LoriB.me

Rambling On…

LoriB.me — 02/13/2011

LoriB.me

The new name and URL of this site is LoriB.me. I have been thinking of changing it for a few years but wasn’t quite ready to let go of LBnuke. Today I was ready. All old links will be automatically redirected, but please update your bookmarks.

Welcome to LoriB.me 🙂

2011: The First 9 Days — 01/09/2011

2011: The First 9 Days

Baltimore

Even though we are only 9 days in to 2011, this year has been pretty crazy so far. So crazy, that 2010 is already kind of a blur. Karen and I are trying to get ready to move to Baltimore in April and there are so many things to do, it boggles my mind. We are both crazy busy with work, cats, packing, cleaning, and about a million other things.

I have not had much time or energy to post here on LBnuke other than the ‘Please vote for AWN’ series. Thank you so much to everyone who voted! We came very close a few times, but did not win. As it turned out, we made lots of good connections and will be able to do many of the things we wanted to do with the contest money. I think 2011 will be a great year for the Autism Women’s Network 🙂

2010 was the best year ever for BeeDragon, my business. I have been crazy busy and am now working on 2 large projects that were not supposed to overlap. It seems to be common in this business for clients to be very late with their content. Thankfully one of the projects has been sticking to the planned schedule. I still dream of having some kind of  partnership, network, whatever, where I am not a one person shop. My ideal team consists of me doing general web development, an awesome graphic designer, and a business manager. I don’t know anything at all about the local Baltimore web dev community, but hopefully I will find it quickly!

LBnuke 2011: I am in the process of adapting LBnuke to be a little more Tumblr like so that it will be easier for me to post things here. Right now, I am running an early release version of WordPress 3.1 so that I can play around with ‘post-formats’ and learn how to work with them in theme files and templates. As usual, WordPress makes this pretty easy.

Time to get back to work now. 2011 will be a big adventure for me and K. My current plan is to avoid going insane while so many things are going on at once. So far this is going ok except that I fall asleep a lot. At the end of March, either me and Karen or just Karen will go to Baltimore to find a place to live. At the beginning of April, we will pack up our cats and drive across country.

WordPress 2.7 — 12/08/2008

WordPress 2.7

Earlier today, I updated this site to WordPress 2.7. It was a completely smooth upgrade, even though I forgot to disable my plugins and 2.7 is only a release candidate. I have been using the beta version, and now RC1 on a website I have been building for the past couple of months. It has been amazingly stable since even before it was in beta.

The administration section is completely overhauled for the way better, in my opinion. The main admin links are moved from the top to a sidebar with dropdown panels for each section. Here is a screenshot of the ‘Add New Post’ page as it appears while I am writing this:

WordPress 2.7 Add Post Screen
WordPress 2.7 Add Post Screen

One of the most exciting new features is the automatic core upgrade. Amazing! Better than that. For someone with a single site, it is amazing. For someone who is responsible for many WordPress sites, it is a dream come true. It has been working, but behaving strangely on the site I have been building. For some reason it always fails on the first two tries and works on the third. No harm is done on the failed attempts. I will see how it goes with this site.

Another handy new feature is the ‘Install Plugins’ page where you can search the WordPress Plugin Directory by keyword, author, or tag, or browse by tag, featured, popular, newest, and recently updated. You can also upload .zip files of plugins you have already downloaded.

There is much more to say about WordPress 2.7 but I am too tired to say it now. Maybe I will post again when the final version is released. I was kind of impressed with myself for holding out this long before installing it on LBnuke. Don’t think I would have made it if not for having another site to play on. I mean work on.

Wordle — 11/03/2008

Wordle

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.

I spent way more time wordling yesterday than I care to admit here. It was kind of mesmerizing. I made one by entering the main LBnuke URL and a bunch by entering the feed URL. The ones with “Things” as the big word is from the feed and contains words from a broader search than the one with “Time” as the big word. I liked how changing the colors and layouts affected which words stood out the most when viewing the images. Of course the largest ones always stood out the most, but color brightness and word orientation made a big difference in some cases too. There is a gallery at the Wordle site containing images from other people’s wordles. I found the ones from the presidential and vice presidential debates pretty interesting. All images in this gallery were created at Wordle.net.

Should I rename LBnuke? — 10/17/2008

Should I rename LBnuke?

question markI started LBnuke in 2003 as an experiment with PostNuke, a php/mysql content management system. It was my first experience with php, mysql, content management systems, and open source software. I named this site after that software. It is no longer powered by PostNuke. I converted it to WordPress a couple of years ago.

