Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
December 31st, 2004
Planet Xavier


A little early

My goodness… everyone around me seems to be posting about their year gone by, and I’ve already completed the first item on my New Year’s Resolution list: Planet Xavier is now up… sort of…

At least something of Planet Xavier is now up – but there’s far too much of it now! Weighing in at a whopping 16.2 KiB (16 585 bytes), the new Planet Xavier is a gorilla of an aggregator.

Planet, the software that’s running the show here, likes to group every entry by date, regardless of what blog it’s from. (That’s a selling-point for Planet, actually.) So I think it’s because this is the first day that Planet has seen these feeds, and somehow thinks that every single solitary entry is from January 1st, 2005 at 4:14 AM (UTC).

Hopefully that’ll clear in a day or two. Let’s suppose Planet wanted to start off the year with a bang, shall we?

There are a few matters of business that I have to take care of before Planet Xavier really takes off. Read on for the lowdown…

Still unlisted?

Planet Xavier currently syndicates a respectable 58 blogs. But if your blog is still not listed there (where’ve you been?), and you happen to be a student, teacher, administrator, staff member, IT professional, webmaster, or janitor at St. X

Sign up, for goodness sake! Tell me about your blog!

That list wasn’t exhaustive, by the way. But, yes, Planet Xavier even lists Mr. Hoar’s (defunct) blog.

You’re not who I say you are?

Tough. :^P

Actually, just let me know, and I’ll correct it as soon as humanly programmably possible.

Also, many of the you don’t publish your last names, so I have no clue who you are. Let me know so you don’t end up as some guy with a shameful ellipsis for a last name.

And whoever decided to be an Anonymous Student… that’s just pitiful.

Gotchi head yet? (Translation: Do I got ye head yet?)

It has become a custom among Planets that the heads of each blogger are detached and strung up on those thin blue bars that separate each blog’s entry. They’re usually called hackergotchi. Yes, named after those annoying little Tamagotchis (たまごっち).

Currently, my face is the only one there. (Any surprise there?) If you have a photo (or decent cartoon drawing!) of your face, do please send or hand it to me. Faces only, please. (And you know why I made that stipulation…)

I can cut out the backgrounds myself. It’s also customary to give each face a drop shadow, so it looks like the heads are sitting happily on a desktop. But I’ll spare you the gory details of how it got there.


I am well aware that many St. X bloggers like to post photos left and right. Right now, Planet will only limits the photos to 100×100px… in Mozilla-based browsers only.

And of course, that distorts any non-square image. Ick. Fortunately ImageMagick is available for Python (the language that Planet is written in).

Yes, I am worried about people posting questionable material just to spite me. What I’ll probably do is to filter out all photos, as soon as I figure out how.

The main issue, though, is that people like to post huge images, and that forces people to scroll excessively. It’s a real hassle to get to the text, which is what we’re here for, right?

I know many of you rebellious types are dead-set against censorship. But let me just remind you: the more I filter, the less of a chance your parents will come around and see just what you’re posted. Since this site has a consistently high ranking at Google, after all, your parents will be pleased to find you by simply typing in your names.

Ack! It has only three colors! And one of them’s white!

I’ll work on the site design ASAP – which in Minh’s notebook probably means more than three months.

Don’t worry, though: I’ve already got a mockup ready in Microsoft Publisher at school. (And it still has white in it. Sorry, can’t avoid it.)

What in the world is a mailing list doing in there?

Yes, in my quest to inflate the blog count, I included the feed of a Yahoo! Groups mailing list. It has something to do with an old game called… I think some people call it Capture the Flag!

If you like Capture the Flag, you might want to post there or something, because the mailing list hasn’t seen any activity since May 2001!

So that’s it. Please help me out; I actually plan to get a New Year’s Resolution about 20% done this time!


  1. Dios mío… parece que todos están escribiendo sobre sus años pasados, pero yo ya he completado la primera cosa de mi lista de Determinaciones del Nuevo Año: Planeta Javier ya funciona… en cierto modo…

  2. Minh’s Notes


    All Xangas have been delisted at Planet Xavier. Please use this as an opportunity to switch to a better host.

  3. Instead of studying for the Intro to Theology exam like I was supposed to, I decided to upgrade pX to version 1.0.0. So after being delisted for almost two weeks, Xangas will gradually make a ...

  4. You might be wondering why it’s taken me so incredibly long to finally blog about Planet Xavier’s long-awaited and long-needed redesign. As usual, the answer is procrastination.