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Category Archives: Tech

Burnsy Woz Right

With Big Sis away for a weeks break, I decided to allocate this week to getting to grips with the video issues on the website. I had already googled and bookmarked a few how to pages and had mentally mapped out my productive days.

That’s where I went wrong, having a determined plan.

As some may know I’m pseudo consultant to the Resident Management Company that I used to run before handing it over to an agent when it got too much.  To say that the Agent have had ‘issues’ is a bit like calling pneumonia man flu.  Staff changes, lack of communication, confusing cross communication, time delays, etc have been adding to the general rumblings of dissension around here.  Consequently for every email sent, it generated two more, needing immediate attention. The Director and I decided to get to grips with everything and lick em into shape, we were going to go through the invoices of the past two years noting anomalies, we listed general running issues and we’re trying to get the next (already over-due) residents meeting organised.  

I did manage to list all the videos that need converting into three different file types (devices use different formats, desktop v tablets and phones, Apple v Microsoft v Android).  Apart from a couple of snaffoos that skipped along nicely, even managed to save the relevant back-ups.  This brought a recurrent issue, getting FileZilla to transfer the large files to the server. I’m three desk sessions into trying and I just cannot get it configured, nor find the instructions and answers online, it’s just something further than my limited knowledge and ability can handle.  So I’ll have to hope the web hosts ftp can cope with the file sizes.  It’s a time consuming process.

Each video page needs the HTML re-writing, all eighteen of them.  Some are videos I’m hosting, others are on YouTube, but I cannot start these until the video files are uploaded.  It’s already Saturday, that leaves a heck of a lot to go wrong right before Big Sis gets here at 9am Tuesday (her hubby’s car has a garage appointment first thing, so he’s using her car for work).  I’m polishing a draft for a new web article before coding that into a fresh HTML page as well.  BFF’s visit is coming up and I so want it all done by then.

Who was it who said, if you want something done, give to a busy woman, well if you find him, shoot him! 

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Posted by on September 15, 2018 in General, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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Testing technology (and my patient resolve)


*disclaimer* The following blog may sound a touch technical, it may also sound like I know what I’m talking about, however it isn’t and I don’t.

As some of you may know, I administrate a website about a musician and the work he has undertaken over the past years. I try and be diligent in my duties and keep things up-to-date for the fans and those who google interest. Over the past couple of years with a deterioration of my muscle strength and the complications surrounding using my desk for any extended periods of time, I have been lax in updating the photo section of the website. This has been weighing heavily on my mind and conscience, so I took the arrival of my new chair as impetus to get cracking and just do it. 

In order to put a photo gallery together I use an application on my Mac called iWeb, very much a user friendly drag and drop style of templates to create each album and contents, creating a cover, thumbnails, slideshows, and enlarged images. There are now some 18 to 21 albums each containing a couple of pages or more of images from various events, gigs, tours and with fans. Although I haven’t counted them individually there must be several hundred photos.  Now before any image can be dragged and dropped into the photo album it requires a little editing, usually it needs copying or resizing and all of them require the necessary copyright marking. Once added to a particular album I then add a caption detailing the event and that event date. Back up images and details are stored separately ‘just in case’ catastrophe occurs.  All very time consuming.  So for the last couple of months I have been slowly adding more photos to existing albums, amalgamating some albums, as well as adding new ones. Once I was satisfied everything was up to date I hit the ‘publish’ icon to save all the necessary files and folders to make this straightforward piece of the website work.

There was just one thing left to do, transfer all the files folders and contents onto the server for the website.

Historically I have used an FTP program called FileZila to act as intermediary between my computer and the host server so that the files and folders could be transferred over in the right order so everything was in its right place. When you are dealing with something that is so pedantic that a , instead of a . can send the web site into meltdown it is mentally exhausting on a good day. But FileZila is a very competent piece of kit, that when you have a folder containing files and folders, that contain files and folders, that contain files, it can’t be trusted to put the right thing in the right place in the right order.  There was just one slight, tincy, little, problem, the darn thing wouldn’t connect to the server and authenticate it self!  I could have cried.

