Monday, January 30, 2012

web things.

news first, i guess.

i have still been trying to figure out how to do what i want to do on the web, which is pretty simple, if not super common.

i want to have a little blog for my own enjoyment and maybe the two dozen or so people who sporadically read it. i also want to be able to post my photo albums and the occasional podcast and give the infrequent visitor the ability to download selected mp3s and sheet music.

i would like to link all these these things together in a nice clean stylish way without ads or banners and i sorta used to have what i wanted with the server space i was renting through the apple servers and it was fairly expensive but as of june they're taking the parts of the service i used (webhosting) and discontinuing them while taking the parts of the service i DIDN'T use and making them available cheaper.

fine. i can find cheaper alternatives.

but it's a pain in the butt, yo.

i have found a SEA of cheap or free services that really push expensive useless upgrades hard.

for instance, i thought this service was promising, because it purports to allow you to augment its pitiful array of cheap templates if you can hand install platforms like wordpress and joomla, but it turns out that the installing doesn't go so easily unless you have advanced skills or you have purchased an expensive upgrade.

the thing is that if their service had been usable at the free level, i would have shelled out bucks already because i need a host.

and i spent a couple of days looking at joomla! and maybe it is a very nice web editing tool, but i see a lot of modules and extensions and while it's very flexible drag-and-drop maybe, what i really WANT is to just build a little something myself.

same thing with wordpress, which REALLY doesn't want you to go into those templates and mess with them. not as hideously unmodifiable as google sites (are those things still running?), but still not a happy place for making your own little template and working with that.

do you miss geocities? i do.

sure, it was a place where you saw some of the greatest atrocities of very, very bad design and clip collections of useless animated GIFs and autoplay midi files, but it was also a place where you could just build a site from scratch without advanced skills and it was really super for learning basics if you wanted a nice little lab.

...which i did.

...and do.

i am getting happier and happier with blogger, because even though they make it hard for you to get under the hood and drop in all your own design, they do not make it impossible. and if you can wade through the source code for the page and manage to sort out what the mandatory blogger components are, you can change EVERYTHING else, which is a thing i am beginning to appreciate.

just so i don't leave you hanging, i think i have a line on a very practical hosting solution, but i think i'm still going to keep this blog at blogger, just because the more i see of how its running, the happier i am with it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


this week i had my kitchen countertops replaced.

i'm in week three of codeyear, and it's a challenge. additionally, i have updated my photogallery and my audioblog. if you want to follow any updates in audio, you should probably follow that one on its own, since while the link IS in the sidebar here, it will not give you any warnings, and that kind of goes for the photo gallery. i still may end up doing and independent website so i can configure everything more to my liking.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

a marriage of sorts

well, it wasn't all that hard.

i now have two blogs melded to look like one, which means i can keep my audio entries separate and cataloged and still be part of a unified whole AND i've got my photo gallery which isn't as smooth as i want because i have to farm out the images to photobucket (or any other host, just because of storage limitations), but otherwise you can get it all HERE.

and i'm learning so much!

helpful hint: download your blogger templates and modify them in a good text editor and then stick them back up. it will save you HOURS of sadness.

Monday, January 23, 2012

adventures in templates

anyone who makes a habit of scanning this blog for minute changes (not me; i have better things to do) will have noticed that in the right sidebar i have added a photo gallery.

i had to do this because my web server is drying up in june and i'm looking to create pretty much the same package, only using free services and linking them together.

but will blogger (or wordpress, for that matter) let you use multiple templates on the same blog?


wordpress will, but only if you're using their software ON YOUR OWN SERVER, so the answer is still basically no.

the good news is that if you know a little CSS you can modify templates to read as you want.

do i know CSS?

no. but by the time i'm done, i will. and while we're at it, i'm taking a little time to learn to code using codeacademy's codeyear. if you want to join in the hilarity, it is only week three and you still have time to catch up.


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