January 29, 2007

What's up with Hackosphere?

Many of you might be wondering what's up with me and my blog. Nothing. I just got very busy at work buried in bits and bytes and lost touch with the world of hacks :). My job is to write drivers for Application specific chips (ASICs). Our new chip arrived earlier this month and we were busy bringing it up for many hours a day. It's a different world at my work, somewhat less glamorous than Hackosphere. There is nothing "visual" about it and it's much more complicated than developing a hack for Blogger. It is mostly a rewarding experience but also boring at times. This is one of the reasons I stepped into the hacking business.

So, is this the end of hacks from my shop? I guess not. But I am not sure when I will come up with the next one. After developing a major hack like Neo, I don't seem to get another idea that interests me enough. It should be something that makes a difference in the functionality of a blog. Somehow, cool CSS tricks, hacks that only improve the look etc don't interest me. I hope I can come up with some such thing and find the time to do it. If the first happens, the second will!

(For those who bought Neo and asked for improvements, I will definitely try them before working on a generic hack.)

January 8, 2007

Bloggeratto is under renovation

If you are a regular visitor of Bloggeratto, you must have seen that the security at the entrance is asking for your ID and doesn't allow anyone :-(. Avatar just asked me to inform you that Bloggeratto is alive and kicking :). It is just undergoing renovation and will be back soon with a renewed look.

Did you notice the smilies above? If you like to display such smilies in your blog too, Aditya has shared his script to do that. I think you can use them once in a while to lighten up your content :-D.

And if you haven't yet seen my notice about the Neo Blog showcase, you have to visit once to check out the look and feel of the blogs using Neo. (post ends)

January 5, 2007

Blogger's Custom domains work!

Today, Blogger announced that they support a feature called "Custom Domains". You can read the details in that post but here's the crux. If you own a domain called mywebsite.com and you want your blog (based on the new Layout template) to show up at that address, it is now possible. As you might know, FTP publishing can only be used with classic template and so, all the goodies that come with new Blogger were out of the reach of website owners so far. This limitation can be circumvented by using this new feature.

I thought I will take this feature for a road test! As you know, I host all my scripts at my website anniyalogam.com. What makes sense for people like me, who have other things in their website, is to make a subdomain point to a blog. I followed Blogger's instructions to do this. I first created a DNS record for the subdomain 'neo.anniyalogam.com' to point to 'ghs.google.com' (by the way, if you goto this address, it shows 404 error which is kinda wierd). It took about 10-15 minutes for the record to go active and my subdomain to display the decorated 404 error of ghs.google.com (I think Blogger should display some useful information in this page). Then, I re-published my Neo-demo blog at neo.anniyalogam.com. It works both way. Subdomain points to the blog and the blog points to the subdomain. So, any bookmarks using the old blogspot URL will still work (they will automatically be redirected to the subdomain). Kudos to Blogger for this nice feature! Now, if they can add php support to Blogger template, we can do wonders :0)

(Here's a hack update - Yogi has an improved random quote hack with which you can easily add/remove quotes. Visit his blog and pick up the hack if you are interested)