A disconnect.

00.13.05 - Mark

Stupid on so many levels.

My old homepage.mac.com/g3head website is about to die. Not by my choice, rather, Apple's choice to pull the plug on the public websites hosted by Apple. When Apple released iTools as "Free for Life" I was hooked, and while I had other email addresses (then and now) the idea of a free webhost ment a lot to me at the time. iTools Homepage feature helped me really get myself online and hacking HTML code. While they designed for it to use their publication tools, I learned the tricks of code, and built my own site, and hosted files for a few others. After a couple of years, Apple took away the free part, and turned iTools into .Mac, and the high rate of $100 a year.

I bit the bullet and stayed onboard. While I didn't like the not-free part, I was using that email address a good amount at the time, and I knew I wasn't going to be looking for free hosting for mywebsite, as they all added ads, and had a far less cool domain name.

I've stayed onboard, as while the website part of .Mac became less important ("replaced" by using Blogger, and then real hosting), other features, maintained it's value. Plus, you know, my first site would stay online.

While I love how it helps me sync my computers and iPod touch, and to a degree still use the email account, I think we started seeing the death of hoempage.mac.com last year. In July 2009, Apple took down the HomePage publication tools they had developed. Supposedly, at that point websites could not be added or edited. While I had been planning on moving the content to my current servers and giving them a domain, but because of some things that happened to me at that time, that never happened, and as July 7th came and went, I figured they would be no more changes to that old website.

Tonight however, as I was backing up the site and putting thought into reworking the code to keep the site online, I figured I'd kick the tires one more time. I figured it wouldn't work, but sadly, it did. I still had full read/write access to that website part of my iDisk, and within seconds of adding it, a burried test page could be viewed online.

So much for a year of coded redirects. Now so much for the site. I always loved it when someone linked to homepage.mac.com/g3head even when I haven't touched it in years. So in a few days, I'll be feeling the same pain as other users of homepage.mac.com, who built a bit of an online reputation over the last 10 years.

Link | 0 Comments |


Free clicking.

21.25.31 - Mark

Bring Back Free Clicking at the New York Times I ranted about the New York Times referance search popups a while back, and it still bugs me that there's no obvious way of disabling it via the site. Did they miss the memo about web2.0 being about user freedom? It doesn't take much to allow a user to disable a feature they don't like, but nope no way of disabling it. I'm not the only one, there's one comment on that rant, and when I checked his site he had a link to more disgruntled clickers, although they have a couple hacks to get it disabled. The easiest is this greasemonkey script, which works fine, buts it only works on one browser on one of my many regularly used computers. This really should be a user preference on their site, there's no good reason for it not to be.

Link | 0 Comments |


Unwanted Features

23.33.35 - Mark

The New York Times has gone off and done something annoying, they added pop-ups to their site. Not advertising pop-up, which are an active form of evil, or even their slightly tolerable cousin where you ask them to send a pop-up window with more information by clicking a clearly marked link. No what they've done is added an unwanted feature where if you double click on a word, any word, it brings up a popup window called "The New York Times: Reference Search for" what ever word you double clicked on. Frankly, its damned annoying.

I have a tendency to click around when reading a web page, I double click words, make random selections, ect. A side effect of being a tactile learner. Most pages, its not a problem, but every time I'm at the New York Times I have to concentrate on not clicking anything.

The only notice they give the user is in small print, well after the end of each article:


To find reference information about the words used in this article, double-click on any word, phrase or name. A new window will open with a dictionary definition or encyclopedia entry.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tel there are no "Tips" on how to disable this unwanted feature. Even browsing the help section of the site didn't produce anything helpful.

Link | 2 Comments |



04.03.56 - Mark

It still strikes me funny how everytime I wrap up a sizeable coding project, its completly anticlimatic. Maybe I've just watched Hackers, Swordfish and Antitrust a few too many times and the idea of a enmotionally charged end to a long code session is too ingrained in me for reality to make a dent in my delusions.

This isn't the Maker related project I mentioned a while back (which I'll probably start in the next day or two unless a better idea peesents itself), rather I'm dragging my Dad into online publishing, and its more fun for me to do everything from scratch than it is for me to go out install a copy of wordpress or some other prebuilt blog engine and then hack my way though the code of someone elses template.

Look for a link when there's actually some content on there, which shouldn't be too long, the first tings to go up will be some of the editorials and columns he's written (the dirty secret here is that I refuse to read the newspapers he's worked for, but still want to read his columns - the whole point of his website has been so I could get an RSS feed of his writings. If that costs me $8 a year for a domain name, I'm fine with it.)

Link | 0 Comments |