December 5, 2002

I am really happy about how the RookSoft forums are progressing 🙂 Yesterday Jen and I were on it and there were five other people on the forums at the same time as us! And I’m even more glad to see that now people are helping each other and I wouldn’t even have known how to answer some of these questions :p And yes, that *is* my pic but lay off my hair will you? :p As for the question as to how you can have *your* pic as your avatar, it’s simple enough. Upload your pic (maximum 80×80 in dimension and less than 6k in size) to your website so that it can be accessed via a URL (such as and then simply log in to the forums, select the profile option, check the delete this image checkbox at the very bottom under your avatar if you have one selected, submit, then go back to your profile and type in the URL to your image where space is given under the avatar section, submit and you are done 🙂

I did quite a few new releases yesterday since I did a new version of BOB, a brand new release of Nailer and also another build of BlogMan 1.0 Beta 1. Yes, I know that this is like the third or fourth new build of BlogMan 1.0 Beta 1 but since there are no new features and Beta 1 is still very basic, I see no point in changing the beta version number 🙂 Greg tells me that this particular build does actually work with B2 except for a few problems. So we are making progress.

I’ve already received a few bug reports about the wizard in Nailer since it tends to be a bit temperamental on the second run – the settings you enter are saved in an INI file but it doesn’t seem to work just right on a second run. I will fix those things and release a new build of Nailer soon. I’ve also heard that the image selection dialog for Nailer does not appear even under NT4 (not just Win9x) and so I might have to do something different about that too. We’ll see …

Posted by Fahim at 6:06 am  |  1 Comment

December 4, 2002

Duane had a nice idea today – he asked me if I’d considered having a support team for my software. Since this is pretty much a free effort, I am hesitant to ask anybody for a firm commitment to provide support – because I know you will have to do it in your spare time and that might be better utilized in some other way … such as spending it with your family. Plus, sometimes a commitment brings expectations on both sides – the users (and I too probably to an extent) would expect you to be there when needed and you would expect gratitude for what you do :p Unfortunately, neither side sometimes get what they want. So I am hesitant to ask anybody to become part of a support team but if anybody wants to volunteer, I would not say no either. Of course, all of you are free to provide support on a if-I-am-there-I-will-do-it basis as we’ve been doing all along – this is I guess an effort to formalize it a bit more so that even if I am unavailable due to something or other, there is somebody else you might be able to go to.

Stuff is happening thick and fast (sort of :p) on the coding front. I did some fixes on BlogMan but heard from Greg today that nothing at all seems to go out from BlogMan when he either saves or publishes to a B2 server. Now both B2 and Blogger use the BloggerAPI whereas Movable Type (which is what I use to test) uses the MetaBlogAPI in my implementation of BlogMan. So I am beginning to wonder if my implementation of the BloggerAPI is broken. I’ll have to try publishing to my old Blogger account and see if all is well there. I also need to write some documentation for Nailer and put that out there for you all to use but since documentation is a bane of my life, you might expect some reluctance from me :p

BOB is one of those apps which crops up at the most unlikely times :p I often think that I am the only person who is using it and then somebody comes up and requests a feature or a change 🙂 I just heard from a user who wants to use BOB but finds the UI unresponsiveness during an upload (due to the way the Indy FTP components works) to be disconcerting since he’s not sure if the app has stopped responding or if it is still working. I told him that I’d try to get that fixed (at least as far as I can) and get a new build out today. This is actually a problem that I have with all apps using Indy components – it’s there in Blog as well but you don’t notice it most of the time due to the fact that most of the uploaded files are so small. I need to sit down and try to find a workable solution for it but I never seem to have the time…

Posted by Fahim at 6:01 am  |  3 Comments

December 3, 2002

The forums at FirstLust seem to be a definite hit. Quite a few discussions have already started on various topics over there and I keep on posting since I want to get out of the No Flame ranking to the next one :p Incidentally if you are curious about the No Flame thing (there is a topic under the Chat forum about that) – it’s just a ranking system based on how many posts you make and since the imagery used is that of flames (and since flame has another meaning on the Net), I thought it would be funny to create a flame-based ranking system. OK, maybe it’s not *that* funny – but then again, I might be humour impaired :p

I’ve been doing some coding work too. I sort of refurbished Nailer so that the UI would be more informative and let the user know what is happening instead of simply displaying the hour-glass cursor for minutes on end and making you think that the program is stuck. Jen seems to be happy with it and so I think it is about time to release it to the public. Let me get some documentation done and it should be ready to go. Hopefully today but if not, in the next few days.

