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Snow Leopard 10.6.3 Update Woes


In the 10 or so years I’ve been using Macs I can’t remember an Apple software update ever adversely affecting one of the many I’ve owned. That is until the recent 10.6.3 update.

Being a bit of a software-update junkie I installed the standalone 10.6.3 update on my late-2007 24″ iMac within hours of its release. Perhaps I should have heeded the calls of those more level-headed users and waited.


inFocus Social Media Icons


WebTreats have recently released a set of Social Media Icons for all 10 of the inFocus theme colours and provided instructions on how to include them in the sidebar.

Anyone who’s tried this has no doubt noticed that on switching the inFocus theme colour the social media icons in the sidebar may not match the new chosen theme colour. Well, no big deal really. But if you want the icons to match whichever inFocus theme colour you choose, try this.


inFocus WP Theme: Customising WP-PostViews and Efficient Related Posts Plugins


Since switching to WordPress I’ve been using the WP-PostViews and Efficient Related Posts plugins. Although the inFocus theme I use now comes with its own popular posts and related posts widgets I much prefer the functionality of the aforementioned plugins.

For example, WP-PostViews displays popular posts based on post views whereas the inFocus version uses the number of comments to determine a post’s popularity. And while there appears to be little if any difference in how Efficient Related Posts and the inFocus version determine related posts, the latter does so on-the-fly whereas the former pre-determines them, thus reducing the load on the server.


WebTreats inFocus WordPress Theme: Customising the Display of Post Excerpts


Since switching my blog from Blogger to WordPress I’ve been struggling with a new design. I’m pretty savvy with the coding, but if it’s one thing I’m not it’s a designer. Reluctant though I was to use a pre-built theme template I came across the one I’m using now and couldn’t resist. It’s simple yet elegant and in my opinion far superior to anything I’ve seen both in design and functionality.

Of course a template can’t cater for everyone’s needs and I’ve amended the code a bit to suit mine. One particular change I made was the way in which post excerpts are displayed. The theme uses the the_excerpt() function which either uses an explicit excerpt or the first 55 words of the post if one is not provided. I much prefer using WordPress’s <!––more––> quicktag in my posts in conjunction with the the_content(‘Read More’) function.


Accessing localhost and Virtual Hosts Across a Local Network


I have several computers on my local network each with a local server environment provided by XAMPP. As it stands, the local server on each computer can only serve pages stored on that machine. This means that if I have a local site on computer A that I wish to access on computer B I have to replicate that site’s entire folder structure on computer B and on all other computers I want to access the site from.

No big deal really as I currently use ChronoSync to synchronise my site’s folder structure across computers. However, it is possible to have any computer on a local network serve pages that are stored on another computer on that same network. Here’s how.


Google Public DNS: Faster Internet Access?


You may have heard about Google’s recent release of Google Public DNS which, amongst other claims, aims to speed-up your browser’s interaction with DNS servers thereby making the internet appear faster. Well, that’s my interpretation anyway.

Google states that “…Google Public DNS takes some new approaches that we believe offer more valid results, increased security, and, in most cases, better performance.”

I was particularly interested in the possible speed increase after finding these benchmarks where the comparative speed of Google Public DNS (, Level 3 ( and OpenDNS ( were tested.

Using these same DNS servers, here are my results for a handful of sites I visit regularly:


Setting Dimensions of OS X Finder Windows


One small annoyance I have with the OS X Finder is its apparent inability to let me set a default Finder window size. However many times I resize windows with the mouse, the Finder will eventually reset them to some arbitrary dimensions.

If, like me, you find this aspect of the Finder’s behaviour particularly irksome then try this AppleScript.


Outbrain and Blogger Read More Links: A Better Solution

A a couple of days back I posted a workaround for using read more links and Outbrain’s Rating Widget (ORW) in Blogger….
“As you’ve no doubt noticed I use post snippets or read more links on my blog using Blogger’s jump-links code. I’ve also recently added the Outbrain Rating Widget (ORW). Unfortunately, the two don’t play well together as the ORW is always displayed above the read more link and I’d rather it appeared below, or failing that, not at all.”
The workaround I posted isn’t particularly elegant and it has a couple of downsides. Afterwards, I got to thinking that there must be a better way. Well, there is and it’s so deceptively simple and effective that I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t think of it before. (more…)

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