Yesterday was my 8th WordCamp, the first one ever held in Atlantic Canada.
Dalhousie University was a great location, and the buildings are very modern but historic looking at the same time. As for Halifax the city, it was meh. I didn’t spend much time elsewhere as the traffic and confusing signs stressed me out.
I got to see some very interesting presentations my favourites in order were: Shelly Peacock’s The “No Badger” Zone, Sarah Rennick’s You Don’t Have To Sacrifice Your First Born To Make A Child Theme, Laura Hawkins’ Tips For Creating Effective Site And Blog Content, Kathryn Presner’s A CSS Adventure, Jean-Francois Arseneault’s Guardians of the Website, and Chris Van Patten’s It Doesn’t Have To Hurt: Bringing Modern Dev Practices to WordPress.
As the year comes to an end I usually come up with a long post about the year that has been. Plinky suggested only on sentence per month so here goes.
I went to BC. I learned about caregivers. Learned how to program Macros in Microsoft Excel. Lots of sports and trips to Fredericton. I went to Toronto. Started walking a lot more than ever. Went to Montreal and New York City. I got really, really bored and booked a trip. Went on a last-minute camping trip to 10 European Countries. Got better from travel illness. Started taking it easier and planning more. Started doing new things, like translating WordPress to Canadian English and Operation Red Nose.
After twelve and a half long hours on a bus I have arrived in Montreal for WordCamp Montreal. This is my 5th WordCamp which I will do a post about sometime later.
I took a walk earlier today and walked through the historic McGill University campus. One sweet sign that the orientation for the new students coming to university this year will have a better orientation than the three I’ve go to is the size of the beer tent. There must have been thousands of bottles of Boreale Beer and lots of kegs too. Anyone who has been to Montreal knows that is good beer.
As most of you my readers are aware I am a huge WordPress enthusiast. I also like to write about local Saint John affairs too. While I would like to promote a site that is local and very interesting. It is http://www.barbbarbbarb.com. I came across this website as a suggested person to follow. (@barbbarbbarb)
This site is focused around fashion and is very well written. To tie it back to WordPress this site is running on an older version of WordPress 2.8.3 and is using a modified version of Kuuler I theme made by stratus, a well-known WordPress developer.
Give the site a good read I’m sure you will enjoy it. Also, next weekend is WordCamp Montreal 2010. It is going to be a blast.
One of the best things of my website and what WordPress is capable of is the Gallery and the tagging. I used to use Gallery2 which was like fighting for the limited benefit. WordPress allows it being so much cleaner. Since a lot is not is not documented well I am going to post my experiences here. The most important part of the was the plug-in Matt’s Community Tags plugin. However I had to make extensive changes to some of the code to make it do what I want. In the interest of GPL and community here is a copy of my modified plug-in.
Description: Very beta, in this version the intention is for this to allow a moderated community to aid in tagging primarily photographic content, image attachments and such. This is a GPL derivative of Matt’s Community Tags version 0.3. Admin menus enhanced and the custom taxonomy improved. Version: 0.3.1 Requires: WordPress Version 3.0 or above Download now
I have been trying to post a lot more lately. But one thing that greatly concerns me us the lack of good comments lately.
Practically everything on this site is open to commenting even the photos and the albums. What’s better is that if you see someone in a photo that you recognize you can even tag them, and they get a custom album automatically about them.
I’m working on integrating twitter feeds at the moment with these custom albums. Also I have run into a big hiccup with a problem in WordPress 3 that breaks the paging of an album. It is almost as if they did something that taxonomy pages only work for a post type rather than an attachment.
I have also decided that I will be going to WordCamp Montreal again this year. I was thinking that I could show off how I was able to pull of my photo album in an advanced theming tutorial.
That is one thing that I found dry about technical lectures at past WordCamps where they show off code but not put it together, to demonstrate something new. I think I would call it “Media and your Theme… Where can you take it!”
I started writing this on December 29th but researching the links has taken some time, in fact much longer than I thought to find all the links. I have defiantly accomplished a lot this year, looking back this has been the best year in a while. Of the things that stand out as my holy crap moment of the year was standing at the window in the Vancouver airport with the setting sun breaking a bit through the clouds. That was the moment it rang true to me that mountains were more than just really big hills.
One of the biggest events that kicked off the year was the 2009 Atlantic Major Midget Regionals at the LBR. This one event not only was my first time writing for sports, I also learned what makes up a shot on goal in a hockey game was. In addition, actually pulling off the live feed was amazing. That and meeting Don Mabee for the first time.
