Installing wordpress with EasyPHP on localhost on Windows 7

tech 1 Comment »

Just a quick note for anyone who has the same problem.

I was trying to install WordPress locally (on top of EasyPHP) and it just would not work.

I set up the database, modified the wp-config.php file with the database details – and went to  http://localhost/wordpress/ and it would sit there spinning and doing nothing.

And didn’t do anything either.

Did some hunting around and found out that localhost is no longer defined as on Windows 7!

Had to edit the c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file and uncomment the localhost line.

(BTW Had to run cmd as administrator and then run notepad c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts).

That made it work.

Multitasking on the iPad

apple, ipad, tech No Comments »

I believe the iPad already has the core features that 90% of ‘multitasking’ needs.

This follows on from blog posts by John Gruber of Daring Fireball here and here, Kevin fox here and Brian Chen on Wired.

“What is multi-tasking?”

There are actually very few apps that need real multi-tasking. Music playing is one and location tracking is another.

Other than that, when a lot of people talk about multi-tasking, they just mean being able to switch quickly between a number of running apps.

On a Mac you can quickly switch between apps and also bring up the dashboard to quickly access things like a calculator.

On an iPad, I would argue that the Home button and Home screen is the equivalent of this dashboard.

“Home screen == dashboard?”

There are two reasons why people don’t think this is so. And these are key to understanding why it won’t be a problem in the future on the iPad. It comes from their experience on the iPhone.
1. Switching apps is slow
2. A lot of apps have a startup/loading screen or other bad designs

“Why will the iPad improve these?”

On the iPad
1. It’s much faster than an iPhone – so going to the home screen and selecting another app will be much faster – almost as fast as alt-tabbing or bringing up the dashboard on the Mac
2. Apps are slowly becoming better designed

“What do you mean by better designed?”

If you look at all the Apple apps, none have them have a launch screen. They just go back to the previous state they were in. This is an idea that Palm got right. If an app behaves in this way, then pressing the Home button and tapping on the app icon can get very close to being the equivalent of alt-tabbing.

In fact, it even states in the Apple Interface guideline to avoid splash screens. As the development community matures, these kind of design concepts will be learned.

So I say, multitasking on the iPad? It’s already there!

The A-Z of Google

google No Comments »

I was curious… What does Google think of itself?

Time for another Google Suggest list. This time the responses Google provides when you type in “Google is ” from A to Z.

  • Google is a number
  • Google is better than yahoo
  • Google is cool
  • Google is down
  • Google is e [nothing displayed – self censoring google is evil?]
  • Google is funny
  • Google is going to take over the world
  • Google is hiring
  • Google is islam
  • Google is jewish
  • Google is king
  • Google is liberal
  • Google is making us stupid
  • Google is not working
  • Google is owned by
  • Google is paying to work from home
  • Google is quitting china
  • Google is redirecting me
  • Google is skynet
  • Google is the devil
  • Google is undefined
  • Google is very slow
  • Google is watching you
  • Google is x [nothing]
  • Google is your friend
  • Google is z [nothing]

Nice to see Google’s your friend.

It’s also fun to do this for “Yahoo is ” and “Bing is ” – Bing especially gets a lot of negative responses.

Top Suggestions for Google Suggest A-Z

google, tech No Comments »

I was curious… Who gets to be the top result on Google for the letters in the alphabet A through Z? And does that influence how much traffic they get? Well I can’t answer the second question, but here are the answers to the first :

Google’s Suggestions for A-Z

  • amazon
  • bank of america
  • craigslist
  • ebay
  • facebook
  • gmail
  • hotmail
  • ikea
  • jcpenny
  • kohls
  • lowes
  • myspace
  • netflix
  • office depot
  • pandora
  • quotes
  • southwest airlines
  • target
  • usps
  • verizon wireless
  • walmart
  • xbox 360
  • youtube
  • zillow

Google Suggest for 0-9

  • 0 balance transfer
  • 14th amendment
  • 2012
  • 30 rock
  • 4chan
  • 500 days of summer
  • 60 minutes
  • 7zip
  • 80’s fashion
  • 90210

Google Suggest for other random characters

  • @ properties
  •  _server
  • .net framework

Do these results match up with yours or are they being tailored to my profile? (I live in Australia.)

