Moving Registrars

I’m switching registrars so I can leave GoDaddy. There should be no issues since only the registrar data is changing. While this technically touches the DNS system, it’s only updating the registrar data at Internic and leaving the DNS servers the same (including the Start of Authority server). However if something does go wrong, now you know why.

This is the first step in a reorganization of some of the technical assets that I use worldwide. I’m cooking up some really cool things that I hope will leverage WordPress in an incredibly awesome way and also let me move away from Facebook.

Stop SOPA/PIPA

I’ve been busy with work, but I’ve been keeping my eye on the news. Politics have always been a bit…screwy. I’m not sure if they’re getting more screwier or I’m becoming more aware of what’s going on. – maybe just more cynical.

Representative Lamar Smith and Senator Patrick Leahy now joins the ranks of former Senator Ted Stevens1 in Internet Hall of Shame with his further bastardization of the copyright clause2 with their introduction of SOPA and PIPA

I’ve long rallied against the MPAA, RIAA, and their cronies, and for copyright reform (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

SOPA/PIPA is yet another horrible piece of legislation in a growing list of legislation unscrupulously backed by large corporations, and the Supreme Courts expansion of “corporate personhood” in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission doesn’t help either.

It expands the reach of copyright in ways that are detrimental to the very purpose of the copyrights, in particular by hindering the promotion of useful arts. And all this is done at the behest of corporations who, essentially, bribe politicians.

Even more unfortunate, the politicians writing these pieces of legislation — or at least responsible for introducing them, I have no idea if they actually write them — have no idea of the technical ramifications of what they are doing. Would you trust your Congressman to perform surgery on you? There are actually 18 medical doctors3, so you have about a 3.4% chance of standing a chance, but I think in general the answer would be no.

When it comes to technical issues though, of the 535 members of congress, one is a physicist, one is a chemist, six are engineers, and one is a microbiologist4. This is not to say that other members of congress may not be tech savvy, but with the average age of a congressman pushing 60, I’m guessing not so much. Of the 12 original co-sponsors of SOPA, not one has a technical background.

Surely the United States House Science Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, the subcommittee through with SOPA passed, has some technical experts. Nope. Not a single engineer or anyone with experience (as far as I could tell) in computer science. I would expect that people making the such decisions have, you know, actual expertise in those areas — a technocracy.

Anyway, I have poked around the SOPA legislation, and read many different analysis on it. I also do have an engineering degree. And so I feel very confident in saying that SOPA/PIPA is a bad idea from a technological standpoint. I also think’s it’s pretty bad from an overbearing-copyright standpoint, but that’s my personal bias.

In response to what SOPA/PIPA will do to the Internet if passed, I am joining other sites5 to protest SOPA and PIPA and will black out AFdN for all of Wednesday, January 18th, 2012. Any attempts to access AFdN will result in a HTTP 503 Service Unavailable error.

Seriously though, if SOPA/PIPA passes, I may have to take down AFdN lest I avoid getting sued. That’s a bridge I hope to never have to cross. In the meantime, take some time to educate yourself on how the internet works. Ask questions and I’ll try to answer them. And maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference.

Also, while I currently use GoDaddy as my domain name registrar, they supported SOPA and thus I will no longer support them. I’ll have another post on that in the future.

Some, but not all, interesting links:
Everything is a Remix
SOPA Infographic
House takes Senate’s bad Internet censorship bill, tries making it worse
Contact your congressman
Sopa 101: a guide to the USA’s proposed anti-piracy legislation
IP Law Wiki
Stanford Law Review: Don’t Break the Internet

Shit, I used Wikipedia about ten times to look up references for this post. Oh well, see you all Thursday!


  1. “And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes.” 

  2. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” 

  3. Membership of the 112th Congress: A Profile 

  4. Membership of the 112th Congress: A Profile 

  5. such as Wikipedia, WordPress, reddit, Google, and BoingBoing 

2011 Year-End Zeitgeist

I actually almost didn’t produce a year end zeitgeist because I didn’t have the time to put together all the data. However, Alex King has made it easy this year with his wp-stats code which he has kindly provided on Gist1.

