There used to be a time when the computer world was a simpler place…a kinder place. A place where PC screens were black and mono-type letters were green. There was a time when coding was simple. Each line of code was transferred to punch cards. One line for one card. The cards were fed into a mainframe computer and, wallah, your program was created. If the program didn’t complete you could tell on the printout what punch card line of code caused the error because that would be where the program stopped. Fortran, oh how I miss you. You were a simple language and I got you. I was 16 and probably the last kid in high school the teachers and vice president, Ms. Willie, thought would ever be in a data processing class. It was the one class I didn’t skip.
Let me put it to you this way….most days, if I was in school, I was in Ms. Willie’s office because of an unexcused absence in one or more classes the day before. But my data processing class?? I loved it.
Fast forward 29 years. In computer advancement that is 290,000 years. When I worked at Texas Instruments several years ago I created my department’s website. I wrote html (it’s very simple folks). There wasn’t Wix in those days. I wrote Java; dabbled in a bit of Perl. I coded. I was decent. In a nutshell, I may not have known everything about programming but I could figure out what I needed to know.
Today, a nutshell does you no good. And why on earth did I not pursue programming as a career choice? Other stoners of the 70’s did and made a lot of money. Steve Jobs. Steve Wozniak.
Which brings me to the point of this post. I had the bright idea of moving my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Is there a difference you ask? Yes. Yes there is and I want to be on the .org bus. Using .com is easy peasy. Like with most tasks computer related these days we can be as ignorant as a bug. It’s all done for us. But I welcomed the challenge and excitedly went to the .org website and clicked on the download button. And my hell began.
There are two choices:
1.) You can use it like .com. Create all your posts on your live server and publish immediately. But!
- What if you want to test out background themes….all the pretty stuff.
- What about widgets and plugins….all the useful stuff.
- What about columns and categories….all the organizational stuff.
If you explore all these things you must publish your site to see how the additions and changes work. If you don’t like it or it doesn’t work then you go back to the drawing board. The only thing is everyone else sees these changes too if they’re keeping up with you and it gives your site the appearance of inconsistency, looks disorganized, and you might have parts of your site not working. That’s where….
2.) creating a behind-the-scenes platform comes into play. It is the preferred choice of programmers. I thought I could squeak by as a programmer.
Option 2 requires:
- transferring my domain name. Buying space with a new hosting company
- downloading a WAMP server to run the WordPress.org software
- installing/upgrading C++, C++#$%^@* coding software on my computer
- access to my cPanel
- creating an FTP account
- downloading a program to run said FTP account
- setup phpmyadim
- setup my sql
- creating a database
- creating a migration database
- setup ability to use localhost
- uploading, downloading, migrating, creating and keeping up with more usernames and passwords than the law should allow
With Option 2 you’re working with the same WordPress software so to speak except you get to do everything you want and see how it works before you migrate it over to your live website. Option 2 requires you to get into some files and make changes. You have to program. And you had better keep track of what you do because there aint no deck of punch cards or printout to show you where you screwed up.
Note to all who post instructional videos on YouTube:
PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS IMPORTANT IN THIS UNIVERSE, REHEARSE FIRST, CHECK YOUR LIGHTING AND FOCUS, PUT THE DOG OUT, PUT THE CAT IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM, TAPE YOUR VIDEO WHEN THE BABY IS SLEEPING, CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR, AND FOR GOD’S SAKE TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. AND STOP SAYING THE WORD ‘LIKE’ SO DAMN MUCH.
Whew, like, I feel better.
Okay, back on task. My first post using Option 2 is about the Bassmaster Classic fishing tournament that was held in my ‘hood this past weekend. It’s a great post, full of clever and witty dialogue, photos, and my first ever video clip…which in itself was a chore because I had to learn how to increase my file space capacity. Yep, I changed the program. I wrote it on my localhost working platform. I found a wonderful, logically organized, clear pics, website to help me with the final migration from my localhost to my live site. No transferring errors….no popups saying WTF did you do. But when I went to my live site to look at this fantastic blog entry it was not all there. Half of it did not transfer.
To complete my personal breakdown I went back to my localhost and could not access my working copy. As far as I know the migration is more like a copy than a cut/paste situation. I’m hoping this is the case. As of right now most of my witty and clever dialogue is gone…gone to who the heck knows where. I don’t know what I did. Don’t even know where to look. And because it’s programming, I’m fearful of making any changes suggested by people who don’t know how to produce a decent YouTube video.
What to do? First, I posted what happened in the Comments section of the website I used to make the migration. I was pleasant and did not use any cuss words so I’m hoping they will respond. Second, we have a neighborhood online site called NextDoor where people post anything from asking for a good plumber, to traffic situations, to looking for Fluffy who snuck out of the back yard. I’m going to ask if anyone has a teenager who knows programming and has a blog and can they help me out of the mess I’m in. I betcha I’ll get a few names. Do you?!
In closing, one of many lessons learned is to write my copy in Word and save the doc. Clever and witty comes in spurts in my mind and I have to strike when the iron is hot. Another is to have a neighborhood brainiac kid on speed dial.
This post is being written using Option 1. I may have to own up to the fact that technology is on the Bullet Train and I don’t have a seat.
Thanks for reading!
One last thing….If you are a programmer and want to pick apart my usage of computer related terms feel free man. You just show me your YouTube videos and I’ll decide if I want to care or not.
Disclaimer: I have no first-hand knowledge the two Steves were stoners. It was the 70’s. That’s all I’m sayin’…