I remember how excited I was when I managed to get an invite for the service. Back then we actually called it Google gmail (or was it just Google mail?).
Looks like I gave away about over a hundred invites back when they were “closed” for accounts (maybe more if I deleted some, but if I did, I don’t know why all the others would still be in my sent box). Towards the end, they pretty much had unlimited invites but you still had to know someone to have them send you one.
Little did we know we’d have all the Google applications that now come along with it.
It’s the number one e-mail that I recommend to anyone these days, even though it may not be the address I always use as my return address, it’s generally where the mail gets forwarded to.
PS – I always tell people to not use the e-mail your internet provider (cable or DSL company) gives you for free, you’ll lose that when you want to switch providers. If you use that address for important things you won’t want to switch since you’ll lose that address. That’s why some people are still hanging onto AOL addresses after all these years…
So it’s been six years since I started blogging. Sometimes I blog a lot and sometimes a little but I come really close to averaging one post a day (actually about 0.995 posts per day). I’ve really been slacking lately, all the vacation days when I’ve written more than a few help pick up the numbers, but I never like it when a week goes by that I haven’t posted. This year I only did a little over 200, so I’ll try and make up for it over the next year, if I could post five different days a week, I think I’d be happier about it…
This post is a bit of a mish-mash of tech details and thoughts of blogging.
I originally started using Movable Type for the blog in 2003, I had my blog in a subdirectory of GaryLaPointe.com and changed subdirectories a few timesand then in 2005 moved it to here at GarySaid.com and left it alone.
If had a tech suggestion for anyone blogging, it’s pick a domain name and stick to it so that you don’t lose readers (and search engine links); choose something vague/generic so if you change what you blog about your web address can stay the same if you want it to. While I call my blog the same name “Gary Said…” I could easily change the title to “Lone Geek Blogging” (or whatever) but still have the same easy to remember address.
I really enjoy blogging, it’s nice to reflect on parts of my life and have to think up semi-coherent paragraphs to describe whatever it is that I’m thinking about. I try to keep most of my blog positive and remember that I don’t blog about everything in my life, so sometimes it’s not always the easiest thing to come up with a topic.
I never knew who would come read and while I’ve met a few people I really have no idea how many people I know (or don’t know) actually read my blog. The one thing I know is that I really enjoy getting feedback from people (even when it’s something short like “I thought the same thing about that”) and it’s extra special getting a link back from someone when they just mention my site or even a specific article (even if it’s just one of my money saving tips). I hope that feeling never goes away!
Since I mentioned comments, here’s some comment info/stats and then I’m going to go (the day is almost over). On average, I actually get about 1.5 comments per post, but in actuality most posts don’t get comments. Of my 3,000+ comments I’d bet that 1,000 go to the same dozen posts over and over again (my bed has 454 comments, hacking iTunes has 91 and another ten have between 30 and 100).
I’ve found a new WordPress plug-in that I like. It’s called “A Year Before“.
It’s got options to show a year ago today (or months or days) what you were blogging about. I’m using “anniversary mode” which I think is taking the post from today for as many years back as it can find.
Don’t worry if you haven’t been blogging long it’s got a “range” to show posts near a year ago (or six months ago). I’m running it on WordPress 2.8.2 (as of this writing) and it seems to be fine.
I’ve been using it the last few days at the bottom of my left sidebar, but since I’m blogging about it I moved it to the top of the left sidebar, so you can see what it really looks like. I copied the text here so the links actually work. I’m not sure where I’ll move it to later.
It’s interesting, maybe more to me than you, but they always say you should show links to older posts for newer readers. Without even reading them I’m reminded about a trip to London (and the concert I went to a few days before) and the slideshow viewer that never detected flash properly, a homeland security site (which now appears to be a FEMA site), Google maps adding the Moon, my dreams for a new MacBook and how $5 fixed my convertible roof saving me hundreds of dollars (and save multiple readers the same!).
So twenty-five years ago today, Apple released the Macintosh computer. And as far as I’m concerned, they changed the world.
I was never an Apple II person, I was an Atari 800 guy. Then I used PCs for a while (DOS and Windows 3.1). For years I couldn’t understand why I should switch from my cheaper PC-Windows machine so it took me a few years (8) to get one (after using them in my graduate education program at MSU) but I’ve been a convert ever since. That’s not to say I don’t own a Windows machine (or two) but they’re usually doing mundane tasks, which my Macs are for creative tasks and what I want to use for my everyday stuff.
I think my first Mac was a used Macintosh Plus (with an add-on external hard drive), then a classic (same shape way more power), a PowerPC 6100 (pizza box shape), a tower PowerMac G4 (the first one with a DVD burner) and I owned a few used ones that I picked up here and there (a IIci and IIcx and a Quadra 605 that had been upgraded to a PPC). I paid way too much for the two PowerMac desktops, I did a few processor upgrades to get some more life out of them.