So, I’ve collected the data (although less than I have in years past), crunched the numbers, and have now published the data for Andrew Ferguson dot NET 2011. As always, these stats mean practically nothing. They are fun (and at time, amusing) to look at, that’s it. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

  Posts Avg. Length Total Length Comments (Mine)
2011 51 1,594 81,294 146 (19)
2010 145 2,893 419,424 454 (112)
2009 249 2,132 530,867 537 (141)
2008 226 1,750 395,562 807 (204)
2007 326 1,335 435,267 1,023 (207)
2006 492 1,237 608,725 939 (136)
2005 763 1,189 907,495 307 (75)
2004 227 1,194 271,074 0 (0)
2003 66 653 43,130 0 (0)
2002 3 953 2,859 0 (0)

Top Ten Commenters for 2011:

  1. Kurtis
  2. Kimmi
  3. Staples
  4. amelie
  5. Shannon
  6. Aaron
  7. Ashley
  8. Ben
  9. Carly
  10. Christine

Top Ten Posts for 20112:

  1. How to Tie a Tie
  2. Using add_meta_box()
  3. Stevie Starr: The Regurgitator
  4. The Finer Points of Configuring Your Airport Express and Error 10057
  5. The Hunt for Toda Mafalda
  6. Adding User Photo to WordPress User Profile
  7. phPo Translator – Online PO Translator
  8. How to Give a 30 Day Notice
  9. And All I Ask is a Tall Ship and a Star to Steer Her By
  10. The Nikon D7000: 478% Better Than the D70

Top Ten Search Terms for 20113:

  1. how to tie a tie
  2. stevie starr
  3. double windsor
  4. countdown timer
  5. press pass
  6. how to do a tie
  7. boeing vs airbus
  8. tie a tie
  9. mafalda comics
  10. how to tie a double windsor knot

Bandwidth: 102.19 GB45

Page views: 177,5866 or 1,613,20678


  1. Hint: add require_once('wp-load.php'); to the beginning of the file and place it to your WordPress directory 

  2. as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog 

  3. as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog 

  4. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  5. traffic viewed, which does not include “traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.” 

  6. as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog 

  7. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  8. traffic viewed, which does not include “traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.” 

2010 Year End Zeitgeist

Sorry I’m a bit tardy getting this one out. However, it’s still that time of year again! I’ve collected the data, crunched the numbers, and have now published the data for Andrew Ferguson dot NET 2010. As always, these stats mean practically nothing. They are fun (and at time, amusing) to look at, that’s it. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Top Ten Search Terms for 2010

WordPress Stats Google Analytics
countdown timer countdown timer
stevie starr stevie starr
how to tie a tie andrew ferguson
how to do a tie add_meta_box
mafalda comics blockquote cite
press pass awesome things to say
andrew ferguson boeing internships
add_meta_box count down timer
blockquote cite how to do a tie
double windsor seattle accent

Top Ten Referring Sites for 2010 (by domain)1:

  1. google.com
  2. codex.wordpress.org
  3. wordpress.org
  4. images.google.com
  5. facebook.com
  6. google.de
  7. office.microsoft.com
  8. google.co.uk
  9. google.ca
  10. stumbleupon.com

Top Ten Operating Systems for 20102:

  1. Windows XP
  2. Windows 7
  3. Windows Vista
  4. Mac OSX – Snow Leopard
  5. Max OSX – Leopard
  6. Linux
  7. iPhone
  8. Max OSX – Tiger
  9. Android
  10. iPod

Top Five Web Browsers for 20103:

  1. Mozilla Firefox
  2. Internet Explorer
  3. Google Chrome
  4. Apple Safari
  5. Opera

Top Ten Posts for 20104:

  1. The Nikon D7000: 478% Better Than the D70
  2. The Holstee Manifesto
  3. Valihist: The Productivity Medicine
  4. Yet Another Voter Guide for Election 2010
  5. How Any Enginerd Can Date a Beautiful Woman
  6. Solve
  7. In Haiti
  8. If Guys Were Like Girls…
  9. Mission Trip Haiti: Business as Usual, Almost – Part 2
  10. Practical Example of Technology Advances of the Last Ten Years

Page Views for 2010:

Bandwidth: 102.92 GB56

Page views: 223,8687 or 224,0198 or 1,771,714 910

Absolute unique visitors: 154,86511

Posts: 131
Comments by me: 112
Comments not by me: 339

Top Ten Commenters for 2010:
1. Kimmi
2. Ben
2. Amelie
2. Staples
5. Auntie Wendy
6. Grandma Jo
7. Audrey
7. Bryce
7. Carly
7. Nathan Woodward
7. Liz
7. James

Pictures (and video) taken: 5504 (54.3 GB)
Photos (and video) added to Flickr: 1627

Music Interests:

Any other stats people would like to know?


