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About blogging: either from a technical aspect or dicussing it or sometimes specific software (generally WordPress or Movable Type).

Written By: Gary on November 1, 2011 No Comment

Two things for today: a photo thing and a numbers thing.

Today is 11/1/11 or if you live over seas it’s 1/11/11. I like fun number things, in 10 days we’ll have another date number thing.

And in a few days my car milage will be 123456! So hopefully I don’t miss it. (I should verify that)

Yes, it is the little things that I enjoy in life! button-26things-125.jpg

The photo thing is a 26 Things project / collection. Slightly different than usual, it’s really 13 things but two photographs of the same topic. For example, one of the topics is “patters” so you could do two different patterns, you could do two opposite patterns, you could do two different perspectives of the same pattern (or just take a dozen different pattern pictures and post your two favorite ones). I like this twist, I’ve started a few times and never finished, but I think I will with this one. And I’ll probably post throughout the month as I get each pair completed (I think?). Plus, it’s less items to remember! Then you post your completed set on-line somewhere (flickr, blog, etc) and link to it from the project site.

Written By: Gary on October 17, 2011 2 Comments

If you’re seeing this, you’re at the new site. Please leave me a comment so I can see that it’s working!. As the banner, you should be seeing the Detroit skyline at sunset from Belle Isle (not Costa Rica during the day).

There’s probably some broken stuff: the sidebar, some images, who knows what else. It’s hard for me to check it until it’s actually done migrating, I’ve done the minimal basics to see once it kicks over, that it should be functioning on a basic level (main page, RSS and Atom feeds and commenting should be okay) and when I imply that the sidebar might be broken, I actually know that it’s broken; I’d be a little more OCD about it, but I’ve barely blogged in the last month so it’ll be okay until tomorrow…

When I’m done completely I’ll let you know (once the name propagates, I’ll be making adjustments that will break things along the way).

From a geeky standpoint: If telnet, tar or ssh are too geeky of terms, then DO NO read on…

I’m migrating from 1and1.com to Site5.com in this process, exporting and importing the basic way in WordPress looked to be to slow and I’d lose some settings. So I used SSH to connect to 1and1 (basically got a DOS prompt or a telnet session) told it to tar up my files and compress them (basically zipping them up) and then I used FTP to push the file from 1and1 to site5, which was very fast since they are both on fast connections (I didn’t download then upload, I just pushed from one to another).

Then I used the phpMyAdmin mySQL web interface at 1and1 to download the database with my 2000+ blog posts (and comments and settings) to my computer. Then I created a new database at Site5 and then used the phpMyAdmin mySQL at Site5 to import the same data. I should have done all this from the command line too and avoided downloading and uploading, but I’ll confess I downloaded it about 5 different ways with different programs just in case I had any problems.

I used a fake domain name to test out the site and overall, it looks like it will work.

Then I went to 1and1 and said “let Site5 control where the site GarySaid.com is at”. Then I went and told Site5, “you’re in charge of GarySaid.com”. And at some point in the next 2-24 hours people will start getting directed to the new location.

Written By: Gary on October 17, 2011 No Comment

I mentioned the other day I’d be migrating my site soon. I’m moving from 1and1.com to Site5.com. I’m some ways I think 1and1 is a little more manageable, but I think Site5 might be a little faster. But GarySaid.com is my biggest site and has more widgets and things so that’ll really be the deciding factor. Then I plan to blog more, before the sites become too out of sync, so I can see if switching was a good idea or not…

Geeky info: I’m moving the site and just switching the DNS pointers, so in theory it should be a pretty smooth transition. But Site5 probably won’t let me put in the DNS until 1and1 releases it and that will be the problem (probably). Then your browsers need to grab the new pointer to the new server. We’ll see how it goes…?

Written By: Gary on October 7, 2011 No Comment

I’m here, I’m alive. I’ve just not been blogging. I’ll fix that soon.

Announcement: I’m migrating my web host so my site may completely disappear for a few days as it makes the transition. I’m not disappearing completely if you get errors, I’ll be back. If you get redirected to a temporary site don’t bookmark it, it’s just temporary. (I’m not moving the DNS host, jut the pointers, so hopefully it’ll be kind of seamless.)

Part of my blogging issue is I post a few things to Facebook and it gets the topic out of my head. I have a WordPress plug-in to post blogs to Facebook automatically (WordBooker) but I need a way to get my Facebook stuff into my blog. Any thoughts?

Written By: Gary on May 23, 2011 No Comment

20110523-114555.jpg

It let’s me snap a photo, but doesnt seem so easy if I already took a great photo that I want to post.

