WordPress and Gallery2 Integration Successful

In regards to this previous post about the release of Gallery2.1 BlackJack, I have finally figured out the major thing that was holding me back. The directions have been posted in that previous post. I’ll be updating the menu link sortly once I have brought over the data from the original location (www.bui4ever.com/pictures/).

The launch of Bui4Ever v15!

Greetings folk! You might notice a slight difference in the design of Bui4Ever.com, do not be alarmed, it’s just merely a new version. After considerable amount of core changes, file relocation, database rebuild, Bv15 is about 85% functioning. I’ll be working on setting up redirections for any old links that will probably no longer work.

It will probably take awhile to get the Gallery back up, especially since I’m working on integrating it into WordPress. For now, continue to use the existing Gallery located at Bui4Ever.com/pictures until the new Gallery is functioning. The “Pictures” navigation will take you there temporarily.

On Atkins: Our Story

Andrea’s Story

In 1997, I worked for Lucky (now Albertsons) as a checker, I started to gain weight. Perhaps it was due to not exercising as much (after all, checkers just stand in one spot all day), or maybe it was the dining out. I had never heard of the now infamous “Atkins Diet”, until a certain regular customer told me about it. He was very fit, bulging biceps, basically he looked like a body builder. After seeing him regularly come through my line, I noticed a pattern. He always bought the same items; mostly steak (rare occasions other meats), cheese, occasional vegetables, and water. That was all he bought.

I had never heard of the now infamous “Atkins Diet”, until a certain regular customer told me about it.

– Andrea

One day I asked him why that was all he bought. He mentioned it was the healthiest way to eat. Of course, I was shocked and disagreed with him. After all, this was at the height of the “low fat” craze. I mentioned that I wanted to lose weight and his advice was to eat meat, nuts, and cheese. I didn’t give another thought to it after that because of course it sounded like it would never work. On the next visit through my line, a week later, he gave me a book.

That book was “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution.” I was surprised and I thought I’ll just read it for the hell of it. After I read the whole book, it all made sense and it would soon literally change my life. I decided to try “Induction Period” for two weeks. After a few days on the “diet” I felt my energy soar, clothes looser, and just overall healthy. After two weeks, I lost 7 pounds. I really felt great and decided to make this a lifestyle change, rather than a diet. To this day I’m still a strong believer of low carb, high protein, high fat (the good fats).

— Andrea

Rich’s Story

I had heard of Atkins before. Back when my three buddies and I used to go to SJSU’s Gym, there was a guy who worked there who was on Atkins. We didn’t know until they put up a poster of him and his story. It mentioned how he had at one point weighed like 300lbs and wanted to take lose that weight, so he got on Atkins and dropped to like 160lbs. It was quite amazing. But at the time, I was not the wiser and had believed, as many still do, that Atkins was dangerous and how it could cause brain damage, etc.

It mentioned how he had at one point weighed like 300lbs and wanted to take lose that weight, so he got on Atkins and dropped to like 160lbs.

– Rich

It was until I met Andrea, did I think more of it. She truly changed my life by introducing me to a healthy lifestyle that I had previously known before. I started Atkins in September 2003 and have since lost 60lbs forever. Because of her, I have never felt better or more alive. It’s a wonderful feeling when I was able to put on size 36 pants…especially since before I was starting to wear a size 42. I went from shirt sizes of XL-XXL to medium. Where I was content before being a couch potato, now I enjoy going out and experiencing life. Since reading the Atkins New Diet Revolution book that Andrea gave me, it has been a huge impact on my life in a very positive way.

An example of what I used to eat was: fast food for lunch and dinner. I ate big meals too. Supersize, quadruple size, seconds… everything! It was crazy. I also used to drink nothing but soda. I could finish 2 liters of soda like nothing. I never drank any water what-so-ever. Whenever I was thirsty, I reached for my Pepsi to quench my thirst. All the most sugary of stuff, I used to love. I had stashes of snacks of chocolate, cake, potatoe chips, etc. I was horribly unhealthy then. I believe that if I didn’t stop the was I was eating when I did; I probably would be diabetic now or have suffered my first heart attack. I never used to eat any vegetables or fruits either. My diet was mainly sugar and high fat…the worse combination possible.

