Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Applaud the unapplauded

Those who understand the internet and who pass on knowledge are rarely thanked. Instead, their inarticulacy is derided, their whey faces laughed at and they are accused of lacking a life away from the screen. Rarely does anyone mention their altruism.

I am presently setting up a second blog in French. Seemed easy enough until I discovered the new is joined at the hip to the old. Translate the profile in one and it appears in French in the other. Blogger Help says true separation requires an additional email account. But Blogger Group Help – an impromptu service provided by those with the knowhow and, it seems, lots of spare time – has shown me a way of bamboozling setpiece Blogger so I can be a former editor in one and un ancien rédacteur-en-chef in the other.

Not perfect, but a step forward. More fiddling necessary at the ISP end. But it’s those volunteers, hanging around in space, waiting for idiots to call in who fascinate me. When I used a similar service for website designers the raggedy advice I received was forgivable given that it came from the Ukraine. While a tricky DIY problem involving a router invoked the cadences of a Brit used to talking about “two-bi-fours” and “three-inch slaps”.

But who are these people who advise the unadvised? I know little about the internet and what I do know I hold close to my chest. I assist others only where it suits my need for self-aggrandisement. Luckily the virtuals put me to shame. A small prayer should be composed to celebrate the pro-bonos out there.


Sir Hugh said...

Like you I have from time to time been able to solve computer related problems by resort to informal websites and blogs when the manuals and "help" files were woefully inadequate. Often I have typed into "help" a key word which is the actual title of a feature in a programme to be told there were no references to it.

I would be interested to learn how the French would translate my old job title which I could never define accurately in less than about fifteen words; even then nobody really understood what it meant.

Barrett Bonden said...

How about l'usurier?

Plutarch said...

How, having set up your blog in French, do you manage with accents? Do you have to use the character bank? Or is there another way?

Sir Hugh said...

Pltarch query re accents.

I use the ALT key + a number:

e.g. ALT 130 = é
ALT 138 = è

131= â

I think these are called ANSII codes or something similar.

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: I write all posts (and some comments) in WfW, then cut and paste. And always use Preview before Publish. This means that that when writing French I can use Insert > Symbol for the accents. A further way of speeding things up is to insert the two accented es and the a at the beginning of the article, write unaccented French, then go through copy/pasting all the graves first, then the acutes, etc. Since the French don't always bother with cedillas and circumflex I have taken this to be a word to the wise.

Sir Hugh said...

Omitting cedilla and circumflex! Sounds like the road to ruin; it will be semicolons next, or is the latter too touchy a subject?

Plutarch said...

Thank you both for your advice. I have made a copy of Sir Hugh's table.
Je vous addresse mes plus vifs remerciements.