(This is the wall and dresser in my bedroom. Why? Because I’m in bed.)

Later: Need a better way to adjust the photo size, it’s a little too big.

Written By: Gary on February 13, 2011 One Comment

So the my blog host was acting up a few days ago, but it made me look around a little bit. Tried (again) to speed things up and make the pages load a little faster; I tried some stuff a month ago, but it might have slowed it down (but then I’ve been posting a lot more photos, so who knows?). I think it’s faster, but who knows.

Sunset-ish on Montezuma Beach
Sunset from Montezuma Beach

So I removed some of the things from the sidebar, I never got the feeling a few of the things were being used. I changed the banner (it’s a snippet from the above photo) and shifted it way up, I don’t know why I never thought of moving it up before. It’s another sunset picture, but it fit well (with the title and search box), so it’s not a drastic change.

Written By: Gary on December 19, 2010 No Comment

Just testing out the Free WiFI on my plane! I shot this with my iPhone 4 and uploaded it and now I’m blogging it from my McBook.

And you can even watch it in HD!

The world of technology is an amazing place!

FYI: The WiFi is free because of a promotion Google Chrome is doing through the holidays.

Written By: Gary on December 12, 2010 One Comment

While this is my seventh year blogging, I can’t brag about it too much since this past year I’ve only averaged five posts a month. Just a few years ago I averaged more than one post a day so this is incredibly poor. Since I received over 400 comments in the past year (on new and old posts) so you’d think that would have been a motivator…

It’s strange, I had lots of stuff to talk about since I’ve had a few trips, got a new job, saw lots of concerts, and did bunches of other things. santa-hat-IMG_1263.jpg Plus, I took huge amounts of photos this year, but still I only posted a few. (On the other hand, it’s been a crappy year in a lot of ways and I really try not to whine on the blog too much, so that’s probably had a bit to do with it.)

Also, I’ve been foursquaring and checking in on Facebook more, and while it is slightly maintaining an on-line presence, it’s not really blogging. After I mention something, it seems redundant to blog about it later. I’d like to integrate them a little more, but I’m not really sure how the best way.

Tech blog stuff: I’m still loving WordPress. I’m thinking of moving my site from 1and1 hosting to Site5 hosting; 1and1 seems a little more professional (tech support could be better) but Site5 seems faster and it’s less expensive (but that could just be that this site is more complicated and busy compared to the other things I do on-line at Site5).

Bottom-line: I really enjoy it when I’m blogging and I love the feedback (so help motivate me by providing some) so I’ll try to do better. I resolve for the next year to blog more and post more photos. My goal will be at least five posts a week; yes, I know that’s a lofty goal, but I really do love blogging so let’s see what I can do.

Written By: Gary on May 13, 2010 No Comment

I have friends in real life and they all get treated differently. Some are people I see weekly, some I see once a year, some I talk to once in a great while. Some I exchange pleasantries with and some I’ll complain/talk about work or my love life. Some friends I’ll travel with and and some I really only keep in touch with on the phone. Every relationship is completely different, not better or worse, just different. And I might turn down invitations with certain people for certain things, you don’t say yes to every single event/trip/movie you get invited to, do you? I don’t really like sports, a friend isn’t going to think I don’t like them just because I won’t join their group of friends in getting season passes to some team, right?

My on-line life has similar parallels. I might chat with someone often or occasionally. Some of my on-line friends are people who might have traveled to the same place I did so I friended them, but it’s so long ago I don’t even remember how we ended friends in the same place. Some are my friends in real life but I do no actual communications with them on-line. Just like real life the on-line people are treated differently treated different. So just like in real life, requests to be friends can be denied; I’m not looking for season passes that portion of your life, I’m happy with the way things are.

Facebook For Dummies Leah Pearlman, Carolyn AbramPlus you get on-line friends who ask you to join farmville, mob wars or what ever other junk they might play I automatically decline, I don’t play those things (I do play Scrabble though). And keep in mind when people invite you to those things, they are actually sharing some of your (possibly) private information with those games/programs, that’s how you get the invites.

In addition, I treat my real life differently than my on-line life. I occasionally talk about things to strangers on-line that I would never mention to friends or family; they might stumble across it, but it’s not like I had directly shared it with them.

I’ve actually got more friends and family on some social networks than I’d actually like. Who knows who might read something and share it with someone, like my Mom, because they assume I already have. And on the opposite side, in my real life my Mom probably shares more with friends and family than I’d prefer.

