As you may have noticed, this site has gotten a much-needed (interim) face-lift. The old Wulan theme was nice in its simplicity, but it was ultimately broken.

I spend a couple hours this morning browsing through the big ol’ WordPress Theme Viewer to see if I could find something that would serve my purpose, and I’ve got to say I’m amazed at the amount of sloppy work out there! I went through almost 800 themes looking for something that had (a) Clean Design and (b) Complete Functionality.
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Sunday Afternoon Hacking

As a bit of a diversion, I wrote my first formal WordPress plugin to add Word Count functionality.

I was writing a blog post earlier today and I suddenly found myself wishing that I could enhance my WordPress blog to give a word count in my blog entries. A cursory examination of the available plugins revealed a stark lack of any good plugins. (There were a couple peoples’ blogs where they said “I just wrote this plugin” but there wasn’t even a stupid link to download anything.)

So as a bit of a diversion, I wrote my first formal WordPress plugin to add this functionality. (And if you notice either on my main page or the single-entry view page, there’s a Word Count now showing!)

I even went a bit further and explored “internationalization” and figured out how to nationalize the plugin so it could display that “Word Count” label in French or Spanish. (The two languages I know well enough to translate. Maybe I’ll look up my Russian later.) And being the geek that I am, I’ve got to say it was incredible fun spending a few hours on my weekend to toy around and put this together. I love being a geek!

I’ve setup a static software page for my MTW Word Count Plugin.

No Reason Not to try OTA Digital Television

If you are either a Mac or a PC user, there is a cute little device for about $150 that will get you started in the world of HDTV.

I’ve written in the past about the wonders of (free) OTA (Over-the-air) digital television. It’s an oversimplification to call this HDTV, because there are many digital signals that broadcast specifically non-high-def or “standard definition” digital television.

For a quick refresher about the wonders of digital OTA television (also called ATSC) here are some of the neat features:
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The CSS-Layout Adoption Dilemma

CSS layout isn’t catching on because few computer professionals are programmers.

You know, “web design” in a pretty unique art/engineering field because more than any other that I can think of, your work is completely naked. What I mean is that I can select “View Source” from my browser and see exactly how people built their websites. It’s like you go into a restaurant and the recipe for every dish is written on the bottom of the plate. Or you have the ability to look directly at every architect’s blueprints.

I’ve been looking under the hood of many many websites since I decided to invest the time in being a professional developer, including those of some major business and (as I wrote earlier) of some web design firms themselves.

My overwhelming observation is that almost no web designers are using modern CSS layout technologies in their web designs. At first I was completely stymied. I mean, this is their livelihood! Forgive all my similes today, but that’s like a surgeon refusing to keep up on major advances in her or his field. And yet I’m finally beginning to understand what’s happening: modern web design (specifically CSS layout) requires designers to be “coders”.
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Switchers Guide for Windows/WordPerfect Users

A quick “Switchers Guide” for people buying their first Mac with an emphasis on WordPerfect support.

Most everyone can pass over this blog posting. I was writing a lengthy e-mail to a friend who is considering “seeing the light” and moving to Mac. Her big concern is that she has a lot of old WordPerfect files. So this guide talks about (a) the different Word Processing options for your new Mac and (b) the two Windows “emulators” that will allow you to install a copy of Windows on your new (Intel) Mac.

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