Content is king and all that. Absolutely. But as a web guy, I have spent a lot of time over the years working on form. Design this, design that… I know we’ve already got a wheel, but I like reinventing it.
Nonetheless it was finally time to look into content management systems (CMS), which, to my mind, are much more like form management systems. I never had a lot of trouble managing my content; it was the formatting that was time consuming. I wrote my own custom CMS for mindmined.com (and digitarot.com, and cozmikcorkscrew.com) which I continue to hammer on, but all along I knew the truth: teams of people were working on other CMS projects that were maturing much faster than my own.
So swallowing pride, I started downloading stuff (free or open source projects only, of course). First I tried WordPress for this site, gardenofblog.com. Velly nice, thought I. So when Jessica wanted to start a blog, I figured I’d try out something else, to familiarize myself with another CMS. We are using Movable Type for her Zucchini Patch Blog on mindmined.com. Also, velly nice, although I ended up having to use a Berkeley DB backend in lieu of MySQL for the Movable Type installation which has since made life a tad difficile, but that’s another story, for another “geek out” post.
By now I had the feevah. When we started CozmiKast, I gave Mambo a go (the Mambo CMS, that is, not the Mexican-American Bowling Organization). I really dug Mambo, especially for the “News Feeds” component allowing the real-time importing of any syndicated feed content. Something about this particular feature hollers “wow” in me ear. It really aggregates me.
Lastly, I tried Drupal when Jessica expressed an interest in launching her own domain (a site focused on her own eclectic brand of spirituality that shares the Zucchini Patch name). For the fourth time: velly nice.
WordPress, Movable Type, Mambo, Drupal: how do they compare? Christ, what… you want me to present useful information on this blog? This is my blog, get your own. I’m not writing for you, have no illusions. Seriously though, your needs may differ from mine, so I’d encourage you to evaluate these CMS options and others yourself. Even if I had a nice “feature comparison” chart for you to peruse, I still couldn’t help you with the more subjective aspects such as user interface, template preferences, etc… so try ‘em out! As a webmaster, you’re the quarterback, so feel free to pass, run, or punt… content is king, and your are king of your domain(s). Have fun, and backup your databases.
No big surprises here about me. Once again, thanks to Injun for turning me on to this one. He finds all the cool stuff! And I agree with him that the questions would benefit by some nuance. But it’s still fun.
| You are a
You are best described as a:
The poll that produced this list was a very small sample of readers, but it’s still interesting.
The map below has nothing to do with politics. The states colored red are those I’ve visited, however briefly in many cases, passing through. I did live in northern California for a few months, and Arizona for a few months, and Iowa for one month, but most of the rest have been fleeting experiences at best.
Thanks to Injun for finding this one… really neat!
Reissues usually suck because they are totally unwarranted money making scams. But the Let It Be… Naked resissue is totally appropriate. For one thing, it’s totally apprpriate to resissue any Beatles, ever. Just give me more Beatles. Moreover, since Let It Be was The Beatles’ last album, it is great to hear the mix stripped right down to the band itself, with original orchestrations removed. For instance, the choral backgrounds in “Across The Universe” have been removed, and you are left to hear the more subtle psychedelic stylings of the circa 1969 Fab Four. “I, Me, Mine” is still my favorite cut, although “Get Back” deserves its classic status. Those two cuts changed the least, while “The Long and Winding Road” is noticeably more stark and haunting, moving from melodrama to drama. A win for Paul!
I know this was released a couple years ago now, but I never promised timely reviews, or any reviews. Just talking.
A friend at work took me to task for being a programmer without proficiency in a text editor. I deserve it. For various reasons, not the least of them laziness, I have largely stuck to using editors like (currently) BBEdit, EditPlus, and Textpad. I will use vi or vim to edit things on a UNIX server when convenient, but I’m a buffoon getting around in those, even after 5+ years of semi-regular use.
Why? Because I’m a user like any other at the same time I’m a programmer. I often don’t take the time to learn programs with a steeper curve, even though I should.
I also don’t take the time to floss more than a few times each year, which is why I had two cavities drilled last week. Someday I’ll be telling my grandchildren about the barbarous days of drills and tooth decay. What in the world will be my excuse for requesting nitrous oxide then?
Alas. Time marches on, and floss may or may not grow obsolete (what about gum disease?), but it is certainly time for me to get cozy with a coder’s text editor. vi is not robust enough and I’m sick of not finding vim on various distributions of Linux (install it? That could take 5 minutes, or more! I don’t have that kind of time.).
So I’ve decided to start learning emacs, text editor of GNU-land, and chosen programming environment of my friend at work. He seems to love it and I respect his views. He’s been at this a lot longer than I have. It might be like flossing at first, but it’ll be worth it.
11.12.2005 – You’ve already heard them on CozmiKast, but as promised they now appear in our permanent archive: the band Oneside, out of Boston, brings electric banjo goodness to the halls of Mind Mined. Thanks to Ned deBarry and Jerry Kibbey.
