Archive | Tutorial

Automatically Twitter Your New Blog Posts

Posted on 04 April 2009 by Flisha

Just discovered a new way to use Twitter*: automatically posting a link to my every new blog post.

All you need is an RSS feed (like this) and an account in Twitterfeed. Log in, and click on create a new feed. Choose your destination as Twitter, enter your Twitter login details, and then your RSS feed URL.

You can set how often Twitterfeed checks for new blog posts (least being once a day, at most 5 times every 30 minutes). You can deactivate the service anytime.

Twitterfeed can also post to identi.ca, custom laconica installations, HelloTxt and Ping.fm.

Follow me on Twitter!

*Or annoy your Twitter followers, depending on how you look at it.

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Send Media from Phone to Web with ShoZu

Posted on 23 March 2009 by Flisha

Technology is utterly amazing. These days I’m playing around with ShoZu, a mobile phone app that I’ve had on my Sony Ericsson W960i since last year, but I only got around to exploring it last week.

Basically, it finds images and videos in your phone and allows you to send them to different destinations like Facebook, Blogger, Twitpic, Multiply, Friendster, LiveJournal, Youtube, a random email address or wherever, really. (Maybe even your Slingbox one day.) ShoZu supports most blog and social networking sites in the Internet, so it’s really convenient to upload stuff from your phone to the web – instantly.

Let me show you how it works on my phone.

Once installed, the icon shows up in your Control Panel or your list of applications. Here I just made a shortcut to it on my desktop. (It’s the orange O.)

Open up ShoZu, and you’ll see this. It can save your phonebook to your ShoZu account so if ever your phone gets lost, you still have a backup of your contacts on the web. You can ZuCasts, which are feeds from your friends, meaning you can see what they have uploaded. To upload stuff yourself, select Share-It.

I see I have 40 files and 10 destinations. My files can be photos or videos, anything that I’ve taken using my camphone will show up here. Destinations means the places I can send my media to (set when I created my ShoZu account). For some reason, the Commens tab shows only comments I get from Flickr, but not the ones from Facebook or Twitpic. So, anyway, to upload something, I select All Files.

Now I can see all my latest photos and videos. I see I’ve already sent my Bulb of Garlic photo awhile ago. It has the orange ShoZu logo which means it’s been uploaded at least once already. (You can upload again, especially if you want to send to other destinations.) I can upload one photo at a time, or many at a time. I check the boxes of the photos I want to upload.

Of course, I don’t want my photos sent uncaptioned or untitled. So I select a photo, click on More >> Add Details. And I get to this spot, where I can add a title for my photo, and below, a description, and even tags.

Time to upload my Bananas photo. As you can see, the first button says Send to Twitpic. Since I love to use Twitpic, which automatically updates my Twitter, which then automatically updates my Plurk and Facebook accounts, I set it as my One-click photo site. (You can set this in your ShoZu account. Best to do it on a laptop instead of a mobile phone.) Anyways, this time I think I want to send this photo straight to my blog. So I click on More >> Send to other >> destination >> Google Blogger.

After some time… ta da!!! Here is my bananas post!

There it is up on my blog! :-) ShoZu adds the posted by ShoZu graphic, which I don’t like, so when I have the time later on, I edit it out of my blog post. I didn’t add a description awhile ago, so this photo only has a title. But if I had, it would have been placed below my photo. Here is an example of my post of the Astoria Regency Pool.

And it’s that easy! Cool, huh?

P.S. ShoZu connects to Internet (duh) so you have to make sure you have Internet access on your phone. At home, I connect to my wifi router. And when I am outside, I make sure to visit wifi hotspots so I can upload my photos on the go.

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Label Feeds in Blogger

Posted on 04 February 2009 by Flisha


I am sure many Blogger users out there admire the myriad plugins and functionalities of WordPress. I am one of those admirers.

I especially like that there’s a WordPress plugin for category feeds, or label feeds. It’s not immediately apparent that the same is available in Blogger, since it’s never promoted, but you can actually get label feeds in Blogger.

Why would you be interested in label feeds? Many reasons:

  1. Letting readers subscribe to a selected category
  2. Placing the latest posts from a category onto your sidebar
  3. Styling your blog into a magazine layout
  4. Creating label widgets for iGoogle

And you can probably think up more creative ways to use category feeds. These are just some of the few reasons I went looking for the label feeds in Blogger, and so far I’ve used #2 and #4, but quickly abandoned #2 because my sidebar looks busy enough as it is.

