Neural Core Dump

Blog FAQ

Last updated Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 by Jeff

Aw, c’mon… you actually have a blog FAQ? Is this for real?

Yep. Believe it or not, I’ve actually received questions frequently enough to have frequently asked questions. That is what a FAQ is for, right?

I’ve got a question to ask that isn’t addressed here. Can I e-mail you and ask?

Of course! But I strongly suggest you read all of this FAQ first, as well as the official GPF FAQ. The GPF FAQ is very extensive, and I won’t repeat questions here that are already there.

The GPF FAQ is huge! I don’t really have to read all that, do I?

No, but if you e-mail me a question that’s listed there, you’ll probably get a terse little e-mail (if you get one at all) directing you to read the answer that’s already there. Besides, the GPF FAQ is actually very well organized and has a list of handy question links at the top, so you can skim that list and skip directly to the answer you need. This FAQ is much shorter, so it doesn’t have such a structure.

Why don’t you have comments/TrackBacks/[insert blog feature here] enabled?

Firstly, I’m still learning how to work this thing, so there’s a bunch of features I haven’t even discovered yet. While I usually skim the manual before playing with a new toy, I often pick up on the intuitive parts quickly without it so I can start playing with the toy faster. But eventually I wander back to the manual so I can learn about all the bells and whistles. When I finally discover a bell or whistle (or even a horn) that I like, I’ll probably give it a try. If I find it annoying, I’ll probably turn it back off rather quickly.

Comments and TrackBacks are another thing. I mentioned this in my very first entry, but I really don’t have time to police this blog for spam. The easiest way to handle this is to disable comments and TrackBacks completely. Comment spam can easily be reduced by requiring authentication, however, so you’ll probably find that most posts will now allow comments from authenticated, trusted users. (Untrusted users will be moderated first until you prove yourself to be trustworthy.) You’ll still probably find the occasional post that will not have comments enabled; you can politely consider these to be statements of my opinion where I’m not interested in receiving public feedback. (You can always e-mail me your opinions if you so desire, though.)

TrackBacks are supposedly very easy to abuse, though, so I doubt I’ll ever enable them. Sorry.

Okay, where exactly are comments? I can’t find the link…

Look for “Dump Core” or “x Core Dumps” on each entry. Given the name of the blog, I thought the name change would be cute. Try running a search every once in a while for another geek joke.

Why do you post so infrequently? GPF updates used to update every single day!

Ah, but GPF also has used to have a buffer that fluctuates fluctuated between five to eight weeks. Thus, I can throw comics into the queue and let them update as regular as I am when I get my Frosted Mini-Wheats every day, while I’m off doing other things, like going to cons, taking a vacation, getting sick, etc. This blog is more of an extra thing, when I have a spare moment or two and I’m not doing something else. Thus, don’t expect something every single day. Given the track record of the GPF News, I figure you’d be used to that by now. 😉

What is this, all Twitter all the time? Why is it that all I seem to see are “Weekly Twitter Updates” anymore?

Truth be told, that’s all I really have time for anymore. While I find Twitter very limiting and much prefer long-form blogging, I don’t have the time I used to for expounding on things at length. I figured some content is better than none, so I installed a plugin that fetches my tweets once a week and posts them here as well. That way, you don’t necessarily have to follow me on Twitter to see what I’m up to, and the blog here continues to be updated frequently, even if I don’t have an hour or two to bash out something longer and more thoughtful.

One could argue that, well, Twitter’s there and if one wanted to read my tweets, they ought to know where to find them. That’s true, and works well enough for today. That said, there’s no guarantee Twitter will be there tomorrow, and it’s always a good idea to have your content posted in multiple locations, just in case one site ever goes down. Thus, you can also think of the Twitter summaries here as a form of archival backup. If for some reason Twitter ever implodes (How long have they been running without a revenue model now…?), my tweets can always be found here. It’s a sort of micro-blog with a macro-backup, if you will. Yeah, that has a nice ring to it.

What happened to the “latest desktop screen shot”?

I used to use a program called SCWebCam that would take a screen shot of my desktop and post a scaled-down version on the blog. Since I’ve never owned an actual webcam, I thought this would be an interesting alternative. I had it installed on most of my Windows desktops so I could run it whenever and wherever I wanted. Unfortunately, I didn’t run it very often so it would often go months without changing. Well, after the blog moved from my personal Linux box to dedicated hosting, I decided to discontinue the practice. It was simple enough to update the screen shot when I could just FTP from any machine on my private network to the Linux box, but I operate at a much higher level of security when communicating with remote servers, and SCWebCam doesn’t support this level of secure communication. Sure, I could hack together a convoluted way of transferring the images securely, but by that point I’m jumping through a ridiculous number of hoops just to support a trivial feature that adds little to the content of the site. So I’m afraid that little item is gone for now.

Why do some of your entries, especially the Technology ones, have so many links in them? Are you Google-bombing?

Not intentionally. The reason I throw in a ton of links in the Technology posts are for the benefit of my readers who are less technically inclined. Not everyone knows what a compiler is or what Java is used for. Thus, I like to include links that I hope will provide explanations for those who may need them. Whenever possible, I like to link to official sites, especially if they have a lot of useful educational information. Otherwise, I often link to a relevant Wikipedia article.

You know, I’ve always wondered why a lot of blogs include a ridiculous number of links in every post. At one point I meant to make fun of that fact and maybe, in some unconscious way, I actually am. But no, there’s an practical reason for it. I’m just trying to be helpful.