Tag Archives: Blog

Languages Again

As ever I have trouble finding out which language to use when I write, and who knows, even when I think. I have been writing in English the last years, but I try to speak Danish in my normal life (not to mention the other languages that are running around somewhere in my head).
Lately I started writing some more things in Danish, and as I didn’t know where to put these on this English blog, I decided to add a wordpress.com blog in danish to it. Just to keep things gathered in the right places. I’ll just see what happens with it, as I don’t want to force me to use a certain language. When I read a book in Danish or Dutch, my natural reaction is to write about it in its language, and the same happens when I listen to a radio program, a video or whatever.

For now I decided to try not to worry about it, even though I know that as a result of changing languages none of them will perhaps be used in an eloquent way, but I will put my trust in the eventual power of simplicity. I have to.

A reconstructed homepage

The Change

It was a wish to create a frontpage on my homepage that made me decide to move the entire blog from bartwestgeest.dk/blog to bartwestgeest.dk. Now I publish the blog in the same bw.dk/blog but use WordPress.org to publish a static page under bw.dk.

A new subject: Writing Tools

I added a number of posts from another blog that I decided to give up. That was a blog about writing software. It took me too much time to maintain it as ambitious as I had set it up, but since I still like the subject I decided to merge it into this blog and to work on it whenever I feel like doing so. That part is added under the menu item “writing tools” with posts under the category “tools“. I have moved the connected diigo account with lots of “writing tools links” to my own diigo account, and as soon as I have cleaned up the mess I plan to add a link to it here on my blog.

The Theme

At the occasion of the movement I had another look at the theme available for WordPress.org, but after another evening pleasantly surfing from theme to theme I decided that the theme I was already using, the Igloo theme by Bizzthemes.com, actually serves me well. I even decided to buy the premium version. The free version of the theme works very well, but the payed version gives some more design tweaking possibilities and things like shortcode and slider-settings etc. In pure theory it would have been possible to tweak everything myself, but that would have taken me months, if not years, as I know practically nothing about coding. And as a member of bizzthemes.com I have access to the forum and direct messages to other members and the maker of the theme, so help is always near. The company is very young, let’s hope it becomes a success with lots of members and possibilities.

The Future

As I now can add pages and connect them through the frontpage I have the possibility to fill up my webhotel with whatever I want using WordPress and the Igloo theme. Apart from growing the blog-section and the writing-tools section, I hope to put some texts there, maybe longer articles or anything that I would like the reader to spent more time on than an average blog post. But who knows, maybe it will turn into something completely different.

Notes about changes to the blog

I made a change in my WordPress setup two days ago that I couldn’t undo and as a result this blog didn’t show up properly. I think I made WordPress make a change in the .htaccess file.
It was possible to reinstall the blog by visiting (…../blog/)wp-admin/install.php in my browser but since it wanted to create a new database it demanded for the old databases to be deleted first.
Luckily I have a plugin installed called WordPress Database Backup that sends me a backup of the database every week. So I could delete the database, reinstall WordPress and reinstall the database again and everything was back to normal

I was happy with the Statement-theme by BlogOhBlog that I used, but decided at this unfortunate occasion to switch to this Igloo-theme from BizzArtic nevertheless as it seems to have many more options and I have good experiences with BizzArtic. I have not tweaked all things properly yet, but I hope to fix that soon.

The feedburner feed is a mess for example, as I can not access the old feedburner.com feed. Feedburner has been taken over by Google so now the feedburner address feedburner.com links to feedburner.google.com, where my feed unfortunately doesn’t show up in the list of feeds I own. So for now I ran the feedburner feed through feedburner, producing an interesting http://feeds.feedburner.com/feedburner/iILz link.

Languages

As you can see from this screenshot from today’s notes I have trouble on concentrating me on one language.

When I read Dutch I spontaneously write in Dutch, and the same goes for English and Danish.

I don’t really know what to do with this right now, it is not always practical but it happens.

To write a blogpost about a Dutch book in Danish is a bit “unusual”, as is to write about a Danish book in Dutch or a Dutch book in English.

Most native English speakers don’t master Dutch or Danish, but almost all Dutch or Danes speak English more or less fluently.

Danes don’t speak Dutch as a rule, and Dutch don’t understand Danish well.

So English is the only language that most people in Europa (and elsewhere) understand.

I could of course write in Dutch about Dutch books etc, but, how good is my Dutch, or Danish at the moment?

Google Translate can be a helpful tool, but it is not perfect yet and turns many sentences into nonsense:

Het is makkelijk te krijgen insanely afgeleid in ons leven vol van informatie en impulsen, maar waar komt het laat ons?

