Tuesday 31 July 2012


One of my weekly training activities, in preparation for the Inca Trail. But really, this post is more about trying out the new blog. :-)


Monday 30 July 2012

Your privacy at risk (via getup.org.au)

Would you copy ASIO in on every personal email you send? Watch the video and sign on to stop #ozlog http://bit.ly/OBlTjV via @GetUp


New blog! (Well, new home anyway)

I first set up a blog on Blogger in 2009 but as a Joomla! developer, I felt I really should run my own blog in Joomla!. So in 2010 I moved the whole site to a self-hosted J!1.5x site. Problem was, J!1.5x didn't really work nicely as a blog, so after a while I installed K2 to handle the blog side of things, and it ticked along for the next year or so.

What I started to find a problem was, Joomla!/K2 didn't really let me post quickly and easily from my Android smartphone. And I had to maintain the site myself, which got a bit tedious. So I set about researching options. Looked at Wordpress but by then I was pretty much over hosting my own blog, and I didn't like the free ones they manage for you. And to be honest, I've never really taken to Wordpress as a platform anyway. I know there are millions of people who disagree but... not what I wanted. Then I did a subject at OUA on blogging and we had to set up our own blog (which I set up for my business) so I went back to my trusty Google account and created it in Blogger because I was already familiar with the platform. And actually I thought it was pretty good, as well as being really easy to post to from my phone.

Just to make sure, I had a look at Tumblr and Posterous as part of my research. Both good but not really what I was after either. Fussy fussy :-)

So Blogger it was. I found a site with some nice free templates and set it up. THEN the headaches began. HOW to export all my existing posts from not just Joomla!, but K2, to Blogger? You'd think it would be easy but it's not. In fact, it's practically impossible. There are literally NO apps anywhere that I could find that would do this effectively. So after hours of research and testing and nothing working, I ended up with a 90% solution and then manually did the rest. Here's how:
  1. Abandoned the concept of exporting anything from K2 entirely. I did find a K2 exporter on the Joomla! Extensions Directory but the file it produced wouldn't import anywhere else. Luckily I'd done all but 20 posts as normal Joomla Articles prior to the conversion to K2, and I hadn't deleted them, so I could use those instead.
  2. Installed Export To WordPress: Joomla Plugin on my Joomla! site, and ran it to produce an XML dump of my posts in Wordpress format.
  3. Luckily I still had a test Wordpress.com site set up that was empty, so I logged into that and imported the XML file in.
  4. THEN I used the instructions on this site to do a Wordpress to Blogger conversion. By this stage I wasn't holding out any great hopes but amazingly, it worked.
  5. Went back and manually copy/pasted the remaining 20 posts from K2 directly into Blogger.
Then I did the domain name redirection and some further tweaking to get it to where it is today.

What I've learnt. Joomla! is fantastic for many things - I've developed over 40 Joomla! websites in the last 6 years and I love using it. But if it's a simple blog you're after, there's really no need to self-host it. And stay away from K2*. :-P

* Yes, I know that millions of people love it. I'm just not one of them. :-)

Saturday 28 July 2012

The Queen's 16 Most Excited Faces Of The Opening Ceremony

Apologies in advance to all my Brit friends, no offence intended :>


Another Gotye parody

I don't know why I'm so amused by all these Gotye parodies - but I am :>

The Gotye Parody to End All Gotye Parodies

Friday 27 July 2012

NET205 - Internet Commerce and Consumers

There haven't been any formal requirements for weekly write-ups for this unit but for my own future reference here are links to the coursework and Group assignment:

NET205 Wikidot
Assignment 2 - Outline
Assignment 2 - Final Team Report

I'm currently halfway through this unit and I'll be honest, I'm a bit disappointed. It's a fascinating topic and I think I really would have loved the unit if it had been run in a "normal" way. However, it's somewhat spoiled for me by a seemingly obscure idea to put a large bunch of mature-age individuals, many of whom who work full-time and/or have families and/or other commitments, and therefore choose to study online in their own time, into way-too-large groups of 9-10 people and basically telling them "you work it out".

Perhaps the purpose behind this will become clear by the end of the unit but to date I haven't come up with one decent reason, from a student perspective, as to why this is the best way to run this unit. Large groups and wrestling with an unwieldy Wikidot site seem to have little to do with internet commerce OR consumers. I honestly don't think I've learnt anything productive about teamwork, except never to do this myself.  I've worked in the corporate world for many years, in large and small teams, and if I'd come in knowing absolutely nothing about teams or group work, then what I've experienced in this unit would add no value whatsoever. Having to conform to other people's time restrictions and schedules is stressful when you've gotten used to self-motivation and working in your own time and at your own pace. And no matter how well your group gets along, you end up submitting something against your own name that is not 100% the way you would have liked it to be done, and doesn't 100% reflect yourself.

Thankfully our team of 9 people were all professional people and got along well, but I heard that some other groups came to (virtual) blows during this process. And it's totally unnecessary. If there's a solid reason for group work, if it underpins or assists the subject matter in some way or it's part of our overall learning then that's fine, but when dealing with online-only students, make it groups of no more than 3-4 people, not 9-10. The amount of time and effort expended on team coordination is completely wasted time/effort that I personally would have preferred to spend on further reading and case studies around the actual topic we're here to study.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

The Cost of being Batman (infographic)


Saturday 14 July 2012

Facebook reuses your 'likes' to promote new stuff

Just spent 20 mins going through my "Likes" and unliking a bunch of stuff. No offence intended to anybody whose business/interest I've just unliked, but if Facebook are going to start using my name and a "Like" I did months/years ago, to promote a story on a "Liked" Page that I haven't even read, without my knowledge, then I'm just not going to "Like" anything any more.


Friday 13 July 2012

What Happens Every Time Gotye Starts Playing (via @mashable)

Hilarious! :-)


Monday 2 July 2012

Parent fail :p

Driving on Capt Cook Hwy, Dad asks: "Who knows who Capt Cook was?" 6yo: "I do!! ... wait... Hook or Cook??" :-)