Upcoming Events 0.5

Here we go with the 5th release of the Upcoming Events plugin. Again, I’m sure this won’t solve everybody’s problems with past versions, but it solves a few more than 0.4 did. Fixes in this version include:

  • Allow multiple widgets that can display different feeds
  • Fix a PHP 4 compatibility issue
  • Make the popups with event details fade in and out
  • code_name can no longer start with an underscore. If you have feeds with this setting now, the plugin will continue to work, but the next time you try to update your options you’ll be required to change it.

There are, of course, fixes that didn’t make the short list. For a complete log, see http://dev.wp-plugins.org/log/upcoming-events.

Important Links

WordPress Info Page

Upgrade Instructions

IMPORTANT: With past versions you could simply unzip the file into your wp-content/plugins directory in place of the current upcoming-events contents and be good to go. This update requires one additional step. You must also deactivate and reactivate the plugin on the Plugins tab of the WordPress admin interface. Once reactivated, if you use widgets you’ll need to visit the Widget config settings on the Presentation tab in order to re-add the Upcoming Events widget. This is because of the new ability to add multiple widgets.

Install Instructions

See the main Upcoming Events Page.

New Feed for Lion’s games

It seems that the feed at ical.mac.com hasn’t been updated yet for this years schedule and one game has already been played (and won by Detroit, I might add!). So I went looking for a new feed provider… and found Yahoo. My Upcoming Events plugin seemed perfectly capable of handling the Yahoo feed. So now, simply by putting http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/det/ical.ics in the Path field and clicking the “Update Now” button in the Upcoming Events options, I was able to get the upcoming Lion’s games back into my calendar.

Upcoming Events v0.4

It’s way past time for the 4th release of the Upcoming Events plugin. I’m sure this plugin won’t solve everybody’s problems with version 0.3, but I know it will solve at least a few of them. This is the code that’s been running on my site for the past few months. I apologize for taking so long to make this release. Fixes in this version include:

  • Use $wpdb->prefix for forward compatibility with WordPress
  • Provide limited support for recurring events
  • Specify that the background should be White in the CSS file
  • Display newly added feeds by default

That last item, display newly added feeds by default, will fix most, if not all, of the SQL errors in previous versions. This will not fix it if you are trying to updating an existing installation that’s exhibiting that problem, but should prevent the problem from happening on new installations. If you have an existing installation with an SQL error, make sure at least one “Display in default sidebar” box is checked.

Download Links

WordPress Info Page

Upgrade Instructions

Simply unzip the file into your wp-content/plugins directory in place of the current upcoming-events contents.

Install Instructions

See the main Upcoming Events Page.

Grand Central

Google recently bought out a company whose services I find myself quite impressed with. Grand Central is a company that will give you a “phone number for life.” But that’s not the half of it. Part of the service includes the ability to ring multiple phones at the same time. You can put up to five number into the system and when you get a call it will ring all of them and transfer the call to the first number that answers it. You can even have an address book where you can define groups of people (by default there’s 4 groups: friends, family, work, other). You can set preferences about which phones ring for which groups. So I can set it that friends and family ring my home phone, but work and others (anybody not in your address book is in the others category) don’t. It has a call recording feature (a message is announced to both parties); voice mails are retrievable by phone or online; you can set up a temporary number to forward calls to in addition to the configured 5 via phone or online; you can set ringback and voice mail messages specific to each group; and I’m sure there’s a few that I’m not listing. All and all it looks to be a really nice service. It’s currently in beta (though most of Google is in beta 🙂 ) and invite only, but free. They’ve stated that there will always be a free version, but someday they will start charging for premium features. As this develops, I can see it being a really good fit with Google Apps (that’s probably why they bought it).


I had previously posted that my wife and I were looking for a Nintendo Wii (actually, it’s supposed to simply be branded “Wii” w/out the “Ninentdo” in front). We ended up getting one last week (3-Jan), but I never did get around to posting that update. Laura had been calling around to pretty much every store in town and finally found that Meijer had gotten a few that morning. So she dropped pretty much everything, grabbed Haylee, and ran to Meijer. She managed to get there in time. While she was there, she saw three other people purchasing Wii’s and was told there were only 6 when she called. So she probably didn’t make it by much!

But the short version is we have a Wii and are enjoying playing it. We have the Sports game that comes with it (a really great demonstration of the motion sensitive controllers), Cars, GT Pro Series, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. So far I think we’ve spent most of our time playing the Wii Sports game. From a driving standpoint, I think GT is much more fun that Cars, but I haven’t done the Cars story line to know if that’s any good. I’ve spent very little time in Zelda, but it seems like it’s probably a very deep game.

We also went out last night and rented Excite Truck and Ice Age 2. I kinda like Excite truck, it’s a lot of fun.

