Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Making the Move

Well, I think I’ll be moving the blog soon. I spent the last week poring through the WordPress.org forum support articles, the GoDaddy support articles, clicking on all the links, following the instructions as far as I could without actually changing anything and just trying to get the process clear in my mind, not only what I would have to do, but what was actually happening.

I was getting an increasingly clearer view of things, but was held back by the question of whether I should migrate this blog to the new one before or after I designed the new site. Partly that’s because I’m not really sure what is going to happen — so I probably need to do additional reading. Will the entire blog go to the new place with the theme and templates and all that? What would happen if I had set up a new theme and template and then uploaded the old blog?

I asked a GoDaddy tech person and she suggested I do the designing first and the migrating second, but I didn’t know as much about it when I asked her as I do now — i.e., I think that the theme will be moved, and would conflict in some way if there was a different theme on the new site. Plus, I want to make the home page different from the blog.

But, I still don’t know, despite having made it through all the articles provided by GoDaddy Support, and there are two sets of those — one on the new site itself, and another in the General Support documentation. And they’re not exactly the same. And then there are the WordPress.com instructions and the WordPress.org instructions… Most people are probably not as OCD about it all as I am.

I have, at least, managed to figure out how to access my new database, which is needed to upload this blog into the new site. That took me several days. Okay, not several whole days, because we’ve got lots of other “real life” things going on as well.

And then yesterday, toward the end of the day I discovered “Duplicator,” which is a plugin mentioned at the end of a GoDaddy article on how to move your blog. It’s a free plugin, that will do the whole thing for you. Zips the original blog, then exports it, automatically replaces the old URLs with the new all throughout the database, and then imports it to the new site. It’s what the GoDaddy support people use when they move a blog for clients. There were 392 five-star reviews of it, 15 four-star reviews and nothing lower.

Still, it sounds too good to be true. They do they say it’s for the more tech-savvy of their customers, but if it’s really as easy as it seems, why would they not advise everyone to get it? Because what I’m having to do now seems like it involves a lot of tech savvy-ness itself. Maybe even more.

Of course, there is the problem of my never having done anything with a plugin… but that doesn’t seem all that difficult either so…

Anyway, I hope to be making the move soon, maybe tomorrow or Monday (okay, possibly even today). It’s my hope that all my subscribers and followers will hardly notice, if they notice at all. I will have to return to Feedblitz to point it in a new direction for picking up the new blog, which probably will not be as easy as it sounds…

In any case, my current plan is to publish this post today, let Feedblitz do its thing tonight, then do the move tomorrow or Monday, and make all the attendant adjustments and fixes before sending out a post from the new site when I think it’s working okay.

UPDATE:  Just talked to GoDaddy support again. The tech I spoke with confirmed the advisability of moving the blog first, then doing the designing. Plus, he told me a bit more about what was supposed to happen in the move, and advised that I do an export right now, and save that on my local computer.  In fact, in the instructions for migrating to the new site, I’m specifically told to leave this current blog working, so the images will transfer properly.  Which means I can probably do a transfer any time after publishing this post and work out the rest of the details later.

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Adventures in Feedblitzland

Every day’s a new adventure!

After turning off my tendency to worry about how I’m going to accomplish all the things I have to accomplish in the project of setting up a new website and blog, I resolved to give it over to the Lord, to stop trying to figure it out and let Him lead me.

I did not expect that He would lead me to deal with Feedblitz today. Feedblitz is the service that converts my blog posts to emails and sends them out to those of you who have subscribed so that you receive them in your Inboxes. (You can subscribe — I think — using the “Click here to subscribe” link in the sidebar.)

I’m trying to decide if I should move the blog over to the GoDaddy WordPress incipient website first and then design the two together, or design the website first, then move the blog. Or, not move the blog at all, simply link to it. That would be easier, but the whole would not end up as pleasing.

So I decided to head over to Feedblitz just to see how difficult it would be to change things there if I moved my blog to a new URL. Well, not hard at all, supposedly. At least as they described it. But then, changing out your email wasn’t supposed to be hard either.