Sometimes, I wonder if the name is outdated and I should change it. Other times, I am very attached to the name because discovering this type of technology was a life-changing (or at least work-changing) event. In the 5 years since I started this site, I have become highly skilled at working with these types of systems and related technologies. Somewhere along the way, I crossed the line between web designer and web developer. Since I am not a graphic artist and am most comfortable thinking in programming logic, my passion and interest for this type of work has grown exponentially since that time.

I am also a bit of a domain name whore. I have about 15 domain names that are waiting to find a home. I like the idea of using some form of my name or identity in the name of this site, since it is my personal site. I consider ‘bee’ to be part of my identity since it has been a nickname for so long.

If anyone would like to help me with this decision, please answer the poll. Any input is appreciated!

Thanks for voting! This poll has been closed and I still haven’t made a decision. Please feel free to comment with ideas, suggestions, etc.

Poll Results:

Work, WordCamp, Dolly, Autiblogger, and .me — 08/14/2008

Work, WordCamp, Dolly, Autiblogger, and .me

WordCamp 2008This week started out kind of insane. Nearly all of my clients wanted things at once. It hurt my brain pretty bad, but somehow I managed to get almost everything done. To make matters worse, my work environment has become somewhat of an ergonomic nightmare. I fixed my wrist problem by switching to a trackball, wearing a brace, and putting the arms back on my chair. Unfortunately, the chair arms led to bad pain in my shoulder. Oy.

I worked all day Tuesday without a break and by evening, I was in some pretty bad pain. I fantasized about taking ibuprofen all day, but it makes me tired and I had too much work to do. Fortunately, I am married to a genius! Karen started rubbing my shoulders and I could feel huge relief spread though my whole body. She suggested that I get a real massage. Suddenly, I was filled with hope. I could get relief! We called a place that has relatively cheap massages and booked the 2 appointments they had for 9pm.

Turns out that you get what you pay for, but even still it was great and fixed my pain. Only problem was that neither of our massagers listened to what we asked for. K’s kept doing things too hard even after repeated requests to stop. My person asked if I had any specific requests. I told her the parts that hurt and asked her to concentrate on those parts and ignore the rest. My main request other than my painful shoulder was my hands. My hands almost always hurt. She did not even touch my hands. Suddenly it was over and my whole body was relaxed except for my hands. They were still in pain and in a total state of tease, still tingling from the anticipation that they would get some relief. Oh well. The rest of my body still feels good.

Wordcamp is this Saturday! I am very excited. Wordcamp is tied with Macworld as my favorite geek event of the year. Perhaps not so coincidentally, those are the only two geek events that I can afford to go to. Always nice to be around other geeks and share in the WordPress love.

Me and K saw Dolly Parton at the Greek last week. She was totally awesome and played about 12 different instruments over the course of the show. She also told lots of stories and laughed a lot and generally made it impossible not to have a great time.

I finally updated Autiblogger yesterday from WordPress MU 1.3 to WPMU 2.6. Had a few problems with the .htaccess file which were pretty easy to fix and blank admin pages all around due to a plugin incompatibility, but the upgrade was pretty smooth otherwise. Hopefully it will help with the splogs.

The last exciting bit of news is that I got a few more .me domains. I think I am done for now, especially considering I am not completely sure what to do with the five I now have:

  • lorib.me
  • beeis.me
  • killerbee.me
  • primarykey.me
  • whatiswrongwith.me

I am considering changing the name of this site to either lorib.me, beeis.me, or primarykey.me. The name LBnuke is kind of outdated considering it was named after software that is no longer used on this site (PostNuke). primarykey.me cracks me up, but will be lost on non-database geeks, and possibly even on them too. K hates it. lorib.me is appropriate but kind of boring. beeis.me is nice because saying it makes me happy.

killerbee.me and whatiswrongwith.me were just too good to pass up. Hopefully I will find a good use for them someday.

If anyone has any thoughts on a new name for this site and/or what to do with the other names, please leave a comment.

WordPress 2.2 Upgrade — 05/16/2007

WordPress 2.2 Upgrade

WordPressI am starting to believe that the days of the fast and easy WordPress upgrade have come to an end. Version 2.0 brought some problems for upgraders. Version 2.1 seemed to bring even more due to some database changes breaking certain themes and plugins.

