Jun 16

Just a few years back, if you wanted to host a WordPress blog on your own website, you avoided GoDaddy at all costs.  WordPress and other mainstream Web applications simply didn’t work on GoDaddy shared hosting without a lot of extra work.  As a result, GoDaddy quickly gained a reputation as a cheap Web host that’s good only for regular HTML web sites.  Over time GoDaddy support for Web applications improved, but installing WordPress still required extra work.  GoDaddy also introduced automatic installers for WordPress, but the result was usually a non-standard installation and code that was a few versions too old.

Fast forward to today.  With GoDaddy’s new Hosting Connection, you can install the latest version of WordPress and many other Web applications such as Joomla with just a few mouse clicks.  It really couldn’t be much easier.  Following are step-by-step instructions to install WordPress on GoDaddy shared hosting:

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Jun 12

A new article in The Atlantic claims that Google is making us stupid. The article doesn’t blame only Google, of course. Rather, it believes the World Wide Web, TV and movies are dumbing down humanity. We are actually reading more than in the 1970’s, but instead of novels and newspapers, we are consuming snippets of information from a myriad of Web sites. The article claims we are becoming a society of Internet zombies.

The Net seems to be “chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”

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Jun 11

Social news sites first became popular when Digg.com launched on the Web in 2004. A social news site enables its users to submit news stories and vote on them. The most popular articles percolate to the top of the list and are rewarded with a huge surge in Web traffic. A candid discussion of each article often appears. The most popular social news sites are Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon, which recently hit 2 million registered users. DotNetKicks is an excellent social news site for .NET programming.

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Apr 30

For many developers, the normal Google search engine is all they need to find source code on the Web to solve a particular programming problem.  But Google doesn’t understand code, so dedicated code search engines have emerged to bring code search to a new level.

Following is a list of all known code search engines and the tagline and “About” information from the site.  Please comment if you know of other code search engines, as I will keep this list updated.

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Feb 07

Netcraft’s monthly survey has found 155,583,825 sites on the World Wide Web.  The slowing global economy may have impacted the Web’s growth rate, with only 354 thousand new sites added in January compared to 5.4 million new in December.

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Jun 14

Have you ever tried to find your Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) cookies or temporary files on disk using Windows Explorer?  Chances are Explorer is configured to hide system files, which is how Microsoft has designated the folder that contains its IE7 files.

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Jun 14

Blogs are becoming an important and prevalent method for software developers to share knowledge, tips and code.  Unlike code-sharing sites that have publication guidelines and restrictions, blogs are typically privately-owned, which gives developers freedom to deliver and format their content in many ways.  But this freedom can also result in a poor experience for the blog reader, ranging from code samples that won’t compile, to the equivalent of a messy desk where nothing useful can be found.

Following are several tips for software developers to write and manage their blogs, and to make the blogs easier to use and navigate for their readers.

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Jun 05

Copyright infringement is the sincerest form of flattery.

What’s a Splog?

A splog or “spam blog” is a blog that steals content from other web sites, then aggregates and republishes all or some of the content on its own blog.

Splogs are created to promote and increase search engine ranking of affiliated web sites, and/or to make money from ads shown on the splog.  Typically splogs are automated, but they can also be manual copy & paste.  A recent study indicated that 56% of all blogs are spam, and there are over 575 thousand splogs reported.

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May 29

The promise of end-user programming has been a fleeting one. 

First there was Hypercard for the Macintosh.  Hypercard was powerful enough to produce commercial applications but simple enough for a child to use.  Unfortunately, Hypercard proved too difficult for Apple to market properly, and besides, most developers don’t care about the Mac anyway.

Microsoft followed in 1991 with Visual Basic, which retained the simplicity of the BASIC programming language while upgrading it for use on the new graphical Windows platform.  VB was such a smash success with both novice and professional programmers that at one time, over 60% of software developers reported using Visual Basic for some of their projects.  But along the way, Visual Basic matured into a real (read: complex) object-oriented programming language, leaving behind its simple roots and unfortunately many of its fans.  As a result, VB use has plummeted 35% in just the past year.

There are also new efforts by IBM and smaller companies such as DabbleDB and Zoho to turn novices into programmers.  But none have the excitement or momentum of Microsoft’s new programming tool for the masses: Popfly.

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May 08

Silverlight is Microsoft’s answer to Adobe Flash. 

Officially, “Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.  Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows.”

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