Blog Pile

Syndicating “Best of Show”

I’ve took a little twist on RSS to deploy it in another fashion here at CDB. This was partly to response to a post by James Farmer as he tried to find an alternative approach to blogrolling.

Maybe not understanding Radio as much as I should, I commented that it might be feasible to create his own RSS feed his blog could subscribe to. Not being able to clearly explain it in text, I decided to code an example on my blog.

Here is what I did- on my right side “links” i have a section called “Best of Show” where L list the title and link to my recent presentations. Until now, what I did was to edit my template every time there was a new one (and there were four this month).

I thought I could just create my own RSS feed for this content, display say the 5 most recent on the front page, and display them all on an individual page.

Now I can update both by editing my RSS feed. Simplifies my life! Here is what it took to pull this off in MovableType and the MT-RSS Feed plugin:

Blog Pile RSS Phor Photos

Here is an interesting use of RSS– or Syndicated Photography Feeds aims to promote the use of RSS to describe collections of photos. is a database of information about photographs available on the web. We present the work of photographers who have made information about their images available as an RSS feed. RSS […]

Blog Pile

Legacy of Old Code: Software Old Enough to Get a Drivers License

Following up on my nostalgia for ten years on the web, I also reflected on what was likely the first educational software I ever created, back in 1987.

As a Geology grad student at Arizona State University with a few programming courses as an undergrad, I was handed the opportunity to run a computer lab (14 Apple Mac Plus-es, no hard drive, one 300 kps modem, and a LaserWriter printer).

Upon request of a geophysics professor, I wrote a little application, Gravity Simulation (Talwani Method) designed to help students understand how a surface measured gravity profile (measuring variations in the earth’s gravity over a linear traverse) could help identify subsurface (anomalies, e.g. ore bodies, buried volcanic lavas, etc).

Exciting, eh? There is more…


Testing MT-Blacklist Alpha

I have been testing an alpha version of the next update to Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist plugin. The changes coming are impressive and make it easier to filter and easily de-spam weblog crud. You can check and protect both comments and/or trackbacks, and it makes it a one clikc operation. Lots of new options coming in […]

Blog Pile

Our Web Tenth Anniversary (Aluminum Gifts, please)

Somewhere in the hustle and bustle of this month I missed a significant milestone. A tenth anniversary worthy of a gift of aluminium (this would be nice but this will do) as tradition goes.

It was sometime in October 1993 at our Ocotillo Technology Showcase (“Expose Yourself to Technology”). Demonstrations likely included laser discs, HyperCard, Toolbook, our text based Electronic Forum, and I think I was pushing Gopher.

It was during that day, my colleague Jim Walters of Phoenix College handed me a floppy disk with the word “Mosaic” scribbled on it. He just said, “Alan, you are into the internet, check out this program.”

It rocked my world and changed everything I was doing with technology (Thanks, Jim!)


Just When I thought it was safe to dump IE…

Darn! I was that close to being able to complete use Safari for my Mac browsing (love the tabs, the rendering, the bookmark menus on the toolbar..) but alas, another hitch appears. This morning trying to post my latest entry, I kept getting timeout errors on MovableType Rebuild. I tried copying/pasting to a new entry. […]


League Bloggin’: Learning Objects in the Real World

Turns out to be my last session attended at the League for Innovation CIT conference was from the Wisc Online – the Wisconsin Online Resource Center (note: link fails for Safari web browsers despite current flash plug-in).

The presentation pretty much as shown is available directory from their site (the “tour” button bottom center) as well as from the nifty biz-card sized CD-ROMs they provide.

Presenters Kay Chitwood and David Bunnow provided an overview and a good set of examples from the mroe than 1000 learning objects developed under this project. This 5 year old project supports the Wisconsin Technical College System.


League Bloggin’: Land of 10,000 E-Folios

Just a quick recap of this League Conference session, “Minnesota: Land of 10,000 E-Folios” by Paul Wasko of eFolio Minnesota the project providing electronic portfolios to all citizens of the state. This was a hands on session that allowed us as participants to create use the tools available in this software. It actually is very […]