Here’s an on-line example, I’m friends with some of my cousins kids and one day talking to my mom and aunt I ask how my cousin’s son (the aunt’s grandson) enjoyed the high school dance the other night. When asked how I remembered, I mentioned that I saw some photos on-line (I did know my aunt knew there was a dance). So of course they asked to see them and I said, you know he’s shared those photos with people he knows who is going to see them and I didn’t feel right showing them; I was actually surprised how well they understood. I told them if I shared stuff he didn’t want shared, he might block me or limit my access or (even worse) he might limit himself…

It’s not like there was anything inappropriate in the photos, but it just wasn’t my info to share. And now that I think about it, I don’t even think they were his photos, I think they were just tagged with him in them.

Written By: Gary on March 25, 2010 No Comment

This is just a test of MacJournal. I’ve tried it in the past, but I thought I’d give it another try since it just came in a bundle I purchased and they’re coming out with an iPhone app that you can sync your entries with it.

I had a few problems getting it to configure. I ended up manually doing the settings and using the MovableType protocol with a blog ID of “1”. Couldn’t get the atom protocol for posting to work (I’ve never gotten it to work with any blogging client). Actually, it just alerted me to version 5.2 with allowed me to use the WordPress protocol, but I still needed to use a blog ID of “1”. And when it pulls down my old entries, it pulls down my tags, but doesn’t seem to grab my categories.

As I write this, I see a way to set the tags, but I don’t see any way to set my categories. I see it pulled the categories down from the web site but I just don’t see how to choose them. When you submit the post (“Send to Blog”) is when it asks you to pick the category! That was not in the help section at all. Also, it’s kind of inconvenient, if you write an article off-line and wait until you are connected to the internet to post it you can’t just hit send, you need to pick the categories which might not seem like a big deal, but when you’ve got a 1/2 dozen posts you wrote off-line and you’ve only got a few minutes to post (and they might be charging you by the minute) it’d be nice to have done that part in advance.

wpid-wpid-MJicon5.rPcVM2jzA0Wh.KjwjelAnqYBn.jpgHmm… Trying to figure out how to wrap the text around this image. Can’t figure out how to edit the HTML (my preferred choice) to change it. Not so happy with this at this point, but maybe someone will offer some tips.

Later: It also auto capitalized my tags after I specifically typed them in lowercase, not happy with that. I’ve got a few other WordPress things: Not being able to edit custom fields and set the slug for the blog post name, but those are pretty specific things, but I wanted to mention them for those loooking for a client.

I’ll play with it a little more, but I think I’ll be sticking with Ecto which integrates with WordPress quite nicely. I’m not saying it’s bad, but it doesn’t let me do some of the things I want to do. Ecto handles the categories, tags, custom fields and the web URL (slug) for WordPress very well; plus it allows me to create some macros, makes it pretty to create Amazon links, has a nice preview and can switch between WYSIWYG and HTML quite easily.

FYI, this is MacJournal version 5.1.4 5.2 and a self-hosted WordPress 2.9.2 blog.

Written By: Gary on December 12, 2009 2 Comments

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).

WordPress For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) Lisa Sabin-WilsonI almost forgot: I switched to self-hosted WordPress last December (I played with it for a bit before the switch) and have really enjoyed using it since then. I feel I can do more with WordPress with less work than I did with Movable Type. I’ve mentioned things like this in a few posts: WordPress vs. Movable Type and Things I miss about MT.

FYI – Lisa’s book WordPress For Dummies is a great resource if you want to use WordPress.

Thank you for reading!!!

Written By: Gary on November 17, 2009 One Comment

So a few months ago I installed the A Year Ago Today plug-in it shows a list of posts that I’ve done on this day (date) in the past at the top of my blog. onthisday11152009.pngI’ve liked it a lot, it reminds me of things I’ve done in the past so I generally revisit the posts. Sometimes I barely even remember blogging it. And sometimes it generates new traffic to the posts (most times not).

I think today is the first day that not only has there been a post from each of the year’s that I’ve been blogging but there were exactly two (2) posts from each November 17 for the last five years.

This helps me clean up my blog too: I’ll occasionally fix some links or add some tags and categories or sometimes fix something minor. Some of the categories I use now, didn’t exist when I wrote some of the earlier posts and I use tags the first few years. This results in things getting reposted to Facebook (via WordBook), generally I’ll delete them but sometimes I’ll leave them (if it’s got a photo or isn’t time sensitive). Occasionally, I’ll read a sentence and think “that makes no sense” so I’ll fix it, I try not to do this too much, it’s really about what I was thinking/feeling/doing then, but if it’s not clear it needs fixing…

Written By: Gary on November 1, 2009 3 Comments

So I applied for the job at The Big Trip and the big requirement was a ninety second video to go with it. I just found out about the job yesterday and put this together this video this afternoon.