— Rich

Gallery 2.1 (Blackjack) Released and WordPress Gallery Integration Project

Very interesting! The new version of Gallery has just been released. Before I jump too much into that, let’s just recap what this means for Bui4Ever. Well since working on the redesign of Bui4Ever (v15, essentially the merging of content to WordPress), the next logical step would be complete integration of Gallery2 also. In Bui4Ever v14, the only part of the site that required any type of login was the Gallery. Now with WordPress, it has its own login for me to 1) write my posts and other admin stuff and 2) other people to comment. It would make no sense to require people to login in twice…so why not merge the two (WordPress and Gallery) logins. That brings us to WordPress Gallery2 Project. This will allow for users who register with WordPress to be autoregistered for Gallery2. One advantage that comes out of this is that a poster/contributor/editor/etc can be given rights to his or her subgallery and be able to post on Bui4Ever.

Now the biggest drawback of Gallery2 for me, for the longest time now, has been the slow load time. I have never been able to completely figure out that problem. I’ve seen other people’s Gallery2 load as quick as Gallery1, but yet mine and many others experience extreme lag. Supposedly Gallery Blackjack has some major changes to the core that will have “profound performance increase in most situations”. I am definitely excited about this!

For the time being, I’m going to create a whole new Gallery2 install (another URL change) because of one major unforeseeable flaw on my end: the WordPress and Gallery2 must share one single database to work. I do not know if I can successfully merge the existing Gallery2 database with the WordPress database. So to be on the safe side, I’ll create a whole new Gallery2 install and test it out and either one of two things will happen: 1) I import all the albums and data from the current Gallery2 install (www.bui4ever.com/pictures) and put it to the new Gallery2 install (www.bui4ever.com/wp-gallery2.php) or 2) I manage to learn (if even possible) to merge the existing Gallery2 install to the current WordPress database.

I’ll keep everyone posted on the progress of how this goes along with how I did it.

Bui4Ever v15…coming soon!!!

Greetings folks! It may seem to many that I haven’t done any updates in awhile, but there is a reason for that…I’ve been busy spending time with Andrea, studying for school, and many projects at work. Along the way I’ve been working on some other sites and found a new, better way to do sites which led me to Bui4Ever v15…the xhtml strict incarnation of Bui4Ever. Keep checking back for the offical launch!

Bui4ever v15 coming along nicely

Bui4Ever v15 is coming along very nicely! Using WordPress to handle all my content has taken a huge load off my chest. I’m now able to redistribute a considerable amount of time and effort from architectual layout semantics and focus on design. I’m about done with template modification and will be transfering all my data from v14 to v15 shortly. I should be able to officially launch v15 by the end of this week fully functioning (*crosses fingers*).

The biggest foreseeable difficult is Gallery. I’m not entirely sure how Gallery will completely interact with WordPress. Recoding the design shouldn’t be too difficult, it’s fixing the 100 validation errors (on xhtml transitional, no less) will be the tricky part. Gallery 2.0, “out of the box”, was originally xhtml strict, but in order to validate on v14, I had to switch the doctype to xhtml transitional. Now I got to go back and change some transitional markups to strict. Fun.

Got my new work laptop…MacBook Pro!

After being on order since Apple’s announcement of Intel dual core processors in their 15inch laptops, it arrive this morning into shipping. I’m currently in the process of transferring all my data from my current PowerBook G4 to the MacBook Pro. So far my observations on the new MacBook:

