Chris M. Lindsey

Dad. Assistant City Manager. Surviving.

Category: How To Page 1 of 2

Backing Up Twitter with WordPress

Last week I found out about an updated WordPress plugin that let’s you archive your Twitter feed within WordPress. The plugin: Ozh’ Tweet Archiver.

I’ve already put it to use with my own Twitter archive here. I’m using the Hemingway theme for the moment, but Ozh already released a theme that looks like the new Twitter profile that I might utilize.

Ozh’s plugin only imports the most recent 3,200 tweets (thanks for that restriction, Twitter), and he just posted a way to use your Twitter archive to import your previous tweets. That wasn’t available last week, so I used the Advanced CSV Importer plugin to take the csv file from my Twitter archive and put those older tweets into the WordPress database.

This plugin is a really good way to maintain a usable archive of your tweets. Twitter might not always be around, plus, this is your writing, store it on your own website! Thanks, Ozh, for your hard work on this.

How To Control Information Overload

The Harvard Business Review has a good (and long) article entitled, “Death by Information Overload.”  They provide a good overview on information overload (be it email, social network-related, and regular information/reading/processing overload).  They also provide a few suggestions, but the lifehackers of us have already tried these solutions.

I have to admit, I’ve recognized I am becoming more overloaded, and I’m using Evernote to help out with that some (the article mentions TheBrain).  It is a tough hill to climb.

How To: Fix Red Eye with The GIMP

Got lots of photos that have red eye that you would like to fix?  The GIMP to the rescue.

The GIMP (The GNU Image Image Manipulation Program) is an open source image editor.  It’s almost a free version of Adobe’s Photoshop.  While it may look different, The GIMP is just as powerful as the expensive Photoshop.

GIMP Guru has a lot of excellent tutorials for The GIMP, but the one I have found the most helpful is Removing Red Eye with The GIMP.

How To: Get Friends’ Birthdays on RSS or iCal

Something I’ve always wanted was an RSS feed of my friends’ birthdays in Facebook.  You see, I don’t login to Facebook everyday, but I do open Google Reader (my RSS reader of choice) everyday.  And the only way (until now) to see who’s birthday is today is to login.

But now, problem solved!

The Facebook application is fbCal, and it is magnificent.  You install it like any other application with Facebook, and it creates 4 different feeds you can use in any application you like (iCal and RSS feeds for both birthdays and events).  Snazzy!

Link: Howto Pull an All-Nighter

In honor of my all-nighter tonight, I am posting a link to a great howto: How to pull an all-nighter. This is good stuff, I follow most of these tips.

Howto: Using Firefox 3 While in Beta

I’ve been using Firefox 3 for about a month now, using the same method Lifehacker explains in this article, with Portable Firefox 3.  This allows you to keep your normal Firefox 2 install and not have to install Firefox 3 until it comes out of beta.

BTW, Firefox 3 is absolutely amazing.  The speed is incredible, especially with the javascript heavy web applications I always use, like Gmail, Google Reader, and Remember the Milk.

And second BTW, PortableApps is amazing also.  It keeps me from having to install the plethora of open source applications I use periodically, leaving me with a slender hard drive with fewer applications installed.

How To: Highlight Author Comments in WordPress

I recently realized that my new theme doesn’t display author comments in a different color than regular comments, so I struck out to fix the issue.

I regard author comment highlighting as a major feature or lack thereof for any theme. It should be mandatory, as it makes it easy to scan and find the original author’s comments. It also keeps a rude commenter from posting under your name and having readers believe it is actually your comment. You could also use colored comment highlighting on a multi-author blog to note comments by writers from the site who didn’t actually write said post.

Anyways, on to the details.

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How To: Remove Header From First Page in OpenOffice

I do all of my school papers in (for more on OpenOffice, look in Wikipedia) these days, specifically in OpenOffice Writer (the open source equivalent of Microsoft Word). I come upon the same problem fairly frequently, so I am posting my solution here for everyone.

Many paper formatting guidelines call for no header on the first page, with a header that includes the page number (and possibly other information, including name and professor) on subsequent pages. While it may seem difficult to do this in OpenOffice Writer, it is rather easy.

Create a header as your normally would; usually this is by clicking Insert -> Header -> Default and then Insert -> Fields -> Page Number. You should see your header on all pages of your document, including the first page.

Now, place the cursor within the first page of your document (ie- click within the first page of the document and then make sure you see a blinking cursor on the first page), and then select from the menu Format -> Styles and Formatting. Select the fourth icon at the top of the dialog box (if you hover over it, it says “Page Styles”). Now, double-click on “First Page”.

Once you double-click on “First Page”, the header on the first page will magically disappear, while keeping the header on each subsequent page intact.

For even more customizability, you can create an entirely different header for the first page instead of leaving it completely off.

To do this, again make sure your cursor is inside the first page of the document. Then click Insert -> Header -> First Page. Now, a header will appear on the first page of your document and you can place any text or fields (page number, etc.) within this first page-only header.

If you have any problems with this quick fix for headers in OpenOffice Writer, please leave a question in the comments section below and I will try my best to answer your query.

Also, look forward to more of these How To’s (for Open Office and other applications) in the near future.

Lastly, if you would like to try out OpenOffice, you can download it for free from the OpenOffice website or your can download a portable version here which you can unzip locally and delete after trying out this amazing piece of community-produced software.

How To: Change Location Bar Search in Firefox

You might not have noticed that in Mozilla Firefox, when you type a word or words into the location bar (instead of a URL), Firefox sends you to the first Google search result for that term. This is a pretty neat feature, but I don’t use it that often, mainly because many times I need to look down the list of results to find the link I need.

A search I do use often is searching Wikipedia. Want to change Wikipedia to be the default search in the location bar? Vanilla.

In Firefox, type about:config in the location bar and press enter. Now, in the ‘Filter’ search, type “keyword.URL” without the quotation marks. Right-click on the “keyword.URL” preference and select ‘Modify’. In the box enter the following link:

And press enter or click ‘OK’. Now open another tab, and in the location bar (where you usually enter enter “Firefox” (again, no quotes) and press enter. This will take you to the Wikipedia page on Mozilla Firefox.

Now, say you want to keep Google as the default search in your location bar, but still want to search Wikipedia quickly. Easy solution, we’ll create a keyword search.

To do this, we’ll create a new bookmark. Click ‘Bookmarks’ in the file menu at the top of your Firefox window, click ‘Organize Bookmarks,’ and then click ‘New Bookmark…’. In the ‘Name’ field enter “Wikipedia Keyword Search”, in the location field enter this link:

In the ‘Keyword’ field enter something like “w” or “wp”. Now click ‘OK’ and close the Bookmark Manager. In the location bar, enter:

wp Firefox


w Firefox

And watch as the Mozilla Firefox article appears.

How To: Use A Header Image in Your WordPress Theme

Occasionally you will find a WordPress theme that you like, but it does not allow use of a logo or graphic in place of the default text link. You might want to jazz up the theme, or throw on your company’s logo.

header with only text

This is a relatively easy problem to fix, but you have to get your hands a bit dirty and change some code. I’ll try to make this as simple as possible, after the jump!

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