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#PostADay 2011 Challenge 18 Days Left For *My* Full 365

December 18, 2011 1 comment

postaday-1note-128

I can’t believe I am almost at a full year of posting daily! There were days when I was too drunk to right anything coherent, there were days when I had nothing to say and days when I was so busy I didn’t really have time to post but still I soldiered on. Including this post, I have 18 posts left to make it to the full year of the Post A Day Challenge 2011. I know there are less than 18 days left in 2011 but you have to remember my first post which I count as part of the Challenge was on January 4, 2011 therefore I have to go until January 4, 2012 to make it complete…don’t I?

I have learned a lot during this experience of the Post A Day Challenge. I reflected on it throughout the challenge as well in different blog posts. I grew my readership massively and that felt – and still feels – amazing as it continues to grow. I have had so many experiences via writing this blog and have done things I never believed I would do all and am the better person and man for it. All in all, this has been a great year and I am going to be continuing the post a day challenge with myself for as long as I can into 2012 and beyond.

You have probably all noticed the badge below on the right hand side of my blog this whole year I think I am going to leave it there because I don’t see a reason to take it down. Sort of a badge of honor. Maybe they will make a 2012 Challenge and that will keep me on my toes to stay with it and keep posting.

postaday-badge-big

Maybe next year I will try to up the ante and make it two posts a day for 2012 but believe you me one a day is hard enough! One thing is for certain, after this year I definitely earned the title of a blogger!

Is there anything I haven’t talked about which you think I should? Any place in Toronto or the GTA I should explore?

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WordPress, Blogging, & Archiving – BlogBooker FTW!

June 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I have mentioned before how I temporarily lost a post I wrote for another, now defunct, blog and then found it in a random file on my computer so I was able to re-post it here. It was when that happened that I realized the importance of archiving my work that I post on this blog and any other blog on my computer or on some form of removable media. Not that I don’t love The Cloud, I do. In fact, my personal Microsoft Word has the Google Docs plugin installed which syncs all my Word documents to my Google Docs account.

So you can be sure that before I hit the “Publish” button on this post I am going to be saving it in Word as a separate document for future reference. In fact, I have decided to move the bulk of my blog writing to Microsoft Word and then copy/pasting the words in to a “New Blog Post” in WordPress. It is then fairly simple to add in all the pictures and go from there.

But what about all the posts I (or you) have already done? Can you get those off of your WordPress account easily and with no hassle? If you google “wordpress export” you will be given as the first hit the WordPress tutorial on how to export your blog. Seems simple right? The problem with the Export tool that WordPress provides is that it assumes that you are going to be using the exported data as part of a new blog. As such, it only spits out an XML file of ALL of your blog’s content. Useless to someone who wants to be able to show all the writing they have done or be able to recover a post later if it gets deleted for one reason or another.

Of course there is the option of manually going through each and every post you have ever written, highlighting all the text, copying it, and pasting it into individual Word documents (or whatever word processing program you use). That is quite the arduous task so I figured there HAD TO BE a better way. Thankfully, I know the awesome tweeps Laura aka @lmmandell and her husband Sam aka @SamTitle. I was randomly speaking about this quandary of mine with Laura when she mentioned that Sam had faced a similar issue a little while back and she remembered he had found a way to resolve it. I got in touch with Sam via the interwebs and he pointed me to an amazing website called BlogBooker at http://www.blogbooker.com/. The best part about this site? It is completely FREE! (Although they always appreciate donations!)

Crowdsourcing FOR THE WIN!

What BlogBooker does is it takes the content from a WordPress, Blogger, or LiveJournal blog and turns it into a “PDF Blog Book”. Originally, what I wanted was each of my posts to be individual Word documents but this works just as well in my honest opinion and I can always separate them into individual files later quite easily. For my WordPress blog all that BlogBooker required me to do was download the aformentioned XML file (a whopping 2.46 MB) from WordPress and upload it into BlogBooker. Once that finished, BlogBooker started processing it and within a few short minutes it spat out an 18.6 MB PDF file for my saving pleasure. Fantastic!

