Tag Archives: WordPress

An Unexpected Detour on the Information Superhighway


Good morning Everyone!

The day after Memorial Day, I spent about an hour working on a “Beginning of Summer” post.  I saved several drafts of it while in the WordPress.com New Post area, but while I was trying to upload some of the pictures, I got a message that my computer was blocking out certain images.  Since the message gave me the option to do so, I chose to look at everything without blocking.  The computer obliged me and reloaded WordPress, but somehow in the process, all the work I had carefully saved was lost.  FN.

Uh Oh!

Uh Oh!

This poses quite a mystery to me, since I can’t imagine what happened to all that information which was supposed to be safely stored on the WordPress servers.

head scratching, wondering, thinking

From http://www.clickartonline.com by Broderbund. All rights reserved.

We have digital internet, which means that information from my computer passes to the WordPress server in separate packages of information, called bits.  In a perfect world, I would be the only person working with the WordPress servers, and my little packages of information would be the only ones out there traveling the information superhighway.  In that case, the travel would look something like this:

digital internet bits

One Traveler on the Information Superhighway

Since, as you already know, this world is not perfect, I am willing to bet that there is NEVER a time when only one person is using the WordPress servers, and that more often than not, the path to the WordPress servers looks like New York City traffic at rush hour, something like this.

digital bits internet routing

Many Travelers on the Information Superhighway

The beauty of the digital internet and digital bits and routing hardware and software that I don’t begin to claim to understand is that, in a heavy traffic situation, the little bits of information coming from my computer (the red stars) somehow know to search for the least traveled route to WordPress, meaning that my information still gets to WordPress very quickly, even if the path to WordPress taken by my bits is longer than the original route.

digital bits routing alternative

My Bits Taking the Road Less Traveled By (With apologies to Robert Frost

So far so good, right? Everyone still with me? Anyone need an air horn blasted by their ear to wake back up? Here’s the problem, however  – when I saved my work on WordPress, my bits started traveling from my computer to the WordPress servers, but in the interim, when I told my computer to show me everything, the bits disappeared. WHERE DID THEY GO? Where do all the bits that somehow drop out of sight end up? After careful thought, all I can offer you is a few suggestions.

lost bits routing digital internet

Possible Detours on the Information Superhighway

Take Saskatchewan, for instance.  Saskatchewan is a Canadian province directly north of the states of Montana and North Dakota, with a population of just over 1,000,000 people as of 2011.  A bit from the Great State of Alabama would enjoy kicking back in the summer there for vacation, where temperatures range with highs between 75 and 82 in July, while back here at Alabama we will be somewhere between 95 and 100 with 100% humidity.

moose, royal canadian mounted police

Welcome to Saskatchewan!
from http://www.clickartonline.com; Copyright protected.

Timbuktu, on the other hand, represents mystery and adventure and a bit aiming for a little excitement on vacation could do quite well kicking around there for a while.

Safari, traveler, explorer

A Bit Exploring Timbuktu; from http://www.clickartonline.com; copyright protected.

As any airline traveler in Alabama knows, Alabama bits must go through Atlanta to fly to anywhere else in the United States or the world, AND the Atlanta airport takes some skill to navigate correctly.  I am positive that there are thousands of bits wandering desolately through the Atlanta airport looking for the right flight to take them on to their ultimate destination.

Aerial, Atlanta Airport

Atlanta Airport; Photograph released into the public domain by Nikon

A bit that is either 1) just plain lost or 2) looking for a very quiet place to relax  could end up somewhere like Franklin, Georgia, population approximately 950 people, on the banks of a river with a river walk and a boat launch.

Bits that wind up in Seattle are looking for higher education at the hands of Microsoft, Cray or Amazon, among many other available tech companies in the area.  Since a higher education takes years to achieve, these bits will stay off the highway long enough for it to have changed completely and for them to have forgotten their original mission.

Seattle

Downtown Seattle; photograph by Daniel Schen, from Wikimedia Commons

The bits that end up in Shangri-Law, the corporate law division of the paradise known as “Shangri-La”  live in a fantastic venue, but have to work hard, too.  It’s not easy policing the information channels of the world to ensure that Shangri-La remains a myth and that any information that might allow world travelers to discover its real location is removed or distorted.  These bits also will not be allowed to leave without a complete memory wipe, lest they deliberately or inadvertently lead others there.

