Overdue Theme Update

Unfortunately, during the last few weeks, I did not find a lot of time to update the blog. My backlog of interesting posts is increasingly growing, but I did not find the time to write them down. I also spend a ridiculous amount of time to browse through potential WordPress themes to find a suitable theme for a blog.

Most themes provide an insane overload of visuals – which does not come in handy when dealing with code snippets, screenshots and so on.

I also did not want to customize the theme as I did for our podcast site, where I had to write several hundred lines of CSS code to get the theme properly working with the content.

Eventually, I found a theme that provides a suitable set of features without a graphical overload with a clean layout, which is called Melos Minimal which is worth a try.

Link: https://wordpress.org/themes/melos-minimal/

What could possibly go wrong… Updating the Domain again…

After we started our Hack-the-Planet podcast and the www.hack-the-planet.tv project, Daniel, co-host of the Hack-the-Planet podcast always introduced me with “Andreas from the Hack-the-Planet podcast”.

What should I do? The only way out of this misery is to update my blog’s domain once more. The second time this year. The last time I hope. This will be probably much easier than changing the introduction of our podcast. That’s already a running gag, I am afraid.

So I move from try-catch-finally.net (which was based on my strong .NET history) to www.hack-the-planet.net.

Sourcen when loading a webppage of this blog by now…

While moving the domain, I also do have a completely different goal. I will turn around each and every bit so this blog, hosted on a WordPress installation, will finally load only bits and bytes from my server.

Currently, it is an utter nightmare where this blog is loading files from. I will probably break one or another source while doing this, however, I have achieved this goal already for a few websites hosted by me.


Back from vacation, I had to think about how to go on with things. Things are going to change. Winter is coming. While running this blog for years, I finally decided to move the blog to another domain. I am looking for a “better” brand. aheil was my alias at Microsoft as well as in many other systems. It is my alias in many other systems, my XBOX Live ID and so on.

While this migration will cause a major disruption in the force, many search engines will have issues as well. But still, there are some good reasons for me to do so:

  • It’s a DE top-level domain. Would you guess English content here? Yes, me neither.
  • If you are not a German native speaker you probably can’s say this without causing some major dislocations of your tongue. No, I am serious. How do you pronounce it [éháyl], [áhájl] or [áhíɪ́l]? I think you get the idea.
  • I am looking for a better separation of my interests. The blog is a pure personal kind of diary about tech, development, coding and geek stuff. At the same time, I am using the alias aheil for my consulting work for years as a trademark. I want a better separation in the future.
  • The current domain name has nothing to do with coding, tech or even geek stuff. How could it at all, if you can’t even say it!?

I used to own the domain try-catch-finally.net for years, I canceled it some years ago, it was parked and offered for quite an amount of money bit released recently. So I picked it up again. That’s the name the blog is going to be branded as try-catch-finally.net in the future. And just to make it clear, you call it [traɪ kæʧ ˈfaɪnəli dɑt nɛt].

The domain is up, forwarding is active and if you read this, migration is in progress or already done. If eventually add some forwarding rules for blog articles, so sold links still work. But for now, I will go and think about a nice logo using my limited to non-existing graphical skills.

Reading Time

Being inspired by the dev.to articles ( do cross-post some of my dev related articles here), I really liked the estimated reading time on top of each dev.to article. To me, it is very valuable, as most articles < 3 minutes I do read instantly, while larger posts I put on my reading list.

Eventually, I added this information also on every post on this blog to the convenvice of my readers. I hope this i as helpful to others as it is to me.

Write WordPress Posts in Markdown

I recently started to write quite a lot of stuff on my laptop down in plain Markdown. It comes handy when I need to put the information on a Web page or in other documents. Also using a revisioning system like Git is much more convenient when using Markdown. Therefore, I was looking for a possibility to write my blog articles also in Markdown.