Somehow I ended up doing that… changing out my admin email. And in the process I lost my entire subscriber list! You don’t just change the email address, you have to “merge” your existing list/”site” named by the old email address with a new, non-existent list/site named by your new one. Then they send an email to the old address to approve and the new address with instructions on logging in and approving… and then suddenly you are dealing with a template, and all kinds of social media feeds (or whatever they are) and well, they were asking me the weirdest questions as I set up my “publisher profile,” questions I didn’t think they should be asking someone who was doing what I was doing that I was becoming uneasy and frustrated. Especially when I had no idea how to answer.

And then I noticed that the tab leading to my “sites” had vanished.

I panicked, went looking everywhere throughout my account panel, couldn’t find them anywhere. I went searching through the documentation. Nothing on losing one’s entire subscriber list. Then one thing led to another, as I tried this and that (including emailing Feedblitz’s support and posting a public question) I even went back to previously opened browser windows and suddenly there were my sites again. (I say sites because even though I only have one Writing from the Edge blog, for some reason I had 2 “sites” for it.) But when I tried to get to that page through a normal login, they had vanished again.

Long story short,  I had to finish updating the publisher profile. Once I did that, they reappeared for good. But they were no longer under the “My Sites” tab which had been done away with, but under the Account Dashboard link.

How can things that are so basically simple get so weird and complicated?

Anyway, if you are a regular subscriber and have received this blog in your inbox via email and you feel inclined to reply, I’d appreciate knowing if at least some of you have received it. And if it looks different from what you’re used to.  You can either reply directly to me or in the comments. Thanks.

Three Small Things

The problems with the email continued on from my last post, as I vainly sought to get the default mail program of Windows 8 to actually handle my mail. Remember in my last post on these matters, I had called the GoDaddy helpline about the failure of my new website url to take me to a login page. The guy on the phone saw at once that something was pointed in the wrong direction and quickly pointed it in the right one. Solving the problem.

If only I’d hung up then.

Instead, he suddenly asked me why I had the email account that I did. It was way too much for what I needed, way too complicated. “Why did they give you this one?” he asked. Well, at the time I was consumed with why was the webpage login not working and my email was far from my thoughts. When I told him I didn’t know (actually it was that I couldn’t remember) he quickly moved to reorganize everything so that I could save $30 and not have these extraneous unlimited business emails complicating things.

Several days later, after trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully to get Win8 Outlook to receive and send karenhancock.com emails, the memory of  WHY I had gotten the other package drifted up from the shadowy, convoluted corridors of my brain: because the other package came with IMAP and was compatible with Windows 8 while  the new one was not and would have to be used only as a web-based email program.  I’d forgotten all about that when I called to find out about the webpage url, and thus allowed the sales rep to “help me” by setting me up with an email client that doesn’t do IMAP and isn’t compatible with Win 8 Outlook. This despite the fact that every one of my three email clients are called Outlook. Talk about confusing!

Anyway, a tiny element, forgotten, caused the entire ship to turn in a direction I’d originally wanted to avoid.

It wasn’t the only one. Last Thursday, my hubby had left on his hunting trip and right before going, made sure there was air in all the tires on my car and everything was good.  Two hours later I came out with Quigley to drive to the park for our evening walk, and discovered one of the tires was flat. Flat as a pancake flat. Rim to the ground flat. I stood there staring at it in disbelief.

But from the start Quigley had been in a panic to get going, and now his insistence overwhelmed me and we started up the street. Or rather, we ran. As we did, I acknowledged that the earlier, very soft dropping he’d left in the back yard (which he never does) had indeed been a harbinger of worse to come.  We ran up the street until I found an acceptable spot for him and he let go. The entire rest of the walk was all about that.

