Okay, so after a great deal of struggle, I have successfully managed to add some links to this site, and am feeling more than a little pleased with myself. Pretty much everything I know about computers was either taught to me by Brian, or I figured out on my own. I'm sure this template is small potatoes by most programming standards (if it even warrants the name) but I was initially quite stymied. So it's something of a victory when I decipher which backslash, divot, dot, lesser-than, xxx quotation mark I HAVE to include, and which I don't. And of course NOT including stuff is just as important as including stuff, as anyone who works with computers knows.
This is not how my brain works, you have to understand. I think my general approach to life is a bit more loosey-goosey, scattering backslashes and semi-colons with gay abandon like confetti. Ampersands for all! I try to keep in mind that I'm dealing with code, which is to say a very specific language, so getting the symbols in the right place at the right time is no more unreasonable than getting the word order in Shakespeare's lines memorized correctly. I know this, but then I'm looking at little spike marks I didn't even notice were on my keyboard (I mean, really, who needs one of these ^ on a regular basis? No, really) and I start thinking, just give me a break. I know what I want to say, it's all text anyway, I am not putting dot dot backslash squiggley thing asterix on my website, I'm putting WORDS. We all agree on this, you're going to put words on my page too, that's where all this code crap is going, let's cut out the middle step and just let me do it.
Computers don't really respond to reason though. Yeah yeah, I know, it's me who is being unreasonable, problems with computers are almost always human error, the code is pure reason, systematic, orderly and unchanging, the computer can't work any other way, yada yada yada. I get it, I do. But bite me. You, the computer, your favorite programmer, step right up, take a number, form an orderly line, and bite me.
Well, this is going directions I hadn't expected. The fact is, I started this entry feeling rather pleased with myself. Not only had I finally figured out how to replace the template link with my own links, I'd even managed to add another link past the alloted number in the template. No, it wasn't really that hard, once I'd figured out what the data was and where it needed to go, it was just a question of doing it. Nonetheless, I'm feeling victorious. Is this considered programming? Did I just program? Certainly there were more steps and esoterica involved than is the case with my friendster account, for example, which is very much structured simply to provide gaps where one puts in one's text, as text. No doubt that's why I was a bit spoiled, computers are becoming more and more user-friendly, which I know to most programmers means they're becoming ridiculously moronic. I'm okay with that, and I renew the offer for them to bite me.
I'm making progress though. I might not be quite the Luddite that my mother takes pride in being, but the fact is I was dragged kicking and screaming into cell phone ownership, it took me years to switch from cassettes to CDs (still in progress, to be honest), hell I can remember when answering machines were cutting edge, and I wasn't the only one they made nervous. Now look at me, loving my cell phone (about to celebrate our one year anniversary), unable to contemplate life without an answering machine and voicemail, frankly addicted to email/internet (I'm thinking of starting an online support group for people who websurf too much) AND making use of the portable CD player my friend Jeff loaned me. And now programming.
Sky's the limit, baby. Next thing you know, I'll be creating new technology. I can't decide which to work on first, the teleportation device a la Star Trek (where the hell IS that stuff already), or the universal pocket remote control that turns off loud stereos playing on the street at three in the morning, with the option to fry the circuits if one is silencing a machine for the third time.
Hmm. I think the teleportation device may involve less litigation. And maybe I have some hostility issues.