Windows XP SP2 Days Are Numbered

The sooner Microsoft gets everyone to run Windows 7, the better. Windows XP SP2 will retire soon. July 13, 2010 to be exact. You can still use Windows XP SP2 as long as you want, but you won’t get any support or updates. That’s fine with a lot of people, but if you want support, you can always update to Windows XP SP3 which will be supported until April 2014.

Short URLs Lead To Dead Ends

What happens when you click on a failed short URL? You can’t go anywhere. You are stuck on an island. You can’t browse the main index page since the domain you are given is the domain of the URL shortener service. One way of finding the true URL is to check if the URL short service has a lookup function.

If it doesn’t, you’re pretty much dead on the water. That’s dilemma for short URLs. It works great when it does, but if it doesn’t, it’s useless. One more thing, clicking on a shortened URL sometimes requires a leap of faith since you don’t know what page you’ll be landing. This is especially troublesome for pages that contain malware and viruses.

If you are giving out short URLs, it always good practice to check if the short URL works. If you don’t trust other services, you can always start your own.

Domain Mapping in WordPress 3.0

I’ve been waiting for this plugin or feature to surface to self-hosted WordPress sites. It’s a feature that has been available to WordPress.com users as long as I can remember. With this plugin, you will be able to add a network of blogs with different domains.

For example. Your primary domain is ‘example.com.’ You can create several blogs in a multi-site install of WordPress 3.0 using a different domains like ‘sample.com’ or ‘widgets.com.’

Download the plugin.

WordPress 3.0 Upgrade Complete

I was able to perform a WordPress 3.0 upgrade yesterday. It went without a hitch. Making a single blog into a multi-site blog was a bit more involved. It wasn’t entirely a smooth transition because WordPress somehow detected that I already had a network running, which was simply not true. I ended up cutting and pasting several pieces of code to configure wp-config.php and .htaccess. In the end, the upgrade was a success.

Just a couple of minor things that I want to mention. The current version of of the Google Sitemaps plugin no longer works with WordPress 3.0. I’m not sure why. I also ended up removing the ‘blog’ slug from the permalink, so that it didn’t break my old permalinks. I also had to reconfigure the plugin called ‘Download Manager’ because it didn’t work after the upgrade.

This is probably the most involved WordPress upgrade I have done. It’s was involved because there were a large amount of features and enhancements in this version as well as merging WordPress and WordPress Mu. Congratulations to the WordPress Development team for making this release a huge success.

Cala Boca Galvao is Trending at Twitter

‘Cala Boca Galvao’ is a Portuguese phrase that has been on Twitter’s Top Ten Trending Topics the last three days. Why is it so popular? What’s the meaning of it? Some say it’s the latest videoclip of Lady Gaga. Others say it’s a campaign to save a rare bird species in Brazil. To many Brazilians who use Twitter, it became a joke, a play of words so to speak.

Galvao Bueno is a well known sports commentator in Brazil. The joke started at the opening ceremony of the World Cup when Galvao Bueno would not stop talking during the live transmission. Brazilians started tweeting ‘Cala Boca, Galvao’ which means ‘shut your mouth, Galvao.’

In reality ‘Cala Boca Galvao’ is really about this…

So, every time you tweet ‘Cala Boca Galvao’, 10 cents is donated to the Galvao Foundation to save the Galvao birds. Help spread the word around.

It’s not known at the moment if the ‘Cala Boca Galvao’ birds are causing Twitter’s Fail Whale to come out this morning as well as the last several days.

2010 World Cup Excel Worksheet

Several weeks ago, I’ve downloaded an Excel worksheet for the World Cup from excely.com. It’s a great tool for tracking your favorite team or country, from group play, the round of 16, quarters, semis, all the way to the Final. Just enter the scores of all the matches. Points are going to be automatically entered based on results. The top two finishers of each group will advance to the round of 16. From here on, teams will play elimination until a World Cup Champions is determined.

My favorites to win it all are Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Netherlands, England, Germany and Italy in that order. Enjoy the worksheet.

Download - downloaded 1148 times. Version . Filesize 1.31 MB.

World Cup 2010 Starts Tomorrow

The World Cup 2010 starts tomorrow in South Africa. Support your country. I have the US Soccer logo included in this blog. USA are in Group C. They play England on Saturday, then Slovenia and Algeria in that order. I’m being realistic. I’m giving the US a 30% chance of winning against a talented and experience English team. That’s 3 of 10 games the US can pull off an upset.

Anything is possible. If we can beat Spain at last year’s Confederations Cup, we can beat England. You never know. The US will need lady luck on its side. I figure the US will finish 2nd in Group C. I hoping they could. If not, it will be a dismal failure like 2006. From there, getting to second stage, quarter finals and semi-finals will be an added bonus. They key matches for USA will be against Slovenia and Algeria. If the US win the last two games, they are in with 6 points.

By the way, the first game will be between Mexico and host-nation South Africa. I have feeling South Africa will be a hard test for Mexico, but Mexico will probably win.

Create A WordPress Page With An External Link

I stumbled on a really neat trick of creating a WordPress Page that points to an external link. Big deal! Well, it’s a big deal because I didn’t think it was going to work at all, but apparently it does. Here are some background information about WordPress Pages. A WordPress Page is a basically blog post that resides outside of the chronological order of posts. Examples of WordPress Pages are the About, Archives and Contact Pages. These Pages are usually displayed on the sidebars of countless WordPress themes. They also appear at the header of some WordPress themes as the main navigation bar.

What if you want to create a link that will point to an external link.

Here’s the trick. Create a blank WordPress Page by accessing the Dashboard > Pages > Add New. Place in the title bar the following format.

<a href=”your-external-link-here”>Your Title</a>

It’s an odd looking title to have the HTML codes included in them. Normally, HTML codes in the title bar are suppressed or are removed, but apparently it works with the current WordPress release. That’s all you have to do. Even if you add text to the Page, you will not see the Page at all because it redirects to an external link. Sort of like a hijacked page. It’s a neat trick. Works great. I use it with my Twitter Page link. See the sidebar.

You can do the same if you want to point to an internal link in the same domain. Just edit the Page’s permalink to point to your internal link.

Personalize Your Google Page

Last week, Google made some very nice enhancements to their home page. You can now personalize Google’s home page by adding backgrounds, that’s if you have an Google account. It’s very similar to how Twitter personalizes user’s pages. Google has dozens of ready-made backgrounds for use. Of course, you can upload your own favorite background images. It’s also available for international users as well. If you have a Google account, it’s worth checking out.

Google Font API

I had a little fun this morning playing around with Google Font API. With just a couple of quick codes on your webpage, blog or website, you can really style your sites using over a dozen beautiful fonts available from the Google Font Directory. The usage is pretty straightforward. See sample below. Just add a stylesheet reference in your header. Add some CSS elements in your stylesheets. Tada. Your done. Your website is now using Google’s web fonts. The advantage is you get a choice of high quality open source fonts, it works in most browsers, and it’s extremely easy to use.

Header

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Tangerine”>

Stylesheet

body { font-family: ‘Tangerine’, serif; }

If you want a little bit more control, flexibility and speed, you can use Font Loader. It’s a little bit more involved. It requires the use of Javascipt. You can also take advantage of TypeKit.