So how do you get the Blogger label feeds? It’s pretty simple. First, you have to make sure that your Site Feed is turned on. To do that, your blog’s Settings -> Site Feed -> Allow Blog Feeds -> Full. You can also use Short, if you don’t like offering full feeds. But don’t use None.

Now, if you have a regular Blogspot URL like such:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com

Then your default posts feed is this:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/

But you probably know (and use) that already. To get the feed for an individual label, just add an -/labelName to the end of your default feed. So, for example you have a label Technology, the resulting feed would be:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/Technology

A note to remember is that the feeds are case sensitive, so this feed:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/technology

…won’t work.

Now let’s say you have a label like this: Things I Like. Just replace the spaces with a %20, so your feed should look like this:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/
Things%20I%20Like

Again, be aware of the cases.

Say you have a customized domain like mine. This is my URL:

http://www.randomdetox.com

The rules are the same, you just change the prefix of your feeds. So, an example of my label feeds are the following:

http://www.randomdetox.com/feeds/posts/default/-/Lost
http://www.randomdetox.com/feeds/posts/default/-/Gossip%20Girl

There! Now that you know, make good use of the feeds! :)

Oh and if you’re interested, here are some of my label feeds you might like to subscribe to:

Pop Culture

Hello Kitty
Manny Pacquiao
True Blood
Ugly Betty

Tech Stuff

Blogging
Tech
Tutorial

Travel Stuff

Cebu Pacific
Dakak
Dapitan
Dipolog
Philippine Airlines
Travelogue
Zamboanga
Zest Airways

Other Stuff

Discounts
Free Stuff
Personal

Oh yeah, and here’s how my iGoogle looks like.

How might you use label feeds from Blogger? Leave a comment!

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AVG Solve Error "Invalid Update Control CTF File" in Vista

Posted on 17 January 2009 by Flisha

AVG has been bugging me for an update the last few days. But whenever I would try to update it, it would always give me the error “Invalid Update Control CTF File.”

I hadn’t tweaked any of my settings except regularly cleaning my cookies and caches with CCCleaner. (Speaking of that, my Google Reader’s been acting up since then too, so I’m figuring this must be all related.) However, I haven’t found out the exact relation between the two, so I’m just careful now about what stuff I remove with CCCleaner.

I have, however, been able to start updating my AVG again. If you have the problem, just follow these steps. First of all, if you are not yet doing so, show your hidden files and folders. How?

  1. Go to Windows Explorer
  2. Click on Organize in the toolbar
  3. Click on Folder and Search Options
  4. Click on View (the second tab)
  5. Select “Show Hidden Files and Folders” (it’s a button not a box)
  6. Click on OK

Then we will remove the AVG CTF files that are corrupted. How?

  1. Go to your drive C:
  2. Click on the folder Program Data (it’s a lighter color because it’s hidden)
  3. Click on the folder avg8
  4. Click on the folder update
  5. Click on the folder download
  6. Delete the two CTF files (avginfoavi.ctf and avginfowin.ctf)

Then go to your AVG tray icon and update your AVG. Solved! (AVG should open up more programmer jobs.)

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Update Facebook, Twitter, Plurk Status Via Twhirl Update Clients | Plus Beautiful Twitter Icons

Posted on 02 January 2009 by Flisha

Twitter is my latest obsession. It’s a remarkably convenient way to blurt out thoughts and at the same time be able to personally follow, in real-time, the remarks of those you idolize (or otherwise).

I began to use it only to join the NameCheap Christmas trivia contest, where you win a domain if you tweet the first correct answer of the hour. No, I never did win, but that doesn’t matter now. I feel like I won anyways, having found a whole new playground on the Internet!

At the same I have recently been persuaded to use Facebook and Plurk, both of which are a lot similar to Twitter in that they encourage the short, frequent status blurt-out. So I had to find a way to use just one service to send out one blurt out to them all.

Plurk to Facebook

Thankfully, Plurk can send updates to Facebook. On your Plurk account, just go to My Account, click on the Facebook tab,  and integrate the two apps.

Twitter to Facebook

Facebook has an application that can automatically pull in your latest tweets. Just go to this part of Facebook, and follow all necessary instructions.

Twitter to Plurk (and Vice Versa)

Unfortch, Twitter doesn’t offer this service. So you will have to use an external app to connect the two. Feedtweeter is the wonderful website that does this. Except that it’s invite-only and you have to have an invite code to use it. However, there are a lot floating around the web, and I found a code that worked under two minutes. So just search for one and I am sure you will be using Feedtweeter in no time.

