Leaving Windows 3.1

Today is a great day, I’ve finally completed migrating all my years of calendar entries in the archaic “Calendar.exe” format. (For the moment only over to simple textfiles, but later they’re going into the personal diary-blog).

Reading all these old entries while copying them by hand brings back so many memories, sometimes from happier times, sometimes not.

However, from a more technical perspective this means not only will I finally be finished with Windows 3.1 emulation, I can also leave Windows XP mode (which was the only way to run calendar.exe), and thereby I can also in turn leave Windows 7, which I used for running the XP-machine. Not bad.

(Except I should have done this a long time ago, so it hadn’t prevented me from upgrading my only Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 10 while upgrades still were free).

And for my next challenge I believe I’ll be trying to find a way of migrating calendars from Lotus Organizer over to something readable on my current platforms.

I find myself constantly using WordPress as second choice

Despite an intention and a private decision to use my blog(-s) more I still find myself constantly using WordPress as my second choice.

Meaning I take a picture, or I jot down some notes, and they still first go on Facebook, and only after some hours I get around to posting the same on WordPress (and with the added twist that I then exclude sharing the post through the Facebook integration, since everyone there has already seen the post directly).

And I know why this keeps happening. It is quite simply that WordPress still lacks necessary functionality I need to use it as my primary place for writing, such as

  • Uploading an image through the Facebook app is quick and simple, no settings can be changed so width, position and such is just whatever Facebook decides, while on my blog I like to keep things neat and in style, pictures should be centered, they should fill the width of the column, etc, and I also like to have a consistant naming of the photos, which is due to the fact that I’ve looped the number series over several times and don’t want to risk overwriting photos, or having duplicate names with strange appended numbers by some automagic feature.
    And this simply can’t be done through the WordPress IOS app.
  • Tags in WordPress are not converted to Twitter tags when publishing a post with the Twitter integration enabled. A detail, but still something that would have simplified the steps of publishing if automated when posting.

Writing is also a pain in the WordPress app,

  • First I need to have witty title, while on Facebook I’m able to just post some quick notes without having to consider a fitting headline for them. Maybe I could just go with “Untitled” or todays date, but still…
  • Second and more important is the issue that while I can browse categories and add a post to the proper place, there is no way to browse tags, these can only be written and comma-separated, and having several hundred tags I’m not going to go around guessing how I spelled this particular tag last time I used it.
  • And third, a bit back to images again, when having written a post and added an image, and being almost ready to publish, I want to set a featured image. And I really hate that since I always want to use the same featured image which I’ve just added to the post, I’m still forced re-upload the same image a second time. Not that the actual storage is the main issue here, but rather the bandwidth usage on the mobile phone but also the even bigger problem of later trying to navigate in a media library where every image exists at least two times.

Today WordPress works great through a webbrowser, on a large screen with a full size keyboard, but it doesn’t feel quite as easy to use through a mobile, for example on the bus, which is where I’d like to use it rather than having to power up the old slow PC in the evening.

I hope there will come a better WordPress app for IOS in some future, making it more user-friendly as I’d really like to be able to collect thoughts and photos in any of my WordPress sites and from there sharing to social media when and if I want to.

Can I print it?

I’m approaching entry number 2000 on my personal blog. It is filled with thoughts and reflections and has become a sort of diary I’d hate to loose in case something were to happen. As a result of that, lately I’ve been thinking on and off about how to counter this.

As a start I see two immediate challenges.
– Smaller issues are solved by restoring a backup. Due to all migrations between ISP’s, technical changes and upgrades I’ve been doing over the years, I feel I’m quite ready in that regard.
– A bigger problem however is what would happen if a more major problem would arise, such as WordPress being rendered completely non-functional for any reason, or for prices to rise to such a level it becomes too expensive to continue to host the data online.

One way of preserving the data would then be to print it. Initial cost but less or none long-term monthly cost. But can I do this?

Is there a plugin that allows me to print several thousand entries and even more thousand papers in an effective way so nothing is lost or forgotten and chronology of printing is preserved without having to open every single entry and print them manually one by one? I need to look into this.

Meanwhile, we’re approaching New Year’s Eve and a new year in 2015, it’ll be exciting to see what this will bring, now that I’ve tried resuming writing more often after a year or two with less activity. It’s so easy to think I can write things down later, and then they’ll pile up and it won’t get done and after a few weeks or months it’s all forgotten. And it is nice to be able to browse through historical notes as a remembrance of what we did, when and where, and why.

Homepage revamped

I’ve finally gotten round to redesigning my homepage to a look I’m feeling pleased with (for the moment at least).

Now all that remains is just to selectively migrate or import some of the content from all the assorted places I’ve been using, without cluttering up the page with too much random unstructured thoughts.

The page is located at http://ronnback.nu

(regrettably, someone else have since many years taken the .se domain for our family name and there seems little chance of it being released)

Ancestry & heritage

I’m feeling quite pleased with myself today. After some months on and off I’ve finally managed to loop through all the 992 automatic matches of ancestors at MyHeritage, right now the family tree I’ve created has 484 people in it (an increase with at least some 50 persons compared to the old paper-based documentation I have gathered for quite some time), and with all the links to other trees there’s material for quite long time of further investigation whenever I get the time and feel in the mood for it. Also it was really nice to locate some unknown relatives on my grandmothers side and also a few on my wifes mothers side since those two are the branches with the least known information.

Incidentally, the first homework in my daughters first grade class last week was to create a simple family tree with names and relations. That was quickly accomplished, she just had her pick of a few of her 21 second cousins and then we added a few uncles, and her great-grandmother since she’s met her on quite a few occasions.

I guess the next step is in collection stories rather than just facts, but so far it’s enough fun just getting the basics in place with names, dates, and places, and all the photos from family photo albums. But for now, I think this could be called a good start!