Spottt WordPress Widget

If you are using Spottt on a WordPress blog you’ll have to insert the code that Spottt gives you to embed into your theme’s sidebar code. This is hardly user friendly. so I decided to put together the Spottt WordPress Widget for WordPress blogs that support widgets. Bookmark this post for updates!

The current version is 0.5 and is still in ‘beta’ but I have it running on Polled.info if you want to confirm it works.

Better documentation will follow but for now you just need:

  1. Download the widget
  2. Unzip and upload to your plugins folder
  3. Active the plugin
  4. Under Presentation -> Widgets drag the spottt ad where you want it
  5. Click the little notepad icon on the widget admin to edit the settings
  6. Title: Name the sidebar section, or leave blank for no title section
  7. Spottt ID: This is that long string of letters and numbers in the ‘Embed’ code
  8. Press Enter to save and check your site for the ad!

Beta: TipJoy TipThis WordPress Plugin

With a great deal of code stolen from the Devlounge plugin guide (I tipped them), I’m pleased to announce a beta version of the TipJoy TipThis WordPress plugin! The plugin is up and running here with the options in the screen grab:
TipJoy TipThis ScreenShot (click for a screen grab)

Features include:

  • Adding your TipJoy UserID to your header to claim your tips
  • Option to add Tip This buttons to EVERYTHING, this will spam your front page with buttons
  • More selective option to add a button to Post pages
  • More selective option to add a button to Page pages
  • Snazzy admin page

Downloads are available from the Official TipJoy TipThis post or right click and save as here.
Bugs and feature requests can be posted here or emailed to me @ David -at- KnightKnetwork.com

Win a free WPDesigner.com Theme Club membership for testing the plugin! Click for more info!

When Users Hate Change

In technology, change is a way of life. Feature stagnation will lead to a competitor jumping ahead of you and an abandonment of your product. At the same time, changes in your product can cause a backlash from users who aren’t happy with the results. A thread on Hacker News is what brought this to my mind and I wanted to explore the subject a little further.

What happens that causes users to hate change and what steps can be taken to make things run smoothly?

In my experience there are three main groups of users who are unhappy with change:

  1. Users who don’t like anything to change
  2. Users who don’t need the changes and now have more work to do for the same results
  3. Users who aren’t using your product the way you intended and who’s functionality has been broken

Do you deal with users who don’t fall into these groups? I’m not talking about people with minor complaints, I’m talking about users that get really angry or frustrated. Passionate users that will let you know how they feel and aren’t afraid to go elsewhere.

What can be done to ease change and make it more universally accepted? I don’t think there’s a silver bullet for this problem, but there are certainly some things that you can do to help:

  • Prepare users for the change: Educate your users ahead of time giving them all the info they need about whats coming, making sure to focus on the improvements from their point of view.
  • Poll users about the change: Only do this if you care about the results, polling to get a result that you want is a bad idea and if it backfires things could get ugly quickly.
  • Preserve old functionality: No one wants to support multiple versions of a product, but it’s done all the time. Why? People don’t get angry about change when they don’t have to do it.
  • Enhance simplicity: This is harder than it sounds, adding features while keeping your user experience simple is very challenging. If you can do this and focus your changes on the backend with minimal frontend changes you’ve created a truly elegant product.
  • Incorporate unorthodox usage: If a user is using your product in a different way than you intended, then that user has just added value for free. If their usage has some merit seriously look at expanding in the new direction with your next enhancements instead of slamming a door.

While we may want to blame problems with change on our users, if you look hard enough you’ll see that it’s a problem of our own making. I’m curious if other programmers have a different view on this, other categories of change resistant customers or other strategies to make change go smoothly.

Code Search Engine Krugle Announces OpenAPI and New Search Appliance

I Found My Code On Krugle

This morning my favorite code search engine, Krugle, has made two big announcements:

 

  1. The launch of their second generation Code Search Appliance that can access SCM systems. If you can get your hands on one of these then you don’t have to rely on a hacked together app that searches code or worse yet, just dumping everything locally and using something like Google desktop search. Code reuse is an important part of writing programs efficiently, but it only works when you can quickly find the code you need to reuse, Krugle can make that happen.
  2. The second announcement is it’s OpenAPI for partners. I believe this will be good news for programmers who work with the large Dev networks that Krugle supports (IBM developerWorks, CollabNet, SourceForge.net, Yahoo! Developer Network, etc.) , and should allow for easier to use and better integrated tools.

Read this if you aren’t familiar with Code Search Engines

Press Release Follows: (more…)

Fix Your efw File Problems

The First Computer Bug

I got a question on my post about how to fix the Removed by HIPS FW bug and I thought it was worth answering in another post. Mark, who has Roadrunner as his ISP, had downloaded their free offer of CA Internet Security suite and had since noticed that many of the files he was trying to download (i think from e-mail) where getting changed to .efw files. This is CA’s way of making sure you don’t accidentally run a file on the off chance that it contains a virus. The real problem here is that it can often prohibit you from running files intentionally! There are two ways to handle this:

  1. Rename the file extension - If it’s supposed to be a .zip file just rename it to .zip from .efw and you’re good to go! You will have to know what the file extension was supposed to be in the first place, but that’s all you have to do and it will work just like normal.
  2. Disable the quarantine - If you trust yourself more than CA does then you can just disable the feature that renames the files, here’s how:
  • Open the CA Security Center
  • Click on CA Personal Firewall then Open Advance Settings
  • On the Personal Firewall window, click the Email icon on the left
  • Select the Email Attachments tab on the top right
  • Scroll down and double click the .ZIP entry to pop up a small settings window
  • Uncheck the Quarantine all matching files box and click OK
  • Do the same for any other file types you regularly recieve

That should do it! Your version of CA could be a little different than the instructions provided above, but hopefully that will be enough information for you to find what you need, Good Luck!

P.S. If you just have CA for antivirus and are sick of it, then consider trying the free version of AVG. I have a link to the download site along with some other useful and free programs on my post about Great Free Software.  If you want a full internet security suite and are willing to pay for it, try one of the best: Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0