Archive | June, 2008

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How to Embed a Comment Box in Blogger

Posted on 29 June 2008 by Flisha

First of all you must have enabled Blogger in Draft in your dashboard to be able to use this service. If you are using a basic Blogger template without customizations, go to Settings -> Comments and in the section for Comment Form Placement, select “Embedded below post”.

If, however, you downloaded a customized Blogger template from another site or made your own changes to the template, doing this won’t work. So let’s get down and dirty again. This is much easier than placing star ratings.

Okay, now go to Layout -> Edit HTML and mark the box Expand Widget Templates. Look for this piece of code:

<p class=’comment-footer’>
<a expr:href=’data:post.addCommentUrl’ expr:onclick=’data:post.addCommentOnclick’>
<data:postCommentMsg/></a>
</p>
</b:if>

You can find it easily by searching for the term “addCommentUrl”. There are two instances of this in your template, choose the one that matches the above code. In my template, the next line after this code was <div id=’backlinks-container’> so that might help you a bit.

Then delete the code I made you look for and replace it with this:

<p class=’comment-footer’>
<b:if cond=’data:post.embedCommentForm’>
<b:include data=’post’ name=’comment-form’/>
<b:else/>
<b:if cond=’data:post.allowComments’>
<a expr:href=’data:post.addCommentUrl’ expr:onclick=’data:post.addCommentOnclick’>
<data:postCommentMsg/></a>
</b:if>
</b:if>
</p>
</b:if>

Save your template and refresh your blog! Hope your frustrated readers will no longer be able to see the pop-up comment box ever again! :-)

P.S. Amanda from Blogger Buster has similar instructions, but they didn’t work for me. My blog’s base template is the minimalist theme from Blogger, perhaps that has something to do with it. But anyway, if this code doesn’t work for you, you might want to check out Amanda’s tutorial.

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How to Place Star Ratings in Blogger

Posted on 29 June 2008 by Flisha

If you are using a basic Blogger template without customizations, all you have to do is enable Blogger in Draft. Go to Layout -> Page Elements then edit your Blog Posts widget.

Then mark the checkbox for “Show Star Ratings” and you can arrange where you want to place it relative to your other blog post elements.

However, if you downloaded a customized Blogger template from another site or made your own changes to the template, doing this won’t work. You’ll have to get down and dirty with HTML.

Fortunately it’s not that torturous.

You need this code:

<span class=’star-ratings’>

<b:if cond=’data:top.showStars’>

<div expr:g:background-color=’data:backgroundColor’ expr:g:text-color=’data:textColor’ expr:g:url=’data:post.absoluteUrl’ g:height=’42’ g:type=’RatingPanel’ g:width=’180’/>

</b:if>

</span>

And this code:

<b:if cond=’data:top.showStars’>

<script src=’http://www.google.com/jsapi’ type=’text/javascript’/>

<script type=’text/javascript’>

google.load(“annotations”, “1”);

function initialize() {

google.annotations.setApplicationId(<data:top.blogspotReviews/>);

google.annotations.createAll();

google.annotations.fetch();

}

google.setOnLoadCallback(initialize);

</script>

</b:if>

Then go to Layout -> Edit HTML and mark the box Expand Widget Templates. Look for this line:

<data:post.body/>

And place the first piece of code after it to put it at the bottom of each of your posts. If you are comfortable with HTML, you might try other placements as well. Just don’t forget to backup your template first.

Anyway, it should look something like this:

<div class=’post-body’>

<p><data:post.body/></p>

<p><b:if cond=’data:top.showStars’>

<div expr:g:url=’data:post.absoluteUrl’ g:height=’42’ g:type=’RatingPanel’ g:width=’180’/>

</b:if></p>

<div style=’clear: both;’/> <!– clear for photos floats –>

</div>

The second piece of code, you should place between <b:include name=’feedLinks’/> and </b:includable> like this:

<!– feed links –>

<b:include name=’feedLinks’/>

<b:if cond=’data:top.showStars’>

<script src=’http://www.google.com/jsapi’ type=’text/javascript’/>

<script type=’text/javascript’>

google.load(&quot;annotations&quot;, &quot;1&quot;);

function initialize() {

google.annotations.setApplicationId(<data:top.blogspotReviews/>);

google.annotations.createAll();

google.annotations.fetch();

}

google.setOnLoadCallback(initialize);

</script>

</b:if>

</b:includable>

And you’re set. Hope it works for you! :-)

(Sorry for mess. My code is often as unkempt as me.)