An applicant will be selected from a pool of an estimated 30,000 worldwide applicants to travel and explore various travel destinations around the United States for a period of 3 months. Their journey will be documented, filmed and aired on thebigtrip.com in mini-episode form (similar to programs depicted on the Travel Channel) for millions of viewers to view each month.

Here’s my video in larger HD quality.

thebigtriplogo.jpgNot only will the applicant we choose get a dream job, they will receive a generous salary of $50,000 USD for their 3 month journey. The traveler will be given a video camera and a MacBook to upload the videos to the internet.

Oh, and they give you an iPhone too!

With a guesstimate of 30,000 applications the odd are low, but you can’t win if you don’t play! And I do love to talk about travel on-line…

LATER: I don’t see that many applications on YouTube (part of the requirement), I’m thinking less than 500, maybe even a lot less than that, but it’s possible people didn’t add any keywords or description. Also, the requirement was to be 60-90 seconds, quite a few are a little longer, many are a lot longer (and a few are too short); I wonder if that being too long will disqualify them? Most of the ones I like are too long, I could have gone longer, as it was I had to trim it to get it to less than 90 seconds…

Written By: Gary on September 11, 2009 No Comment

image650862516.jpgI can be anywhere in the country and watch the space shuttle land live on my phone. It amazes me every day.

I can’t imagine what the next few years will bring :)

PS – I’m writing and posting this from my phone after capturing the image while watching it live!!!

Written By: Gary on July 25, 2009 One Comment

I think it’s safe to say at this point I’ve become a huge WordPress fan. But I was a huge MovableType fan for a long time and I miss a few things about it.

What I really miss (and would like) in WordPress is –

  • A good search and replace in the administration interface (dashboard).
  • An easy way to maintain multiple websites with one login interface (a dashboard deluxe). From Movable Type I could maintain several blogs and with blogging clients I only had to log in once to configure for multiple blogs.
  • An easy way to maintain multiple websites with one login interface (a dashboard deluxe). From Movable Type I could maintain several blogs and with blogging clients I only had to log in once to configure for multiple blogs.

Maybe I can do do this with WordPress mu (multi-user)? I’m thinking the last few times I looked at it mu still didn’t handle things the way I wanted it to. Multiple blogs with different domain names still seemed to need plug-ins and I guess I’d feel better if it was integrated in the core. And I’m thinking not all plug-ins are WPmu compatible. I’m thinking when WordPress and WordPress mu becomes one product the plug-ins compatibility will change.

Written By: Gary on July 24, 2009 One Comment

The banner is an edit from a photo I took in Cardiff, Wales. It is of the Wales Millennium Centre (see photo) with (what they simply call) The Water Tower in front of it.
walesmillenniumcentre.png
These are located in Roald Dahl Plass (plaza) dedicated to the Cardiff born author Roald Dahl. This Millennium Centre is beautiful at night, I didn’t have my camera when I wandered down there when I was in town, but that photo will be on my list for the next trip. And hopefully there will be water coming out of The Water Tower next time too! The Plass is lit very pretty too!

I’ve been thinking about Cardiff and also thinking about changing my photo so I choose this. I don’t have a lot of really wide photos that crop well so I looked around and found this one. Plus, I’ve got Torchwood on the the brain this week (month).

On the photo (in this post) if you read the right half of the building you can see it says: “In These Stones Horizons Awen (Awe and?) Sing”. The left half says something in Welsh. I was told the building is built from materials made all in Wales.

Written By: Gary on July 23, 2009 No Comment

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.

On This Date

2008 Best fix for my Convertible Rear Windshield
2008 MacBook Rumors seem to be rising…
2007 The Future of Television is selling me individual custom episodes
2005 Google Moon
2005 Don’t Be Afraid… Be Ready!
2004 Photos! (London)
2004 Did we walk? Boy did we walk!
2004 Cowboy Junkies and Shawn Colvin

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!).

Written By: Gary on July 11, 2009 No Comment

autostitch-icon.pngSo one of the coolest programs I’ve downloaded from the iPhone App Store is AutoStitch. It takes a bunch of photos and stitches them together. Alex Lindsey talked about this on MacBreak Weekly a few weeks ago. He spoke so highly of it, I plopped down my $1.99 and started using it immediately.

autostitch-screen-capture.PNGYou take a bunch of overlapping photos and it stitches them together, it does this completely automatically, there is no user intervention. You can use pictures you’ve taken with the iPhone but you can just as easily use pictures that you’ve synced with the phone. So this can work for the iPod Touch too, just sync some photos and when you’ve got some spare time, stitch them together. It does an amazing job.