  1. It’s a tad bit thinner than the PowerBook (1 inch versus 1.18).
  2. It’s a bit wider, 15.4 inch as opposed to the 15.2 on the PowerBook.
  3. The display is brighter and seems more clearer.
  4. The MacBook’s screen requires a bit more force to open and close compared to the PowerBook. Not entirely sure why that is.
  5. On installation of software such as Adobe CS 2, Apple Remote Desktop, Microsoft Office 2004, etc. doesn’t seem much faster, but that could be because I’m transfering 12gb of document data while installing the software.
  6. The MacBook seems to run a bit warmer than the PowerBook, but that seems to be related reason #5. Once I start doing the same things I did on the PowerBook on the MacBook, we’ll see if it’s still warmer. After using it a bit more (i.e. more file transfering), it turns out that the MacBook is about as warm as the PowerBook. When you try to multitask too much, it gets warmer since more load is placed on the dual processors.
  7. The illuminating keyboard is much brighter. With the lights on the office, I can definitely tell the illuminated keyboard is on.
  8. The built on iSight webcam is very nice. Seems to be as good as the iSight on the new iMacs despite the size difference.
  9. The remote control is cool.
  10. The magnetic quick detach power supply is very cool.
  11. The fact that the new power supply is double the size of the previous power supply plus it’s now 85 wattage is not so cool.
  12. The keyboard doesn’t have the same nice soft, quiet feel that the PowerBook has. It’s starting to feel like a Dell’s keyboard.
  13. There is no modem jack. You have to buy a usb modem if you want/need to dialup.
  14. Instead of having a PCMCIA slot, it has an Express Port.
  15. The RAM is easier to get to.
  16. Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) does not work with the MacBook at this time, even with Rosetta. Refer to Apple’s notes on ARD and the Intel Based Processors. But supposedly ARD 3.0 is supposed to be released anytime according to Apple Insider.
  17. Apparently the optical drive on the MacBook is 4x SuperDrive with no dual-layer burning capabilities as compared to the 8x SuperDrive with dual-layer burning…although the MacBook’s drive is smaller…small comfort. Read more about it here, along with a pretty good in-depth review by MacWorld on the MacBook, .
  18. According to Dane Riley, the MacBook Pro is supposed to have a Windows-like hibernation mode in which if the battery is near critical depletion, it will dump all the RAM data to the hard drive so the next start up will bring power back to existing last state. Interesting.
  19. Apple TechTool Deluxe does not work on the MacBook Pro, not yet anyways.
  20. Any other copies of the Mac OS that does not specifically say MacBook Pro on it will not boot by holding the “C” button down.
  21. Non-Intel processor Macs cannot access, see, etc. an Intel processor Mac placed in target disk mode.
  22. WinXP can be installed on Intel based processors with the use of Apple’s Boot Camp.

The MacBook Pro that I got is configured as such: 1.83GHZ Dual Core Intel Processors, 80GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, and 128mb video card.

Daunting Task

In all respects, this redesign is so drastic and requires so much changes to the core that I don’t believe this will be Bui4Ever v14b, but rather Bui4Ever v15. And following in line with the proposed v13-15 plan (v13 = first CSS layout site, v14 = first xhtml transitional compliant site, and v15 = first xhtml strict compliant site), this will be my first personal site that is xhtml strict. I had already made the strict leap while working on a redesign for Alan’s existing design at http://www.alanliudds.com for his dental practice.

Originally I was planning to just update Bui4Ever (i.e. Bui4Ever v14b) from xhtml transitional to strict, but after trying to rework the code, every step in creating strict compliance triggered an error in another part of the code that would fail xhtml strict. After much frustration, I said screw it, I’ll go strict on Bui4Ever v15. Which I guess is essentially here. It’s funny how I’ve actually never finished my personal site completely. I’ll start out very strong, get a new design going that I will like for awhile, and then learn something new and wonderful and ready to throw the old design out the window before the site is even completely up. V14 was supposed to be a design that I was going to stay with quite some time, but after all the issues with the blog/news programs, I was ready for change.

The daunting task is not only bringing over all the other pages from v14 to v15, but also bringing stuff I hadn’t had time to bring to v14 from v13. The majority of the content in v14 is easily transposable to v15, with some changes, but unfortunately, v13 content is going to be painful as it is really behind.

Switch to WordPress

After working on various new and current web projects, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it is probably better to use WordPress as my site news/blog. Previously I’ve looked into alternatives (scratchlog, snews, easynews, and then finally SimpleNews) for various reasons. These reasons were:

  1. The Theme system seemed daunting to learn and I mistakenly thought, despite the theme system and the use of CSS, that the design would be too limiting for my taste.
  2. I tried various times to integrate WP into Bui4Ever with no avail.
  3. How could I showcase my web skills if WP did all the work?

After using four different types of news/blogs, I think I will listen to the thousands of people who use WP and integrate it successfully into their custom designed sites. And I’ve also come to the conclusion regarding #3, WP won’t do all the work for me, it will handle a big part that is complex and difficult to handle in itself, which is: the site’s news. So let’s see how this goes.