Also, can you find any other random character suggestions I’ve missed?

How often are Steve Jobs Apple Keynotes?

apple, tech No Comments »

On hearing that the MacWorld next January will be Apple’s last, I got curious.

How often does Steve Jobs give those keynotes he’s famous for? There seem to be more than 2 per year.

So I went hunting and found this torrent of Apple keynotes. Hot diggity!

In short, up until now, his Steveness has generally given keynotes in

  • January at MacWorld
  • June at the WorldWide Developer’s Conference
  • Other miscellaneous random times as long as they’re on a tuesday. And there’s almost always one of those in October.

I thought there might have been more of a pattern to those miscellaneous outings but apparently not.

Excuse me while I shed a tear that we won’t see Steve “one more thing” Jobs this coming January. <sniff>

Ok, back to learning Objective C…

What does Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Profile look like?

books, celebrity No Comments »

It looks like this :

Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Profile

I was surfing around Amazon and got curious about those “Badges” that you sometimes see. They’re the ones that say “REAL NAME” or “TOP 10 REVIEWER”.

Well there’s also a badge called “THE”, as in THE Steve Jobs as opposed to the fake Steve Jobs or one of the other legitimate Steve Jobs that surely exist.

So I thought, “I wonder what Jeff Bezos profile looks like.” Then I found you can select “People” from the Amazon search dropdown. Sure enough, there he was.

What do we discover about Jeff from his profile?

“”Work at Known for my laugh. That’s me in my Austin ‘Danger’ Powers Halloween costume.”

And he doesn’t review many things – 9 reviews in the last 8 years. His most recent was in 2006 and is actually quite funny, especially the comments in response –

Jeff Bezos’ review of milk

Other than that

  • he’s tagged a few things including a lotr chainmail shirt
  • hasn’t created any listmania lists nor created any how to guides
  • but has created a wishlist

It would be curious to see what his response would be if you bought him something on his wishlist. Anyone game to try? :)

Atheists don’t get jokes

humour 1 Comment »

Where are all the jokes about atheists?

Do a search for jokes about men, women, christians, muslims, jews, gays, irish, french and you’ll get hundreds of jokes ready for your amusement and/or heckling of said people-group.

What about atheists?

I spent 2 hours scouring the google results for atheist jokes and how many did I find?


That’s it!

What’s up with that? Where’s the love?

Come on people – even a minority like vegans get more jokes than that!

I propose a call to arms – atheism should be neglected no longer as a subject of hilarity!

Bring on those stereotypes! Get passionately creative! I’m sure we can do better than 7.

PS There are actually more than 7 – there must be all of about 20 – woohoo! But most of them are too lame to repeat. Here are the 7 better jokes I could find.

  • What do you get when you cross an atheist with a Jehovahs Witness?…. Someone who knocks at your door for no apparent reason.
  • One day the zoo-keeper noticed that the orangutan was reading two books, the Bible and Darwin’s Origin of Species.
    Surprised, he asked the ape, “Why are you reading both those books?”
    “Well,” said the orangutan, “I just wanted to know if I was my brother’s keeper or my keeper’s brother.”
  • A young lady came home from a date, rather sad. She told her mother, “Jeff proposed to me an hour ago.”
    “Then why are you so sad?” her mother asked.
    “Because he also told me he was an atheist. Mom, he doesn’t even believe there’s a hell.”
    Her mother replied, “Marry him anyway. Between the two of us, we’ll show him how wrong he is.”
  • Why did the atheist cross the road?
    He thought there might be a street on the other side, but he wouldn’t believe it until he tested his hypothesis.
  • How many atheists does it take to change a light bulb?
    Two. One to actually change the bulb, and the other to videotape the job so fundamentalists won’t claim that god did it.
  • A Jew, A Catholic, and an atheist are rowing in Lake Erie when their boat springs a huge leak. The Jew looks skyward, and says “Oh, Adonai, if you save me, I promise I’ll sail to Israel and spend the rest of my days trying to reclaim the land you gave us.” The Catholic looks skyward, and says, “Oh, Jesus, if you save me, I promise I’ll fly to the Vatican and spend the rest of my days singing your praises.” The atheist says, “Oh, guys, if you pass me that one life preserver, I promise I’ll swim to Cleveland.” “And how will you spend the rest of your days?” the Jew and the Catholic ask. “Well,” says the atheist, “I’m not sure, but I can tell you one thing: I’ll never go rowing with other atheists.”
  • An atheist was taking a walk through the woods, admiring all that evolution had created.

