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Updates & News

Site updates. Check here for new content.

Newest entries first. All times are in PST (GMT -0800), rounded to the hour.

I'm allliiiive... 8-Dec-10, Wed 12:00

I can't get a Wireball style right*, but the site works fine in white.
*-(traditionally, wireball.com was a black background with green text.)

I feel a craving to write new content for my site, in addition to things like editing WAV/MP3 files with Audacity for Asterisk compatibility on the Fonality help site.

CMS update 23-May-09, Sat 22:00

The update to the new CMS has been hung up for a while, due to an error on my part. Everything was working fine on CMS Made Simple, but I couldn't get pretty URLs via mod_rewrite to work! It turns out that the .htaccess file specifying the mod_rewrite rules should be placed in the directory with the CMS; otherwise Apache tries to look in the /cms/cms/ directory (repeated) for the files and throws "index.php not found" errors.

Now I can get on to moving my content over to CMS Made Simple. I like to think that it will just take a few weeks, but it will probably be done in a quarter of a year. I'm working on the site sporadically.

CMS 09-May-09, Sat 15:30

After much testing, I've chosen CMS Made Simple as the next content management system for Wireball.com. I haven't rolled it out yet, but my experiences working with CMSMS have been much smoother and easier than Drupal.

Contrary to my previous post, CMSMS works just fine work on Pair Networks, even with PHP safe mode enabled. It's easy to install and use. Tested on TerranRobotics.com. Not much content, but it was easy to create a Robotics & Engineering sites page the way I wanted it.

In other news, the Tech Report's latest recent survey "Does Intel's Atom provide a good user experience?" is interesting in that it distinguishes results from users and non-users. It seems that many more non-users expect a bad experience than the reality.
Expectation: 36% enjoyable, 64% too slow.
Reality: 53% enjoyable, 47% too slow.
In my experience, it isn't blazing, but it's quite acceptable. I'm held back more by my laptop hard disk than the Atom processor.

16-Mar-08, Sun 12:00
(edited 27-Apr-08, Sun 19:00)
I haven't given up on this site - although I continue to be extremely frustrated. I've been stymied in my attempts to get Drupal to work the way I want it to, and the help forums...well, let's just say I'd prefer it if they used phpBB. I've looked into some other Content Management Systems, such as CMS Made Simple (doesn't work with my webhost since PHP safe mode is enabled 09-May-09: Actually, it does work! See above.), but I get the feeling that whatever CMS I choose I'm going to have numerous problems. I've also considered going back entirely to text-mode editing with no CMS whatsoever, but it was too confusing to manage the site that way. I'm going to try to stick with Drupal.

In all fairness, I think now that part of my problem is jumping in and trying to solve problems as they come up, rather than learning as much about the system as I can. I'll go do my reading now, and hopefully I'll get a firm grasp on how to use this stuff.

4-Sep-07, Tue 19:17
Parts of the site was down for a while due to my forgetting that my web hosting provider was upgrading their FreeBSD version, and that it would break some things. Thanks to M. Wade for emailing me and letting me know the site was down.

In other news, commenting has been disabled, as I'm not getting around to manually approving comments, and spam slips through even with the simple captcha system I have in place. If you need help with a machine, please try forums such as the HP/Compaq forums for Armada support.

1-May-07, Tue 21:55
The Drupal site (what you're looking at) is repaired and back up.* If you didn't notice it was down, great! I upgraded to 5.1 while I was at it. Some colors are a bit screwy, and a few things aren't working yet, such as the Google Adsense advertising. I bet you really miss it, unobtrusive though it was ;) I'll be ironing out the kinks in the next few days.

* - Speaking of backups, mine could have been better. It's the work of a few seconds to right-click in WinSCP and duplicate to another directory.

24-Apr-07, Tue 17:48
I apologize for the lack of updates and monitoring/responding to the comments. I got a job with Fonality back in mid-January, building computer-based PBX phone systems, and I've been rather busy with moving and finding a place to live at the same time. I'm a little more settled now, and my commute is shorter (31 miles in Los Angeles traffic is nothing to laugh at).