I also managed to find another proxy server to test out BlogMan with. This one’s called ComTun and was a 30-day trial but since I just wanted to get the proxy authentication stuff sorted out in BlogMan and won’t really need a proxy after that, I think I’m OK with that. Turns out that the original code that I’d used with BlogMan and the Indy HTTP component was correct after all – there was no bug with the proxy settings. It had all been the other free proxy server that I’d been using because I was able to both retrieve posts and publish posts to the server through the proxy using ComTun as the proxy server. So I uploaded a new build (still as BlogMan 1.0 Beta 1 :p) and I hope anybody who wanted to try out BlogMan with a proxy will find that it works for them now. Of course, I totally forgot to fix a few UI defects that Greg had pointed out to me – I keep on meaning to do that but then get caught up in something or other and forget about it. If the proxy stuff works, the next step will be to clean up the UI stuff, add more Blogger API or MetaBlog API supporting servers and add code to hide or show server specific UI elements. Then I should be ready to release the BlogMan 1.0 but I get ahead of myself – let’s do this a step at a time …

Posted by Fahim at 4:46 am  |  1 Comment

December 2, 2002

Open book life

I’ve said before that my life is an open book and that I would write about almost anything here – however, there are certain qualifications to that statement :p While my life is pretty much open, I do hesitate to talk about anything which also involves somebody else because while I might not care about my privacy, I can’t make the same assumption for other people’s privacy. So sometimes I would talk to a friend online and I would want to write about what we discussed here (of course it’s perfectly innocuous stuff – not anything private) but then I’d wonder if they wanted me to talk about anything they said and since I don’t know for certain, I usually don’t write about any of it.

Of course the other thing that I don’t like to discuss here are things dealing with personal life, relationships etc. Especially if they are about stuff that is best left private – I believe that washing dirty laundry in public does no one any good and so don’t talk about certain things here. So while I do say my life is an open book, I guess that is not strictly true. Maybe I should start calling it a half-open book life? :p

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Posted by Fahim at 4:22 pm  |  No Comments

I am sorry about the lack of updates but things have been kind of hectic in my personal life and so I really haven’t had much time for updates or for coding. In fact, at one point I was ready to chuck it all and go into retreat but that is another story :p Anyway, no progress at all on BlogMan I’m afraid since I still haven’t gotten around to finding a good proxy server which supports authentication as well (so that you have to give a username/password to access the Net) but then again, I really haven’t had much time to play with the ones I did download. So once I get that set up, maybe I will be able to figure out if things are working or not. Hmm .. I just had another idea which might work – guess I’ll give that a try too …

In the mean time, I have “officially” switched over to the forums provided so kindly by Jen – thanks Jen, I love you 🙂 The PHPBB forums offers a lot of options for customization of the forums and while the early registrants might not have seen any of this (since I didn’t set it up till yesterday), if you go in now under your Profile options, you will see that you can select from a variety of styles for the board so that it can have a look of your own instead of the rather bland default look :p Plus, I’ve added tons of avatars so that you can suit a picture to go with your entries – and to top it all off, I’ve added a ranking system based on how many posts you’ve made. And that is just the beginning since that’s what I was able to do in one day of customizations :p So I like the new forums – they give me a lot of stuff to play with and based on the participation level so far, I have a feeling that all of you like it too 🙂 So have fun – the forums are there for you to get support and for you to build a community that can help each other and help me develop better software for you 🙂

Posted by Fahim at 5:03 am  |  2 Comments

December 1, 2002

With a little help from my friends …

My announcements of departure (never to be seen again :p) might have been a little premature – while I was indeed hurt and was determined to leave all things Net related behind, I heard from so many friends online (both via comments and through personal e-mails) that I could actually feel the love and I feel I would be an ingrate indeed if I were to turn my back on such a lot of people who wish me well 🙂 Plus, the situation which led to my declarations of departure and doom and gloom has also kind of resolved itself and I can look back on it with a bit more equanimity and a lot less sorrow, anger and pain. So I guess what I mean to say is that you will have to put up with my blathering and verbose style of writing for the foreseeable future and I’ll probably get back to the software development in a few days too – too many things piled up to get to it right now.

Incidentally, does anybody remember Wet, Wet, Wet? I know that The Beatles originally did "With a little help fro my friends" but it’s the cover version by Wet, Wet, Wet that I remember better. But even that has been ages since I’ve heard their version – guess I should go to Kaza and see if I can find it …

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Posted by Fahim at 9:32 am  |  2 Comments

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