I’m loving WordPress v2.7

February 16th, 2009 by Ciarán No comments »

I really love the admin pages in WordPress v2.7. I particularly like the way that you can install plugins and do updates directly from the admin interface. For example I logged in today and the Dashboard told me that WordPress 2.7.1 was available, and offered me the option to do the upgrade automatically. It did warn me about making sure I had a backup, but I plunged straight in – reckless, I know, and not recommended 🙂 Anyway, in less than 15 seconds the update had been downloaded to the server, unpacked, installed, and I was back up and running. Brilliant!

I suppose the one thing that would improve this is to include an automatic backup step, which could be optional. It probably wouldn’t be that hard, and would probably be sufficient for 90% of WordPress users – it would certainly do the trick for me 🙂

Site Update – WordPress 2.7, new theme, widgets support

February 8th, 2009 by Ciarán 2 comments »

So, it’s taken a while to get around to it, but I’m back on the blog again! There’s been a couple of updates, including upgrading to WordPress 2.7, changing my theme, and adding widgets support to the sidebar. There’s still a few things that need tidying up such as the colour scheme for the Google Ads, and I’m not sure if I’ll keep the link colours 🙂

One of the changes brought about by the addition of widget support is the RSS feeds in the sidebar. These are originally sourced from Google Reader which can republish them as Atom feeds. However the MagpieRSS feed reading code built into WordPress can’t deal with the fact that the news item source data in the feed also includes title and link elements, so it ends up combining these with the title and link elements for the actual entry, messing up the feed entries in the sidebar. I came across a workaround in the WordPress support forum – pass the feeds through Feedburner and use the Convert Format Burner option to turn it into an RSS 2.0 feed. The RSS parser in WordPress deals with those feeds fine, and I’m using the KB Advanced RSS Widget to take a little more control over how the feed is displayed compared to the standard RSS widget.

As for WordPress 2.7, I really like the new Dashboard, and especially the features for installing plugins directly instead of having to upload them manually. I think I’ll have to look at upgrading My Halo News.com and Our Adventures too now 🙂

I’m hoping that this might mark the start of more regular blogging, as there’s lots to say – just maybe not enough time to say it. Let’s see how long it takes till the next post!

Upgrading to WordPress 2.5

April 7th, 2008 by Ciarán No comments »

I got a strange email today from Anonymous Security Specialist telling me my blog had been hacked and I should upgrade to the latest version of WordPress. Initially I was suspicious, but my usual checks for dodgy emails showed no hidden HTML or strange attachments, and some of the info in the email made me consider that this was serious. I took a quick look at the blog just in case. It took me a little while, but then I noticed that my links had been poisoned with links to several sites selling viagra or other pills – the email was no lie!

I deleted the links, looked around to make sure nothing else was wrong, and then proceeded to follow the suggestion in the email and begin the process to upgrade to WordPress 2.5. As usual with WordPress it went very well, and I didn’t have to change anything – at least as far as I can tell so far 🙂 I’m going to upgrade my other WordPress sites, but I’m not expecting it to go as smoothly on My Halo News.com – mainly due to the tweaks I’ve done to the sitemap generator and the number of posts. We’ll just have to see.

Life has been busy recently, so I have been neglecting the blog here, but hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of it soon.

Oh, and many thanks to Anonymous Security Specialist … whoever you are!

Halo Ringtones page updated

January 4th, 2008 by Ciarán No comments »

I’ve updated the Halo Ringtones page with a bunch of MP3 Halo 3 ringtones from XBox Mobile that normally are only available to download when you view the site on your mobile phone. I’ve mirrored them here since some of them are now unavailable on XBox Mobile, and also to make it easier to download them.

Henry goes to Barcelona

June 23rd, 2007 by Ciarán No comments »

Thierry Henry has confirmed that subject to passing a medical on Monday he will sign a four year deal with Barcelona, reportedly worth £16 million.

While this is not entirely unexpected news, it is still sad to see him go. I had thought I’d be less affected by this, but when I heard the news on the radio this morning confirming his move, I suppose it really hit me what it meant. I think it’s not overstating things to say that this is the end of an era at Arsenal. It’s more than just the fact that he has been an outstanding player for Arsenal, the clubs leading scorer. It’s about the way Wenger has shaped his team and tactics around Henry and his pace. Wenger will now be forced to change this.

There have already been signs last season of this shift when Henry wasn’t fit, and Wenger has tried out different combinations. Adebayor, Baptista, Aliadiere, and van Persie have all stepped in, and the team have had to adjust. However, Baptista did not get a contract and has returned to Spain, while Aliadiere has moved to Middlesborough in his quest for regular first team football. This leaves things very thin up front, though Bendtner will be back from Birmingham, and he looks to be a good prospect.

But there’s the problem – there’s too many good prospects and not enough proven world-class players. With the sale of Henry, and hopefully a good deal for Reyes, Wenger should have enough cash to get hold of some “super, super” players. The team needs them. The fans need them. Another mediocre “transition” season will not be good enough, and could see the departure of Wenger at the end of it to top it all.

