Monday, June 18, 2007
Since the dawning of the millennium, the technology of writing has changed very little in the offline world, the various tools (read: pens and pencils) changing only in brand, perhaps, and the materials on which we write (read: paper) changing only minutely in the elements of its composition. In terms of the Internet, however, there are constant, ever-changing technological "advances", and the craft of writing -- in particular, the blogcraft -- has become a cat-and-mouse chase of getting accustomed to the latest technological changes as newer improvements are constantly being introduced.
Take Blogger, for example, the blogging tool I've been using for years to post to something that happened
. Blogger began as a relatively simple application -- and still is, in comparison to many of the other tools available for publishing to blogs -- yet as it has developed over the years, with more and more features being introduced to the service, many bloggers have desired to go "back to the basics". That is, many bloggers prefer to use even simpler applications to post to their blogs.
Thing is, Blogger is about as simple as it gets (when it comes to posting to a blog using a web app). Yet because of the very nature of the tool (because it is a web app, that is), Blogger depends upon the reliability of your Internet connection, and if you're attempting to use the application from a public WiFi access point, where your wireless 'Net access may come and go depending upon how many of your fellow caffeine addicts are sharing the connection, you may find yourself wishing for a more simple solution.
Enter Google Docs
, a set of writing applications I am using for the first time today. The applications are web apps, similar to Blogger (and owned by the same company, Google), but they seem -- at least, upon first glance -- more intended for the task of writing, rather than blogging. That is, they seem -- and perhaps this is wishful thinking, on my part -- more simply able to handle the task of rightly writing. (I realize that last phrase probably doesn't make much sense, at least in a legitimate classic use of the English language, but it does makes sense when you consider that the word processing feature we now use in Google Docs was once known as a service called Writely. That is, before it was acquired by Google. Alright? Right...onword, then!) The Google Docs word processing application I'm using to type this sentence seems, for example, more equipped at handling the task of simply writing your thoughts out and having them automatically saved as you plunge forward with your writing of that Great American Novel (or Blog).
Still, there's the 'Net reliability thing again. Since Google Docs are web apps, they count on your Internet connection, and perhaps just as much as Blogger does. (Maybe more so, even -- I don't know yet.) So only time will tell whether my use of Google Docs proves simpler to use than Blogger. If a flaky WiFi connection disrupts the saving of the documents I compose using the service, then I may have to resume the cat-and-mouse chase sooner than I'm hoping. Yet if it turns out that the service works well, continuing to perform more reliably (and in a simpler manner) than Blogger, than perhaps I'll be able to rest with my cheese for awhile.
Technorati Tags: Harold, Google Docs, blogging, writing, technology
Labels: Blogger, blogging, commentary, Google Docs, observations, technology, web services, writing
Saturday, November 04, 2006
If these words appear online (and in the proper format), then I may have just found the simplest
way I've ever encountered of updating this blog. I'm using a software application called MarsEdit
, which I've never before used.
"What's a blog
?" you ask? If you're reading this sometime in the year 2006, then I can tell you -- with nearly absolute certainty -- that a blog is this thing you're currently reading. As I compose this message in the early days of November in 2006, I know that you're not reading these words out of a paperback book you're holding in your hands. You're sitting in front of some type of monitor connected either to your desktop computer or your laptop computer (or perhaps even your mobile phone), so I know (as well as you) that you're reading some type of website. (It's the format
of this type of website that makes it a blog
, differentiating it from other types of websites.)
However, if it's beyond 2006, I can't make any claims of knowing how these words are reaching you. If it's the year 2010, for example, it's just possible you're not even reading
these words. Perhaps some type of artificial intelligence is reading these words aloud to
you. Perhaps a gathering of hundreds is watching this text as it is displayed on a hillside monitor somewhere in the Gobi desert. Perhaps it's the year 3000, and a Harold Android toy is preaching this text to your home-schooled child. (Okay, I may be reaching
a bit, there...)
Anyway, that's your lesson for today. There will be more words, more audio, and more video in the days to follow. In the years to follow? One can only imagine
Labels: blogging, commentary, MarsEdit, software
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Do you know how to subscribe to (automatically download) a podcast? It's easy to subscribe to a podcast feed if you're using Apple's iTunes software; but if you're not, it might confuse the hell out of you. So here's a short tutorial for you, written for normal people (rather than geeks), so that you'll be able to subscribe to my podcast and any others you enjoy listening to:
- First, get yourself a podcatcher. A podcatcher is software you use to subscribe to podcasts. Podcatchers are commonly referred to as podcast recievers, podcatcher applications, podcatcher clients, or iPodders (though the term iPodder may soon be out of fashion, and is already out of favor with many).
