The Pain of Switching Online File Hosts

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For at least six years now, I’ve stored a large portion of my publicly shared files on my Apple iDisk, which is basically online storage hosted by Apple’s .mac “aka Dot Mac” Service. While there were always a few drawbacks to that service, it was convenient and easy, so I stuck with it a little longer than perhaps I should have. A couple of months ago, I receive notification from Apple that they will be discontinuing the iDisk feature as part of their phasing out of “Dot Mac” and transitioning to their new iCloud service. Unfortunately, they haven’t given me the option of simply having the contents of my iDisk transferred automatically to an iCloud account, so I have until June 2012 to move my files to a new host. While that may sound relatively painless (simply upload my original files to one of the other online storage hosts I already have accounts with), the part that IS a pain in the biscuits is the process for updating the links on all of my blog posts.

Part of what is making this procedure so time-consuming is that Apple (as well as all other online storage hosts, as far as I know) doesn’t allow you to simply use the name of the file you’ve stored on the server as the download link address (the URL). Instead, they assign an encoded name as the URL, which means you cannot tell which file is which by just looking at the URL. For example, if name of file I uploaded was “MY_CAT_IMAGE.png” the url to download that image would look something like this:

http://files.me.com/my_account_name/6802eca119d8716bcaeb7ef68b0e017d

While I can easily figure out what the file named

http://files.me.com/my_account_name/My_CAT_IMAGE.png

contains without having to actually open the file and without having to switch from my blog-editor window to the published version of that particular post to see which image file is supposed to be posted in that location, the same can’t be said when the html code to download an image file uses an encrypted name.

To those of you who have never written a blog post using only an html editor, what I’ve been talking about is probably a bunch of gobbledygook and boring at that. But to my kindred geeksters, if you haven’t already experienced the pain of switching your online file host, beware. The process is not one you’ll want to procrastinate in doing and I highly recommend you have an organized plan as to how you’re going to accomplish the task before you start. I don’t know whether the way I’m going about is the most efficient but it should end up being accurate, meaning I replace all the anchor url’s and image url’s with the correct new addresses and don’t miss any of the links that need to be updated. If anyone out there has their own system for doing this that they’d like to recommend – or discourage its’ use, use the comment link below and share your story!

LAST MINUTE INFO: I just came across this WordPress.org Support Forum post, Updating Links in Old Posts When Things Change. Don’t know whether it’s more efficient than my method as it looks like, from a quick glance, that it really is intended for updating many instances of the same URL. It’s worth checking out if your blogs are self-hosted (i.e. NOT wordpress.com blogs) because it requires you to be able to access the SQL database for your blog.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

On the freebie menu tonight are some random icons I’ve created recently. Let us know how YOU end up using them!”

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered on this blog are free for your personal use while subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for details)

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Blacklightreadme3

Blacklightreadme.png

KissyMum-72

OFF THE TOP

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

Autumn Flame
Autumn Flame Necktie
The brilliance of autumn colors expressed in this silky, woven necktie speaks volumes about your warmth, passion and creativity. Perfect accent with cool weather corduroy, herringbone, wool, suede, camel’s hair or leather blazers – for men and women!
Stack O'Elephants #1
Stack O’Elephants #1
Whimsical stack of elephants on a family jaunt is part 1 of IconDoIt’s series of Gift Bags that keeps on giving! Fill this with T-Shirts, Mugs or other goodies for that special holiday gift then use it for groceries, crafts, & more! Made from 12oz cotton twill, it has cotton-web handles which have stress-point reinforced stitching. Dimensions: 13″w x 15.5″h x 7″deep.
Stack O'Elephants #3
Stack O’Elephants #3
Whimsical stack of elephants on a family jaunt is part 3 of IconDoIt’s series of Gift Bags that keeps on giving! Fill this with T-Shirts, Mugs or other goodies for that special holiday gift then use it for groceries, crafts, & more! Made from 12oz cotton twill, it has cotton-web handles which have stress-point reinforced stitching. Dimensions: 13″w x 15.5″h x 7″deep.
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10,000 Have Visited IconDoIt. How About You?

10,000 Visitors

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I am truly humbled to know that 10,000 people from around the globe have taken the time to visit IconDoIt in the 10 months that I’ve been blogging. I wanted to be able to reach out to people and to give back to a community that has been so generous to me, but I had no idea I would reach so many so quickly. Thank You, All! And I hope you will return again and again and that perhaps more of you will join in the various conversations here (simply click on the Comments link that’s at the bottom of each post to read the comments of others and to add your own. If it’s your first time commenting, I require that you fill in your real name and e-mail address which is solely used for verification that you are a real person and not a robot, spammer, or rogue cartoon character run amuck. I will never publish or sell that info.)

10,000 Visitors To Date

Ever wonder where all the visitors come from? I do. So I signed up for the free StatCounter service which not only tells me how many “hits” my blog gets, but also whether or not they are first time visitors, how much time they spent on my site, how many downloaded my various freebies, how many checked out my Creative Commons license, and what city, state and country they came from. It doesn’t tell me who the individuals are or their home address or other personal information but the info it does give me is just enough to help me to better focus my content on what my readers are interested in. Of course, your own comments and requests is always the surest way to nudge me in the right direction! As an example of the info I get from StatCounter, below is a screenshot I took of a chart showing the number of visitors by country in just the last 7 days.