Unfortunately the host server will only let me use FileZila as I use a Mac computer, however the host site has its own FTP client but it is notoriously slow, frequently crashes and cannot cope with transferring folders from the files and folders it needs it doing individually.  So for a number of hours I sat at my desk and diligently, slowly, transferred each file and folder double checking that they were in the correct order up to the host server.  Once all the files and folders were transferred, and I was satisfied everything was where it should be, I then opened my web browser and collect the link to view the photo gallery. Always a tense moment. Of course, it goes without saying, and is to be expected, but half of what I wanted to be there, wasn’t. Back to the individual files and folders checking the latest update date to make sure I hadn’t missed one (I had, just one) to then try again, and again, clear the cachet and web data, and try again again.

SUCCESS!!!

After the photo gallery was successfully updated, I then set about uploading the pages that have been updated to the main section of the website. These are created by handwritten HTML and not a template or wizard, and are far better behaved and easier to maintain, but photo albums are very technical to create from scratch.

The web to do list had been cut down to just a couple of items, and all the weighted updates were on screen for friends and search engine Google is defined which was a satisfactory failing.  But I’m not quite ready to tackle upgrading the video pages as if that is going to take some hours of diligent patience to make sure the videos comply on multi platforms.

In other news, I have finished two cat blankets and I am working on a third and have the pattern for the fourth one all mapped out. Spring has sprung, a new fresh dose of gumption has been grasped. 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 17, 2018 in General, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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Rebellious technology


Life has a way of making you pay for time off.  I’m paying a price, in frustration!

Wednesday morning I sat and woke up my computer, it had had a holiday too. After dealing with a top priority necessity I clicked to install the update, during its restart process it got stuck, trying to locate my Bluetooth keyboard (I don’t have one). It couldn’t sense my plugged in one. Panic.  Grab the iPad and ask Google, the first two ‘try this’ options failed, one was to just turn off the Bluetooth which was incredibly unhelpful as I do have a wireless mouse. Panic rising, scan read a couple more articles and discovered that either plugging the keyboard into a USB extension or plugging a thumb drive into the USB ports on the keyboard can ‘wake things up’.  Thankfully the extension trick worked. Phew.

Most work days my BFF calls to chat during her walk home, I sat waiting for the phone to jingle into life and when it did I eagerly pressed the green button – to silence. At first I thought our phones had missed connecting, but I could hear the bedroom phone ringing, I looked at the screen and it was blank. Panic. I heard my answerphone click in and the phone screen came to life and I pressed the green button with authority to hear the dulcet tones of my BFF wondering what was going on. Phew.

My wizzy super new desk chair requires recharging from time to time. On Wednesday I dug out the charger and plugged it into the socket and plugging the chair into the charger, the indicator light looked dead (yes, I had switched it on). Hmm, maybe it goes green once its charged. After a couple of hours still no light, I’ll plug it in again Thursday to charge some more, but still the light remained dead. Panic.  Now where exactly is that ‘safe place’ you put the instructions?   Apparently the light ‘should’ be yellow while charging and green once charged.  So, is the charger not charging or has the light gone do-wacky….either way as its only been three months, I need to contact the peeps and get another charger, hope there’s enough charge in the battery. Slight panic.

At least the microwave hasn’t melted, no light bulbs have plunged me into darkness or kettle fizzled ….. although the WordPress app has crashed a few times while typing this.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in General, Life, Tech

 

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Battle Plan Bidness


There are only eleven days until my BFF comes to play I mean stay, yes stay.  Always much look forwardededed to with electric anticipation. We plan tasty foods and we plan loads of films and things, we plan plans to stitch n bitch and sometimes actually manage to stitch too!  But I have a rival, someone with whom I absolutely cannot compete with, he is such a courteous gentleman, he can melt you with just a blink of his mesmerising eyes, of course I am referring to ‘Mikey’ the not-my-cat who sits on my recycling bin ‘supervising’ kitchen activities and persuading to be let in.

