Where has the fun gone in computing?

My first ever computer was a ZX81 bought for me on my 13th birthday. I never upgraded it in any form and only ever had the tapes that came with the computer (so none of the dreaded ‘RAM pack wobbles’ for me!). I had that machine for about a year before selling it and having a painful time without a computer whilst waiting for my Spectrum to arrive. The only thing my ZX81 ever got used for was writing my own programs or typing in listings from magazines. While I was waiting for my Spectrum I wrote a Pacman style game for it, and since I didn’t have any manuals for it yet I used the list of commands on the back of the brochure and listings in Your Computer magazine to work out what the commands did and their syntax (needless to say it didn’t work right away!). All that programming was great fun and probably most of what I used my computers for. I did have a good number of games for my Spectrum too (obviously!), but programming was always more fun.

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Blosxom hack

Well after a bit of reading through the code for Blosxom I’ve tracked down the right place to put a temporary hack in to create the required entry into the RSS output. It lacks the seconds information on the time so I have manually set them to :00 (not a major issue, but untidy to my mind). There also doesn’t appear to be a suitable variable to use for the timezone information. For now I’ve done another nasty manual configuration of +0100, but clearly this isn’t going to work well once the clocks go back again! The question is will this hack actually work beyond a visual inspection of the output!

Here’s the diff from the original Blosxom code for anyone interested:

< rss story   <item>\n   <title>$title</title>\n   <link>$url/$yr/$mo_num/$da#$fn
</link>\n<description>$body</description>\n   </item>\n
> rss story   <item>\n   <title>$title</title>\n   <link>$url/$yr/$mo_num/$da#$fn
</link>\n<description>$body</description>\n   <pubDate>$dw, $da $mo $yr $ti:00 +0
100</pubDate>\n   </item>\n

Splitting the Atom

OK, a very quick update here to note that I’ve made a few modifications to my Blosxom install. First off I’ve added a calendar plugin (currently on the left hand side). Nothing fancy, but looks to do the job – and I’m hoping that the movement between months will present some live links once I’ve got some posts in more than just the single month!

The second one is the new Atom feed. This is partly a stop gap pending getting an RSS 2.0 feed working properly, but I’ll probably leave it there. This took a little bit of playing around with to get it working, but in the end all that was needed was installing XML/Parser.pm which came in the libxml-parser-perl Debian package. This brought a small selection of other packages with it, but I’ll investigate that later 🙂

7 versions of Windows Vista!

Just noted this link Windows Vista product editions revealed on the ALUG list. Is it wishful thinking that this is likely to cause enough confusion and dissatisfaction for people to start looking more seriously at the alternatives to Windows on the desktop?

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