Back to School

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Aug 262008
 

back to school This is a big time for my family this year. In fact, it is bigger than it ever has been before because we have three out of four members returning to school. Robin has finally been able to return to school now that both girls will be in elementary school. Thing One and Thing Two will be starting at a new (to them) charter school, and this will be Thing Two's first time in a five full day format now that she is entering kindergarten.

It is really exciting and a little bit stressful. The charter school that we found this summer is the closest thing to our desired philosophy than we ever thought possible to find in this country. It has a great community feel to it and sort of brings the village back to the equation (like the proverb of unknown origin says: "It takes a [whole] village to raise a [single] child."). This new school is one of the exciting parts. The other, is that after about eight years, Robin now gets the opportunity to return to school. We never really thought it would take this long because our plans involved only the first child (which was on the way during the planning).

The stressful part… number one would be "the unknown." (interesting article I found in researching this post). For Thing One, this is a new school with new teachers and new… well everything. Thing Two gets the same along with the added "I will go to school every day…?"

For Robin I can only imagine. It was about eight years that I was not in school before returning back in 1999. It was Robin that encouraged me to return and she was the one that ultimately made it a reality. I was one hell of a procrastinator and she did not let me slip by my usual "I guess I forgot…" excuses because she was always there to remind me of cut-off dates and what needed to be done to get enrolled. She then went on to support my bachelor's degree even after our first daughter was born, and double did for my Master's while our second daughter was born. She has a lot to offer the world education and I'm so happy that she can finally get her turn.

So how can I be the supportive one this time around? I will be driving the girls to school everyday, and also take vacation days their first week to be there the whole day. I will be changing my work schedule a bit to allow Robin to get to her class one evening a week. I will also try to provide her space and time to work on her projects.


Writing this blog was a nice experience for me. It allowed me to process the upcoming changes in our household as well as land on some interesting articles and photos online. I'll leave you with one last funny that I came across.

what do you want to be when you grow up?

Marty McFly – Revisited

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Aug 232008
 

I was just about to leave work after a late night bunch of stuff we needed to do off-peak for the site, and I came across this cool video: Marty McFly Goes Metal.

McFlyMetal

Maybe it's just that it was late and I'm a bit loopy, but I just really dug it and thought I'd share.

😉

If anyone out there is from my era, then you surely saw at least the 1st of the "Back To The Future" series of films.

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I’m Finalizing the WLW Cross-Post Plugin

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Aug 172008
 

Sorry for the noise, but in order for me to truly test the latest modifications that I have made to this plugin, I need to use it. And when I use it, it broadcasts to just about everything I've got, so… sorry.

 

Gee… after my last post, I sure do sound like an annoying (micro)blogger today.

Bebo just Spammed my Gmail Contacts

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Aug 172008
 

Doesn't clicking "Skip" mean anything to Bebo?!

I have no idea how many people were actually subjected to my spam, but I apologize.

To give you an idea of the extent that I am aware of, it even went out to service addresses. Like…

  • Skype Unsubscribe service:
    "You have been successfully unsubscribed from future notifications from Skype."
  • CrystalTech Support:

    Thank you for submitting your request to CrystalTech Support.

    Your ticket number is [08A-103AE7C4-5CD6]. Subsequent communication relating to your request will use this ticket number (including brackets), so please write it down or print out this message for your records. Our average response time for the last eight hours is 14 minutes. However, responses to email requests can take up to 24 hours, depending on the nature of the request.

  • UPS Package Tracking:
    Sorry, a valid UPS tracking number was not found in your message.
  • My Post-to Blogger email address:
    http://shaggyspot.blogspot.com/2008/08/new-invitation-from-robbie-coleman.html

 

OMFG!

Again… so sorry folks.

Needing some Robbie time

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Aug 162008
 

Not much to say about it, but just wanted to post it and get it out there.

