Category Archives: NASCAR

2013 Sprint Cup Driver Standings Added to NASCAR Page

NASCARAs my previous posts mention, NASCAR changed their website which broke my ability to get both RSS News feeds and driver standings from their site. The NASCAR.COM Driver Standings page is now generated locally by JavaScript within the browser, breaking my ability to parse the page using PHP. I have now added the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Standings back to my NASCAR page using the information found at the Yahoo! Sports NASCAR Standings page. It’s a good enough source for now and the site is done much better than NASCAR’s. In fact, I changed my driver links to point to Yahoo!’s driver pages as well.

If I tweak anything else on my NASCAR page, I’ll update this post. 🙂

Oh, as a side note, I unsubscribed from NASCAR’s RaceView product before the season started so I can’t use or test it now. All I really used it for was scanner audio and most of the time I used the RaceBuddy in-car camera/audio when it was available. During the Phoenix race yesterday, can’t say I really missed having scanner audio available, so no plans on re-subscribing at this time.

Blog Updated to WordPress v3.5.1 and Other Website Changes

Blog Update

Just completed upgrading my blog to WordPress 3.5.1 which corrected some bugs and addressed some security issues. All I did for this update was backup my database and files and then clicked the automatic update button. No problems. Well, if this post works, then no problems. LOL 🙂

Other Website Updates

January 26, 2013: Forgot to mention something rather obvious on the front page of my main website. Like my blog’s sidebar, I added the latest song I played in Winamp. Late last night (early this morning) I also modified my NASCAR page to show ESPN’s NASCAR News Feed for now as NASCAR removed their feeds from their site. Ehh, NASCAR’s loss I guess.

XMPlay LogoOther than the changes to my NASCAR page the previous post mentions, I worked on my MOD Page to have the same color and background as everything else. It made more sense back in the day when each page was stand-alone with no side menu. I also added links and information (Windows 7 users with UAC will want to read) to a new MOD player I’ve been trying called XMPlay. It plays MOD files very well. I’ve tried a few of the skins out and added the LAME Encoder so I can create MP3 files from the MOD files. I will probably install the latest version from the LAME Project and experiment with the best command line parameters.

I updated my Entertainment/Now Playing page to correct an issue I was having with the GetGlue Sticker widget. I kept getting web service errors with it (from GetGlue). I went on GetGlue’s Widget page for my account and looked at the source code they had on their page for my widgets there and added this bit of code prior to the script code line they tell you to add which seems to have done the trick:

<script type="text/javascript">
   var getglue = getglue || {};
   getglue.config = getglue.config || {};
   getglue.config.host = 'widgets.o.getglue.com';
   getglue.config.webhost = 'o.getglue.com';
</script>

To see/get these widgets, you have to be logged into their “old” or original website which, IMHO, is much better.

Those are the only updates really worth mentioning at this time. 🙂

Changes Made to NASCAR’s Website and My NASCAR Page

NASCARAt the beginning of this month, NASCAR changed their website design which necessitated making some changes on my own NASCAR page. First, it seems that NASCAR has removed their RSS News feeds from the site as those are no longer working. As such, I’ve had to remove the NASCAR News headlines and excerpts from my page for now. There might be some way to get the main stories by parsing the website itself or I may have to use another online source that has an RSS feed that I can parse without much code modification.

I have also corrected the links that referenced Dale Jr, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, and Danica Patrick’s pages on the NASCAR website. The ones in the Drivers Standings list are still pointing to the old pages, which do get re-directed; however, I am not going to correct those as I suspect I’ll have to completely change how I’m getting the standings once the 2013 season starts. In fact my links to the Drivers Standings now go to 404 error pages. The only reason I’m able to get the 2012 standings is that I was getting them based off the server’s IP address which looks to still be active and has the old website content. The current NASCAR Standings page’s content is now completely generated via JavaScript in the browser which means my current method of getting the standings will not work at all. 🙁

Given the above, my overall opinion about the changes to the NASCAR website is not going to be very objective right now. It seems to me the overall design is putting emphasis on it being viewed with a smartphone or tablet with a small screen and not necessarily on a PC with a large viewing area. Everything is huge and there so much wasted space. The front page is consumed by a 1280×530 image at the top and if I enable ads on the page the only thing I see on the front page is a banner ad and that large rotating image banner. OK, I do see the navigation menus at the top, but I have to hit Page Down twelve times to see all the content. Granted, it’s ten Page Downs on my blog but I’m showing complete article content.

Anyway, I’ll have to wait and see what happens on the site during and after the Daytona 500 races to really give my final thoughts on the changes and work on getting the 2013 Driver Standings. 😕

Website Changes for October 2012

Here’s October 2012’s list of changes changes to my websites. 🙂

Friday, October 26, 2012

While I was trying to get a new version of Apache (2.2.23) and PHP (5.3.18) installed and working on my system to better match what Surpass Hosting upgraded my server to on the 23rd, I noticed that I had a slightly newer version of the Inception Blu-ray page than had been uploaded. It now has the back-cover image and properly sized player to match the trailer’s actual dimensions. The things that happened concerning the server upgrade and me trying to get these newer Apache and PHP versions installed and working would probably warrant a separate post.

Suppose I should change the published date on this post to match the latest date on it. Uhh.. maybe not.. it changes the permalink for the post as well, breaking the old link. Better change the published date back to the original LOL. Hrmm.. food for thought with these posts. I know what to do next time. Make sure I change the permalink to contain just the month of the post and not the day. Actually, I can’t do that either, at least not easily. I’d have to manually change the permalink in the database. Ehh.. I’ll think on the matter.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Decided I would try out Twitter’s new Embedded Timeline widgets. I’ve added this newer version to both my main website and blog. I also decided to test out a #NASCAR search widget on my NASCAR page. At the moment I’d call them a work in progress. For example, I’ve defined the link color to be blue or #0000FF for the widget on my main website and they do show as blue in Firefox; however, they don’t in IE9. The #NASCAR search widget is also missing a lot of tweets that a normal #NASCAR search shows. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now in case there is some behind the scenes work still going on that I’m not aware of or some setting that I need to tweak. If it doesn’t start to work better in a few days then I’ll probably get rid of it.

Blog Updated to WordPress Version 3.4.2 and Other Changes.

I just finished updating my blog to WordPress Version 3.4.2 which is a maintenance and security update. This post is just as much a test of the upgrade as it is anything. It’s been a long time since I made a post about upgrading WordPress because there’s really not much to say about it. All I do is backup the database and files, click “update” in the admin section, and I’m done. The whole process takes like 30 seconds. Since only modified files are updated now, the code changes I make to vars.php and wp-login.php rarely need to be added back in.

I used to add little news snippets on the front of my main website every time I changed something on one of the pages. Most recently, I changed the Entertainment/Now Playing page where I merged the TV and Movie section and added the GetGlue Check-In and Sticker Widgets on the side to show what I’ve watched most recently. I’ve probably made other tweaks here and there but I can’t remember where and what LOL. I suspect after I hit publish on this post I’ll uncover some issues that I’ll need to address.

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day Weekend and I’m looking forward to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race this weekend at Richmond to determine the final chase line-up! 🙂