Tecker Blog


Email Alerts

Posted in by Plaz on the April 28th, 2007

Tecker now supports email alerts.  There are two types.  You can sign up to receive alerts whenever someone answers a question you have asked.  Because the user’s page will soon be re-worked, I have not yet built in the option to subscribe or unsubscribe from these alerts.  However, when new users register for new accounts, they can sign up now for them.  These alerts cover all questions, even ones you have asked in the past.

Also we allow you to turn on alerts when you view, ask, or answer a question.  Just look for the little email icon with the plus sign.  You will receive alerts when a question is answered.  Anyone logged-in user can sign up/unsubscribe for these alerts.  We also have a mange page for these new alerts.  You can sort this page alphabetically or by the time you signed up for each alert.

Our system knows if you are signed up for both types of alerts and only send you one email.  In addition, you will not receive a email if you are the answerer of the question.  (Why clutter up your Inbox with something you already know?)

Manage Alerts

At Tecker we know that your Inbox is oft full, and realize that you might not want constant emails. That’s why we never sell your emails and let you control what mail you want to receive.  We also offer RSS feeds for recent questions and answers.  An RSS feed per question (with answers as items) is coming soon.
Also we added a Google Custom Search box in the left side.  Google search is better then no search, but Google is often a few weeks behind in indexing the site.  Eventually, we plan to make our own search, which would work cleaner and better.

Google Search Results

This also marks the completion of the Tecker .8 milestone.  We have been sidetracked in the past few months by other commitments, but here’s some new stuff for Tecker.  Enjoy.

-Michael Plasmeier (ThePlaz)

Comment here to leave us (public) feedback or send us a (private) email

Recent Answers Page

Posted in by Plaz on the April 22nd, 2007

Tecker now has (and has had for a month now) had a recent answers page. This page lets you track recent answers posted to Tecker.  You can filter the list by answerer username and type of answer.  In addition you can restrict the list to the last 24 hours.  We offer a handy filter page to help you set up the filters.  Also, we offer a RSS feed which offers the same filters.  Just set up the filters you want and click on the RSS icon in your browser.

New Recent Answers Page

How do you like this new page?  What else do you want to see? Comment below or send us a message.

User’s Question Count

Posted in by Plaz on the April 22nd, 2007

User: SJTechZone suggested that we add a count of how many questions asked and answers people have answered to their user’s page.  So while I was talking to them, I quickly added that features to the user’s page.  Can you beat SJTechZone’s 70 answers?  Get to Tecker.

Tecker Stats

Posted in by Plaz on the April 18th, 2007

Here are some Tecker stats for 12/24/2006 to 4/18/2007.  Enjoy.  Notice the bump given by net@nite and then when SJTechZone discovered our site and answered a lot of questions.
stats-12-24-2006-to-4-18-2007.PNG

Log in Referers Regex

Posted in by Plaz on the April 12th, 2007

Tecker would like to thank Jim, the programming mentor on my robotics team for his help in making a regular expression for us. Now when you log in, the web page you come from directly before is stored. The regular expression checks and sees if that page is a Tecker website. If it is, we bring you to the page you were just at before logging in. If you come to Tecker from another website, we send you to the homepage. Before you were just thrust back out to wherever you came from even if it wasn’t a Tecker website.
If you know regular expressions, this is the regular expression (regex) he sent us to check for a Tecker URL:

^(http://)([^/]+\.)*(tecker\.net)(/|$)

It works if there’s a www or not, and for any page on the site including ones with GET requests in the URL. I spent about 10 hours trying to figure this out, but Jim got it in a few minutes. Regex is one of those things which are very hard unless you are good at it.

-Plaz

Here’s a regex checker which is handy

Send Message and Improved Feedback

Posted in by Plaz on the March 28th, 2007

Tecker now has a page where you can send messages to other users. The page lets you fill in a Tecker user’s username along with a subject and body to be emailed to them. We’re using email because that’s something you check everyday and personally I detest internal messaging systems. The recipient will get the message in their email. When they reply, they will write straight back to you via email. Your email address on Tecker is never revealed unless you send someone a message or reply to something they sent you.  Links to email users are on each user’s user page.
We also have improved the feedback form. When you are logged in, your username is automatically sent to us along with some information about your account. In addition, we can now see some information about your computer which your browser provides (such as your OS and browser version). This is called the “user agent string”. This information should better help us solve your problems and cries for help.

