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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

I made the jump.

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Wordpress Logo I just installed Wordpress on my server.

After gazing enviously at countless friends’ blogs, with their fancy features, consistent behaviour, sophisticated database schemas and out-of-the-box W3C compliance, I finally decided to scrap my home-grown blogging platform and stand on the shoulders of giants.

And it’s great.

Some background:

I wrote my first database-driven journalling platform back in 2001, when I was still in high school, using ASP, VBScript, an Access database and an IIS server. At the time, I did it just to see if I could. It was extremely basic, and extremely proprietary. I learned the value of platform-independence years later, and made the switch to PHP / MySQL / Apache, about the same time I put down the Kool-Aid and purchased a Mac. I decided to write a new blogging platform to help learn how to script in PHP. PHP is ugly.

I finally got something up and running about a year and a half ago, and the front-end worked reasonably well. But the back-end was a mess. So much so that I just couldn’t bring myself to use my own tools to write new posts. So for the past year and change, this journal has stagnated.

Time to start over.

I’ve always known that it’s important to keep a blog if you want to establish an online presence. Employers value it, and it’s an essential part of one’s overall brand. My home-grown solution… well… sucked. And I lacked the wherewithal to fix it. So I took the plunge over March Break and installed Wordpress. The back-end sold me. I haven’t looked back.

Migrating everything over took about 2 weeks, and I learned a tonne about WP in the meantime. Some thoughts on the whole process:

  1. Your blog’s root directory is permanent. DO NOT bury deep inside your web server. It’s painful to move it out, afterwards.
  2. Trying to trace Wordpress’ boot sequence is an exercise in futility. You’re shuttled from index page to index page, and nested functions from like 5 different files somehow generate your content for you. But damned if you want to know how.
  3. I need to learn a LOT more about CSS. Boy am I ever out of touch.
  4. ‘rel=…’ attributes are indispensible, and I need to figure out what they actually are.
  5. Lightview is the hottest overlay viewer out there.
  6. What are trackbacks and pingbacks, and why should I care?
  7. AJAX. Need to learn. Desperately.

Hopefully, now that I have a decent back-end to manage my journal entries, I’ll be posting less sporadically.

Like, maybe more than once a year?

Welcome to STU. Here’s a pin.

Friday, September 7th, 2007

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This was a nice touch and a great way to start a year. I love this university.

Drive the Truck, Not the Body.

Monday, August 6th, 2007

Basically the day that my tasking with the Tattoo ended, all the guys from the PLF piled into a van and drove out to Gagetown to begin a month-long, driver-wheeled course. We learned how to service, maintain and drive the LSVW and MLVW (2.5 and 5-tonne trucks); I should note that I don’t presently have a civilian driver’s license, nor had I ever driven legally before this course began. Of course, this didn’t stop the course Warrant from placing me in a crew with the only two francophone students, so I could translate what I wasjust learning as I learned it. Or from subsequently moving me to the francophone section when a French instructor (who naturally spoke an incomprehensible variation of Acadian) was brought on. You’d figure the course staff would avoid piling more problems at the feet of the non-driver…

The MLVW, fording a giant puddle

The MLVW, fording a giant puddle

Anyway, we all clocked 1000+km on two trucks, driving offroad, on highways and built-up areas. Some people just had a smoother experience doing so. I can also confirm that driver-wheeled courses are in fact as relaxed and laid-back as everyone claims. Here are the pictures to prove it. You can also visit the project page for video of what non-commissioned army grunts do in the field with way too much free time to kill.

Thanks for the memories guys.

Oh. I also wrote an article about the course for some army bulletin.

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, denouement

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

I’ve been working on the back-end of this site for some time now, and have finally reached the point where it’s no longer a pain in the ass to add posts, upload photos or share files. So I’m doing all three.

Click here for photos and video from the Royal Nova Scotia International Tatto. This is an annual military/civilian show with acts from roughly 15 countries. The Canadian military component was made up of personnel from army reserve units from 36 Brigade, the HMCS Athabaskan navy ship, and various air force PAT platoons from across the country. Our contracts lasted for about a month, most of which was spent rehearsing. That’s all I’ll say by way of introduction. Enjoy the pictures. Here’s my favourite:

Live from the stage floor

Live from the stage floor

In memory and admiration

Sunday, April 8th, 2007
Mcpl. Chris Stannix

Mcpl. Chris Stannix

 

 

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