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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

ThingamaBlam!

As you may have noticed, the Bartlog had a major break-down yesterday. This because of a deadly combination of an inquisitive female mind and information technology. My girlfriend wanted to read my weblog, to check if there aren’t any less truthful pieces of information about her person. Unfortunately, she did so while my weblog application, Thingamablog, was still active while I was busy as ever in the kitchen. Explorer was open too, and there she saw a folder with ‘weblog’. So she started to browse through the files on my computer and click on internet files here and there. The first one she came across was the xml file that Thingamablog needs to access its database.

I was totally unaware of the drama that had unfolded when I finished my article, posted it and closed Thingamablog and the other applications. Not much time to blog anything during the weekend (see previous message), but when I tried to start up Thingamablog yesterday, it gave a fatal error concerning its database. An attempt to manually open it also failed. Guessing that it might have something to do with a recent Java update, I threw that one out. But still I couldn’t get access. By then, sweat was pearling on my forehead and soaking my eyebrows. Check Thingamablog website for updates: none. Check Fucking Annoying Questions page: hooray! Or not? Reference was made to this particular problem, with an accurate description of the problem I encountered, but apparently this was a very rare problem and none of the developers saw a possibility to repair it. Just great, now there was even more pressure on my computer genius!

To make a long story short, there was no option but to create a new weblog, copy the templates and then enter the old articles one by one. So currently, there are a couple of them still missing but I hope I get everything fixed as soon as possible. The good news is that a) my weblog is still relatively new, so it won’t be too much work to repair it, b) I only recently started to incorporate pictures and c) not many people bothered to leave any comments because that got screwed up too of course.

Despite this setback, I’m very satisfied with Thingamablog. It’s a Java based blog application, which is useful because my provider Telenet won’t allow for any scripts – except a few measly scripts they wrote themselves but which are crap – so anything that needs PHP or SQL is out of the question. I also heard a lot of people complain about web-based blog tools such as Blogger and the like; especially the fact that you could loose everything forever without any real possibilities for a back-up frightened me. Not that I made a back-up of my blog off course. I don’t need back-ups you see, computer disasters only happen to other people, whom I like to advice to regularly make a back-up. The other alternative was to set up my own web server, but my wallet and I are not that crazy.

Thingamablog keeps a database on your own computer and fully automatically builds web pages. You just have to worry about the content, and you can add all the gimmicks you like such as counters, Haloscan and the lot. When someone hacks your site and fiddles with it, as I’ve seen happening to some bloggers, you’re back online in minutes. And you can make a back-up of your weblog, in case you’re more intelligent than I am – which should qualify anything that doesn’t depend on photosynthesis for its survival. You can use one of the many templates that come with it, or design you own templates. I adapted one of the ready-to-go templates to suit my own taste and needs. There’s a comprehensive user manual, but it’s generally very intuitive. And it’s freeware ladies and gentlemen, no strings attached. So I’m not advertising here because I hold the majority of the stocks

All in all it’s a fine application. Just don’t ever touch the user.xml file, or let anyone near your computer when Thingamablog is open.

Posted by Bart at 7:25 PM
Categories: ICT - Inevitable Computer Troubles


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