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Unfocused Update

Posted 2009.12.20 12.10 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

So instead of devoting what little energy / functionality I have into something important — like housework, workwork, or that sort of thing — I’ve been using it to muck about with WordPress & my website.

Odds are, you won’t notice anything different. That’s kind of the point actually.

What I’ve been doing was first, upgraded to the latest version, WordPress 2.9 was just released recently. Then I have been rewriting most of the files that drive my custom theme. I also scrapped my mobilized plugin, as I’ve changed my theme to dynamically adjust itself depending on whether the viewer is using a mobile / handheld browser or not.

Not that the mobilized plugin had any problems – just that it required a secondary mobilize theme, and I kept forgetting to update that theme when I did anything with the primary theme. So finally I figured, heck with it, I’ll just adapt the main theme so it can serve both fullsize and mobile user agents.

The only visible change actually is that I got rid of the fancy tag-cloud plugin, and started using the normal built-in one. The only real difference there is the tag-cloud words don’t change colour any more. No real reason for the change, just that I felt like eliminating a plugin. I’m down to only 5 plugins now, and two of those are mine. 🙂

I could probably offload another one of those into my theme functions, but I haven’t decided yet if I want to do that.

Anyhow – still not focused on the right things. And now I’m wasting time writing about working on the wrong stuff instead of working on the right stuff. This is me paying homage to the Gods of Procrastination.

2,000 Spams and Counting

Posted 2009.09.07 9.45 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

About a month ago, I made some changes to the way comments work here. Formerly, a Captcha needed to be decyphered to post a comment, and then every comment needed to be approved. I was aware that this was a less-than-perfect way of handling things, but those effing spammers have made life difficult for folks wanting to run a clean wholesome interactive blog.

Spam, spam, spamAnyhow, back to the changes. I knew my system was imperfect but it took some reading before I decided it was time to make changes. I removed the Captcha completely, and replaced it with Akismet. I also changed the moderation method so that rather than every single comment requiring approval, only brand-new commenters would have to be approved. Returning readers would get the green-light automatically.

In that time, Akismet has blocked over 2,000 spams from appearing, with only a single spam comment getting through – and even then, it did not appear on the site, it went into the moderation queue as a new commenter.

Now that comment spam is being effectively blocked, I find that it doesn’t irritate me as much as it did before. It still annoys, and I hate spammers with the passion of a thousand firey nuns, but now when I look in the spam queue, I find sometimes I get a laugh at some of the BS that these bots and lowlifes ‘write’.

Why Blog?

Posted 2009.07.26 10.23 in Computers/Internet/Technology, DID, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Here’s a meta-type question that has rattled around for a while. Why am I doing this? That is to say, why do I write this blog? And that could be extended a bit more to include, why do I even have this website? Obviously a lot of work has gone into it, and continues to go into maintaining, updating, and adding to it. So… why? What’s the point?

It isn’t for money – there are no ads or affiliate links or anything of the sort here. There’s no hidden pay-to-access section. It’s not so much that the idea of monetizing the blog/site hasn’t occured, but I mostly don’t like ads and haven’t felt the need to monetize anything. It isn’t for some kind of self-aggrandizement. To be honest, I’m actually a rather shy individual and sometimes get embarassed at the thought of people actually reading all this stuff.

I think ultimately there are a few reasons why I do all this. It really boils down to the fact that I like to learn and share knowledge; I like funny things and like to share the funny; I sometimes forget things and the blob is a good place to save information so I can find it again later. Finally, I like to create, and writing is an inexpensive way to be creative. In some cases, it’s also somewhat theraputic for myself, this writing stuff.

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Ham Radio Pages Updated

Posted 2009.07.25 12.04 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Hobbies by Stephanie

At long last, I have finally updated all the ‘coming soon’ pages under the Radio Stuff section of this site.

It’s about 3 months since I had intended to get them finished, and about 6 months since I actually started in the first place. So, sorry about the delay everyone. Things are gradually falling into place. I’ll have to take time at some point to review all the pages and make sure there aren’t any dangling ‘coming soon’ or ‘under construction’ things, or dead links.

The site has grown to (as of this writing) 63 pages, nearly 400 posts, and almost 100 comments. If I remember correctly, it serves three separate domain names, and contains about 5 megabytes of data — not including the photos, videos, and other uploaded media / attachments. There are a dozen plugins, including a couple of my own creation, and many of the others modified or customized to my requirements, a number of widgets, again including a couple of my own creation, and two customized themes – a normal version and a mobile version.

Zowie.

rightnow

Consolidation Part 2

Posted 2009.07.25 8.16 in Computers/Internet/Technology, iPhone by Stephanie

Recently I folded my Artwork website into my blog/CMS/site here. After some contemplation and thinking it over, I’ve decided to also fold my iPhone Software site into here as well.

There are a few reasons for doing this.

Primarily, it is to get everything into one place with regards to administration and site management. Certainly it’s easier to manage when all the related pages are under one roof so to speak.

Second, is the fact that having everything running under the same CMS / site provides a consistant look / feel / style to all the related content. In other words, instead of each separate site / sub-site having a different style and set-up, they all now share a common appearance, common menu navigation, and common search setup.

Finally, it makes things easier in the sense of not having to remember / maintain a bunch of different domains or sub-directories. The various domains can continue to exist but redirect to the new location under the primary domain, which makes overall navigation and cross-promotion within my various interests much easier, for readers and for myself.

Running Out Of Words

Posted 2009.07.24 8.29 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Uncategorized, Work by Stephanie

This month I’ve been writing quite a lot, trying to meet a personal goal of 1,000 words per day of personal (non-business-related) writing. The blob has been a great vehicle of course for this, and at the risk of sounding immodest, I think at least some of my writing this past month has been better than my average level of mindless babbling.

It’s getting difficult though – I guess I’m reaching the point where it starts becoming work and maybe writers’ block begins to set in.

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WordPress Stuff

Posted 2009.07.20 10.26 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Family/Friends by Stephanie

So this past month I’ve been helping my good friend Lezley to migrate her comic and web stuff from basically a standard html / cgi based system that I created 3 years ago, to a site fully powered by WordPress. We’re combining her stuff all into one site so she’ll have her comic and blog and everything under one roof, and start building it up from there.

It’s been kind of fun in that it is forcing me to learn more and get better aquainted with WordPress again. I’d gotten to a point with my own sites where I was just using them and not really doing anything interesting. I guess you reach a level where you’re happy with how things are, so you stop learning and expanding, then the world starts moving on and unless something happens to force you to keep up with it, you end up falling further behind. (Damn technology always improving and evolving.)

Anyhow, go and check it out! Peeling Onions’ new home is LezleyDavidson.com!

Cheers!