The 2.0 upgrade went very smoothly for me. 2.1 did not. My theme had some db calls to fetch page links using post_status='static' which no longer worked after the database changes. Calling them with post_type='page' instead fixed the problem quite easily, but it took a while of troubleshooting before figuring that out. The 2.2 upgrade was the worst yet.

After having trouble with the 2.1 upgrade, I decided to follow the upgrade instructions for a change and turn off all of my plugins. I have never done that before and have never had a problem because of not doing it. This time, after uploading the new files and running the database update script, I was greeted a by a PHP fatal error message in place of my website. Pretty. This was due to the call in my header.php file to the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin, which was not activated. No problem. Easy to fix. Comment out the UTW code in the header.

I started reactivating plugins one by one and then testing to make sure nothing went wrong. Everything was going smoothly until activating the King Categories widget. Another fatal error. This time, I emptied the active_plugins field from the bee_options table and tried again with the same result. It occurred to me later that I probably could have just renamed the widget instead of messing with the db, but why do things the easy way when you take the scenic route?

I gave up on the King widget and instead downloaded and installed Breukie’s Categories widget. This worked fine except that every time I made a change to the widget in the admin section, it would forget my exluded categories, so I had to reset them every time. Too annoying.

I was about to hard code the categories into my sidebar just below the hard coded search form and above the widget test statement when I discovered my new favorite widget, the Executable PHP widget, while reading Aaron Brazell’s 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.2. It was also in this article that I was notified of a workaround by Ryan Boren for this widget that is required if you want to use more than one PHP widget in wordpress 2.2. This widget rocks! Endless possibilities. I used to use the King Text widget to include PHP in widgets, but was too afraid to activate it after the trouble with King Categories. I created 3 execPHP widgets to replace the King Categories widget, a King Text widget, and one to add my RSS links. I am not sure why I didn’t just use plain HTML in a text widget for that last one. Never even occurred to me. Finally my sidebar was back to normal.

One more thing about widgets in wordpress 2.2. They are built in, so do not try to activate the widgets plugin ten times like I did. It will never work.

There is a very cool new Plugin Sandbox feature in WP 2.2 that evaluates the plugin code on activation for fatal errors and does not activate the plugin if any are found. This kicked in for the widgets plugin, but not for the King widget. I suppose a widget is not technically a plugin. Or is it?

I still love wordpress as much as ever and will always upgrade my own site at first stable release of each new version. There are always changes for the better and bug fixes.

I will no longer be upgrading all of my wordpress sites at first release. It has become almost impossible anyway since the 120-day release schedule has been in effect. Most of them are client sites that I do not want to break or cause to have any downtime beyond uploading the new files. It is not part of any agreement I have to keep sites updated with the latest files, but sometimes I like to throw it in as a freebie for increased security and ease of future upgrades, not to mention access to new features. Now that it is not always a fast and easy job, I will probably only do it at a client’s request and for a fee. It is probably best that I charge for my work anyway!

Hangman — 08/11/2006

Hangman

Hangman games are back 🙂 Click on the ‘Hangman’ menu to pick a topic.

If you have a request for a new topic, please leave a comment. If you have suggestions for more words to add to a topic that already exists, please contact me here. Don’t want to make it too easy by having the words listed here!

I will probably move the flash games here eventually too. Not sure about the forums, web links, or reviews either. Reviews and links are easy to integrate into this site without having separate sections. If anybody wants the forums back, let me know.

LBnuke 5.0 — 08/07/2006

LBnuke 5.0

The spam. I can’t deal with it anymore. I am finally going to convert this site to WordPress. I was inspired by word camp. Can’t get online at moment. I am guessing it is a Comcast thing. It has given me some time to start transferring posts since I can’t even find out what my homework is for this week until I’m back online.

I am working on a version of this theme for wordpress, but for now will be using a different one which is very nice and has a similar color scheme. I will also be trying out a beta version of MeCommerce by Good Storm, so if you are looking to buy things, check my sidebar first! I will get 50% of the profits. Pretty cool!

WordPress widgets are fun! Drag and drop sidebar items. I’ve widgetized a few themes, and when I have some time, I will try my hand at making a widget.
Continue reading

New Design — 04/06/2006

New Design

I am trying out a new design that uses CSS for layout, which is something I have wanted to change about this site for a long time. I’ve been working on a css version of the ‘red brick’ design on and off, but I like this one better and it has the advantage of being finished! I will be modifying and testing it live on this site. At some point, it may end up looking a lot like the red brick design. Most likely I will keep tweaking it as long as it exists on this site.

Any comments are appreciated.