Når jeg skriver, jeg højtideligt besøge mig.

I suppose I will continue in English so that everybody can read it, but a quote can be in one of the languages.

Quotes are often not so easy to translate and regularly serve as an illustration rather than a vital part of the story.

From Ubuntu 9.04 to Fedora 12?

Logo_fedoralogo

I thought that updating Linux Ubuntu would be quick and easy, but in the end it took me more than a week. After the switch from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10 I was stuck with a system that could start and sometimes did let me log in, but only to display the dashboard for a few seconds before showing a ‘loading Ubuntu’ grafic again. Apparently Ubuntu tried to start or restart but it never came out of this loop.
I must admit that I had not anticipated a problem like this so I had to reconsider what to do next. After trying for a day or two in the recovery mode to try to solve the problem I felt that I had to give up in order to move forward. Reluctantly I had to log in to Windows again after not using it for almost a year. So the ever-so-slow Windows had to update a lot as well as the anti-virus system, firefox etc. But after that I was able to browse and download a program that made it possible to access the linux partition to save my data. The windows partition wasn’t big enough unfortunately so I had to create some space once in a while before being able to transfer all files.
I reinstalled 9.04 from the live cd but for some reason I couldn’t install the Adobe flash player.

As I didn’t like having to return to 9.04 without knowing if I could upgrade to 9.10 in the future, and since I had to make a clean install anyway, I decided to try another Linux distribution that perhaps could give me a similar version as Ubuntu 9.10. OpenSuse seemed to be an option or Fedora. Both were about to be upgraded to a newer version within a week or two, but I didn’t want to wait for that and have to rebuild my Ubuntu system for those two weeks. Somewhere I read that Fedora might work better with some hardware so I tried to find out how to install Fedora as there seemed to be 5 cd’s needed for an install. I had however Fedora 9 on a live cd so I installed that, updated all and from within the system upgraded to Fedora 10. That didn’t work however as the computer never managed to go through the entire upgrade cycle of Fedora 10. So I burned a Fedora 11 live cd and installed that and to my joy that worked well, Flash could be activated and it runs perfectly.
Actually, for some reason Fedora is the most quiet Operating System I tried so far. There is an enormous difference in noise coming from the computer when running Windows or Fedora, the first being practically constantly irritating noisy  and the latter being almost completely silent.
Fedora also offers and installs the latest software, including beta versions where as Ubuntu can be many versions behind.
Fedora 12, the latest version, will be released in a week or so. I will wait a few weeks before updating I suppose and then hope for the best.

And I am not sure if I dare to update my Notebook from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10.

Update 29-11-2009: It was unfortunately also not possible to install Fedora 12. As far as I can find out it has to do with the boot-memory being to small. This might be the problem for both Ubuntu and Fedora. Anyway, I gave up.  For now I’ll run Fedora 11 until the next versions of Fedora or Ubuntu will be released, because  who knows….

But the good news is that my Notebook did update without a problem to Ubuntu 9.10!

Dropped Drupal

grey-mAfter 20 days of reading, building and experimenting with Drupal I finally got my new blog up and running… in WordPress. It took me 5 hours to make WP work for me and I am rather satisfied already, convinced that it can function as a Contents Management System as well

The final reason why I turned away from Drupal was that it took me too long to find out which navigation system was best for my Drupal site. I had a thorough look at taxonomy and the taxonomy- and taxonomy menu module, the menu options, primary and secondary links, but couldn’t figure out how best to use it for my purpose. The only thing I achieved was the creation of a tagcloud for the blogpart of the site using taxonomy and the tagadelic module. But it was disappointing to see that for that I needed extra modules and some thinking to install it, and that creating a category “widget” was rather impossible for me at the moment. And I knew that I still had a long way to go, finding out about the complicated views-module and the CCK module for example, and that it would take me a couple of weeks more to get the basics in place.

Maybe it was the amount of choice and the many different opinions and manuals that frustrated me. Drupal probably can do more than WordPress, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it is easier to take the right decisions.

Drupal is a good choice for those that want to build up a more complex site from scratch without having to write code from the first line to the last. Or people who enjoy learning and discovering the possibilities of this particular system.

For an end user like me, eager to write content and to get started, it is not userfriendly enough yet.

Probably as a reaction to my struggle the last weeks to understand the terminology and manuals I now choose a nice WordPress theme (out of the richness of well functioning themes) with many features that work right out of the box – not very challenging or creative perhaps -but I actually like it a lot and it works well. Now I can start blogging and tweak the site as it develops.