August 5, 2008

I commissioned a piece of art two or three weeks ago from, a site run by artist Jan Leenders.  It’s all based on Twitter, a social networking site where you post a status update (much like in Facebook) in 140 characters or fewer.  Click “Read this first” on the twit2art website and all is explained more eloquently than I can put it.

Anyway, I was tweet number 37, so mine cost €37 which is a pretty good deal I’d say, and it arrived today.

It’s mixed media with acrylic, as they all are (thanks to Jan for putting me right on that), and mounted on a wooden frame. I thought I would have to mount it/frame it myself, so that was a nice surprise.  And it measures 12cm x 18.5cm, for those who like to know such things. It’s neat. :)  Of course, as soon as I tweeted I wished I’d posted something profound or meaningful, but hey, I love my piece of art and that’s what matters. Thanks Jan.

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Blacknight FTW!

July 9, 2008

Visualization of the various routes through a ...From Zemanta because it’s pretty
Image via Wikipedia

A couple of weeks ago I registered a couple of domains at Blacknight Solutions.  Some of my twitter buddies had talked scathingly about Hosting365 (which was down a lot at the time) and I’d seen various references to Blacknight over the last few weeks so thought I’d give them a go. All I need for now is a personal site, as I already have two business sites — one that’s been up and running for years, and one that’s waiting to be designed.  I should add that I’m a newbie, a total techno-numptie, and my existing site was designed, executed and entirely run by somebody else, so I hadn’t picked up any knowledge from that.

To cut a long story short, with immediate help from the good people at Twitter and Blacknight, I was up and running in no time. I had some initial problems with Blacknight and complained about them on Twitter, but within half an hour the sales manager had called to see how he could help: he had been prodded by a Twitterer who knows someone in Blacknight.  A follow-up phonecall to an indirect, non-phonecall complaint? That IS impressive.

Register365, on the other hand have been slow to resolve issues and some things are still not as I would like. Unfortunately some of my sites haven’t been with them long enough to transfer away, but I will move them when I can. As others have reported, their support system is permanently broken, though they do eventually answer emails.

So then it was time to install WordPress and get it running.  Twitterers were quick to step in with advice. Remember that at this point I’d never even heard of a  root directory so it was uphill all the way, and if there was any eye-rolling on their part they didn’t show it. :)

So thanks to these lovely chap & chapesses at Twitter and Blacknight, the first stages were sorted out very easily. Since Darragh Doyle asked for a low-down on what I did I thought I’d better oblige.

Having used Blacknight’s ‘Installatron’ and had a problem or two (with multiple uninstalls/reinstalls) before discovering that it’s not very popular, I had a go at installing WordPress manually. Since the “famous five minute installation” instructions include things like “create a dabatase” (eh?) there was a LOT of pouring over this:

The Blacknight tutorials were very helpful too, as were the tech gurus, and I figured out the file directory system, MySQL, FTP-ing and so forth. My first ever FTP worked! (FileZilla is great.) Thanks to the gurus I now know what file ownership and file permissions are (and, yes, a databse!). Instead of being exasperated and making me feel stupid, I felt like I’d really achieved something. I still have only a hazy grasp of some of it, but the mist is gradually clearing and I think I’ve moved up a rung on the geek ladder.

Onwards and upwards.

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Scary First Post…

April 23, 2008

Well, they say that the first step is the hardest, or something, so here I am in front of the famous blank page and with fingers that seem to want to type something. It’s after 11pm and I don’t have to be up spectacularly early, so I don’t even have to feel guilty about being here.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently, well, okay for a few days, and thought, ‘oh maybe I could do that!’ because of course the good writers make it look so easy. Hah! So what to write about? I’m not writing on techy stuff, so that’s out, it’s not a diary of what I do each day (because yeah, that would really keep the punters awake) so I think it will just be random bits and pieces of things that interest me, and a bit about me. A bit of a scrap book perhaps.

Here’s a tune to start us off that makes me smile, though I haven’t yet worked out how to play without opening a new page, or found a link to the whole song. Still, it’s worth buying. Slow Club: ‘Me and You’

First thing, and don’t be put off by this: I like cats. No, truthfully, I love cats. There will be more about them anon, though it’s not what this blog will (mostly) be about (that happens elsewhere).

Some big changes have been happening for me lately that are prompting me to want to write. Firstly, I’m coming out of a period of crap health, and it feels like coming into the light of energy after being in a tunnel. So things are looking different and my energy needs to go somewhere! And part of this has been the rediscovery of the joy of going to gigs! After many years of only listening to classical music, which I love, I’ve suddenly realised that there is still a whole big world of great bands out there ready to smack me in the face with their rhythm and energy.

For my birthday I got an iPod Touch. :o) (And a white chocolate duck. Poor duck.)

I heart my iTouch.

Since the end of March I’ve been to a load of gigs, certainly more than I’ve been to in the last twenty years altogether! And I’ve another six or so lined up for May – cool! I’m collecting bands I like on MySpace, and buying far more music than I can afford – and downloading podcasts by the dozen. For in-car it’s Phantom Radio which is responsible for many of my new discoveries. As the years, ahem, push on a bit, I’ve finally rediscovered that I LOVE dancing and I’m not bloody well going to stop now! So some of this might be about gigs & music, though some of that is blogged over in MySpace. I’m not sure about OpenID so I’ll keep that one separate for now. (Blog on that to come.)

I’ve been a fan of messageboards for years, but have just discovered twitter, blogging, and social networking in general. I want to find out more about web 2.0 which seems to crop up a lot.

But first, in the tradition of another blogger (sorry can’t remember) who started this, here are seven random things about me.

Turquoise is my colour of the moment
I hate coconut and cinnamon (bleurggh, food of satan)
I love chocolate (of course) and pesto, mmmmmm, but not together
I love the sound of oystercatchers and curlews
I like working out – which is a HUGE recent surprise to me
I get really cross at people walking into me in the street, and they’re lucky I don’t yell at them
I like the smell of rain on the earth

That’s enough to begin with I reckon. :o) Woohoo! First one done.

More anon.