Not sure if I will get much time to myself, but I will cherish the moments that I do get.

clock

WLW Cross-Post with Ping.fm posts – Details

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Aug 142008
 

This is a follow-up post that I had promised regarding these two previous posts:

 

So… first and foremost, I only extended an existing WLW plugin developed by Daniel Cazzulino called Cross-Post (CodePlex source here). I found his implementation very easy to follow and well suited to boot-strap my idea for posting to Ping.fm's REST API. I also used (but modified to my liking) the C# Wrapper Class written by Adam Duffy (a developer at ping.fm) located here.

Now for the details of each component (Cross-Post plugin & Ping.fm API)…

Cross-Post plugin

The Cross-Post plugin was designed to take a just published blog post in Windows Live Writer (WLW), and then post it (optionally summarized) to all the other weblogs configured in WLW. For a full and complete description, please check the author's blog post that describes it:
How to cross post entries across blogs from Windows Live Writer

 

Ping.fm REST API

Ping.fm did a wonderful job keeping their REST API clean and simple. If you are not familiar with their site or service, they describe themselves in the following way.

"Ping.fm is a simple service that makes updating your social networks a snap."

They allow you to post to 22 (at the time of this post) different social/bloglike sites (listed here in no particular order): twitter, jaiku, facebook, myspace, bebo, tumblr, pownce, friends, message, mashable, brightkite, xanga, plurk, plaxo pulse, identi.ca, friendfeed, blogger, hi5, kwippy, wordpress, livejournal

As far as their REST API, it is well documented here. The two methods my implementation uses are:

  1. user.validate: Validates the given user’s application key. This is how authentication/authorization works on their calls. The combination of the developer's API Key and the user's Application Key. I call this method when a user enters their key into the plugin's Option Dialog within WLW.
  2. user.post: Posts a message to the user’s Ping.fm services. This allows 3 basic methods, blog, microblog, and status. I make two of these calls for the cross-post.
    1. The first as a blog post with title intact yet the body is optionally summarized with the link back to the source post. This uses that optional "title" parameter of the "user.post" method.
    2. The second is a microblog post that states:
      "New Blog – " [title]:[permalink]
      The best part about this is that Ping.fm automatically shortens all links greater than 20 characters long.

 

So what does it look like when it posts…?

Well… this post that I am writing now and you must be reading sometime later was posted using WLW and this Cross-Post plug-in. So it got posted as a full blog post here, and a summarized (200 characters) to the following blogs:

It was also posted as a announcement link on the following Micro-Blogs of mine:

 

Now all I need to do is complete me testing and fine tuning, then I can submit it first to Ping.fm for approval (that will allow for users other than me to use my API Key to post). Once that is done I can submit the plugin to the WLW Gallery.

YAY! I got the Cross-Post to work

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Aug 142008
 

I know that I promised to explain how I got this to work, but it is now too late, but I will get them details out later today at a normal hour.

For now, you can see the results by hitting up where this will cross-post to:

now… off to sleep.

Trying out Cross-Post for WLW

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Aug 142008
 

I have no idea if this will blow-up or not, but it is getting late and I don't have time for Unit Tests, so…

This blog post was composed in Windows Live Writer and posted directly to my blog on robbie.robnrob.com, but it is also summarized and cross posted to Live Spaces with a link back to the source post, and if that ain't enough… I added two posts to Ping.fm:

  1. The first as a Ping.fm Blog post with title intact yet summarized with the link back to the source post.
  2. The second is a Micro-Blog post that states "New Blog Post – " [title]:[permalink]

If this works on the first try, I will follow-up with how the hell the magic is done, but until then, here goes nuthin!

*crosses fingers*

Finally got Community Server 2008 installed

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Aug 092008
 

That was a long time coming, and because of that the upgrade path from CS 2.1 was not smooth. But… it worked and my blog lived to tell the tale.

I waited so long because I have a custom module that was not compatible with 2007 OR 2008. But thanks to Timothy Humphrey and his hard work on an updated version of his Subdomain Module I could keep my robbie.robnrob.com direct to my blog setup.

I will post more once I figure out how to wire Ping.fm up to Blog posting against the Community Server REST API.

😉