Sunday, November 06, 2005

End of the Blogging Hiatus

There may have been a few of you who noticed that I haven’t been writing lately. By “Lately”, I mean since October 23 . . . two full weeks!

The reason I haven’t been writing is that I didn’t feel like it. Not a good excuse, but I’ve been engaged in a few other projects which took up too much of my free time. Also, there haven’t been a lot of IPSC matches in the CCS section lately, and I didn’t ‘feel like’ talking about anything else.

Or maybe it was just writer’s block.

Here is a short list of the things I’ve been doing which have taken up so much of my time:

  • trying to develop a website at

  • trying to establish a GEEK Photo Gallery on that server or on that website

  • adding HALOSCAN commenting system to avoid spammers

  • searching for new and interesting websites that I can link to

The website isn’t working yet. I bought MS FrontPage, but I can’t use the full publishing capabilities because my server doesn’t support it. That means that all the macros which are embedded in the code don’t work, so the templates need to be re-written. For example, the table-formatted link buttons are just not there! I have a lot of work to do before I get all the bugs out, and what little I DO have that works is mostly just a skeletal structure. Even getting the links right is a learning experience for me. Some Geek, eh?

The photo gallery software I chose is powerful, and it’s free. I chose it because it allowed *.mpeg and *.wmv formatted video files to be posted. It also requires installation on the server, and apparently that isn’t going to happen. The alternatives are to either build my own webpages, or use an existing gallery (such as Kodak Gallery) to host the still photos and THEN build my own webpages for the videos. I’ll probably choose the latter.

I’m not sure if the HALOSCAN code is working yet, because I haven’t blogged since I installed it. We’ll see what happens when I have a few comment-worthy articles posted, but I strongly suspect I still have some code changes to make before it’s fully functional.

In an ironic note, the week after I installed HALOSCAN, BLOGGER came up with new functionality on their Comments processing which provided exactly the kind of controls I was looking for. That is, the comments would be routed to me FIRST, and I would choose which would be accepted. This imposed a delay between the time a reader posts a comment and the time when it actually displays, which is not my first choice.

I have found a couple of interesting websites which I haven’t linked to before, and those will be the subject of another post in the immediate future.

Finally, this article represents another new blogging technique. I’m writing this on my MS-WORD software, and publishing it directly to BLOGGER. It’s a lot easier to compose, and it has a HUGE advantage in the immediate spell-checking and grammar checking. (But I have a lot of words to add to my dictionary, such as ‘blogging’ ‘webpages’ and ‘wmv’. In fact, I just did that!)

So this is something of a test of that new technique, and as soon as I figure out the possibilities of using the word processor for creating a new article, I’ll start playing with the techniques for editing in pictures and links.

Gee, this looks funny. IT adds comments and trackback BEFORE the post, as well as the full comments-options lines at the end. Unfortunately, while I'm reasonably certain that this is caused by the interface between MS-Word and Blogger, it may have to do with the incomplete installation of Haloscan coding.

I'll play with this for a while, just to see what it looks like when I use the old technique of writting directly via Blogger post-editing. I may end up deleting this post, eventually, because while it's fun to try new toys . . . it's kind of boring to read about it.

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