There were a couple of draw backs using Mobileme as a web host. PHP and MSQL were not available. This limited the blog software I could use as most require PHP and MSQL to function.
Moving to Just Host has changed all that. I can now use any of the available blog software solutions. One requirement I had however was the blog should integrate with my existing web site and not be a separate entity.
After some research I settled on WordPress. The main reason for choosing WordPress was the availability of a plug in for Rapidweaver which made the WordPress blog sit with my Rapidweaver web site and look like the original Rapidweaver (RW) blog.
The disadvantages with the RW blog were every time I added an entry I had to republish the web site and I could only add to the blog on my home computer.
Now I can add an entry from the WordPress web interface without having to re-publish my web site. The RW plug in then updates the blog on the web page. To make things easier there are several off line blog editors available that are compatible with WordPress. I found a free one called Qumana. I am able to type my blog entry, spell check and review it then once I am happy I just hit ‘Publish’. (That’s the theory anyway).
This is really a test blog to see if it all works as it should. So here is hoping you are reading this post. If you are not then it did not work!
I have not progressed with Guardian Two since my last post. I have spent my time fiddling with this blogging system. Hopefully I can get some more of it done tomorrow.
This is the first blog entry after changing to a new host. My original host was Mobile Me. I used their web hosting capability in the first instance simply because I have an account with them.
There was one small drawback with using my Mobile Me account. The terms and conditions state that it can only be used for personal websites. When my book is eventually published I will make it available on my website. This breaks the T&Cs of Mobile Me.
I spent a while looking for an alternative host. I finally settled on Just Host. They have been voted No 1 host provider a couple of years running. They provide unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth. Just Host were also running a 50% discount offer. The cost of moving away from Mobile Me turned out to be GBP 2.95 a month. Very reasonable I thought. I have also purchased two additional domain names so I can split up my website and start another. The names are www.partnership-publishing.com and www.guardianscifi.com
This blog is really only a test to check when the DNS servers change from MM to Just Host. I will only upload it to the Just Host servers. I can then see when the change takes place. I can then check everything carefully as I expect the change will break some link or other!
Guardian Two word count: 19,631
The publisher has told me the first print run is scheduled for this week. “Baring problems at the printers.” I don’t know what sort of problems they expect but hopefully as I write this, my book actually exists!
I hope they have included the final changes and corrections I requested. As usual I had to pester to get any information from them. I wonder how long it will be before I receive my first copies? It would be great to receive them next week. It would also be great if they emailed to let me know whether the print run went ahead or not.
I suppose I will have to wait a couple of weeks and email them again to ask what happened. We shall see, they might even surprise me! (Ever the optimist).
That awful apprentice program started again this week. (For those who don’t know, a famous British businessman has one high paid position to offer in one of his companies. A group of would be employees have to complete tasks each week and one from the group will be fired for being the worst. This goes on until one is left).
The businessman whose name seems to be ‘Serallen’ (funny name!) is one of those people who you would never want to work for whatever the pay. The stress of constantly looking over your shoulder in the hope he is not coming into your office to shout at you for not working 150% 24/7 must be quite unbearable.
The ‘apprentices’ are not people you can rout for either. They are arrogant, obnoxious, backstabbing hypocrites. People you would hope never to meet. I suppose the winner deserves to work for Serallen!
The problem is this program is popular! Is this a reflection of why the world is in the crisis it is?
Guardian Two word count: 17,450
I read an article tucked away inside the paper today regarding a damming report on the stagnation and decay in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (F&CO).
To quote a few lines “It recruits bright people brimming with independent thought, but then proceeds both intentionally and unintentionally to apparently clone them. They become robots submitting wholesale to the culture of committees, sub-committees, working groups and steering groups. “
I am not surprised! Several years ago I applied to join the F&CO. The advert said the Foreign Secretary wanted to inject the institution with new ideas by recruiting people with experience of outside industry.
At the time I was running ESSC in the UK, which had been the service arm of Genicom. It was successful however we had been sold to a third party company who were proceeding to dismantle everything. I saw it as time to get out.
I applied to the F&CO I passed the first two assessment interviews and was asked to attend a Promotion and Assessment Weekend. This was residential over three days. It was normally used for people who are working towards fast track promotion. I was the only person from ‘outside’ who was attending.
We had to go through three days tests and role-play. We were continually assessed (even during he evenings we were watched). At the end everyone was marked and we had to attend another interview a couple of weeks later.
I had been at a disadvantage. All the tests and role play was designed for people who had been working for the F&CO. Many of the situations relied on first had working knowledge of procedures and systems within an embassy.
I actually did all right and past all the required criteria except one. I failed because I had put the workings and requirements of the ‘company’ before those of the people. In any situation I would tend to select the best person for the job rather than taking full account of what they wanted. What I should have done was select the person who wanted the position regardless if they were the best or not.
I was rather annoyed to say the least. Even at the wash up interview there was a consultant present who said that I had not failed as such. My profile was exactly what he would expect from some one with my experience of working for ‘outside industry’ where results count. I said to them that the selection process wheedled out the very type of person they said they were looking for. The consultant agreed the F&CO person (who had been my assessor) just shrugged. I did consider appealing the decision but then thought better of it.
So I have to say from first hand experience, they are indeed set up to ensure that if you do not fit their ethos of mediocrity you will not get on.
Guardian Two word count 16,284
I have been bugging the publishers to get a publication date. As you know (those who have read my previous blog entries) things have been a bit vague. Other than April as a suggested date from them I had nothing definite. My persistence has finally paid off. The full answer to my question is copied below.
“We set a suitable publication date on consultation with the author. We usually suggest three months after printed copies arrive, thereby allowing sufficient time for standard trade procedures, ISBN registrations, and third parties to upload the relative information to their sites. This time will be used in marketing, sending out press releases, gathering feedback, stocking our wholesaler etc.
Getting final printed copies depends on proofing times – those are the areas difficult to estimate accurately, as much depends on the turnaround times of proofs from the author, other projects we may have in the production system at any given time of the year, and whether two or three proof stages are necessary – this differs from book to book.
As soon as we have printed copies to hand, you can start selling from your website ahead of publication date. This is a coup for visitors to your site – ‘advanced’ first edition copies, pre- release, and signed by the author. I don’t see why we couldn’t have printed copies during April. I’ll check with production to see where we are.”
I have signed off the cover and the final corrected proof has been sent back. Everything is now down to the publisher. Hopefully I will have copies available from this website sometime in April. The official release would then be some time around July/August.
Word count book two: 15,419
Still have not thought of a title, what a slacker!