Scarborough & Robin Hood’s Bay

The fog has been so thick in Leeds over the past few days that I struggle to see the other side of the road. In an overly proactive mood I found some photos that were taken only a month or so back during summer, and yet seem to be from another world.

These are from Scarborough, a small fishing town in North Yorkshire (and the source of the Simon & Garfunkel song ‘Scarborough Fair‘, although not created by them).

Not far along the coast is the beautiful village of Robin Hood’s Bay, built on a cliff. There was some kind of Morris Dancer dance-off going on.

Further along you have Whitby, which is where Dracula landed in Bram Stoker’s story. Whitby Abbey, on top of the hill overlooking the town, is supposedly part of the inspiration for the story.

Now it’s an English Heritage site (and subsequently overpriced).

Summer seems a long time ago.

Redirection 2.2

I’ve just committed a new version of Redirection to trunk on the plugin repository. This isn’t available for auto-download just yet as I want to make sure any problems are ironed out. If you’re a willing test subject then I’d very much appreciate any feedback. The code is running on this site and hasn’t melted anything (yet).

There is little visible difference between 2.2 and 2.1.29, but internally there has been a big cleanup. Large amounts of compatibility code has been cleared away, some of it going all the way back to WordPress 2.3. I’ve optimized the database where possible, and hopefully fixed the annoying bug that surfaced when WordPress 3.0 came out (automatically redirecting your home page is not so good!)

Anyway, the changelog for this version is as follows:

  • Add Dutch translation
  • WordPress 2.9+ only – cleaned up all the old cruft
  • Better new-install process
  • Upgrades from 1.0 of Redirection no longer supported
  • Optimized DB tables

You can grab the new version from SVN:

If you have time there’s a short survey in the plugin that asks a few questions about how you use it. My aim is to simplify it and focus on the things people actually use, and the only way to do that is find out. You can also take part in the survey directly.

Change of RSS

I’ve been using FeedBurner to power the RSS feeds on this site for a long time now, and I can’t exactly remember why. They seemed to be causing problems with the ‘read more’ link so I’ve switched FeedBurner off and gone native.

Google Reader should auto-update any subscriptions (at least, it did for me), but if not then consider this my I-really-should-have-mentioned-it-before-clicking-the-button message to update your RSS reader.

Close a frozen SSH session

Just a short one here, but I spend a lot of time using SSH to connect to a remote server and occassionally a session will freeze. Usually my solution is to close the terminal and start again, but there’s a neater way to just cancel the SSH session itself. Enter these keys, one after the other (not together):


That is, the enter key, the tilde, and a period. Your SSH session should close and you can re-open it without starting a new terminal.

Springfield Castle, Ireland

I spent last week with a bunch of Automatticians at Springfield Castle, Co. Limerick, Ireland. It’s a grand old place spreading across several centuries and varying states of repair. The owners were very accommodating and went out of their way to be as nice as possible.

The week was finished with a trip down to Cork and a nice meal with Donncha and family.

Anyway, here’s the obligatory photo gallery (courtesy of WP 3.0).

Related Thumbnails with YARPP

I’ve been using YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) for some time to add a short list of related links to the end of all posts on this site. The plugin works great, and is written by the capable Mitcho (who gave a very good presentation at WordCamp San Francisco).

I was thinking about the post thumbnail feature of WordPress and wondered if I could get thumbnails to appear instead of text links. A bit of searching later and it seems I wasn’t the only one to think of this, but I thought I’d give my take on it, and explain how I ended up with something that looks like this:

Continue reading “Related Thumbnails with YARPP”

Burrito Friday

There’s a new Mexican restaurant in town (Barburrito) and following on with the good tradition set by fellow Burrito Friday eating colleagues, I thought I’d check it out.

Surprisingly healthy stuff with ‘all natural ingredients’ (I’m still waiting for the factory-grown meat), a bad pun as the tagline, and a donkey. What more could you ask from a burrito?

Designing Prague

I had a short trip to Prague last week. It was great to go back and revisit my favourite places. Little seems to have changed, but that is not surprising in city that generally looks like a fairy tale. I had a lot of homely Czech food (including some Radost FX vegetarian, and the Pivovarský dům microbrewery) and stayed in the fantastic Hotel Sax. The weather was biting but clear, and Prague looks great in Autumn (when it wasn’t raining anyway).

The Internet, powered by tape

In an effort to remove the amount of work that updating the site requires I’ve had a bit of a spring clean. The support forums have been deprecated, moving them over to the forums, and I’ve removed the bug tracker (which required way more work to maintain than it was worth). Hopefully this will give me more time to update plugins.

Although the site has been running WordPress 3.0 for some time I finally got around to using some of the new features and now several of the custom plugins (read ‘hacks’) that were running have been removed, thanks to the wonderful custom post types.

More dramatically, the site theme has been swapped over to Twenty Ten (or Twenty Ten One as I’ve unimaginatively called my child theme). This includes all the new feature goodness built in and is very slick to use. The galleries and thumbnails are particularly nice. The time cost involved in producing something that looks good is a lot lower, and in general I feel more inclined to post (which can only be a good thing for a blog).

Anyway, I’ll end this with a photo of my internet connection. Due to the layout of my apartment I have a low-profile Ethernet cable running under the carpet and through a door into another room. At some point something slipped in this arrangement and the cable was nipped, breaking the connection. Rather than rewire the whole thing I cut the cable, stripped the ends, and patched it all together with some tape:

Amazingly it’s been working just fine and runs at full gigabit speeds.