Archive for July, 2004

July 30th, 2004

Shopping books for the trip

Today was fine day for me as a bibliophile: I found seven interesting books from the four bookstores I visited. Italo Calvino, Philip K. Dick and others…

I have currently seven and half unread books for the nine days of travelling. It may be enough, but I’ll pop in to all bookstores that I can find during the trip. One good thing in travelling that every bookstore has different selection in the bargain basement, and sometimes you can find real gems.

After I have read these book, the fourth bookshelf is most probably filled up to its capacity, and it’s time to visit IKEA to get yet another shelf. We can fit at least one of those into our apartment, so I can continue reading for a couple of years. If I ever start nomadic way of life, I’ll probably miss my books most. The solution is to get filthy rich, buy a mansion and put the books there under supervision of an English butler. Until that happens, I’ll continue to grow my collection.

What do you think? What is the current number of the books in the shelves?

Feeds with WP?

While playing with shortstat, I found out that my error page (404) generates also stats, as it is based on PHP and it includes the generic footer. This is a nifty feature and I immediately found a few issues.

Some robots are trying to access /journal/atom.xml, /journal/rss.xml and journal/index.rdf — and they are promptly receiving 404. I fixed two of these, atom.xml and rss.xml, with simple rewrite rules (see below), but I don’t grasp what I should return for index.rdf. Any help is appreciated.

If you’d like to do the same, consider using the following rewrite rules in .htaccess file in your WP blog directory.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^rss.xml$ wp-rss2.php [L]
RewriteRule ^atom.xml$ wp-atom.php [L]
July 29th, 2004

Since last visit for shortstat

Do you visit your shortstat several times a day? I do, and thus I got a nifty idea for improving the system for showing me the number of visits between my visits to the stats.

The idea is simple. Some IP addresses are marked as admin addresses in the configuration.php. Then if the shortstat visitor comes from one of these addresses, the index.php sends a cookie that contains the current timestamp.

Later, when a user comes with that cookie, the timestamp is retrieved from the cookie and new timestamp is put into the place — to mark the current visit. Now we know the timestamp of the previous visit and can dig hits and unique hits after that timestamp and show them in the stats display. Simple, eh?

The cookie is stored for two months and renewed every time I visit the stats page. Other visitors do not see this information. Of course, it could be made configurable whether you allow visitors to track their own visits or not.

The only bad thing — for you — is that I’ve tweaked shortstat a lot, and I’m unsure would it still be possible to include this feature as a patch without breaking the existing functionality. I have corrected a lot of small coding mistakes, such as “blah $foo[bar] blah” into correct format of “blah {$foo['bar']} blah”, and optimised the code to use common utility functions.

I haven’t heard anything from Shaun — no reply to my email or any comments in the blog — so I’m tempted to make a new release of my own. I’m not really sure should I do it or not, as I really have other things to do, but on the other hand it would be real shame not to release these improvements to the public.

In the long run the system should go through some major overhauls, as the database schema could be optimised for smaller footprint and better performance.

July 28th, 2004

Going to travel in Finland

I’m going to be away for the whole next week, travelling in the home country. The weather got bad already before the trip, coincidentally on the same exact day (yesterday) that I got the last confirmation for the trip…

Our aim is to visit Asuntomessut in Heinola, some 130 km up north from Helsinki. Asuntomessut is an annual fair for homes (asunto = apartment, domicile, dwelling, flat, habitation, home, house, residence etc., and messut = fair). Maybe habitation fair could be a good enough translation.

The next thing would be finding lodging somewhere in middle Finland. Funnily enough, there are no big cities between Jyväskylä and Oulu, and that would be the best area based on distances — we are visiting Oulu on Sunday.

The rest of the week is still a bit hazy, but we are going to trek for a day in Kuusamo, if the weather is decent, pick some strawberries and attend a wedding. Very Finnish summer holiday plan.

July 27th, 2004

Front page

If you entered this blog directly, without visiting front page, check it out, too.

I’m quite proud with the images there. During the summer, you can see only the flower, but later in the autumn and in the winter, the image changes accordingly.

Funnily enough, all images are from Finland — and this whole site is about global nomadism… Our nature is so picturesque and photogenic here. Come and see!

July 26th, 2004

Visual update

As regular visitors may notice, I have updated the visual image of the site. The new identity differs in certain extent from the old one, but the layout and order of items have been kept the same — at least mostly.

The first visuals were put together in a hurry and the result was a little bit clumsy. One could say that it looked like any other blog. Hopefully this layout differentiates the site from the mass of average blogs…

If you find any issues or would like to chat about the new visuals, don’t hesitate to comment!

If you are still seeing grey page backgrounds and red borders around content area, press Ctrl+F5 to reload everything. Mac users, please refer to your browser’s manual for reloading everything.

A couple new destinations

I added two new destinations to Travel Tips / Distinguished Destinations / Europe: Kunsthaus Zürich and Hundertwasser Haus in Vienna.

July 22nd, 2004

ShortStat languages

Updated Jul 27, please download the file again. Read comments for more information.

There are several spelling mistakes in the original ShortStat languages file, such as: United Satates, Swedish/Findland. Some language names were written incorrectly, for example, Slovack instead of Slovak and Faeroese instead of Faroese. One major language, Arabic, was missing completely.

I have updated the file and it can be downloaded at Change the name of the file to languages.php and upload it to your site, replacing the old version of the file.

If you are interested in adding new languages to the file, study ISO 639 language codes and check the correct spelling with alternatives from