Monday, November 14, 2005

Blog Abandonment

So its come to this. I've mostly abandoned this blog for a blog of my own making. In the course of working on my site I installed Wordpress and have since converted all my php pages to wordpress ones. I'm still working on the image archive but I may move that to something else as well. Macblaze may not be fancy but its got all my computer geek stuff and since its running off the Ruby iMac it may be slow, but its surely disposable. I can break it whenever I want...and quite often do. What fascinates me about open source stuff is that it has so much potential for small to medium sized business. If you can't afford your own programmer, there seems to be something out there you can make work--and generally for free. And who would have imagined the cross-platform fluidity. I still hate my PC boxes (mostly cause fixin' them is a b_itch) but it's nice to move from one to another without having to resort to clunky stuff like maclink for translation...or even to have to use completely different software for the same task. Speaking of which... those of you who have two computers on your desk, especially if one's a Mac and one's a windows box, I downloaded a sweet little program called Synergy the other day. Think of it as a software KVM switch without the M. Completely cross platform, it allows me to use the iMac and the PC with the same keyboard and mouse. I still have to use the iMac keyboard to start the software on rebooting but after that I can put them aside. and surf and play games with same keyboard on two different computers. I've been documenting some of my trials and tribulations on Macblaze so check it out if you want to get a sense of what I've been breaking. You'll find some climbing stuiff ther as well and I'm working on a picture of the day type thing for some of the climbing pics. Back to the business thing. Some of the open source stuff like the afore mentioned KVM and WordPress is great and MySql and PHP as well as some stuff like mail servers is simply outstanding. It take some time, and I'll admit the interface of Filemaker is worth paying for, but MySql is powerful, free, multiplatform and totally tuned for the web. I've never really made inroads with Access and I think its unlikely I ever will now that I'm tuned into this open source stuff. Meanwhile I'm typing this in on L's laptop over a wireless connection using a free Widget while I pop back and forth amoungst programs and do a little programming on the Hole's Wordpressweblog. These are all part of the plugin technology that is also going crazy and making things easier and easier to customize. The commercial stuff like Adobe has the possibilities but developers tend to charge an arm and a leg for something to make you life easier. I don't know about you but my workplace finances usually dictate that easier isn't work $$..."Let's save money and do it the hard way" is a more common credo. Anyway, plugins abound inthe open source community and people are generally willing and eager to share their time-saving ideas. Popular stuff like WordPress has literally hundreds of plugins and generally more than a few ways to skin any particular cat. Suffice it to say I can get bonus points at work eveytime I leverage free technology to make the business run smoother. In other worlds, I've reached the pinacle of publishing by being invited to join the BPAA's Executive. We had a meeting in Red Deer last week and I learned something new about human behavior.. or at least was able to articualte soemthing I knew subconciously. People hate to lose. People who lose at one game are loath to let it go and play another. people who thought they were winning have a hard time even admitting that the game was longshot anyway. The Executive spend a lot of time and $$ lobbying the gov't for more support funding for Alberta's book publishers and, as I interpret it, they were played. A lot of positive and encouraging sign led them to hope that our, oh-so-generous Klein government was about to inject fresh cash into our cultural industries and... nothing. Private film projects like Paul Gross's WWI flick got special funding but incredibley successfull and award winning publishers like Red Deer Press are being sold to Eastern interests cause its they only way they can grow. Anyway back to the human nature part. Coming into this cold it seems pretty obvious to me that the Conservatives aren't going to give money to a left-leaning industry like book publishing...what's this reading all about anyway... and they they are very likely to spend lots of visible cash on high profile movies just for the hint of flashing cameras and good press. On top of that, leading Alberta citzens go to the Symphony, see high profile theatre at the Citadel and divide their dollars between the ballet and opera and if they read at all its stuff recommeded by MacLeans or the New Yor Times. They do not read books published by small-time local publishers... no matter how many awards they get. But you see, it was hard for anyone else at the table to fathom it. They had tried so hard and fought the good fight and they had lost...lost? Meanwhile I'm sitting there thinking about what we could do to raise profile or stir up some sh_t. Maybe move into the 20th century with some of the aforementioned open source software. Anything to bide time until a new gov't comes along or Margaret Atwood announces she's marrying Ted Byfield and starting an Alberta-based press specializing in right wing canada lit. God we could rake in the funding with that scenario... I got a few licks in and listened hard to the woeful tales but it stilled seemed to me a lost cause before they started. Course I'm not one to take risks involving government, bureaucracy or an collection of people that number more than 10...never see me at the front of a revolution, no siree. In the end everyone had to accept defeat but those eternal optimists among them still were talking of new plans to fight the total apathy of our government. I guess I'll have to join in because the only thing worse than fighting a losing battle is watching one from the sidelines. What the H, it might be fun if'n no one takes it too seriously. Maybe I'll meet Ralph in a more socail setting than Lois' funeral, invite him over for a brew and expalin just how much I can admire his skill at politick'n and still curse him up one side and down the other for being such a bonehead with my future. I better get off this topic as I can feel L's blood a'boiling... Ciao for now B

1 comment:

Earl J. Woods said...

Congratulations on your appointment, Bruce! I think you'll do an excellent job.