Posted by & filed under General.

Finally I am getting around to releasing some plugins I have created for WordPress. The first one is the New User Approve plugin.

New User Approve is a WordPress plugin that allows a blog administrator to approve a user before they are able to access and login to the blog. I currently use it on my private blog and it serves it’s purpose wonderfully.

I have created a page on my blog that I will track any progress I make on it. I wanted to release it to the public to find out what everybody thinks and perhaps which new features to add. That and it most likely is not perfect so I would like input on how I can improve it.

I’m going to put it up on the WordPress plugin repository. There are a few things I need to add to make that possible.

Update: No more comments will be allowed. If you are having issues with the New User Approve plugin, please post in the New User Approve forums on WordPress.org.

Posted by & filed under General.

I’ve spent the last few nights getting my Picklewagon WordPress Theme ready for release. The reason why I am releasing it is because that is what WordPress is all about. Everybody releases plugins and themes they have worked on and contributes to the community. Perhaps somebody out there would like to use it.

I have submitted it to the wordpress theme directory. I will let you all know when it does get approved.

I built the theme on top of what I believe is the best theme available for WordPress: Sandbox. But the downside of Sandbox is it’s just a plain template. So I used to add styling to all the template files. That way my theme inherits all of the benefits that the Sandbox theme provides.

Another reason I created my own theme is that I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted out there. Now I have one that I can take to where I think a WordPress theme should be. I have lots of cool ideas that I would like to add to the theme, such as an option panel that will allow an admin to easily change the layout, for example.

The most immediate changes that I will be making to it will be providing 2.7 support.

Posted by & filed under Career, Networking, Online Presence.

LinkedIn has been adding lots of new features over the past year. The one that has proven the most useful to me has been the RSS feed allows you to follow updates to your professional network. It is a convenient way to follow any changes made to anybody’s profile that belongs to your network.

Something that would make it even better would be if everybody update their profiles often. It’s really easy to forget about your professional network and your LinkedIn profile until you need to use it.

For those of you who belong to LinkedIn, go to your homepage and find feed and subscribe to it. Not only will you be able to help others more effectively, but when you need to connect with others or find a job, it will make it so much easier because other will know exactly what you need. For those who don’t belong to LinkedIn, make sure you do it when you get a chance.

The groups LinkedIn has added has proven useful as well. It would be great if they also offered RSS feeds for updates made to the groups that you belong to.

It looks like this feature was released in the middle of March. Here are some blog posts that describe it better:

Posted by & filed under Lego.

This weekend I dragged my family to BrickCon 2008 in Seattle. I was very excited to go and it was very good for the most part.

Some of the exhibits were amazing. There was everything from very tall space needle to some awesome medieval scenes. I was hoping there would be some Star Wars Lego scenes but there was none of that.

There were so many people. I was kind of surprised. It was difficult at times to get in to see some of the exhibits. And not enough Lego for sale.

It was fun to go with my family though. It is a lot of fun to build Lego with my daughters. My oldest daughter loved looking for the girls in the scenes. Girls are not found in too many Lego sets.

Here are some of the pictures I took. Enjoy! (link to the set on Flickr)

DSCN2019 DSCN2005

Posted by & filed under iPhone.

My latest project involves writing a program for the iPhone. And I kept on getting caught up on the fact that I can’t share anything about the code I am writing. Or I can’t go to an online community to get help or some pointers to make myself a better programmer.

I was excited to learn today that Apple decided to drop the NDA. Now developers can share details of released software. Hopefully some online communities can be created and thrive because of this announcement.

Posted by & filed under Business Models.

The past few days I have been thinking about the business models of companies that produce different products that I own and use often. At the same time, I can’t help but think of how much better these products would be if these companies changed their business model to be more open.

I love open companies. My definition of an open business model is allowing your customers add to your product by providing a platform to do so. By doing so, the customers that add to the product can benefit by receiving revenue for their contributions. In turn, the companies benefit by having happy, passionate customers and more revenues.