I first used some photos that I shot on my Canon SD1100, it that just happened to be synced to the phone and did a great job of stitching them together. So you don’t need an iPhone, an iPod Touch with photos that you’ve synced works great too.

Above you can see a sample screenshot from the program where I chose 22 photos and it stitched them together (click it to enlarge). Remember all I did was pick the photos and a few minutes later it churned these out. All these photos were taken with the iPhone 3gs. If I cropped some of the edges of the photos, it’d look like I took there with a really wide angle lens.

Here are two samples:

detroit-cityfestjaggies.JPG
I chose this one specifically so you can really see how it pieces these together. It’s got gaps in it, (I think) this is the one I took 22 photos for the image; just the part with the people on the blanket in the middle is 3 or 4 images.
Click the image to enlarge to 2,500 by 800 pixels.



detroitcityfest.JPG
This one is more complete as I took many up and down photos to go with it. That’s the Detroit Fisher Building on the left.
Click the image to enlarge to 2,000 by 1,000 pixels.

These pictures were taken at CityFest in Detroit this summer.

I’ve used it multiple times and only once had a problem; it got confused when I did a 360 panorama when the same type of railing showed up several times, this was because all the condos where I live are similar so it really couldn’t match things up. There are some matching issues with color/contrast and people moving, but this is really great!

This software is well worth the $1.99! I think I got that much fun out of it in the first hour, let alone all the time since then. ZZZ

Written By: Gary on June 10, 2009 One Comment

So I’ve got a new theme. I figure I have to mention it because if you just read the RSS feed, you’ll never see it.

themejune2009.pngIt’s pretty much the Simple Indy theme by India Fascinates. It really reminds me of a few other themes out there, but it handles my long categories, works well on Mac, was easy to modify, it’s zippy and it works really well.

I’ve modified it a bit here and there to fit my needs but it’s pretty close to the original code. I like titles on all my archive pages and added my header image. I also changed the way it marked posts with the tags and categories. I also like full posts, if it’s the main page, archive or search results. And I like error messages to come with a search box. So other than that a few other minor changes it’s 99% the original theme. I still need to integrate my old logo into it…

If you see any problems, please let me know.

The photo will probably be changed soon, but it was one of the first ones I tried that fit okay. Currently it’s a view of the Pacific from Quepos, Costa Rica. I think maybe December of 2006 (New Years Eve,I think). If it’s not a picture of the coast with two tree trunks (like the thumbnail), then I changed it to something else ;)

I liked my old theme but it just loaded too slow and it had been bugging me for a while.

Written By: Gary on June 10, 2009 No Comment

My blog is going to be a little wonky from 4:30PM-6PM EST on Wednesday…

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Written By: Gary on May 6, 2009 One Comment

Testing the WordPress Client for the Touch and iPhone.

A few extra features with editing categories and pages, but I can’t figure how to use a current category. You can publish or keep local drafts too. Looks like it will post more than one photo (unlike iBlogger).

Sample screen below…

I like this, it’s free and it appears to work well off-line. It supports multiple blogs. It attaches the photos at the bottom but I think after posting it, you could easily edit the html (while still on the handheld) to move it. Still not sure how to use an existing category. I like the ability to publish drafts so I can possibly edit them on the computer before finally posting.

It also lets you approve/spam comments! This is a great feature!

(By default this showed up in the “uncategorized” category, but then it showed that cattegory so I changed the category to “blogging” )

Written By: Gary on May 6, 2009 No Comment

image1328246471.jpgThis is a test from my iPod Touch.

The edit screen looks like this:

Mobile Blogging from here.




Doesn’t want actually post the tags that I manually typed for the post (while categories work fine). For some reason it seems to crop a photo to a square and only lets you use one photo. Works off-line okay. It’s pricey at 9.99 but works with multiple blogging systems and multiple blogs.

Written By: Gary on January 23, 2009 No Comment

Give Website Grader a try. It looks at a bunch of things for your site (mostly from a search engine standpoint). You only have to give it your website and e-mail (and you don’t even need to give them your real e-mail).

websitegrader97.pngIt makes a few recommendations base on the length of your meta-tags and a variety of other things. It’s not perfect. I’ve noticed some case sensitivity in terms of 301 redirects and I had some issue in the past with it noticing my WordPress feed but as I retest it today that seems to be fine now. They also give you a variety of page ranks and inbound links. And mention if you’re in the major search engines.

