Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blurb Blues

In the post "Template changes”, I mentioned (recommended?) the internet publishing facility “Blurb.com” but have had some difficulties with it of late.

For info – these are a couple of screen-shots of experiments with the BookSmart template system.

(click for big biggies)



While the free download “book design” template program “Booksmart” is quite exciting, interesting and relatively easy to understand (once one gets the hang of it) – it does “promise” to be able to “slurp” a blog. In other words, it's supposed to “download” an entire blog into the Booksmart template, as well as “autoflow” or re-organise the entries into correct chronological order – i.e. from first post to last – and so from there, can edit, re-organise, delete posts, or re-write; and is certainly more efficient than “copy 'n' pasting” them all - but have discovered a major glitch.

It won't achieve that – for me at least, at this time,.

Am not really sure what it is, exactly, that is causing the glitch; and while the “tech support” system responds fairly quickly, they're asking me to forward files that don't exist – or haven't been created by this particular glitch.

So, let me backtrack a bit.

Had a fair idea that the “slurp” download of 800 posts and 520+ photos might take some time, and involve more megabytes than the $20 USB recharge allows – so, some weeks ago while at the Yorktown caravan park, went to the nearby “Internet” facility operated by the local council ($6-00/half hour, $4-00 per half thereafter) and attempted the first “slurp” download.

For a start, there is no facility or ability to choose whether to download “photos”, “text” - or both, which to me is a bittuva nuisance. I don't actually need to download the photos on the blog, since they're all full-size on my hard-drive.

So, when I clicked the “start slurp” button it began to download every image on the blog – all (at that time) 516 of them. There IS a small “thumbnail” box which shows which image is being downloaded, as well as a message which says “ ..downloading 1 (2,3, .. 42, etc.) of 516”.

All went well until 515 of 516 .. then the system crashed, and an error message appeared; with a “report this error” contact message box. I filled it in with a brief description of what happened (or didn't happen) and tried again from square one. Same crash.

I tried three times, but same thing happened each time.

Tech support responded via email but kept asking for a file which the program should have created in ../My documents/Booksmartdata – but didn't.

It did occur to me that the problem may have been because Womby's drivel was still using the “old” blogger template system – hence the update.

Have also “upgraded” to latest version of BookSmart, but while in Port V. the other day I went to the Newsagent which also has high-speed internet facilities and tried it again. Same thing happened. Downloaded all but last photo – then connection collapsed.

Am, at this point, thinking that there may be some Javascript in the sidebar which interacts badly with the download program so if things suddenly disappear from the sidebar at some time in the future – it's just me experimenting and trying to solve this glitch.


5 comments:

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I shudder at every new thing that electronically comes along because I know that, either I will mess it up, or it will mess me up. I wouldn't try to use a new service on the blog because I know in my heart that everything on it would fade into nothingness. (It is pretty close to that, sometimes, anyway).
I once had a pretty interesting web page, that one of my technologically competent offspring managed for me. He got pressed by time, so he spent some time teaching me how to manage it myself using a "very simple" program named Joombla (I think). I worked on it for awhile and the page is now so totally disorganized and content free that I hate to meet people who have been there to look at it.

I honor your courage. This old coot would have gone to hide in a hole by now.

Davo said...

Dunno about 'courage', Threescore - more like "patience". Am, at the moment, being driven even more cranky by Blugger/Gyrgle since I can't remember which of several 'usernames' and/or passwords that am supposed to use. Have been trying to "simplify" things and only ended up by making it more complicated .. heh.

John L said...

It's all over my head. I just seem to bungle my way through my blog. It's amazing it's still up there. Gets pretty frustrating at times though. The new photo looks good.

Davo said...

Have been doing a bit of research, and found that there is a "Print on Demand" internet publisher in Australia (not B4 time) but is a bit pricey.
Bookpal

They DO, however, offer some interesting packages and detailed info on how to publish ones own book. Will write more detail into a post as I discover the ins and outs.

Anne Johnson said...

I'm like Threescore. Except worse. I can't even turn on the telly without having to ask for help from my kids. You are a braver man than ... oh, wait a minute. I'm not a man!