It is here, my friends, at long last.

One of the things that always bugged me at WordPress was how cluttered it was. It was difficult to navigate, and just looked all sorts of messy.

The developers at WordPress have switched things up with 2.5. Gone is the day of a messy admin layout, and come is the day of the clean layout.

Thus far, I’m impressed. I feel things are laid out in a more common sense fashion than previous versions. The more common elements are enlarged and placed on the left side. The least common elements of the admin panel are made smaller and aligned right.

I also like the new dashboard. I didn’t have much beef with the old version, but the layout in 2.5 is very nice.

Finally, there are some new features to the write/edit screens that I like. WordPress has finally added the ability to embed videos. Previously, you had to use a plug-in, which kind of sucked, given the flexible nature of today’s blog. I think if anything, that’s where WordPress was lagging behind. They have also made it easier to add photos and other media. Good for them.

I’m not an incredibly big fan of the new placement of the category selection. If they’re trying to promote tags over categories, it shows, as the tag form comes before the categories. They used to be at the right of the textbox, and I can’t speak for others, but I preferred them there.

A Change

As I’ve spoken about before, I’ll be bringing my laptop with me to Las Vegas, so that I might try and live blog the NAB/BEA conferences. Thus circumstances require some changes. My hotel has free wireless, and I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to get to wi-fi hotspots easily enough on the floor of the convention. Now, assuming this, it’ll be easy enough to get to the blog. But, I’ll be looking around all day. I don’t want to constantly have to go over to the WP admin panel.

Therefore, I’ve downloaded Windows Live Writer. It’s Microsoft’s answer to all the other desktop clients out there, and the official client of their Spaces service. I figure that it’ll be a lot more convenient. I just open that up, write what I want, add any pictures, and publish. A lot easier than even the new-fangled photo and video adding features of WP can give me, I think.

Next week will give me a chance to really try the program out. If I like it, it’ll became a permanent fixture in my blogging. We shall see.

Now off to bed…

Just a quickie before I hit the hay…

Sorry about this delay.  This is important to me to feature those candidates who are not getting the national spotlight.  However, life must come first, and life commitments are calling.

Going to do my best to start it up tomorrow!

Why am I so lazy that I can’t take the effort to just come here and post something for each day? For a while, except for one or two days a week, I was really on a roll. I was posting, getting some Dymersion Video content, and making this a place where I could really stretch out and say something.

Then I collapsed into a lull, again. It seems to be somewhat an echo of this semester as a whole. Not completely, but somewhat. I had a couple classes I didn’t really like, and I know I’m going to end up with a bad grade in one of them. So, that’s brought me down a bit.

I guess I can use the busy argument, at least for DV. Between shooting stories, editing them, editing Expedition, producing Expedition, and my class and their associated assignments, it’s been a busy semester. Not to mention work.

Then maybe the reason is that there simply isn’t much to write about. Sure, Pakistan is getting a little saner again, there might be some Middle East peace movement, Bush got whacked with the NIE, but other than that, not an incredible lot that interested me, and not a lot that wasn’t predictable.

I think things will kick up a notch once the primaries start. They’ll lull at first, but I’ll be obligated to do something in early January, when the first one is. After they start happening, though, I’ll be here with a running tally!

My New Year’s resolution is to get Dymersion back in action (again)! Hopefully, it’ll happen.

For the LJ and Facebook readers, go to the main blog to see what I’m talking about.

I’ve been thinking of re-doing the layout for several months, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Anyway, I’d like some suggestions on what to do.  I’d like to keep it relatively simple (because that’s just my thing), but is there anything that you think could be better?  I’m going to work on getting the sidebar back up today, since I know it still looks like crap after the upgrade, so you might want to return when it’s back to the proper layout.

Let me know your ideas here, on Facebook, or LJ.

I know about the sidebar looking shitty. I just upgraded to WordPress 2.2, and it has widgets included in the core now. So, I need to update the code for each one. However, I am traveling to NYC in the morning, so it must wait.

Good night.

Unfortunately, one of the darker sides of having a blog is spam.  My blog, which actually isn’t visited a lot by legitimate readers (says Google Analytics) is visited a lot by spammers.  People who like to comment with links to the most…exotic of sites (you’ve seen the type in your emails, I’m sure).  No, I don’t want Viagra or Cialis, or any of those.  Just stay away, please.