It’s nice and easy to use. And one time it did find out something important for me, I had accidentally deleted something and it pointed it out. You have nothing to lose…

Written By: Gary on January 22, 2009 One Comment

I used to have a list of blogs that I read on the side of my page. It’s that actual list that I used to use to visit these sites. I did it through blogrolling and it generally marked them in bold when they had fresh data (but lots of sites didn’t seem to update properly). And when I clicked on the link from my site, I probably end up on their referrer list (if they pay attention to those things) so they might check out my site in return.

Now I’m using Google Reader, which I love! And while I miss going to the actual sites, it’s much easier to catch up and stay caught up (and not miss information). Since moving to WordPress I never moved that blogroll over (it was way out of date) and I was needing something new. So I finally figured out how to get that information out of Google Reader and put it on my site (I’ll tell you how at the end).

So now I’ve got my Read Roll (it’s not just blogs) on-line. You can see the lists and the categories that I put them in. If you click the “Read more…” it’ll actually let you read the recent posts in that category.

It’s pretty easy to create this list: when in Google Reader go to Manage Subscriptions (lower left). Put the blogs in the “folder” that you want by selecting Change Folders (on the right side of the screen); you can create folders while you are there. Then click the Folders and Tags tab and share that folder. Then click “add a blogroll to your site” and it’ll give you the JavaScript to add to your site.

I’ve got five folders: Read Roll (sites I read), On-Line Deals (shopping deal sites), WordPress Info (Sites for WordPress tips), People I’ve Met (this is people I’ve known for years, met because of the Internet or people I’ve met and it turns out they blog) and Non-Shared (sites I don’t share). I only share the first four, the last one is junk you don’t care about like: some results of searches I’m tracking, WordPress tracking of certain help tickets, some Technorati searches, some friend’s kids on-line and some other stuff.

The People I’ve Met group is way at the bottom. If I’ve met you and you’re not on the list let me know (most people on this list are also on the read roll). I know there are people that I’ve met (because of the internet) that don’t blog any more (or never blogged) and I’m sure there are people I know (in real life) that I don’t even know blog.

I’m expecting this list to grow after WordCamp Chicago (June 6/7, 2009) will you be on it?!?

Written By: Gary on January 3, 2009 One Comment

I can’t believe I’m still doing this with 2,000 posts all over the last 5 years! Never would have thought it grow on me so much!

I was trying to come up with something monumental to blog about for this post, but that didn’t happen so I’ll give you a quick update on some tech (the new blog site) and a few personal things:

  • I’m averaging more than a post a day, but sometimes I skip more than a few days, so I’m going to try and post more consistently (and more images with posts).
  • I’m really liking WordPress, I’ve completely migrated all my old posts (from MovableType) to WordPress 2.7 (at least I think I’ve got all 4,000-ish archive/category/single pages) and mostly updated the “about“-type pages. I’ve been playing around with WP for a year and this interface on 2.7 version beats the interface for the previous six months (it was actually better previous to six months ago, IMHO). I’ll be posting more about my WordPress transition over the next few weeks (I’ve been making notes).
  • Google has done an amazing job reindexing the updated site. It’s grabbed a good chunk of the pages and about 80% of the old pages have disappeared been replaced in the search engine. I’ll be posting more about this too.
  • And I just saw they picked the new Doctor Who, but I’ll make that my 2001st post :)
  • I’m still sick from when I mentioned it last week. The (medical) doctor thinks it’s some lower lung pneumonia on the right side so I’ve just been staying close to home and taking it easy (I’ll get x-ray results next week). Sleep has been the worse, I think maybe the drugs are keeping me up, or I’m just bored. Hopefully I won’t be posting more about this!
  • Even being sick, the holidays were nice and relaxing, exactly what I needed after the last year, I’d have liked some more snow consistently on the ground, just enough to cover the grass. I wasn’t sick sick until Christmas so I made it through everything.

That’s it for now, I gotta go read up more on the new Doctor Who

Written By: Gary on December 17, 2008 No Comment

It seems to be going very well so far. I think I’ve got everything imported. Feel free to try a test comment (please).

Most entries and categories and dates should be redirecting. Date based pages are not redirecting (need a .htaccess rule or need to rewrite all those pages in MT with a redirect), but that’s okay, you’re only going to find that from a search and if you clock to comment it takes you to the correct page, just a weird interface change.

