Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Raspberry Pi Setup – First Steps

Posted in Hardware,Raspberry Pi by Elliott Back on March 26th, 2014.
  1. Change the default password–simply run sudo raspi-config and select the option from the menu
  2. Update all your packages:
  3. sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade

  4. Give your raspberry pi a network name (hostname.local as per raspi-config), using Apple’s zeroconf/bonjour protocol:
  5. sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon
    sudo insserv avahi-daemon

  6. Install airplay using shairport (if you want it)
  7. Setup your wifi card using wicd

Ten Steps to Valid HTML

Posted in Code,Computers & Technology,How to Blog,Search,SEO by Elliott Back on August 14th, 2005.

It’s important to write valid html, and even more important to try and generate it from your blogging software. If you’re already not writing most of the output of your website, then it’s simple to make sure your page validates. Right now, mine appears to, although there’s always a chance that something down the line will break. My CSS doesn’t validate because I have to use an IE box model hack.

Why produce valid xhtml? You can read a long essay, or just accept that web standards are a good thing, allowing shorter development time, less debugging, and better usability.

That said, here are some of the top 10 xhtml errors:

  1. The use of a raw amperstand in a link query string. The w3c validator reports this as “cannot generate system identifier for general entity” because you’ve tried to create a new entity &xxxxxxx and not an encoded & amp ; in the string. Replace all & with & in urls.
  2. The forgotten alt tag. The w3c validator reports this as “required attribute “alt” not specified,” which means that for every img tag you have, you must have an attribute alt=”something”. So, what you need to do is change <img src=”http://example.com” /> to <img src=”http://example.com” alt=”Example image” />.
  3. Missing end tags. The w3c validator reports this as “end tag for “img” omitted, but OMITTAG NO was specified” for your particular tag–what it means is that you used a singleton tag, that is, a tag that stands by itself and doesn’t have an inherent end tag, so you must use the xml style / delimiter to signify that the tag ends itself. So, instead of <img src=”http://example.com” alt=”Example image” > you would write <img src=”http://example.com” alt=”Example image” />.
  4. Incorrect nesting of lists. Please do not place lists inside a paragraph tag. The w3c reports this error as “document type does not allow element “ul” here; missing one of “object”, “applet”, “map”, “iframe”, “button”, “ins”, “del” start-tag.”
  5. Incorrect nesting of tags. Think of tags as a stack–as you add new tags to your text, you close the most immediate one first, or you’ll get errors like this: “end tag for “strong” omitted, but OMITTAG NO was specified” and “end tag for element “strong” which is not open.” Instead, change <b><a href=”http://example.com” ></b></a> to <b><a href=”http://example.com” ></a></b>
  6. Oh, the horrors of flash. Did you know it’s really hard to embed flash properly? Luckily, the problem has been solved by people: www.alistapart.com/articles/flashsatay/ who basically took the Macromedia output and stripped it down. Sad, though, that they didn’t build up from the spec…
  7. Where’s the doctype? Again, ALA to the rescue with an informative article on document typing: www.alistapart.com/articles/doctype/. If your site doesn’t have a doctype, it’s not a well-formed html document!
  8. Javascript events are lowercase. How many times have you followed standard coding conventions and written your onclick handler as an onClick handler? Probably too many to tell. Just make it lowercase, and that “there is no attribute “onClick”” will go away!
  9. Using propietary CSS extensions. Even if you’re tempted to use the word-wrap property on a blockquote or a right float, don’t. The microsoft or Mozilla-only CSS extensions aren’t good down the road when you want to upgrade your site technology.
  10. Some things need a type, javascript for example. If you forget the type=”text/javascript” from your script declaration, or the type=”text/css” from your stylesheet, it won’t validate, for obvious reasons.

More to come tomorrow, when I wake up. And now, it’s all done.

10 Steps to Create a Cult of Blogebrity … a la Xiaxue

Posted in How to Blog,Memes,SEO by Elliott Back on July 31st, 2005.

Using XiaXue as an example, allow me to present 10 simple ways to create your own cult of personality in the blogosphere:

  1. Create a unique vocabulary for your posts. If you’re multilingual, cutely misspelling english words will do, or if you only speak one language, feel free to create a good amount of your own words. Just don’t overdoe it. If your writing starts to sound like anything James Joyce, you’ve probably gone too far…
  2. Continuously post photos that clearly show just how hot you are, while at the same time complaining how ugly you look in the shots. The subtle contrast will rock your readers. Only post the absolute best photos, followed with the most denigrating self-criticism. People will marvel at how humble and pretty you are, and teenage boys drool…
  3. Real bloggers don’t have comments. Real bloggers have additional mammaries on an elk.
  4. To keep people reading your really long blog entries, don’t post actual paragraphs of narrative, as people won’t read them all the way through. Really, you just want one, maybe two short sentences to digest at a time. Your readers are like children in kindergarten–don’t assume they can read.
  5. 40% of your punctuation should be an exclamation mark (!). The period (.) is outdated and small in comparison. Using more periods only dilutes the effect of the glorious exclamation mark!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. When there’s something to argue about, present side A, side B, and side Q, and then mix them all together until you can’t tell which one is which and don’t know which you prefer. There’s power in what is unknown and illogical. Your readers will think you are wise as they skim over the post…
  7. If people aren’t paying enough attention to you, drop a note about your newest self-created fan club, or a professional photoshoot with makeup and clothes, or even mention your great exclusive book deal. Dropping bling makes your blog 100% authentically better than everyone else’s.
  8. Be really rude to your readers. The more you insult them, the more they’ll return… but only if you prefice your rant with “I don’t mean to be rude…”
  9. Get hacked, a lot. Getting hacked shows how popular you are.
  10. To bring a sense of reality to your blog, occasionally talk about friends or family in a wistful tone before you go back to posting hot pictures of yourself schmoozing with high society.

Try it–it really works.

Next Page »