Shangri-La, Sky Captain

Shangri-La, the location of the celebrated corporate law firm of Shangri-Law

I envy the bits in Never-Never Land – they get to play in the many computer games Peter Pan and the Lost Boys have acquired over the years (just because they don’t grow up doesn’t mean they haven’t kept up with the latest toy trends.  Rumor has it that even Tinker Bell has been seen playing with her cell phone and a fashion designing app.)

The bits that end up in the South Pole are dedicated to scientific research, since that is the only reason bits or people currently travel to the South Pole.  It makes me feel a little bit better to know that at least some of my earlier post was lost to ensure the advancement of humankind’s knowledge about the world we live in.

Penguin, South Pole

Travel Poster for Bits Enticing Them to the South Pole
from http://www.clickartonline.com, copyright protected.

If you have any stray bits wandering around out there, I’d love for you to let me know where you think they might be hiding!

Have a great day!

Nancy

FN.  There is nothing, I mean NOTHING, more irritating to a writer than to completely lose a piece he or she has put time, energy and imagination into writing.  It’s almost impossible to recapture the flavor of the original piece from memory.

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Attaching the Unattached


Good morning Everyone!

When I load pictures into my blog, I usually just load them straight from the “New Post” page on WordPress, but yesterday morning I decided to check the tab on My Dashboard marked as “Media” (for the uninitiated, I assume that is short for “Media Library”), when I came across a forlorn group of miscellaneous pictures grouped together under the label “unattached.”

Unwilling to allow them to languish forever in this lonely place, I have chosen a few of them to share with you today, accomplishing two purposes – something to write about today, and the creation of a “happily ever after” relationship for the pictures-formerly-known-as-unattached by providing them with an attachment here.

My first picture came from a couple of days before Halloween, when I took pictures of Kayla in the Rapunzel dress my mother made for her this year.   Here, she is working on (pretend) needlework.

Rapunzel, Halloween

My next choice was this picture from Christmas 2007, when Mandy (aka Bad Dog) was investigating what Kayla was up to Christmas morning.

This picture caught Kayla waiting for the Southern Star (one of the dolphin cruise boats in Destin, an experience I highly recommend).

Boat, Southern Star, dolphin

This sunset over the Gulf of Mexico was too spectacular to leave languishing in the realm of the unattached:

Sunset, Gulf of Mexico, Destin

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico

So was this picture of the bridge across the Destin Pass.

Bridge over the Destin Pass

I loved this picture of Mandy (Bad Dog) looking up from her fortress spot from which to view the world at our old house.

Dog, Couch, Window, husky-basset hound mix

I also liked this picture of Darwin (aka No-No) coming into the kitchen begging for food.  He’s good with the sad face look, isn’t he?

Dog, Labrador Retriever

So there you have them – seven pictures who have happily been relegated from the forlorn category of “Unattached”  to the “Attached”!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

Say What???


Good morning everyone!

I love WordPress.  I really do; in fact, I love it so much that when I started my second blog, The Football Novice, I didn’t consider using any other software, but immediately went to its sister site, WordPress.org. 

However, every once in a while, usually after I insert a picture, it gets temperamental.  Not a full-grown fit, mind you, just pouting, doing things like not letting me post two pictures in a row without a line of text in between , or changing the font of my post without warning, then reverting to the original font after one paragraph. 

I have discovered through trial and error that the best way to try to fix those little irritating changes is to switch over to the HTML tab and see if anything looks unusual.  Well, actually, since all of the HTML code looks unusual to me, I look to see if anything looks more out-of-place than the rest of the HTML code listed there.  So last week, when my font changed for one paragraph after inserting a picture, and nothing I could do on my regular screen (the tab marked “visual” where my writing usually lives) worked, I bravely ventured forth into the world of code. 

There are a couple of basics to HTML code that I have figured out on my own.  Any HTML code will be written inside the greater and less than signs.  (“<>”).  Sometimes, inside the bracket there will be some kind of letters, or the “/” symbol and some kind of letters.  This is turning something on or off.  The one I recognize the most easily is <ul>, which turns underlining on, and </ul>, which turns underlining off.

