I have spent quite a bit of my free time lately re-working my wp-SwimTeam WordPress plugin in a quest to get a demo site up and running. In the process I changed quite a bit, some because I had no choice, some because I was knee deep in the code and decided it was time to fix some things I wasn’t real happy with.
A bunch of the work was neccessary because GoDaddy, the provider hosting the demo site, doesn’t support PEAR which I was using to access the database. I needed to migrate to the WordPress database abstraction layer. As opposed to just hacking up the plugin to do this, I decided to do it right and enhance phpHtmlLib with a new database abstraction layer specifically for WordPress. I also made the changes to phpHtmlLib to make it into a WordPress plugin.
All in all, a lot of work behind the scenes which isn’t visible to the end user but in the long will make using wp-SwimTeam by other people much easier. There are quite a few posts on my wp-SwimTeam development blog if you are interested in all of the nitty-gritty details along with my frustrations with GoDaddy Support.
I have been putting some cycles into phpHtmlLib as part of getting my wp-SwimTeam WordPress plugin in shape for other people to use it. I found that PHP5 and GoDaddy’s PHP configuration, phpHtmlLib wasn’t very happy. After a couple days work I have it put back together so it will work with both PHP4 and PHP5 and can deal with GoDaddy’s PHP configuration. Now I need to commit all the changes and get back to work on wp-SwimTeam.
I took a Dell XPS 1210 to Europe with me last week and I have to say I like it. I wasn’t sure I would but after using it, I am pretty pleased. A guy I know in IT loaned it to me as a stop gap measure – I had told him I wanted a Mac because I concluded the XPS 1330 wouldn’t work for me (no docking station). He told me we would be getting some new Dell Lattitude E series machines in a couple months and he thought the 4300 would be what I’d want and he would loan me a 1210 until the new E series were available. I decided it was pretty low risk for me so he sent it out.
The machine he sent me is a 1210 with 2GB RAM, an 80GB disk and WinXP (I have been running Vista). The first thing I did was upgrade it to XP SP3 and then I went and bought a 250GB disk for it and Ghosted the image over to it. I also installed VMWare Player and moved the VM I am using for my wp-swimteam plugin development over to it.
The battery life is wonderful, the best I have ever had in a laptop. The machine is pretty peppy as well. It hasn’t gone off in the weeds on me at all like my HP tends to do. I used it on flights to and from as well as within Europe last week and I am happy with the smaller form factor – it isn’t such a struggle to use it on an airplane like my HP can be. When someone leans their seat back (which they should never do except on a red-eye), I can still work. I can’t with my HP.
At this point I am going to use it until the Dell Lattitude E series are out and then make my decision. I am still intrigued by the Mac but being on our corporate standard also has some benefits.
For the last few months I have been writing a WordPress plugin called wp-swimteam. This plugin builds on top of WordPress to turn it into an application which can be used to manage a youth swim team. The plugin is hosted on SourceForge and I am using a blog on that site to track the development progress. It is going pretty well, I am having fun working on it as it will be a huge benefit to our swim team which has been driven by a paper process forever.
I really need a new phone. Since I squashed my Pantech I have been using my old AudioVox. The AudioVox was a good phone three or four years ago but now it seems ancient. I miss my 3G phone! I don’t know what to do, if I get something now I’ll probably get another Pantech Duo or possibly the AT&T Tilt. I know as soon as I commit to a phone, something new will come out. It always seems to work out that way.
I need a new laptop and need one soon. My HP is on it last legs. On my way home from Denver the other day (a crappy trip home, I missed my connection and had to sepnd the night in Dallas due to the tornados in the Denver area) it acted as if the delete key was stuck again and deleted about two weeks worth of e-mail. It is a real PITA when it does this. I end up having to go back through my deleted items to determine what shouldn’t be deleted.
Anyway, enough whining about that. I am going to get a new laptop. My employer has standardized on Dell machines although there are exceptions (I have had an HP for a while). I have mentioned earlier that I like the Dell Latitude X1 I borrowed from one of our IT guys so I am thinking of going small and light instead of high end workstation replacement.
I wish the Dell XPS1330 had a good docking station solution – the lack of one is the only thing which turns me off. I am also intrigued by the Mac – if I get one it would be the 15″ MacBook Pro. The only thing which I don’t like about the Mac is the lack of a three button mouse because I will have to run Windows on it too.
Decisions, decisions. Going the Dell route will be easier because I will have IT support (if I want it) but I also like the idea of the Mac – they are really elegant machines. Either way, I want to make a decision next week – I am headed to Europe in a couple weeks and would like to have it before I go although it is unlikely.
Yesterday I received an e-mail letting me know that my WordPress plugin request for Retro-Dashboard h ad been approved so last night I checked all of the code and supporting files into Subversion. Is it perfect? Nope. Does it clean up stuff in the 2.5 Dashboard which I dislike? Yes. I imagine I will continue to tweak it and use it as a Admin Theme learning platform. Maybe I’ll do a Rock Band theme … Hmmm.
You can find Retro-Dashboard on WordPress.org at: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/retro-dashboard/
Yesterday I drove down to the beach to do some maintenance on our beach house before the renters start rolling in a couple weeks. It is an easy drive, about 2 1/2 hours, sometimes a little less. I am listening to the TWIT podcast, and Leo starts chatting about his trip to Tasmania and then into a dialog about National Geographic and former Geographic photographer Bruce Dale.
It grabs my attention because – hey, I know Bruce Dale! He is my sister-in-law’s father-in-law and since my sister-law and her husband live 1/4 mile away, we see them all the time. As such, I have met Bruce on numerous occasions. He is a very interesting guy and very much into technology as Leo noted in the podcast. Always has a camera with him and takes the most phenominal pictures of the most mundane stuff.
My HP nw8240 is really getting on my nerves. It has had some odd issues for a while but this one is driving me nuts. Every once in a while, my n8240 will act as if the delete key is permanently held down. This means that what ever happens to be open, trys to delete things. This is particularly annoying when I have my Outlook Inbox open! Nothing like having 200-300 e-mail messages deleted in about 3 seconds. This happened a while back and then went away but came back with a vengence this week on several occassions. I ordered a new keyboard which should be here on Monday. I hope it fixes the problem.
I use an HP nw8240 laptop as my regular machine but I didn’t want to haul it to Japan with me. It is pretty heavy and I wanted something simple to use to have something to access the Internet with if I had the opportunity. One of our IT guys loaned me a Dell Lattitude X1 to take with me. It is a pretty nice little machine and perfect for what I was looking for. It isn’t much bigger than the portable DVD player I own. One of the things I really liked about it was the built in SD and CF card slots which worked great to unload the memory cards we use with our cameras.
Now that I have it, I don’t want to give it back! I may see if I can buy it from my company – we are able to buy assets which aren’t being used any more for pretty reasonable prices.