Blog post


I’ve added a widget to the side to show the 6 latest photos from my Flickr photostream. I’ve not used Flickr in ages, but have recently uploaded some pictures of Nicky that I’ve collected together to make a photobook for a relative. I wonder if there is a similar widget for Picasa…

Blog post

Host migration

I’ve finally got around to migrating the host – I’m now using the excellent ServWise who are UK based, hence a bit faster! I’ve more or less got things working now, moving a WordPress blog seems fairly straightforward – copy the files, export/import the SQL and make a couple of config changes! The only problem I seem to have had is with my FTP client adding extra lines in text files, which has caused some PHP errors, but I’ve fixed that now by reinstalling WordPress (using the Automatic option).

Once the nameserver changes have fully propagated I’ll start putting a bit more effort into this site.

Blog post

More on Firefox 4

I’m still using Firefox 4, and whilst it has pretty much replaced Chrome as my browser of choice again, I’m still having a few problems which may be down to this still being a beta, or might be unrelated:

  • Gmail is sometimes really slow – although it’s also quite slow on my mobile so maybe it’s down to my wi-fi connection or something to do with my account.
  • Giant Bomb doesn’t work at all – I guess the site is quite JavaScript heavy, but that doesn’t explain why clicking things that should result in something being displayed on screen instead give a 404 error.
  • My bank (Natwest) don’t recognise it as being a secure browser – again, this is just a beta thing I’m sure, so I can just switch to Chrome to look at that.

I’m looking at a few things at the moment, including a new web host, some jQuery bits and working with social media.

Blog post

Web Design in Newcastle

I’ve found a useful and informative website for anyone looking for web design services in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and in the North East in general. The website is Ainslie Johnson web design, where the following things are offered:

  • Web design services
  • Search Engine optimisation
  • Internet marketing
  • Free website templates
  • Custom WordPress themes

There is also a variety of informative technology articles regarding social media and new gadgets.

Blog post

Changing the orange ‘Firefox’ button

One thing that I’ve seen people complaining about with the new Firefox 4.0 beta is the orange ‘Firefox’ button to the top left. There doesn’t seem to be any way of moving it or changing the colour, but thankfully it’s possible by adding some CSS. I followed the instructions in a blog post at DownloadSquad, and now my ‘Firefox’ button is a nice silver and the tab bar is to the right of the button rather than below, saving some vertical screen estate. I was finding that the Hide Caption Titlebar Plus (Smart) add-on was causing weird problems when using Aero in Windows 7, it caused the screen to go blurry in places (but only in Firefox 4).

Blog post

Firefox 4 beta

I’ve installed the Firefox 4 beta to see what it is like, and so far I have to say I’m impressed. The UI has been improved and now looks a lot more like Chrome or Opera. It has quickly taken over from Chrome as my browser of choice, it doesn’t feel quite as fast as Chrome does but speed improvements are promised, and being able to use AdBlock Plus again makes browsing the web much better! The new Add-ons Manager seems pretty useful too. The colour of the ‘Firefox’ button could do with being, well, a bit less orange – there’s no option to change it although I have seen custom CSS scripts available to do it, but I’ll leave it for now.

Not all of my favourite add-ons have been updated to use Firefox 4 yet, but here is a list of the add-ons I’ve currently got installed (it’ll help remind me what I’ve got in case anything happens to my profile):

AdBlock Plus – removes 99% of all the annoying adverts that clog up the internet. Once you’ve used it, it makes browsing without it seem like a very painful experience (unfortunately, I experience this often).

Download Statusbar – rather than having a pop-up showing your active downloads, this add-on displays them in a bar at the bottom of the screen, much tidier.

Hide Caption Titlebar Plus (Smart) – this removes the title bar from the top of the browser window, giving a little bit more screen estate. Using this makes Firefox look almost exactly the same as the most recent Opera release.

Omnibar – this essentially merges the Firefox Location bar and Search bar – enter a URL and it will navigate there, but enter anything else and it will perform a search. This is the same behaviour as Chrome’s Omnibar.

There’s a few other add-ons which aren’t yet compatible, but ones that I don’t urgently need (Favicon Picker, ColorZilla, Firebug being the main ones).

Blog post

Netvibes Customize widget

I’ve been using Netvibes ever since iGoogle stopped letting you have four columns on a page (although I believe they’re planning to reintroduce this soon). I’ve got a widescreen on my laptop and three columns is such a waste of space.

Netvibes has it’s own problems with wasted space, however help is at hand with the Customize widget, created by FaziBear. This widget lets you turn off the header, the footer, the tab bar, the menu and various other things. It’s an essential widget for use with Netvibes, however I did have some problems with slow page loads, which I eventually found out were down to the widget not being loaded from the host. To improve this I took a copy of the widget and hosted it on my own site (bear in mind that following the widget links won’t actually do anything useful, it only makes a difference to the Netvibes home page).

There was still some unused space that was bugging me though – if you look at this picture, you can see there is a gap between the top of the browser window and the widgets below:

Netvibes home page - beforeTo get rid of this, I added a setting into the widget called ‘Hide top bar’, which allows you to hide the div with class ‘overlay’. Now my homepage looks like this:

Netvibes homepage after removing the top bar

Much better! I’m keeping this updated widget on my own host rather than uploading it to the Netvibes Ecosystem, as the changes are mainly for my benefit and I don’t wish to take credit for the excellent work of FaziBear. If anyone should wish to use it though, feel free to add the widget using this URL:

Blog post

New theme again

This time I’ve gone for the Mystique theme. To me it looks more polished than the previous theme, the only thing I don’t like is that I can’t see how to get rid of the category from each post, as I don’t bother using them. I’ll either have to dig around in the code to find out how to get rid of it, or find another theme. This theme seems to take a while to load as well as it uses lots of png files, so maybe something more minimalist would be better.