The file comes complete with a Table of Contents which is clickable to jump to each post.

It makes each year’s worth of posts into a chapter and each month’s worth of posts into a sub-chapter. Because it is a PDF you also have the option of – if using Adobe Reader – jumping easily between posts with the lists in the sidebar. Truly amazing if I do say so myself.

If you are a blogger and are reading this and realizing that you too never backed anything up from your blog and feel that now might be a good time to start I highly recommend checking out BlogBooker. This blog’s BlogBooker blog turned out to be a whopping 503 pages (even I am amazed by that) and I could only imagine the horror that I would have felt if I ever lost all of that hard work writing. I feel like a broken record here but I really cannot stress enough how much I endorse checking this site out and backing up your blog to a BlogBooker PDF file.

A Favor To Ask: Help Me Blog For & Road Trip With Mobilicity CEO Dave Dobbin

June 17, 2011 7 comments

OK, to be fair, this is the second contest in 3 months I am asking you to help me out with a contest. But I think all y’all know that this is the contest for me. Also, I wanted an excuse to add my video for the contest to this blog. If I win this contest, I will also finally be able to go on my epic road trip that I didn’t go on when I didn’t go to Chicago.

The contest is to be the official blogger for a road trip that Mobilicity CEO Dave Dobbin is taking across Canada.

According to the contest description the winner will receive

…a road trip with Mobilicity’s CEO, currently anticipated to commence from Toronto on or around July 15, 2011 and concluding in Vancouver by or around July 30, 2011 (the “Trip”). Transportation to Toronto will be provided (if the winner resides outside Toronto) and transportation from Vancouver (if the winner resides outside Vancouver) will also be provided.  

….Prize winner’s attendance and participation in the form of documenting the Trip via social media are mandatory.

As my regular readers know (I hope!) I am a pretty good blogger and am a total social media addict so this would be superfantasticawesome for me. 15 days with the CEO of Mobilicity. As a phone and gadget geek that is like a dream come true!

Anyway, without further ado – here is my video. I hope you will “Like” the video on YouTube and support me in this endeavor!

LevyNewsNetwork Quote Is At Mickey’s Pizza

March 29, 2011 1 comment

 

As you can see in the picture above I returned a little while ago, OK a month and a half ago, to Mickey’s Pizza in Mississauga (feedyourdragon.com, on Facebook Facebook.com/MickeysPizza, and on Twitter @FeedYourDragon). I went because since the last time I’d been there my dragon had been doing some serious growling and needed some feeding!

There were other reasons I went, one of them being to introduce Nus aka @MichaelNus, Chris aka @CBrooker, and Krista (who is not on Twitter and as far as I know doesn’t have a website/blog…yes I actually do hang out with people who don’t have an online presence) to Mickey’s Pizza and the wonderful couple who run it.

So we got out passports stamped on the QEW out of Toronto to Mississauga (I kid, I kid) and we were on our way to feed our hungry dragons. When we got there I looked on the wall and lo and behold! Mickey’s Pizza had a quote and photo from my earlier blog post up on their wall!!!!

O! M! G!

I was so very excited to see this I had my friends take a bunch of photos of me standing in front of the sign with the quote on it. Then I babbled about it to them for a bit and tweeted about it along with the pictures in absolute amazement. One of those pics is, obviously, what you see there at the top of this post. (Hopefully WordPress for BlackBerry didn’t resize it horribly…if it did don’t worry I’ll repost it when I get to a desktop. UPDATE: WordPress didn’t resize it horribly it just posted it 8 times at the top and then once on the bottom on an angle…FAIL)

On to the experience – delicious as it was last time and also uber-reasonably priced! It turned out that Mickey’s Pizza had a sweet deal going on that eve (and still has awesome deal every now and again via Facebook and Twitter). We ended up getting very, very well fed for under $30 so I advise you to always check their Twitter or Facebook pages before heading over to Mickey’s!