Map of Visitors to IconDoIt, May 8-16, 2010

“Visitors to IconDoIt by Country, May 8-16, 2010”

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FOX SPOKANE Link Fixed + New Legal Icons

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It was brought to my attention that my entry originally posted on Friday, Sept 16, 2009 had somehow become corrupted and so clicks on it in the archives were being sent to a duplicated post from another date. It is beyond my comprehension as to how that weirdness occurred beyond someone having decided to play games with my account. Can’t figure the benefit of that to anyone unless it was simply a test to see if they could do it. I’ll pass that on to the experts at WordPress to pursue. In the meantime, I apologize to those of you who were frustrated by attempts to access that post and the icons within it. It is now back up and working just fine. If you’d like to check it out again, now, click here to go to “Fox Spokane (Copper Art Deco Icons)”.

As for tonight’s offering, I’ve noticed that a large percentage of my regular followers are very interested in the various legal icons and clip art I’ve posted over the last several months. My old training in advertising and marketing kicked in and after some research on what other legal clip art and icons are available on the ‘net, realized that the pickin’s are rather slim and for the most part, rather boring. So I thought I’d try to fill that void by experimenting with a few different ideas and styles. Of course, it’d be a huge help to know how such icons or clip art is being used (or would like to be used) and what design criteria is most important to the users of legal clip art. If you have any advice or thoughts on this, that’d be great! (Use the COMMENT link). In the meantime, this is what I’ve come up with so far. Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews of 512 x 512px .png format originals.Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the full-sized image file to your desktop.

Themis

Contract-Law Probate-Litigation

court-sticker

Themis-&-Court-Sticker-1 Themis-&-Court-Sticker-5 Themis-&-Court-Sticker-4

Themis-globe

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Let it Snow!

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Let it Snow!Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

The Christmas Season has officially begun here on WordPress.com where they have made this delightful feature available to it’s bloggers that snows on our blogs. Just looking at it made me have to ask my nurse for another blanket! (Ah, the power of the mind and subliminal suggestions). In any case, I couldn’t let this feature go by without inaugurating it with a somewhat Christmassy bit of icon/clip-art. Not very fancy as I threw it together rather quickly today but it gets me in the mood to come up with something more.

Enjoy!

Free Icons of the Day

XmasWindow-2009

New Look Is Here! + Elegance Pt. 2

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Finally completed the change-over to a different WordPress Theme which I have heavily customized. The longest part of the task was in going back through all the posts and removing the post-specific CSS mark-up. While a few kinks still need to be worked out, I hope that this cleaner, softer look will be a hit with my fans.

GEEK ALERT! (If your eyes glaze over at the thought of coding, skip to the next paragraph!): For those of you who have dabbled in hand-coding before, it’s a heck of a lot easier to do updates if you have started out with a well-crafted modular system as the global backbone for your blog (or website). Of course, to create such a system, you really need to have a clear idea of the range of media, size, and other visual criteria you plan to be working with on a regular basis so you can keep the blog-specific CSS to a minimum – or better yet, not even necessary at all. When I started this blog back in July 2008, I really had no clear concept in mind – or rather I should say, no clear PRACTICAL concept in mind. That’s because I truly had no idea what the significance was to the limitations placed on bloggers hosted by WordPress.com (where one is restricted solely to working with CSS and even then restricted further based upon whichever template they have selected. It is the latter which posed the most surprises because there is no way to know what those restrictions are until you try to make changes to the default CSS of a template. The bottom line is that I realized the template I had originally selected was not as flexible as I had thought and created a greater need for a lot of hacking and workarounds. While the core css of this new template is not as clean as I’d like, I think that I will be able to get a better handle on it over the next couple of weeks to force it into a more modular structure making it easier to keep up and more visually pleasing.

Along with the launch of IconDoIt’s new look, I thought it’d be particularly apropos to serve up Part 2 of my Elegance icon/clip art series. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Elegance_Teatime….Elegance_PixFrame

Elegance_SweetDreams….Elegance_Security

Elegance_Fav….Elegance_Favorites

Stay Tuned – New Look Coming!

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I’ve been busy as the proverbial beaver over the last week working on cleaning up the general look of my blog for a more cohesive look that’s easy on the eyes and focuses attention without jangling one’s nerves. I’ve been working out the kinks and converting past postings on a non-public blog in order to be the least disruptive as possible. It’s now in good enough shape to transfer over and I hope to complete that process within the next 24 hours.

I look forward to getting some feedback from my readers on the “new look” after the update is completed. Whether it be praise or constructive criticism, your comments are always welcome.

As stated when I first started publishing this blog, it is a work in progress that will continue to evolve as my skills, interests, and audience continue to grow.

The Constraints of WordPress.Com

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Well, my original mission has been scuttled to some extent due to my failure to discern the difference between WordPress.Com and WordPress.Org before getting started. To be honest, I hadn’t even realized that these were two separate entities! Silly me. But being a good little geek, once I start working on a project I’m not one to quit just because there will be a few more challenges than I expected. For those who aren’t aware, the primary difference between these two services that most concerns the interface designer is that a blog on WordPress.Com can only be customized with CSS (cascading style sheets), selecting from a limited number of widgets, and the text or images you add as content. You can’t add or modify using javascript, ajax, python, php or other languages nor can you modify the .html. While my first reaction upon realizing these constraints was to utter numerous expletives (newly invented just for this occasion) I decided to stick with this and explore just how far one can go with CSS. I suppose that’s one of the trademarks of being a card-carrying geekster in that I am stubborn as coffee stain on a favorite pair of white jeans when it comes to figuring things out just to be able to proudly say, “I done it from scratch”. Of course, no one (but a geek) really cares about such trifles as long as the content of the blog is interesting and the visuals aren’t annoying. Hard to explain why I get off on trying to reinvent the wheel but take my word for it, it’s the second most thrilling and satisfying thing I can think of.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Catty-3Cat-man1

Catman-Dew

CatmanDewFRED-2