Her imminent arrival also gives me the impetus to get on with the to-do list.  So here we go, my list

  • Tidy/sort/chuck bathroom junk
  • Today/sort/chuck bedroom junk
  • Wash towels
  • Start big shop list of don’t forgets
  • Shift/bag loose balls of yarn
  • Tidy away untidied bedroom bits
  • Finish web album work
  • Type up pod cast article
  • Create contact page

I’ve slowly been catching up with the web work at my desk, I’m still trying to master getting up from my desk but I am no nearer success.  There’s a lazy aspect in my brain, I psych myself up, get hands and chair in place, sit ready, take a deep breath and flop as the impetus flood away and despondency makes me change my mind and I end up doing the hip aching chair shuffle to the sofa.

When BFF is here I plan to ftp the album files to the server, a task that takes numerous hours and double checking of files to make sure it’s done it all proper like. So hence the deadline to get all the updates and info ready to be published.

Really looking forward to our two weeks PJ party, even if it does include my 0-heck golden gauged half century type birthday.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 8, 2018 in General, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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And She Shall Rise …. (Hopefully)

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Well that is the plan …. maybe.  As many regular readers may remember I have a muscle wasting disease called fascia-humeral-humeral Muscular Dystrophy, it’s slowly getting worse rendering me weaker so simple tasks become a complete nightmare, some impossible. Skills and abilities, hopes and dreams have been taken away bit by bit.

Last year I began experiencing serious issues getting stood up from my desk. Now my desk is important to me. It is my link to outside life, other than the practical chores like paying bills or shopping for groceries or gifts or writing letters and emails, it is also my coffee shop where I interact with the world through social media, forums and such. It is where I create, code, make web updates, edit photos, write book reviews and blog posts and where I listen to music as I work.  My mornings are usually spent at the desk dealing with business after that first cup of coffee.  That was the issue that made the problem, a problem, because I’d need a wee.  My ‘alternate’ route was to shuffle onto the dining chair, then scooch (technical term) across to the sofa, shift to the sofa, get up stood and trot off to the bathroom, sounds a palavar, it is when you are bursting!  So I stopped being at my desk as much or for as long, which stopped me listening to music, which stopped me spending as much time creating, which stopped me writing letters and emails to family and friends, which had me putting off jobs! projects! research etc.  I have my iPad but it’s not the same, there are things I need to do on my Mac at my desk.

It took a while to admit defeat, it took longer to try and seek an answer. I’m tired of investing hope to be disappointed, or struggling constantly for no reward.  Anyway, I sourced a company who sent their physiotherapist to come visit me and evaluate my situation.  Several hours later, after numerous getting ups to show my technique and what I hoped to achieve, he left and the next day sent me details and costs of a wizzy chair and desk.  I was hopefully, but also realistic that even when it all arrived it would take several attempts, many many failed attempts, to get stood up from my desk in a reasonably straightforward consistent manner, like I do from the bed, the loo and the sofa (the only other spots I can get up from). 

On Wednesday last week the desk, which can rise from knee height to standing working height and has preset buttons to automatically adjust to a height set to a particular millimetre, was built and installed with the new three draw unit beside it, the wizzy chair which rises up and down via a button touch, has wheelers that can be breaked, with arms that drop to be level with the seat, has a lockable swivel, as well as adjustable tilt, back rest, head rest, was wheeled in. I took a seat proudly……got comfy…..and then couldn’t get up. Okay, no prob, just need to get the feel, learn where the chair needs to be, learn and set the desk at just the right height and if not on the first go by the third it will be set. Erm, no. It ain’t happening, I ain’t progressing ….. it is annoying because I cannot sense what is going wrong, what needs to change to achieve the goal. Is it mental me expecting too much giving in too soon, menopause me with all sorts out of sorts, or MD me weakening have I left it too late.

*sigh*

Today I had my lunch at my desk, a list of got to get done jobs, played some favoured tunes to motivate and after a couple of hours tried getting up, couldn’t, so carried on getting more done, enjoying the fun of being at my desk. Then shuffled across to the sofa.

Maybe another day will work, who knows *shrug*

 
11 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2018 in General, Life, Tech

 

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Frustrated Technically

 

The question seemed simple “Can I send a PDF file to my Kindle?” Of course my first course of action was to ask the great oracle that is Google. The first page of potential answers contained those comforting words “easy” and “simple”, that should have sent the klaxons of doom going off at ear splitting decibels.