The next moment of this year, happened when I attended to Faces of Fusion dinner in May. That is where I ran into Ian Finley from East Coast Connected. It was from that meeting that I ran into him again on my annual birthday trip to Toronto, that I learned about the monthly East Coast Army nights at Gracie’s.
During that trip, I had the privilege of attending my very first WordCamp in Toronto. It was amazing to see all the interest of all the web community in a town so driven by media. It was there that I met some very interesting people who I hope to never forget such as Jeremy Clarke, Brendan Sera-Shriar, Accordion Guy, Alexa Clark, Erin Blaskie and George O’Neill. But even better from there it lead me on the path to attending WordCamp Montreal where it was there in that little town (humour people!) of Montreal. The place was amazing when during the very early dawn morning that I got to walk through the Montreal Jazz festival that made me realize I was so wrong about Montreal and its many misconceptions. Then meeting folks like Kim Valee, Matt Mullenweg, Jane Wells, Eva Blue and many others.
And then there was Victoria, where at WordCamp Victoria I ran into many more amazing people. I kind of really like BC, despite only seeing it for 2 days. Perhaps I can find a way to go back sometime this or next year.
The first session I am attending is Jodie Gastel talking about installing WordPress. She is cheating a little bit using cPanel Fantastico. Which is good for beginners, although the regular way is not too much harder.
, I went to see Jeff Richards presentation on widgets. It was very interesting to see the basics of widgets and how they can be used to link people’s sites together. It somehow left off many of the cool and fun stuff that widgets can be used for.
Tris Hussey’s presentation on extra tools for WordPress users was absolutely amazing. I haven’t had a chance yet to download all these tools yet but I sure plan on trying them.
The last presentation I attended was Jeff Richards about widgets. He has posted his presentation on his personal blog at Widgets:Making Your Site Great and Letting Others Help. It was very informative on how
widgets can be used to enhance a site or a marketing tool for others to put a link back to your site.
The best part of this WordCamp was the discussions in the breakout room about everything from Copyright, Creative Commons, WordPress MU, legal issues with hosting internationally, and many other topics.
, the after party at The Office Lounge was very enlightening on every topic imaginable from a Victoria point of view.
At long last I have finally arrived in Victoria. Five hours on a plane is really long much longer that I had really imagined. During the longest lag of the journey I got to see “My Sister’s Keeper” for the first time. I found it to be really an enjoyable movie, in the respect that you did not know who to feel sad for. Then it throws a huge twist that make the plot even more intriguing.
Upon first impression of Victoria is that it has an appearance of a fairy tile that has come to life especially now that its the holidays and the lights of colour in and on everything.
Getting here to Montreal, I had decided to get the bus. (Orleans Express/Acadian Lines) Thus it presents this opportunity to write this long detailed encounter as I have the remainder of the 13 hour bus trip to finish.
After arriving here in Montreal I took a nice stroll down Ste-Catherine to the train station. It was on this trip through the eerily quite streets of the jazz festival site that I ran across the first image. Although to is common to think of those in the financial services industry as “wanks” someone thought it would be a great idea to draw one on the two sided of the corner of the building.
After the fist day of sessions at word camp there was this crazy man that started yelling at me in french, I think he though I took a picture or something. The funny part that is so not like me is the fact that I started yelling back at him in English and he did not seem to understand me at all. That make id kind of funny then he ran off and I went off to catch the subway to the hotel.
The subway in Montreal seemed to be quite different than Toronto. Especially the automated stalls after paying the guy handed me a little card, and I did not get originally how the doors opened, then he started yelling the what I think are the instruction in French. After looking further at the stalls I give the yelling guy the “I have no clue what you are saying look. Then he explains the put the card in the slot in English. I then proceeded to the hotel.
On the way in one of the Subway stations there was a sign in French only that part of the platform was closed for constriction bit it was graffitied with “Montreal is supposed to be Bilingual” to which some one wrote; “We wish!”
I thought it was amusing. One can tell mush about a society by the appearance of the graffiti. Especially, considering the prior instance of “art.”
One great thing about my iPhone is the fact that it really saved me from the being lost. Well kind of. The Google walking and transit directions are really good for Montreal. It was still a difficult city to find things in. I missed the first subway stop without realizing, thankfully my GPS on the iPhone found me the next one just in time.
The last tale before I finish is the tale of the pigeon. After the final sessions of WordCamp we went to an outdoor patio bar that had some of the most amazing natural and architectural design of any patio bar. While standing outside talking to some some interesting people like KimValee.com this word pigeon was doing a very weird dance on the windowsill across the street and everyone mentioned the crazy pidgin was about to top itself as the guy pass is the bird flies into bar right behind them and everyone starts chasing after the bird. Classic comedy movie scene.
