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  • Going Mad!
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    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
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    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!
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    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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January 13, 2020

Lightning

Well, the new year is here and a lot happened… yet so little.  First of all before Christmas I was able to knock out a few chapters.  I was hoping to keep some momentum going since it is difficult to get going again once you pause.  A certain paralysis.  Fate intervened and I was able to spend an inordinate amount of time with my family during Christmas.  While lovely by itself it did mean that I wasn’t able to actually do anything that required concentration.  So I haven’t been able to put pen to paper much since a bit before the holidays.  I can’t say exactly when this will change.

This isn’t to say I haven’t been productive.  There have been a ton of miscellaneous activities I have been able to fit in between family.  My website underwent a complete makeover, adding content, aesthetics and mobile-friendly content.  I love my menu with the popup icons but it looked terrible on a mobile device.  The book samples look much better… though whether these are mobile-friendly is up in the air, and I added a lot of images to the pages to make them more interesting.  Much like the image here I am trying out.  So the webpage blog gained a newsticker and news item summary a separate page for the website blog (in addition to the side module elsewhere).

I also added a forum and a messaging system because… well I always wanted one.  I don’t expect anyone to use it but it was fun to set up.  I also have a friend who started a D&D campaign and I have devoted a page to that.  Although Fantasy Grounds (basically an online platform to play with the GM and players) is pretty nice its drawback is that when the DM is offline so are all the campaign notes.  This makes it difficult to plan things in between games.  So we have some resources, history, notes and a calendar.  So far only one other player has even looked their but again, it was fun to set up and I learned more about Joomla.  One other player makes a log of all the events that happened each game session and he gave me permission to upload it under his name as a game blog.  Again I don’t think he’s seen his own work yet.  Ironic.

Fantasy Grounds… the online RPG platform you love to hate.  A bit buggy at times but better than the alternatives.  If you have been reading this blog and my website blog you may have realized that my favorite RPG game is Rifts, not D&D.  However, Palladium is pretty conservative when backing 3rd parties so there hasn’t been a way to play it online.  Over the holidays I spent some time working with an Extension for a FG ruleset that should allow people to use FG to play Rifts online.  It takes a bit more elbow grease than D&D since Palladium hasn’t licensed the content but if the GM is willing to put in the work it should be pretty darn compatible.  I even did an online tutorial on how to use the FG Extension and put the Youtube video on my website.

There is also a program that allows you to update the Theme (GMW Campaign Toolkit, it basically modifies the artwork in FG) that I played around with.  I re-used some of that work in the website upgrade.  I wanted to do another tutorial to explain a few grey areas on the use of the software but I have literally not been alone in the house since the first video tutorial.  It’s hard to get the quiet needed to do that kind of work and frankly its been so long now that the specifics I had wanted to talk about are not as sharp in my memory.  Oh well, it was a nice dream.

And finally, getting back to the book and all that boring writing stuff… when I first published the third book I submitted to many reviewers.  More than fifty I think, though I didn’t keep exact track.  Most of them rejected it due to lack of time, interest or it being the third book in a series.  However, two Reviewers actually came through.  One back in October “Mrs Y” and “Amy Shannon” just recently.  Neither one is really a stellar rating but they are actually the only ones I have gotten in five years of asking… so yay!  Also, neither one had read the previous books.  I doubt I could tolerate reading a book starting in the middle of the series so it worked out as best as I could expect.

 

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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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