weblog

  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.

Sleepless Nights

Drupal is a nice thing if it works.

IF it works.

 

Alas

Alive!

Three fucking hoorays! Bartlog was in dire straits after an update of a Drupal module, which put my site in off-line mode. Not only that, but I was completely unable to log in too. So I simply couldn't get in to fix the problem.

Now in such a case, there is only one address really: the Drupal.org site. It contains masses and masses of information. Completely unreadable too. Typically, you would search for a solution to your problem. Then you'd find a number of articles with promising titles, making you go 'phew' and increasing your hopes of salvation. Any such articel will begin with a perfect description of your problem, so you think 'Yes! Yes, that's me! That's exactly the problem I'm having!'

Unfortunately, the author who is generally a super tech geek then veers off and starts to discribe all kinds of obscure options and scenario's that you won't need, such as 'Indicentally, if you need to replicate this behaviour on the CERN quantum computer, all you need to do is...' When you've finished reading the article, you have a pounding headache, but you are none the wiser.

Anyway, maybe this experience will teach me to make back-ups more often (i.e. not every fourteen months or something).

Who Is This Anyway?

I finally figured it out: now you can add your name, e-mail, website, etc. with your comment, so no more 'Anonymous said this' and 'Anonymous said that'.

Unless you want to remain anonymous of course...

The New Me

in

Hi there and welcome to the brand new Bartlog! After four years and a bit, I thought it was high time for a major overhaul of this dusty old weblog. I bid farewell to Thingamablog, the blogging software I've been using all these years. It served me well, but it was becoming a bit cumbersome. It kept all my posts in a database on my home computer, and once a month it had to re-publish a large part of the complete weblog. So after a couple of hundreds of posts, this process would take more and more time. And generally, I would have to try several times to get the first post of the new month published, because the server timed out or cut the connection.

Speaking of servers, I also bid farewell to my Telenet server and hired me some webspace at Versio.nl. This finally enabled me to work with server-side applications, scripts and databases. After much pondering and studying, I decided on Drupal instead of Wordpress to manage this weblog. Drupal is a full content management system (CMS), and as such it can do more than Wordpress, which is more focussed on weblogs. But it has been a steep learning curve, to say the least. So at the moment it is functional, but I'll be tweaking it over the coming weeks.

Unfortunately, I was not able to import my old posts directly into Drupal. This means that I have to copy everything one post at a time to this new location. As you can see, I've transferred about one third so far, but it'll take me another couple of weeks to finish the job. However, I still haven't managed to transfer the Haloscan comments. I hope I won't loose them, but on the other hand I really don't feel like copying them one by one, as you can imagine.

For the fans of my photos - I get quite a lot of attention from picture hunters - this new weblog has a nice feature: a gallery of all the photos that I posted.

Last but not least, I've finally created a domain all for my self. Instead of going to http://users.telenet.be/be.bartlog/bartlog.html you can now find my adventures at www.bartlog.be. I think we can all agree that this new address is slightly easier to remember than the old one. Even I got it often wrong.

So a very happy 2010 and I hope you'll enjoy the new site!

Drip Drip

When uploading the previous post, my ISP’s server chocked on the many pictures. Again. You see, in this beautiful but retarded country of mine, the two main ISPs (*) still maintain strict limits on downloading, server space, scripts you can use (in my case: none) and so on. Some well meaning idiot tried to fight this policy by hacking the Belgacom servers and publishing a bunch of users’ logins and passwords. But he got caught, because even the police use computers these days. His trial starts next week.

I’m looking into less drastic alternatives to get around this ban. Of course I could move my weblog to Wordpress.com or – cough hack – Blogger – hack cough – but I like to keep things under control. And I don’t want to be entirely dependent on free services, that can change their policies any time. Such a thing happened to me recently with Gliffy.com, a free service to draw flow charts online. They changed their ‘free’ policy from an unlimited number to five charts per user. So now I have to throw 25 diagrams away or cough up $5 a month. I don’t want something like that to happen to my beloved Bartlog.