But I’ve also had a few Apple laptops: The PowerBook Duo 280c which in my opinion was the best laptop ever; more of a sub-notebook (1.5″ x 10.9″ x 8.5″) and you could get a dock you could stuck it into (like a big floppy) and it would use the monitor(s), keyboard, mouse and anything else plugged into the dock (hard drive, CD, etc.). I eventually upgraded the motherboard in that to turn it into a PowerPC 2300c and used that for a while. After that I had a PowerBook G3 luggable laptop, it was huge but had power, memory, storage and a beautiful 14 inch(?) display; fully loaded I think that was over $5,000 but it was a heavy beast to lug around. Since then I’ve stuck with smaller 12-inch models: an iBook (I got the iBook instead of the PowerBook because I wanted a smaller model), the first 12-inch PowerBook and the last 12-inch PowerBook (the 12-inch PowerBook is probably my second favorite after the Duo). My latest is a white 13.3-inch MacBook (the fastest plastic model from just before the uni-body models) and it seems like a monster compared to the 12-inch model but I love it, I don’t leave home without it.
Since the Macs were more expensive I generally did a few things to save money. I’d upgrade the memory myself from Other World Computing (they’ve always be notoriously expensive for memory upgrades). I usually used some other brand monitors (even though the Macs have traditionally been better). And I usually used non-Apple printers except for the Apple StyleWriter which was an excellent printer; my first was an old NEC 8023 dot matrix that I purchased an adaptor for, also some HP and Epson ink-jets, a used QMS laser, a used HP lasers and a new HP laser (my current).
To make sure you watched it, here’s a question:
What’s wrong with the above version of the ad?
I’ve also had an Apple Newton (it was way before it’s time) and two iPods. I’m craving an iPhone (or a Touch) and considering the plunge.
So that’s my personal Apple Macintosh computer history. I really didn’t realize I had so many different machines. Out of all of those I had two problem machines: the ultra expensive laptop (2 bad motherboards, but after the second replacement it was perfect) and the iBook (a lemon, multiple problems, eventually the agreed to give me a brand new one). The other laptops have been great and I’ve always beat the hell out of them (scratches, gauges and drops) but they’ve held up quite good.
Lately, I’ve been using the laptops more than the desktops, my last desktop was from 2001 (I’ve boosted memory, hard drives and processor since then) but the last few laptops have been faster than the older desktop so I’ve neglected the desktop. I’d like a new one, I just haven’t been able to justify the dollar$ for a new tower desktop and the MacMini just hasn’t had enough juice (it’s more like a fast laptop) and the Mini really needs a refresh/upgrade from Apple.
So (like the guy in the ad) I can say “I’m a Mac”.
Wow! I’ve been doing this for five years! There aren’t many hobbies that I’ve stuck with for this long. Heck, there aren’t many jobs I’ve kept this long (only one). I did stick with Michigan State University that long (undergrad and grad school) and I collected comics as a kid for this long. Besides living with my parents, I’ve never lived anywhere but my current condo for that long. I’ve owned my current Sebring Convertible for that long too (my car before it was the same model, just a few years earlier model).
So it seems like it’s the latest stuff I’ve been sticking with the longest. Does that mean that I’m figuring out what I like beforehand and sticking with it?!? That’d be nice.
So I originally started out blogging and thinking that’d I’d try not to complain at all but that didn’t last; while I do whine I try not to do it too much. Also, I’ve always thought I’d break out tech stuff into a separate tech blog and get even geekier but that’s never happened (yet).
I’ve met more than a few bloggers and other people from social networks over the last five years which has been awesome. Not only do I get to read these folks, I get to meet some of them too! I’m sure I’ve met 25-40 different people over the last few years, I’d have to count since some of them came to multiple events. And I really hope to make it to TequilaCon this year (is there a location/date set yet?).
I blog for myself but I try to post stuff I think others will find interesting too. When I’ve got 10 topics that I’m thinking of blogging about I do try to choose stuff that I want to talk about and stuff that you might find interesting. They might not be the same post but sometimes they are.
Speaking of blogaversaries: During my first year I had changed the name and the URL a few times (that probably didn’t help with traffic). Halfway through the second year I started using GarySaid.com, changing the URL to it’s own permanent home; I think I’ll always keep this short URL for my personal blog, even if I change the title of the blog itself the address is nice and short and easy to spell. The third year I didn’t post much on the anniversary date but I posted some stat and info a few days later. Year four wasn’t the best, I just never got into gear much this past year but I did get to travel a lot which gave me some good blogging material :)Speaking of whining, it’s been a pretty crappy year this past year. I haven’t talked about all of it on-line much, but things started going downhill last October and I just never got back into gear. I’m sure it’s seemed worse to me because everything was going pretty awesome before that (but that might just be hindsight). While I didn’t blog about much of those issues, I’m sure it affected my blogging some…
Things started picking up a few months ago and I’ve still got a few major potholes that I need to fill. As I start filling them in, I’ll probably start talking about some of them (I just never got around to it before, I had planned to). I’m sure it’s affected the tone of some of my blogging and the blogging itself. Thanks for sticking around!