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Revamping the Site

Posted on 28 June 2008 by Flisha

I am currently in the middle of revamping my blog. I decided it on a whim around 2am last night and haven’t slept since. If you’re visiting and some things are off, just come back in a bit, there are still a lotta kinks I’m fixing up (oh you know what I mean).

But I couldn’t wait to show you my snazzy new look! :-) The header I used is actually one of the pictures I took of my hometown, and then I processed it in Picnik (because my Photoshop somehow got corrupted and I’m hating Gimp). Tell me how you like it! :-)

I’m saving up a snapshot of my old design for sentimentality’s sake. I realize that this is my fourth major redesign and yet I was not able to save my old themes. The first design was a basic Blogger template, the second design was of yellow flowers (the sweet-smelling ilang-ilang) and the third design was flowery pink (Self Absorbed Female theme).

I’m now onto my fifth design, which you will all see very very soon. :-)

Update: Yay it’s up! Tell me if you run into any problems! And tell me what you think of the new design! :-) Do you love it or hate it? How can I better it??

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SocialSpark is Down… Again?

Posted on 28 June 2008 by Flisha

Update: Hey, it seems SocialSpark is working again. Yay!

I was notified that I got two opportunity reservations at lunch time today. I ate and took a nap, thinking I still had 12 hours to complete the opp anyways. But when I woke up a couple of hours later I couldn’t load SocialSpark.

My first thought was perhaps my IP had been banned for autoreloading the page every minute (opps at SocialSpark are first come first serve, you see). So I visited a proxy site and entered SocialSpark.com. The proxy could not load it either. I asked a friend of mine across the country to load SocialSpark, and he couldn’t either. I also checked if SocialSpark is online through DownForEveryoneOrJustMe.com and it returned a 502 Server Error. So my best guess is SocialSpark is down again.

SocialSpark went down a few days ago, along with IZEA and PayPerPost. This time though, IZEA and PayPerPost are working. Searching through Google, I can’t find anyone having the same problem, all searches lead back to the first downtime.

IZEA gives this explanation for the first downtime that happened on June 25:

In a nutshell, the data center we used screwed up. I honestly still don’t know precisely what happened other than something happened within the data center that knocked everyone there completely off the grid. The servers themselves were never harmed or put in jeopardy and ran along quite happily, just without any traffic. The main Internet feeds in and out of the data center were also fine. Something internally at the data center screwed up and it took them a stunning 10 or so hours to figure it out.

We will absolutely be moving to a distributed architecture as a result of this as soon as possible.

They also posted this message yesterday:

Following the Data Center debacle earlier this week, we are deploying some changes to the site at 22:15 Eastern. We will need to take the site down for about 2 minutes to accomplish this.

Sorry for the inconvenience. 

So I’m not sure if the outage today means they’re doing maintenance. Darn am I gonna lose my opps in a few hours?! :-( Anybody having the same problem?

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Blog Updates

Posted on 27 June 2008 by Flisha

Hi, you might want to know a bit more about me (same as I kinda want to know a bit more about you and you about me, heh) so I placed a new tab above my header. If you click on “About Me”, you’ll be able to read my brief autobiography. :-) Feel free to make comments.

Also, a blogger was trying to contact me a few days ago but could not find a way (I had recently removed my email link) so she dropped a comment instead. So I also added a link to a contact form (thank you Contactify.com) if ever you need to reach me. :-)

*Normal blogging tasks will resume shortly.*

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Pinoy Bloggers Take Over the Blogosphere

Posted on 20 June 2008 by Flisha

I am astounded at how many Filipinos are active in the blogging community. I was browsing BlogCatalag a few days ago, and I found there were 3272 Filipino blogs registered, placing the country at the #4 spot of all the countries with most blogs (registered with BlogCatalog)! India is at #3 with 4786, Canada is at #2 with 4814, while the UK reigns at #1 with 7257 blogs total.

Wow. Even online I’m surrounded by my kababayan (countrymen)! Hehehe.

I suppose the reason that Filipinos love blogging is because we’re very socially-oriented as a people (and blogging is a social pursuit, wouldn’t you say?).

I mean, there’s no concept of a “nuclear family” here because under one roof, you often have the mama, the papa, the children, the lola (grandmother), the lolo (grandfather), even yayas (nannies) and helpers, and sometimes other relatives, all living together as one family.

We are not comfortable being alone. Take for example eating. I often see American shows where people enjoy eating alone in a restaurant. In the Philippines, that would feel extremely uncomfortable. Eating is often a social event. When someone is eating (or is about to eat) and sees someone without food, it is customary to say “Kain tayo!” or “Let’s eat!”, an invitation. (If you don’t say it, you will look rude.)

