[Editor's Note: This is actually the first of a little series I am working on about the free and open-source software that I use. I am hoping to spread the word about these excellent programs, and enlighten everyone on the open-source movement. To start you off, head over to the Free Software Foundation page and read this explanation of the term 'free software'. After that, catch the rest of this series here.]
I recently changed my Gallery 2 installation over to a different theme (I had been using the default white theme for about 2 months). Gallery 2 is a feature-packed photo album program that is easy to use and configure (and it is open source and free as in speech). In fact, Lifehacker wrote about Gallery2 recently and the ease of installing it.
I have been using Gallery2 for 2 months now, and it is amazing software. It plugs into WordPress easily (look in the center at the bottom of this page to see the plugin at work), and performs about 8 million other impressive feats.
Anyways, I changed the theme from the default white-and-orange look over to a new amazing look made by Pedro Gilberto (called PGtheme, look here). I am still working out the kinks and giving it the look I like. I have yet to change the left sidebar, which still contains the default information about Pedro [changed now], and I haven’t changed the ‘PedroGilberto.net’ site logo yet (although the link does lead to my install). I am trying to stay on task with finals coming up, but after studying for a while I like to work with something a little more interesting, like customizing Gallery2.
I wholeheartedly recommend Gallery2 if you want an online photo album (and want to customize it and host it yourself). Pedro’s theme is absolutely amazing. I keep finding neat little features, like the one I just noticed: the theme automatically disables the right-click to protect your images (e.g. someone can’t right-click and do a ‘Save As’).
Gallery2 is distributed under a GNU GPL (General Public License). This means that Gallery2 can be run on any number of computers, you are free to adapt Gallery2 (edit the source code), you can publish your changes (but you must distribute it under the GNU GPL terms), and best of all, it is free!
Chris wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Red and Black (the independent student newspaper of the University of Georgia) in response to an editorial about the shooting death of 88-year-old Kathryn Johnston.
Ms. Johnston was shot and killed after three undercover police officers executed a “no knock” search warrant at her house (CNN article) on November 21. Ms. Johnson had attempted to defend herself, firing upon and striking three of the officers.
The letter to the editor can be found here, under the title “Cops got schooled by 88-year-old.” The original editorial can be found here.
In response to Shane Vaiskauskas’ editorial, how do you know that Ms. Johnston “failed to properly educate herself on firearm usage”? Give me a break!
She must have had some type of firearms training, because she shot all three cops, even while (as you so succinctly put it) it was dark and she was disoriented.
Maybe it was the cops who needed a little more training, like Self Defense 101 or maybe How To Spot Someone Who Is Pointing A Gun At You 101.
The fault here does not rest with Ms. Johnston. She obviously defended herself pretty well.
After 30 long days, I finally completed my novel. I am proud to say that I am now a member of the NaNoWriMo winner’s circle.
Writing this novel, 50 thousand (excruciating) words, has been quite an experience. I have always had the “inner editor” syndrome, writing and editing at the same time. While this has worked well in many cases (mostly term papers and other school-related writings), it failed when working on creative pieces.
The “What is NaNoWriMo?” page probably puts it best:
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
I have to agree; I felt like a lot of my novel was crap. But I taught myself to get a good storyline down and actually write. I really think these skills will be helpful in the future, especially if I ever do any creative writing. I also have the beginnings of a my own novel down, which is probably the greatest outcome of this whole process.
In case you are wondering, no one gets to see the novel (except my hardy laptop and the NaNoWriMo word counting machine). This is not something that I would consider releasing in any way; it is just my way of learning and becoming a little better writer.
Anyways, now I can get back to my schoolwork, finish some websites I’ve been working on, and, mainly, catch up on sleep.
PS – See the NaNoWriMo article at Wikipedia for more information.