I’ll be making some changes in my life and around here; since I plan to make it better for me, hopefully it’ll be more interesting for you in the year to come…
It’s been 4 years today since I started blogging. It wasn’t really a plan. I had just looked into it for a bit and one day I had something to say and kept going…
I think this will be post number 1677 (that averages to a little more than 1 posts a day) and 2,299 comments.
Thanks for listening and commenting everyone!!!!! And if you’ve just been listening, speak up and say HII’m also guessing I’ve had about 1,000,000 spam comments deleted with via my different filtering systems (about 30,000+ spams deleted by hand).
I need a better way with MovableType to reply to a comment and also post the reply to the web site at the same time. (Anyone?)
So it’s been two years that I’ve been blogging!!! I’m still short three posts from 1,000 but maybe I’ll have something more introspective to post in a few days. I just couldn’t let the day go without a post. Besides, I have a few questions for you…
Blogging facts from Gary Said…
This is really my third permutation of my web site title and my fourth URL, but it’s the only dedicated one so I’m thinking I’ll be sticking to it for good (I hope). I got the distinct address to separate it from (more professional?) non-blogging activities. I’ll probably only switch if I got something better, like gary.com.
I get block about 500 comment/trackbacks spam hits a day which is about 15,000 hits a month! Thank you MT-Blacklist and SpamLookUp! Blogging would be no fun without both of these tools (details on these tools below).
I’m still averaging about 3 posts every two days. And a few memes that I never got to finishing each week.
My questions to you:
How often do you read my blog?
Why don’t you comment more?
Where are you from?
Have you seen The Daily Meme, my index of memes? (These aren’t my memes, just my index. Just a little self/cross-promotion…)
Geeky spam details (optional reading): This is about MT-Blacklist and SpamLookUp which are spam prevention tools for Movable Type 3.2. MTB kills most spam (the most obvious spam) and marks some for moderation. SLU checks out what MTB passes in and either posts it, labels it as stuff you should look at (moderation: waiting for approval to post or delete) or as junk (waiting for approval, deletion or automatic deletion in 60 days). This means spam (almost) never gets posted and a small percentage of the real stuff gets delayed but makes me confident real stuff doesn’t get deleted.
So I’m about 40 posts away from 1,000 posts and I’m also about 24 days away from two years of blogging. No real reason that they should meet but it’ll be pretty close. I’m better off if they don’t meet then I can post twice about the different-versaries. But I should probably reflect a little at both of those times and then it’ll be the new year and time to reflect a little again.
I really haven’t accomplished much in the past year, so I’m feeling a little guilty about that, especially as I’ve been hearing so much lately about “how do you measure, measure a year..?”
So it’s been a year since I started this blog. I’ve typed hundreds of entries (I don’t think I made the 500 mark yet). I’ve changed many parts of it:
the title several times (Something Nice Happened Today [dropped the nice for a while], If I blog in a Forest and No One Reads It, Do I Make Any Noise [a few variations of that, but it was to darn long, but it was kinda my favorite] and Let Me Make My Point(e) [with the E emphasizing my my name] and it was temporarily Do you See My Point(e)?)
Changed the background a few times and had a few psychedelic rotating ones, it’s still a little busy but I work really hard to make it compatible in all browsers (and all screen resolutions) and if not there’s a nice PDA version you can use.
My blog ReadRoll has grown and I’ve redone that a few different ways.
Added and changed some categories but it’s still pretty close to the original.
Added the whole about section with lists stuff about me and what tools/plug-ins I use.
Redone the internals quite a bit, switched to PHP and a few other things.
Added some advertising to the sides and some ads here and there and maybe that’ll pay off someday…
I’m passing over 5 GB of data a month. And I’m still not sure where it’s going, I’ve disabled my photo albums so it’s mostly just my content. I’ve even reduced the number of entries on my main page and it’s still growing so at least I’ve got readers (and occasionally some commenters). Some people get really bent when they don’t get comments, I’m okay without them, but it sure makes me happy when I get them…
I’ve tried to stay away from whining and complaining too much, but sometimes cars get broken into and sometimes people die and sometimes BK screws up my order so I need to vent a little. I’m about in the same place in life as a I was last year: single, childless and still looking to make those changes. (As much as people complain about it I’d rather be spending time this month assembling bicycles or cribs or whatever.)
Even though I created The Daily Meme I’ve become less of a meme-a-holic which I’ve been missing so I think I’ll go back to those silly quizzes as a way to express things about myself…