Jul 10

Setup Blues

I just fin­ished installing and set­ting up WordPress on my site as my blog­ging soft­ware. This being the first time that I set­up any blog soft­ware (I briefly used Blogger but they do all the heavy lift­ing) I thought that I’d write about some of my expe­ri­ences.

I picked WordPress because it was offered by my host (host mon­ster) and I had heard good things about it from oth­ers. I made my choice almost exclu­sive­ly on word of mouth. I did­n’t even read the man­u­al first (don’t tell my father ;-). So I brazen­ly told Fantastico to install WordPress. I was then pre­sent­ed with about 20 fields that I need­ed to fill in, some of which were obvi­ous and many that were not. Needless to say (which is a stu­pid phrase that means I’m going to say it any­way), hav­ing not read the doc­u­men­ta­tion at all, I got it wrong. This, plus a few oth­er mis­takes (hey I was play­ing around to learn), caused my to mess up things to the point that I did­n’t know how to clear them up so I end­ed up get­ting my entire account reset.

So I tried again only this time I read the doc­u­men­ta­tion first. Man is this com­pli­cat­ed. There are way too many details that have to be worked out before you start–many can be done after­wards but are a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult. Now this is not meant to dis­par­age WordPress as I am fair­ly sure that they all have the same con­cerns.

The major­i­ty of the issues relate to SPAM and oth­er attacks. I have been using com­put­ers for since Usenet was mail based (using UUCP as the trans­port) and even then there were prob­lems but they were almost exclu­sive­ly because of flame wars. So mod­er­at­ed news­groups were cre­at­ed. But all you had to do was say “this news­group is mod­er­at­ed.” Now it’s not the flame wars (although there are still a few around) but the SPAM. Now I have to decide whether any­one can post or just reg­is­tered users, whether reg­is­tered users can post unmod­er­at­ed or just those that have at least one mod­er­at­ed post, do I want to use a SPAM fil­ter ser­vice, etc. So many choic­es that have absolute­ly noth­ing to do with the blog. By the time you get through with all of those who cares what col­or the back­ground is or what the head­er of your page looks like. It is so over­whelm­ing.

Anyway, I have it up and run­ning in a form that I hope is rea­son­ably usable with­out requir­ing too much work on the poster part (or mine). We’ll have to see.

Jul 09

New blog location

I just fin­ished mov­ing my blog from Blogger to my own host­ed site (carkees.net). I was­n’t going to get my own site but my wife want­ed to make some pic­tures and oth­er infor­ma­tion avail­able to oth­ers and to have our own site to show off our Halloween dis­play so I decid­ed to go ahead.

For bet­ter or worse I went with host mon­ster. I can’t remem­ber why because I reg­is­tered the domain and cre­at­ed the site months ago but just now got around to set­ting it up. So far every­thing has worked well. I made one call to their ser­vice desk and got through to a live per­son in under one minute. She was very help­ful and did every­thing that I asked (which basi­cal­ly meant recre­at­ing my account because I had messed some­thing up ;-). So far I’m hap­py and the rates seemed rea­son­able.

I decid­ed that if I’m going to have my own site I might as well host my own blog so I moved every­thing over from Blogger (prob­a­bly the sim­plest move I’ve ever been involved in).

Still no one knows about this blog but that’s OK as I was­n’t ready for them any­way. Once I get up to blog­ging more than once a month (or year) we’ll see what we can do.

Mar 13

My Pig Ripley Part III

Well its a mir­a­cle. Everything seems to be OK now. All of the prob­lems have just dis­ap­peared. One day she’s in pain and dis­com­fort the next she’s run­ning around and play­ing like a young pig. No more shots!! She’s gained back every­thing that she had lost and is as far was we can tell com­plete­ly fine. No lumps, no can­cer, no infec­tions, no cysts, noth­ing.

What a relief but I real­ly wish that it had hap­pened soon­er and that I did­n’t need to put her through all of the pain. Sometimes hav­ing pets sucks but then you see them play­ing and you think that maybe it was worth it.