I’ll fill in all the proper links later but That was the experience in a nutshell. Talk to all y’all soon! Thanks Mickey’s!

Update: As I mentioned in the previous post WordPress for BlackBerry was giving me serious, serious issues posting this last night. I was nowhere near a computer and finally had to make an entirely new post, copy the text from the old post and paste it into the new one and have it publish but by then it was 12:08am on March 30th. I consider this post created on the 29th as it really was…the problem was I couldn’t post it. As such, I have adjusted the posted on date to reflect when this post was actually completed (this update and note notwithstanding).

Being A Blogger: Saying “I Wrote About That On My Blog…” Makes Me Feel Douchie

January 17, 2011 1 comment

"These hot dogs look great but have you read my blog post about the tastiest hot dog I ever ate???" (Not what I actually said at any time at this party where this photo was taken by Ms Christine Estima

As the Post-A-Day 2011 Challenge has continued I have found that I am covering more and more topics randomly and they somehow seem to be coming up in conversation. The other night at @Canadian88‘s #XLbday88 party in Hamilton I caught myself saying, numerous times, “Oh, I posted about that on my blog and…” and began to feel like the unconscious, shameless self-promotion was fairly, for lack of a better term, ‘douchie’. (If you want to read about #XLbday88 check out @The_JMoney‘s blog post about it here)

I began to wonder if it is OK to continually make reference to my blog when I mention something in the real world which I have discussed here. I even apologized to a friend of mine for saying it so often and turned out he hadn’t even noticed I had been saying it! Maybe I was just being too overly conscious of what I was saying and other people were just tuning it out as “background noise” before I got to my point.  I am trying to recall if other people I know who are bloggers make references – unprompted – about their blogs in regular conversation and I can’t recall and instances of it occurring. Maybe it hasn’t or maybe I have been tuning it out as well. Maybe I shouldn’t think so much about this.

Either way, please, if you hear me saying it in real life too much – call me out on it. If you think I do already say it too much in real life – call me out on it be it here in the comments, on Twitter, on Facebook, or in real life.

Linksys wrt160n SERIOUS Issues! And their Twitter PR people are INCOMPETENT!

March 15, 2010 6 comments
I have loved using Linksys routers (made by Cisco) for a long time now and recently we bought a new router from Linksys to replace our old wrt54g – the wrt160n version 3.
A bunch of months ago – this goes back to at least Oct. 2009 – we began to notice that every so often our wrt160n would start redirecting us to weird places – going to http://www.Twitter.com would redirect us to some random “About Me” blog on blogger (and our browser would still think we were @ twitter.com). An example of this can be seen as recently as the writing of this post when I tried to find something on Twitter and this screenshot below was my result (obviously edited for privacy reasons) notice the address in the address bar):
Then in December Linksys-Cisco released a new firmware update for the router. I was overjoyed thinking that FINALLY they were going to be fixing this issue in the new updated firmware…Alas, it was not to be.
I found out recently that I am not alone! There is in fact a 7 page thread on the Linksys by Cisco forum all about this issue. The posters also talk about how they have spoken to Linksys tech support who denied knowing anything about the issue (and these instances even happened after other people had posted on the forum talking about talking to tech support and describing the problem). For the forum thread go to http://forums.linksysbycisco.com/linksys/board/message?board.id=Wireless_Routers&thread.id=146716&view=by_date_ascending&page=1
There have also been a number of other blog posts about this issue – see the blog posting by Jacob Friedman from Jan 28, 2010 on thenextweb.com @ http://thenextweb.com/us/2010/01/28/linksys-to-customers-enjo-our-new-random-page-function/ (he also says there is the same problem with the Linksys WRT310N version 2) and a post by Bill Gerrard from Feb 9, 20190 http://www.billgerrard.com/linkSys-by-cisco-wrt160n-wireless-internet-router-dns-resolver-flaw/
Someone on the LinksysByCisco forum also posted a feed of the redirect happening to them @ http://screencast.com/t/MzgyZmVhYzgt
These blogs and on the above mentioned forum thread all have suggested answers to the problem which include loading the DD-WRT firmware (found @ www.dd-wrt.com/) or switching your computer to a Static DNS so it doesn’t use the router’s DNS (which is obviously corrupted). The problem with the solutions above is that with DD-WRT is a firmware that is made by people other than Linksys and Cisco and while I know it is often seen as being a better option I don’t think I should be forced to go download firmware not covered under my Linksys Cisco warranty to make my Linksys Cisco product work properly. To the other solution, a Static DNS, what happens when other people are trying to use our network or we take one of our netbooks or laptops out of the house? What a pain that will become on both ends. Especially living with non-tech oriented people and being their sole tech support option and being blamed for any and everything that “goes wrong” with technology in the house even if it isn’t your fault!
When I tweeted about the issue a number of times on Feb 25th one of the first tweets reading:

