Category Archives: Techy Stuff

Trying something a little different

Last week I did something a little different. I gave a presentation at the Vancouver WordPress Meetup Group January meeting. This isn’t that unusual in the grand scheme of things. Folks who’ve known me for a while know I was the chair of the Amiga Users of Calgary at one time, and an active member for many years. I gave plenty of presentations and chaired meetings, but that was a while ago.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been playing around with building a business directory (2 really) and that was the topic of my presentation. I covered the variety of themes and plugins as well as some general reasons one might build a directory on WordPress.

I felt good about doing this. I was nice to give something back after a couple of years of observing, and to get back into the habit of DOING something.

Chris came along for moral support (cuz that’s what he does) and took a few pictures.

Yup, that’s an iPhone 5S in my pocket

Having braved the hoards this morning, I find myself with a shiny new “Space Grey” iPhone 5S in my pocket.

Unfortunately being Friday and having to work all day, I haven’t had much chance to play with it but my first impressions are that it’s very nice. I had upgraded my iPad 2 to iOS 7 the other day so it wasn’t too new, but it is much nicer on the 5S. Smoother.

I’ve had my iPhone 4 for 3 years, so it was definitely time for me to upgrade and since my contract expired 10 days ago, I was eligible to do it! Woo!

I’ll post some more stuff soon, including some slow-motion video. Probably of Rumble because it’s the only way he slows down AND moves at the same time.


July 2, 2013

Apparently someone thinks my blog would be just keen to take over. My anti-intrusion detection just told me I’m under attack. Silly rabbits.

Google Reader – RIP

So as of this coming Monday, July 1 – a veteran of the internet will die. Google Reader, which allowed users to stockpile RSS feeds and skim for a condensed version, will cease to function. Sure, most people probably didn’t even know about it, or maybe didn’t care, but I used it several times a day.

I had categories like WordPress, PHP and Business and each was filled with news & articles from some popular sites in that niche. Google Reader then aggregated the stories for me and presented a timeline of headlines (the way I configured it) which I could skim quickly, or read leisurely.

It also integrated with the awesome Reeder app on my iPad.


Google gave us a short 3 month window in which to replace Reader with something else. And the race was on. All of the big players promised imports and upgrades, low prices and fast service. More than a few sites found themselves crashing amongst the crush of new users trying to find a solution.

I tried and wanted to find a WordPress based solution and there were some, but none felt right. I’m not a WordPress evangelist who lives in a dark cave – I know when it’s not the right solution (for now). So after trying out a few solutions, and deciding that hosting my own would be preferred, I found Tiny Tiny RSS. It looks and feels a bit like Google Reader, which is nice but wasn’t a requirement. The project has had a considerable boost as Reader shuts down and the developer has done a great job of bringing it up to speed as a replacement.

If you have the resources, I’d recommend giving it a try. It will import your existing Google Reader list and keep them in order as long as you go through the crazy Google export process. I found it a little unforgiving with a few feeds that weren’t properly formatted. I had to re-add a couple using a new URL, but a few just won’t validate. TT-RSS tells you about these problems.

There are many preferences and it will handle multiple users. So technically I could set up my own aggregation service to compete in the void left by Google Reader, but I’m not interested in that. I have my little reader with my 20 feeds. That’ll do. Maybe if you’re a close friend I’ll help you out.

Freelance Camp 2012

Today I went to Freelance Camp 2012 at The Network Hub in New Westminster, primarily to do some networking, learn some new stuff and try something different.

First, thank you! to the organizers. You guys did a fantastic job of making the day awesome! Easy registration, check in, lunch, prizes … Literally everything rocked. The price was great since it included lunch and the proceeds go to charity. Way to go!

I attended two sessions on mobile websites and mobile marketing, learned how to help clients understand the price of your services and their project, the importance of blogging for business and how to generate content, how Macs are awesome (this I knew) and did some chair yoga (ouch). Also had a nice lunch of molettes at Pamola bakery.

This all took place inside the River Market at New Westminster Quay, a place Chris and I visited and hated a few years ago. The Quay has put a TON of work into renovating and updating the entire space, and brought in some amazing restaurants and a few stores.

Perhaps the coolest place of all is Vancouver Circus School! It looks incredible and is super busy all day! There was a small group of women having part of their “stagette” there and others talking about a birthday.

But I digress.

All in all it was a great day of learning and exploration. I also rediscovered the Quay here and hope to come back to check it out along with the rest of New West’s changes.