  1. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  2. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  3. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  4. as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog 

  5. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  6. traffic viewed, which does not include “traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.” 

  7. as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog 

  8. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  9. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  10. traffic viewed, which does not include “traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.” 

  11. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

Countdown Timer v2.4

Just over a year ago I released Countdown Timer v2.3.5. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to participate many great things over the last year, which is probably why there hasn’t been an release since.

Anyway, I’ve been slaving away at this release for the last three weeks:

Weeks of 2010 - Blue = Internet Applications (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, IE); Red = Development Applications (i.e. Dreamweaver); Tan = Utilities (i.e. PuTTY, FileZilla, etc)
Weeks of 2010 - Blue = Internet Applications (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, IE); Red = Development Applications (i.e. Dreamweaver); Tan = Utilities (i.e. PuTTY, FileZilla, etc)

I probably spent close to twenty hours, committed over 50 revisions, and had 865 lines changes in the core code1. For all this change behind the scenes, you expect to see some changes in the actual interface. Amazingly not.

Most of the work had to do with bringing the code up to WordPress 2.9/3.0 standards. This will ensure that this plugin continues to work well in to the future. As well as trying to keep up with best practices for WordPress Plugin coding.

The other major update dealt with adding CSS hooks to the html elements so that they can be customized better/more fully. In doing this, I also rewrote part of fergcorp_countdownTimer_format to make it less repetitive. This, unfortunately, caused a minor issue with using the [fergcorp_cdt_single date="ENTER_DATE_HERE"] shortcode that has the li-element included; I’ll fix that in a dot-dot release (i.e. 2.4.1).

The settings for Countdown Timer moved the WordPress Tools to Settings in the Admin Menu and you only need to be an Options Manager instead of Administrator to update the options. I think the only other change worth mentioning is that there is now an option to parse shortcodes in the_excerpt. Note that enabling this functionality will parse all shortcodes, not just ones related to Countdown Timer.

As per tradition:

Read more or download version 2.4!


  1. There’s only 1000 source lines of code [SLOC] to begin with, so this is sort of substantial 

Countdown Timer Update is in the Works

It’s been over a year since I’ve had the chance to update Countdown Timer. However, a couple of weeks ago the stars aligned just so and I started working on a slew of updates. Nothing huge, mostly just updating code in the back end to do things properly and rewriting some sections of code to take advantage of new methods WordPress has implemented in the last few releases.

So far I have almost 100 diffs involving a shit ton of source code1

It’s not quite ready yet, but I am working on it; as is hopefully evident by this freakishly late night/early morning post.

Please consider yourselves informed that a new version is on its way.


  1. yes, that’s a technical unit of measurement, similar to the Hella- prefix [See: The Official Petition to Establish ‘Hella-‘ as the SI Prefix for 10^27] 

An Experiment

Several months ago, I started running an add on a single post. It happened to be the post that got the most traffic, so I figured I’d try and monetize it. It made some money, about $22 in four months – nothing to write home about.

Well, I’m expanding this little experiment further my introducing ads to all the posts on AFdN. Ads will not be shown on the homepage. However, they will also be shown on pages and in the RSS feeds.

I’m mostly curious to see how much this rakes in.

Of course, this goes almost directly against what I wrote two years ago:
From andrewferguson.net:

But I don’t, and you will never see any advertisements on my blog (save the Amazon affiliate linking and things of that nature that are unobtrusive).

Oh, boy.

8/23/2008: Experiment over. Password removed.

Blog Admin Notes

Hey Gang,

Not much longer until I’m back in the States and life takes off again. In the mean time, a couple of programming notes I’d like to make you aware of.