Filipinos always actively seek company, and love to share stories and chika (gossip). Thus the concept of a barkada, or a circle of best friends.

So the social nature of Filipinos complements the social nature of blogging. Plus, English being one of the Philippines’ two official languages, I guess it’s no wonder why Filipinos love to blog. It’s easy, it’s natural and it’s what we’ve always been used to, just on a different platform.

Are you a Pinoy blogger? Do you think we’re taking over?

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Rollercoasting

Posted on 20 June 2008 by Flisha

Just because…

…I miss them. Hehehehe. I am so senti, I know!!!

This was taken a few months ago when my barkada came over to Manila and we spent a day at Enchanted Kingdom. We’re on one of the smaller rollercoaster rides here. (The Space Shuttle was broken, alas :[ )

I was just browsing through our photo CD and found this one to be quite representative of our friendship. Hehehe.

Raquel and Donnel (front of the pic), always buddies. They’re the bad guys, they love to tease. One time I was reciting a poem in class, and I was so passionately focused on the force of my speech and the appropriateness of my gestures I totally mispronouced the word “invitation”. I know! How can you mispronouce that??? (I said it as een-VAI-tei-shun, like you know, een-VAIT)

They’ve never let me live it down.

Me and Chris (at the back), forever best friends. We’re the good ones, we always try to be nice to other people. Hehehe. But weirdly, we end up squabbling all the time. I think not a high school week went by without us screeching at each other for some trivial matter. Hehehe. It always resolved itself, though. Oh and we love giving each mementos. I’ve gotten so many mugs, figurines, letters and photos (Of himself. That I did not ask for. But that he gave anyways.) from him my closet’s overfull and I think most of what was breakable… broke.

Shhh!!!

If Kat were there, she’d be seating next to Jotie (in the middle). They’re always together, too. And if Brian were there, he’d sit anywhere he liked, but maybe he’d try to be nearer Kat.

(They had a thing. Or, well, he did. Hehehehe. Double shhh!!!)

Oh gosh we’re all so grown up now. But we’ll always be high schoolers at heart. :-)

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A Japanese Tea Ceremony

Posted on 19 June 2008 by Flisha

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Hmm, Feels Grainy to Me…

Posted on 19 June 2008 by Flisha

When in Japan (especially in Kyoto), you should not miss out on the okashi (Japanese sweets and snacks).

But… I don’t know if you should necessarily try everything…

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A Toast to Mentors

Posted on 16 June 2008 by Flisha

To me, a true teacher first and foremost has a genuine concern for his students (a prerequisite to and implies the ability to inspire). Proficiency is secondary. A great teacher, however, has a glass-brimming-full of both.

Sir A is that kind of teacher. He cares, gives a shit, inspires and all that. I honestly respect him to the highest level. I was (am still) having confidence lows about my thesis and he IMed me and gave me perspective. He’s busy with his own PhD thesis but he had no qualms about being my MS advisor (alas, a higher power had qualms about it, natch). He’s now just a panelist in my thesis, but given the degree he’s encouraging me and lifting my spirits, it’s as if he were my adviser in all but name.

Sir A is also all kinds of proficient in CS. It’s amazing how he can take a theory-intensive subject like grad-level Computer Architecture and parse it such that it’s fun to learn (believe me, a CS core subject is normally a snooze fest) and makes sense to even a little kid (his poor niece).

This post is a toast to great teachers like Sir A. I’m feeling so drifty and alone in the project I’m undertaking but Sir A reminds me I’m not. He taught me two core courses in a row the past year and I look up to him in the highest level possible. (He’s up there with Fr. Denny, my college prof, in the category of “best teachers in the world”.)

This world needs more teachers like Sir A (and Fr D.). :)

—-
Reason for this post: (stop reading if you don’t wanna hear me rant and whine.)

I am supposed to be working on my thesis proposal. I’m due to defend it in two weeks. But I’m blogging. I’m procrastinating, as always. That’s because I feel bad.

I feel really, really, really discouraged right now. I blog about happy things to pretend I’m not feeling so down. But my shoulders are drooping so low I must look (figuratively) hunchbacked right now.

Wanted Sir A to be my advisor, but like I said, it didn’t happen even if he was up for it. I got an advisor assigned to me, and I don’t even know this person. What if I don’t like him? What if he doesn’t like me? What if he’s not coddling type???

I need a cheerleader most of all, I think. I’m so scared right now I won’t be able to do my thesis. Scared it’s gonna be rejected. Scared it’s not gonna get published. Scared it’s not gonna be the best possible project I can make it.

Scared, scared, scared. Hay. :(

I just want this thesis over with ASAP. :(

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