So I’ve been tinkering about with Drupal, a free content management system that allows you to create any kind of site: a webstore, a weblog, a forum, a photo collection, a simple one page website,… you name it! And that is precise its problem, because to create something like a blog you need to gnaw through tons of documentation. Drupal is developed and maintained by a dedicated community, and that is another one of its problems. Forget easy-to-follow step-by-step beginners manuals. You’ll be bombarded by so much information that it’s very difficult to keep focused. Oh, and then there is the panoply of extra modules that you need to install to get anything working. Want something exotic like images in your posts (imagine that, eh!), why you only need to install five extra modules for that. And then the real fun begins, because all those modules have settings that need to be changed and they are absolutely all over the damn place!

I guess you can say this thing has a steep learning curve. There is a simple explanation for its complexity: its made in Belgium (well, it started here, now it’s a worldwide community really). But on the plus side, you really can tinker about and tweak this thing to your geek heart’s desire. So if all goes well, expect a new, flashy and dynamic version of Bartlog any time soon. Like in 2020.

  

(*) Two, yes two as in 2. There are other ISPs, but there are only two separate networks, which means you can write off any free market principles. Internet is expensive here, service is lousy and their idea of internet security is blocking all customers from doing anything else but surfing and making old-school websites.

No Comment

Keith warned me that my comments disappear and reappear at random. I checked it out at Haloscan, and I can't find anything wrong apart from a message that it was more than three months ago since I last logged in (yup, that's me) and that they'd archived my comments. Maybe it's that, anyways it seems to be functioning now and your comments have not been deleted, least of all by me.

It All Adds Up

When I made my website, I looked around for a counter which not only offered some decent statistics, but which also allowed me to manipulate its colours because I wanted to embed it into a picture. The result is the ‘Mirror Mirror On The Wall’ counter on the be.bart page (which is desperately in need of an update, I know). Needless to say, it had to be for free too.

That’s how I ended up with CountStats.net. In the beginning, I was quite pleased with my counter. But after a while I noticed it had some quirks. For instance, every year in the beginning of the year CountStats throws away the statistics of the previous year. They don’t just throw away the numbers that are older than twelve months, they just throw away the previous year, apart from the total number of visits and page views.

When they do that, their whole system gets screwed up for a couple of weeks. So for days on end, your counter won’t move, or some statistics won’t be available. Some statistics never worked anymore at all since the first time they did this to me.

But even at the best of times, their counters can be very sluggish, to the point where your web browser just gives up and goes for a cup of coffee. So I started to suspect that the number of hits that my blog gets might be higher than they proclaim it is. To check this, I installed another counter and you can see the result at the bottom of the right column. Since January 10th the difference between the SiteMeter counter and the CountStats counter grew to more than 240 visits. According to CountStats, I had on average 22 people per day visiting my weblog, while SiteMeter says that it is almost twice as much (40 per day). CountStats says I had 25 page views in the last month, SiteMeter claims that I had 50 per day during the last month. On top of this, SiteMeter doesn’t count my own visits, while CountStats doesn’t have this option and includes them into its statistics.

To be fair, I did put the code for the SiteMeter code in front of a bunch of other things that link to external servers, while the CountStats thingy has to wait until all the others load before it can add to its stats. I don’t know if this can have an influence or not, so if there are any web wizards out there – your feedback is welcome.

Happy Barthday

There is there one yeary hoorah, hoorah!
That can you well see that is he.
And that’s why sing we glad yes yes!
And that’s why sing we glad.

(Er is er een jarig hoera, hoera!
Dat kun je wel zien dat is hij.
En daarom zingen wij blij, ja ja!
En daarom zingen wij blij.)

