“Step on My Pedal”, More Like

I heard this rather haunting song by Dub FX called “Step on my Trip” and found this in the process of trying to buy it:

The foot-operated thingamabob that lets him grab and replay samples easily like that is very awesome. I’d love to play with one. I totally used to sit around with a boombox, a stack of blank or reusable cassette tapes, and make up and record songs as a kid. I might have aimed for the music industry if I’d had one of these loop stations.

Drupal Theming: Setup a Local Version!

Drupal IconI’m a firm believer in the idea that a code recompile and quick test (whether that be through automated unit testing, a page refresh, whatever) shouldn’t take more than about 5-10 seconds, or your workflow is going to be lousy with distractions.

I’m working on theming a Drupal site for a non-profit, and I’m struggling to find a way to optimize my theming experience for the final couple of hours of work I’ll probably need to put in. I don’t have a local copy of the database, so I’m working remotely, and like any good developer, I’m in source control–in this case, SVN (bleh). I’ve written about my SVN troubles before, and although they’re fixed now, I still have to commit and purge Drupal’s cache before I can see any changes I make. That’s a 30-60 second lag time right there, for every committable change.

What am I doing in those 30-60 seconds?

Working on my other volunteer sites. Writing a blag post. Writing a story. Writing my novel. Reading blogs. Crocheting. Coding on something super-secret.

Not problem-solving, and not making progress in other areas of this project.

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Weekly linkage

This week’s internet cruising:

  • Living Like a Millionaire on Pennies a Day – "Now, I’m not talking about racking up thousands of dollars in consumer debt, or buying fancy cars and houses. I’m talking about something more valuable than that: having time. The only pre-requisite to living like a millionaire is being able to overcome your fear of uncertainty."
  • Google: Google Street View Cars Sniffed Wi-Fi Networks | News & Opinion | PCMag.com – "Google Inc said its fleet of cars responsible for photographing streets around the world have for several years accidentally collected personal information that consumers send over wireless networks." Good job, Google. I'd completely slept on this until I saw this article about Canada ripping Google a new one.
  • SEO for Bing Versus Google – Nice overview of differences. Unfortunately, of course, the differences are all described from an end-user perspective; I've love to see what's really under the hood of both Bing and Google.
  • Apple Mac App Store Review Guidelines Hints “No Java” In Lion’s – Oh, boy. The potential for wrong-doing here is immense, if not managed properly. I'd also seen something about non-app store apps not getting full OS access, although I can't find a source for that anymore, so it was possibly (hopefully) just a rumor.
  • The Keyboard Cult – For those who love their mechanical keyboards, here you go: an ode to keyboards. Plus, a good dig on developers who can't type (quickly). I know one full-day developer who doesn't type quickly or well. I take him "seriously", certainly, but I wonder at how much better and more productive he could be if he typed faster.
  • Hawthorne Cottage – Chunky Yarns – Pretty…
  • flash.utils.Proxy (ActionScript 3.0) – Um, this is really cool. Just sayin'.

Happy Bir’day to Me!

There's no end in sight for this.Saturday was my bir’day! I’m a ripe young mumble-something years old, and I don’t feel like I’m getting old–I feel like I’m running out of time.

Advertising that I didn’t want gifts (hello, getting rid of stuff) meant that the gifts I did get were thoughtful and amazing. A set of writing books covering memoirs, grants, motivation, and fictionwriting techniques. A shorthand manual. Weber and Neal Stephenson books. Amazing and creative fancy-pants yarn (color 12).Greg says this yarn could kill me and that I should ask for a pale man to save me.

I picked up yarn for a new project myself on Saturday–an afghan to be finished by Feb 13 and begun after I finish my current afghan. Greg, being Greg, picked a pretty, soft eggplant-colored yarn for the blanket, and it’s going to be beautiful. I’ll have to relearn how to knit for that and the wavy scarf I’m doing with the fancypants yarn.

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Excluding Hits from Google Analytics

If you want to exclude your own visits to your site from Google Analytics on a per-computer or per-session basis, searching will land you on Google’s help page: How do I exclude internal traffic from reports?. Problem is, the code there doesn’t work with Google’s new-ish asynchronous tracking code. There is no “pageTracker” object any longer, so that’ll throw a nice little error.

The replacement for “pageTracker” is to push the custom variable onto the _gaq object, per the new standards.

To get this working, make a new, simple HTML page, just including the basics to make the page validate. Include your standard-issue Google tracking code in the head, like so:
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