Apparently it’s just three manageable steps. 1 make sure your email is added to the accepted list  in ‘manage devices & settings’ [done]   2 find your kindle’s email [done].  3 send email with attachment from your accepted email to your kindle email [done] …… Aaaaand ta-da, all done.

But it didn’t.

Of course, it didn’t, any “easy and simple” instructions aren’t.

Back to Google, read through another dozen articles all giving the same three instructions. Try them again, still no document appearing on kindle screen.  Scroll through the archive list on Amazon (all two hundred and twenty titles) incase it gets put there [nope].  Read through another few articles, consider an online chat to find out the all important vital fourth step that’s missing.  Turn over and sleep on it.

Next day, look for answers on Google again, find a little added extra some add to step 3 put ‘convert’ into email subject line.  Step 4 Check ‘Doc’s’ on archive lists on Amazon ‘Manage devices & settings”. Step 5 send from archive to required device.

Guess what………………………..It worked!!!

It’s not just me, Is its? Not because I’m getting older and technology is getting younger? 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on October 12, 2017 in General, Grumble, Tech

 

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When Enuff Is Enough


It doesn’t have to be a Friday thirteenth for a day to test, frustrate or just get the better of me. Major Murphy, Sargent Sod and Field-Marshall Fate must have had a conference and decided to wage war on my patience, resilience and strength.

Last weekend I sat with note pad and pencil and went through every page, paragraph and sentence of the website, noting down edits, amendments, corrections and general tidying that needed doing; I made notes about what to do for a whole new page, a significant addition to a page and a complete reconfigure of the site menu and presentation of the music bio. That came to seven pages, and I haven’t even touched the photos and videos (may not sound like it, but I enjoyed it, I was making headway and planning).  Tuesday morning I sat at the desk and worked through one page of straight forward corrections, about an hour and a half.  The cost for doing that, I couldn’t get up from the desk, no amount of umph-ing, trying, willing, wishing or expletive resulted in a successful up, so I did the chair shuffle to the sofa and get up from there.  In the afternoon I worked on my crochet project and the price for that was struggling up-ness from the sofa, loo and bed. My reserves were flat, I’d had enough, I get angry, I am not wanting to dance on tippy toes across a high wire, just stand up, not rocket science is it, but boy do I have to work at it, every, single, time. Count how many times a day you stand up, imagine having to run up strains every time, you’ll quickly start thinking “Do I need to get up and do that, can it wait and then do two or three things together”.

Wednesday I created some new graphics, another hour or so at the desk, but I cheated, Big Sis was here so she could lift me, when she arrived. Yesterday, I began the task of creating an eye catching new page sub menu, making sure the HTML I write is correct to every . > and “.  After a little more than an hour I sat back, looked hard and hit the delete button, it was crap. Great. I am sure my frame of mind is clouding my vision for this new page, so I cannot see what I want to work towards.  Again, I couldn’t get up. Again the chair shuffle to the sofa, an afternoon spent on the crochet project, and again difficulty getting upright, but hey, on the bright side it only took me an hour to get from sofa to kitchen with loo stop rather than the two hours on Tuesday.  They say finding the positive is a good thing, I hate that kind of thinking, because it does nothing to get my arse off the wooden toilet seat. I am all about the practical, it’s ingrained. 

For some time getting upright from the desk has been an issue, and I do not see a way around it. I’ve tried tweeking my method, restricting the duration at the desk (I’d prefer to be there two or three hours), it makes no difference. I think the desk height is a tad higher than the draws I use beside the bed or the sink beside the loo. Can’t change any physical aspect but I need to be able to sit at my desk, there is enjoyable work to be done, I can occupy myself and feel some satisfaction. I cannot use a laptop as I cannot hold my hands/arms over the keyboard to type. I need my desk. 

I know there are battery powered toilet seat risers. I know there are seats that rise and tilt, we see the tv ad often enough, but things that tilt will throw me to the ground. But easily useable desk chair that behaves like a dining chair, is there such a thing.

Historically I have known the work-a-rounds to manage, how equipment can help, but in this day and age, with my level of deterioration, is there an answer other than ‘you cannot do it anymore’?

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Grumble, Life, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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