ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Why Hello There: An ASCII Reboot —

This is the first post of ASCII.TEXTFILES.COM under the new location and software. I’m now running WordPress, a very popular and very enjoyable weblogging software suite that first flirted with me years ago. Attempts to switch over to it seemed involved and tedious, considering how entrenched my hundreds of entries were under my old software. Finally, however, the installation of a new weblog and experiencing how much better life was under WordPress finally won my heart once and for all.

I will not sit here and diminish the previous software. It served me well for years and while things started to get a little problematic here and there, I can’t complain that it didn’t do the functions I needed in most cases, and did so in a utilitarian fashion. I must also point out that I was severely, deeply behind in revisions, so I can’t point to this feature or that and not assume the newer versions didn’t have it installed. Maybe.

But the newer versions of that software, when I tried installing them, were complicated and unpleasant. Themes were constricting and mean. And the whole thing seemed to be aimed towards “Search Engine Optimizers” (SEOs) and a level of obtuseness that said “Don’t worry, dude, your job will be safe with us, when you become the only one who knows how this works.”

When I started using WordPress for the Inventory weblog, I have to confess: it was like I’d been in a nice servicable car previously and now I was in fucking OUTER SPACE. I was ZOOMING ALONG THE PLANETS IN A BRIGHTLY COLORED GEOSODIC DOME WITH GUNS MOUNTED EVERYWHERE. I felt FUCKING UNSTOPPABLE.

Ahem. Anyway, it was a notable improvement.

The weblog needs a hundred little tune-ups and the CSS is still a little wonky and I installed a plugin that points out broken links that went “Holy Jesus” in whatever beeping language it speaks in, so I have some work cut out for me. But oh man, this thing is a tub of delicious butter and I am sinking into this bastard. Keep an eye out.

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  1. Jason Scott says:

    One thing this whole setup does is make it so comments work properly. If you left me comments under the old system, you know about the infinite wait time and “held for moderation” bug and all the billion problems. Those should be gone. (It still has some spam checking in place but this checking isn’t going to lose messages like it used to.)

  2. fuzz says:

    And now we get images in the RSS feed too! 🙂

    • Jason Scott says:

      A couple people, I think, were using the less-good feed (there was an atom.xml that was much better) which definitely did have formatting and images. But what matters is everyone’s getting the “good” one now, one that works with the largest majority of readers. I’m sorry some of you were putting up with the inferior feed for so long.

  3. chaz says:

    …and the feed has formatting as well! Not just one big blob of text.

  4. Gotta say Scott, The site is looking better and better every time I stop in.
    I think you’re the only one that I can read the blog, Laugh and then finish reading and then YET AGAIN Laugh… Keep it coming…

  5. Grimmtooth says:

    Very nice, I’m glad it worked out for you.

    I do have a suggestion: either swap the position of he “recent comments” and “Archives” sidebar widgets, or collapse the archives down to a drop-down menu. Both accomplish the same thing, which is bring “recent comments” up where someone can actually see them without scrolling down the whole page.

    The nice thing about WP: Easy peasy to do it 🙂

  6. Grimmtooth says:

    Ugh. OK, one more. The dark gray on black motif that every other comment gets is a bit much. Inviso-text FTL.

    • Jason Scott says:

      Both of your suggestions are good; but both are on my list of stuff I am working on along with a bunch of other stuff. Basically, I focused on getting the referrer stuff working (going to old links on go to the right entry in the new and then let ‘er rip. There’s almost nothing here where I go “ah yes, my design is complete”, trust me. 🙂

  7. Jim Leonard says:

    I look forward to hearing about how the standalone version of wordpress trumps the online version of wordpress.

  8. Jason Scott says:

    Both of Grimm’s suggestions are implemented now. (I’m just using this comments page for my worklog).

  9. Jason Scott says:

    Man, this thing looks so much better in Chrome than everywhere else.

  10. Jason Scott says:

    Coming along nicely: headers on the left make sense, I’m fixing all the weird color issues, there’s a new about page (and a redirect to it from the old about page).

  11. Jason Scott says:

    Added some widgets, fixed how PRE tags are handled (the text was way, way too small).

  12. Drew Wallner says:

    Congrats on the new software. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I was on something like WP, instead of LJ (where I’m sort of trapped by the “friends-only” phenomenon, the worst thing ever to happen to blogging).

    I was thinking about your films today when I saw this amazing site linked on mefi, have you seen it?

    When I was a kid I paid more attention to those things than the Sears Wish Book at holiday time. I still remember taking home my Armatron, and lots of my friends had Color Computers or early Tandy PCs. There’s plenty of software mentioned in those pages too, might be worth a shot or two for the text adventure project, thought I would pass it along.

    • Jason Scott says:

      I love everything about that site except for the completely made up copyright. Wow, you can put up a website scanning in Radio Shack catalogs but then you somehow own the copyright on them? Douche-y. Also, watermarks a-gogo and no PDF downloads. A shame.

  13. Jason Scott says:

    OK, I think we can consider this weblog 1.0 now. It’s running pretty well and there’s some visual/html artifacts I probably still have to tinker with but it seems to be altogether cohesive. There’s also more “about Jason” pages and the whole thing is just humming along. I am one happy bastard.

  14. Flack says:

    Wow. Colorful. Fast. Me likey. Me likey a lot!

  15. corq says:

    Holy green-neon-beacon-in-the-night, Batman!

    and… a sockington link! *squee*!

  16. Joshua Miller says:

    I love you and hate you at the same time, you know this right? It’s a love – hate thing.