Bing Maps adding Flickr images, live video, stars

Bing Maps adding Flickr images, live video and stars – very cool.

Update: The official TED video below is quite cool and in addition to the one above, also adds more interesting features such as video – check it out.

Win 3.1 experience in your browser

If you ever wanted a Win 3.1 experience in your broswer (why I cannot imagine – despite me running a VM), then check out The irony of all of this is that there is a modern browser in that which seems to be compliant with the standards (it pases the ACID2 tests; fails the ACID3). 🙄

Permalinks don’t support quotes?

I don’t know if this is a feature or a bug or a configuration issue either with WordPress itself or how the web server is configured where this blog is hosted. I just posted something about compiler errors where the permalink had a single quotes in its title like :  ‘qpainter-painter’-has-initialiser-but-incomplete-type. While this was handled fine by WordPress (I could successfully preview the post as well), once it was published I got the generic 500 Internal Server Error as shown below. So the question is what is wrong (if anything)? What is the expected behaviour? The only way for me to fix it was by removing the single quote in the permalinks as now you can see in the post.

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, [email-address-removed] and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.9

I just upgraded to WordPress 2.9 and wow what a pleasant experience compared to Community Server 2007! Excluding backing up the DB and the site, the actual upgrade took only a few seconds and was so painless! Such a different experience from Community Server 2007, which was so much more difficult. Loving WordPress and all the add-ins and the goodness of the communities! :mrgreen:

Want Virtual Snow on your site?

If you want virtual snow (probably nicer than the real stuff as there is no slush left to clean up) then check out Snowstorm: JavaScript snow effect for HTML. Be warned though – this uses a lot of CPU on the computer redendering the page and it will slow things down. Quite cool though.

Redirects setup

After moving the blog to  WordPress, almost all my redirects should work now from the old blog posts to the new one. For example if you click on this old url it should redirect you and you see the new and correct url.

Overall it was simple to setup via the .htaccess file and some simple regex. The only thing I found the hard way was that I should be using “RedirectMatch” when setting up the regex rule rather than the “Redirect” which is what I was using. You would use Redirect when trying to redirect without any variables.

So, as in my case I wanted to redirect from the old url (of community server) to the new one (of wordpress)

  • Old:
  • New:

So I need to make the following changes:

  • Change the “/weblog” to “/blog”
  • Get rid of “/archive”
  • Get red of the “.aspx” extension

The following rule helped me achieve this:

RedirectMatch 301 /weblog/amit/archive/([0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9])/([0-9][0-9])/([0-9][0-9])/(.*)\.aspx$$1/$2/$3/$4

Of course there are a few more rules I have which I cannot go into details.

Along the way i also discovered a few interesting tools which can help you view the results – one is LiveHTTPHeaders; another good one is

If you are new to this, then a few very good tools online. I would suggest start with this post from Zo and this tutorial on regex.

i still have one outstanding issue where if I want to redirect part of the URL and not the complete thing, I am not sure how to do it. For example if I want to redirect the old url above to just the year/month of the post instead if the actual post, not sure how to go about doing it. So I want the url below to map to the the one below that.

  • URL to Map:
  • Should map to:

Linux Hater blog

I was looking for something else and came across the Linux Hater Blog. I am not a Linux hater (am writing this on Ubuntu). Some people might think this is funny, but there is a dark undercurrent running in the posts. I honestly stopped reading after a couple of posts. I don’t know why is there so much hate against Linux in this blog.

Am surprised by the negativity on the blog. I am no Linux expert and am more comfortable in Windows, but having used more of Ubuntu (9.04 and 9.10) over the last few weeks for my studies has made be appreciate some aspects even more. Is it perfect? Of course not, and nor is Windows or OS X or insert-your-favourite-OS-here. Maybe I should try and start a blog hater blog.

Suggestions on how best to configure Permalink Settings?

Any suggestions how best to configure the Permalink settings in WordPress? I still need to fix all my old links from this blog when it was running on Community Server 2007. CS 2007 use to use something like /archive/year/month/day/unique-id. Is that the best way to go now as well or are there better and more flexible options?

Also I tried using the %tag% field, but it does not like it and had to revert to using %categories% as you probably can see. Again, any suggestions there?

Add-in recommendation for displaying code in a post?

I searched and found a lot of WordPress addins/widgets for displaying code in a post and was wondering if there are any recommendations? I need to be able to show XML, C++, C, C# primarily. F# and Haskell would be nice but not essential.

Update: Also should be able to use Windows Live Writer when posting the code. Am I asking for too much here? 🙂

Creating a bootable USB drive for Windows

Dave has an excellent post on how to create a bootable USB drive for installing Vista or maybe Win 7. You could also use WinRAR to extract your ISO directly on to the flash drive (after formatting it as NTFS of course). A couple of points to remember though:

  • Make sure you use a “flash” drive (or USB stick) and not a USB HDD drive as some of those have issues with this.
  • Check different USB ports – all of them may not allow to boot up.

Disable Auto-tuning on Windows

Receive Window Auto-Tuning is a feature in this version of Windows that improves networking performance when you are using newer networking hardware, but the feature might cause problems with older networking hardware. Sometimes, disabling Auto-Tuning might solve your problem.

To disable Auto-Tuning:

  1. Click the Start button , and then, in the Search box, type cmd.
  2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to run the program as an administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. At the command prompt, type netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disable, and then press Enter.
  4. When the process has finished, restart your computer. If this procedure does not solve the problem, you can turn Auto-Tuning back on by repeating steps a and b of this procedure, typing netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal, and then pressing Enter.

What Blogging Engine (other than CS)?

I am using Community Server 2007 for my blog. I originally started in .Text (which some of you ‘old timers’ might remember as being open source) and had modified the code a fair amount to something I wanted. Over the years stuck with that and then CS 1.0, 2.0, etc as .Text was ‘morphed’ into Community Server (CS) from Telligent.

While overall I have been happy with CS 2007 off late I have been quite put off with it due to a few reasons:

  • I liked the open source elements and CS now is just too commercialized for my taste.
  • Even though I have configured comments and feedback – all of that is broken and I just can’t seem to fix it (part of the reason is not having too much time to dig into a lot of details).
  • Upgrade to CS 2008 fails – miserably – many moons ago I spend a whole day trying to get this upgraded and it just did not work. No one on Telligent’s forum could successfully point to what is wrong. I rolled back to CS 2007.
  • Upgrades other than not working – generally are quite painful.

I am ready to move to something else – but there are a few things that need to be supported:

  • I host my own domain (stating the obvious if you are reading this), etc so need this running in something I control – or in other words hosted blogs (e.g. MSN, Google’s, etc.) are out. I already have IIS and SQL Server database.
  • Need to be able to move my existing posts from CS 2007 to whatever I move to.
  • Preferably: Support multiple blogs – though right now it’s only one, but some off the family members might want one later.
  • Need to support XML-RPC (a.k.a MetaWeblog API)
  • Ability to post code and script snippets – am ignoring the XRC issues obviously. Smile

I have looked at BlogEngine.NET and that does look quite promising. Has anyone used that? What about the other things out there such as WordPress and Movable Type (don’t know much about them)? There are quite a few listed here but I am not sure which one is fit for my needs..

U2 and BCC

The BCC hosted a “secret” and surprise gig for U2 where they played on the roof of the BBC Broadcasting House on Regents Street in London. I heard about it in the news and then watched it via the Red Button. It was only a few songs but it was awesome. Of course, you can catch it again on iPlayer (for those of you in the UK). Those who cannot get to iPlayer can watch the whole thing on YouTube. Smile