Production and Details

Production and Details

Running a website is easier with a database driven backend. I let the software do the heavy lifting and that means less time for me spent uploading, downloading, and tweaking.

As an adjunct to a year end review, one author was working through his process. Sounded eerily similar to what I settled on almost 20 years ago.

At that time, the easiest way to manage a website was straight text-based, interpreted code uploaded, and that’s how I handled it. For one shining year, rather, for the first several years of this blog’s iteration — astrofish.net/xenon — I would keep a daily entry on long sheet of paper — OK!

Not a real sheet of paper, but like a single document named for the sign, like, right now, it would be “Capricorn.” Each document would have a month’s worth of entries, and it was an easy enough way to keep up. Not too much work.

I am lazy, at the core. Really lazy.

Easier is better, always has been. Lazy, no, seriously lazy.

Production and Details

At the beginning, I would treat each weekly as a separate document, done first in MS Word, then exported as a text file, both of which were submitted for editors. The final version, I would drop into a graphical-based web editor and spit out a single, long-format column.

Necessitated formatting twice, but I could live with that.

Early on, the signs were broken down into individual files but that proved way too complicated. The format of all the signs in a single document, I settled on that a long time ago.

While not long enough to seriously choke the intake/output of the motor, at its current length, I do push the limits a bit. Still runs solid, though, and that’s all that matters.

All — weekly, daily, any web work — is currently done in a hybrid word processor called Ulysses.

Ulysses the app

With this app’s predecessor and then this app itself, I’m back to the weekly column being divided into single-serve documents.

Doing the weekly in a single document had two-fold reasoning and support, one, it was easier to manage a single document across multiple platforms, and two, at the end of the year, it was easier to spit out a printer-friendly file to make a “book.”

These days, the web itself — think WordPress style — there is a plug-in that will make a book out a set of web pages. Simple as that.

Back to being lazy.

Production and Details

I still use Apple’s Pages for some light-duty publishing, printing, and word-processing, but anything of mine destined for web, be that digital imagery, weblog, or the weekly column, all of that originates in that hybrid app, the one that bridges traditional word processing, text-based editing, and web interface.

Dividing up the files is now easier, with weekly horoscopes in one pile, working ideas in one folder, and then cockamamy thoughts in a separate file. Perish the thought that I have weird thoughts?

As an example of production and details, there’s a separate heading, like a folder, and when I buy or check a book out of the library, I grab the Amazon and Apple affiliate links.

Long before it was acceptable, I was in the habit of linking to whatever I was listening to, or reading, and I was habituated with a thought, “If I build a link, I want points (some form of recognition or recompense) for my efforts.”

Before the lawyers got ahold of the web, it was simple. Not as simple, now, see the fineprint for details.

So I see a book, buy it, first action — besides judging the book by its cover — is to start a file, more for myself than anything else. Part of that is rooted in a liberal arts education, more habit than anything else.

That’s part of the details, and “books” as a heading is separate because I do tend to read a bit.

Two, three years ago, I bought a “pulp” or paperback-priced copy of a science fiction classic, in digital format, and I started to write a new review. I dropped the “book,” as this a digital copy, and it’s moved from iPad to iPad as I’ve upgraded, neglecting to finish the book, and therefore, neglecting to write an updated review. That languishes in the files, and gradually, like sediment, settles at the bottom of the digital storage. Still, this illustrates the process.

Production and Details

In theory, I could “write” on a phone. In practice, anyone who receives a one sentence or less e-mail answer is probably getting a quick answer from my phone that I thumbed in.

Brings new meaning to the term, “phoned it in.”

So while I could — physically possible — “write” on a phone, realistically, I tend to prefer a slightly larger keyboard for my given verbosity.

However, the details of the way this now works, the core files are available in my little cloud thing, then, as I work — especially longer form — those are stored both in the cloud and on the individual machines.

Production and Details

Recently, part of the year-end review process, an old leather journal fell back into my hands. I drag this out, mentioned from to time in the horoscopes, but I drag this one out — it’s beautiful. Finely tooled, vegetarian-tanned hide, thick, soft, tough, or the illusion of tough yet supple, and really a gorgeous piece of art. Utilitarian, too, as any number of small paper journals can be fitted inside the cover.

Bought it. Used it once, for part of a trip, maybe a dozen years ago. Still has spurious dates and data. First quarter, maybe less, of the pages are thumbed and used. The rest are blank.

The Apple Newton — I used one, owned it, loved it, replaced it with a — Palm, yeah, palm pilot? Yes, and never looked back as far as that went, jumping from totally analog to all-digital for notes, records, and now, images.

The Apple Newton started the transition, for me. That was the turning point from a mixture of digital and analog to all digital. For a while, I would still carry little pieces of paper stuffed in a shirt pocket, but that didn’t last.

Production is pretty streamlined, these days. Production and process, nearly aligned.

Production and Details

Recommendations

Ulysses – Ulysses GmbH & Co. KG

Kramer Wetzel

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