My New Website is CaptainsLog.aero

Screen shot of the CaptainsLog.aero website.
Official New Website

Welcome to the slightly reorganized miqrogroove.com.  This is now the home of my technical articles and some archived projects.

Please follow this link to visit CaptainsLog.aero, the new home of Robert Chapin.

That new website is devoted to aviation topics, safety, and professionalism.

You can now subscribe to both websites separately.  If you wish to continue reading my aviation articles, you will need to add a subscription for the new website.

All of the old links and addresses should still work normally.  They will forward you to a new address automatically if I moved them.

I have other aviation projects under construction already, to be announced soon at the new website.

Thank you for reading!

Merry Christmas

Screen shot showing Miqrogroove.com with the Christmas 2012 theme.In celebration of winter break, I decided to change my website’s blue marble theme to a deck-the-halls / red glow motif.

May the warm colors bring you a festive mood!

Credit for the background image goes to AreteStock at DeviantArt.  She has generously licensed her work for free use.

Also new here is the upgraded WordPress 3.5, to which I made some small but very important contributions.  Any WordPress author should be happy to know that I found and patched a bug that prior to version 3.5 caused WordPress to say your draft work had been saved automatically, when in fact WordPress was automatically discarding your work all along.  I first noticed the bug in September when my website ate a fairly long article to which I had devoted some hours.  I resolved the bug in the new version by removing the code that was causing the problem.

While tinkering with themes and WordPress, I also adjusted the printer styles so that it will be easier to print articles from this website.

Happy Holidays!

Retina Gravatars

I’ve released a new HiDPI Gravatars plugin for WordPress.  This is a slick website add-on for the iPad/iPhone audience, and future high-resolution displays.  Download the plugin here.

In addition to my regular blogging homework, I am doing some coding behind the scenes to make sure my classmates will be able to easily read and respond to articles using mobile devices and the latest web browsers.  HiDPI support is one of the main new features of the upcoming WordPress 3.5.  When I found out the Gravatar feature won’t be upgraded in the next version, I decided to write my own solution.

I also updated my Simple Short Links plugin, so if you want to share this article with a friend, you can also send this shorter address, miqrogroove.com?p=891

XMB Forum Offline

XMB Logo
XMB

The open source community website for eXtreme Message Board forum software went down Friday afternoon.  It is now going on two days of down time, and has been replaced by an “Apache 2 Test Page.”

I wanted to share the news and offer a place for comments.  I am one of the more active members of the community and already received some inquiries about this.

My position as a volunteer developer actually does not include administration of the xmbforum.com server computer.  I was informed yesterday that the server was no longer running and would be restored from a backup copy.  However, there is no current estimate for when the restoration will be done.

Update: A new server has been established at www.xmbforum2.com

Speaking of Genealogy

Finding Your Ancestors in Michigan, by Robert Chapin, March 2011
My Title Slide

I made a fun little PowerPoint show about the tricks and shortcuts that genealogists can use to find historical records.

Finding Your Ancestors in Michigan

This is for a class where I will demonstrate how to start a family tree and begin researching the names of ancestors and relatives.  My main points include how to use free, general-purpose genealogy databases, and how to balance the focus and relevance of different resources.

Website Overhaul

Welcome to the Realm of DJ Miqrogroove
Remember yesterday's front page?

Welcome to the new and very different miqrogroove.com!  Every five years or so, this website undergoes a major retooling to keep everything in line with my plans and expectations.  Ten years ago, the transition was from GeoCities to a University of Michigan server, where the website experienced a period of rapid growth and change.  That was the golden age of sharing files and sending e-mails through websites.  Within five years after that, miqrogroove.com had moved to professional hosting and consisted of many thousands of pages in multiple natural languages.  That period included the birth of social networking on the web, and common availability of megabit residential Internet service.

Today I am weighing three undeniable trends in the life cycle of miqrogroove.com.  Most importantly is the fact that past phases of growth added some scrapbook-like features that were never updated.  In a system of static files, it is very bad to do that because the addition of new content always increases the burden of management.  Five years ago, the way to get around that problem on a budget was to design a custom web application from scratch, or even use a hideous pre-packaged web portal system.  On the bright side, there are now mature, free, content management platforms spanning the skill range from sophomore webmaster all the way up to rocket-scientist information modeler.  Setting up a weblog-style page is already second nature to the masses, so the weblog itself has become  appropriately automated for adding and archiving pages of real content.

Continue reading Website Overhaul