Frank About Computers

There is a small group of people who actually give you something for free. The WordPress template or plugin author who expects nothing — no link back to their site nor even their name in the footer — is truly an altruist. If I have to give you my email address, it’s not free. Free means nothing in return. When I honor a request to keep a link or other stuff, it’s out of gratitude. If one is forced to show gratitude, then it’s not gratitude.


A couple of years ago, I was being phone interviewed by a company. During one of the five calls, I was asked what I thought of MySpace. It’s ugly. It’s only good — maybe — if you’re looking for a date or you’re a teenager promoting your band and you want a date. How hard was it to be right that it wouldn’t last long. People would tire of it.

Look back on the webcam. The novelty of watching someone else quickly wore-off. There was only one site that succeeded at retaining an audience, Jennycam — which disappeared when she graduated college. And for as much as I like Skype, how big is it? I first used it to interview with an agency. You’d imagine it would be a great way to connect with others.*

Social networks are wasting your time. How many months are you going to spend cell phoning your 140-characters to your Twitter account? Why do you think the things you do are of interest to anyone else? Seriously, I’m busy all day long but I see even my friends yawn when I tell them about it. So, I tried Twitter. Know how to cancel a Twitter account? I don’t.

* I think it’s not as popular as it might be because setting-up a webcam and dealing with Windows’ obnoxious sound configuration gets in the way. A computers isare enough work as it is.

The computer being used to write this has 3 GB of memory, and it runs at about 3 GH. So why does this thing come to a grinding halt whenever a disk is inserted into it?

Your first question might be (because it’s on a lot of lips), What’s “blog” mean? Answer: Some years ago, webmasters posted little notes at their site. Notes that might explain why the site was unavailable for some time (the server went down or I thought I’d have some fun, so I deleted all my files, etc.) or pointed-out new stuff at the site, and so on. There were bits of code that you could include in your Web pages (most often called ‘shoutboxes’) that helped you add news to your log. Blog is Web log pressed together (weblog, get it?).

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re: The DG Review Site Plugin

There’s a plugin I like and use but it’s beating me over the head. It’s Dan Grossman’s DG Review Site. Either Dan didn’t know how to correctly test the plugin or he didn’t think it through.

The idea is to add a drop-down list from which you can select a rating number submitted with a comment. Ergo, one can only submit a rating along with the comment.


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As a new WordPress blogger, I wanted to customize my installation, so I began a review of the available plugins. My first installation of WordPress was version 2.3.1. Because this version was a significant change, there was a list of v2.3.1-compatible plugins, of which I downloaded and tried most of them.

Since then, I’ve downloaded 530± plugins (this was what’s left after deleting extensions of commercial services), and tried/tested most of them. Five-hundred± is an incredible number and rivals, I think, Photoshop actions or plugins — and there are lots of those. The WordPress plugins community is impressively prolific.

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I once had a blog at my old domain to which I added the deathclock plugin. At the bottom of the pages it foretold when the blog would expire (me, that is).

The plugin has an options page where one enters one’s birthdate, disposition (pessimist, optimist, etc), one’s body mass, and whether or not one is a smoker. There’s a link to a body mass calculator. I’ve recently gained weight because I quit smoking — after ten years. (I started at fifty, when everyone else was quitting but that’s a story for another time.) So my body mass is rated “obese.” Not that I look it in the least.

Anyway, I saved my deathclock entries, and pasted the PHP code in a test page — where I tested things. It said I was dead in 2001. Oh, great. This was 2007. So, I went back to the options and changed the body mass to reflect my normal body mass which is normally normal. So now death clock said I should have died the previous year (2006).

Back I go to change my disposition setting. I’d selected pessimistic — which I’m not, normally — to normal. (Actually, I’m optimistic or I would have been dead fifty-years ago.) Finally. I got something acceptable in my footer (I’d live to be ninety +). That will do.



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