Jetpack Approach

With Jetpack there is a possibility to enable Markdown syntax in your WordPress editor. To do so, navigate to Jetpackand then select Writing.

Scroll down and toggle Write posts or pages in plain-text Mardown syntax.

Markdown in Comments

In addition, you might want to enable Markdown for comments in the Diskussion section by toggling Enable Mardown use for comments.

If you now head to the WordPress editor, you will realize that Markdown is still not supported. To use Markdown you actually have to add a Markdown block. And here comes the drawback.

The Drawback

While you can now wite Markdown in the block, you will end up with a mix of different types of blocks in your editor. That way Markdown did not help me a lot to simplify my writing of blog articles.


While you can add Markdown support to WordPress with ease, it is rather unsatisfying. I have different goals in mind where I have to dig a bit deeper, as I want

  • to write blog articles offline in Markdown syntax
  • push them to git repository – including images –
  • and post them in WordPress.

There are probably some solutions out there, I haven’t found yet.

Open Live Writer–Offline Blogging on Windows

While I worked with Microsoft, Windows LiveWriter was my favourite offline writing tool for blog posts. At one point Microsoft stopped supporting Live Writer in 2017 while the tool itself was not developed anymore since 2012. About that time I moved on to Apple and MarsEdit on macOS.

Therefore, I was very pleased when I found Open Live Writer while looking for blogging alternatives on Windows. OPen Live writer is a fork of Windows Live Writer with source code available under a MIT License on GitHub

Open Live Writer Homepage

The installation file is just about 6 MB (indeed megabyte not gigabyte). It supports WordPress, SharePoint, Google Blogger and probably every other service with a proper blogging API.

Supported Blogging Services

Eventually, I set up my blog on Open Live Writer and this article became the very first article IO have written on a Windows machine for the past sever years.


Open Live Writer is a nice offline blogging tool for Windows, just in case you missed it like me.

Blogging again with MarsEdit

Since WordPress cam up with the new editor, actually, writing does not spark fun anymore. Actually, I do not know why I do not like the new editor. Therefore, I recalled MarsEdit, which I used quite some time ago.

MarsEdit 4

I am still not disappointed by the editor. Connection the WorPress installation worked like a charm. Looks like I can start writing blog articles again in a “traditional” manner. 

MarsEdit 4 Editor

Said that, this is going to be the first article written with MarsEdit for a long time.

Feddburner Burnout

It is officially, the Google Feedburner APIs have been deprecated and will be officially shut down in the near future after being bought for about $100 million in 2007.

“Important: The Google Feedburner APIs have been officially deprecated as of May 26, 2011 will be shut down on October 20, 2012.”

For all readers of this blog subscribed to the google Feedburner feed, it has not been available using the URI http://www.feedburner.com/aheil probably providing a 404 error code for the last few days. The Feed Stats dashboard already shows that the feed has subscribers anymore.

. Feedburner Stats

Therefore, everybody looking for a RSS feed of this blog should switch over to https://www.hack-the-planet.net/feed?rss2.

I used Feedburner even before acquired from Google. It was a great way to aggregate various sources of information on the web. Even with a deprecation time of three years, it is quite a loss as Feedburner provided a great way of mashing up data sources. Probably this service did not generate sufficient revenue for Google…

Engineering Windows 7

Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky, both senior managers for the upcoming Windows 7, are hosting a blog called Engineering Windows 7, inviting everybody to comment about the future development of the new Windows platform. Actually, they only request to follow a few guidelines that however should be self-evident following a certain netiquette.

“We’re excited about this blog. As active bloggers on Microsoft’s intranet we are both looking forward to turning our attention and blogging energies towards the community outside Microsoft. We know the ins and outs of blogging and expect to have fun, provide great information, and also make a few mistakes. We know we’ll misspeak or what we say will be heard differently than we intended. We’re not worried. All we ask is that we have a dialog based on mutual respect and the shared goal of making a great release of Windows 7.”