Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Girl Geek

Recently I attended the District 31 Toastmaster's Conference in Dedham, and one of the speakers, Rory Vaden, gave a dynamite talk on procrastination.  Now I am sort of an average procrastinator,  the kind who will diddle away the day doing stuff low on the priority end of the list to avoid tackling Big Projects.  I recognized myself right away and vowed to do better.

One of the big items on my to do list was the updating of my website.  In the fall of 2007, I  did a brand new site, all by myself, including some pretty sophisticated stuff.  I vowed to keep it up to date, but guess what?  Holy Schmoley three and a half  years passed, and I was still vowing to update.  I really needed to promote the kindle version of The Shadow Warriors, and here I was, a first class slacker.  

The problem was, this could be a formidable task because I had changed computers, from PC to MAC and I needed new FTP software.  Went onto the web and bought Filezilla.  What a nom!  Read the instructions and it seemed like pretty vanilla FTP, except that none of the ids, passwords, etc., that I plugged in were working.

I looked at the web site, and made a list of updates, long but not overwhelming, and some of them quite simple, fixing broken links, updating some photos, yada. yada.  Now being a once and forever geek, I do my site in HTML, which of course I had forgotten, and a cloud of gloom settled above my head.  Seemed like a hard task.

Got out the nice red leather box with the web site stuff, and looked at the old HTML pages.  O.K., some of it I remembered.
Brainstorm!  Yes!  I downloaded the Taco HTML editor and pulled up a simple page.  Looked like duck soup.  And so easy to check if (make that when) mistakes made the page all weird.

With my list of updates, my new editor and Filezilla, there were no further reasons to hesitate.  The whole thing only took two days, make that 1 1/2 days and that was with some serious debugging.  I have to confess that I entered the home office early Sunday morning, and stayed until 6:30 at night when everything was working.  At that time, I went upstairs, showered, brushed my teeth and got dressed.  I think we must have eaten leftovers from Saturday.  Maybe I cooked a simple meal.  It's all a blur.


The thing is--it was fun.  Bugs and problems and all, I was having a wonderful time.  How weird is that?  I like (some) technical stuff, and after 25 years in IT, experience still counts in problem solving.   The site looked great.  Now to tackle Filezilla.

I called the hosting company this morning and got some crucial information, and learned what to plug in where.  Can you believe Filezilla worked the very first time and I had a connection?  Whooeee!

Moved everything over and went out and looked at the site.  Same old.  Same old.  Wha????
Yes!  Refresh!  New stuff all over the place.  One image and one page missing, so the old one came up.  Went back onto Filezilla.  Duck Soup!  Tested out the whole site.   Totally amazed that "hey!  it worked "and I didn't have to bug Filezilla and my web host with a bunch of stupid questions.

Feeling totally smug.  So, take a look.  The coolest thing is the table on the home page where you click and it brings up the pages. It's an image map.  So cool!  My finest hour with graphic help from Significant Other. 

I have promised myself to do a recipe every month, add a few links and  continue on with 25 years in Information Systems, the story of how a suburban housewife learned to program mainframe computers and had a real career.

Yowsa!    My Updated Website

For the non-technical, FTP is the process that gets the data from my computer to the server that hosts the website.  File Transfer Protocol. 

1 comment:

Kaye George said...

The most fun I've had lately is doing a huge spreadsheet for the royalties that are trickling in from various places for various projects.

I,too, was a mainframe programmer (I peeked at your site--super!), and I know someone born in Montana. My first son!