Dropbox

Well, for whatever reason I haven’t been using a cloud based file syncing service up until now. I think mostly it was because I was just stuck in old habits and ways of thinking about how to manage files. But I finally had enough issues, that I remember not long ago a friend telling me how he used Dropbox to fix some issues I have. I signed up today and I just can’t believe I waited this long. It is pretty awesome.

Any files I put into my dropbox folder get synced to their servers. I can sync the same files to any other machine or phone with the client installed. Clients have been written for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Mobile and Blackberry. It keeps older versions of files on hand and all the syncing happens without any work on my part. It’s possible to make files publicly available via the web or share them with specific individuals. So nice.

You can read about Dropbox on Wikipedia. And as a nice bonus, if you sign up through the following link, we’ll both get an additional 250 MB of storage. How nice is that? My referral link to Dropbox.

Taxonomy Access Control

I’ve been doing a lot of messing around with the Taxonomy Access Control Drupal module. It’s pretty impressive. Basically it creates a whole new permissions interface based on taxonomy. In my case, I break down nodes by requiring a tag for the region that applies to the content. Then I have regional roles that have permission to edit these nodes, based on the taxonomy. It gives a nice new layer of of control over content. I highly recommend it.

Florida DrupalCamp 2010

This last Saturday (Feb 20th) I had the privilege of attending Florida DrupalCamp 2010. It was a great time and very much a worthwhile investment of time. There were great presenters, presentations and good food as well as swag. I don’t think one could ask for more for $6.11. The lunch or t-shirt alone were worth more than that. In fact I joked with my friends that when I was younger and single I’d have signed up for it just to get the food, even if I didn’t know what Drupal was.

This was my second DupalCamp after attending the camp in Atlanta last year. This one was smaller, but I think that makes sense, as the population of the Atlanta metro area is more than double that of the Orlando area. That said, the turnout was solid. The space was limited and it didn’t take long for all the spots to be taken and a waiting list to form. The event was held at the offices of Mindcomet, and they were very nice. It was a bit tight for all the people that came to the camp, but I was impressed they could handle all of us. They had very functional spaces and I thought more that once it looked like it would be a really nice place to work.

If you hit the camp site you can see what the schedule looked like and what sessions were offered. I mostly stuck to the intermediate track, and tried to upgrade my understanding of CCK, Views and taxonomy. As in Atlanta, I spent a lot of time just jotting down information of the various modules that presenters were using and storing that away for future reference. So much of the power of Drupal lies in learning what modules offer the most bang for the buck. I think I’ll start writing up posts on specific modules here in the near future. This is one space that seems to be lacking good resources. I hit “Top 10” lists every so often, but not much of real substance.

After the session on writing modules I bailed from the theming side of the intermediate track and jumped in to the beginner track for the sessions on modules and site maintenance. I don’t mind knowing how theming works, but I also know that design is not one of my strengths. If that kind of thing really matters, then the smart thing for me to do is not to spend tons of time and effort on what will be a mediocre outcome at best. I’m better off getting help from someone gifted and skilled in visual design. I can focus on my strengths that way and make sure things work the way they should while they make it all look nice.

I couldn’t attend the second day, it being my son’s birthday and life upset I’d taken an extra day away as it was. The folks that went got together and built a site for a local non-profit. They teamed up experienced folks with new folks and it was an opportunity to invest in the community and learn at the same time. Pretty awesome I think.

The sessions were videotaped and I’ll post when they become available, as anyone who couldn’t make it can still get the information. Everybody involved in putting this on did a phenomenal job. I was very impressed and I’m looking forward to next year.

Adobe Air on Fedora 12

I’ve been getting my Fedora 12 machine set the way I want it. I had done the upgrade from 11, ran into problems with my video card and ended up doing a full install. Now I’m putting it all back together.

My favorite Twitter client is Tweetdeck – which is an Adobe Air app. Installing Air went without a hitch but getting Tweetdeck, or anything else for that matter, was not working. The error message the installer gave me was, “Application crashed with an unhandled SIGSEGV” and then it would point me to a log file that was full of information. Unfortunately none of that information helped me to understand what the problem was. So I turned to trusty google and found my answers at this Technology and Investment Blog.

The answer to my issue was about half way down under the heading “Problems Running AIR Application”. It says there is an issue with SELinux – which I don’t totally get because I thought I turned SELinux off – but either way, I ran the command there and it fixed my issue. (I think it is probably an Adobe Air certificate issue – not SELinux) The blog links back to this Fedora Forum thread about Air – which also has some good information.

Google Calendar Sync

I have no idea when Google first released Google Calendar Sync or why I never noticed it before, but I’m really liking it. The install was painless and worked well. My google calendar is much more user friendly than my Outlook calendar. The simplicity of Google calendar really makes it obvious how bad the calendar functionality is in outlook.

I have Ingrid’s calendar and mine shared with one another, and set up syncing for her today as well. Now it is much easier for each of us to see what is going on with the other. I’ve also got sports schedules, holidays and weather stuff in my google calendar, none of which I have in outlook.