Back online

It’s been a busy few weeks, I think, since the ole blog has been functional.  As I’ve alluded to previously, it was time for a fairly serious change at philatkinson.org.  Baseball and softball will remain a passion here, but I expect it’s influence on this site to lessen as I’m able to spend more and more time on photography.

Technically, not only has the design and focus changed, but so has the underlying technology.  Most of you won’t know or care, but as part of this overhaul I’ve migrated from Drupal to WordPress.  It wasn’t an easy task, but it was a lot easier than I thought it’d be.  Personally, I found Lincoln’s article over at Social CMS Buzz quite helpful.  It’ll get you through the heavy lifting, but I found there was a bit of SQL clean up necessary.  That shouldn’t be a big deal if you’re used to Drupal (more specifically MYSQL), if not, you’ll just have to educated yourself a bit first.  Just remember to backup the database before doing anything you’re unsure about and you’ll be OK.

As for why the move?  I love Drupal, I really do, but it was a lot work caring and feeding for it.  Upgrading, redesigns, etc., are fairly large endeavors compare to WordPress.  And for a personal blog, it was just more technical effort than I wanted to keep investing.  Being honest, I’ll admit to becoming frustrated numerous times with WordPress during  the transition.  There’s just so much flexibility and power with Drupal — WordPress often felt like trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole, but that’s the trade off.  Ease of use at the cost of flexibility.  Even so, I think I’ll be happy with the trade off as I’ll have more spare time to pursue other interests.

New JCBI website

It took a little longer than anticipated, but the new JCBI website is online.

Because of several ongoing projects at work I choose WordPress over Drupal for this website. I sort of have mixed feeling about that decision, I feel a little trapped by WordPress and miss the flexibility that Drupal offers me. Some of that could be lack of experience, I have years of experience with Drupal and only a few months with WordPress.

Anyway, the deed is done and I expect that some of my baseball blogging will take place there, especially when it come to JCBI.

Google’s AdSense

Seemed to me that a lot of the Drupal based blogs/websites I’ve run across make use of Google’s AdSense, so I decided to give it a whirl on my site. Using Drupal’s AdSense module makes setting things up on your website a breeze. And as you’d expect, Google has done an amazing job targeting ads based on my site’s content.

Now I gotta table this project for a bit and get to work with smays on a project he’s cooking up. Sorry –it’s top secret!

New site design is online

New website design makes its debut tonight…  still a few kinks to work out, but for the most part it’s ready.  Hope you like it.  For quite awhile I’ve wanted  a place to showcase some of my favorite pictures, so I’ve added the splash page with some random image rotation –I’ll update those images periodically.  Other than that, not much has changed.  If you’re looking for the search, it’s one of those kinks I still have to work out.

Drupal 5.2

Well, I finally made the upgrade to Drupal 5.2. Don’t know why I waited so long, it was a pretty painless upgrade, just a few theme tweaks. Not much other than that to report – I think the community is doing a great job with Drupal. And despite the uninitiated, I think Drupal has a very promising future.

Redesign complete

Redesign finally completed – sort of anyway.

It's been quite awhile since my last post, almost two months. With baseball practice in full swing most evenings are spent on the ball field, any time left over I've spent working on this blog – obviously not posting however. I've managed to get the design far enough along to put it up, but could've spent another couple weeks tweaking it, but I came to realize that it'll never be done.

I stuck with Drupal 4.7 for now and used the Internet Services theme as my foundation. Being my first attempt at entering the world of CCS and PHP, working from an existing template was a big help. Drupal, "out of the box" provides a pretty powerful website to start with, but its real power lies in your ability to customize it to suit your needs. I've only just begun, so no great words of wisdom from me. My only advice, be willing to roll up your sleeves and pound your head into the wall without giving up. Ask questions of the community when you're stuck – ask questions, don't ask them to solve it for you. Remember, you're supposed to be learning. There's lots of great sites and knowledgeable people out there using Drupal, so no excuses – get to work!

A new look for philatkinson.org

Been playing around a lot these days with CMS systems.  Here's version 2 – having moved away from typepad to drupal.  The jury is still out – though druapl seems to have way more capabilities; it's not the easiest thing to get running.

While I have no real idea how to support it in a corporate environment, I kind of like it. 

Anyway, we'll see how it goes.  Please hang in there with me as I shovel in the content and work out the bugs.