Testing apostrophe in title: Nanci's test

by Nanci Hamilton Email

Testing whether or not an apostrophe can be used in a blog title

Vietnamese special characters

by Nanci Hamilton Email

Here are the preliminary results of my investigation into Vietnamese characters for products on the Web site.

There is great variation in the way characters have been entered, resulting in a mixture of problems. It appears that if characters are entered correctly in UTF-8 (or 16), they display properly on the Web. Most of the characters that were not entered properly “disappear” (that is, they don’t show up in the text on the Web). I have not seen any yet that display bogus characters, but my investigation has not been exhaustive.

Most of the problems stem from incorrect data entry, which was done by a contractor in Vietnam some years ago. Backtracking to how they entered what they entered is not possible, nor would it be productive.

It appears that the characters in the PDFs associated with the products are correct.

Next steps are to determine who should correct the data and when. The problem affects less than 1% of the product pages.

Vietnamese Special Characters.pdf

Happy New Year 2014

by Nanci Hamilton Email

I wish everyone a wonderful year in 2014. I hope your year end was safe, productive, relaxing and enjoyable.

I spent the time between Christmas and New Years Eve working on slowly but surely clearing out clutter and organizing the piles of things that, for whatever reason, I had not made the time to attend to before now. The result was at least three grocery bags full of paper stuff for the recycling bin, three large boxes of items for Goodwill, an organized master bedroom closet, a tremendous reduction in the number of mismatched socks, several empty drawers, and a lot of data being entered into the computer (where it belongs) instead of lingering on squibs of pape


I also unearthed some long lost treasures--family photos, and the like--so I made an investment in a new scanner, the Epson V600 shown at right. My plan is to scan the photos, documents, and slides, and then organize them electronically. I find myself looking at the photos I have in iPhoto ten times (or more) often than the ones in boxes. It has turned out to be a godsend when I need to find a particular photo quickly. The one that comes to mind most readily is when a beloved niece died well before her time. Photos that I had taken of her just a few years ago were suddenly immediately meaningful to me and her family, and I have digital photo storage to thank for that.


Another technology that entered my life at the end of 2013 (thank you, Santa!) that has proved to be a delight is a Logitech ultrathin keyboard/cover for my iPad Air. Not only does it free up a lot of screen real-estate to have the keyboard elsewhere, it is far easier to type text of any length. The iPad's on-screen keyboard is perfectly useful for Web browsing, entering data into forms, many other applications—but for transcribing text, writing letters, composing email and so on—the keyboard is much better. Also, the Logitech keyboard holds the screen at a very comfortable viewing angle, and so I find it useful even when the keyboard itself is not in use.

All in all, 2014 is starting off well for me, and I hope for you as well!


MS Excel: Combining chart types

by Nanci Hamilton Email


The most important metric the agile development team uses to measure productivity is velocity. Velocity, the number of points delivered per iteration, is powerful because it is simple both to measure and explain. What I wanted to do was to superimpose the average velocity over the monthly velocity measurements in a single graph.

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Defeating spam mail from Web site

by Nanci Hamilton Email

As the Joomla site administrator, I adjusted settings for the Contact page on the web site to ban email addresses that have a subject line containing "=?utf-" and body text containing the phrase "http://www." and "@gmail". Hopefully this will defeat the bully who has been sending me a half a dozen self-serving junk emails messages per day. Though the email addresses and the body of each message are unique, they are all obviously machine generated.

Separate distinct criteria in the Joomla Banned Email, Banned Subject, and Banned Text fields using semi-colons: http://www; @gmail

UPDATE: Since making these changes to the Contact page settings, I have not received any more emails of the type shown above. I received approximately 75 of these nuisance messages between 22 Nov and 13 Dec.

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