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From The Archives Site News

From the archives

When I originally launched this blog back in 2005 I published it using custom blogging software of my own design. I intended this domain to be a little more “professional” or at the very least, less personal than my previous experiments in blogging.

In a time before github (or even git itself for that matter), stackoverflow, composer, etc it was very common for any dev worth their salt to build every component of their website from the ground up as a means to demonstrate their skills.

In July 2007, I decided to relaunch the site on WordPress 2.6. At the time, I considered my previous posts too cringe to archive. After reading through them all, I believe they actually belong here. So I’ve gone through can copy & pasted roughly 30 blog posts from 2005/06. I’ve left them largely unedited, save for some spelling corrections (turns out in-browser spell check has done wonders for my ability to spell correctly).

If you’d like, you can read all the posts in the “from the archives” category. The cool thing about copy&pasting out of archive.org is that all the old links still work.

Here are a few highlights that give a glimpse into the state of the web and geek culture 16 years ago:

  • Internet Security – March 2005
    I talk about two-factor auth (without using the word) as a mythical technology that only the military uses.
  • Episode III: RotS (litterally?) – May 2005
    My Star Wars: Episode III review.
  • phpMyMP3s – May 2005
    phpMyMP3s is one of the coolest things I’ve ever built and I wish the code download still worked. Essentially it was streaming MP3 server written in PHP. I ran this on my home computer in conjunction with dyndns to listen to my home MP3 collection at work.
  • better bandwidth protection: revisited – August 2005
    “Bandwidth theft” is a problem that has largely gone away due to lowering bandwidth costs. But in a time before the likes of imgur random users would link other random users’ content (usually proto-memes) hosted on bandwidth limited servers/services.

    In this post I present a way to essentially timeout links to limit the impact of bandwidth theft.
  • Winnipeg Web Firms – August 2005
    A list of local web shops that existed at the time.
  • Podcasts: what’s on my iPod – October 2005
    The podcasts I was listening to at the time. Some of these even still exist.
  • Parachute Beta is live! – February 2006
    An interesting idea I had for some of an inverse social network for links and only links. TBH I still think this is a decent idea.

    Also, it looks like my original name for this project was “dropbox” – a year before dropbox launched.
  • Summer Styles ’06 – May 2006
    You actually have to look at the archive.org backup of this post to fully appreciate this. If you click the links in the sidebar under “style” (summer ’06, blue, red) you’ll see the the style of the page completely changes, even in the archive itself!
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Site News

ohryan.ca is now surveillance & tracker free

Inspired by Cory Doctorow I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to make this WordPress blog surveillance and tracker free. Internet privacy is something I’ve always cared about, I’m not really sure why it never occurred to me to bring my blog in line.

Here are the steps that I took:

  1. Disabled Cloudflare:
    Cloudflare has a good reputation and I trust that they’re taking the right steps to protect users’ privacy. But after refreshing the backend of the site with the help of SpinupWP I no longer feel like I need Cloudflare’s caching services.
    [my DNS is still hosted with CF, however I am bypassing them for this CNAME]
  2. Disabled Jetpack:
    Jetpack has become a bloated beast of a plugin suite. I noodled around with the settings for about 3 minutes to try to figure out how to disable the tracking – I couldn’t so I just decided to nuke the whole thing.
  3. Disabled Google Fonts
    It almost certainly tracks your IP and possibly other information. So I’ve disabled it. System fonts only.
  4. Installed Embed Privacy Plugin:
    I’ve installed Embed Privacy to block all spotify, youtube, twitter, etc external embeds on page load. Users have to explicitly click the content to see it.
  5. Disabled Comments:
    Not really a privacy reason to disable these per se, I just haven’t really found much comment engagement since approximately as long as Twitter has existed.

The main side effect of these changes seems to be a blazing fast site! Sure I’ll miss out on some stats but I’ve long stopped caring about those.

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Site News Websites

Google Reader is Dead. NewsWorthy.ca to the rescue!

NewsWorthy.ca NewsWorthy.ca is a project I’ve been working on for the past few months. In a nutshell, it’s a better way to get all the latest local news in one place. Sites like Reddit and Google News are a good way to get the “best” or “most important” stories of the day. But they sometimes fail at surfacing up to date, breaking news. If you’re a news hound like me, I think you’ll find NewsWorthy quite useful.

With Google announcing their intentions to shut down Google Reader, today seemed like the perfect day to pull off the “alpha” wrapper and release it to the wild!

At the moment, NewsWorthy only supports Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. I’m looking for the best ((“best” means, updated frequently and intensely focused on local news)) news source in every Canadian city. If you’d like to recommend sources in your city, feel free to email me.

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Site News

Inspired

…by Jeffery Zeldman, I trimmed my blog down to one column.

Now off to bed.

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Site News

Mailing List – Issue 1: Back to the Future II

First issue of the ohryan.ca newsletter went out yesterday.

If you missed it, you can read it here.

Want more?

Subscribe! ☜