Categories still need to have hierarchies and descriptions.

All RSS feeds are redirected, so you’ll probably get a full reader by the time you get this post. And as of right now, they’re all redirected to an Atom feed. Does anyone really care/have a preference?

Not thrilled with this blog template but that’s easily changeable later. I’ll break down the steps of the whole migration later for anyone wanting to go from MT to WP.

Any .htaccess people who can help me with a rewrite rule?
I need date formats like /chapters/2008_12.php -> /2008/12/ and the same for /chapters/2008_12_16.php -> /2008/12/16/ . Actually the latter is really the only one that matters since the first was prevented by robots.txt and I don’t think I did any posts linking to a month (maybe a date).

Honestly, I’ve had harder version upgrades with Movable Type, but we’ll see once I start modifying templates for myself.

Disappointments: I wish the categories could have been in the root directory without having to be in another directory (my /topics/ directory). I wish I could have more easily moved the old files in with their old filenames so things didn’t have to be redirected.

I’ve still got to fix “About”, “FAQ”, etc. and I need the date archives to redirect.

Spam filter is working great! I really like the way the tags work, but they need some cleaning up. Ecto really helped me to turn my technorati tags into WP tags.

Fixed the search engine with a smart redirect. Needed that since I do searches in the middle of my posts (I should be tagging but I’ve have 3 years to go back and tag).

Updated the sitemap.xml files too.

These last few things should really help with the search engines reindexing me (I hope!)

Google has already been cruising through indexing pages….

It imported my pings/trackbacks as comments :( But at least they are still linked.

Some drafts became posts. This may have not been an import/export issue, this may have been something I did after the fact when I reposted posts to get my blogging client, Ecto, to convert my Technorati Tags to WordPress tags.

Written By: Gary on December 16, 2008 No Comment

Expect some outages over the next day or two(?) as I’m getting the migration to work and redirects and such.

It might be viewable in a few hours but there might still be bugs you can’t see.

Written By: Gary on December 14, 2008 No Comment

So it looks as if I use Ecto 3, with WordPress it’ll automatically convert my posts Technorati Tags to WordPress Tags jsut by reposting them to the blog. Very cool.

On Ecto 3, I really liked Ecto 2 and was avoiding version 3 due to some key-press changes and some other visual changes. I might remember more later, but I just wasn’t liking the feel before, but with it handling WordPress tags properly, it’s now a no-brainer.

Another big bonus – It’ll actually let you edit the “Pages” in WP (like the “About” page) and it treats them differently than the posts! (But it seems to have some problems retrieving pages/posts once your site gets more full).

BTW, I had to set it to access the XML-RPC, I couldn’t get it to use Atom for the posting, I’m not sure if this really matters.

Written By: Gary on December 14, 2008 One Comment

This is pretty much all the topics that I talk about. Larger means it’s mentioned more often. Closer to the top means I’ve mentioned it lately. This is based on my first five years of blogging. I usually keep a dynamic version of this page at what I talk about, but I thought I should keep a static version since it’s my fifth year blogging and I’ll probably have to start a fresh one with my new WordPress blog (coming soon).

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Written By: Gary on December 13, 2008 No Comment

So after 5 years of using MovableType, and talking about sticking with things yesterday, I’m planning on switching this blog to WordPress. As I said a few months backWordpress-Logo

I think WordPress is easier to setup and it’s also easier for beginners to do quite advanced things with WP than Movable Type. From the other perspective, I think that doing really super advanced things is easier with Movable Type, while doing ultra-advanced things are probably equal between the two.

I’ve slightly modified that a bit to make it more accurate in what I’ve learned since then. I’m also going to add that

Upgrades appear to be much easier to do in WordPress, they’ve all been pretty painless for me. (I never even liked doing incremental upgrades with MT)

Maybe as I customize things more this won’t be as true but for now it’s been pretty easy. And it’s an educational thing for me too, I’ve really enjoyed learning about it…

So for the next month(?) I’ll be changing and testing things. I’ll be running both in tandem stating soon, I’ll want some posts/archives once the switch is made. I’ll probably switch back and forth a few times as I’m testing so be patient with me as I make changes. The worst tests might be for the people using RSS readers, but I’ll try to keep those disasters minimal. If you see things broken for more than a day it means I didn’t notice, so please e-mail me and let me know.I don’t think I’ll be able to ever import everything the way I want to: keeping all my old permalinks and everything else so that I don’t break a million back-links to my site (and throughout my site). So I think when I do the final cut over everything 2008 and before will stay on MovableType and everything 2009 and after will be on WordPress.

