Posts Tagged 'technical problem'

Writing Today

I didn’t actually plan on writing today, but when I got online and checked Facebook and my feed reader, it turns out I just couldn’t stop writing.

So, I thought I’d share my thoughts with everyone.

The first item that sparked a slew of written thought was this:

This is a good comic, you should subscribe to it.

This is from a webcomic I subscribe to in Google Reader. Usually, this sort of comic doesn’t elicit a very strong reaction from me (I didn’t even laugh at this one, it wasn’t very funny). However, the author’s commentary below the comic brought back some memories:

In junior high I took one of those future career tests. I was really hoping the result would be cartoonist, but instead it was screenwriter or artist. I later found out that cartoonist wasn’t in the database, so that must have been the closest it could find since cartooning is a little of both.

Anyone else take one of those tests?

Yes, I did take one of those kinds of tests, and I wanted to share my thoughts. So I went to the post’s page and left a comment:

True story – In early grade school I took one of those career aptitude tests on an Apple IIe computer with a green and black screen. Taking the test I felt inspired, like there were so many possibilities out there for me to go out and enjoy after my long, arduous but essential years in the education system, which would ultimately prepare me to be a successful member of a highly qualified working force.
It asked questions about my hobbies, my interests, my skills, and so much more. By the time I finished the test, I felt as though the software and I had formed a bond that would last a lifetime. I eagerly waited while the computer calculated my scores and searched through an endlessly fascinating list of exciting jobs. My heart skipped beats every time I giddily considered a possible career – astronaut, fighter jet pilot, robotics engineer… The list seemed endless.
At the end of a grueling wait, the result popped up on the screen:
ELEVATOR OPERATOR
My heart sunk, and twenty years later it hasn’t risen. That test killed my hopes and dreams.

OK. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I wandered over to Facebook where I had a message waiting for me. Here is an edited, summarized and fabricated version of the message (to protect the privacy of the involved parties):

Brian,

I recently had something change in my extended family. This change resulted in the separation of two parties which left me with Facebook friends that I no longer have any reason to keep in touch with. Facebook has changed a lot recently, and I am unable to find how to break my connection with these individuals. Could you please help?

So, in response I went crazy on my keyboard:

Hey. Sorry it took me a little while to check my messages because I’ve been in class all week (preparing to get A+ certification).

If you haven’t yet had your question answered by someone quicker than I am, I think you will find the following helpful.

They seem to be making it more and more difficult to get rid of friends these days. I understand it’s something they don’t want to make too easy or people would be doing it accidentally all the time, causing a lot of very awkward situations.

Anyhow, the fastest, easiest way I could find to get to my list of friends (for editing) was to go up to the upper right-hand corner where it says “Home | Profile | Account.”  The “Account” link has a little down arrow next to it, and when you click on it you’ll see a little menu pop up, and at the top of those options you’ll see “Edit Friends.”

Of course, clicking on “Edit Friends” and finding an editable list of your friends would be too easy, right? So they had to hide your friends under one more layer of security (as if hiding this in the corner wasn’t enough).

On the left-hand menu area you’ll see “Lists,” and at the top of the lists (if you’ve created any, they will help you find the people you’re trying to remove easier) you can click on “Friends” to pull up your complete list of friends.

Each friend has their photo, their name, their network, then a little drop-down menu for managing which lists they appear in. Beside all of that, on the far right there is an “X.” Clicking on that “X” removes your connection to them – deleting them from your list of friends.

Oddly enough, I don’t think they get any kind of notification that you’ve removed them (or, as the new generation is calling it, “unfriended”). So, you can do this without worrying about them becoming offended (if that’s a concern of yours, thought I don’t think you believe they will even notice).

I hope that helps. If you need more instructions or even step-by-step screen captures to guide you, I’d be happy to email you (I have this neat tool in Windows 7 that can capture every step I take to do something, record in text what I do, then create a webpage type file that I can send to other people or edit and post to the web).

Any time you have any technical questions, do not hesitate to contact me. I’m always happy to help, and sometimes, when I’ve heard a question enough times, it prompts me to write a detailed instructional article and post it to my blog. So keep them coming!

Your friend,

Brian Haddad

I hope this post was somewhat entertaining. I regret not writing more, but I’ve been extremely busy and somewhat stressed about several things that have spiraled out of control in my life, and I will resume regular writing when I feel able. Until then, watch for random posts like this one.

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WordPress Google Docs

I love that WordPress shows search terms that are pulling your stuff up on the Internet. In fact, I love a lot of things about WordPress. I am also a big fan of Google Docs, and when I first began using this “blog” thing, I wanted to use Google Docs to post my entries.

Unfortunately, as my first post indicates, I had troubles getting it set up. I got the following message: Error decoding XML-RPC response.

Now, I’m not technical genius, and I can only vaguely describe what that error message means, but I played around a bit and got things working.

I started posting all sorts of cool stories, technical ideas, and anything else I felt like sharing. Unfortunately, nobody was interested.

At least eight people have searched for a solution to this problem and were sent to my blog and the number one search term that pulls me up online is “error decoding xml-rpc responce” from Google Docs in one way or another. I guess not too many people actually have problems with this message, but those who do have no idea where to find help for it. I may be wrong, but I also want to help out where I can. So, here’s how I solved the problem. It may not be the best way, but it has worked for me.

I’ll provide a screenshot, but essentially I didn’t use the preset settings for WordPress found in the Google Docs options for posting to a blog. At the top of the “Blog Site Settings” window I clicked on the “My own server / custom” radio button. Here are the rest of the settings I used:

(RED text means you should insert your personal information. Black means yours should be the same.)

(Click the image to view it full size.)

API:

“MetaWeblog API”

URL:

“http://mereman.wordpress.com/xmlrpc.php”

-(If you really do host your blog at a different URL, the wordpress.com part my be different too. The part before the “/xmlrpc.php” is the address you give to people so they can visit your blog.)

User Name:

mediocrerenaissanceman

-(This is the whole user name you log into the site with.)

Password:

wouldn’t you like to know?

Blog ID/Title:

The Mediocre Renaissance Man

-(This is the title displayed at the head of your pages and at the top of the WordPress site while you are at your dashboard.)

Last of all I have the box checked that says: “Include the document title when posting (if supported)” and I think you should too if you want to use the document title as your posting title.

The only warning I should mention is that when I use Google Docs to post it doesn’t go immediate. When I go to WordPress afterward it says the post is scheduled for seven hours later. If I want to post immediately I then go in and edit the post at the WordPress site, changing the settings to “Published” and the time to five minutes earlier. This works, but if anyone knows of a better way to get Google Docs to do it immediately, I could use the help.

I hope this helps, and if you have any more questions or ideas, please leave a comment.

Welcome Me

I always told myself I would stay away from “popular” stuff, mainstream trends and Internet terms like “blog.”  Blog just sounds dumb, the spell checker doesn’t like it, and when I think about “blogging” nothing interesting comes to mind.  However, here I am, writing my first post to a dedicated “blogging” site.  I chose WordPress.com because of its professional look and mature name.  We’ll see how I like it here.

Since I have NO idea how many people will spot me as a new user, find me out of the blue, etc., I’m going to do a test.  I have a question, so anyone out there that happens to read this and might have an answer, please let me know.  I am an avid fan/user of Google Docs, and I’ve run into a little hiccup with their posting to blog service.  I’ve entered all of my information (username, password, etc.) and it appears to be correct, but it comes back with an error: Error decoding XML-RPC response.  What the heck does that mean and how do I fix it?  Thanks.

Well, I suppose that’s all from me for now.  My primary purpose in starting this “thing” (I’m going to avoid using that strange Internet jargon term) is to improve my writing by practicing.  I’ll rant about stuff, I’ll post short stories, I’ll share ideas.  I’m also going to assume NOBODY is reading, so I’ll get really excited if people actually comment and respond to stuff.  If I get nothing, that’s what I expect out of nobody!

Watch for something exciting soon.

*****UPDATE*****

I have a new post that explains how I solved the “Error decoding XML-RPC response” problem with Google Docs and WordPress.


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