So, right now, things are not looking too bright. The only silver lining is that Wenger will now have more funds to chase the top-class players such as Torres and Tevez that the team needs.

Halo 3 ARG – Iris

June 21st, 2007 by Ciarán No comments »

There’s lots of stuff I’ve been meaning to post recently, including my final impressions of the Halo 3 Beta, but they’ll have to wait. The “Halo Nation” is abuzz over Iris – the Halo 3 ARG. So far there haven’t been many puzzles to solve, but rather we’ve been led from place to place. There’s lots of coverage at Hushed Casket, but I’m following things over at the newly created forums at args.bungie.org.

I’m not going to go into the progress so far in detail here, but it started with the appearance of AdjutantReflex on the Bungie.net Halo 3 forum, and links to www.halo3.com/comic, which in turn led to http://www.societyoftheancients.com and a countdown site at The countdown finished abruptly as AdjutantReflex was destroyed/asimilated by something older, more powerful, and now you are redirected to where there’s one of the “servers” that are referred to on the www.halo3.com site.

Clicking on certain glyphs on the rotating machine provides several files to download, and also plays a movie. I’ve managed to re-encode the movie as a Quicktime Movie. You can download it by right-clicking here and chosing Save Target As… or whatever is equivalent in your browser. It looks like this ARG will give us more info on the Forerunner and the background to why they did what they did 100,000 years ago. I’m eager to find out more, but hopefully it will involve more puzzles and less just waiting around for the next thing to be revealed 🙂


May 18th, 2007 by Ciarán No comments »

Halo 3On Wednesday I was able to download the Halo 3 Mulitplayer Beta and jump into the action – unlike people who were waiting to use Crackdown to download the Beta. Apparently there were problems that led to a 15-hour delay while Bungie and Microsoft came up with a patch to Crackdown that sorted things out. There were also problems with some people that got in via the “Rule of 3” promotion that didn’t receive their codes via email, and Bungie have resent these emails and are dealing with any remaining issues themselves. The Internet nearly melted with the ire flowing from disgruntled players, with Major Nelson seeming to get the brunt of it, bringing down MajorNelson.com. You’d think this was something important 🙂

Thankfully for me the biggest problem was to decide what to delete to make room for the download. I’m considering getting the 120GB drive when it comes out later this year. The game appeared in the “Demos and More” section, and started up no problem – with a simple loading screen that said “Loading”, “Halo 3 Beta”, and “Love, Bungie” 🙂

» Read more: Betalicious!

New Scientist – Climate Change Myths

May 17th, 2007 by Ciarán No comments »

New Scientist Climate Change MythsI recently saw the documentary on Channel 4 that promotes the view that human’s contribution to global warming is negligble compared to the effects of the Sun and cosmic rays. The documentary was well produced and quite convincing, and prompted much discussion in the media. It was certainly a topic in several conversations I had around the time. It did sound convincing that the Sun was the major factor controlling the world’s temperature, and that humans could do little to control global warming. But part of me remained unconvinced, and baulked at the idea that George W. Bush could be right in his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol 🙂

Now, New Scientist magazine has published a special issue about Climate Change, and it addresses many of the myths surrounding global warming. The key points are available in a series of articles on the New Scientist web site. They present a balanced view of the arguments, and I think they successfully challenge the points raised in the documentary. What I took away from it is that while the Sun does indeed act as the main source of heat for the planet, human-generated CO2 is the best candidate for the recent trend of increasing temperatures. It is also clear that there is a large degree of uncertainty around the role of clouds in the global climate. However despite the uncertainty the majority of scientists working in this field are convinced that human-caused global warming is real, and we need to act sooner rather than later.

Halo 3 Release Date Announced

May 16th, 2007 by Ciarán No comments »

Halo 3Bungie last night announced the official release dates for Halo 3. It will be available in the US on the 25th of September 2007, and in Europe on the 26th of September 2007. This comes as a bit of a surprise, since many people expected to see a November release date given that Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 were both released in November. Mind you, it’s a nice surprise 🙂

Now that the dates are official, I’ve updated my countdown timers on My Halo News and Halo Screen Saver.com. I’ve also put the countdown timer into the sidebar here.

For some reason a lot of French gaming sites picked up on the original date I used (07/07/07) and thought it was official because there was a news post up on Bungie.net about my updated screen saver. Well, now they would be right 🙂

Roll on September!

Halo 3 Beta Starts Today

May 16th, 2007 by Ciarán No comments »

Today marks the start of the Halo 3 multiplayer beta for those of us who weren’t given a head start via Bungie’s “Friends & Family” scheme. I found my activiation code in my inbox this morning 😀

I can’t wait to get home and start enjoying the Halo 3 goodness! I’m going to make the most of the next three weeks. See you all online!