We have no Wii

My wife and I just decided that we would like to get a Nintendo Wii. We’ve been kicking the idea around for a few weeks now about maybe doing that as part of a joint gift to each other. We decided against that in the end, but just this morning we tallied up birthday money, Christmas money, gift cards and the like and discovered we have enough money! Unfortunately for us, everybody around town is sold out. We’ve tried neighbouring towns and online stores, but to no avail. Not that anybody out there really cares :).

What I wonder is why this problem seems to happen in the first place. It seems like had Nintendo released a couple months sooner they could have had enough systems produced by Christmas time to meet demand. It also seems that if they had enough systems produced so that everybody who wanted one could get one they’d have made more profit, too. And isn’t that the point of making it in the first place? Granted, I don’t have a degree in economics or anything, it’s just my opinion…

Update 9-Jan-2007: We now have a Wii.

Upcoming Events and WordPress 2.1

It looks like WordPress 2.1 is getting closer to being out the door… The WordPress Development blog just made a post to suggest the plugin authors check their code to make sure if it’s naughty or nice. Well, Upcoming Events is somewhere in between. I followed the instructions on WordPress’ site for creating tables in the database which said to use $table_prefix in order to get the configured prefix (wp_ by default). It seems, however, that I should actually be using $wpdb->prefix instead. Fortunately, $table_prefix is just depreciated, not eliminated so even version 0.1 of Upcoming Events is WordPress 2.1 ready. Upcoming Events 0.4, when it comes out, will use the shiny new $wpdb->prefix interface.

UPDATE 11-Dec-2006: I edited the WordPress wiki to reflect the fact that $wpdb->prefix is now the prefered method.

Install Fedora Core 6 w/external DVD drive

I’ve actually been trying to figure out how to do this for a while and not having much luck. Here’s my situation:

  • I have a computer that has a CD drive in it, but not a DVD drive.
  • I had previously downloaded the DVD version of Fedora Core 6 in to install it on a different machine.
  • I have an external USB DVD drive.
  • My BIOS does not support booting from a USB device
  • I wanted to avoid having to use up a lot of CD-R’s

So I went hunting in Google. I found pretty much nothing. After some investigation, I discovered that the Fedora Core 6 ISO has a file, images/boot.iso, that when burned to a CD provides a bootable media that can then read the external USB DVD. It’s really simple, but it took me quite some time to figure it out.

Upcoming Events v0.3

It’s time to make the 3rd release of my Upcoming Events plugin. Updates in this release include:

  • Removed a debugging statement that caused days/weeks to display incorrectly
  • Individual iCal feeds can be immediately updated from the admin page
  • The events list is now valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional
  • The admin page now produces valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional
  • CSS styles are in their own separate file for easier modification
  • More information is provided in a tooltip-like popup for each event
  • Basic error checking is done when making changes on the admin page

By far, the biggest user visible update is the tooltip-like popup. To see it in action, simply hover your mouse over one of the events in my event list. Pretty much all the other updates are only of concern to the admin… though being that the plugin is installed by the admin, I think they’re a pretty important person :).

Download Links

Red Alt info page

Upgrade Instructions

Simply untar/unzip the file into your wp-content/plugins directory in place of the current upcoming-events contents.

Install Instructions

Untar/unzip the downloaded file into your wp-content/plugins directory then visit the Plugin Manager in your WordPress admin interface and active the plugin. A new subpage will appear on the Options tab for Upcoming Events where you can configure your iCal feed(s). Once you have feeds configured, you can add the event list to your sidebar. If you use widgets, simply visit the Widget subpage on the Presentation tab to add the Upcoming Events widgets. If you don’t use widgets, you’ll need to edit your sidebar.php in your theme directory (the default theme is in wp-content/themes/default) and add the appropriate code from the Upcoming Events options page.

Updates to blog

Some may have noticed quite a few updates to my blog in the past couple weeks. In addition to my new Upcoming Events plugin, I’ve also put a new theme up. I found this Iowa Winter 1 theme on themes.wordpress.net. One thing I really liked about this site is that you can specify search criteria when looking for a new theme. For example, I wanted a 2 column widget ready so I check those two boxes and select “ALL” from the dropdown at the bottom. Then I could look at just themes that worked for me. There’s also color related search options.

I’ve also added the wpopenid plugin so if you have an OpenID identify you can use it to post comments on my site. I followed some instructions I found in Kveton’s blog about how to use a third party OpenID provider while still using your own URL. So my OpenID provider is myopenid.com but my OpenID url is jacob.steenhagen.us.

I’ve also started using FeedBurner for my RSS feeds instead of pointing to my own site. I currently have a feed for all of my blog and a feed for the upcoming events plugin available.

I think that’s all the changes 🙂