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  • Going Mad!
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Going Mad!
    In general, I enjoy fiddling around with Joomla and the website.  There are times, however, when it is maddening.  Last week the site went down.  At first, I blamed the domain server for pointing to the wrong location.  Then I figured it was the NAS box I use to host the site.  I thought I had it nailed when I found it would not update the web location and synch with the domain server.  I spent too much time trying to get it to talk to the Synology account to update the web location.  Then I noticed that NAS box had lost its time sync.  Again.  It's' happened before and I suddenly get fake malware notifications as the system realizes that hackers have gotten into the system to change my computer's time... so evil... the notification goes away when I correct the time.  Apparently, it can nuke my web page too.  Talk about the domino effect.  I really have no idea why my NAS box can't keep time.  Maybe I should add an atomic clock;)
    Written on Saturday, 02 October 2021 22:35 in Daniel's Blog
    Tags: Blog
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  • Not Even Two Legs to Stand On
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Not Even Two Legs to Stand On

    I had some minor surgery on my foot about a week ago.  Nothing serious, just an outpatient procedure.  I have to stay off of it for a few weeks during recovery.  My job has allowed me to work from home for the duration.  Fortunately, I am allowed to walk enough to go to the bathroom and the kitchen but most of the time the foot should be up.  My job has allowed me to work from home for the duration.  My kids have still managed to step on every part of my foot except the part that has the surgery on it.  Am I paranoid or are they really out to get me?

    Written on Monday, 22 March 2021 21:34 in Daniel's Blog
    Tags: Blog
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  • Three Sheets to the Page
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Three Sheets to the Page

    Working with Joomla doesn't make you an internet guru by any means. In fact, one of my friends mocks it as a crutch that keeps you from the really powerful tools. Joomla isn't alone, he mocks all the content management systems(CMS). While I don't completely agree he does have some good points. You can actually make some really good looking pages with just html, css and java. It's just a lot of work, especially for large webpages or interactive pages. Getting good with these three tools is even recommended by people who work with Joomla too since it allows you to do some pretty powerful modifications of the basic Joomla pages and the modules themselves.

    So, why do I even mention this? Well, I am limited in how much I can write with screaming children roaming in the wilds (the living room, the bedrooms, and the dining room) so I turned towards some things that I can mostly put down and pick back up when the wave of children has passed. So I picked up some books on HTML, CSS, java, and Linux and have been going through them. Most of it makes sense though the actual implementation can get messy. Browsers allow you to inspect the Styles that define the webpage's look but trying to pin down a change has been challenging. Fun and frustrating in turns. Also as I make more changes I have to ask myself if I actually made my webpage look better or just messier.

    I think I picked up the basics of HTML pretty quickly, though the fancy stuff is beyond me writing it from scratch. Though I can usually follow it if it's given to me. CSS also wasn't too bad. Writing your own CSS is easier than trying to slip in your own changes in someone else's CSS code. I have literally spent hours trying to track down the correct class name to use. Java is much harder. The basic language looks simple and then you see a shortened bit of code that does what your four lines did and you are back to "Huh?"

    The Unix training book has been slow going too, but that's okay. As some may recall I set up a Synology NAS box a while back and then discovered that the box was a real Linux computer that could run almost all Linux stuff and set up my Joomla website on it. My friend (the same jerk) mocked it as... you got it, a "crutch" that keeps you from working directly with the Linux command line and really taking control of your system. I was mostly okay with that since I wasn't ready to dig too deep into the rabbit hole at the time. Since then Synology messed up a few times and figuring out why has been a pain in the butt. So I got the book, set up a Ubuntu Virtual box, and started to practice on the command line. Then I got a Rasberry pie and practiced on its command line. While I still need a reference book to get the command's syntax right and absolutely use Google to do the fancy stuff, these days I can understand what the commands do and the file structure and permissions don't seem to be written in code (though technically they are....). Yay!

    My wife and kids are out at the inlaws for a few days so I'll probably take a break from learning to actually write a bit.

    Written on Monday, 13 July 2020 11:59 in Daniel's Blog Be the first to comment! Read 189 times
  • Its a Bug Hunt!
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Its a Bug Hunt!

    These last few weeks I have been hunting down bugs on my Joomla website.  I had two web addresses due to the service Synology offers.  So I kept having an issue where parts of the address would be mixed up.  Joomla has a redirect module but it doesn't have a default wildcard redirect.  So I did a little research on htaccess files and, more by trial and error than skill, figured out how to redirect everything to the main address.  So I think most of the 404 errors are fixed.  Googles robots are still sniffing around the old addresses but they should eventually figure things out for themselves.