Okay lets start by this stupid article from Wired:
Steven Levy on the Burden of Twitter
wired.com —The shame and remorse of not keeping up with Social Networking… I’m digging this story in honor of Steve Levy as he’s never ‘Dugg’ before…
I think this article is a crock, just because this guy doesn’t update the Blog as often as he used to doesn’t mean that Twitter is to blame. For ages now it had become a popular thing in Windows/MSN/Windows Live Messenger that people would change their name to include a “status” of what they were doing that it was eventually permanently added as a feature. AIM, IRC, Facebook, Twitter… the short message is usually the perfect size to let others know what you think. I am still certain however that this does not replace the need for the long format that a blog allows to express your full thoughts on a topic. Generally speaking I use Twitter to update something quickly as I’m usually only using me iPhone or Macbook while laying in bed in the morning so I can tell the world quickly my thought or things of interest, and have it auto populate to the sidebar of my blog, Facebook, Friendfeed, MSN and other places quickly.
Speaking of my MacBook I just lost the hard drive in it. Luckily, there was still ten days left on the warranty. The agent on the phone originally insisted that I would need to go to Fredericton or Halifax to get a new one. However as she was concluding the call and I asked if I was to just purchase a new one what type of connector it would take, already knowing that it would be a SATA. She then to proceed with the, “You mean you would replace it yourself? In that case let me talk to a product adviser to see if we could just mail you out a new one.” After a long wait on hold she returns with the news that it would be no problem and even preferable to mail out a new drive for free. Her explanation/excuse was that “Most people don’t like to replace parts and that is not usually offered.” It is hard to believe that something along the lines or replacing a hardrive is as simple as 3 screws and pulling a tab, why not just save the trouble and offer it first? I could see for a screen or a motherboard but RAM and a hard drive why not just offer to ship it. in 5-10 business days I’ll post a video of the unboxing and replacing the drive in the MacBook.
I’ve worked hard on editing a lot of the content on this site. I’m even just found most of my old university essays, and am going to get around to posting them soon in the writings section. I even have a few pieces of my poetry that I wrote to add here.
As you noticed there have not been many posts with pictures in them, that is because my site is running a RC version of WordPress and that functionality is not quite working for me yet.
You can also see now that these posts are cross posted to Twitter and Facebook. I don’t really like the idea of dividing my audiences so I’m working on further deep integration as we speak.
Because I want to make a post but did not have a topic, so I am going to make this post about my new MacBook. I really am now wishing my main computer was a mac but this is really one of the best computers I have used. (Leave comments with your recommendations). I’ve still been looking for places to get free software for it. I’m having issues at the moment networking with my PC but I thing the problem it is because I can’t even network my Windows XP with it ATM.
I’ve also been working on new patches for WordPress 2.5 that is due to come out March 10th. It wasn’t working in IE7 (back-end) so that was also one of the reasons I never made a post lately, that and starting a Full-time job that I haven’t really done since July 2005. It is really tough getting used to a FT job if you’ve been away from it for a while. Although I am glad that now that I have more experience it seems better suited than the last time I have done call-centre work.
Finally, since it is getting late (2:12AM), I am working on re-structuring TheRealBurgers.com and going to start doing real full movie reviews since I tend to disagree with most critics, I thought along with Tony Tompkins, to post these reviews of all the movies I have seen as I see them. I may even port the reviews to my Flixster account, which can be seen through Facebook as well like the RSS feeds of this site as well.
So for the last few weeks I have used Facebook a lot. It is really easier than MySpace, and does more. Like these posts for an example. As I write these I am using by blogging software on my website called WordPress. And it makes XML files for an RSS reader. Now Yahoo360, Windows Live Spaces, and Facebook will get my blog directly from this site, but not MySpace for MySpace I have to copy and paste it. The best thing about MySpace is the videos because I can post those on here but I can’t do a YouTube Video easily.
Also I have found a lot of long-lost acquaintances on Facebook which is really cool. I guess that is it.
Today was Remembrance Day. This was the first ceremony I have been to in six years. Before that I used to be forced go every year. I first went with scouting about 12 years ago, always froze my hands off carrying the New Brunswick flag at the Jarvis Bay Memorial in East Saint John, and then in 1996 was my last one with Air Cadets.
Today I am reworking my website the people at Tripod.ca sent out a letter on Halloween that they were going to drop their service. This resulted in a bigger furry than the New Year’s dilemma the plagues all webmasters year after year, the changing of copyright last year to copyright this year. Thus, I had to change the entire site’s internal links from enterprise17.tripod.ca to enterprise17.tripod.com. With the larger size of my site that resulted in over 2,300 changes that took about 5 hours to finish moving. At least now, it’s completed.