However, in this day in age, it is impossible to get them to leave you alone.  You can only counter the spam with technology.  That’s why I love Akismet, which, for the sake of time, is a big blacklist of known spammer IP addresses.  I employed it when I was using Movable Type.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to do as well with trackbacks as it did with comments, so that I kept having to deny those bad trackbacks.  I haven’t yet had any trackback trouble with WordPress, but the spammers have come back to haunt my comments.  So far, Akismet is capturing most of them, though one or two have slipped by.

I’m not sure what else can be done to combat these warriors of comment degradation.  I hope that technology will improve to the point where spammers have nowhere to go.  In addition to technological means, spammers could be hit with steeper fines, and tougher laws, although current attempts to do just this seem to have gone nowhere.  The battle will be difficult and will probably continue on as long as the Internet exists.  We will just have to site back and see what happens.

Wow.  This episode of 24 moved really slow until the last five minutes.  I think it’s clear that Palmer is out of the picture for a while, given the previews, but what does this mean???!!!  Is he dead or isn’t he?  I think it’s about 5x more likely that Assad is dead though.  He was closest to the podium, and even sort of had time to block Palmer a little before it went off.  Somehow, I don’t think the message is getting out to the extremists.  To be expected…we can’t have peace, or the producers will be forced to pick another religion to be that of the bad guys next season.

And how about that Logan.  Seems to be repentent, if he isn’t lying.  Looks like he’s not too successful talking to the Russian diplomat given the previews, so Jack will have to do things his way.  I definitely don’t think Logan wants to be house arrested anymore, but we’ll have to wait to next week to see if he’s truely turned a new leaf.

In other television, but not 24-related news, I’ve started work on the script for the idea I mentioned a few posts ago.  I’m trying to make it half serious, and half funny.  I don’t want it to be just perceived as a rant from a guy who could be doing other stuff.  So, I’ve added in a few elements to hopeful add some humor to it.  There’s a film festival coming up in April at my school, and I’d like to submit the completed product to that.  We shall see.

In Dymersion news, I was finally able to get the blogroll skinned correctly, so I’ll be using it.  Finally, a blogroll that works with dynamic publishing.  Thank you, WordPress.  That’s it!

It took me into long hours of the night and day (of which I probably should have been doing more…lets say…academic things), but I’m finally on WordPress.  I think what scared me off from it before was the PHP mixed in with the HTML (Movable Type uses macros), but when I took a closer look, I found out it’s not so scary after all.  So ends a little over a year of using Movable Type, and I doubt I’ll go back.  It’s far too bulky for a Perl script, which I found out not too late.  Bulky Perl scripts always seem to be resource hogs.  Ikonboard 3.x found that out when a lot of hosts started banning it.

So, I’m fairly happy with this platform, which has both OpenID commenting, and LiveJournal crosspost.  The only thing I need to figure out at this point is how to direct people from the old article addresses to the new ones, so I’ve been asking around.  So, that said, let the new phase in Dymersion begin.

Well, after 164 blog entries (including this one), it is time for a transition. I have just found out that Movable Type is causing immense pain to the server I’m hosting it on. No, I’m not on some crappy shared hosting plan. I’m actually on a dedicated server – I’m not using the whole thing, but the fact remains that this program is using more resources than the server’s flagship site, which gets several hundred visits a day.

So, what am I going to do? Do what I’ve been thinking about for a while and switch to WordPress. I think a PHP script will benefit me in several ways. PHP is more suited for the web, Perl is not. Those who don’t know, Perl runs through a gateway called CGI, which allows it to interface with the web, since Perl was originally a server-based language. PHP does it natively. I’ve been talking about getting FastCGI on the server, but I think using a PHP program will just use less resources.

Also, spam. Ever since I started using Akismet to filter my comments (and, I thought originally, trackbacks), I’ve been getting pounded with trackback spam (trackbacks are pings from other blogs who write about or reference your article). Apparently, Akismet either does not work on trackbacks, or the plug-in for MT is broken for that. It’s worked very well for comments, however. That said, Akismet was originally written for WordPress, meaning it should work more natively with it. We shall see.

I hope to have the transition done by Saturday night, given that I don’t run into any problems with transitioning my articles. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I could have it done by tonight. I won’t bet on it, though. So, it’s onward to a new phase in Dymersion’s history. Stay tuned.