Tech Rules

Posted By on Mar 17, 2010 | 0 comments


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Don’t you wish that all you needed to get technology to work is a bigger hammer? Having worked for nearly 15 years in the high-tech industry, you’d think I’d be used to things not working the way I think they’re supposed to. Would that it were so.

Take pretty permalinks fer instance, making the permanent address of a Web page look like this

http://brianvhunt.com/brians-blog

instead of this

http://brianvhunt.com/?page_id=109

Search engines like pretty permalinks. If I’d hosted brianvhunt.com on a Linux server instead of Windows IIS, it would have been a snap to choose pretty permalinks because it’s a setting you select in WordPress.

Instead, I spent what felt like half a lifetime searching the web and e-mailing people whose brains are already wrapped around languages like C++ (which I understand far less than the Japanese and Arabic that I don’t really speak). Finally, through a lot of trial and error (often making my web site disappear entirely) I got pretty permalinks to work with some C code and a server-side installation of a third-party DLL. How often do you get to say that at parties?

If none of that makes sense to you, count your lucky stars.

I’m not a software developer but I’m not a complete schlump (at least when it comes to technology). I tell friends and family who are complete tech-schlumps that if some piece of technology is not working, it’s not their fault — it’s poorly designed. How ironic, because when I can’t get something to work, I tend to blame myself.

But I have to say, finally solving a problem that had bedeviled me for days was immensely satisfying, especially since I’ve never done any C programming before. It was a great sense of relief and now I have that in my toolbox. I mean, I can’t program in C but if you’re silly enough to use WordPress on a Windows IIS server and can’t get pretty permalinks to work, I’m your man.

Photo © Christine Clifton-Thornton

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