Category Archives: Webworks

Nine Years

Nine years ago I set up this domain and started blogging, I still don’t seem to have gotten the hang of it.

With everything going on in our lives and in the world around us, I should have plenty to write about. I have my radio blog, also lacking in regularity, and our store/family blog also suffers from a lack of consistency and regularity.

With my 9th-bloggiversary coming up in about two weeks I thought a little goal setting was in order. I have 54 weeks to work on improving those things I feel I lack in my blogging practices. Regularity & consistency.

Scheduling writing sessions had never worked well in the past but I think that had more to do with my lack of keeping up with datebooks and calendars. In the last year or so this has changed. I am using a calendar organizer daily for tracking a lot of different things. Adding writing goals into this routine shouldn’t be all that difficult.

At the moment I’m a little too scattered to vent any moral or social indignation about whatever is going on at the moment. I have been jotting down miscellaneous potential subjects for posts and scribbling out a paragraph or two every once and a while. Some of these should be useful, at least a little. I guess I should continue jotting and scribbling and see how things turn out.

I know this is anything but a substantive post, but that really wasn’t the purpose for writing today. Sometimes you just gotta do some things for yourself.


I frackin hate puters! (pt.2)

(Part of this is cross posted)

computer-stressI figured out why the network drive wasn’t responding. It appears that the hard drive failed. Why how did you come to this conclusion? I made several attempts to connect the entire device through the network and by direct connection. After no response, I decided to pull the physical drive and test it in another computer. As all of the available and suitable computers are old, the results where unreliable. Although I had a suspicion that it was the drive, I needed to confirm it.

A Fry’s run. Normally I enjoy a jaunt to geek mecca, today I wasn’t feeling up to par and I already put time in doing diagnostics and cracking the case (the warranty is expired anyway) so I wasn’t thrilled. I thought of a couple of potential solutions and fortunately could afford, sort of, to get them both. I picked up a special USB cable for creating and peer-to-peer network and an SATA hard drive dock. The dock allows you to plug a hard drive directly into the dock.

Using the dock I found that the hard drive was fried. The mechanicals are good, but the on board control is screwed up from over heating. So what options do I have? Two, really. One, I could dink with the drive, having no experience opening a drive case or replacing the board; or two, send it off to a data recovery company. Lets look at the options. Option one, I stand a 90%+ chance of loosing all the data, but not spending any money. Option two, I have a 97%+ chance of getting all of my data back, but I spend $500 to do it. Oh, and I still need to get a back-up drive.

(not cross posted)

I have put the desk back together. Since it may be a few weeks before I get the data back, I have to put a few things on hold. I am trying to rebuild some of the data from other sources but the extraction is very slow going. I am building a file server on paper and will see how much that will cost.

In this day of home offices and everyone in the house on their own computers the back-up situation has gotten, interesting. When on the phone with one of the data recovery companies, I told him I was using a network drive and that it had been running for about a year. I was a bit thrown by his response, “Ya, thats about right. Actually you got your monies worth.”. I don’t agree with that last part. I can buy an inexpensive complete computer for $200-$400. A regular computer running on the network will last for several years, mainly because of the power saving features. Auto sleep, NIC access wake-up, HD spin down, and the like. Apparently the companies that build the pro-sumer / consumer network appliances didn’t account for this.

If you are looking to buy a network drive in this environment (home office / home) look closely at whether or not you need to shut the device down every night. A real computer can solve most of these issues and might just end up costing less, particularly if you want to run back-ups or add drive space on a whim. Don’t forget, just because they say it will work for a small office / medium, doesn’t mean it’s any better the standard home user equipment. It just means its more expensive, usually. If I thought I could compete with the lowball online discount retailers, and people would actually pay for quality, I just might sell custom built network storage / backup servers. I don’t think so.


Frackin computers!

computer-stressI have been working with them for a while now, (20+ years) and I don’t think I like them much.

I spent way too much time trying to get a network drive back on line tonight. I don’t have the one cable I need to connect a laptop directly to the drive. I have literally thousands of cables in various configurations. Just not the one I need.

