It’s been nearly three and a half years since I starting writing about nerdy things on this blog, and during that whole time the design has stayed mostly the same. Today I’m launching a new design, mostly because I’ve been procrastinating about upgrading the WordPress version the blog runs on (it was still 1.2!). So since my old ‘theme’ wasn’t even compatible with the new version, I decided to update the look a bit. I started with a version of the theme ‘Hemingway’ (Or is it ‘Ninjamonkeys’? Whatever.) Anyway, here’s the new design, running on the shiny new version 2.5 of WordPress. I hope you like it, and if there’s any bugs I’ll hopefully be able to work them out over the coming weeks.

WordPress next / previous post links

I just added some next / previous post links to this blog. It was really easy to do it, and I think it is a very nice improvement. All of the functions are already built into WordPress, it was just a matter of finding them.

Here’s the PHP code to place where you want the links to show up:

<?php if($single) { ?>
<div class="nextprev">
<span class="prev"><?php previous_post('&lsaquo; %', '', 'yes', 'no'); ?></span>
<span class="next"><?php next_post('% &rsaquo;', '', 'yes', 'no'); ?></span>
<?php } ?>

And here’s the CSS I added to my stylesheet to get them to sit where I wanted them:

.nextprev {
    height: 1.5em;
.nextprev .prev {
    float: left;
.nextprev .next {
    float: right;

I’m not entirely sure they will stay. I might replace them with something different, like a “more posts in this category” or a “related posts” type setup. I like the idea of flipping through a blog in a linear fashion, and I think it suits this blog quite well since all the content is generally about interesting internet happenings or loosely related technical offerings.

Either way, it’s pretty simple to add them to your own blog, so enjoy!

Categories and tags and keywords

Technorati recently unveiled a new feature for their little search engine that tries to categorize content by keywords (they call them ‘tags‘ just like Flickr does). They even pull images from and links from While it’s a very neat idea, there are some problems with with the whole mob taxonomy thing. Mainly with words that have multiple meanings, like the flash tag, which shows you plenty of Macromedia Flash related content, along side some photography using flashes and even some posts about flash memory mixed in there.

But these small drawbacks aren’t enough to keep me away. I’ve added a few categories to this blog and edited some old posts to better categorize them. Technorati should pick up on the new categories and automagically add my posts into their tag system. Some of my posts are already there, but since they were so poorly ‘tagged’ it wasn’t doing me any good. Another benefit to this is that with more categories and using mod_rewrite with WordPress, I should see some more traffic coming in from Google as it indexes all the new keywords in my category URIs. It should also help users who aren’t sure what this site is about by showing them a nice broad list of topics in the sidebar instead of the limited topics I had before.

Random WordPress comment spam

Well, for x-mas I got an amazing amount of comment spam. And the best part is that it doesn’t even advertise for anything. I recently renamed my wp-comments-post.php file to try and cut back on the comment spam I was getting, and it was working until today. The worst part is that the spam isn’t even advertising anything, it’s just random characters and random names, so I can’t filter it at all. It’s like someone just wants to annoy me.

So not cool.

Anyone have new suggestions on how to cut back on the spam? I’d like to implement a forced preview for my comments anyway, so maybe there are new WordPress plugins out since the last time I checked a few weeks ago that can help me out?