Snap Preview… removed

Snap Preview has been removed from this blog with immediate effect after seeing a blog post by Nick Wilson decrying it from a user perspective. I can accept that it is intrusive but I have to admit that I still find it something of a novelty. However, visitor annoyance easily overrides any appeal that such a widget may hold for me and it has had to go.

New theme

After trying to get WordPress.com to amend the Andreas04 theme and getting nowhere, I decided to jump ship and try the Andreas09 one instead. The permalink titles are more sensible on this one so I’ll see what Technorati makes of them. Even though I have had to change theme, the wonders of CSS have allowed me to carry over elements of the colour scheme from the old to the new. If you really want to witness the raw power of CSS, pop over to CSS Zen Garden where the same HTML code is rendered in extraordinarily different ways thanks to CSS. There is even a book written by Dave Shea and Molly Holzschlag to go with the website.

VMware and ZoneAlarm

Contrary to appearances given by this blog, I am not exclusively a Windows user. In fact, I have sampled Linux on a number of occasions in the past and I use VMware to host a number of different distributions – my Ubuntu installation is updating itself as I write this – as I like to keep tabs on what is out there. I also retain a Windows 2000 installation for testing and have had virtual machine hosting a test release of Vista not so long ago. I also have my finger in the UNIX world with an instance of OpenSolaris, though it is currently off my system thanks to my wrecking its graphics set up. However, ZoneAlarm has been known to get ahead of itself and start blocking VMware. If you go taking a look on the web, there is no solution to this beyond a complete system refresh (format the boot drive and reinstall everything again) and I must admit that this sounds like throwing out bath, baby and bathwater together. I did find another approach though: removing ZoneAlarm and reinstalling it. This wipes all its remembered settings, including the nefarious one that conflicted with VMware in the first place. It’s amazing that no one else has considered this but it has worked for me and having to have the security software relearn everything again is much less painless than rebuilding your system.

PSP file gotcha

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI

Having completed my evaluation of Corel’s Paint Shop Pro (a.k.a. PSP) Photo XI, I dutifully uninstalled it from my system. However, on catching up with some files that I had acquired through the application, I found that I could not open them with its forbear PSP 9. From this, I would have to conclude that Corel made a change to PSP’s native PSPIMAGE file format along the way. Having had Windows 2000 installed in a VMware virtual machine, I got back PSP XI to batch convert the files into PSD (Photoshop’s own file format) and TIFF files for the future. Carrying out the conversion was easy enough thanks to being able to select files according to their file type, something that Adobe could do with bringing into Photoshop Elements; it’s not there even in the latest version.

Batch processing with Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI

Post titles on Technorati

I have had a look on how the posts from this blog are listed on Technorati and most if not all of the titles are coming through as “Permalink”. I was going to try WordPress.com support but they are off for the weekend. A trip to the WordPress.com forums was then in order and a few helpful folk put me right on this one: apparently Technorati uses the permalink titles when extracting post summaries from WordPress.com blogs and in the Andreas04 theme that I am using, these are all hard-coded as “Permalink”. I have left the theme’s author in on this and going to try WordPress.com feedback tomorrow. In technical terms and from what I can see, the fix needed is as follows: change title=”Permalink” to title=”Permanent Link: <?php the_title(); ?>” in the single.php, page.php and index.php files in the theme.