Saturday, December 23, 2006

Mumbles and Musings

The internets are absolutely fascinating to me. I've been trucking around in it for almost eleven years and have enjoyed almost every moment of it. I started with AOL, back when they charged by the minute and those first two months were expensive. Four months later I switched to Earthlink and now I use that convenient but rip off service called Verizon. As one techie observed, you are allowed to download Windows Service Pack Two but you can't listen to streaming radio because you might use too much bandwidth and it's only supposed to be for business use. What planet does Verizon exist on?

All my life I had my nose in either a book, news magazine, comic book, science article or whatever I could get my eyeballs on. My ex used to say that if I didn't get my daily supply of words that I was unlivable. It was one of several things about myself that obviously bothered him. In my defense I can say that the only time I ever read romance novels was when I was married. I prefer science fiction, it has a better chance of coming true.

Since discovering the internets, my days of buying my purse to fit whatever size of the dead tree edition that I was currently reading are over. I hardly ever read a fiction book anymore, non-fiction is so much easier to find on the internets. I've been trying to finish Eldest for a year. Grisham, Robinson, Nance, Baldacci, Jordan (series should have been finished at book five, he's on eleven plus a prequel and I quit on eight, I'm sorry he's sick), Cussler and Clancy (wrote his most popular character into a corner) have not graced my eyes in a while. I only have eyes for the internets.

Oops, I have drunk the Google Kool-Aid. Once Blogger (no longer in Beta, yeah!) started using Gmail as a sign in, I began to use more of the services. The personalized homepage was first, with all of the little widgets from many ingenious people. I have no idea how it happened, but I lost all my Sage live bookmarks and had to start over, so I did. With Google Reader. Love it. Now I can really keep up with news, bloggers and several other items that interest me.

Recently there has been much whining, crying and useless flapping of hands in the blogosphere over having to switch to the new Blogger. When I first switched, I wasn't very happy but some of the ideas appealed to me and I went back and slowly played with the template (Minima, it's easier to add than to take away) and now have it hacked to the teeth. I realize other bloggers just want to type and print and aren't particularly interested in the intricacies of widgets and how much easier it is to play with unless they suffer from a form of geekdom.

Some are asking, what's the difference in page elements, can't I just use one? Not really. If you don't have a friend to help you, aren't comfortable with asking another blogger for help and don't mind reading through some people's arrogance, I recommend the Blogger Help Group. In addition, at the top of my page you can mouseover the HackZone, these are bloggers who explain how to do something and explain it very well.

Remember to make a copy of the code in the template section to a text editor (plain not rich text) on your computer before you start. This will contain all the code that you may be using for Haloscan, Sitemeter, et al. Then you can copy and paste the appropriate portions of code into the correct page elements instead of having to regenerate.

Blogger requires that some sites get permission to access and this is accomplished through a Google screen that pops up if they are interested in working with Blogger. I just copy the YouTube embed code in order to post to my blog since it won't work any other way. So it isn't a one click deal, but eleven years ago it couldn't be done at all.

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