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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Tech Tips

Kindle Touch: Embracing e-Reading

by Ken Newquist / November 29, 2012

I bought a Kindle Touch over the summer for two reasons: 1) I wanted to take a bunch of books with me on vacation, and didn't want to pack four hardcover novels and 2) I was jealous of my daughter's Kindle.

StarGirl, age 9, got the Kindle Touch from her grandparents for Christmas and spent the next six months devouring books on it. Early in the summer the family went to Sandy Hook, N.J. for the day, and I decided to give it a try. I was curious about how well it held up in direct sunglight, which is something my iPad has a notoriously difficult time with.

Random Mac OS X Lion Fixes: Mac Mail, GPG, Finder Sidebars

by Ken Newquist / October 2, 2012

When it comes to operating systems, I'm not an early adopter. Part of this is work -- our support for the most recent Mac operating system tends to lag a few months behind the official release as we wait for software and network partners to replace upgrades that run with the OS. I'm also gun shy when it comes to upgrading my core operating system; when I have things working the last thing I want to do is break it.

Integrating Twitter into Drupal 7 ... without RSS

by Ken Newquist / September 25, 2012

One of my goals for the Nuketown 7 redesign project was to tightly integrate social media options into it. In particular I wanted to be able to capture all of that microcontent -- the quick movie and book reviews, the game news, the retweets -- that the site currently misses and incorporate it into the design. The key here isn't that I'm simply trying to post tweets about new articles; I want to make microcontent an integral part of the site.

To do that the tweets needed to be captured as nodes, which would then allow me to manipulate and display them however I see fit. I accomplished this by creating a "microcontent" content type and then setting up the Feeds module to import tweets from my NuketownSF account via RSS.

Naturally once I got this working Twitter deprecated RSS feeds. As of March 2013, you'll no longer be able to use them ... and Nuketown's microcontent import would cease to function.

Fortunately I have a Plan B: the Twitter module. When I started building out Nuketown7 I'd considered using this module, but it had two drawbacks:

    Tablets at the Table, 2011 Edition

    by Ken Newquist / May 31, 2011

    When the iPad hit a little over a year ago, there was a flurry of posts in RPG circles about tablet gaming. Since then we haven’t seen a lot of talk about them – I’m not sure if folks grew bored with the topic, or if they’ve now become so common place that they’re not worth commenting on any more.

    cnn.com: Return of the Commodore 64

    by Ken Newquist / May 12, 2011

    The Commodore 64 was the second computer I owned. The first was a Timex Sinclair (an ancient bit of technology that used a tape recorder for storing programs, and had a too-small, inflexible chicklet keyboard. Of course, it's big advantage was that it was mine -- while my mom taught me to program on an Apple II+, the Timex was the computer that I wrote my first original programs on.

    The Commodore was a huge leap leap forward. For one, I got to hook it up to the spiffy new color TV I got for Confirmation. For another, it had an external floppy drive! No more having to carefully advance through the tape recorder, looking for exactly the right number to execute my program at. And the Commodore 64 had an amazing 64 kilobytes of memory, which made it ideal as a gaming platform for one of my all time favorite computer rpgs: Ultima II.

    Follow Friday for Sept. 9

    by Ken Newquist / September 20, 2009

    Two days late (and a tweet or two short), here are my Follow Friday picks:

    • @make Notes about awesome DIY projects you could be doing if only you had time. And skill. And tools. #followfriday
    • @easdnewsflash Easton Area School District on Twitter. #followfriday
    • @ChattyDM Because he never stops talking & yet still has plenty of good things to say. #followfriday

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