Comment away

I have enabled comments for all new posts, and the past four posts.

I think I am going to be blogging on here a bit more than in the past (well, hopefully a lot more than what I have), and doing some How-To’s, along with actually talking open the Open Source programs I use (like I said I would).

So, comment away!

Oh, and don’t forget, you can always reach me through the contact page.

Changes

Don’t worry if you’ve noticed the changes made to the website over the weekend. I’m testing out the Redoable 1.1 theme for WordPress. Actually, I have been looking at it for another website I run, and I kinda like it. I might leave it as the regular theme on here, just cause I like the way it looks.

This theme is a version of K2, so this means the site is a little on the slow side while loading.  I’m still experimenting with making it load faster, so bear with me.

Update – WordPress 2.1 Problems

So, I wrote a little while ago about the new version of WordPress (2.1). Well, it seems after all that praise, I had a little problem (ok, a couple).

You see, I have multiple WordPress installs (lol, if you want to know why, check the links to see the multiple blogs). On some of these installs, after installing WordPress 2.1, I could see the new Visual/Code “tabbed editor” thingie. But on other installs, I couldn’t see the “tabbed editor”. All I could use was the Code version of the editor (which is a nice thing, but I need to use the Visual window sometimes).

Tabbed Editor

So how to fix this problem? Well, a couple of trips to the WordPress.org forums, and I found the answer. First, this post, and then the answer was on this post.

Go to your WordPress admin page. Then click on ‘Users’ on the toolbar. The click ‘Edit’ on your admin user. Now, click ‘Your Profile’, which is just under the main toolbar.

Your Profile button

And, lastly, place a check mark in the “Use the visual editor when writing” and click “Update Profile”.

Visual editor option

Ok, so we fixed that, but now a complaint: The redone “Insert/Edit Link”AJAX pop-out.

Insert Link

First, the developers switched which side of the bottom the “Insert” and “Cancel” buttons are on (yes, a major complaint, as I was used to the old system, so now I hit Cancel all the time and mess up my posts).

Second, after you insert a link, the “Insert/Edit Link” pop-out clears, but stays on the screen. Why? Who knows? But it is still on the screen, after the editor has inserted the link.

But, at least we fixed the major problem of the day, thanks to the wonderful WordPress forums.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.1

Wordpress Logo

I upgraded to the new version of WordPress (my blog publishing platform) last week. The new version is 2.1 (details on the new version are here).

If you happen to notice any problems with the website, please let me know ASAP. Thanks, I really appreciate it.

For a better description of WordPress, check out the WordPress article on Wikipedia here. Wikipedia does an especially good job explaining the new version of WordPress:

In addition to correcting security issues, version 2.1 featured a redesigned interface and enhanced editing tools (including integrated spell check and auto save), improved content management options, and a variety of code and database optimizations.

Possible the best-looking addition is the new login page:
new WordPress login page
Instead of this old thing:
old WordPress login page

Online Photo Gallery Using Gallery2

Chris' Pics on a Gallery 2 installation

[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.

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!

Finally Finished!

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

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.

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Winner

PS – See the NaNoWriMo article at Wikipedia for more information.

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson, Nascar Nextel Cup champion
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, won the Nascar Nextel Cup today. In case you didn’t know, Jimmie, one of four Hendrick Motorsports drivers, is my favorite driver.

I’m quite elated, so here’s a few pictures. This first one is me watching the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega SuperSpeedway; I was pacing the room, waiting for the inevitable to happen, and it did going into the last turn, when Brian Vickers took out the Lowe’s Chevy.

Watching intently

And lastly, this is me with the Lowe’s Chevrolet (last year’s model).

Chris with the Car

And just so you know, my fantasy racing team (I do Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing), came out with my highest total yet, 9005 points, and 290 points from the season-ending race alone!