I have been very neglectful of this blog lately. While I am not making any excuses, I have been *extremely* busy at work for the last 6 months or so. The credit union where I work (VSECU),continues to grow quite rapidly. As a matter fact, we are in the process of opening *THREE* new branches around the state. One in Waterbury to place the one destroyed by Hurricane Irene, a full-service branch in Rutland to replace the small branch in the downtown area and a brand new branch in Brattleboro. All three of these will likely come alive in the next couple of weeks… and certainly by the end of the year.
As some of you may know from my bio, I am the VP of the computer department there and, in order to support all of the new technology that these new branches will have (check-scanning ATMs and video teller machines), I have also been rolling out a new fiber optic Wide Area Network (WAN) to connect all of our sites together. This is a huge undertaking under normal circumstances, but the devastation of Irene across our beautiful state has made the construction of this new network a NIGHTMARE!! I’ll be very glad when this project is done…
I *will* resume my regular updates of this blog in 2012… Thanks for your patience!!
It has been a while since I made any major changes to the site and my fingers have been itching to do so for the last couple of weeks.
- WordPress Software Upgrade – I have been actively testing both commercial and open sourced software for more than 20 years. Some of my time spent working with computers for over 30 years has been spent as a developer and I enjoy “playing” with new software; stuff that I develop or that someone else has lovingly put together. I maintain some other sites as testing platforms for various types of Web-based software, including WordPress, the software that is used to produce this blog. I have been working with the soon-to-be-released WordPress v3.0 for the last couple of months and I figured that it had reached a stage in development (and in my confidence) to be used on this “production” site of mine. The new version adds many new features, all of which will be totally invisible to you all as you view the site and its articles at this point (unless the site crashes and burns, of course). I am very excited about some of the new capabilities of this version and it may take a little while, but slowly I will add features and functions that take advantage of this new version.
- New Theme – If you have visited the site within the last several months, you will have noticed a variety of new themes being experimented with. The one that I am currently using (the i3 Theme), I am happy with, at least for the time being.
- Improved site security – Many of you may have noticed that there is now an entry of a “Captcha” code necessary before posting of a article comment. Over time, as my blog has become more visible on the Internet, it has also come under increasing attack by the “hackers and spammers” of the world. I have put various measures into place to combat these attacks and keep the VTHopHead site a safe (and hopefully entertaining) place to visit.
Thanks for your continued support and encouragement…
–Steve K (VTHopHead)
Maybe its is my work in technology, but I seem to get tired of some things quickly. My marriage has lasted nearly 28 years, but that has been easy compared to other, more technical, challenges in my life. Starting today when you visit the site, you will notice a few changes:
- A new theme – the old beer-oriented theme had quite few problems that irritated me enough over time for me to give up on it. The new theme imitates Google’s new Chrome browser interface, which I happen to like… a lot. It is a lean and mean interface that is well designed and eliminates some of the problems that I was having with the previous “beer” theme. Feedback about this new theme would be appreciated, of course.
- Google Ads in the sidebar – I can hear it now… I sold out. Truth is, this site costs me some bucks to host and the ads are not intrusive and might just produce something to offset the production costs. No pressure, of course… clicking on one of these is entirely optional… but any clicks would be appreciated.
- Expanded Pages – I have put in place some additional pages for the site (Ratings, Links, Gallery and Events). These are mostly empty at the point, but I expect to fill the rest of them with worthwhile information soon. All of this positions me to make this a more full-featured site than it is currently… hopefully providing some additional benefit for site visitors.
Thank you for your support… 🙂
I have been working to add some new features to this blog, but many of them will not be readily visible to regular users of the site. In addition to adding a mobile version of the site (visible to mobile users only, of course), I have added database management and backup, a site maintenance notice, a blog security scanner, have linked the site RSS feed to FeedBurner and have added a theme preview plugin that would allow me to preview new themes (should I wish to change). These are all changes that mostly benefit ME… but will make the site more secure, makes it available to a broader range of users and makes it easier for me to manage and keep track of… ultimately/hopefully these changes benefit everyone.
For those of you that have visited this site before, you’ll see that I have been working to add some new features to the site. This is my first public blog, so I am still playing around a bit with the various features, functions and add-ons for WordPress. Among the changes that you will see in today’s round of updates are:
Activation of the “Polling” widget on the right side bar. I am interested in what you think about my site and would like suggestions for improvement as comments to this post… please try to be kind, even if you do not like something I have done.
I have entered the VTHopHead blog into some of the big blog catalogs available on the Internet. These will begin to improve my blog’s visibility to others and make it easier to find.
I have linked this blog’s comments into the DISQUS Comments system (www.disqus.com). This powerful add-on not only provides spam protection, a comments tracking widget and threaded comments, but also links blog comments in to a Web-wide network of other blogs using DISQUS for their comments… Twitter uses this, for example. I visit a lot of blogs and the idea of maintaining a single DISQUS profile to track all of my comments made to these blogs is appealing to me.