Daily Archives: Thursday, 28th Apr 2011

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 April 2011

No change today, which isn’t a bad thing, I suppose.

I mentioned recently that I’d revived my espresso machine. Well, I was so happy with the results that I decided it was time to take things further and upgrade my espresso making facilities a bit. Not the actual machine, you understand – I’m happy with that, and the only thing that would make me upgrade would be total failure of the machine or a large lottery win. But there were a few things I could do, and I’ve done them.

The first thing was to get a proper heavy duty tamper. That’s the thingy that you use to press down the ground coffee in your portafilter. The machine came with a basic plastic thing for doing this, which sort of does the job, but needs a fair bit of force to work properly. So I spent £20 on a real one. It’s got a good heavy bit of smooth metal to do the pressing, and a nicely polished wooden handle, which makes it feel very comfortable to use. Its weight means that it just takes a quick twist to tamp down the coffee nicely.

The next thing was something I’ve been vaguely researching for a while – a grinder that can actually produce coffee fine enough to work properly in my Gaggia. I’ve tried a few but they weren’t up to the job. Looking into it suggested I could spend very silly amounts of money on serious grinders, but I didn’t want to go that far. A bit more research suggested that Gaggia’s own MDF grinder would actually be quite adequate for my needs, and seeing reviews on a few sites reinforced that. But where to get it? The best UK price seemed to be a slightly expensive £175. But then I remembered the nice people who sold me the Gaggia Baby D – Caffè Italia. While they have a UK domain and correspondence address, they seem to be mostly based in Italy, and send the goods from there – quite remarkably, Gaggia still manufacture their toys in Milan, so this is where you need to be. Their price was a much more friendly £124, to which I added a base – this is a slightly expensive thing for what it is, but it is neat. You get a platform to hold your espresso machine and grinder, with a drawer for knocking out the grounds after each coffee. It took just over a week to arrive, which I was quite happy with. Here’s a quick iPhone picture of my upgraded coffee kit:

Back to the grind

Back to the grind

More editing fun and games

Last year, I gave myself the entertaining task of moving all the photographs on this site from Gallery2 to WordPress’s native image management. It was a lot of work, but it was worthwhile. What I didn’t change at the time was the smaller (but still significant) number of images I’d linked from my Flickr photostream. After all, Flickr isn’t (very) likely to go away, I thought.

But what did go away was the ability of the code created by the plugin I’d used at the time to, you know, actually display the pictures. I noticed this when I was checking things over after the recent redesign. I was moderately alarmed to see this kind of thing on a lot of posts:

What the Flickr?

What the Flickr?

Apparently, whatever the plugin is doing is convincing Flickr that I’m trying to link to a non-existent video.  This is probably down to a change in how you’re supposed to link to things. :rant:

I didn’t want to leave those posts in that state, so I had a choice. Fix up the Flickr links and hope that Flickr don’t change things again, or move the pictures into WordPress. The latter option would be more work, but would be more future proof, and would give me control over how big the inserted images are.

So yes, that’s what I’m doing. Identifying the affected posts required a bit of MySQL fun – I did a search for the plugin shortcode directly in the database, and exported the results to Excel. Now all I have to do is edit each post in turn, grab the photograph number from the shortcode, paste that into the address bar on a Flickr photo page to bring up the full-sized image, drag that to my desktop, then add it to the post in the usual WordPress way. And repeat, and repeat, and repeat…

Only another 150 posts to fix. Probably.

I’ve now updated all the borked posts. That was fun…