During the 70s my hobby was driving cross-country. I had four weeks of vacation and tried to use them all. Like most other years, in the summer of ’73 I got into my van and headed vaguely toward the Bay Area to intersect with America and various objects of desire, one of whom was Kathy, whom you first meet in Last Words. The whole ridiculous saga is reeled out here. (Six serialized Cowbird stories)
Remembering a life-long friend. A Cowbird Story.
Three technologies we can expect or are already at our throats, a bit of speculative fiction lifted from cowbird.com.
Running a household would be easy if I didn’t live with other people.
Each writer follows his or her own quirky discipline (or lack thereof) and I’m no exception. This story, first published at cowbird.com, is a day-in-the-life account that tells you how it’s been going lately.
Getting into WordPress publishing is like cooking a Thanksgiving dinner when you subsist on fast food and frozen entree. There’s a cookbook with a table of contents an index, and a bunch of descriptions of cooking techniques, but all the recipes are blank.
For example, I wanted to create a page that duplicates an existing on, change it slightly, and post it. After 20 minutes of mousing around the dashboard I gave up and went to WordPress Forums (e.g., this one), only to lean that this isn’t a built-in feature; you need to get a plug-in for that.
But other things I need to do are built in, but how to know how and when to use them? They’re all nicely documented in the WordPress Codex, but there aren’t very many how-to’s except for the code examples (that don’t necessarily tell you where you must put them to make them work.)
When something doesn’t seem to be working, is it a bug, misconfiguration, or my ignorance of how it works? So many mysteries, like why the Categories widget doesn’t show my categories when placed under a post, but does on the sidebar. I just know if I asked a forum (but which one?) about this, some kind soul would give me code to patch it, not telling me where it should go.
The second week things got better after I concluded that plugins are my friend. Of course, no matter what you want one to do, you first need to come up with terms to describe it and then pick from umpteen search results. So you need to consider: Does its author describe the gizmo cogently? Does it do what you want the way you want it? How many users does it have? Is it compatible with the current version of WP? Is it loaded with features you’ll never need? Does it tease you with features only to tell you oh BTW, they’re only in the premium version?
So far I’ve only encountered one plugin that didn’t work. I junked it and got another I’m happy with. But now I worry I’ll plug in one too many times and my install will run out of memory. Actually, that happened almost as soon as I unboxed WP. Eventually found a nice forum user who had posted fixing up
wp-admin/includes/media.php to allocate more memory to solve this problem (obviously), which worked but then I had to up it again.
So I have a site now that more or less does what I want. All I need now are visitors to give me feedback telling me what sucks.