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2007 Nov
Monthly Archive

Temporary Site Downtime

Just a note to let everyone know that Perishable Press will be undergoing site maintenance for the next several hours. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this might cause. Thanks for your patience ;) Read more »

Three Ways to Allow Hotlinking in Specific Directories

After implementing any of the hotlink-prevention techniques described in our previous article, you may find it necessary to disable hotlink-protection for a specific directory. By default, htaccess rules apply to the directory in which it is located, as well as all subdirectories contained therein. There are (at least) three ways to enable selective hotlinking: Place hotlink images in an alternate directory This method works great if your hotlink-protection rules are located in a directory other than the site root. Simply create another directory outside of the directory containing the htaccess rules and place your hotlink-allowed images into that directory. Create […] Read more »

RefreshMints: Refresh Stats Bookmarklets for Mint 2

Last week, I finally got around to upgrading to Mint 2.14. The new version is quite impressive, and well worth the time (and cash) spent upgrading. In the process, however, one of my favorite, most heavily used bookmarklet things ceased to work. Before the upgrade, I had been enjoying the highly useful Refresh-All bookmarklet by Jonathan Snook. Snook’s Mint-refresh bookmarklet made it super-easy to update all Mint data panels without having to refresh the entire page. Using the bookmarklet is much faster that reloading the browser, and there is even an alternate version that will refresh panels automatically at user-specified […] Read more »

Stupid htaccess Trick: Enable File or Directory Access to Your Password-Protected Site

In this brief tutorial, we are going to enable users to access any file or directory of a site that is password-protected via htaccess. There are many reasons for wanting to employ this technique, including: Share public resources from an otherwise private site Enable visitors to access content during site maintenance Testing and formatting of layout and design during development As a webmaster, I have used this technique on several occasions. This trick works great for allowing access to any number of files, directories, and/or combination of both. We will begin with a generalized example, proceed with an explanatory discussion, […] Read more »

Yahoo! in my Blackhole

Okay, I realize that the title sounds a bit odd, but nowhere near as odd as my recent discovery of Slurp ignoring explicit robots.txt rules and digging around in my highly specialized bot trap, which I have lovingly dubbed “the blackhole”. What is up with that, Yahoo!? — does your Slurp spider obey robots.txt directives or not? I have never seen Google crawling around that side of town, neither has MSN nor even Ask ventured into the forbidden realms. Has anyone else experienced such unexpected behavior from one the four major search engines? Hmmm.. let’s dig a little further.. Here […] Read more »

Creating the Ultimate htaccess Anti-Hotlinking Strategy

When I wrote my article, Stupid htaccess Tricks, a couple of years ago, hotlink-protection via htaccess was becoming very popular. Many webmasters and bloggers were getting tired of wasting bandwidth on hotlinked resources, and therefore turned to the power of htaccess to protect their content. At that time, there were only a couple of different hotlink-protection methods available on the internet, and the functional difference between them was virtually insignificant. All that was necessary for up-and-coming bloggers-slash-site-administrators to eliminate leaking bandwidth and stolen resources was a relatively straightforward copy-&-paste procedure. Implementing the de facto htaccess hotlink protection code required a […] Read more »

Open External Links as Blank Targets via Unobtrusive JavaScript

Beginning with this article, I am serving up a short series of unobtrusive JavaScript functions that I use to enhance the functionality of Perishable Press. In this post, I present a comprehensive JavaScript method of opening external links in new windows (or tabs, depending on the browser). One way of opening links in new windows is to insert the HTML target=”_blank” attribute into all necessary anchor elements (<a href=””></a>). This method works well, but generates validation errors when used with XHTML-Strict doctypes. A better solution is to employ some unobtrusive JavaScript to progressively enhance your documents with “blank-target” functionality. Using […] Read more »