I’ll be documenting this since I’m sure I’ll have to do some interesting things for category archives (I think I’ll fudge the last entry of each category to include the old posts) and searching the archives (this may require two searches, but I’m not sure yet).

If I can’t integrate them very well, I’ll just have a prominent button that says “click here for 2008 and earlier”. And I’ll modify a lot of the old templates to say ‘click here for the new stuff’. I’d just hate to have to do that for all the category stuff.

Any tips on the migration from anyone? Any resources?

Written By: Gary on December 12, 2008 3 Comments

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…

Written By: Gary on December 11, 2008 No Comment

oldgarylapointe.com.jpgSo I’ve had some pretty crappy pages up at GaryLaPointe.com and I was just planning on putting up WordPress as a CMS for it. Coincidentally, when I went to download one of the betas of WordPress 2.7, it turns out they had just released the final version of WordPress 2.7 so I used that! So far it’s working really great and I’m really liking the 2.7 admin interface (I really didn’t like the 2.6 interface) I think I originally started with 2.3.x.

Now GaryLaPointe.com looks nice. Although if you frequent this site there probably isn’t much there that you haven’t seen here (maybe some photos or something).

It’s got some great new features. I especially like the clickable installation of plug-ins and widgets (but it really needs a much much better search to find them). It’s supposed to run with GoogleGears, but I’m not really sure what it’s actually supposed to be saving me.

Here’s a video showing off some of the new features. Notice the HD link in the upper right corner for some great quality and try it full screen, you’ll love it.

I’ll be using it more and I hope to discover more features as time goes on (and as I wait for the Second Edition of WordPress for Dummies).FYI, If you’re reading this site there isn’t really anything you’re missing at GaryLaPointe.com, it’s mostly just reruns and stripped down versions of what I post here and on some of the social networks. It’s where I point other people for things about my travels without pointing them to all the other stuff I blog about here; I just feel that’s more professional with co-workers and such…

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Written By: Gary on November 23, 2008 3 Comments

So this topic has come up more often lately than usual and as I’ve been approaching the end of my fifth year blogging (with 2000-ish postings) I’ve been thinking about blogging more…

Thoughts about my blogging habits:Blogging For Dummies Susannah Gardner, Shane Birley

  • Blog posts are a snapshot from the past. It’s what I thought/felt at that moment in time. If my views change weeks or years later, I don’t change that post.
  • I post a very very small percentage of my life.
  • I mostly post about things like entertainment, tech and travel. Which might make me appear to be different things to different people. Superficial, consumer-oriented, a geek or…
  • There are specific areas of my life I don’t blog like: love, work, religion, sex and many more things. These have a huge impact on my life, but I pretty much skip over them.When I post something on-line that’s how I felt at that moment when I posted it. I might have been happy/excited/sad about something but when you’re reading it weeks (or years) later I might not be happy/excited/sad about it any more, I was happy/excited/sad when I posted wrote it. And I might not even been happy/excited/sad when posted it, that might have just been when I wrote it (which might have been days before).

    I only blog the things that I get around to blogging. That might sound silly but it’s such a small fraction of my life that shows up here on the web and there are lots of things that I want to blog but just never get around to it. Some of the stories might get changed (significantly) for ease of explanation. Plus, for every post that I write, there were probably five topics that jotted down as a subject of interest and a few that I wrote a sentence or two but never finished. So even the stuff I think might be bloggable, I’m sure I post <10% of the stuff that I consider posting; that’s not even counting the other 50% of my life that I don’t consider posting). Sometimes I forget what I did or didn’t blog, I’ll write a followup to a post and I’ll get annoyed because I never put the first post on-line (or never finished writing it) so the followup doesn’t make any sense.

    Some people just blog about one thing: baseball, politics, losing weight, money, etc. but they still might mention other things in their life. I’ve got it a bit broader than those examples but it’s still pretty limited as to my overall life. I’ve got some specialized blogs I’ve got more ideas for that I’d like to explore more.

    I don’t blog everything in my life, my main focuses consist of entertainment (books, movies, music + television), technology and travel (and I’ve been trying to post a more photos than usual in my everyday life). Of course, I’ll talk about blogging and myself too. Occasionally I’ll post things about my day, food, family/friends, science, blogging, saving money and other things. It’s pretty rare that I mention work, dating, religion and politics. I generally try not to complain (although I do quite often with restaurants and other customer service issues) and not complaining was something I specifically avoided when I started; I figured the world didn’t need another complainer.

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