Archive for the 'Web Stuff' Category

Not quite yet…

So the other day I said that I was moving this blog to Azure.  I have tinkered with that, and am actually making a little progress.  (This happens when you put little effort/time into something).  I decided to bring it back up where it was in order to do an easier transfer of the image content.  We shall see how that works out.  Wish me luck…

Migrating to Azure

So, at the time of this writing, my blog is down.  If you are reading this, then I must have succeeded in migrating it to Azure for hosting.  If I didn’t succeed, maybe I will be the only one who reads this.  I am an “on again/ off again” blogger, so anything is possible.

I have until a few months ago, hosted this blog on a server running on infrastructure at my employer.  I do that, because it is a good price (free) and because I mostly talk to myself in this blog anyway. 

There is a fairly simple “how to” on creating a WordPress site in Azure.  I am following this post to create a temporary site to test with.  If all goes well, I will do a test migration to this and then do it again to a “production” instance.

So far so good:

image

Open Live Writer

Since it first came out, I have been a fan of what was “Windows Live Writer”.  It was probably one of the simplest, and friendliest tools that came from Microsoft in the Windows Live time frame (in my opinion).   I recall coming across something a while back that reference an update to Live Writer, and today I actually downloaded it.

This post was written with “Open Live Writer”.  Cool right?

image

New Favicon for my site

So in a previous life, I spent time in the Navy.  I was a Machinist Mate, in the Nuclear Power Program.  That history, my tendency to (over) analyze things and the fact that my name is Michael all let to the name of this site.  (Nuke it Mike). 

This site is not (currently, or planned to be) used for commercial/profit purposes.  I get a very small amount of traffic these days (I got more traffic when I was blogging about a particular set of problems with early versions of DPM). 

I have no reason to have a personal logo, but I have been thinking for years that I wanted one.  I finally got around to making one.  This is a Machinist Mate Rating badge with the colors of the Radiation Warning symbol.  What do you think?

NIMLogo

TechNet wiki…

So a TechNet wiki is coming, as stated by Keith Combs here:

three big things we focus on for all TechNet scenarios are Content, Discoverability, and Participation. We really want to invite participation from everyone and what better way to combine that with discovery and content than to use Wiki technology?

Later this year TechNet and the Server & Cloud Division will partner to launch the new TechNet Wiki.

We believe a public wiki for technical content on TechNet has the potential to be a big step forward in all three areas:

  • For content, while Microsoft teams write some great content, we cannot possibly author all the content customers need to be successful, and a wiki that offers content from the community will increase the breadth and depth of technical content available for IT Pros.
  • For participation, the wiki is a great new way for any IT pro to create and share technical knowledge, engage with other technical people and with Microsoft, and build an identity and reputation within the TechNet community.

I used the word "potential" above because Microsoft cannot succeed with the TechNet Wiki on its own – success ultimately depends on the direct engagement, support, and ongoing feedback from the IT community.

I am not sure how I feel about this.  I like Wikipedia, and OFTEN reference it for information on non-work related topics.  We use a SharePoint wiki for a lot of our documentation where I work, but I don’t find it to be as useful as I would like, because for some reason, I don’t like the interface.  One of the big issues I have with it, is the inability to insert pictures directly in the article during the creation of the article.  You have to upload the picture (such as a screenshot) separately and then link to it.  That doesn’t seem very efficient to me.

With this blog, I use Windows Live Writer.  It allows me to take a snip like this:

image

and paste it right in the text.  When I publish, it is auto-magically uploaded and linked to my post.  I think the other issue that I have is that I am afraid I would take it personally if someone felt the need to correct something  I posted to a wiki.

I guess I am going to have to work on that.  Both for the wiki at work and (maybe) for the TechNet wiki.  There are those occasions when I actually have useful knowledge to share…

Cluster Maps or WorldMaps

I was roaming around looking for an answer to a question (didn’t find the answer, and I don’t remember the question), when I happened upon a site that had a Cluster Map, like the one I use, and also something called a worldmap. 

introducing worldmaps

See where your website visitors are from with WorldMaps. WorldMaps (currently in Beta) is an IP address to geographic mapping service designed to give website owners the ability to visually see where their visitors are coming from (red dots represent the top 5%, i.e., the most active visitors). These images can be displayed publically on the home page, or on a private page for administrators.

It looks to be a very similar idea to cluster maps, but this one has a bit of variety in the way it marks the map, and you get a few more options on how to display it.

http://www.structuretoobig.com/development/worldmaps.aspx

WordPress speed – take 2

So after I followed Patrick’s advice, it seemed like we had everything working better(?) but then again, it was only faster sometimes… 

After doing some tinkering and comparing between 4 different people, 2 of us with slow performance and 2 with normal performance, I stumbled on the answer…  Patrick and I both had the “wassup” plugin enabled and the others didn’t.  I wouldn’t have known that was it except I am hosting 2 blogs on this same machine and one responds faster than the other.  And the fast one has a post with a bunch of pictures in it…

So we both disabled the “wassup” plugin and now we are both happier with the performance.

Making a Header

In an effort to encourage my wife to share the site we created for keeping up with our family, I was trying to get a good picture to use as the banner in the WordPress theme that we are using.  I had a good picture, but since it doesn’t auto scale…

I ended up using Microsoft Expression Design to create a picture for it.  I first opened the default banner picture to figure out what size it was, and then I create a new file with the same dimensions.  Then I created a box the full size of the document.  I filled that box with a gradient, and then made a slightly smaller box also with a gradient, but I pushed the lighter shade more so that there is a hard edge around the smaller box.  Then I put my picture in the right edge of the smaller box.  The result wasn’t too bad.  And I think I can update the picture pretty easily for seasons.

You can see what I did here:

headerbg8

Personal websites

There are a lot of people who have personal websites that they use to keep track of family.  I have seen a few different types, but it seems that most of them are setup to be mostly a replacement for the photo albums that were always laying around especially at my grand parents house. 

I think this is actually a good thing, because it allows you to put more than just pictures.  In a personal website, you can put descriptions or even stories with the pictures.  And maybe in 25years when your now 3 year old is having his or her first child, you can show them the websites with all the stories of your sleepless nights and all the pictures of the sweet baby that you were so happy holding while you both caught a short nap…

This also makes it easier for families to keep up with each other.  I live a good distance from all of my family except a few cousins.  I am not good about visiting them, and am really bad about visiting with the rest of my family as well.  I hope that by creating a personal site that my wife (and maybe I will help) can keep the rest of the family "in the loop" as to the happenings in our lives, and maybe that will encourage them to keep us in the loop as well. 

Another good reason to do a personal website is that it gives me an opportunity to tinker with things that I don’t normally mess with too much.  I am a Systems Engineer, not  a programmer.  Tinker with my website(s) lets me pretend I understand what it is that programmers do.  (ha)

WordPress performance…

I was unhappy with the performance of my new blog, but Patrick told me that he fixed it by changing the MySQL engine to MyISAM instead of InnoDB.   Wasn’t that nice of him?  It would have been nicer if he had actually created a post about it….