Watching the net for a long time, I've seen quite a few articles like these:
I've been slowly moving all of my registered domains away from domainsatcost.ca over the past year. Why? There are several reasons:
- Irony poisoning: $13.45 is not 'at cost' by any means. 10dollar.ca is cheaper, less annoying, and has a better interface
- Big Irritations: you can't register a domain name for more than a year at a time. Whenever you perform any transaction, you get a 50 cent fee added to the total for the 'privilege' of using your credit card. Um, why?
About two years ago, I started a project to digitize all of my university degree notes. I've been doing it off and on, and here are the things I would have done while writing the notes in order to make them easily scannable.
- The most important thing: don't use thin paper. Only use 20lb or 24lb paper: this doesn't flex as much when it's forcefully pulled through the sheet feeder.
There are a lot of complaints over the past few years about how startup sites are going with strange domain names: taking out vowels, coming up with original domain names.
In order to be memorable, there are two ways to approach getting a domain name: be original (e.g. 'strange') a la 'meebo', or have a common word or phrase. All the common dictionary words are gone, as are many common phrases. And where have they gone to? Domain squatters, mostly.
A long while ago I wrote of how to install vmware player on Ubuntu 6.06 aka 'Dapper Drake'. That post has been one of my more popular, and since then installing VMWare player has gotten a lot easier.
I've been working with the CMS Drupal since about February now, and I must say that I'm amazed with it.
On the surface, Drupal is almost scary complex: the stock install has many options and many features. Beyond this there's a large library of third-party modules, and a very involved developer community which has produced the very extensive handbook covering every facet of Drupal.
And you aren't stuck with the default theme, or the default look and feel. Theming a site is relatively straightforward: it's just as easy as a Wordpress theme, perhaps even easier. If you are content with a pre-built theme, there is an extensive directory of themes created by third parties
You can theme specialized functions: most of the modules that have been in development for some time have functions you can override to customize the look and feel of particular site components. This makes it very, very easy to customize your site without needing to change the core code at all.
So where to start? Download and install 5.2 (the newest as of this writing). 5.x has a nice web-based installer whereas earlier versions didn't. It's much more user-friendly.
A caution: if you use 5.2 you can only use modules and themes intended for Drupal 5.x: Drupal 5.0 broke backwards compatibility with existing modules and themes.
The handbook is the place to start, but where? Some good spots are:
- The Installation Guide
- Basic Configuration
- Start with a Theme and the core modules
- Once you have an idea of what features you want but don't have, you can search the contributed modules to try and find something to make it work
- If you do development for drupal, The API reference will be your friend. So will an an account on drupal.org, so that you can filter modules and themes by Drupal version.
Drupal is very complex, and very powerful. Be prepared to spend many hours understanding it, and expect to spend spend time hitting dead ends when you first start using it.
Regardless of the complexity, it is worth knowing how to use. But it's not for everyone. Or many hosting providers. The wikipedia page outlines the technical difficulties:
The installation of Drupal (and its modules) requires access to a database as well as certain high-level privileges, including the ability to use SQL commands such as SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP, INDEX, ALTER, and LOCK TABLES. Some Web hosting providers, however, do not offer these features. Anyone who wishes to use Drupal should ensure that their host offers these features before they begin installation.
At first that may not seem significant, but you'd be surprised how many providers don't give regular users the ability to use LOCK TABLES.
So who's using Drupal? Many, many sites. If you see '/node' in the URL at any point, that's a good giveaway.
Drupal creator Dries Buytaert has a category index of posts which list drupal-based sites. Even Jabber is relaunching their site using drupal.
The default configuration of PHP has its memory limit set to 8 MB. For a lot of smaller web applications this is sufficient, but I've noticed an increasing amount of applications I've been building and have worked with are constrained by this limit. And what does PHP do when a script exceeds that limit? Why it just kills the process, of course.
Fat lot of good that will do.
It's doubly unfortunate that most of the installs I've tried to do via PEAR die out with this error.
So, here's how to fix it.
The file php.ini is the center of all this nonsense.
There have been a couple of new websites cropping up under my aegis the past few days. Donald has a new website and domain with hosting from Forcenet (and a lot of pointers from myself, too).
Also, Lunenburg musician Mary Knickle has a new website courtesy of Forcenet. The release partie(s) for her new CD were today and yesterday. Soon the option will be available to buy a CD from her site via CDBaby.
Recently I dropped $300 on a multifunction machine, the Samsung SCX-4521F to serve as a printer and a scanner.
It's a fax machine, too, but I have my doubts as to needing that.
The most important function is the sheet feeder. For scanning large volumes of pages, it's a godsend. Even though it can only do one side at a time, it saves a ton of time in swapping the sheets and saving the files. After my first day of using it, I'm convinced it's saved me hours.
That's really what I wanted it for -- to save me time. I guess it also has the side benefit of being a printer and scanner in one unit and saving a bit of space in the process. But the time factor was the most compelling reason -- I have lots of other stuff I'd like to do and not enough time to do them all. So I have to automate where I can. Hell, with my old scanner I could barely do 12-15 pages an hour. Now I can do 100.
Talk about a timesaver...