Posts Categorised: Computing

0Spell Checker - Spelling PoliceInstall a spellchecker for your browser

Let me start with an admis­sion: I’m one of those ped­ants on Face­book who likes to cor­rect your spelling, punc­tu­ation and gram­mar.  Some of you will think this is per­fectly reas­on­able, whilst oth­ers will prob­ably want an explan­a­tion.  If you are one of the lat­ter read on.

The simple fact is that as a social spe­cies our exist­ence depends on com­mu­nic­a­tion, the clear­er the bet­ter.  When their only con­tact with you is vir­tu­al oth­er people will make judge­ments about you based on what is avail­able to them — includ­ing your SPG.  I cor­rect spellings on Face­book for 2 reas­ons: 1. because I’m a teach­er so it’s a habit; 2. because with mod­ern web-browsers there is quite simply no excuse for incor­rect spelling.  So, to help every­one, here is a quick guide to enabling an auto­mat­ic ‘Microsoft word like” spell-check­er in your web-browser…

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1Comment bubbleJetpack-style comments without Jetpack

One of the best things about word­press is the built-in social aspect provided by com­ments.  Get­ting your com­ment sec­tion right can be very import­ant to any web­site, includ­ing ours.  Over the years we’ve exper­i­mented with vari­ous com­ment plu­gins includ­ing Dis­qus and more recently Jet­pack.  How­ever, we’ve always ended up bring things back in house for man­age­ment, per­form­ance and pri­vacy reas­ons.  When I moved back from Jet­pack com­ments I really missed some of the slick fea­tures provided by Jet­pack, both the social-net­work logins and the gen­er­al slick styl­ing.  Any­way, to cut a long story short I finally had time today to take a good look at how word­press “does” com­ments and fig­ure out a way to build an in-house sys­tem which looks nice and slick like the com­ment inter­face provided by jet­pack.  Best of all its sur­pris­ingly simple and does things the “prop­er” way…
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0HTML5 LogoHTML5 spec finished and published!

At long last, the W3C has pub­lished the final HTML5 spe­cific­a­tionDIY Media Home is already writ­ten coded in HTML5, but the final­isa­tion of the spe­cific­a­tion means that HTML5 com­pli­ance is no longer a mov­ing tar­get for either us, or the browser makers.  Hope­fully all the main play­ers will provide fully HTML5 com­pli­ant browsers soon.  In the mean­time we’ll be work­ing to ensure our site is fully com­pli­ant with the final spec.

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0Tin full of spamHow to reduce spam with SPF, DKIM & DMARC

Since I set up con­tact forms on vari­ous web­sites I’ve had a slowly increas­ing volume of spam.  Not dir­ect spam sent to me, but bounces from non-exist­ent addresses that were being spamme, appar­ently from my address.  Unfor­tu­nately the spam was­n’t ori­gin­at­ing from my address, but my address was some­how picked up (prob­ably from before I secured the con­tact forms on the site) and was being used as the “reply to” address.  After some invest­ig­a­tion I heard about SPF which is an e‑mail anti-for­gery sys­tem.

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6Microsoft Office Excel 2010Conditional formatting for grades v targets

So, in my oth­er life I’m actu­ally a sci­ence teach­er, and as it usu­ally gets round that I’m “good with com­puters” I usu­ally get asked to have a look at a few things.  Twice in the last few months I’ve been asked if I’d set up con­di­tion­al format­ting in excel to col­our code stu­dent test res­ults com­pared to their tar­get grades.  Whilst not exactly related to the core con­tent of this site, it is still DIY tech­nic­al help so I decided to pub­lish a full set of instruc­tions here.  Enjoy…

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9Wordpress LogoRich Snippets code for the Twenty Eleven theme

I’ve pre­vi­ously detailed the code for enabling rich snip­pets in vari­ous word­press themes (Mys­tique 2, Mys­tique 3, Thes­is & Me Gusta) as well as some gen­er­ic instruc­tions. Below is a set of edits to enable rich snip­pets in the built-in word­press twenty elev­en theme.

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0Wordpress LogoRich snippets code for Me Gusta theme

I’ve pre­vi­ously covered theme edits for rich snip­pets for vari­ous themes includ­ing Mys­tique 2, Mys­tique 3Thes­isTwenty Elev­en as well as some gen­er­ic instruc­tions.  Below are details of the code for how to val­id­ate rich snip­pets in the Me Gusta by Cos­mos theme.

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2Wordpress LogoRich snippets code for Mystique 3.x

I’ve pre­vi­ously writ­ten about rich snip­pets code for Mys­tique 2.  There are also gen­er­ic instruc­tions and code for the themes twenty elev­enme gusta and thes­is.  Below is updated code for Mys­tique 3

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0Wordpress LogoRich Snippets code for Mystique 2.x

In addi­tion to this site I have a per­son­al blog where, amongst oth­er things, I post recipes. I’ve recently dis­covered google’s new recipe search, and have been look­ing to imple­ment sup­port for micro­formats / microdata. Google provide a tool for check­ing your markup, called the “rich snip­pets test­ing tool”. When I tried val­id­at­ing one of my recipes, I encountered vari­ous errors, which have taken me a while to track down and resolve. … Read Full Art­icle