So in addition to no car I had a sick dog. Well, Fast Balance GI to the rescue. At least for the dog. It’s a dark, thick paste of good bacteria and other stuff that you have to squirt into the dog’s mouth while he tries to escape. As big as he is, Quigley has to get three doses of it throughout the day. After the first dose, I had to close the door to his kennel or he’d run in there to hide as soon as he saw me with the tube. In the end, it did the trick, though, thank you, Lord!

Next day, after a neighbor helped me change the tire, I took it down to Discount Tire. They could find nothing wrong with it.  However, when they had filled it back up and put on the valve stem cap, they could hear hissing. So they took the cap off, handed it to me and told me what had happened, but that all was well. The tire was Fixed!

Well, it didn’t seem very well to me. Why would the cap being on cause it to leak? Was there something wrong with the valve stem? Did they give the cap back because they only fix flat tires, not valve stems?  I didn’t know but thankfully my husband returned early — Sunday night in fact.

Turns out a tiny o-ring that was supposed to be inside the cap, up at the top had fallen out, allowing an inward/downward pointing extrusion in the cap’s top to press on the valve and let out the air.

How weird is that? Another very tiny thing, that completely changed the direction of not just one day, but several.

And well do I know how frequently that can be the case with computer issues. In fact, as I’ve been writing this, I was trying to back up my database on my hosting service server, so I could do an upgrade, but of course there was an error and so…

Since I haven’t really done anything with the website yet, choosing to do some research first, it may not hurt to skip the back up part and just do the update. Or maybe I’ll just do more research…

I probably don’t need to mention that during all this I’ve done NO work on the book… 😦

Lost in Techland

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Why do I always think this stuff is going to be easy?

Oh yes, it’s marketed as easy, but somehow there are always these little glitches. And these little glitches somehow manage to consume hours of time to rectify.  And as soon as you resolve one issue, another pops up.

Over the last week I’ve spent a day trying to install the printer, researching on the web, downloading new drivers, trying to get the system to recognize them only to discover… ahem… the printer was not plugged into the computer. An oversight due to my fogged brain and swiss cheese memory, which gets worse under stress.

Last post I mentioned the problem with addr.com. Well, it turns out they are not as out-of-order as it appeared. The problem was not that addr.com was down or shutting me out, but that… Internet Explorer 11 in the Tile side of Windows 8 will not let me sign in to something as apparently ancient and backward as addr.com. But if I switch to the desktop and open that IE 11, then it works and I can get in. So all is not as bad as I thought it was. But it took days to figure that out.

Even so, I’ve already switched to a new hosting service for my website (GoDaddy), but when I couldn’t decipher my notes to figure out what I was supposed to do with all the login names and passwords I’d hastily scribbled on a sheet of paper during my conversation with the guy who set me up, I had to call in again. I did that today, and spent at least an hour and a half on the phone getting all that resolved. I guess the URL I’d been given was pointed back at addr. com for some reason, which was why I kept getting error messages. At least I managed to get all the various user names/passwords identified and fully documented.

Then there was the email, which is once again… well… I don’t know. I have the Win8 Tiles (I guess that’s called Metro) for two of my …services? inboxes? — And then the IE11 in desktop for a third. Now I have a fourth connected to my website which supposedly will receive all karenhancock.com mail, but not the other two…. So, though I’d already ticked “get the email working right” off my list of things to do, apparently I was premature because here it is, back on the list again.

I also couldn’t sign into my online banking account. I spent several days trying innumerable things,  including calling my bank. At first I got someone whose knowledge was too basic so she had someone from the tech department call me back. Turns out their system is as yet incompatible with Windows 8 and they have no idea how to get it to work. So I’m out of luck there until a later date. He suggested I use my hubby’s computer since it has a different operating system.

I just have to laugh. This is supposed to make our lives EASIER, right?!

😆

Robotic Beast of Burden

Well, once again, I’m turning to lighter things to end the week. This one’s about a friend for Atlas, the DARPA robot I posted about a week or so ago.

Okay, technically he’s for the Marines. I think he looks more like a giant dog than a donkey or ox, but… kinda cool


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