First, I’m going back and reconfiguring how I posted blogs for my trip. In short, blogs will appear to be posted on the day that the events took place, even if I actually wrote and posted in them later. This could cause some links to break, if so, please let me know.

Second, I just upgraded my WP install. I’ve been putting it off for a while, but figured I probably should do it eventually. Now was that “eventually.” Everything seems to be working still, however if something is broken or doesn’t seem write, please let me know.

Third, there are two guest posts coming up. Neither one related to my trip either. I hope you enjoy them.

Fourth, less than two weeks until I’m back, so get the welcome wagon warmed up.

Stay Up To Date on Comments

As I work on planning my upcoming trip abroad, there’s been some great discussion and feedback in the comments. Those of you who are super-savy WordPress users might know about the sort-of-secret Comment RSS feed that you can subscribe to, however most people don’t.

So I figure I’d make it super easy for everyone and provide the RSS URL for those using RSS Readers (such as Google Reader) and an email sign up in case you’re not ready to make the plunge into the RSS realm.

RSS URL: http://feeds.andrewferguson.net/afdn_comments

Email Signup: Subscribe to Comments for Andrew Ferguson dot NET by Email
Note: The email list is run by FeedBurner (aka Google) and is the same organization that I use to send out the regular AFdN updates.

Year End Zeitgeist

It’s that time of year again! I’ve collected the data, crunched the numbers, and have now published the data for Andrew Ferguson dot NET 2008 . As always, these stats mean practically nothing. They are fun (and at time, amusing) to look at, that’s it. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Here are the top ten search terms for 20081:

  1. countdown timer
  2. andrew ferguson
  3. cgi
  4. blockquote cite
  5. deanne bell
  6. ben towne
  7. mafalda
  8. how to tie a tie
  9. vault
  10. wordpress countdown

Top seven web crawlers for 20082:

  1. MSNBot
  2. Yahoo Slurp
  3. Googlebot
  4. Ask
  5. Alexia
  6. Voila
  7. The Web Archive

Top eleven referring web crawlers for 20083:

  1. Google (including regular, Image, and Cache)
  2. Windows Live
  3. Yahoo!
  4. MSN Search
  5. Stumbleupon (Social Bookmark)
  6. AOL
  7. Ask
  8. Dogpile
  9. AltaVista
  10. GoodSearch
  11. del.icio.us (Social Bookmark)

Top five identifiable operating systems for 20084:

  1. Windows
  2. Macintosh
  3. Linux
  4. BSD
  5. Sony PlayStation Portable

Top six identifiable Internet browsers for 20085:

  1. Internet Explorer: 48.9%
    1. MSIE 8: 0.2%
    2. MSIE 7: 31.7%
    3. MSIE 6: 16.4%
    4. MSIE 5.5: 0.1%
  2. Firefox: 35.1%
    1. FF 3.1: 0.1%
    2. FF 3.0: 16.6%
    3. FF 2.0: 16.4%
    4. FF 1.5: 1.5%
  3. Safari: 5.5%
  4. Mozilla: 2.0%
  5. Opera: 1.3%
  6. Netscape: 0.1%

Site visits over the entire year (the spike represents Obama’s visit to CSM)6:
analytics_pageviews
Site visits over the year by regions7:
world_visits

usa_visits

Bandwidth: 108.6 GB of data served89
Page views: 108,739((as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog)) or 126,62110 or 1,224,9881112
Absolute unique visits: 81,11813

Posts: 223 (inclusive)
Comments by me: 203
Comments not by me: 594

Flickr Stats at the end of 200814:
Photos: 10,604
Videos: 21

Tagged: 8,539
Not tagged: 2,086

Geotagged: 5,084
Not geotagged: 5,541

Other:
Emails sent: 925

Anyway, from a numbers perspective, I think that pretty much covers everything worth passing on. If there’s anything else anyone would like to know, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.

For comparison, see:
2007 Year-End Zeitgeist and 2007 Year End Zeitgeist, Part 2


  1. as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog 

  2. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  3. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  4. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  5. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  6. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  7. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  8. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  9. traffic viewed, which does not include “traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.” 

  10. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  11. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  12. traffic viewed, which does not include “traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.” 

  13. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  14. these are all time total numbers, not yearly totals