Our Category: Administrivia

Stepto.com Back on the Air

0 Administrivia | w00tstock No Comments

Ahead of the co-location for the site at my ISP, I took the opportunity to do a complete rebuild from scratch with all new software.  So I wiped the Stepto.com machine in my house, and laid on Windows Server 2008 R2 x64, SQL Server Express 2010 r2 x64, and SharePoint 2010 x64. Everything laid down just fine, but I ran into many unexpected problems migrating my old Windows SharePoint Services content database over.  Too many things changed in the SharePoint 2010 blog template.  Content editor web parts changed function, themes changed completely, and many items flat out refused to carry over.

Luckily the Internet is around.  I was able to fix my authentication and content mapping problems, as well as search issues with the site.

One thing still to fix is the fact the color scheme is still a little messed up, for instance this text should be much brighter but I cannot find a way in the new SharePoint theme editor to get granular control over the *entire* color scheme without diving headfirst into CSS editing which I am loathe to do. Comments are currently turned off too until I figure out how to integrate Disqus or Intense Debate into the new SharePoint. 

But so far I am really pleased with the speed and performance of the clean install on the little Dell Studio Hybrid that makes up Stepto.com.

So here’s the first post on the new platform.  I’ll be updating soon with news on my w00tstock performances in Dallas and Austin as well as a very special announcement coming soon. 

 

EDIT: Oh yay I found out my blog writing software will change the text brightness for me. So.  Yay.

Ahead of the co-location for the site at my ISP, I took the opportunity to do a complete rebuild from scratch with all new software.  So I wiped the Stepto.com machine in my house, and laid on Windows Server 2008 R2 x64, SQL Server Express 2010 r2 x64, and SharePoint 2010 x64. Everything laid down […]

Where’s Stepto?

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Today marks my 15th anniversary as a full time employee of the Microsoft Corporation.  I celebrated yesterday at work, and I have spent the past month working on a very important work thing, and a very important personal project.  I hope to say more very soon about both things.  But meanwhile now that most of the work is now out of my hands I’ll be back to posting here.  :>

Today marks my 15th anniversary as a full time employee of the Microsoft Corporation.  I celebrated yesterday at work, and I have spent the past month working on a very important work thing, and a very important personal project.  I hope to say more very soon about both things.  But meanwhile now that most of […]

I’ll see you in The Year We Make Contact

0 Administrivia | Reflection No Comments

It’s weird, but it feels like I’ve been waiting all my life for this year, immortalized in the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

2009 was an incredible year. I discovered Songsmith.  I watched Barack Obama’s inauguration with a thousand excited friends in downtown Seattle. My awesome Mom turned 60! I invented a new word. The Dallas Stars beat the LA Kings at least once. I totally embarrassed myself with some old college poetry. I went to e3! I got an iPhone. I gave a speech at PAX! I was officially in the credits for my first video game, Halo 3: ODST. I bought a cow! And lastly, I put on an auction item for the Child’s Play dinner this year and raised $2,000!

I feel incredibly lucky to get to do what I do, and incredibly thankful for all the readers of my blog and followers on Twitter.

I hope you have an amazing New Year. Stay safe, and we’ll see you in The Year We Make Contact.

It’s weird, but it feels like I’ve been waiting all my life for this year, immortalized in the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey. 2009 was an incredible year. I discovered Songsmith.  I watched Barack Obama’s inauguration with a thousand excited friends in downtown Seattle. My awesome Mom turned 60! I invented a new word. […]

Stepto.com, now with Facebook and Twitter Integration

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I’m on a bit of a hacking high for a moment so bear with me.

For, well ever since I moved to Seattle more or less, my site has been based off of Windows SharePoint Services using its blog template. On the plus side, it’s extremely easy to set up a database centered blog with dynamic pages and such and things.  The downside is that to customize it you have to do all manner of BATSHITINSANE stuff. Recent versions have made things easier and easier and I only expect that to continue with SharePoint 2010.

