New look

Following on and buoyed, I suspect, from his unqualified success in sorting out the Youtube issue on here, The Guru has gone wild on the coding front, redesigning the entire site (but sadly for you, not the actual writing bits). I got my first glimpse of the new look yesterday evening and it looks clean, crisp and professional (even when you include the writing bits).

It’s not quite ready yet. Initially, having read the email incorrectly, I thought that The Guru was going to do some twerking over the weekend. Knowing the sort of guy that The Guru is, I must say that I was slightly surprised by a) this choice of pastime and b) the relevance to the work he was doing on the blog.
Having looked again though, he plans to do some tweaking. This might iron out any slight issues with the new design, but it does nothing to get rid of the frankly terrifying mental images that had unfortunately already been generated.

One thing I need to try and do is make a new banner. I’m not very good at that sort of thing – the last one took 3 weeks. And look at it. Hmm. Anyway, I’ll try and get that done after my belly-dancing class on Saturday.

Look out for a radical new look real soon now, beloved readers.

Migration… completed

And, as fast as rabbits are migrating to Cape Town, 6000 miles… has migrated all the way from to its new home here in SA.

Of course, you probably won’t notice a difference; the standard of writing certainly won’t improve, so don’t go getting your hopes up.

At this point, I must once again thank The Guru who has made this whole thing almost effortless (for me, anyway). The transition has been seemingly seamless.

Now, let’s see if Afrihost can match Site5’s incredible uptime record.

RAM: What it is, how it’s used, and why you shouldn’t care

I’ve been playing with my new Samsung Galaxy P7500 tablet and I noticed that I was already critically short (my words) on RAM, despite having nothing of huge significance running. It seemed that the device was using about 80% of its available RAM just to run.

I was naturally concerned.

At times of natural concern, we all have someone to whom we turn. Lois Lane had Superman, Commissioner Gordon had Batman, I have The Guru. My initial attempts to raise him by projecting a giant Android symbol onto the moon failed due to intermittent cloud cover over the Southern Suburbs, so I sent him an email instead, asking whether I should perhaps employ some sort of task manager to manage my tasks.

His reply was enlightening:

No – it’s a bad idea, which in almost all cases slows your phone.
Windows people use them, but there are extensive treatises, including by Google engineers, explaining how Linux/Android uses memory, and how task managers screw up the OS’s attempts to do so efficiently.

The “not much RAM to spare” is exactly the Windows-thinking I am talking about. Unused RAM is wasted RAM for Android.
If you want to read more:

http://www.androidcentral.com/ram-what-it-how-its-used-and-why-you-shouldnt-care

I was enlightened. Literally.

If you have an Android device, the article above makes very interesting reading and it is at a suitable level for you and I (ie. basic). The comments, less so on both counts, as geeks take each other on in who can use the most confusing terminology, much of which includes parentheses.

Suffice to say that The Guru has allayed my fears that I have purchased a dud device (which, I have to point out, never faltered in its service to me). I can now enjoy my tablet with a relaxed and untroubled mind.

Viva, The Guru. Viva!

Blog Stuff

“Blog Stuff”

That was the subject of the email awaiting when I returned from a weekend “getting away from it all” – including cellphone signal – in the Southern Cape. After the trials and tribulations of the last week – only 1% of which concerned the blog crashing and burning and the other 99% of which was carefully tucked away, hidden from the prying eyes of the readers of this esteemed site – it was manna from heaven.

The email was from the character who I have, in the past, labelled The Guru. As most of you who can read will already know, that man is Jacques Rousseau. While I was still blogging at ballacorkish.net by writing html by hand in notepad, he introduced me to the joys of WordPress. I can still remember what he said:

…you should give it a try, I think you’ll like it.

But that was then and this is now. While I have been throwing words at your screens, Guru Jacques has been honing the interface for your viewing pleasure. And once I had torn out the spine of 6000 miles… and begun crying on Friday, he set to work rehoning what was left. Basically from scratch.

Thanks be to Jacques, because what he has created is the “Slimmer6000” theme:

  • The functions.php file is 14.4% smaller
  • The style.css file is 59.3% smaller – decreasing load time
  • The menu spacing is “improved”
  • The coding is more efficient and smells better
  • There is an extra 10px width for posts – useful for quota photos
  • Robots are unblocked, boosting my ranking potential

Basically, it’s all good. Aside, it seems, from my sidebar text:

I reckon your sidebar text is too small (always has been) – if you want to play with that, go to lines 82 and 83 of style.css

Later, in another email, Jacques described himself as “a genius”, which I was about to agree with until I realised that he had given me free rein to play around with his work.

Pfft.

He obviously enjoys repairing things.

Quota Photo Test

I thought that once I* had repaired the file that I had damaged (which just so happens to be the file that underpins the entire blog on www.6000.co.za), that things would be ok. Not so.

It seems that the file in question went out of its way to take other files down with it. Or… something. I’m really not sure how, but it seems that is what has happened. Stuff that once existed, no longer exists and cannot be found. Stuff that was working fine is no longer working fine. Plugins are gone.

I’m not even sure if I can post this. That’s actually why I’m writing it.

Let’s try a quota photo from my dad’s flickr stream, shall we?

Here’s the Sidecar 2 race from this year’s Isle of Man TT races. And that’ll be a sidecar going around Ballacraine.
Probably rather quickly.
As you can see, the traffic lights are out. If he was in South Africa, he’d have to treat the junction as a four-way stop, which would almost certainly damage his lap time.

I digress. Watch twitter or our facebook page for further updates as to the recovery from the #6kCrash.

And once we are back up and running, I’ve still got to do the thing I was trying to do when I caused all this trouble in the first place.
Please have extra Milk Stout on standby. This could get messy again.

* I say “I”, but I was assisted in no small part by The (presumably jetlagged) Guru.
It seems likely that I will require much further assistance from him in the coming days.
This will inevitably cost me some (or more) bottle of red wine, but it’s more than worth it.