the current design of this site (basically inverted with some clean up work), which I guess isn't all that bad. The speaking bubbles for taglines and calls to action began to get on my nerves, borderlined being too cutesy again. But I figured that it was just my overly critical side acting up - so I went ahead and starting coding it. I showed it off to some people who's opinion I respect in terms of design. This quote that made me throw the design away instantly: 'People don't want to read a black website for their morning links.'

And so here we are. A redesign that looks strikingly similar to the previous one (minus the icons - see post below this one for snapshot). Whatever, I'm content. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Yea, thats the ticket.

Posted to Verbose filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 5:49 PM | Tags (4) | geeklikeme | tossed | redesign | trash |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 2 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: June 5, 2006

Goodbye icons, we harldy knew ye.

glm_icons

Welcome to the latest version of GeekLikeMe. Let me run down some of the new areas, features, timewasters, etc.

I should note something before you read any further. I am by no means a professional writer. You are likely to find many grammatical and numerous spelling errors. Rest assured, I do have a college degree (of course not in any type of writing, English, or even computer science for that matter - but that's an entirely different story) but I am however notoriously bad at editing. If something seems out of place, just know my intentions were good.

I have been working to upgrade this site on a massive scale for a long time. Naturally, some things may be broken while other things may work better than they previously did. If you're looking for any kind of clarification on what that means; I really don't know either.

On with the list of new stuff here at GeekLikeMe...

  • Overall - this new version of GLM is entirely done in XHTML and CSS. I tried to keep it all W3.org valid, but an error here or there may have slipped through the cracks. I will be fixing them as time goes on. If you don't understand the above buzzwords it simply means that I am a far bigger dork than you know.
  • Design - despite losing those hand drawn icons that previously adorned the left navigation not all that much is different (see above snapshot). I went through several failed attempts to completely redesign this site (I will showcase these attempts in another post for your amusement / my dismay at some point) and nothing felt right until I came back to an upgraded version of it's predecessor. The search bar at the top of every page is a handy AJAXian-Googlish suggest bar that will scurry up links posted to Weekdaily. Start to type Apple for example and you will see links pop up in a suggestable fashion regarding Apple that have been posted over the past 2 years or so.
  • Weekdaily - now sports a most viewed feature. Basically, I keep a log of where people are clicking and I give you the link that was most clicked that day. Hence, most viewed. Why did I do this? Because up until now I have had no idea of what people come here for. Do you come here to see my rampant Apple fandom or do you come for the offbeat links regarding swearing parrots? Well, hopefully this curious mystery will be solved. Commenting is also on its way for Weekdaily posts (except at time of this posting I haven't actually finished coding it yet).
  • Desktops - formerly known as downloads. Nothing really new there, just an updated look. I am however proud of the new coffee cup rating system. Also, there is now a (very) brief description of how a download offering was created. For example, if the image was photo manipulated or rendered in a 3D modeling program - I will let you know. I have some newer offerings that should be coming online in the near future.
  • Photoblog - ah my beloved photoblog. The place where I realize that I am not and will never be a professional photographer. Updated the look and feel of this section as I always thought it was a tad confusing before. On the right is a failed attempt to be Flickr-esque by showing icons of additional photos posted. This probably makes the navigation even more confusing, but I felt like being different. Notice the coffee cup rating system is here too. Word.
  • Polls - absolutely nothing new here. In fact I haven't finished coding this yet.
  • Topic in 3 - this is an idea I had one night that I felt like introducing to the redesign. I give you a topic, you add your two cents. The catch is that your two cents are actually more like three cents. Your three cents are actually more like three words. You are only allowed three words only to get your idea across. I don't know how this section will fare but I felt like giving the idea a chance. By the way as of the writing of this post I haven't finished coding that either.
  • Verbose - YOU ARE HERE. Just as the name implies, this is where you go if you want to read more than 5-6 words from me. Read above for my apologies on writing skills in advance. Expect stuff that doesn't really fit anywhere else to go here.
  • Daily Grind - formerly just labeled 'About' on the old site. This is basically where you can find out how I am feeling/doing/procrastinating on a weekdaily basis. It should be noted that this section proves that while I am slightly skizophrenic; I am also quite good at remedial data entry.

So welcome to my my newly designed website. Hope you enjoy, still loads yet to come (well, I hope anyway).

Posted to Verbose filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 4:21 PM | Tags (2) | geeklikeme | redesign |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 3 Clicks | Posted by Vin


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