This site is hosted by Dreamhost. It used to be on Lycos, but I moved in February 2006.

The blog was originally powered by b2. Sure, it was OK, it did the job, but it wasn’t terribly fancy. And when the comment spam started seriously (sometime round the end of 2003), it didn’t manage that well. So…

Following much observation of the alternatives, I plunked for WordPress. Which is open source, PHP and MySQL based and free. And fantastic. For those keeping score, I’m currently using WP 2.7 Coltrane, with a selection of themes, which can be activated from the list below, or from the sidebar.

Boxy Blue
My current default theme; a nice, plain 2 column theme. I particularly like the way the sidebar tidies itself up. Activate this theme
Shaded Grey
Another simple 2 column theme, this time in dark blue and grey. Pretty worksafe. Activate this theme
WordPress Default (Kubrick)
A slightly modified version of the standard WP theme. Activate this theme
WordPress Classic
Another old one, this was the theme that the original versions of WP shipped with, modified slightly. Because I didn’t like the colour or the way that the letters were too close together. Activate this theme
Another fairly worksafe one, with plenty of automatic optional stuff in the background. Me likes. Activate this theme
Nice, plain and easy to read. Job done. Activate this theme
A very simple looking, fairly worksafe one. And easy on the eyes. Activate this theme
Identification band 2.0 – centered Boyish style
A very nice, three column theme, with some funky layout options. Makes the most of the screen. Activate this theme
As plain as plain can be. Let’s be honest, you’re not going to get much more worksafe than this. Activate this theme
A nice, rounded theme in green and red. Activate this theme
Drunk Loser
With a name like that, how could I not try it? Activate this theme
WP MegaPress
Hey, it’s something different, ain’t it? Activate this theme
Pity about the orange, but the layout is quite nice and the header is good.Activate this theme
A port of a popular theme. This may require some playing about with before I’m happy with the layout.
Rod’s Command Line Interface
Just a bit of fun; a command line way of blog browsing. You want worksafe, this is about as worksafe as they come. Activate this theme

There are a lot of themes that came bundled in with the latest WP upgrade; I may get round to adding theme switcher to all of them, but I may not. If you get stuck on a theme you don’t like, simply click on the default theme link in the sidebar.

I also use a number of plugins. They are:

Anti-spam plugins:

Kitten’s Spam Words
This plugin adds a ‘Delete comments as spam’ button to the comments mass editing page. When used to delete unwanted comments, the email address, url, and IP address, and any links in the comment body, will be added to your spam words list. Future comments matching any of those items will automatically be moderated.
Spam Word Block
If activated, any comments that contain a Spam word will be refused immediately. This checks the comment text, author, URL, email, and IP (so, you can even block IP’s).
Turn off comments
Temporarily turn off comments (and any other posts) on your blog. This could be useful when you are getting comment flooded etc. A near-last line of defence, and one which I don’t have to resort to that much. Any more.
Shut off blog
Temporarily shut off your blog. The last line of defence. I’ve only had to use it a couple of times, when the spam is really bad.

Presentation plugins:

Theme Switcher
Allows the reader to choose from a selection of themes.
Get Recent Comments
Displays as many recent comments as you want where ever you want them. I’ve got the ten most recent about two thirds of the way down the sidebar.
Search Hilite
When someone is referred from a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or WordPress’ own, the terms they search for are highlighted with this plugin. Handy for, suprisingly, searching.
A handy way of embedding a contact form into the site. Saves writing my email address all over the show.
Adds linknotes to a post. Or footnotes, as we call them in the old english.
Amazon Media Manager
Powers the wee “recently read” thing on the sidebar, and I’ll probably do something more with it. When I can be bothered.

Statistics Plugins:

A behind the scene stat counter. Just to allow me to keep track of where yez are all comming from.
Shows some basic statists on posts/comments. The output is here.


WordPress Navigation Bar
This powers the wee navigation tags in the header of the blog in the WordPress Default theme.

External services:
The standard way to keep track of lots of links; it is embedded on some of the themes.
A nice, simple way of gaining huge amount of data on everyone who visits here.

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