Podcatchers are usually free; simply open up your favorite search engine (such as Google) and run a search for 'podcatchers' or 'podcast software' or something similar and you'll soon find a list of podcatcher applications. I'm using Juice, a free podcast receiver which works on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.
- Find the feed you need to subscribe to. All podcasts (if they're truly podcasts) have a podcast feed that you use to subscribe to the podcast. My feed, for example, is currently located at the following address (yet don't click on the feed address or you may get lost):
As you can see, the feed address looks just like a website address. That's because it is, basically - but rather than serving up my website, this address serves up my podcast feed. You don't need to worry about these technicalities, however (though they may be helpful to know). You simply need to find the feed (or the feed address, also known as the feed URL) for the podcast you wish to subscribe to.
There are a variety of ways of locating a podcast feed. Most podcasts have a link to their feed displayed prominently somewhere on their website; sometimes this is a an image that you click on to access the feed. I'm currently using both an image and a standard link to point to my podcast feed; you'll find both in the left sidebar of this website. If you can't find the feed on a podcaster's website, you might find it by using a search engine by searching
To subscribe simply means
Recalling a year or two ago, when I first began encountering the term RSS
,I've spent too much time on this post and I'm too exhausted to complete it
Labels: blogging, commentary, feeds, RSS, tutorials
Friday, August 08, 2003
I've been extremely busy lately and haven't been able to post as often as I'd like to. Be sure to visit my other blogs, Transmitting To Earth
and Some Links Are Better Than Others
, as I rotate my posting between them.
By the way, I found Todd Stauffer's blog, or at least the one for his book the one for his book
. In a previous post I and others had mentioned the difficulty of finding his blog
. Well, now we have it.
Labels: blogging, blogs, books, technology, Todd Stauffer
Sunday, July 27, 2003
The links to other blogs (in the side panel at left) are all new, using a service called Blogrolling
. Thanks to Todd Stauffer's book Blog On
for explaining how to use the service. I enjoy Mr. Stauffer's writing style and would like to read his blog, if he has one, but I couldn't locate one, and it seems that others have had this same problem
Labels: blogging, Blogrolling, blogs, books, Todd Stauffer, writing
Monday, June 16, 2003
Saturday, September 19, 2009: As with the post immediately preceding this one, I've made some alterations. A couple of links were removed: my links blog
SLABTO is no longer being actively published (though I'm pretty sure an archive of it still exists in Blogger, and though it's doubtful, I may end up publishing it again one day) and my blog
Making Contact was eventually transmogrified into VoyagerRadio's blog; for an historical approximation of what it once was, check out the Internet Archive's record of the blog.
Some minor grammatical improvements were also made.
I'm currently listening to Alice in Chains on my Pandora Radio station. When I was younger people always told me I looked like lead singer Layne Staley.
Original post follows:
I'm tired of the look of this blog. It was cool for awhile (Wow, look at that
template! What bold color choices. What sheer simplistic fun
!), but I've been too busy to change the look, what with all the other web projects I've got going on. Okay, so I don't have that
much going on, but I do have that VoyagerRadio
thing. And SLABTO. And Making Contact
. And -- oh, hell, you get the idea.
I've already made some subtle changes to the template; maybe I should tweak the colors. That's what I've been intending to do, and you may be thrown off the next time you visit. Well, there's really not that many of you visiting, so you may not really be thrown off that
much, and after all, this is a space for experimentation. I envision constant changes, a hodgepodge of activity. No conformity to the rules of blogging
Labels: blogging, blogs, music, project updates, VoyagerRadio
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Although this blog is still evolving, emerging, becoming
whatever it is bound to become (or perhaps it's there already), it does have a new domain name, and that's SomethingThatHappened.com
. Which cements its validity, right? Hmmm...
So write it down, remember it, come back to it, link to it, do what you may with it -- but get it out there somehow, or it will forever be that soundless tree of the web
. (At the time this was originally posted, this link led to a message from vaults of the Internet Archive, "No such website exists". If you see now find results after following that link, then you must be of the future.)
Labels: blogging, Internet Archive, short post, web development
Monday, May 05, 2003
I now have sometime-access to a wireless phone, from which I will be able to blog. Look for more spectacular and short posts here, or perhaps spectacularly short
This is good news for you, I would hope, since I'll be able to post more often. I promise to make those shorter posts interesting and worthwhile, as subjective as that is.
Labels: blogging, mobile posts, short post, wireless
Sunday, May 04, 2003
Blogging from a bench in Malibu, via wireless phone, in the sun. The life. Wish mom was here.
Labels: blogging, mom, short post, wireless