Tag Archives: web

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That is where I post cat posts these days unless there's some reason to do it here.

It's called Cats Who Know They Are Cats. Two recent posts are Fey bathing. Also glaring and tail thumping. And Fey uses mirrors. Two of them. At once.

I figured I should announce it again in case there were people here who didn't know where all the cat posts went.

Blogger/Blogspot has an inaccessible comment mode

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Arguably the biggest reason I can blog now is my iPod touch. It allows me not only to communicate in words in the offline world while lying down (impossible otherwise), thereby potentially saving my life. But it also allows me to blog and read blogs while lying down. Despite its inaccessibiloty in other areas, it is nearly perfect for someone with my particular skills and difficulties.

But then there is this new commenting mode for blogger. No matter which option I choose, if I am on my iPod I get an error. It’s the one with the pulldown menu and is the bane of my online existence. I am totally unable to comment on blogs that use it.

Taking a Third Option is one of several blogs I follow that use the evil comment mode.

Existence is Wonderful uses the most convenient of the several other options I can use. (Convenient because it doesn’t require me to be logged into blogger, which is nearly impossible ever since Google took over Blogger thereby meaning it is linked to my gmail accounts and makes life a huge hassle.)

Ones that require I log into something are somewhere in between. Because I could technically do it but inertia being what it is, don’t hold your breath. But unlike the evil comment mode, those are at least theoretically possible. I generally use the Name/URL format.

But I figured I should at least let people know of the accessibility headache that one comment mode creates for anyone who might for whatever reason find using the iPod their best bet at being online at all. Which probably includes lots of people who like me have the motor skills to use one but are frequently horizontal.

autistics.org needs donations badly

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EDITED TO ADD: Go to Paypal directly if it tries to make you donate a minimum amount or something like that. Go to Paypal directly, and make your donation to webmaster@autistics.org

We are (it is s slightly time-consuming process) getting rid of our presence in Second Life because that has been sucking money out of us at alarming rates. (I am saying this because we are no longer using money on that, just on the site, and yet we still need money.)

We have almost nothing right now money-wise. And we’re mostly maintained by two people on disability, so personally we have nothing to pay it with. We know times are bad right now but we really need the site not to go down. So can anyone with the means to donate, please donate? The way to donate is shown on the front page of http://www.autistics.org/ (SEE EDIT AT TOP OF POST)

Our server costs are $55/month, which is dirt cheap for what we’re running on it (and we are only barely able to avoid hitting our maximum on that). Our domain costs are $150-180/year at GoDaddy. There are stray server costs of around $50-100 a year (but not predictable, so sometimes less sometimes more) that happen whenever things crash or get hacked and we have to pay the server people to reset the system. ZoneEdit, which handles most of our DNS, is about $60/year.

Then there are random, unpredictable costs, which we always try to keep to the bare minimum (but which if bad events coincide with each other can run up costs like $500, and sometimes Murphy’s law strikes). Sometimes there’s software we need to license. One time, all of the main webmaster’s several computers died and we had to find her a super-cheap computer at the local thrift store. One time, she had to stay up for several days working on the server (with no time or energy to cook) and after consulting with the rest of us, charged one pizza and one bottle of highly caffeinated soda to the account.

Some other information:

autistics.org is a project, not just a website, and it spans several websites, some subdomains and some actually different websites, that are all on our server. Among them are the Real Voices of Autism (a social networking site for autistic people), this blog, a message board, and a lot of (both historical and newer — autistics.org is one of the oldest websites in the autistic community, being 12 years old) stuff on the autistics.org site. We’re also switching the main site to Drupal, which will allow us to update it much more frequently than we currently can. (Which is why the main autistics.org page has lagged behind a bit from many of the other things going on.) The webpage that we’re working on the dynamic Drupal-based site with, is http://main.autistics.org, which will eventually become the main autistics.org site once we get it running. That’s why the front page of the website shows very little updating.

That all means that we can’t just plop ourselves onto a shared hosting provider, like most of the “lower-cost” alternatives that people are always suggesting to us are. We need our own server, and it needs to be a high-bandwidth one. We still almost run into the memory limit on the cheapest server we could find. And even if someone could find us a cheaper server, it would mean that the main webmaster would have to stay up for days on end trying to reconfigure all of our sites to work properly on the new server.

(Which is a huge problem considering that the main webmaster is currently pretty incapacitated, totally unpaid, and nobody ever volunteers to do that kind of work. Not that we don’t want volunteers. We badly need volunteers who are able to handle the demands of an entire server running high-traffic websites. Because we’re only able to really handle it when things go right. We’re technically about four people, usually one or two people, running a very large project. We’re not a business, or an organization, or a corporation, and we don’t have that kind of resources. We need help in terms of money and we need help in terms of running the server, both of those are important.)

I’d also like to note that lots of people, including people with far more money than we have, use the websites on our server on a regular basis. It wouldn’t be a high-traffic website otherwise. It’d be nice if some of the people (even lurkers) who did have that money, could help us out here.

I think this is the best theme I could get right now.

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I liked the old theme, but it was incapable of widgets (I like the website kind if not the cognitive kind) so I found this one and replaced the awful cherubs with another close-up photo of Fey. All in all, I am better off using a theme I can actually work with, rather than bumbling about and using up lots of spoons trying to pretend I can understand more than the rudiments of php and stylesheets. I may or may not edit the colors on this theme or make a few minor tweaks, but overall this theme’s solidity is much more comforting than the other one’s fragility.

Please bear with me as I fiddle with this theme.

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I had begun to despair of finding any new WordPress theme that I liked, despite being pretty sure I wanted to change it. I went through the entire main directory of free themes (which took forever) and found lots of clever designs but nothing I liked enough to want to use. Finally I found this old one on another site.

The main drawback is that it’s in German, and the second drawback is that it’s a bit kludgy in areas and even then isn’t quite what I want. So I’m going to need to translate it into English (I’ve started but not finished that, thanks to Google’s translation tools), as well as fixing the kludginess (I hope I figure out how, because it’s irritating the crap out of me) and tweaking it until it’s what I want (I hope I figure out that, too).

And yes the comments link is there, it’s just barely visible until I figure out which part of the stylesheet influences it (I’ve never formally learned stylesheets, I just bang on various things until they work, hopefully). The background used to be a hideous orange color, so I’ve had to modify all the text colors after I changed the background to white. (The background may not stay white, but it should stay a color that these text colors are readable on.)

And I’m doing all of this while being climbed on by an irritable cat who wants something that I can’t figure out what it is.