Tuesday, November 15, 2005

[BlogEXP] Blog Haitus

This is what I orginally posted as a comment in enrii.blog, in which he talks about how bloggers should handle blog haitus (i.e. not posting any new content over a period of time).

You can read the article here:Handling Blog Haitus.

Here's my comment:
Like any publishing content, it greatly depends on the type of content and how "time critical" your content is to be.

Let's say for example, if your blog focuses on the news item that can't afford any sort of delays, say, exclusive news piece/gossip, then probably you cannot afford any sort of haitus of any kinds. Imagine your newspaper isn't delievered daily or the news item is pretty much "old news". On the other hand, if your blog focuses on delivering lengthy tutorials and articles, and doesn't go stale for a long period of time, usually you aren't expected to post every single day. Imagine a magazine or sorts.

So it was a good idea to evaluate what kind of content that you wanted to share in your blog, how much resources you have (in terms of contributing authors, time and technological factors), and your overall direction of your blog (i.e. the big picture/vision/long-term goals).

As much posting frequency and time consistency contributes the most to your loyal reader/subscription base, it's OK to be a little bit late (on a haitus) in posting but always delivering high quality posts.

Speaking of which, I personally don't believe in guest posting. It's more of a partnership affair between you and other contributing authors.

As for advance posts, it literally means that you have typed several entries in one day, but releasing them one at a time with a certain time gap in between. That's what I usually do, since I pretty much scrapbook my content and develop them over time before I actually do a review and post them up.

Use revive posts and "announcing you are away" very carefully because it's much easier to make yourself look unprofessional (it's perfectly OK if it's a personal blog). Revive posts is a good tactic to use if you have some new updates to your old content, or that there's some sort of relationship between what you are "reviving" and what you are going to post.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

[LinuxEXP] Yum on 28.8K

Good thing about YUM (aka Yellowdog Updater Modified): It provides one of the simplest ways to install and update your Linux programs without worrying much about dependency issues.

The ugly thing about YUM: The repository data would take a long time to download on dialup!

Being a dailup user isn't much fun when it comes to updating software, and the thing that initially frustrates me is that the initial YUM configuration isn't meant to be used for dialup users, which ended up me seeing a lot of YUM complaining about socket timeouts and broken downloads.

That ain't fun when every second is billed in cents.

So, what needs to be done is to make the YUM configuration a bit more dialup friendly, this can be done by setting the timeout period a little bit longer, and probably cut down the retries -- Just not to waste time retrying a server which isn't in tip-top condition. Here's what I did with my /etc/yum.conf:


# PUT YOUR REPOS HERE OR IN separate files named file.repo
# in /etc/yum.repos.d

And the next thing to make it more dialup friendly is to use less repositories: as in, use only the ones that is only needed. My own preferable way of doing it is to disable every single repository by default, as in modify every single repository's configuration file in /etc/yum.repos.d folder and set enable=0. This will disable YUM from checking the repository upon execution.

Then, everytime I wanted to execute YUM, I'll enable them manually by executing the command: yum --enablerepo=[repository id] [command, e.g. install/update] [package name].

So, if you are only upgrading your Fedora packages, probably the only thing that needs to be enabled is Fedora Updates (repository id: updates-released, in file fedora-updates.repo).

Personally, I use rpm.livna.org repository for some popular open source software which is not included in Fedora Core and Fedora Extra. Since Livna is a complement of Fedora Extra, it's best to enable Fedora Extra together with Livna.

And as an alternative, which I strongly recommend, is to use a nifty tool called yumex (YUM Extender), which provides a GUI frontend to YUM. The best part of it is that it grabs the repository updates silently in the background, so you can see the repository software list instantly. And it's much more simpler to enable which repository that you want to access to.

You can grab off from Fedora Extras (try to execute this in the command line to grab it: yum -y install yumex. (Needs to enable extras [Fedora Extras] and probably updates-release [Fedora Updates])