 

Bartlog celebrates its first birthday, dear readers. I’d almost forgotten about it, or more correctly, I did forget about it because my first post was on the 9th of September. But let’s not spoil the fun, I’m used to postponing my birthdays because half of the time I’m on a mission abroad for my work and I have to wait until I return before the party can really start.

When I started my blog I wondered if I would be able to keep it up and find enough material to write about on a regular base. I also wondered if my antics would get any attention, given the incredible explosion in the number of blogs lately. On the other hand, many of those new weblogs quickly disappear, making Bartlog a bit of a veteran despite its tender age.

So what will be on the menu, the coming year? Do I have anything left to write about, after burning up so carelessly all spectacular material that you can expect in a man’s life: the wedding, the new house, the new car,… Well, I can only say that especially for your reading pleasure, I will dive head first and completely blindfolded into a series of new developments that will be a source of inspiration for soap-opera scriptwriters for centuries to come. Feel the suspense as I hack away brick after brick until my house is on the brink of collapse! Shout in anger when my wife finally puts me on a diet! Cry tears of joy when I finally find the highly-paid executive job I really deserve! That and much more on Bartlog…

Coming soon to a theatre near you.

Gravatar

Although I'm quite active on a number of weblogs, I never had a Gravatar. The main reason for this was that I just couldn't think of an avatar that suited me. I think you will understand that it was quite a challenge to find something that fully embodies my many outstanding capacities, without it getting so unbelievably impressive that fellow bloggers wouldn't dare to voice their humble opinions out of fear to have such an obviously pathetic point of view compared to mine.

You know me, I'm hopelessly modest.

So after much thought, I came up with this:

Pretty cool heh? I think it reflects well my style of writing, especially the biting remarks I sometime leave behind. I completely drew it myself. May I point you in particular to the beautiful shining effect on the copper part of the pen. No gratuitous use of filters there, all done by hand (mouse)!

1000th Visitor

Sound the trumpets! Let the drums roll! Play that funky music!

 

Be.Bartlog has officially welcomed it’s 1000th visitor, 186 days after the official launch of this weblog on September the 9th last year. It’s been already five months since I first posted here, full of nerves and wondering if I’d get any readers at all. You see, I didn’t advertise this site to the usual targets of first time weblogs, i.e. your own friends and family. In fact, apart from my lovely fiancée, none of my friends or family know about this blog. I wanted to make it on my own. Either people would be interested in my wild adventures, or no-one would give a damn and they wouldn’t stay out of mere politeness.

And behold, my flock of followers is growing at a steady (but slow) pace.

So who are you? Let me just for once stop talking about myself and hand over the microphone to the people out there.

Most of you are Belgian, although there is a serious bias here since I visit the blog at least once a day to check if it’s looking all right. Surprisingly, my biggest fans and most regular visitors are living in Sweden, followed by the Canadians and Danes. And right they are, what better way to get trough those long winter evenings than by surfing to a great, funny, high-quality, intellectual yet modest blog?

A lack of decent beer in their own country drove a lot of readers from the Netherlands to this fine Belgian refuge, so a warm ‘Welkom’ there. The rest of Western Europe follows them before we come to the more exotic destinations (not that Canada isn’t exotic of course). As always, New Zealanders and Australians are bickering amongst themselves for the next place. Other interesting places in the list include Japan, Columbia, Taiwan, Romania, Brazil, Estonia and many others. This blog is also under scrutiny by NATO, so don’t mess around with me, I’ve got powerful friends here.

Apart from the information your browsers kindly provided me, what else can I say about you? Well, you’re a shy bunch of people, that’s for sure! You hardly ever use the comments to discuss my posts. I would like to give special credit to my friend Zoe, who single-handedly tried to get things going by posting over and over again, only to find herself shouting in the desert. Big hugs to you Zed, and that’s enough of that. She’s just won a Bloggie for the Best European Weblog for the second year in a row, so I can’t give too much praise or her ego will explode.

Anyway, back to you lot. Promise you’ll write! But most importantly, do keep reading. And thank you once again for visiting.

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