I’ve never been terribly pleased with the comment ability on the blog.  I could have set it up like a lot of blogs, requiring a unique registration, but that would force people to remember yet another password and have yet another silo’d account just to post here.  So I allowed anonymous comments on the blog, which has basically been more or less ok.  However between pranksters, Internet drama inciters, and most recently, comment spammers, I finally cast about for a real solution.

Enter Disqus.

While it doesn’t directly support SharePoint, Disqus is a drop-in comment technology that allows social media integration with a variety of blog solutions, and wow did that just sound like some moronic web 2.0 buzzword speak.

By dropping in some webparts and haxx0ring the gibson, I was able to fully integrate Disqus’s universal blog code into SharePoint’s blog template.

So, this means several things.

First off, all the old comments have been removed and archived.  The two comment systems are incompatible.  So basically it will now look like no one has ever commented on my blog.  That’s not censorship or anything, just a necessary evil to move to the new system.

To now post a comment on the blog, you must have one of the following:

A Disqus account
An OpenID
A Twitter account
A Facebook account

If you don’t have these, the comment system will help you now create one.

There will no longer be any blanket anonymous posts on the blog. 

Sure, you can create a new Twitter or Disqus account for being a troublemaker, but I can throttle a lot of that stuff and even ban words or users without having to close the system down or move to moderation only. This solution is so much better than captcha’s or any of that stuff, and you don’t have to remember some unique username or credentials just for my site.

For you privacy people, using Facebook or Twitter means that you must allow Facebook or Twitter to accept connections from Disqus (NOT Stepto.com, I will have no way of viewing or messing with any credentials, another attractive part of being able to integrate the sites like this).  Also be warned that using those accounts to post here on Stepto.com will mean that your “username” displayed will be your Facebook name (usually your real name)or Twitter username.

As a bonus, with Twitter and Facebook you will be able to cross post a comment to those sites if you so choose, although that is off by default.

I had to do a lot of kludgy xml editing using trial and error to get it all to work so my next post will be a tutorial on how to integrate Disqus into a Sharepoint blog for the Disqus folks to reference. There’s still some things to do, I’m not sure I like the themes and color schemes of the Disqus stuff so I will be tailoring that more to the site’s theme. But overall I am really pleased.

Anyways, this is all a longwinded way of saying, give the new comment system a spin!

I’m on a bit of a hacking high for a moment so bear with me. For, well ever since I moved to Seattle more or less, my site has been based off of Windows SharePoint Services using its blog template. On the plus side, it’s extremely easy to set up a database centered blog with […]

It was 10 years ago today.

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I was incredibly lucky and fortunate enough to be able to afford my own 128k ISDN line in 1998. Rochto and I had just moved into a new apartment in Las Colinas, where the Microsoft Dallas satellite campus is located. Our place was at the corner of Macarthur blvd and LBJ freeway, aka 635. It was the first apartment I ever rented that had its own garage.

I’d been thinking about setting up a website for a while. So I went to Network Solutions and reserved, on 9.28.98, Stepto.com.

I quickly set about creating an NT 4.0 server box with IIS to host the site. It was a Pentium 133 with 128 megs of RAM (I splurged). And Microsoft had just bought Frontpage so of course that is what I immediately used as my website software.

I was so excited the day I registered the domain. I wrestled with the ISDN equipment. I wrestled with the drivers to dual bind the two 64k channels into one 128k upload and download channel. I configured DNS by hand with BIND. I mapped static IP’s to my hardware. All that work, all the learning, and now I was ready to author my own HTML and launch my personal site!

And here, here from my own personal archives, is the first version of Stepto.com with the first post, launched on 9.30.98.

Still do, to this day

I ended up redoing everything by hand in notepad.

We’ve come a long way. Thanks everyone who reads the site and comments, you guys are awesome and I am totally not worthy of the honor of you visiting here.

I was incredibly lucky and fortunate enough to be able to afford my own 128k ISDN line in 1998. Rochto and I had just moved into a new apartment in Las Colinas, where the Microsoft Dallas satellite campus is located. Our place was at the corner of Macarthur blvd and LBJ freeway, aka 635. It […]