Lightroom and iPad Blog Links Fixed

Lightroom Insights blog logo





The main menu links for the Lightroom inSights and Pages for iPad blogs have been restored.  Lightroom inSights provides tips and example files to support my Photoshop Lightroom 3: Visual QuickStart Guide. The Pages for iPad blog does the same for my Pages for iPad: Visual QuickStart Guide, which explains how to use Apple’s Pages application on your iPad.

Pages for iPad blog logo

Nearly Back to Normal

Until Nov. 30, this blog and my waywest site had been hosted over at AT&T-Yahoo for at least eight years. That evening I lost access to the site and watched on my iPhone as all my email rolled off the screen and into the aether. Not a peep from either entity that the site was going black—and no email about it afterward.
Thanks to the bristling posts at Yahoo’s Facebook page, I discovered a few days later that about 30,000 former AT&T small business account holders like myself were in the same torpedoed boat. For those who depend on their sites for actual business, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time—the day after Black Friday.
Even in this chilly post-modern world, Yahoo’s non-response was stunning: phone calls to support went unanswered or (worse) simply went dead after 30+ minutes on hold. It took almost 10 days for Yahoo to post the tersest possible note about what happened. I never did get through on the phone.
Essentially the termination boiled down to our failure to see and consent to new boilerplate user terms. I’d gotten several emails beforehand about this new agreement, which I couldn’t find to sign. I called both AT&T and Yahoo twice to find out what I needed to do. In all four instances, I was told I was all set.
It wasn’t until later that I realized the reason I’d never seen this new agreement was because it only appeared when one signed into the Web Host panel. Not my email account but the web host account, which I never see because I use WordPress to run the site. So for not checking a box in a boilerplate form most of us never saw, Yahoo pulled the plug.
What became clear over the next four weeks of no service was that with an estimated 100 million customers, Yahoo didn’t care about a measly 30,000 customers left twisting in the wind.
For never explained reasons, they eventually restored our access—again without telling us. I discovered it only because I’d been habitually checking for my site and email every day for weeks. A couple of days after that, another terse note also was posted on Yahoo’s system status page. I don’t think they teach this in customer relations classes.
Of course, our service was not really restored, just “re-activated.” All the email sent to us over that lost month? Bounced. All the email aliases I’d set up for the account? No longer there.
I’ve spent weeks sorting through the wreckage, and have now moved my primary email elsewhere and have finally gotten this blog/website hosted on
There remain some items to fix. For example, the menu links to my Lightroom and iPad books need to be fixed. But we’re close.

[Update: On March 10, I restored the blog links which involved adding new CNAME records at my host to point clicks to their respective TypePad locations. Someday, perhaps, I’ll consolidate everything here. But not a top priority.]

Mastering the Newest Tool in Your Camera Bag

Cover of The iPad for Photographers bookJeff Carlson’s new book from Peachpit Press, The iPad for Photographers: Master the Newest Tool in Your Camera Bag, does a great job of rounding up tools and tips for how to make your iPad part of your field photo kit. And the eBook version, at $15.99, can go right onto your iPad.

If you consider the iPad just a photo-viewing device, think again. I use Lightroom, always shoot in raw format and depend on my iPad for my field-to-desktop workflow. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from the embryonic days when the release of the iPad-camera connector was a big deal.

Btw, his web site keeps you up to speed once you’ve absorbed the book’s info. Jeff’s also published an eBook on using Photosmith, which shows you how to use that app to tag and organize your photos while you’re away from your desktop copy of Lightroom. After repeatedly hitting the wall with the app’s own chock-full-of-blind-spots documentation, I found this the best $4.99 I’ve spent on photography.

New Seattle totem honors native woodcarver

Volunteers carry totem

Paced by drums, volunteers carried the 34-foot-long totem more than a mile.

On Sunday, the first totem raised in Seattle in 100 years was installed near the Space Needle. A beautiful tribute to John T. Williams, a native wood carver shot by a Seattle policeman in 2010, the event drew hundreds of supporters.

The totem, which weighed 3,500 pounds, was carried by more than 90 people from the Puget Sound pier where it was carved to Seattle Center about a mile-and-a-half uphill.

First Nations people from across the Northwest turned out for the totem dedication. Hoisting the totem into position was done with poles and ropes—an amazing and hair-raising thing to watch.

mother and daughter in native garb

A mother and daughter in traditional button blankets and cedar-bark hats at the totem raising.



Viaduct coming down to make way for deep-bore tunnel

Nearly 11 years after the Nisqually earthquake showed how vulnerable the Puget Sound area is to major shakers, the waterfront Alaska Way viaduct is well on its way toward being replaced. It’ll be another three years before completion of a deep-bore tunnel enables the city to completely remove the double-decker behemouth. Once it’s gone, a whole new zone of the city will open up—and a whole lotta noise will be shifted underground.

Installing a responsive theme

The previously installed Basic Maths theme did not work as well as I hoped. Its layout did change depending on the device you used to view it. But somehow it seemed clunky (that’s a technical term). So I’ve reinstalled WordPress’s TwentyTen theme, plus added a child theme that is responsive to the viewing device. Aptly named “Responsive Twenty Ten,” it does the job.

Switching to Basic Maths

I’ve been busy doing paid work, so only now returning to this work-in-progress. I’ve switched away from WP’s own TwentyEleven theme to Basic Maths for several reasons.

  • As seen in a previous post, Twenty Eleven is not designed to respond to small, mobile-based screens. In this day and age, that’s two strikes against it right there.
  • Basic Maths theme, which is on sale for $30 until Jan. 1, automatically reformats its layouts for the iPhone. It’s also grid-based and—I think—simple enough to be reconfigured as I need.
  • Basic Maths was created by and Allan Cole. From 2006 to 2010, Vinh was the design director for, which he helped turn into one of the Web’s best-looking and easiest-to-use news sites. I’ve followed his Subtraction blog for years.

With the theme nailed down, it’s on to customizing the general look before building various one-off pages.

Mobile menus

Site menus as they appear on iPhone

Not what I expected

I’m not quite sure what I had expected, but this is how the site appears on my iPhone. The menus don’t scale down; instead they wrap and stack down the screen. This underscores the main point of the “Mobile First” approach to building sites. I downloaded Luke Wroblewski’s book to my iBook shelf as soon as A Book Apart released it, but I’ve been reading Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte, so hadn’t gotten to it yet. Seems like I’ll need to read them simultaneously.

[Update: I’ve since realized that stacking menu items for the phone view is pretty standard. Still, it seems like there’s probably an more elegant solution where those items would scale down at least a bit. To be continued…]

Breadcrumbs into the jungle

Consider this post part of a trail of breadcrumbs left behind as I upgrade the site to WordPress. The journey’s hardly begun, but it won’t be long before I’m hip deep in php and sql files. Having a record of my day-by-day progress just might  keep me from wandering too far off the trail.

Regarding yesterday’s machette exercise, it turns out there was a bug in the previous version of Twenty Eleven theme that kept it from working properly with WordPress 3.04. But to update to WordPress 3.2.1, I had to back up my directories and the site’s .sql file. I hadn’t done that  because the site’s really too new to have much to back up. Something I’d have to do sooner or later, so I did it today. And now I’m set.

Oh, and the Twenty Eleven theme update then installed perfectly. Of course, the theme has way too much air in the text and the heds are gargantuan. So there’s work still to be done. Two steps forward…