The culprit last week appeared to be a code called <div>.  Not having a clue what that meant, I did what any reasonable person would do, and googled it.  The first site I found said the following:

The command encloses, defines and contains an HTML document division. In the Netscape browser it functions essentially the same as the <P> (paragraph) command. In the Internet Explorer browser it is designed to be used in conjunction with Style Sheets.

Of course!  Why didn’t I think of that?  Needless to say, that didn’t help me a lot.  However, I did find a web site that took pity on less technologically advanced folks (I am a wife, mother, dog owner, lawyer, writer and lots of other things, but NOT a software engineer!), and explained things in a much simpler manner.

If you need it, go to http://om4.com.au/client/html-for-bloggers/. OM4, according to its web page, is an Australian web site design and development company for small business.    Basically <div> on WordPress tells your blog page that you are changing to a different type of page/formatting.  Now that, I understood!  OM4 explains many other commands in that article as well. 

After getting rid of some <div> codes, my text was finally correct, and I could breathe easier, and publish my post.

Of course, there was always the option of posting it with the unintentional font change, which would have saved me a great deal of time, but the perfectionist in me just couldn’t handle it!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

Building a Web Site – It Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be


Good Morning Everyone!

Picture by Torsten Bolten, on Wikimedia Commons.

As you may recall from last week, I am starting a weekly post on basic football rules – the posts publish on Friday.  My ultimate goal is to have this weekly post on its own blog, and in a fit of overconfidence, I decided I would try to build the web page myself through WordPress.org.  I have not gotten very far along with the experience, but I have learned two things:

1) My excellent vocabulary does me no good when it comes to the terms necessary to build a blog site.

2) I have no clue what I am doing.

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

The first step seemed easy enough – I had to pick a web host for my blog.  I went to WordPress.org, they had several listed and I picked the first one.  The registration process went smoothly, my new domain name (www.nflnovice.com) was registered, my account was verified and then I started trying to download the WordPress.org software.

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

That’s when everything came to a screeching halt.  There is a very annoying thing called a FTP.  After several tries to guess what that meant (Failure to Prepare, Files to Press, Fast Top Press), I finally googled the term to find out that it means “File Transfer Protocol.”  I gained a vague understanding that this has something to do with transferring information from one location to another, but that is about all I have learned.  To install the WordPress software onto the website I want to use, I have to tell it something about my FTP, and I apparently am not giving it the answer it is looking for.  When I go to the place where I am supposed to be able to find the answer it is looking for, it gives me the information I am placing into the WordPress software already!  If you think arguing with one computer is hard, trying arguing with three!  I have censored several swear words throughout this process.

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

Then two days ago it occurred to me that the National Football League might object to the title “The NFL Novice” under some kind of trademark law.  I have spent some more time reading through the trademark papers, and even sending an e-mail to the licensing people at the NFL to try to find an answer, but no luck.  Of the many uses the acronym “NFL” is trademarked for, almost none of them fit the category of what I want to do, except for this one phrase about electronic dissemination of information to third persons for some purpose ( I can’t remember the exact phrasing; it is the purpose that is iffy – I may or may not be trying to do that, if I could ever figure out exactly what they mean.)  In the course of wading through that issue, I decided to be safe and picked out another name for my new blog “The Football Novice”, with locations at www.footballnovice.com and www.thefootballnovice.com.  (Don’t bother to check the links; there’s nothing exciting there yet.)

So then, I went back to WordPress to try to get it installed on one of the three blogs, and went to the “How To” page, which told me that before I did anything, I needed something called a “Text Editor.”  At that point, last night, I decided to call it a day.  They had several listed on the page,but I hadn’t heard of any of them.

Please Help!

For now, I think I am going to go back to my trusty Kindle, where, gathering electronic dust for a couple of months now, resides “The Idiots Guide to Building A Blog.”  I think my efforts have now qualified me to start reading!

So, for at least the next couple of weeks, bear with the Football Friday posts here.  I will figure out how to do this, and have the new blog up and running some day!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy