Archive for the 'blog software' Category

One Laptop for a Child, One More Laptop for a Blogger


The rubbery child-sized keyboard of my One Laptop Per Child XO computer isn’t great for my usual verbose blog entries, but this item has already accomplished its purpose — testing the XO with WordPress.

Alas, the XO’s browser doesn’t show a text cursor in “visual” editing mode with Harvard’s WordPress installation, but I can type well enough in “code” view. The browser has a similar problem with Gmail. I plan to try it with other Web editors and see if there’s any discussion of the topic on the olpc wiki site.

Just a few more days remain in the Give One Get One offer from olpc. I hope more folks in the Radford area order the little green guys so we can try the collaborative music and drawing programs.

Maybe this will tip someone over the edge: One bonus feature I didn’t appreciate until I took a Christmas trip to New York — the G1G1 offer includes a year of T-Mobile’s wifi service, which normally sells for almost the price of the computer. I have a lot of wifi access points in Radford, but the fact that T-mobile offers service at Starbucks made the XO a handy interstate travelling companion.

While in New York, I saw this AP/Times piece on the real “market” for the XO computers.

Hello (again) world!


The kind folks at Berkman Center (particularly J Baumgart and Sebastian Diaz) have helped me continue to use the Weblogs at Harvard Law School blog server, where I started my second-longest-running blog four years ago as a regular participant in the Thursday night blogging round-table. (The weekly event started by Dave Winer as a Berkman Fellow and blogging guru, and the launchpad for his first Bloggercon “unconferences.”)

“Continue to use the server…” isn’t exactly the right phrase, since this is a new server. Dave’s original Manila server at Harvard is being retired, so this and other early Harvard blogs have been shifted to one running Word Press, a more recent blog platform. I’ve completed the “migration” process this morning after just a little fumbling with old half-remembered passwords and such.

It looks like my old posts have made the transition, but the actual title of the blog did not at first — probably because there was an apostrophe in the original name.
After a few minutes of browsing through Word Press’s menus, I’ve found the “Options” page where the blog title was recorded, typed in the original Red Liner name, and the change appears to have worked. Quite painless.

I look forward to investigating the Word Press page templates and design options soon… and to purging the old blog posts of accumulated comment-spam.

So many blogs, so little time


I can’t let a whole year go by without demonstrating Manila to a class, using this brightly colored example.

In the meantime, I’m stretched pretty thinly across the blogosphere, using Radio (my main blog), Blogger, WordPress, Drupal (KnoxViews) and bookmarks. And I’m beginning to hear the sounds of a gypsy jazz guitar telling me that I’ll be using Django shortly.

Teaching old blogs new tricks


Thanks to J for pointing out that this Manila weblog server has some new features… or at least the ability to add them. So far, the changes are only visible to blog editors, but some of them are promising.

Included are some — such as a search-the-site function — that I hope Manila’s source, Userland Software, adds to its other product, Radio Userland. That’s the engine behind my main Other Journalism weblog, my barely-getting-off-the-ground podcast, and the AEJMC Newspaper Division blog (mostly a subset of the OJ blog).

And thanks to J and the changes in this server for giving me an excuse for making my quarterly entry in this mostly moribund blog.

Insider comment: I do wish they’d make one more change in Manila. When I finish a new blog entry like this one, the button I’m supposed to click doesn’t say “publish this item,” “post this item” or “save this item” — it says “Create News Item,” which looks so much like “Create New Item” that I always do a double-take, worried that I might be throwing away the paragraphs I just wrote and going to a new blank page.

A little more consistency across Userland’s product line would be nice, too: Manila calls each blog post a “News Item,” and its menu for adding to the blog is headed “News.” In Radio Userland, the menu item headed “News” takes you to the built-in RSS aggregator, and “Home” is the name for the page where you write new material… Come to think of it “Home” is also the name on Radio’s link to the public version of the blog. Oh well.

Enclosures with Manila


This is just a test to make sure “enclosures” is still working on this Manila server.

Tennessee Girls is an old square dance tune (with calls), one of many posted at (Content is available under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.)

I’m trying this to answer a friend’s question, but perhaps it’s also one more step toward a podcast of my own?

Manila allows you to specify enclosures that are either uploaded to the server (with a simple “browse” button) or “enclosed” by giving the address of the file at some other server.

Hmm… I tried it and I don’t think the file uploaded correctly. So much for the square dance. Maybe it was a problem with FTP settings, or the folder or file names on my system… or the file was just too large for my dial-up connection and the upload timed out.

Here’s another try, addressing a file that’s already online from last Boomsday. If it doesn’t show up, I’ll try changing the preference and pointing to an “enclosure” already on the server. If this works the way Radio Userland does, there should be a little “speaker” icon on the page to click for immediate download, and RSS podcast subscribers will get the clip whenever their aggregator downloads. (The link on the word “clip” and the speaker icon should go to the same place.)

It Worked!


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(This is what an old Manila blog startup messag looked like.)