Twitter On Your Desktop

Lastly, I don’t like to keep the Twitter website open all the time on my browser. Besides, it doesn’t refresh automatically. I first tried to use Twitteroo, since it’s recommended on the Twitter website. But it’s not so great. It pulls in the latest updates, but for some reason or another, I could not post from Twitteroo to Twitter, even though no error message ever showed up. So, anyway, I had to uninstall the app.

I would use Twitterrific in an instant, but it’s only for the Mac, and I’m on a PC. Boo! Thankfully, I found Twhirl, and it’s a really great desktop app. It not only allows you to use your Twitter account, but you can also use your Identi.ca, Laconi.ca, Friendfeed and Seismic accounts (not that I have those, and am not interested so far).

So with this kind of setup, all I have to do is update my status through Twhirl, and it sends my tweets straight to Facebook and Plurk. Easy enough, huh?

Plug Your Twitter Account

So what else is there to do now but to tell the world that you’re on Twitter? It is so very easy to just put a link on your blog or website, but someone’s made it a lot easier to advertise.

Hongkiat just compiled a list of beautiful Twitter icons and buttons for you to post on your blog or website, utterly free! The Twitter icon you see above belongs to one of the sets in his post.

I am so loving this Twitter origami graphic and I am probably going to use it on my blog! Heh.

So what are you doing still here? Follow me on Twitter already!

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Enable WLAN on the SE W960i

Posted on 06 September 2008 by Flisha

Yes I have got myself a new phone. Does the happy dance!

It’s the Sony Ericsson Walkman phone, W960i. Not my first choice, but I couldn’t afford the W980, hehehe.

It’s my first high-end phone, and I am very excited to start making Java applications for it! :-) (Thesis, thesis…)

This unit cost me P18,000 (about $400) at 168 COMM, Greenhills and comes with a year’s store warranty. I better take care of this then hahaha, and sell it right before a year happens. (Gadgets seem to always fail in my hands after a year’s handling, or sometimes even less!)

It’s a very sleek model, it has a very glossy finish. It looks a lot, lot better in actuality than on this image I got from the SE website. This is my first SE phone also, by the way. I’m a Nokia fan, but I was using the extremely ugly-looking Samsung E250 for almost a year now (my boyfriend stole my pretty Nokia 6151 in exchange for his crappy phone, what could I do, I love him! His phone envy was seriously threatening our relationship, so I gave in. Hekhekhek. He’s lucky I’m not phone-crazy.)

I needed a Walkman series phone because my thesis deals with mobile sound, and everyone seems to concur, SE delivers the best audio among mobile phones. I was in love with the W760i for its GPS and accelerometer, gosh my Java brain was drooling with the potential applications I could create for it hehehe. It was cheap, too, at only P14,000 or $312. But when I saw the actual unit on sale, it was pretty darn ugly. Like a bumble bee radio. That’s what it looked like. So I gave it a pass. Anyways my thesis doesn’t really need neither the GPS nor the accelerometer. But damn I am gonna buy it later this year or right after I finish my thesis, ‘coz I wanna play with that ugly bug!! Heheheh.

Ended up buying the SE W960i for its wifi capabilities. I was drooling over that too, hehehe. Thinking of being able to freely surf on all the hotspots in Manila, ooooh, it’s making my skin tingle with anticipation. And I can make it into a modem, as well. So when I am somewhere there’s no hotspot (like Gim’s room in Dapitan), I can just surf via Smart 3G and let my laptop receive my phone’s wifi signal! Yay! No need for the overpriced prepaid SmartBro Plug and Play device (P3,800 or $85).

So. Had a bit of difficulty setting up wifi on my W960i today. The Internet wasn’t very helpful, no tutorials around. So for anyone’s who’s wondering how I got my WLAN to work, here’s how I did it.

Firstly, I have the WRT54GC Linksys router. My security settings were WPA 2 Personal, encryption AES. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get my W960i to connect to my router. It would be able to sense the presence of my router (shows up when I scan for wifi networks) but it would always ask me for the WEP key. Of course I didn’t have a WEP key since I was using WPA.

I tried to change my router settings from WPA to WEP, but my phone still wouldn’t connect even with the new settings, so if you’re thinking of trying this, just don’t. It won’t work.

What did work was for me to totally disable the security settings on my router, meaning no authentication whatsoever. It became a hotspot, everyone could connect to it. Once I had done that, my W960i was successfully able to connect to the WLAN and surf normally.

