GeekBBQ tomfoolery in London


Well, after what was a great night on Friday, it seems that there is demand for more GeekBBQ’s here in little ‘ol Sunny London, and since there have been requests for a “where do I sign up page”, I’m posting something here until a better idea comes along, or I get the time to set up a domain or something…

So without further ado, the next date is the 23rd of June, same place, same time, same stuff to bring…

You can see the Flickr set from the BBQ on Friday;
You can read the series of posts leading up to the first one
and for shits and giggles I’ve added another post as well…

Please comment to this post to RSVP / steak your claim to, er, some good steak… (note the pun ;-)

Cutting out comment spam


OK, so I’m not a fan of the Akismet approach for one or two reasons, and it seems that although making users log in to comment works as an anti-spam device, it doesn’t encourage random people to comment, and lets face it, that’s half the joy of blogging – you meet loads of people from all over the world, just ‘cos you wrote something.

So I disabled the “you must be logged in to comment” thing, and as soon as I did I started getting comment spam again, like 10 or so an hour. And it pissed me off – my inbox just doesn’t need it, and I don’t want to delete another spam comment ever again if I can help it. Hence the need for another solution…

Along comes Adrian and George, commenting to my post about comment spammers, offering up “did you pass math” as a solution.
So I did some reading here, here and here, and then installed it, and I have to say that the sheer simplicity and gracefulness of it makes me think that there is still hope (for what, you’ll have to decide)… After one or two tweaks of my own, I’m happy as Larry and good to go. Thank you Steven!

My recommendation – try it – you won’t be disappointed.

FeedBurner htaccess voodoo with WordPress 2


If you use FeedBurner to burn your feeds, then you probably want FeedBurner to retrieve the feeds from your site as normal, but you want _ALL_ your visitors to read your feed using FeedBurner.

The WordPress .htaccess solution between versions 1.5.x and 2.x has changed somewhat, so when I simply imported my old htaccess file after doing a full upgrade to the shiny new WP version, things didn’t work as planned… which is cool, since I’d been doing some work with htacess already, and felt I was ready to play with the apparent voodoo ;-)

So basically my logic went like this:

  1. Turn the rewrite engine on
  2. Set the rewrite base url to “/”
  3. Make sure that any request to is redirected to
  4. Do the same for the feed url
  5. Set the correct feed url for feedburner
  6. Set the correct feed url for everyone other than feedburner
  7. Set the correct comments feed url for feedburner
  8. Set the correct comments feed url for everyone other than feedburner
  9. Start processing for WordPress
  10. And then do some anti-spam stuff that isn’t really the point of this post

So now what happens is that whenever someone clicks on or, they get redirected to a feedburner feed that they can read and also subscribe to…

The flip side of this is that because I’m playing around with new themes for my blog and editing stuff, doing the redirection in htaccess is far easier for me than it is to go and manually edit files for each template.

Continue reading

What’s the deal with Akismet API keys?


OK, so I set up a new blog for a mate on my server, using a shiny new WP install of course, then I go to the plugins page to activate the much vaunted Akismet plugin, but find out that I have to get an API key at before I can use it…

So what gives?

I’ve got no problem at all signing up for a account, but surely that’s wasteful since once I’ve signed up, I’m just going to use it on my box, and leave the account to stagnate… why not just let folks get their API key from

I’m not sure if I have the whole story – perhaps there’s an option that says “I have my blog somewhere else” but still allows you to get your API key – so I could be wrong, but this kinda doesn’t make sense?

What do you think?

WordPress 2.0 Release Candidate


_ WordPress Development Blog › WordPress 2.0 Release Candidate

The next release of WordPress is drawing near. Please help us shake out any last remaining bugs by downloading and testing the 2.0 Release Candidate. If all goes well, the Release Candidate will become 2.0 final. We’re almost there. Download, test, and head over to the Beta Forum to let us know if the Release Candidate is ready for prime time.

Looking forward to it!

FCKeditor Plugin:ChenPress


_ FCKeditor Plugin:ChenPress « WordPress Support

It’s a WordPress WYSIWYG plugin which replace the default editor with FCKeditor 2.0 FC.

I’m of the opinion that WordPress is perhaps one of the best blogging tools out there, for several reasons.

I think it’s one flaw is that the content writing tool (that adds the text decoration bits and pieces) is not the easiest to use if you don’t know html…

A little bit of searching led to this, which looks like it’s pretty cool – but I’ve not installed it yet…

Has anyone played with it at all?