    I have brought my old fanfiction back onto this site.  I cleaned it up and added a chapter to it.  I have another chapter I'll add once I check it a few more times for errors.  I never get them all.  I added an Archive of some surviving records from older games.  Its a bit dry but for me, it's very nostalgic.

    I also added a UPS to protect my computer and Synology NAS.  It hosts this site so if it goes down so does it.  There aren't too many power outages yet but it should be good for an hour or so.  Of course, PG&E threatened days of power outages so there isn't much to be done about that.

    This is a copy of my authors notes from the fanfiction's last chapter.  Since it says most of my thoughts I didn't want to retype something similar:  As some may be aware of I wrote a few books, a children's book that pretty much dead in the water, as well as another story where I was experimenting with the litRPG genre. However, through this, I have been distracted by the thought that I never really finished my first (and only) Ranma fanfiction. I was also distracted by two screaming six-year-olds (even now, one is crying in my ear), but I can only solve one of them. So, I decided to come back to this and see if I could finish it. I am close to the end so it would be a shame to leave it unfinished. I have gone through the previous chapters and fixed a lot of grammar errors. As with most of my works, I am limited in my proofreaders, and proofing your own stories is a losing proposition. It seems every time I read through it I find more things. Grammarly and Microsoft Word are getting better but each time they find new things. It's pretty weird.

    An amusing side story is that a long time ago (over 20 years), I wanted to continue this story after the Old Ones story was wrapped up. Ranma was going to go to China and learn Immortal Cultivation. Palladium's old China books hinted at this by name dropping "Internal Alchemy" but didn't actually go into any details about it but what they did hint at sounded extremely awesome. In fact, they dropped the entire martial arts concept until its later "new" China books that went in an entirely new direction. I didn't even really realize what "Internal Alchemy" was until I got into Wuxia and Xianxia a few years ago. Then I was "Oh! That's what that is. How cool, Ranma would totally go for that!" Anyway, I will barely finish this series, let alone a sequel but if anyone knows a story where Ranma does Cultivation let me know. I would soo love to read that.

    Oh, one of my kids loves the Ranma anime and the other one hates Ranma but loves Sailor Moon. I was telling them about crossover fanfiction where they meet but I don't think they understood.

    Children's Story Update: See the WP blog to the right to see my original update of this.  Since then I have published the works I completed on the "Books" part of this site.  It also includes the audio of me reading the original version, complete with the Evil Mrs.Potatohead.  My girls saw me working on this and actually remembered it!  They offered to draw in the Princesses themselves and furiously started drawing for at least fifteen minutes.  Then they got bored and as they left for greener pastures they commanded me to include a Prince in the story.  This must be mommy's influence because if I have my way they won't be seeing any princes until they are least 30;)

    Written on Friday, 05 June 2020 12:28 in Daniel's Blog Be the first to comment! Read 210 times
  • Can You Hear Me Now... again
    Written by

    Owner of this website.  See my bio page if you want to know more;)

    Can You Hear Me Now... again

    Can you feel the deja vue?  I do!  I published a blog with this name a few days ago.  Then I had an issue with the permissions of the main config file and had to restore a backup. I am pretty sure that when the backup program reinstalls the system it re-sets the permission.  Thus it's an easy way to avoid trying to fix the issue the hard way.   I thought the backup was up to date but it was missing my latest post.  So...this is mainly from memory.  It should suffice.

    So... I installed a lot of features into the web site.  Community Builder you all know about, right?  Of course, you did.  Basically its a set of modules that allow you to put in a profile and connect to other people on the site.  It's a neat little thing, I was vaguely hoping my gamer friends would use to organize their games, schedules and chat about the game.  Usually, we send back and forth about 50 e-mails about the game between sessions and this seemed a decent way to communicate.  One of them actually records the events and I have been posting his recap under his name (with his permission).  It hasn't caught on yet but the dream hasn't died.

    The base package is nice but it isn't configured, so it took a little work to massage it into place.  It has the profile, blogs, and articles for the registrants and connects nicely with the site forum and IM modules.  Then I got the addons such as Video and picture galleries able to add to the profiles and then there are the groups.  Basically groups are clubs, hobbies or interests you join and can post blogs, galleries message boards and private forums.  Then I got an instant messaging module to chat with other members logged in.  I may have gone overboard but it was fun. there's a more detailed breakdown of the features and how to use them under the Community top menu

    Finally, to the title reference... I fixed the Amazon blog reference that pointed to my website blog (as opposed to the Wordpress blog).  So you can now hear that if you want.  Though you might be hearing double on this post.