“Serious DNS fubar w/ linksys wrt160n v3 & cisco unresponsive! See 6pg thread@ linksys forum http://is.gd/8LlJg- @theiprgroup @LinksysCanada

as you can see I tagged both @LinksysCanada (described on their own Twitter page as – Linksys by Cisco; Location Toronto, Canada; Bio News, conversation and updates from Linksys by Cisco Canada. Find us on Facebook – Linksys by Cisco Canada. Maintained by the PR peeps at the @theiprgroup) and @theiprgroup I got this nonsensical reply from them:

“I’m sorry you are having problems. What tool bar are you using?”

…Huh? tool bar? What tool bar am I using? I was so confused by this response I replied:

“not sure I undrstnd ur questn as to “What Tool Bar” Im usin. U mean Router FirmWare Version? The latest 1! Ver 3.0.02 B”

They then gave me this sage advice:

I think the best option to fix your problem is to go to http://www.linksysbycisco.com/CA/en/support
REALLY??? Great call PR group! You suggested I go to a site I have clearly already been to…or didn’t you follow the link my first tweets and read the tweet in its entirety…tweets are only 140 characters, they do not take a long time to read! But being the nice guy I am I decided I would respond to their ‘advice’ and explain to them again that:

I have already & so have many others discussin the issue on linksys’ forums See 6pg thread@ http://is.gd/8LlJg

No response from them.

So I sent two more tweets on the topic:

c the forum thread post #30 on 01-18-2010 thru #46 on 02-17-2010 4 diff ppl had linksys phone supp deny knowledge of the prob

consider thats just 4 ppl who posted on forum AND mentioned they calld tech supp prob many more calld linksys & heard denials

And still not a word from them til this day!
Also to this day Linksys-Cisco Tech Support is still DENYING that the problem is on their end – here is one of the latest posts by Ossmo02 posted at 2010-03-15 12:37 PM on the LinksysByCisco forum in the thread linked above and @ http://forums.linksysbycisco.com/linksys/board/message?board.id=Wireless_Routers&thread.id=146716&view=by_date_ascending&page=7 if you are feeling lazy:

just got off the phone with the tech support, they had me change the laptop DNS back to automatic & reset my router, it seems to be working, but we will see for how long. They said if it happes again it could be my ISP or browser, seems that has been ruled out here though.

Tsk, tsk.
Linksys and Cisco I think it is about time that you dealt with this issue! Release an upgraded version of the firmware already! OR admit that there is a problem with these routers and issue a recall. You also might want to look into the PR group you have hired who are taking care of your online presence and the level of incompetence with which they represent your company…you guys are a tech company remember? A tech company whose business is getting people online, networking, and using the internet.
UPDATE: More examples of the Twitter.com redirect which just happened again after a router reset – yes, this is how often it happens, within HOURS.
Here is the blog I am redirected to – notice how my address bar still says I am at http://www.twitter.com
And here is the “About Me” section from that blog. Who is this person? Notice how the “My Web Page” link which I have highlighted goes to some Twitter? Blogger? account with the name “yonemans”. Weird!
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