Looking at the comments in the moderation queue, there are a disproportionate number of spams - at least 50%. I'm going to do my best to implement a CAPTCHA system for commenting so that comments can be posted immediately without my needing to approve them first - I think people would like that much more. No doubt Drupal supports something like this.

05-Jan-07, Fri 23:39
Ported the Armada 1750 laptop overclocking and CPU upgrade article to the new site, and added in a note about the 1700 not being upgradable.

03-Jan-07, Wed 23:42
Mostly backend updates. I'm sure you'll all be thrilled to know that meta tags are now working ;) Fixed the links to the three Q&A articles below.

02-Jan-07, Tue 14:22
Created Q&A - Upgrading section, added following articles (fixed links):


30-Dec-06, Sat 20:11
I've changed the input format of comments. It is now no longer necessary to preview before posting. I never remembered to click the Post button, and I observed I wasn't the only one. It's one of those little usability issues that one only discovers after a site goes live and people start using it. I apologize to the two or three of you whose comments didn't get submitted.

I also noticed a very few 'page not found' log messages. I initially thought that it might have something to do with translator incompatibility, but that's jumping to conclusions. I can never get Babelfish to work on large pages, but the WorldLingo free online translator works flawlessly with my site.

... You know, I really have to spend less time on editing my posts to make them just right. It's now 21:30. Of course, some of that was poking around in my logs and trying different online translators.

2-Dec-06
I'm updating my site to use a content management system. The site has grown past the point where I have the patience to hand-edit the code and keep major articles up-to-date. This is a gradual transition. You may still access the original site with the articles that have not yet been ported here. If you have problems, let me know in the comment box below. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and will not be immediately visible.

May 16th, 2006 (Tuesday, 6:03AM PST)
For your perusal, my Slashemrc configuration file. Because I spent a long time looking for the syntax of such things as autopickuptype and such (it actually has an underscore in it) - not very well documented.

April 21st, 2006 (Friday, 11:35AM PST)
Well, I'm swamped in e-mail questions, and I'm finding that I can't answer them all - I'm getting farther behind. I'm going to set up a forum to help deal with this - at least then everybody can see the questions and answers without having to wait for me to post them to the website.

April 2nd, 2006 (Sunday, 2:00AM PST)
Rats, things are just not working out these past few weeks. Sorry about the lack of any significant updates the past few weeks. I may be back on track by mid-month.
Addendum, April 2nd, 2006: I'm running some eBay auctions to raise a bit of capital and cut down on extraneous computer equipment. Come, see, bid.

March 24th, 2006 (Friday, 12:00AM PST)
The update will not be up this morning, but it will be up tomorrow morning (Ed: I wish!). I'm taking some photographs as I disassemble and work on a Toshiba Tecra 8000 laptop. Also some pictures of the fan modification so it runs off the PS/2 port (entirely self-contained inside the case) and doesn't necessitate any modifications to the computer's power management settings to run Linux.
Update March 25th, 6:45AM: The picture taking and disassembly has gone well. I still need to get the pictures retouched and onto a webpage; working on that aspect now. (I need to start on these things sooner.) Perhaps done by mid-afternoon, or Monday at the latest (Ed: sorry, still pending -April 02, 2006).

March 20th, 2006 (Monday, 12:20AM PST)
You might enjoy this article about tech support call centers, called We Don't Support That. Sorry about the lack of an update this past Friday. I've been pretty busy lately with getting a Drupal content management system (CMS) set up and working for the Terran Robotics website (nothing to look at yet; I'll post a link when it goes live), and things like soldering up a 12-cell battery pack for a Toshiba Tecra 8000 laptop (I'm probably lucky I didn't short any of the cells and cause them to explode - Li-Ion batteries can be pretty hazardous to work with). Hopefully this coming Friday I can update or make something new.
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