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Monday, January 2nd, 2006

Little Fish in a Big Pond

Sometimes I’m still amazed that I have an impact on the Internet. It’s not a big one, granted, but it’s there. I get a solid 25 hits a day on my postings about hooking up a certain model of wireless network card under Linux, and even though hardly anyone posts a comment about it, it makes me feel good thinking that I’m helping someone switch over to Linux. Getting my various wireless cards to work after I installed Linux (I went through three before finally determining to keep trying until I succeeded) was a huge problem that kept me from using Linux for literally years. Now that I can use Linux and connect to the Internet, I keep finding myself rebooting when I sit down at my computer and see that Windows login screen. I want to use my Fedora instead. And I want to share that feeling.

What’s more, some of those hits are coming without referrals, which I can only interpret as either someone bookmarking my site, or emailing a link to someone else. Either one says I’m making a difference.

Some of my hits are from people looking up my brother’s comic strip. (I’m going to give him a boost in Google PageRank by linking to his site – even though he doesn’t link back to me.) So I’ve got the old family pride cred, too.

Speaking of family, I had a great day today up in LALALand visiting my brother, sister-in-law, nephews and parents. We were sitting around talking about my father’s impending retirement, and the consensus was that he needed to find an activity that kept him busy and happy. I mentioned that I would always have my computer and Internet tinkering, and that it was a most fulfilling hobby for me. I guess that since the subject matter had been covering activities that could also produce income, I was asked if I could make money off of blogging. I had to laugh – if I could figure out how to do that, I’d have a million opinionated schmoes beating a path to my door! But some bloggers have, particularly through Google’s AdSense, but I don’t know whether it would be enough to even cover the hosting expenses.

Which brings me around to the inspiration for this post. (Yes, there’s a good reason why I picked the title “Ramblings“.) As I said before, I got a positive response to my feedback from GamerZ, the author of the WordPress plugin UserOnline. The latest version of his download includes all the things he said he would do. He added the GPL, he removed the core WP files hack, and he gave me credit for adding bot definitions. You just can’t get more responsive than that. Isn’t the Internet and the open source community great? I use stuff written by a someone 14,000 km away, talk to him, and it gets better. Next time I’m in Singapore (which, hopefully, will be in a few months – I have job in Diego Garcia coming up, and I’ll have to pick up a C-17 at Paya Lebar), I’m going to have to look him up. Perhaps I can persuade him to give me a better tour of the place than I gave myself with a guidebook when I was last there in 1999. I love Asia, and it’s always better to see it through the eyes of locals. Especially if you’re a 195 cm white guy who can’t speak the local lingo.

Posted by Greg in Family & Friends, My Website, People, Programming

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