    “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!”, he said to himself. As he was walking along the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. When he turned to see what the casue was, he saw a 7-foot grizzly charging right towards him. He ran as fast as he could. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing, He ran even faster, crying in fear. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. His heart was pounding and he tried to run even faster. He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up, but saw the bear right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him.

    At that moment, the Atheist cried out “Oh my God!….” Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. Even the river stopped moving.

    As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky, “You deny my existence for all of these years; teach others I don”t exist; and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?”

    The atheist looked directly into the light “It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask You to treat me as Christian now, but perhaps could you make the bear a Christian?” “Very well,” said the voice.

    The light went out. The river ran again. And the sounds of the forest resumed.

    And then the bear dropped his right paw ….. brought both paws together…bowed his head and spoke: “Lord, for this food which I am about to receive, I am truly thankful.”

Calculate the day of the week you were born on – fake being an autistic savant!

maths 27 Comments »

My friend and I were curious and we can now do the party trick of figuring out what day of the week a birthday falls on.

For the impatient, here’s the formula :

Birth Day Formula

Where d is the day, y is the last 2 digits of your birth year (throw away any remainder of the division) and mlookup is a lookup table :

Month Lookup Table

And the result is 0 = Sunday, 1 = Monday, etc

I was watching a show about Daniel Tammet, an autistic savant, and telling my friend Dave about it. One of the things that the media often focus on is how these savants can calculate the day you were born on.

I’ve always suspected that it can’t be that hard to do – there must be some formula for it – and I said so to Dave.

So we got curious and went to find the formula. Sure enough we found one.

At first it looked a bit long-winded. But after a bit of wrangling, we got it down to it’s bare essence with a couple of shortcuts (ie lookup tables in programmer-speak). Now we can do the calculations in our head. It’s still a bit of mental effort but nothing too onerous with a bit of practise.

We got the original formula from here :

And you can check your answers here :

Here is an example – 18th December 1977 gives

(18 + 2 + (10 * 76)/8 + 10 ) mod 7

A quick way of dividing by 8 is to divide in half 3 times, so 770/8 = 385/4 = 192/2 = 96.

18 + 2 + 96 + 10 = 126.

126 mod 7 = 0

So 18th December 1977 was a Sunday!

PS I’m in no way down-playing the abilities of savants – I think they’re amazing! Remembering this simple formula is one thing, doing calculations out to hundreds of decimal places or remembering what the weather was like on a specific date is quite another!

PPS The shortcuts we took only work for birthdays after 1900.

How to be a moisture farmer like Luke Skywalker

starwars No Comments »

Yes, you too can be a moisture farmer just like in Star Wars! You just need some moisture vaporators, ie devices that take moisture out of the air. I was curious and found these devices actually exist. Ones like this :

Moisture vaporator

Here are some links to companies that make these :

Now you can start growing your empire. Just be sure to keep a look out for a couple of droids.

Detailed image of face on Mars

astronomy, comics, science No Comments »

I was curious…

…and I stumbled upon this image of the face on Mars :

Face on Mars

There’s an even more detailed 2400×2400 pixel image here. There are other pictures of the ‘pyramids’ nearby if you follow the links on the Cydonia wikipedia page.

What’s even cooler is I found the smiley face on Mars, otherwise known as the Galle crater. I just read Chapter IX of Watchmen and thought Alan Moore was having some fun. But the thing actually exists! Here it is on Google Mars.

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