I (Heart) My iPhone

Posted 2009.04.23 20.19 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

The iPod Touch, which I used for some 6 weeks, was a great piece of kit. Certainly it was a big adjustment from my old (circa 1994) HP 200LX, but as a PDA the Touch was very colourful, small, and cute. It was the sort of thing you could become very fond of.

But the iPhone… It’s been what, like 2 weeks almost? And I have to say.. I love it. 

Seriously – it is the kind of technical jiggery-pokery that you find yourself just staring adoringly at. 

iPod LurveI’m no Apple fangrrrl or Apple apologist, nor am I an Apple cultist. They make mistakes and screw things up, they’re just another business like every other capitalist corporation. But when they get it right, wow do they get it right.

I mean, this thing is about the same size as my 3rd generation iPod – the one with the little B&W screen, the four buttons over the scroll area. Same size, yet this sucker packs almost as much storage space (solid state nowadays of course, none of that archaic spinning platter business), a big colour touch-screen, wi-fi, bluetooth, GSM cellular, and a GPS for goodness sake! Just reading the tech specs on Apple’s website, made me feel almost Star-Trek.  Aside from the usual specs like memory, screen size, etc, there’s a category for sensors.  Sensors! It’s almost like a tricorder and communicator rolled into one.

Anyhow – enough babbling.  Bottom line is, I love my iPhone. It is an almost-perfect piece of technological jiggery-pokery.

It just needs a blinking light.

Super Simple WordPress Counter

Posted 2009.04.23 17.40 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

I’ve been using a fairly complex cgi counter program, and spent some time today making a WordPress widget that would interface with it so as to have my fancy counter displayed in the sidebar.

After playing with it for a while, adding more and more options, I realized that I was really over-complicating it. I don’t need all the fancy capabilities of the cgi counter, and it would be easier to build a solution that didn’t have to rely on outside components.

So I started over, and made a super simple counter that can be added to a WordPress-powered site as a plugin. The ‘full featurelist’ is as follows:

  • Super simple to install – just upload the plugin, activate it, then activate the widget.
  • No other files to load, no complicated data / font directories required.
  • Position it like any other sidebar widget.
  • Output is styled via your theme’s CSS file.
  • Only appears on your site’s ‘front page’ (whether it’s a blog page or a static page).
  • Remembers last visitor so page ‘reloads’ won’t increment the counter.
  • Easy to configure, via the WordPress Widget admin screen.

There isn’t really much to configure:

  • You can set a title, or use the default (Counter)
  • You can specify the number of digits, or leave it at the default (6 digits)
  • You can select whether or not to use a comma to separate the thousands
  • You can manually change the counter number (*)

(* this option is to allow you to switch from another counter to this one without having to start over at 1. Obviously, tinkering with the number more than once is cheating.)

I’ve named it StephCounter and anyone interested can download it here: stephCounter.zip. Please note, it comes with no support, no warranty, and (at the moment) no instructions. It is released under the GPL license and uses PHP.