Now of course I couldn’t keep my router unsecure like that forever. So I returned it to it’s original settings, WPA 2 Personal, AES encryption. Once that was done, of course the W960i couldn’t connect again. By this time, the unsecure wireless connection had already been saved as the default WLAN connection on the W960i. All I had to do was create a new account, using the original (scanned) SSID, via the Internet account wizard, and there I was able to specify that this account used WPA instead of WEP and I was able to key in my AES encrypted passkey instead of the nonexistent WEP key.

And from then on, I’ve just been using this new account to securely connect to the Linksys WRT54GC router and surf on the W960i.

Okay, recap:

1. Disable security settings on your router. Open it, no authentication.
2. On your W960i, go to Menu –> Tools –> Control Panel –> Connections –> WLAN
3. Tap on Scan
4. Select your newly opened wifi connection and tap on connect (this will be saved as DefaultWifiAccount)
5. Your W960i should now be connected to the WLAN and be able to browse the Internet
6. Go back to your router and replace the new settings with the original settings (mine were WPA 2 Personal, AES encryption)
7. On your W960i, go to Menu –> Tools –> Control Panel –> Connections –> WLAN
8. Tap on More
9. Tap on New Account
10. Create Account Name (any name you like)
11. Select Network Name or SSID (just tap on the find button to locate your wifi connection and then select it)
12. Edit the Security field (WPA Personal)
13. Leave Infrastructure as Network Mode
13. Press Next
14. Choose Data Encryption (mine was AES)
15. Enter Passphrase (whatever your key on the router)
16. Save it!
17. Now when you want to use your WLAN, go to Menu –> Tools –> Control Panel –> Connections –> WLAN
18. Tap on Connect
19. Select your new account (not the DefaultWifiAccount)
20. Start surfing on your W960i!

P.S. Your PC should be connected to your router via cable while configuring the router settings so you won’t lose your wireless connection.

Hope this is helpful for anyone struggling with the WLAN on the W960i. Happy surfing!

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How to Use a GoDaddy Domain with Blogger

Posted on 21 July 2008 by Flisha

Had a bit of trouble setting up the domain I impulsively bought last night so I decided to create a tutorial for all of you who might be thinking of setting up a GoDaddy domain with Blogger.

First, log in your GoDaddy account. Then, hover your mouse over the Domains tab and click on My Domains.

That will bring you to the Domains page. Click on your domain name. That will bring you to the page below. Click on Total DNS Control and MX Records.

You should now be inside the Domain Manager. You will be modifying one and adding another CNAME here. Do not delete or alter your A Record (Host). (Some tutorials will tell you to do that, but it will only cause trouble later on.)

Modify the CNAME for the host (alias) named www and point it to ghs.google.com. This means that if a user types in www.yourdomain.com, Google will dynamically point the user to any Google server that’s available and loads your page fastest.

So now your www.yourdomain.com should work fine upon publishing in Google (it won’t yet, you haven’t set up Blogger yet). But what if a user decides to just type yourdomain.com, without the www prefix? It will probably load up the GoDaddy parked website. So you have to add another CNAME with the host as yourdomain.com and point it also to ghs.google.com.

And that is all we have to do on the GoDaddy front. Let’s now move on to your Blogger account. Login to your Blogger account, select your blog, and go to the Settings tab and then click on the Publishing subtab.

Right now you’re publishing on Blogger, but we want to use your new domain name so go ahead and click on Custom Domain.

 

Okay, that will bring you to the page below.

On the same page, click on Switch to Advanced Settings, like in the screenshot below.

On the Advanced Settings page, type your domain name in the box. Don’t forget the www prefix. Then press the Save Settings button.

  

Now your domain which is www.yourdomain.com should be working. However the URL yourdomain.com is probably still parked at GoDaddy. Let’s remedy that, shall we? Check the checkbox that will allow Google to redirect yourdomain.com to www.yourdomain.com, like in the screenshot. Then Save Settings again.

 

Voila! Now both ways of typing in your URL are working! Yay!

Okay no. It might not work RIGHT away. Or maybe it will. This one: www.yourdomain.com will probably work right away. But this one: yourdomain.com might take a few minutes to an hour or maybe more, not sure. So if it’s not working, give it a couple of hours.

Don’t go tweaking all your other settings in vain. Don’t listen to people telling you to delete your A record, forward this, redirect that… Because I did and it caused me a lot of headache last night! Until I figured out the meaning of patience. Hahaha.

Good luck!

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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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