Thursday, May 9, 2013

Web 2.0 Blog Rebooted

As I suspected when I began my Web 2.0 experiment, my blogging platform of choice has gone away and left me to reboot my blog once again. I'd dumped my self hosted blog for Posterous for two reasons. I just wasn't finding the enthusiasm to keep playing with Drupal and I wondered if it was really okay to recommend using all these Web 2.0 start ups in place of a self hosted platform with all that ability to precicely tweak the code or even write brand new tools from scratch.

Posterous had great tools for sharing photos and videos as text and I quite liked their Android app. Best of all, it would automatically push out my creations to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and lots of other Web 2.0 sites. And then Twitter bought the company and shut it all down on short notice.

Maybe I should have gone with good old WordPress. There would be lots of opportunities to use the skills I developed helping others with their WordPress sites. And unlike Posterous, if I decided to go back to my own blog again, I could just host my own installation of WordPress. In fact, my hosting provider, Dreamhost, will even handle the installation process for me!

Instead, I've decided to keep with my theme by moving to another proprietary if less apt to disappear platform: Blogger. So far, I'm not seeing as much integration with other services (not even YouTube!) and the Android app seems to have temporarily lost some of the blog posts I'd queued up to finish and publish later (They're back, but I'm writting this one in Evernote.). But I liked some of the customization features when I was setting up the initial look of my blog and integrating it with my domain name couldn't have been easier. I still need to see if I can recreate my old blog posts with their dates intact as I did with the move to Posterous, but I'm pleased with my initial experience.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Decade of Personal Linux

The year of Linux on the desktop has been coming any day now for a decade or more, depending on who you were talking to at the time. The truth is, I'm not sure it's ever coming. Even the dust up over Windows 8 is more likely to drive people to the Mac than to Linux. I'm not blaming Linux for this; I just think it's unlikely.

However, I am sure we are living in the decade of personal Linux. Android accounts for over 70 percent of the smartphone market.  An increacing number of televisions and other home appliances run Linux. (Electrolux makes a line of touch screen appliances that run Linux. The Kindle and some other e-readers run Linux. A variety of DVRs and my mom's digital cable converter box run Linux. (I caught a glimpse of the Fedora login screen while connecting Mom's old picture tube television to her newly converted digital cable.) Even some home routers run Linux. Linux is in devices all around us, just not on our desktops.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Joy of Challenges

The greater joy lies not in crossing the finish line, but in rising to the challenge. We thrive less on our achievements than on our challenges. Achievement's pleasure is fleeting, but it leaves behind an encouragement to spur us on to the next success.

Set goals, create plans, measure progress, course correct, and celebrate upon arrival. Learn to make life a series of milestones and reaching those milestones a lifestyle. Look back for encouragement and forward for direction.

A life spent in the past or in the future is thoroughly dissatisfying. If all hope lies in the past, life is already over. If all hope lies in the future, life never begins.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pretty Weeds

Alien Landscapes

I originally started experimenting with macro photography simply because it was the only way to get my inexpensive camera to create pictures with a shallow depth of field. However, I discovered that taking close up pictures can totally change the way you percieve the thing you're looking at. I took these pictures a couple of years ago while walking through a wooded area along the outskirts of my home town. By looking close up at moss and other things growing on the rocks and fallen trees, I discovered an alien landscape out of some science fiction movie.