Jan 13

My Pig Ripley Part II

The last month has been stress­ful for Ripley and us. She start­ed to have prob­lems going pot­ty so we took her in again and they decid­ed that she need­ed to have a hys­terec­to­my because of the can­cer. So they did and when they had her open they dis­cov­ered that all of the growths that had been there before were gone. The only thing left was a sin­gle lump which had moved. According to the vet can­cer does­n’t move. So he bioposied the lump (and her blad­der which I’m not hap­py about) and fin­ished the oper­a­tion.

So the tests are back and she does­n’t have can­cer. Yay! But now we don’t know what has been the prob­lem for the last few months which means we were treat­ing the wrong things! I’ve been giv­ing her shots three times a week and I prob­a­bly did­n’t need to. Now because of the pot­ty thing we need to give her sub­cu­ta­neous flu­ids. More shots! Argh! I feel so bad for her because she does­n’t under­stand. All she knows is that it hurts. When we go to give her the shots she gives us this look like “why dad?’ It’s break­ing my heart.

It would be so much eas­i­er if she act­ed sick. Except for the dis­com­fort at the time she goes pot­ty she is hap­py, perky, and loves to run around. And then I have to pick her up and give her a shot. She no longer likes me because of this which is also painful. I just want her to be hap­py. She’s so sweet and inno­cent.

Dec 19

Information and Usefulness

I just Googled myself and the results are inter­est­ing. I did not expect to find any earth-​shattering infor­ma­tion but I was a lit­tle sur­prised at what I did find.

First I just typed James Keesey in the Google search. The third item on the results page was indeed mine but it is my TWiki home page. I reg­is­tered for this in April of 2005 and I haven’t touched it since. I only reg­is­tered so that I could get some infor­ma­tion for work (which uses TWiki). That job passed to anoth­er so I have not touched it. Yet this is the only item that is relat­ed to me on the front page. Google sure knows how to deflate an ego!

Next I typed “James Keesey” in the search. Now the first two (three if you count the sec­ond item which is a sub-​item of the first) relate to me. The first item is a web page that was cre­at­ed by one of my teach­ers at SJSU to show off a project I did for his class. Now I got a good grade (A) for the project but still it is an under­grad­u­ate project and hard­ly rep­re­sents me, my life, or my accom­plish­ments. The sec­ond item is that sil­ly TWiki page again.

Next I typed “James L Keesey” in the search. Now things get inter­est­ing. There is only one result on the page. This result does relate to me and in fact points to one of the four patents that I have been award­ed as inven­tor or co-​inventor. So just search­ing for James Keesey puts on the first page a TWiki home page but not a ref­er­ence to a patent? BTW I’m try­ing to sug­gest that my patents are hyper impor­tant (they are not) but Google has no way to deter­mine this–at least I don’t think they do. Even more inter­est­ing is that there is a link on the page which says that very sim­i­lar hits have been hid­den. I click on that and now there are two items both of which are my patents. Why would Google hide one also matched item that is for a dif­fer­ent patent? Strange.

Next I typed “James Louis Keesey” (which is my full name) in the search. This finds one item as well which is anoth­er of my patents. But only one item is found. This is bizarre.

So depend­ing on what vari­a­tion of my name I type in I get dif­fer­ent answers and none of them show all of my patents nor the three patent appli­ca­tions that are in the sys­tem. You can find these through per­se­ver­ance at the Patent Office pages but it takes many dif­fer­ent search­es just like these.

So appar­ent­ly the most impor­tant infor­ma­tion about me in Google’s eyes in that I once reg­is­tered with the TWiki site. I find this strange and a lit­tle dis­turb­ing. With the way that the world is mov­ing, it seems as if Google is the major infor­ma­tion source for just about every­thing, but as this lit­tle demon­stra­tion shows, Google is very selec­tive in what it records in its data­base let alone what it reports. When we do a search, how are we to know just what infor­ma­tion is left unfound? Given the size of the Google data­base just how can we be sure that we are find­ing rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion?