Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Trial and Error

I will admit, I am sleep deprived. Those who know me know I do not function well when I don't get my "beauty sleep."

So, I decide that this would be a perfect time to install a Content Management System (CMS) on my server. Sure, piece of cake! Do this while you are juggling 12 jobs in the air.

The short version of the "long sad story" is I decided at this very busy time of the year to upgraded my hosting contract to add databased capability and install a CMS. There were a few hiccups with this part of the process, but it seems to be working. Then I disassembled jebswebs.com to clear space and avoid conflicts with the new app. Then after much searching, I selected a CMS that was promoted as "easy." It was anything but. Four hours and I was lost. So, I deleted that and went to my next choice. This one is "open source."

For those unfamiliar with the open source concept, simply this means software that is being developed in the open market with lots of players who are doing this work for free. The advantage is you get cutting edge technology at essentially no cost. The downside of course is you often get what pay for. There is essentially no "customer support" since to play in this field assumes you know what you are doing (and that you are ultimately contributing to the great good). Dangerous assumption. I know just enough to be dangerous.

You know all that money you play to Microsoft and other software companies? You know what you're buying? You're buying ease and peace of mind. Easy in installation - yeah a monkey can do that! - and piece of mind that some technogenius in New Delhi will get you out of a jam at 2:00 in the morning. You are paying for thousands of beta tests and insurance that the application will not crash the rest of your system. And you are paying for simple maintainence - most things are easy to fix, there are usually lots of co-workers who can help, and there are mega resources to help you when you get into trouble.

So, now I am looking for a good samaritan to help me get this thing installed. I am, as I put it tenderly on the discussion board of the group that puts this app together- " I am the lone voice crying out in the darkness - Help!!!!!!!!"

There has been a lot of trial and error. Partially because I don't really know what I am doing and am learning on the job. But I have successfully installed other PHP/MySQL apps before (see the lovely Moodle site on www.maineascd.org or the PHPbb discussion group at the same location - stunning. These were simple by comparison.

Since there is no investment here in money, it is just time. Oh, and no sleep.

More later


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