2015: A Year In Review And A Look Ahead

With 2015 coming to an end I thought I would quickly reflect. As you may recall, I entered the year with two goals:

  1. Blog three times a week
  2. Blog twice a month about fitness

I am happy to announce that with this blog post I have reached my first goal of blogging three times a week. Now to be fair, it is more that I blogged 156 times this year as some weeks I did not blog three times and other weeks I blogged more than three times. Of the 156 post, 101 were about Log Insight — a product I am honored to be a part of. The remaining posts were a combination of fitness, home projects, system administrator and other stuff I thought important to share.

Of course this brings me to my second goal of two fitness posts of month. Unfortunately, I only made it to half of my goal. Midway through the year I experienced a set back based on things going on in my personal life. I am happy to announce that as of Tuesday the setback has been addressed and I started CrossFit again!

With 2015 almost behind me, I also thought it important to reflect on 2016. One change for me will be around blog posts. I love to blog, but it does consume a large portion of time. I have other goals that I would like to achieve and reprioritizing is the only way I will be able to achieve them. While I do not have a number of blog posts in mind for 2016, it will not be three times a week for sure. For now, I will just say this will be my last post for at least two weeks while I recharge and decide what I want to accomplish in 2016.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone for a wonderful 2015 and I look forward to what 2016 will bring. Happy New Year!

Comments working again!

I just wanted to thank Stacy Carter (@virtualstace) for letting me know that comments were not working on my site. It turns out I had a WordPress plug-in that was interfering with the commenting system. I am happy to say this issue has been fixed, but I would have never known if Stacy had not let me know on Twitter. Thanks Stacy!

Farewell PmWiki!

It is with mixed emotions that I bid farewell to my beloved PmWiki website. At this point, the transition to Joomla is complete and I have made the decision to remove the link to my old wiki-based website. While I will continue to use PmWiki for small projects in the future, Joomla will become my platform of choice for larger website design going forward.

New (Old) Slogan

Coming up with a slogan for a website or blog is not a trivial task. After much self deliberation I decided upon what I though was a unique and creative one: Architecting vCloud Technologies. To my dismay, VMware created an employee title known as a vCloud Architect. Since I work for EMC and not VMware I began thinking about whether the slogan still fit. After having the pleasure of meeting a VMware vCloud Architect I felt the answer was no. Lengthy conversations with the architect made it clear to me that EMC was architecting one of many vCloud technologies. You may be aware of VMware’s marketing campaign promoting their vCloud initiative: vCloud Express. This “award” was open to any company and highlights some of the vCloud technologies available today. Based on this information I decided my slogan needed to change. Struggling to find a better one I have come to the realization that my original slogan best highlights my skills and interests. As such, I have changed my slogan back to: Scripting, Automation, and VMware Technologies.

The Joomla Transition

I would like to start by thanking everyone for the feedback on the new site! I have taken your comments, questions, and suggestions and made several modifications. One common problem appeared to be the use of the comment feature and as such I have switched to a different application and welcome any feedback on its functionality. I have been doing extensive testing on multiple browsers to ensure that everything is working properly and it this point I believe the only outstanding issues are the voting AJAX functionality on IE6 and the mobile browser layout of the site.

I decided it would be a good idea to start my blogging experience by talking about my website transition. Over the years, my site has changed from HTML+CSS to PHP then into a wiki and now a CMS. PmWiki was my favorite type of website to deploy, but I wanted to try something new. The main reasons for this include the ease of installation, the ability to edit pages through the web browser, the wide range of scripts (called cookbooks), and the functionality to write code in order to overcome limitations of the system. A couple drawbacks to PmWiki included the “hacks” needed to get some features to work (i.e. SSL for edit and login functions only), the need to learn or constantly look up the wiki syntax (problem of every wiki), and the non-Web 2.0 look and feel. With over five years of experience in PmWiki, I feel I have mastered it and while I will likely continue to use this product for side projects I wanted to try something new that is hopefully easier to use for advanced functions.

Continue reading

Welcome to the all new SFlanders.net!

Hello everyone and welcome! You have just stumbled upon the all new SFlanders.net website. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Steve Flanders and this site was created to provide useful information I have collected over the years as well as to highlight things I am interested in.

For some time, I had been planning to completely redesign my website. Over the last year I have been busy with a variety of activities including graduating from college, getting engaged, getting married, and accepting a new job (to name a few). I wanted to wait to publish the new site until I was able to port over all my old content, but since most of the old content needs to be updated I am not sure when the transition will be complete. As such, you will find my new site with a new blog, an updated resume, and a link to my old wiki. Over time, the old content will be converted and posted here, but until then the old wiki will remain.

My primary reasons for wanting the new site active are to cleanup all the content, utilize a new/easier web frontend (i.e. Joomla instead of Pmwiki), and to start blogging (thus this post). My first few posts will likely contain documentation content that I feel would be more useful in a blog post than a dedicated documentation category, and to discuss the website transition. After awhile, this blog will primarily focus on slogan of the site: Architecting vCloud Technologies.

I hope you enjoy the new site (please pardon the appearance during the transition) and continue checking out my blog posts!