    Written on Friday, 07 February 2020 02:11 in Daniel's Blog
    Tags: Blog
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Letting people know how my world building is going

Underground

January 26, 2017

underground

I submitted my book for review to “Underground Reviews”.  I have received the following:

“Congratulations on having A Prison of Worlds (The Chained Worlds Chronicles Book 1) selected as a Pitch Perfect Pick Finalist!

Our judges analyzed your book’s pitch, sample content, and several other factors and found it’s initial presentation comparable to other quality books in its genre and market. Once qualified, it had to finish in the top five of all our weekly qualifiers. This is an honor not given lightly.

Your book will be promoted as a finalist on our Facebook page by Monday. The following Sunday, we will add up your Likes and shares on Facebook, as well as the votes on our website. The winner will be published to our Magazine the following week, and the synopsis will go out to our 2000+ subscribers and 2000+ social media followers. The winner will also join the ranks of a select few books that are eligible for entry into our 2017 Novel of the Year competition.”

I am not sure how their system works but I think they gave me an award for not having formatting that sucks.  A review may or may not happen later.  That’s encouraging, right?

 

 

 

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Webpage updates

January 17, 2017

update

I recently made a few changes to the web-site.  I added a Bloopers page to the allow the reporting of errors from the books.  I really hate errors.  If I could put a bounty on them I would.  I know my readers aren’t too fond of them either.  Anyway, I don’t think posts or changes to other parts of the site get reported like an update to the Blog page, so I am not sure anyone noticed.

Second, I have added a minor animation to the top of the “Projects” page.  It was intended to be a tiny icon sized animation, however WordPress construction tools seem to lack the concept of manual sizing.  So it’s a bit grainy and cut off when its resized to be the entire top of the page.  It still was a cool little thing to put at the top of the page.  If I get feedback such as “It crashes my machine!” or “I spent five hours downloading that page!” I will remove it.

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Matters of the Heart

December 28, 2016

Matters of the Heart

A reviewer noted that I had messed up on a ‘Find and Replace’ while fixing the name Matt.  Now all such ‘matters’ simply don’t ‘mater’.  That’s a horrible ryhm but it was mildly amusing when it was pointed out.  Embarrassing too;)  I have since updated the story and all matters of importance are back in place.

On an unrelated note… I have been doing some research on advertising.  Two years ago when I published there wasn’t much guidance except to blog, Facebook and Twitter.  After I published my second book I did a bit more research.  It turns out that the most up to date directions focus on reviews.  Reviews submitted before the book is even published!  Amazingly enough, there are scads of review sites out there that only will review a book before it’s published.  I’ll have to remember this for book 3.

Amazon has an interesting program as well, where they accept unpublished manuscripts in some sort of contest and if you win they will sponsor your book and guarantee a minimum income over the five-year contract.  Again, something to remember for next time.

Since I seem to be a bit behind in the whole advertising and review curve, I have been submitting my story to several book review sites and blogs.  From what I have read only the free ones have any real weight, though most of the paid ones don’t actually guarantee a favorable rating.  It’s interesting, I’ll have to see if anyone will pick my book to review.  It’s all voluntary (unless you pay them) so I assume it depends a bit on luck.

There was an interesting tutorial that suggested that in order to have a hundred reviews upon the day you publish, you have to contact five (or maybe it was ten) times that many to solicit reviews.  It also had methods to contact reviewers on Amazon and request they review your book.  It seemed… exhausting.  However, if you follow his advice and get a hundred reviews on the day it’s published, you will probably deserve every one of them.  Another common suggestion is to request a review at the end of your book.  This seems fairly reasonable.  Do you think I should add this?

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Version 2 is submitted!

December 22, 2016

Versions

Okay, not as fun as saying ‘Book 2 is submitted’ but still important.  Stewart was kind enough to review the book and add some excellent corrections.   He also fact-checked a few things which means I need to make a minor correction to Book 1.

For some reason, the first batch of corrections never got saved, so I had to redo them.  However, they are all fixed (until we find more) and the book is uploaded to Amazon for their review process.  Thanks, Stewart!

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Next Steps

December 21, 2016

baby steps

Published on Amazon!  Scrubbed it with Grammarly last night.  Hopefully, that got the worst of the errors.  One of my readers has kindly volunteered to read through it too.  Thanks!  As before it will get better and better as I clean it up, but my goal was to make it a decent read the first time through.  We’ll see if I succeeded pretty soon.