Glad I got that (last post) off my chest. Feeling much better now. Not really.
I’m still ornery as hell. Best I can say is that I’m not in denial about it.
We were discussing an unrelated aharmonic convergence today, and I think that’s what happens sometimes. Environmental factors confront an already vulnerable mindset (overtired?) and bang! You’re a pissed off motherfucker. Your demeanour is singing out of key.
I think I felt this coming on a few days ago. That’s when I started being an asshole. Now I am waiting for my asshole bennies to kick in.
Wait… wait… I feel myself coming back. There he is. I just checked dictionary.com to make sure I spelled “ornery” right, and indeed I did. A synonym for ornery is crotchety. Shouldn’t that mean “of, or like, a crotch”?
I am in such a foul mood today, so take the following with a grain a rice. That’s right, rice. I heard someone on a podcast slip up and say “rice” in lieu of salt this morning, which cracked me up. They corrected themselves immediately, but it was still funny. Amen to Reality Radio.
So. A short rant here about being a “computer person.” If you’re reading this, and have asked me for help in the past, be assured that this is not about you. Because it probably isn’t. Or maybe it is about you and you deserve it. Just kidding. I am in a bad mood today, that’s all.
Often, when someone asks me for help with a computer problem or project, it is prefaced by something like, “I know this is really simple, but…” And sometimes that is the case. Sometimes people are a hair away from solving a problem or finishing a project and just need that one little nugget of information to get them to the promised land. And that nugget will take me approximately 30 seconds to reply to them with.
Not often though.
Let’s say it’s you.
Usually, reaching the goal requires software you don’t have, experience you don’t have, and time that neither of us have. But I like you, so it’s no problem. Let’s sit down and figure this out together.
Ten minutes pass. You say, “I had no idea it was this involved. Can’t we just [fill in your own half-assed idea here]“.
That’s when I get frustrated. We may be another 5 minutes, or 5 hours, away from getting you exactly what you wanted. But that’s not good enough anymore. Though you approached me looking for a solution, you were actually looking for a silver bullet… and as fast as one, too. Because of course, you “knew this was really simple.”
Well if it’s so damn simple, what are you asking me for?
I already told you I was having a bad day. Or did I? So don’t take the above personally. 95% of the time I am more than happy to lend a hand—hey, it’s good to be needed sometimes! Don’t ask me to fix your dishwasher though.
Also… and I know this is true… I have had a number of computer mentors in my life, who have patiently walked me through tasks I was sure would be simpler than they turned out to be. Such is computing. So to those people: “thank you.” And I’m glad I caught you on a good day.
Is it wrong to find this extremely funny?
I particularly liked the gist of this post by Jessica. It’s making me think that tolerance itself is probably a material weakness in the struggle for cultural acceptance. In other words, to make no claim to social superiority is equivalent to accepting an inferior position be default. Asking for tolerance is asking to change the rules of the game. You end up begging for peace Gandhi-like, and getting beaten in the streets. You can’t opt out of the win-lose scenario that is programmed into our animal minds.
I first appeared online [remember: you do not "join online communities." The object is to "appear online."] in 1993, when UNH provided me with a UNIX shell account and an email box accessible through pine. Twelve years later, I am back at UNH, this time as an employee in the computer department. It is fascinating to me that UNH did its job in preparing me for a career, but through a service, not a class. Network access was the first and best thing I got from school. Service trumps class.
Well, I shouldn’t say network access is the “best” thing I got from school. But if I don’t, I also shouldn’t say “thing.” I met my wife Jessica on campus, in a philosophy class entitled Computer Power and Human Reason. Philosophy was the closest I got to computers, academically.
But computers drew me despite. Under the handle “Nomad” (we all had handles), I joined the email discussion group for metaprogrammers, the Leri List, dropped out of school, and fleshmet some fifty of its members in a cross country pilgrimage. Rad. Honestly, it was a great time, and I never partied with such a consistently hip and warm-hearted crowd. Zoom! Yeah.
I eventually crawled back to UNH and got to writing. My radio play “Frankenstein, Doggie-Style!” was a big hit (email me for what a big hit is defined as), the promo sketches for which I scanned in the basement of a pre-expansion Dimond Library (more services!). Christian Pyles and Alex Chapa had done some bawdy mockups for me. A dominatrix police woman whipping a submissive Frankenstein’s monster with a riding crop. Dr. Frankenstein and Igor sharing an invisible joint. We even had a Beaker-like Dr. Frankenstein puppet from the puppetry class I took. I got due credit for the project from the theatre department and towards the end of school had made use of pubpages (read: service!) to get the script online… on the (oh I even liked the *sound* of it)… the web.
So for me, the net gain of higher education really amounted to an aggregation of services, over time. The classes were deeply enlightening at times, and I enjoyed every one. But while academics provided theories, services provided methods, and methods gave a little more bang for the buck than theories. Perhaps I am celebrating the victory of form over content, and maybe I am. The medium is the message on this one, but I still think service trumps class.
I have no idea what I just said.