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November 12, 2012

Brushing Up Some Wambooli Fun

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

One project down. Another about to start. Time for some relaxing web page revitalization and programming!

The other day, I noticed that my Burma-Shave slogan page could use some freshening. It was just one, long page full of data. I can do better!

Years ago, back when the Internet was young, I was one a few mailing lists. That was the equivalent to “web surfing” back in the day. There were mailing lists for my favorite TV shows, politics, programming — you name it.

I subscribed to one mailing list that delivered trivia. One day, some nerd on the Internet (though it was more likely the ARPAnet back then) forwarded the complete list of Burma Shave slogans. Apparently the list was used somewhere as the MOTD, or Message Of The Day, which was displayed every time you logged into a computer. Nifty, eh?

So I saved the complete Burma-Shave list and stored it away, figuring I may make an MOTD script for it someday.

When I first created my Wambooli web site, I was looking for things to add to its content. Riffling through my older file drawers, I found the Burma-Shave slogan list. In a matter of web seconds, I formatted the thing and posted it as page.

Over the years a few people have commented on it, enjoying the memories. It’s not really linked to any of the Burma-Shave trivia sites, but it is the complete list.

Just last week I was reviewing my Burma-Shave slogan page, and I thought, “I can do better.” I mean, it’s just a big long list. And aren’t long lists kind of sort of maybe like a database?

Using my vast knowledge of quick-and-dirty, inefficient web coding, I transferred the Burma-Shave slogan list into a MySQL database. Then I cooked up some PHP to dish out the slogans by year, randomly, or to display the entire list. It all took me a couple of hours, but I like the way it turned out.

Not only that, I also discovered that many of the web pages found in the Wambooli Fun department were rather dated. Plus, they lacked advertising. Those ads generate a pittance of income to help run the site. Say hello to even more PHP programming and web page coding! That didn’t take as long as re-doing the Burma-Shave slogan page, but it was worthwhile.

Of course, work calls. Soon I’ll have another project and the email inbox will once again grow thick with messages. Oh, and I have to work in the yard, despite the heavy layer of snow outside. Not every deadline I have is for the things I write.

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