Three

Three years ago today, April 25, 2003, I began this blog. Judging by the proliferation of blogging since that time, I’d guess that blogs three years old or older occupy a small slice of the pie.

Remember the old standard of dog years, where seven or so dog years equaled one “human” year? Well, here’s a new concept: blog years.

In blog years, I’d say that TruePravda is the equivalent of a stalwart fifty year old. I had hoped to celebrate with a facelift, but that will have to wait a bit (although a redesign is in the works). Whether or not it’s fifty or three, TruePravda is surely out of the terrible twos. Thanks for reading, and have yourself a piece of cake — my treat.

A Decade on the Web

Ten years this week — February 20, 1996, to be exact — I first put up a “home page” on the world wide web. My advertising professor, Dale Brill, taught a optional two-hour short course on HTML, a course that would remain the extent of my formal internet education. A few days later, I had a web page. The site consisted of one page creatively titled, “The Home Page of Jared Bridges.” It took me another week before I figured out how to add a photo to the page.

My site was housed initially on the University of Tennessee’s servers, and migrated after college to whichever ISP I was using. I acquired my domain name in 2000, and turned the site into a blog in 2003.

Today, it’s difficult to imagine a time without the tool that is the internet. A year after I built the web page, I first ordered books from an upstart called Amazon.com. I held my breath as I sat in the computer lab and clicked “submit,” wondering where my credit card information would end up. Those were the pioneer days, when the mention of the term “website” in most company was likely to conjure up visions of a spider’s lair.

For nearly a third of my life now, I’ve had a some sort of web presence. In the last ten years, I’ve seen the web used for the extremes of both good and bad. In a moral sense the internet is neutral — it can reflect both the sinfulness and Christ-hauntedness of those who use it.

I’ll be the first to confess that at times I’ve used this unique form of communication to appeal to more to my own vanity rather than reflecting the glory of One whose communication brings life out of nothingness. On the internet, as in life, the self can be manifest in many false ways. On the internet, as in life, we need more selves that better reflect the reality of our Creator’s world. May God make the next ten years prosperous in pursuit of that goal.

Reviving an Old Computer with Ubuntu

Old computers can be a bit of an annoyance. They tend to lock up often, won’t run the newest software, and if it is one of those off-white boxes that were so common around the turn of the century, it may have even turned yellow by now.

While there’s not much you can do about yellowed plastic (although I’d venture a guess that bleach would work), there is an option other than the trash heap. After all, you paid so much for that computer back in 2001 it just doesn’t feel right sending it to its grave when all the parts are still working. Is there any hope?

Continue reading “Reviving an Old Computer with Ubuntu”

WordPress 2.01

Since everybody loves to hear about the nuts and bolts of a blog, I thought I’d let my highly-technical readers (37% of you use Firefox, after all…), know that I’ve finally upgraded TruePravda to WordPress 2.01 from 1.52. The upgrade was effortless, although I had to upgrade many of my plugins. My take on the new version: fancier, but slower in the back-end. Still it’s a needed upgrade, as all future development will be based on it.

I’ve been using the new version for a little over a month on some other sites I’m developing, and finally squeezed in the time upgrade this blog late one night this week. The RSS feeds were down for about a day because of an old WP Hashcash plugin — so watch out for that if you’re upgrading and use that plugin. The RSS feeds should be fixed now, but if you’re still having problems, please let me know. Of course, if you read this site via RSS, then you probably won’t even see this post if the feed is still down…

Switches

I haven’t yet switched from Windows to Macintosh (I lack both the cultish desire and the money to re-purchase all my software for a new platform—not to mention a new machine), but I have been doing some switching in the software world.

While I still use it extensively at work, I’ve almost completely moved away from Microsoft Outlook at home thanks to Google’s Gmail and an online app called Backpack.

An Outlook user for years both at home and work, I’ve always lamented the program’s bulkiness (it’s a RAM hog), and missed the ability to retrieve my mail efficiently from remote locations. The surprisingly full-featured Gmail (with the best spam filter I’ve seen yet) took care of the email problem.

Backpack is a simple, useful app that I’ve become quite addicted to after only a week. You can have reminders emailed to you at specific times, make easily editable pages of notes, to-do-lists, etc. The pay version allows you to store files, but the free version is good enough for my needs right now.

These apps can’t replace everything Outlook does, but it does the job for what I need. I’m not ready to completely pull the plug on Outlook yet, but I’m well on my way to weaning myself from it. All my email addresses remain the same—I’m just forwarding them all to Gmail. If you’re one of the few that still doesn’t have Gmail account, let me know and I’ll send you an invite. No invitation is needed for Backpack.

Back In The Saddle

Your beloved editor

If a tree falls in the blogosphere when a blogger is on hiatus, does it make any noise?

After a month of blogging sabbatical, regular posting at TruePravda will now resume. When I wasn’t at the beach taking photos of myself (I’m ever so vain…), I did get a much-needed break. It was both rewarding and frustrating at times during my self-imposed hiatus. There were times when I literally had to pry my fingers away from the keyboard to keep myself from posting.

With my fingers safely stowed away in Chinese finger-locks, it was a good experience for a time to simply listen to the blogosphere. Exercising restraint is tougher than I thought, having tasted and feasted upon the drug that is blogging for the last two years (it’s especially tough considering how difficult it is to escape from those Chinese finger-traps).

Thankfully, I’ve gnawed my fingers free and am ready to go once more. Stay tuned…

The “H” Word

The weather is nice, and I’m going outside to play. Due to travel, other writing projects, the need for a brief blogging sabbatical, and the general busyness of life, TruePravda will be on hiatus from regular posting until June 6th. I’ve never really taken a break longer than a week since I started this two years ago, and I think it will be good for both me and the blog.

I’ll still be updating “On the Side” as I come across things, but if you’re really bored, I’ve spruced up the archives a bit so that everything is categorized now. I’ve also fixed a few other kinks in the archives so that everything should be working correctly. So read the archives, take a break yourself, or visit the other fine blogs listed on the right-hand column. God bless, and I’ll see you back here on D-Day!

The Terrible Twos?

For those of you who were sleeping, yesterday marked the two-year “blogiversiary” of TruePravda. I celebrated by giving the editorial staff the day off. In return, they extended their contract for another year.

Wow. Two years. 595 posts. 575 comments. While it pales in comparison to others, its way more than I ever thought I’d be able to do. Which brings me to a resolution for year three: quality over quantity. In the past six months especially, I’ve been guilty far too often of putting up “filler posts” just so I’d have something to post. No more. From now on I’m going to try to be a bit more selective about what I post. There’s no need in contributing to the already vacuous noise we’re bombarded with each day.

Don’t get me wrong, there will still be plenty of “General Mischief” to go around, but I want to take even that category up a notch. So from now on, anything you read on this site that resembling filler material will be me at my best. A tall order!

Thanks to all of you < --INSERT OBLIGATORY "two or three readers" JOKE HERE--> who still stop here and take the time to read—you make this blog fun. Keep visiting.

Proverbs 18:4 says, ” The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” Here’s to a bubbling year!