The best example I can think of to illustrate what I am talking about is Google. They have a very healthy business model they have created by monetizing search through advertising. They were smart to open up their ad platform to allow anybody to buy keywords. Another smart thing they did was allowing website owners to monetize their site by including advertising on their own sites. The result: a multi-billion dollar company, happy advertisers and happy website owners. Each party benefited and made money from this model.

I have some companies in mind that I would love to see open things up little. A lot of internet companies have opened up in the past few years. It has been great. But there are still a lot of walled gardens out there. I think this applies to companies outside of the internet industry. Hopefully, I can stick to my plan and give ideas and critique to some companies that I would love to be more “open”.

Posted by & filed under iPhone.

My last two posts have been about my iPhone and how I have a dead strip on it. I promise this will be my last update. It actually turned out well.

I received lots of helpful comments that gave me other options. One in particular was very helpful.  An anonymous commenter mentioned that he went to the Apple Store and they tried to fix it and then gave him a brand new one.

We happened to be near an Apple Store this past weekend so I gave it a shot. The Geniuses first tried to restore it without any luck. Then they said even though it was out of warranty they would replace it for free. Wow! I was totally shocked. Unfortunately it was not a 3G but I’m not complaining. I was trying to think of a reason why they would do this. The only one I came up with was that they could be trying to get rid of inventory. Just speculating though.

It’s experiences like this that make me really like Apple. But I often hear things that make me not like them.

Posted by & filed under iPhone.

So I called Apple support today to ask if they can do anything to fix my iPhone. After waiting on the line for 45 minutes, I finally got some help.

After getting asked the regular questions and if I had done a restore on the phone, they said my phone’s warranty expired a month ago. They would have replaced it. They will fix it for a small fee-$225. I could buy a new 3G iPhone with that money!

Now I am faced with the dilemma of what to do. Do I tough it out and settle for what I have currently? After all, I don’t use the phone itself too much. Do I splurge and get a new iPhone? Or do I wait until a new Android phone comes out? Or just go back to Verizon?

Oh what to do. What to do.

Posted by & filed under iPhone.

Until recently, I have loved using my iPhone. It has been a great device for surfing the internet and other activities, such as getting directions or getting quick stock quotes. The performance of the phone has been not too good.

But now I am experiencing a dead spot on the touch screen. After doing a search, I have found that this is a common problem with the iPhone. Many have described it as a dead strip. Sounds accurate to me. The dead spot on mine does go across the entire screen. As you can imagine it is quite annoying.

The most annoying part is where it is located. I think no matter where it is located it would be annoying. The dead spot is located about half way up the screen. It happens to be right where the 7, 8, and 9 keys are on the phone’s keypad. If you try hard enough, you can get the number you want. A work around I have found is to enter the number in a new contact since it uses a different keypad.

Even more annoying is that I can’t send a text message since the send button happens to be where the dead spot is.

So I am going to call Apple tomorrow and see if they will help me out. I may end up having to visit the genius bar to have them take a look. I’ll let you know what happens. If anybody has any advice, please do tell.

Posted by & filed under Blogging, Programming, Rich Internet Applications, Web Development, WordPress.

I came across some a cool website to create anything from a blog to a company website. Squarespace seems to be trying to bring website building/designing to the masses.

Not yet having tried the software myself, I was very impressed after looking at the video on the site and the features provided. Very impressive. I think I’ll try it out real soon.

So far, I am impressed with how sites are designed. I have been actually working on a more simplistic version of a theme designer for WordPress. Progress is moving along slowly.

The bad thing about Squarespace. It’s not open source. I’ll stick with WordPress as my blogging platform of choice and continue to look for ways to make it easier for everybody to use by creating plugins and looking for other plugins created by the WordPress community.

I do love finding software like this. It forces the web to progress. Hopefully, in the future, I will try out the software and let you know what I think.