WordPress Update 2.7.1

I dreaded upgrading my old wordpress page to a new version. Been putting it off actually. I thought by now I would be deeply involved in Umbraco installs and having my own design up and running in its own CMS. No such thing yet tho.

So I decided to quickly refresh this page and selected a fresh and girly looking style for the time being. And an upgrade of WordPress to 2.7.1 was part of the action plan. The upgrade was done without troubles and the site still works so that looks good. It seems that I have created some problems with permissions on directories tho, and need to go back to reading the manual.

In the mean time… things are progressing slowly but I finally kicked myself out of my lethargy. I started to work in Blender again. Even while I have not been doing much 3D work lately, it all comes back quite quickly. I think most people find the Blender interface a bit daunting, but there are very good tutorials and courses freely available online. I decided to use the freely offered Blender 3D Design course as refresher and I am really impressed by the quality of this course. The course is aimed at the Blender beginner (and as such a bit slow for someone that has already some 3D modeling experience). The instructor Neil Hirsig uses videos to demonstrate Blenders features. The accompanying tutorials are well written and gives ample options to learn the Blender interface. Get your own feet wet at Tufts University OCW.

So last summer …

Mock-up for a new design
Mock-up for a new design

I am sure you have noticed it too. It seems that fresh looking alternative designs for websites are rare. Of course, it is a matter of taste and what may appeal to me may not work for anyone else. But really.. all big corporate sites go for a safe look and feel. And most of them are blue and white. BORING .. and so last summer.

So what to do with a website that needs a make over, should not be boring (to my eyes) and certainly should not have a ‘corporate look’ . Of course there are matters to discuss… accessibility, SEO optimisation, use of a CMS which may largely influence the design. Most CMSs use a template, and we all go safely for 2-column or 3-column layouts, and end up with another boring site. *SIGH* *ANOTHER SIGH*

Being determined to have a different look and feel is one thing, actually designing something different is not that easy. I seem to be brainwashed with some basic layout rules and it is hard to do things differently. That is why I started to make a tidy list of what I want my site to represent. It is a struggle, but I know it will help me to focus on the main features of the site. And then I can finally play with the v4RC of Umbraco *grins*

Snap out of it!

*BLINK* So what just happened? NOTHING! As said in a previous post… I relocated to the other side of the world, enjoying a nice sabbatical in Oz. That means heaps of time. Enjoying summer, scenery, short travels and life is pretty good to me. Sounds relaxed ay? Well.. it is… but what about all the plans I have (see About Me)?!?!

Well.. not blogging does not necessarily mean I do nothing. But before that puts the wrong idea in your mind… doing nothing is actually what has been going on. I have browsed a lot. But I have not been productive. So back to the plans!


My computers moved with me. How can I enjoy heaps of spare time without my machines. Unfortunately, the installed operating systems were in my native language. Very useful for me, but not so convenient for native English speakers that I share these computers with… *sigh* so some localisation was at hand. Backed up all my applications, my work, my bookmarks and gave it a go. As I worked with the English versions of the OS before not a too big a change… just a lot of work. But on the other hand… a nice fresh install is not so bad either.


This site was never meant to be an WordPress site. I wanted to implement Umbraco ever since I did a testrun with it. Umbraco is a highly configurable/customizable open source CMS written in .Net C#, and as a .Net developer… that makes me feel happy right away.

Umbraco is installed as an ’empty’ CMS. Not with a zillion features that you probably may not ever use. There are starter kits available tho, which can kick start the launch of a website with Umbraco. I used the starter kits to obtain a good understanding of how Umbraco works, what document types are and how templates are defined. A comprehensive article on Umbraco basics can be found here.

The guys at Umbraco have been working hard lately. And while I was relaxing and happily browsing away… I kept an eye on their blog. They have been working hard at Umbraco 4, which comes with heaps of cool new features. Last Friday they released Version 4 Beta 2… and I read up on ‘why I should be really excited over Umbraco 4‘ … and I got to say that got me drooling *grins*. I am also glad I did not spend too much time on V3 now. I can jump on the next train and implement all goodies right away. The list of enhancements and improvements is impressive and I cannot wait to get started.

In the last few days I build virtual machines to set up a full development environment, got my servers running, Visual Studio 2008 installed and the Umbraco source code downloaded from Codeplex. I am all set!

Creative Designs

I had a basic design layout ready for this site. But it is funny what a few months and a different climate can do to you. I looked at it and took a deep breath. The design did not appeal to me at all! Time to drop it and to go back to the drawing board. Good that I had spent some time browsing tho. Sad thing is that there are many ’13 in a dozen’ type websites, look alikes, uncreative. I want my site to be different! Oh..oh.. that sounds like another good way of putting off some work on it. Will be continued…

I have been sleeping…

… way too long. Too busy packing stuff and tying loose ends. Today I found out that one of the earliest 3D modelers I used, TrueSpace is now available for free, gratuit, gratis, for noppes, nada, nix. Caligari is the company that created TrueSpace and the company was acquired by Microsoft a few months ago.

I have used version 4 of this modeler for quite some time, and got accustomed to the somewhat non-standard but highly efficient user interface. Then as technology progressed and I did not want to spent money on upgrades.. I sort of abandoned it. But WOW.. it is there: version 7.6 for grabs and for keep! That got me all excited! The SDK is available too.. so development of plugins is possible.

Oh boy.. that will keep me stuck to the PC for days and days..

Getting some work done…

Tempting… sitting in front of my PC… staring at the screen… casually browsing a bit and have nothing to worry about for a while… and time slowly moves on… and on… and on…

Then suddenly it hits me! Ohw man… I FINALLY have some time to make real progress and work on all the stuff that I want to work on for years already and I let it waste! So today I kicked myself back into shape and decided to actually be – somewhat – productive.

Cool.. so what is the plan? Well.. I once was proud owner of Poser 4, upgraded to Poser 5 and last year when ContentParadise had this crazy blow-out sale I picked up version 6. But where I actually used Poser 4, I never came to installing version 6. And I have HEAPS of content for it too! So that will be todays job, read up on creating a good install.. what to do with runtimes and so on. I also ‘use’ DAZ|Studio and that one does not really care where content sits on the PC, but I remember Poser does.. so back to browsing I guess.. tho not so randomly now *grins*…

Update: wow… so many sites around! But I bumped into this one: morphography and I absolutely love it. Concise and to the point info and heaps of usefull links and downloads.