DAT Stuff

Random thoughts and observations from DAT

Archive for the category “Internet”

Mobile Wiki Skin

The next step in reviving my wiki was to make it accesible on my iPhone.  A quick trip through Google, and I found an answer on Stack Overflow. I installed the extension and the skin, and it worked – for the most part.  It did format the content nicely, but I saw the following error at the top of the page.


I haven’t done much with MediaWiki skins, but was hoping it wouldn’t be too hard to fix. So I searched my MediaWiki skins directory for the problematic function, and the following lines stood out:

I changed WPtouch.php to make it consistent with Vector.php, and the error went away. Following is a diff of the before (top) & after:

I also changed the Display_Actions flag, to enable mobile edits (among other things).  It worked, but the Portrait mode needs a little tweaking:

Portrait: Portrait

Landscape: Landscape

It’s not pretty, but it seems to work fine in landscape mode, so I’ll leave it alone for now.  If you’re on a mobile device, you can see it here: datguy.net/wiki

EDIT: I thought that there might be a newer version of the skin.  The Stack Overflow answer links to a 2010 page, but the mediawiki gallery links to a 2012 update.  I examined the download links and they seem to be the same.

Also, after posting my solution I got a reply from someone that had the same problem, and his solution to the “Actions” problem in portrait mode was to change the “Personal tools” text.  I changed mine to “My tools” (in ./languages/messages/MessagesEn.php), and that was enough to prevent Actions from wrapping onto the second line.

EDIT: In the years since I posted this, I have reinstalled MediaWiki without reapplying the changes above.

Less del.icio.us, more wiki

I love del.icio.us, and I’ve used it extensively as a way to quickly bookmark things that I want to be able to find on both my home and work computers. Alas, the network gods at Wachovia have blocked access to the site from the corporate network, so it looks like it’s time to find something else. I’ve started working on a rails project that I can use, but until that’s finished I guess I’ll have to use my wiki.


I got an idea for a web site — MoneyTrail.com. The domain is taken but not active.

My idea is to write something in the margin of a bill to drive people to the website. The web site would have a way for the person to identify a bill and see where it’s been. Then they could add their own information:

  • name
  • location
  • how they got the currency, or other comments

I had this idea last week, but didn’t bother to check Google. Today I discovered that the idea has its own Wikipedia topic and the news page on Where’s George shows that it’s had major media coverage since 1999 (USA Today, Money, CNN).

Get another Life!

I read today about Second Life, which sounds really interesting. It is “a 3D online persistent space totally created and evolved by its users”. Similar to Project Entropia, it has an in-game currency which can (at least in theory) be easily converted to real-world currency. Project Entropia really plays up this aspect, luring you to try to earn money by playing their game. Second Life seems more directed at designers and content creators, but they also promise the ability to “make real money in a virtual world”.

You can create one avatar in Second Life for free, but additional accounts (and premium accounts, which allow access to land ownership and a higher weekly allowance) cost $10 per month.

Links around the world

The internet continues to amaze me.

Tonight I decided to search Technorati, to see if anyone’s talking about my family. I was surprised to see someone in the UK (Jasmine) mention my brother Grant — and it appears Jasmine is a bit of a celebrity there, doing TV and magazine interviews. But this isn’t the first time Grant has been mentioned on far-flung web sites. If you search Google for his name (quoted to further refine the results), you’ll find about 50 sites, from countries around the world, all related to his cubing achievements.

He took an interest in Rubik’s cube and has become quite good at it. I don’t think he’s won any tournaments with the original 3×3 cube, but he had the best times for the 4×4 and 5×5 at a tournament in January, and he set a world record for the Megaminx in 2003 that wasn’t broken until this year. He still holds the American record for that puzzle.

Simply amazing — that a puzzle invented over 20 years ago and relegated to the history books by much of the world still has such an active following, and can get a last name as uncommon as ours published around the world.

Will the real datguy please stand up?

I was curious where I stood on Google, so I did a search for datguy. I was disappointed to find that I didn’t even make the first page (unlike rhondave, where our sites dominate the first page). I decided to look at some of the others using the name…

On datguy.com, datguy is not one person, but two. They’re involved in the music industry and they’ve got a clever logo, so I guess they deserve several of the top spots.

Some guy on Epinions that wrote one review in 2002 hangs on to another top listing, and there’s a user on the Easy Worship forums.

My first listing in the results is for datguy.net, in the middle of the second page. Google’s copy is even up to date — I updated it recently with links to most of my sites (including this one).

There’s a “bluntsmoka” in Michigan, a Disc Sportster in Manitoba, and an artist in Singapore.

The DarkGalaxy profile is mine, but the DatGuy in the VW Club of South Africa is not me.

I think the one on Experts Exchange is me, but I haven’t been on there in at least a year.

Then there are a Chinese student in Ontario, a dominant male in Texas (I’ll skip the link on this one), a single Irishman, and a “Clan Member” in New Zealand.

It goes on, but I won’t.


I wonder… now that Microsoft is taking on the big search engines, are Yahoo and Google going to be forced to merge? Might they call the combined company Yahoogle?

Password generator bookmarklet

I read about Nic Wolff’s Password generator bookmarklet before, and I meant to check it out, but kept putting it off. Well, I just tracked down the link so I can start using it, and discovered a link to an improved version. The only thing these don’t accomodate are multiple id’s for the same site. I think this is only a problem on my own sites, where I have one id I use most of the time and another for administration. I either need to use the same password for all id’s on a site, or modify the script to allow the use of an id in the password generation process. I prefer the latter, but that could make things a little ugly (prompt for id, then prompt for master password). Also, it will require that I keep track of the id’s somewhere.

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