A blog for odd things and odd thoughts.

Happy Third Anniversary, OddThinking!

April 10 is OddThinking’s third Anniversary. Tradition holds that I do an annual recap.

I have to admit, this anniversary caught me unawares. I only noticed when I was reminded at midnight last night so this year’s recap is a bit less in depth.

In the 12 months, there have been a total of 94 posts (down 15%), 482 comments (down 27%) and 93,000 spam messages (up 330%).

Highlights by Month


I changed to a new web host.


Only one post in the entire month; I was distracted by my father’s serious illness.


The death of my father led to a series of sentimentality-free stories about him.

My first web-comic was published. It was also my last (to date).


My web server was hit by a self-inflicted Denial of Service attack.

My brain was hit by a self-inflicted Denial of Service attack.


I described a plan to paint the moon red.


First review of a live performance


This month contrasted a bunch of pranks combined with a serious look at one aspect of the Climate Change Debate. That Climate Change post got me a steady stream of new traffic and introduced a new audience to OddThinking.


I finally tackled the Podcast/Winegum Shuffle Optimisation problem, only to be 0wned by Aristotle and Jonathon’s much faster (and equally sub-optimal) solution.

I belately introduced Julian Links.


EmailShroud 2.2 was released and I solved Virus 2 in a disappointing boring way.

I asked a innocuous and trivial question about beverage containers and was surprised by the level of interest.


A puzzle-solving month, introducing Alphametics, and Slitherlinks, and discussing the generic architecture that can solve them.

Another WordPress plugin, Compact Monthly Archive Widget, was released.


One of my favourite pranks, carried out on other pranksters.


Quiet month, including the acknowledgement of two pre-eminent geeks who had passed away.


Started a surge approach to re-starting the blogging after 7 weeks of less than a post a week.

Reader Statistics

Most Read Pages
  1. Samsung PC Studio 3 vs Microsoft Outlook
  2. A Hat Trick of Trick Questions
  3. A Kakuro Solver
  4. A New Owner’s Review of the Samsung D600 Mobile Phone
  5. EmailShroud
  6. What do I think of the SVG standard?
  7. Seeing the Man-in-the-moon
  8. Solving the Four Fours Problem*
  9. In what direction does the sun set?

* = Published this year.

Posts with the most comments
  1. Wine-gum/Podcast Selection Algorithm Solution
  2. Why are different drinks packaged differently?
  3. Why you shouldn’t use Facebook and why you shouldn…
  4. The Sum of… One Million Frickin’ Laser Beams
  5. iTunes and I
  6. Message-Passing in my Puzzle-Solving Architecture
  7. Maths Insurance
  8. Solving the Four Fours Puzzle
  9. Male Modle
  10. Sat Nav Lust
Most Prolific Commenters
  1. Me!
  2. Aristotle Pagaltzis from Plasmasturm
  3. Alastair from Girtby.net
  4. John Y.
  5. Chris from Brainsnorkel
  6. Sunny Kalsi from The USS Quad Damage
  7. Richard
  8. Bork Blatt
  9. Jonathon Duerig
  10. Tie: Andrew and James

I am, of course, extremely grateful to each of you.

Bot Statistics

Searchiest Search Engines

(i.e. whose bots crawl the most)

  1. Yahoo
  2. MSNBot
  3. GoogleBot

Google continues to refer about 80% of the search visitors.

Search Results

A fair number of visitors come to OddThinking straight from a search engine. A record is kept of what they were looking for when they got here.

The most popular search terms change each month… slightly…

Most Popular Search Terms, by Month

Month Top Search Term Runner-Up Search Term
May 07 trick questions samsung pc studio
Jun 07 trick questions samsung pc studio
Jul 07 trick questions kakuro solver
Aug 07 trick questions kakuro solver
Sep 07 trick questions kakuro solver
Oct 07 trick questions kakuro solver
Nov 07 trick questions kakuro solver
Dec 07 trick questions samsung pc studio
Jan 08 trick questions samsung pc studio
Feb 08 kakuro solver samsung pc studio
Mar 08 svg photoshop kakuro solver
Apr 08 samsung pc studio review stupid trick questions


Posting/Commenting Frequency

My favourite big ugly graph:

The tops of the vertical bars show how many posts I made per day. They should be measured against the scale on the left.

Rather a mediocre number of posts, with June and March being the worst two months on record.

The green and blue boxes show how the posts are split between the posts that never received a response and those that did receive comments.

One metric I am trying to minimise is the percentage of green. I can’t see an obvious improvement, and I haven’t check the figures closely (yet?)

The light blue line (using the scale on the right-hand axis) shows how many comments I receive per day. Unsurprisingly, it is strongly correlated to the number of posts I made.

Comments are down considerably, with an odd jump in December/January.

The dotted yellow line has no scale shown. It compares how many page hits I have had each month, since I started measuring at the end of September 05. The collection technique used changes (BAS_Stats to Google Analytics) in October 2006.

The correlation between posts and page hits disappears for a few months from May to November. I can’t explain that.


Q: Ignoring future inflation, how long before Google Adsense will pay enough money to buy my own weight in chocolate bars?

A: There’s been no relief in the strong Australian dollar in the past year. A new baseline Mars Bar source has seen a once-off 28% increase in price. Similarly, a change of bathroom scales, and an increase in sedentarism has seen a small but significant gain in mass.

It looked like a bleak year for the chocolate project.

Astonishingly, given less than a 50% increase in content this year, the Adsense revenue has grown disproportionately higher. Another solid leap towards its goal!

The new ETA for the chocolate binge is 2047, an improvement of 9 years. That’s actually within my life expectancy, so now I have something to look forward to!

Summing Up

This year had a few of quiet stretches; not total blog black-out but certainly blog brown-outs here and there. That’s reflected in both the reduced number of posts, and the even bigger reduction in comments.

My current expectations are that the next 12 months will see a return to more consistent posting and a continuing evolution in the “OddThinkingian” style (as John Y. might put it).

Originally, I expected the blog would probably last about three months. Three years is a good milestone!

Thanks, as always, to all of my regular readers.

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