Rolling my own URL shortener

Thanks to the popularity of micro-blogging sites such as Twitter, URL shorteners are popping up everywhere. Bit.ly, one of the most popular shortening services, has raised over $2 million dollars in funding!

Despite their popularity, URL shortening sites are by no means a permanent fixture on the internet. A perfect example of this was tr.im, which announced last month that it was shutting down (and taking down all the links users had generated with it). Fortunately, tr.im decided to reverse its decision soon after. However, this shows how potentially vulnerable these services are.

For fun (and peace of mind) – I decided to experiment with creating my own URL shortener for personal purposes! This would allow me to periodically backup my database of links and also serve as a way to bookmark and share content that I find interesting. Plus, I was able to acquire a fun URL as well.

Say hello to dave.ly!

If you see links from it, you know it’s from me and is something I thought was interesting enough to share! Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think. I’d like to do some more things in the future as well (i.e., show a list of the most popular links).

Pranks Around the Apartment Building – Esoteric Humor

Among our friends, my roommates and I are known as pranksters, constantly pulling random jokes on each other and other people that we love.

Over the holidays, our landlord posted an interesting sign in the lobby and elevators of our apartment building. It basically said that the building could not accept 12″ x 12″ x 12″ boxes over the holidays. Included with this announcement was a helpful drawing of a 12″ x 12″ x 12″ box, just in case someone didn’t know what a square looks like.

"Reminder to Tenants"

These signs had been posted for over two weeks. One evening, when my roommates and I were taking the elevator up to our apartment, we thought of a potentially funny idea (at least to us!). We thought it would be funny to have the sign say the exact same thing, except that the drawing would be a rectangle with 12″ x 12″ x 12″ dimensions. Below that would be a message that claimed the drawing was not to scale.

A quick trip to Kinko’s resulted in the following:

"Reminder to Tenants - Drawing not to scale"

We set about posting these around the building one evening. Happy with our work, we went to bed. Upon awaking the next morning and setting off for work, we found that someone had scrawled in angry block letter on one of our signs, “YEAH, NO KIDDING!!!!” with a giant arrow pointing to the “Drawing not to scale” message! Hah. Pretty funny.

By the time we returned home at the end of the day, all the signs had been replaced with correct ones. Ah well. I wonder if our landlord at least laughed?

Us science geeks can have a pretty esoteric sense of humor at times.