Personal Technology – Series Introduction

 Software, Technology  Comments Off on Personal Technology – Series Introduction
Apr 052007
 

Over the past year or so, I’ve made a concerted attempt to get all my technology integrated to the extent that is reasonable, and actually helping me manage my life…rather than getting in the way. I think I’ve had a small level of success, so I’m going to write an irregular series on the “technology” I personally use day-to-day.

In some cases, this may be the software I use, other times I’ll write about gadgets I’ve incorporated into my life. I may also use the series to periodically rant and rave about how I or others abuse technology sometimes, and allow it to take over our lives.

I would classify myself as a bit of a gadget head. I like trying new gadgets, but I’m not afraid to return them if they don’t make my life better. However, I make no claim to have “automated” every aspect of my life…nor do I want to. I use desktop and mobile technology myself, and I may, from time to time discuss technology I might use out in the world.

I guess I should start with the pieces of the technology that make this blog possible. First, the site is hosted on my personal web hosting account at Bluehost.com. I started out using a hosting service that was purchased by a larger company. They more than quadrupled the annual cost, and reduced the services. Not until I canceled the account did they contact me to offer to “grandfather” me in. I hate companies that play games like that. From there I moved to a company called No Monthly Fees.com. I won’t even provide a link to them, as they were pretty poor service providers. I frequently had problems with their e-mail, and there support was fairly arrogant and unresponsive. I moved to Bluehost about six months ago, and have been pleased so far.

This site is driven by an open-source freeware software called WordPress. WordPress is weblog (aka blog) software. I employ a number of plug-ins written by other software authors. I won’t elaborate too much here about the technology behind the site, as I have a more lengthy explanation already posted on the Deep Technology page here on the site.

The site is integrated with my Flickr account. The photo galleries are hosted there, but you can view them from within this site because of plug-in I use. This is one of the ways I’ve tried to use the best product/service/software for each thing I want to do, but still have everything as integrated as possible. I’ll write more about Flickr and that integration in another article.

Pretty Much Done

 General, Technology  Comments Off on Pretty Much Done
Mar 142006
 

You might have noticed that posting appears to be lite lately. Actually, I’ve been adding some posts related to my movie collection, and I’ve been doing lots of updates to the blog. In fact, I think I pretty much have it complete in terms of functionality. This included an upgrade to the most recent version of the WordPress software to Version 2.0.2.

I’ve enjoyed learning more about PHP and CSS as I’ve tweaked the files that drive this blog. I’ve done some fairly extensive customization, but mostly it’s some very small things. As an example, if you select a category and get the category archive page, there’s a tag that displays the description of the category. When you display an archive page, it will show only an excerpt from each article.

I have also placed all my photos on the Flickr website service in albums, and have configured a plugin in WordPress that will display those photos here on the blog. As I mentioned above, I also got all the movies from my movie collection posted here. One friend asked me why I’d do that. Mostly, I was making use of a very cool structured blogging plugin that connects to the?Internet Movie Database (IMDB). I also did some extensive customization to control how that category is displayed.

This final run at getting the “back end” of the site the way I wanted including writing a page about the technology that runs the site. I got that completed last night, with some finally design tweaks finished up this evening.

So, I have to admit the blog is mainly for me as a place to express ideas and thoughts, but I hope that, sometimes, you enjoy what goes on here, and I remind you that I leave comments open on all the articles so that you can express your own ideas about a particular topic. I wish more of you would take advantage of that aspect of the blog.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week.