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Checking Blog Locally

In order to test out the blog site locally, it appears as if there is a process that can be followed. This can be found here.

It requires installing Ruby. This process can be followed from here.

This allows me to run the site locally to see what any changes represent.

This also allows me to check that all of the right files are generated, specifically the feed.xml that serves as the RSS lookalike. The info for this can be found here.

Adding/Testing Footnotes

I have wanted to add some sort of footnote ability to the site. I really like the style that Randyll Munroe uses on his what if? site. It is rather simple, however, the other good looking one, in my opinion is that used by the Stratechery website.

The standard versions really don’t look too great.

Well… these all look a bit lame don’t they.

I seem to have found something much better. I may have had a look at the source for the Stratechery website and seen that their element is called a bigfootnote. A little bit of Googling later and I find this.

This is what the new version looks like 1.

This now places the footnote right where you need it, it is also placed at the bottom of the document.

  1. What do you think? 

Zotero and LaTeX


I am currently making use of Zotero in order to manage my references for my masters. This is a highly useful application. I can use their extension for browsers to automatically add references from online sources. It is also highly convenient when you need to make a reference of a PDF. It does all of this automatically. The first thing that I want to do, however, is automate the process of adding a reference to Zotero, and then getting the application to automatically update the bib file that is used within the LaTeX report. This process also makes much better cite keys for LaTeX which you would prefer to be simpler for ease of writing.

The process is as follows.


  • First install Zotero.
  • Link up to your Zotero account inside the application
  • Following this and this guide.
  • Get the add-on from here
  • Tools > Add-ons
  • Select ‘Extensions’
  • Click on the gear in the top-right corner and choose ‘Install Add-on From File…’
  • Choose the .xpi file downloaded and install
  • Restart Zotero

The plugin does not need to be updated, it will do this automatically.

The installation should be completed with all of the default settings.

Once the installation is completed, exporting can take place. This is done as follows:

  • File > Export Library…
  • Select Better BibTeX for the format
  • Select ‘Export Notes’ and ‘Keep updated’
  • Select OK
  • Select the folder that you wish to send the bib file to
  • Rename the bib file to what you need

Allowing Tags Part 2

As I stated before, I will be following the blog post of this helpful fellow.

I needed to create a new file in the _includes folder. I used the command line for this. I also learned how to do a copy and paste using vim (here, and here).

I really like the style of this dudes blog. So I will be making use of part of his formatting. It works in a very similar manner to mine, with the Jekyll system. His style is based off of this, it just has some added extras.

Some time passes…

Right. That took some time and some effort. Finally I have implemented the tag system. I do now, however, have to run the tag generator script before I commit each new post. Otherwise, if there are any new tags, they will not appear. I also do not think that when searching by tag, the new posts won’t be found.

One Way Part 2

This is sort of a segway (no, not the mobile goody with wheels) from the original plan of the one way tracking system. However, I think that simply because I will have cameras mounted at the bottom of the driveway, it makes sense to make use of this network connection down to the gate in another way.

Ever since we installed our electric fence years ago, we have had endless problems with the electric fence shutting down, only for us to realise that it has in fact not been operating for a number of days.

The electric fence has an alarm installed which is part of the system, this includes a red light that flashes as well. When the electric fence is triggered, with the one setting, the light flashes and there is a quiet beeping from the fence box. On the other setting the real alarm goes off. However, it is not always set to the same setting, so we do not always pick up the fact that it goes off.

In operation, there are six LED’s that turn on in succession, then when they are all on, they all turn off again, and the process repeats. When the fence is triggered, these lights do not turn on and the alarm LED flashes. I was thinking that a camera would be a simple way of detecting this. Simply face a camera at the fence box and this camera’s feed could go to some screen located centrally in the house. I do however, think that there may be a better solution to this.

So, I think that it may make sense to put some sort of smarts down there, now that there will be some sort of network connection down to the gate.