How to Fix the Wonky Windows XP Clock

I don’t know about you, but ever since the 2007 change in daylight savings time, my installation of Windows XP has had a difficult time (so to speak) maintaining consistently accurate time. Ever since the change, Windows XP has been randomly resetting its clock (as indicated via the Taskbar) to display time incorrectly. Specifically, WinXP will automatically (i.e., without user intervention) set the time to be one hour earlier than the actual time. For example, if the time is actually 3:00pm, Windows will suddenly display the time as 2:00pm. This has caught me off-guard on several occasions now, as I […] Read more »

Easily Adaptable WordPress Loop Templates

In this article, I present several heavily commented examples of WordPress loops. I have found that many readers appreciate these types of loop examples, as it helps them to understand how the loop works while enabling them to easily copy, paste, and adapt the code for their own purposes. In our first example, we examine a basic WordPress loop. When implemented, this loop will display “x” number of posts, where “x” represents the number specified via the WordPress Admin reading options panel. To use this code, simply copy & paste into your WordPress theme’s index.php file 1 and customize accordingly. Read more »

Prevent JavaScript Elements from Breaking Page Layout when Following Yahoo Performance Tip #6: Place Scripts at the Bottom

By now, everyone is familiar with the Yahoo Developer Network’s 14 “best-practices” for speeding up your website. Certainly, many (if not all) of these performance optimization tips are ideal for high-traffic sites such as Yahoo or Google, but not all of them are recommended for smaller sites such as Perishable Press. Nonetheless, throughout the current site renovation project, I have attempted to implement as many of these practices as possible. At the time of this writing, I somehow have managed to score an average 77% (whoopee!) via the YSlow extension for Firebug. Of the handful of these tips that I […] Read more »

Perishable Press Site Renovation Strategy

Now that my recent site overhaul project is nearly complete, I thought it would be useful to share my carefully developed “plan of attack.” The following seven-step strategy is designed to facilitate the entire renovation by logically ordering events and breaking down complex tasks. Upon execution, the following plan is designed to improve overall site functionality, presentation and structure, while factoring in several critical parameters: Modular time organization — due to my hectic schedule, it is necessary to break large projects down into manageable chunks. Separation of main site from test site — I need a clear distinction between Perishable […] Read more »

News Phlash for Phishers: Grammar are Critical if You Want to Stealing from People

“Oh no, not again!” It looks like another one of my non-existent bank accounts has been blocked at Bank of America. But that’s cool, because I like, totally graduated from third grade. Knowing best for all grammar and words in email. Let’s examine yet another idiotic phishing attempt, shall we? First, let’s have a look at the full-meal deal (sans bank logos, links, and other forged minutia): Read more »

Perishable Press Turns Two

To celebrate the second anniversary of Perishable Press, I am taking the day off! To fill the virtual cyber-vacuum left in the absence of today’s regularly scheduled post, allow me to highlight a few of my favorite articles from our second year online: Read more »

Rethinking Site Functionality, Presentation, and Structure

Two weeks ago, I decided to completely overhaul Perishable Press. The decision came after several months of smooth sailing with excellent site performance, an optimized theme, plenty of visitors, and even a comfortable posting schedule. All things considered, everything was peachy keen — until I began reflecting on the “big picture,” meditating upon certain aspects that are frequently taken for granted or simply overlooked during periods of hectic operation and maintenance. For example, while troubleshooting htaccess and PHP errors, webmasters generally don’t take the time to meditate on the structural and functional integrity of their overall site configuration. Fortunately, I […] Read more »

Another Test Post

TEST POST: Plenty of challenges around here as Perishable Press is upgraded from the stone age (WP 2.0) to the modern era (WP 2.3).. Stay tuned, and ignore this post (I am really trying to avoid having to nuke and rebuild my Feedburner feed, but I may have no choice).. Read more »

Plenty of Errors to Chew On..

Alrighty then! Looks like recent changes to site structure have really dropped a bomb on quite a few regular visitors out there. After switching over to the new default theme last night, I had setup an email notification system to alert me of all errors encountered at this domain (i.e., the main site and all test sites). Of course, I knew that at least a few errors would be inevitable, but I had no idea that I would receive nearly 300 of them! After examining the nature of these errors, it appears that the bulk of them are the result […] Read more »

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