Hello… Is this thing on?

Nobody’s ever accused me of being a shrinking violet.  If I’ve got something on my mind, I usually vent it, and damn the consequences.  Historically, it’s been a recipe for disaster.  I figure no one can look away from a car wreck, so welcome to my world.

I’m a technologist: over 30 years in IT.  I love programming.  I love the Internet.  I consider myself privileged to be working on a very well known, very prestigious website.  This is my personal blog, and has nothing to do with my work.  It’s not super-secret where I work, but I’m not going to spill the beans right away.  (Mind you, a little adroit Googling, and you’ll be there.)

Current projects (in no particular order):

  • I’ve convinced my mother to switch from Win98 to Ubuntu.  Somehow she bought it.  Sadly, I’m tech support: so I’m spending a lot of time these days at my parents’ place.
  • lphsgrads.ca: it started as a site to support the 30th anniversary of our graduation reunion (yes, I’m THAT old), but I did such a marvelous job, I offered to support future reunions.  I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.  Actually, I’m prepared to credit this site for my current job.  So I’ve come out ahead.
  • jajaGalleries: what’s a reunion site without picture galleries?  So I promised my fellow alumni the ability to add pictures to the site and their profiles.  I thought I’d just add the open source Gallery project, but I couldn’t get it happening on my development machine.  I asked for help on the Gallery forum, but it wasn’t until I threatened to write my own gallery that anyone bothered to reply.  By that time, of course, it was too late: I already had this very involved thing in my head.  So off I went, and finally found what the problem was with the original Gallery project.  So mine has a nice work-around to the issue, which I haven’t shared with them yet.
  • Saving CBC’s Search Engine: I’ve become addicted, over the last year or so, to podcasts.  One of the ones I enjoy most has to be CBC’s Search Engine: a newsmagazine about the Internet and cyberculture.  It’s won international awards for journalism, and has consistently led it’s category in downloads.  And yet, the CBC has decided to shut it down.  So I decided to start a Facebook group as a locus for people who, like me, feel it should be saved.
  • About March of this year, my Toshiba laptop started having problems booting from the hard drive.  I downloaded and burned Ubuntu 7.01 onto a CD, and used it as a Live CD to retrieve my files from the Toshiba hard drive.  I was delighted to find Ubuntu recognized the hard drive, as well as a jump drive, without any problems!  (When I replaced the Tosh’s hard drive, I didn’t bother with Windows, and went to Ubuntu instead.)  My main workstation, an old Win2K machine, is also starting to show signs of advanced decrepitude.  I took the occasion of the Tosh’s demise as an oportunity to make the switch to Mac OSX: I bought a MacBook Pro, which I now use as my main machine.  So, I’m now juggling three operating systems.  I guess this project is moving my work from Windows to OSX.

OK, I think that’s a good start.  Will it be entertaining?  I hope so.  Relevant?  I guess that’s for you to decide.  Certainly the category list is ambitious.  Whatever it is, hopefully it’ll keep me off the streets.

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