Thursday, 20 September 2012

Warning! advanced users only

I have a day off from Covent Garden today as I have to wait in the delivery of my new bank card and I have to show them photo ID to pick it up. It's only humble debit card and not a lofty credit card but the level of security is so high you'd think the crown jewels were being delivered, . Quite frankly I'm glad to have this enforced admin day even though I am, effectively, a prisoner in my own home. (The delivery window is 9am to 5pm so I'm expecting it at 4:59.) My Covent Garden experience yesterday almost ended in disaster on what was a terrible day. My whole show seemed to be funded entirely by just one family who were on holiday from The Emirates. Such was the lack of response from a few casual onlookers that I cut the show short and they were one of only a handful of people who came forward. So generous was their contribution that it made up about 90% of the hat! Is this what arts patronage feels like? Again the extremes of street busking were in evidence.

I had planned to write this first thing in the morning but today I've indulged in one of my favourite pastimes... getting distracted. Instead of writing I started by updating  a list of our companies log in information for the various websites that we regularly use. Not a big job in itself but it did require me to log into these sites to check if I had the right passwords. This is where the problem really began because you see, I seem to have a bit of an addiction to websites that you log into especially if they offer DIY solutions to such technical things as website building and bulk email management. Strange but true. Subscribing to a website and then gaining exclusive access via a password all seems very grown up to me and I can waste literally hours on these sites. This time is typically spent trawling through the help files so I can find out exactly what the site can do... all of it... not just the bits that I need. This of course leads to the inevitable googling of any jargon that I come across and the search for online tutorials to explain it all. I love learning to do all of this cool online stuff, but I sometimes worry that I border on the obsessive. I've been working on the howhow website recently and one day a noticed that we could have our own favicon. "What the hell is a favicon?" I thought. To me it didn't sound like anything to do with web design, more like something to do with birth control and it's been niggling me ever since. Well today was the day that I decided to find out so after two hours of bouncing between our website builders help files and photoshop howhow.co.uk became the proud owner of a favicon. In case you don't know, a favicon is a tiny icon that appears on a website just by the page heading. It's totally useless really, but that's not the point. I worked out how to add one, and it did it all on my own.

Perhaps a worst manifestation of this very male autistic trait that that I love to tinker with settings, and if it says "warning, advanced users only" well that's just a red rag to a bull. I recently had trouble with one of my email addresses. Of course my first instinct was to contact my email provider, but I firmly rejected that one because I saw a great opportunity for some serious mucking about in both the email provider and the domain registrar's advance users area. One and a half months later I admitted defeat and actually asked for help. This must be the modern day digital version of 'refusing to look at the instructions when programming the VCR recorder' and I'm a bit ashamed that the whole thing went on for so long. There was however a happy ending to all of this. I had, in fact, been tinkering with the wrong advanced settings, so now I had the opportunity to do it all again with the right advanced settings and with the blessing of Malcolm from Dreamhost technical support. By the way my email now works again, oh and don't forget... we have a favicon.

Of course I'll take great delight in passing on my new found wisdom to Grisel as I watch her eyes slowly glaze over. Yes, she definitely puts up with a lot.


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