Tag Archives: stories

Actually Kinda Clever

Upon reading “The Biggest Stock Scams of All Time” (an ambitious title, perhaps), I decided to update my non-existent knowledge of these scams and failures—including the 2008 business failures.

Holy crap.

I know, I’m so late to the party. I get the housing market failure. As Elf says, it’s not rocket science.

But when Enron occurred (2001), I was a junior in high school, immersed in the IB program, and only cared about grades and college, not about the business/financial world. Reading up on Enron and WorldCom/MCI (who blatantly put expenses on the books as income) was only the start. (MCI was taken down by a little team of auditors working in secret at night who uncovered the $3.8 billion USD in fraud. Seriously.)

Then came Arthur Andersen, the auditing company that participated in the fraud of Enron. They exist online now as a single-page presence, created in Visual Studio 6.0 with no tracking code. They don’t even care who visits. Or about lower-casing their HTML tags.

According to Wikipedia:

From a high of 28,000 employees in the US and 85,000 worldwide, the firm is now down to around 200 based primarily in Chicago. Most of their attention is on handling the lawsuits and presiding over the orderly dissolution of the company.

Continue reading Actually Kinda Clever

Initial story management plugin done

My initial pass at the story management plugin is in place. It doesn’t do the fancy things I want it to do yet, but it can note the root page of a series, output a list of stories in story-date order on that root page, note the arcs, and give Next/Previous links using the actual story names in the individual stories.

Not bad for about 3 hours of work. Especially having to code around my elbows in WP.

Interesting note: PHP stores timestamps as integers, which means that to get dates beyond the year 2038, I used this nifty little Date class. Dropped in like a charm, doesn’t seem to have caused any conflicts with other parts of WordPress.

I think I’ll polish the plugin up a bit (give it a description, for instance) and toss it up in the WP plugin library. It’s not very configurable at the moment, but that’ll probably wait until I get in the sorting features that I want.

Story engine

I’ve always loved the simplicity and pleasantness of whatever must be under the hood of Elf’s stories — he seems to have easy management of story arcs, multiple sortings of stories, multiples sets of stories, next and previous buttons within stories, etc.

I’m debating how I want to build my own little story engine. Right now, my stories are in WordPress, published as page. One avenue I could take would be to write a WordPress plugin to allow me to manage stories the way I want — keep them as pages, but add the fluff I want.

Another avenue would be to roll my own — make a separate little system in Python or Ruby, whatever. Not a web-based system, but a system that just parses the stories into HTML files based on when I want them published, and lets me do all the features above. Have it run daily as a cron job.

I don’t know how much I want to tie myself to the WordPress monolith — for instance, it’d be nice to have the pages be static HTML without explicit caching. But a WordPress plugin would be something others might be interested in.

Then again, mucking around in other people’s code is likely to be messy. And less fun. And still in PHP.

Sounds like I may do the standalone system.