For the Tech challenged

Today I took a 3 hour foray into the (mere) attempt to change my blog over to a hosted site. What you are looking at right now is the WordPress free site and while I love it and I can do most things with it, there are some functions and features the free site won’t let me put on my blog.

For instance, I want one of those cool carousel things for my books.

Carousel in Plaza Mayor

Carousel in Plaza Mayor 01

Ok – not that kind, but it goes round and round. By the time I’ve got all the books published there will be 8 of them, and having that many covers takes up a bit of room on the sides here. A carousel would put the books in a single spot that revolves or is moved by a mouse hover so they all revolve around and around. I want one. Caaaaan’t have one. Free WordPress doesn’t allow that sort of ‘language’ (I don’t know what it’s called) for whatever reason they won’t allow it.

I also want to be able to put up the option to buy these books right here so you don’t have to go to Amazon, which granted, isn’t all that hard, but still. Can’t do that either. (At least, I don’t think so). And if it is allowed, I’m not having the best time figuring out how.

Trying to figure out what is and isn’t allowed on a website leads me to take a look at all the new technology we have out there that we all have to figure out. All the time. A new computer these days comes with all the new bells and whistles that have to be learned and the curve seems to be getting steeper.

Even pumping gas into the car is more complicated. I was out looking at stoves yesterday – wow, you’d feel like Data, from Star Trek driving the Enterprise through armildrin  gas turning one on. Thing had a bridge console quality to it – flat, no buttons – shoot, there weren’t even any visible burners! It would probably take an engineering degree to figure out how to turn it on.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a techie geek child. I love my gadgets and the fact that I use a Star Trek inspired communicator every day tickles me no end. If I could launch into space tomorrow, I’d do it. I like learning how to use new things, no matter how technologically advanced they may seem when you first set eyes on them. That’s not the problem. Not at all.

The way we all learn how to do new things is through instruction, be it a new phone, a new tv or a new website. I read the instructions before I try to put something together, especially when there’s wiring involved. I have a stack of user manuals in a cabinet over my desk. If I need to change the belt on my vacuum cleaner, I can grab the brain interface and find out how to make it happen.

So switching over from the free website to one I pay for shouldn’t be such a complicated process. I should be able to read the instruction blogs and figure it  out. Four clicks into the help desk later, I discovered that no, technology isn’t all up to where it needs to be where I can avoid downloading the entire contents of this webpage (a few gigabytes at least) to my computer and then uploading to the new server. Surely, I thought,  wouldn’t it be simpler to just go across. You hostee people are hosting thing thing, so why not? But no. Cloud computing isn’t quite there yet if I have to use my computer as a data way station on its path to a new home.

anselm, Flickr/Creative Commons

anselm, Flickr/Creative Commons

You see – I have restricted data usage living out here on the edge of the boonies, which means, I have to monitor my gigabytes quite carefully. This would be a technological problem solved if cloud computing was more robust and more people/companies figured out how to use it. It would surely have made my life simpler, but that as they say is that.

I’ll update in a couple more months when I may or may not have high speed internet access in my 200-year-old homestead. Wonder how that new technology will mesh with this very old, old place? And me with it.



Filed under Life as a writer, Living

3 responses to “For the Tech challenged

  1. Nicole Angel

    I love your cloud… self hosting is the way to go for now! Can’t wait until the 20th!

  2. Jolea- I think it’s fantastic you’ve switched to self-hosting, I think you’ll LOVE it 🙂 kinda like how you loved self-publishing once you got the hang of it. I’ve been around WordPress for almost a year and a half now and would love to offer you any support I might be in the position to give. After all, your stories have gotten me through more than a couple icky painful days 🙂 Ironically-or synchronistically(?)- I just spent the last two days switching from one web host to another for one of my sites, too. I still have to do the other one before the end of the billing period (don’t wanna pay for hosting twice) but the 2nd time through should be a breeze compared to the first.
    I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
    Love + Light

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