Personal

Now with Piwik Analytics

About two and a half weeks ago I disabled Google Analytics for my site. Today I have installed and configured Piwik . Since there is very little traffic to the site in general these days and this is my fault for not posting anything, I'm hoping this little post might spark a visitor or two so that I can get a better idea of piwik interface.

I'm hoping to have a more indepth review posting about piwik in the future. But until then people are just going to continue to have to be patient while I continue doing wedding "stuff".

I'm still Alive... this site is now Google Analytics free

Sorry for not posting for while, like I said back in March I might not be focusing much on my blog this year because for personal reasons.

Regardless, I wanted to let everyone know that I have decided to remove the Google Analytics from my site. After the whole NSA, PRISM thing and how it relates to Google's information gathering, I didn't feel right using it on my site. I want my readers to feel safe about reading what (little) I have to say. (Next step is an SSL cert.)

Am I over reacting? I don't think so. This is something that I've thought about for a while. The key reason for this change is that I respect you, my reader, and your privacy.

For my US readers, I hope you enjoy your 4th of July holiday. Please take a second to remember what "freedom" and "independence" means to you and who is actually "fighting" for it.

More than 1095 days of existence!! Or...Happy third birthday to Scrollingtext!!!


Another 365 have come and gone since the last time I've written one of these birthday posts, and like last time I'm still surprised and still proud that this blog and my creative juices have survived this long.

I will be the first to admit that I'm totally amazed over 17 THOUSAND people from all over the world have dropped by my site and read my writing. Who know what I had to say was that interesting? Knowing that interest is growing really makes me want to continue improving my writing and finding more interesting projects to explore. Last year Scrollingtext saw a little more than 10 thousand people - there’s been an amazing amount of growth over the last year, and I think I'm going to make it a personal goal to continue this trend.

The five most popular posts for the year are:

  • PXE Network Boot VirtualBox, PT 2 – This one has been up here for a long time. Seeing this in the top 5 makes me think I should think about doing follow-up posts on VirtualBox. Apparently people find this helpful.
  • Using curl and a user agent string for web scraping – I had no idea that web scraping would be so popular. Maybe I should write a follow-up article for this one too.
  • Project Euler: Problem 5 – The biggest thing for me about this post was learning about lcm's. As has been pointed out to me in the comments for Problem 12, and as a statement about programming in general, understanding the problem and knowing the right algorithm (or two) that solve it is more than half the battle.
  • Project Euler: Problem 4 – I think this one takes the cake for most comments on a single post. Oh and OJ, I was just reading over those comments and I think I picked up on your subtle optimization. Nice little trick!
  • Project Euler: Problem 12 – I was really proud of this post. I spent a lot of time and energy learning how to use the State Monad to get the problem to run and the result was totally worth the effort.

Things I've learned:
For the last year I've had an actual programming job, and within that job I've learned a lot of python programming tricks and idioms - some of which I know have carried over into my personal style. My playing around with Haskell as also affected my style of programming. My boss can identify my code on sight because I use fewer variables than my co-workers. So in a way I've learned that everything I do, both at work and on my own, are connected. The time spent thinking about Project Euler problems and writing that code may not directly translate to what I do at work, but it definitely has an effect on the code I end up writing at work (and the quality of that code).

No retrospective post would not be complete without the “Thank yous.” First, thank you to my girlfriend , Kelsey. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be able to properly articulate my thoughts to the world. And secondly thank you to the 17 thousand people who visited the site last year, all the people who visited in the previous two, and everyone who keeps coming back. Having a place where I can post what I'm currently working on in my spare time is a nifty thing. But having people actually read it makes it so much cooler! So thank you to everyone who's ever read something on my site, where ever you are now.

On that note, Happy 3rd birthday Scrollingtext. Here’s to another year and hopefully many more.

** Photo copied from here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebelbeb/5244753318/

Two Year Anniversary


Even though the actual anniversary was a little over two months ago, I see no reason not to talk about it and do some celebrating. I am absolutely amazed by how many people viewed my blog this past year. Below I've included the numbers for both this past year and the year before, for comparison’s sake. You should go and check those out. Don't worry, I'll wait.

Done? Good. I am really excited about these numbers. You might have noticed that my readership multiplied by almost 10 in one year. It's especially cool to see that over 20% of my readers are returning visitors.

I'm also really excited for this year, as I have a few ideas that I can't wait to turn into posts. Look for posts discussing Git pre-commit hooks, applying formal logic to practical programming, and more effective methods of Python error checking. Good things are coming.

Most Popular Posts For Last Year:
pxe-network boot virtualbox -pt 2 : Much like last year, I'm really surprised that this post made it into the top five. Mostly because I just appended some things that the original author didn't include. I guess a lot of people are still trying to figure this problem out.

Project Euler : Problem 5 : Sixteen comments. The coolest thing regarding this post was learning about the lowest common multiple math function.

Project Euler : Problem 4: THIRTY-SIX comments! I really have nothing more to say to that. Alright, I lied. I will also say the comment from Gary Campbell with the very efficient operations for getting a sum of a list was a real winner.

Project Euler : Problem 6: I believe this is the first time that agf (as he/she comments here) started posting comments on my blog. Luckily for me he/she hasn't stopped.

Using curl and a user agent string for web scraping: I guess webscraping is a hot topic in this day and age. I'm a little surprised by this, but am happy to be able to provide some help for people trying to figure it out.

Highlights:
Getting the comment from Dirkjan Ochtman , the maintainer of the couchdb-python project, was particularly cool. It really gave me a sense of being connected to a project, lead me to hang out on the mailing list for the better part of a year, and even helped out with trouble shooting a bug.

It was so awesome seeing all of the Project Euler answers readers posted in different languages. Thanks for sharing everyone! It’s interesting to me that I get more comments and discussion interaction from readers for getting a wrong answer than getting the right one. Does anyone have any ideas of why that might be?

Things learned:
I got a wild hair to change hosting providers. Though it was a hellish process, I learned a lot. Next time I switch, (if I ever do again) those lessons will make it a lot easier.

People really seemed to like seeing the Project Euler stuff in multiple languages. I think that readers also enjoyed seeing the performance numbers for the languages as well.

I've never forgotten that I started this blog as a bit of a lark, and it's just awesome to see that other people are starting to check it out and enjoy it as much as I do. Happy Birthday Scrollingtext.org.

If you made it this far down into the article, hopefully you liked it enough to share it with your friends. Thanks if you do, I appreciate it.

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