I guess I am off to Fry’s in the early AM to pick up that pesky cable and give this another shot. I also need ink for the printer so it’s not like the trip wasn’t going to happen any way. I just wasn’t expecting the tech-fest in the morning. I have a meeting for the SteamFaire project in the afternoon, and things to do to prepare for that.

I have another project that is taking form that ties into SteamFaire and the Daedalus project as well. It is the Galeatus AerNavis project. I will be posting more on this project as it fleshes out, which should be soon. I have been doing the web development on it for a couple of days now and the project details are coming together.


At least once a week

PosterBoyI committed to keeping up with posts at least once a week. What I didn’t consider was that I was going to have three different regular blogs and one, BETA/blog/something-else-not-entirely-describable. Oh, and lets not forget all of the feeds I am subscribed to as well as other friends blogs I read that are not included in my feed list. It has become almost a full time thing to just keep up. 😉

The project is doing well. in less than a month I secured over 45 subscribing login members and almost 200 casual subscribers. Not bad. I have been meeting with other event coordinators, and I am getting ready to start seeking out sponsors for the event.

I had a meeting with the organizers of the “California Steampunk Convention” in San Francisco today. The meeting went well and I think there are some cross promotion possibilities there. They offered a special promo code for early reg for there event to my member base. I know this is to drive more subscribers to there site, but I am hoping they will reciprocate with a link. I know they are monitoring my site and can see that I have followed through. Lets see if they follow through.

Getting used to WordPress, this blogging software, as a business website platform and foundation for a commercial/retail site is going well. is a decent example of a business site without retail. I installed a forums plugin that seems to work. It’s not exactly what I wanted, but it works well enough, is easy to set up and it got used in the first twelve hours it was live. I also found a good shopping cart program that is working well in BETA. I am hoping to use it to full advantage soon.

It is remarkable how much things have progressed in the last fifteen years. When the wife and I first got together I was managing a two line BBS and had a shell login account for internet access on a 9.6kbps modem (I upgraded from a 300bps). Oh how the wheels are turning. In coding news, I guess I have been picking up PHP well enough, I ran into a problem with a plugin and found the problem in the code and created a workaround. I know its not a “real” programing language, but I still consider it coding.

I have been kicking around the Idea of buying/building a balloon or airship, before you say it, I know, don’t start another project. Actually it ties in to several things. I need to look into this a little more. You can expect to be reading about lighter-than-air craft soon.

Until next time,

Today, where to begin

FlightPlanningFor starters, today is my wife and my 15th anniversary. Though I know many people who have been together for longer, in todays society it seems like this is longer than most. Not that I’m lookin’ to get out mind you, I lover her more every day. So I have been thinking about her more than usual the last few days. I am feeling a little clingy today.

After coffee this morning with the Mrs. I went up to Alameda/Oakland to met with someone from the club and pick up mail at the PO Box. The person I was meeting with, is someone I have been butting heads with for a while now. That actually went well. I picked up the mail then headed back to the South Bay.

When I got into San Jose I meet with a friend and business supplier, we talked about a deal I facilitated for him and some mutual projects I have been poking at lately. I always like going to see him, he has a great work ethic and outlook on life. I love to steer business his way.

After that, I headed home. I have been catching up on my own blogs and those of friends. There have been several good developments in the SteamFaire project that have come about via email. The registered user list on has grown to 34, not bad for a few weeks in existence. I have some emails to get out and there is some web site work on a couple of domains that need to get done before the day is up. Now that I have had a break I guess I should get back to work. 😉


Code Crazy

2014-01-04_codingRecently I have been working on enhancing my coding and site design skills. I decided to delve deeper into PHP and CSS. Over the weekend I built a test server and installed an Apache web server, SQL Data Base server, and PHP. After testing the servers functionality I began writing and running some BETA applications.

So far things are running well. I hope to begin integrating PHP applications on several web sites soon. I have also been looking at incorporating applications into the WordPress blog model. I will start development of some of these here on this site.

For now, back to the books.