What’s a boy to do?

Becky and Jenn are down on Martha’s Vineyard for the day and the evening, so I’ve been keeping myself busy by updating the website and doing other geeky things.

I’ve made some significant improvements to the blog archive system. Now when you browse individual entry archives (you can get to those by clicking on the post time at the bottom of each post), it doesn’t look like a mess. I also cleaned up the MovableType|http://www.movabletype.org/ templates, removing some things that didn’t need to be there, and adding some things that did. Speaking of MT, I also upgraded to the latest bugfix release, 2.64.

I also rewrote the way content is displayed on the site. Previously, the index script would simply read a file in, and print it to the screen. Now, however, the file content is read in to PHP, sent through a parsing process, and finally printed out on the main index page. What this means is that I can do things to the content of the page before it is displayed on the site. For example, I created a method for writing URLs in a blog entry – by simply surrounding a url with two sets of “***” and including the name of the link, and the URL of a link, the link will automatically be converted, and the proper link class will be written. This saves Becky and I from having to type in the whole long url. 🙂

Recently I’ve been toying around with Fink|http://fink.sf.net/ on my Mac systems. Fink is a system that closely resembles the Debian|http://www.debian.org/ apt package management system. It automates and simplifies the act of downloading, compiling, and installing open source software. While I do occasionally get a kick out of manually downloading a program’s source, configuring it, patching bugs, and installing it, it really is much easier to just let this program do it all for you. 🙂 An example of a very useful program I’ve installing using Fink is The Gimp|http://www.gimp.org/. The Gimp is an open source alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop|http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/main.html. It has most of the same features as Photoshop, but the most important difference is price – Photoshop is $599.95, and The Gimp is $0000000.00. I’ll take The Gimp, please!

Thanks for letting me fill up this blog with tech talk. Maybe Becky will chime in soon with some news and views. 🙂

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