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Almost There…

December 20, 2016

Reaching

Finished Book 2.  I just got through proofreading it the first time round.  I want to see if I can find another set of eyes to look at it.  The last time I published (Book 1) I thought I had most of the errors caught but it took being read by another person and myself an additional two times to actually get most of the glaring errors.  Ideally, it would be someone with Word and willing to use “Track Changes”.  Last time my brother in law graciously volunteered, but he just got a new job so I think he’s busy.  I’ll try Grammarly but I had mixed results last time.

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Inspiration in Odd Places

November 11, 2016

sources-ux-inspiration-lead

So we all know what happened on Tuesday.  Been a little depressed since then, however writing is actually a pretty good distraction.  I am about 3/4 to where I want Book 2 to be.

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Let’s Say We Didn’t

September 22, 2016

lets do

Okay, so it has been a few months since I published on Nook and Apple.  Wow, Apple was a bear.  I got MacInClouds to work but it was slow.  Ignoring that, it is funny that a company that prides itself on easy to use products such as the iPhone can have such counter-intuitive processes.  Needs some Usability studies.

Nook wasn’t that bad.  It had an okay process and except for having to re-format the document, it wasn’t bad.  Having said that… I am removing my book from both services.  While it is probably due to my lack of promoting I didn’t actually sell anything.  Really, nothing.  This is in marked contrast to Amazon, whose sales have petered out, but had some decent activity for a period of time.  I bow my head to the Amazon deities and will use their services going forward.  On the bright side, this allows me to use Amazon KDP Select again.  Whoot.

On to news regarding the book 2.  I am on chapter 19.  While the first book had only 21 chapters I am findings my chapters are tending to be shorter on average so this is only 2/3 done.

I am also thinking of putting a few of the early chapters of Book 1 up on Spacebattles.  I am not sure anyone has ever heard of it.  In fact, I never heard of it until about a year and half ago.  Think of it as the forums version fanfiction.net with a bit of an obsession with a specific web novel.  Wait!  You never heard of fanfiction.net either?!?  Yeah, most people look at me the same way…

I may also put up an earlier fanfiction story I wrote on Spacebattles, mostly to encourage myself to finish it.  It is only a few chapters from completion but it has been stalled for literally years.  I learned a lot from writing that story.  I think you can see it in my writing as the story goes on.  And it was a hoot.  I still get people favoriting it, but Ranma fanfiction is pretty dead.  Too bad, I still enjoy it.

For anyone unfamiliar with fanfiction, it is taking an existing character belonging to someone else and writing your own story about him.  It is allowed by law as long as you don’t make any money from it and post a disclaimer.
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New Horizons

March 17, 2016

merzuga-marokko-sahara

Just thought I would make an update here.  The second book is coming along well.  Hopefully, it will get done this year.

On another note, my computer and my wife’s  computer both went out.  She lost her boot drive and my operating system crapped out.  Both simple problems but a series of weird circumstances has made it ridiculously hard to fix the simple things.   The computers are 7 years old, so this is to be expected.  The good news is that no information lost, just a delay as I get my house in order, so to speak.

In other news, my Amazon KDP Select obligation just ran out so I am now in the process of publishing to Barnes and Nobles, Create Space (printed books) and Apple.  B&N is as easy as Amazon.  Create Space wasn’t so bad, though I have some unresolved questions.  I now understand why other Kindle books charge $15 for a one-off printing.  The less said, the better.

Apple is really tricky.  They prefer you use an aggregator so their “help” isn’t very helpful.  If you don’t have a macintosh it is non-existent.  Still, it seems there are online converters to the ePub format and there’s a service I have heard of called “Macinclouds” where you rent an on-line macintosh.  I think I can use this to publish through Apple, but we’ll see.

I wanted to publish through Android Play but they stopped accepting new authors almost a year ago.  Apparently, there was rampant piracy and they were less than responsive to it until a large European publisher had the weight to make them do something.  So far that “something” is a hard stop.  As far as I know no one has any idea when they will start up again.  A lot of bitterness in the posts I read.  Mostly about the complete lack of communication from Android for most of a year.

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Christmas Update

December 31, 2015

christmas update

Merry Christmas everyone!  Just thought I would give out a status for those who were interested.  The bad news, no sequel this year.  The good news is that the story is still cooking away.  Maybe by next year I’ll have something I can publish.  I am hoping that when I do I can have it proof read a bit more than my initial book was.  Thanks for reading!

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Community Login

 

This is a mirror of my Wordpress Blog.  It has no direct way to comment to the Wordpress blog, although if you look to the far left you will see a site blog I have cludged together.  It also does not list any of the comments or replies from my visitors in the main Wordpress blog.  If you want to join in on the fun and frolicking head over to my active blog over at WordPress.  Click the button below to go!

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