Thanks again for using Tecker.

Tecker featured in On The Net Episode 4

Posted in by Plaz on the March 18th, 2007

Tecker has been featured in the podcast “On The Net” in episode 4.  On The Net is hosted by Shane of SJTechZone.  SJTechZone is a also valuable contributer to Tecker.
Take a listen: http://onthenet.podbean.com/2007/03/13/otn4-teckernet/

We are pleased to see that Tecker is being noticed and promoted by others without us doing it.  This is the first coverage of Tecker of which we know of that was entirely user generated.  We thank Shane and SJTechZone for their coverage of Tecker.

New Site Boxes and Interface Tweaks

Posted in by Plaz on the March 4th, 2007

On Tecker, you might note the new site boxes along with a few interface tweaks. The sidebar is no longer cut off on the side because the content is not long enough. There is a new min-height for the content area to prevent this. In addition, we cleaned up the style sheets a bit to make our lives easier and have them download faster. On Wednesday the site might have looked a bit weird as we fixed IE6 layout problems. Sorry about that.
But the big new things are the new message boxes. We added friendly looking boxes which tell you if there is an error, a tip, or after something has been done. Here’s an example:

Message Boxes

These let you see at a glance when an action has been accomplished. In addition, after you ask a question or answer one you are taken instantly to it, reducing the number of pages you see. This will be rolled out to more pages soon. The icons are from the silk icon set 1.3 by Mark James. We hope you like them. Should we add more icons to Tecker? Tell us by commenting to this post, or sending us feedback. We love to hear from you!
These changes are not yet on Conflicter, bear with us as we sync the code.

Advertisement Oppertunities on Tecker

Posted in by Plaz on the February 27th, 2007

As you may note, Tecker now has advertising on it.  Advertising will ensure that Tecker remains free to use in the the future, as well as help contributing towards our college fund;).  That said, we are now accepting advertising from interested companies.  The primary ad area will be a 728×90 banner on the top of every page to the right of the logo.  Ad positions will be sold at flat fee to cover a certain percentage of all Tecker page views within a certain time period.  If your interested in advertising on the social computer help network, review our advertising page, and then contact us.

PS. You might notice not much happened on Tecker lately.  I took the past few weeks off to work on SeniorQuoter, the easy way to collect senior quotes for high school yearbooks.  I released a basic 1.0 version available for a free download.  Also, I made major updates to ThePlaz.com, and finished the robot for the FIRST Robotics Competition.  My partner, Mike has been working on his site w3life.  We’ve both made it through a quarter of school and started the long process of thinking about college.  We hope to ad more to Tecker in the future.

Conflicter Now Open!

Posted in by Plaz on the February 4th, 2007

Conflicter, the new place for frank discussion on current social and international issues is now open.  Conflicter is a derivative of Tecker and uses the same code.  Both sites run  their own systems meaning users, categories, etc. exists totally seperate from one another.
I got the idea for Conflicter from my World Cultures Teacher, Mr. Cobb.  His 10th grade history class emphases critical thinking and current issues.  One of his key points it that societies’ mores and values blocks free discussions between different religions, races, etc.  People are afraid to talk about issues because they are afraid to offend people.  This prevents different cultures from understanding each other and continues to build walls between others.  These walls build tension and mis-understanding which creates hatred and bigotry.  Throughout history, one can find examples of how bigotry has divided society and created un-equals.  This creates violence and hatred.  This leads to war, persecution, and genocides.

The time is now to end the persistent hatred throughout our world.  And understanding others is one of the keys achieving that peace.  Because once we understand others, we are less likely to go to war against them or campaign for their annihilation.
However, too free discussions have also hurt us in the past.  Things are taken too far, and the outcome actually hurts society.  Conflicter aims to nurture a community which lives in the middle where free discussions can be lead without the threats of violence or bad words.  Threats and negative speech are not acceptable on Conflicter.

For the World Cultures project I wanted to do something lasting, something more then just a poster or a copy of my research paper on a minisite.  So that’s why I adopted Tecker to create Conflicter.  So let’s try to understand each other to attempt to end international conflicts. Enjoy. http://conflicter.org

-Plaz, Conflicter founder and Tecker co-founder

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