Dummies Guide to Posting to GenerationExpat.com

Okidoki, folks. I see 3/4 of you to whom I sent invites to sign up with TypePad to become authors of this site have so far failed to do so, and more than half of you who have taken the trouble to sign up with TypePad have not yet posted, for whatever reason.

Realizing that all of this "blogging" stuff may be intimidating to some, at first, I've pain-stakingly created a really detailed, easy-to-follow directions, complete with pictures! Specifically, the instructions include the following (points 2 and 3 may be of interest even to some of you "advanced" users):

If you're looking again for this advice piece in the future, it's conveniently and permanently linked in the top-right corner of the home page, under the title "How Do I Post to This Site?"

Rick E. Bruner | Site Admin | Jan 20, 2004 | Comments (1)

Power Conversion & Expat Resouces

I have had hell getting online in the last few days. Nadler has most graciously given me temporary access to the International Press Center, where they blessedly have wi-fi access, which feels like sucking oxygen on Mt. Everest. Unfortunatley, I was only good for it for about an hour before my laptop battery crapped out. I know I have a Euro plug adapter at home in NY somewhere, but I couldn't find it before I left. More critcally, I need a power converter for my digital camera and Palm Pilot chargers. (No photos, therefore, from Nick's get-together last night: attendees included LeBor, Duncan Shiels, Meriel Beattie and Bill Blanchard, among others). I wrongly assumed my dad would have a converter, and thus I've spent the better part of the three days running around Budapest looking for one.

Finally, I had a stroke of genius and thought to call the Hilton Hotel and ask the concierge there what he recommends to guests. He said that you could only buy one at the airport, but they have a bunch at the hotel for guests to borrow and he graciously let me borrow one with a Ft 5,000 deposit.

Thus, a word of warning to all you frequent Budapest vistors: plan ahead and buy from SkyMall or elsewhere, as converters are not so easy to come here, despite the increasingly electronic age we live in.

All of which made me thing some Expat Resources would be valuable for this blog. So, I spent the last hour or so accumulating a few, now in the right-hand margin on this page. I didn't spend much time vetting these for quality, just identifying them. Please let me know if any of these are crap or if there are other important ones I've neglected.

Rick E. Bruner | Site Admin | Dec 30, 2003 | Comments (0)

Free From Domain Hell

Good things apparently come to those who wait. I got my Xmas present a day early, anyway.

Per the Operating Difficulties post below, it would seem that our domain grief is finally sorted out. Now, not only can you access this site at www.generationexpat.com and generationexpat.com, as the Internet gods meant it to be, but also at www.genexpat.com and genexpat.com.

Hopefully, the site shouldn't be flaking out anymore in the future, at least not for this reason.

Special thanks to TypePad's wonderful support princess, Brenna, for much patience and wisdom helping me sort this out.

Rick E. Bruner | Site Admin | Dec 24, 2003 | Comments (1)

Operating Difficulties, Please Stand By

In the unlikely case that you're already a regular reader of GenerationExpat.com, you may have noticed that the site has been offline for some hours a few times in recent days. That is because GoDaddy, where our site's domain is registered, and myself as the site admin, form a perfect storm of retardation and inefficiency.

In particular, presently the site comes up when you go to www.generationexpat.com, but if you try to go to only generationexpat.com (neglecting the www., which shouldn't be necessary), the site comes up 404.

In trying to fix that, I've screwed things up a couple of times with the domain settings, making the whole site go AWOL. Bear with me. I'll figure it out eventually. Meanwhile, if the site is offline when you check, try back again some hours later and it should be working. Early days, some bugs still in the system. (If you were around in the first few months of Budapest Week, you'll understand and agree this is nothing by comparison.)

Rick E. Bruner | Site Admin | Dec 23, 2003 | Comments (4)

Diacriticals on QWERTY, HTML, ETC.

Ah, Magyar. What a goofy language. I'm sure Czech is no walk in the park, either, but it's Greek to me.

Anyway, typing out a few Hungarian street names in the post below, got me trying to figure out again how to produce those funky diacriticals. Not that we really need to observe them carefully here, hülye külföldi such that we are for the most part anyway, but in case anyone cares, I found this resource with explanations (follow the links) for how to produce them on Macs, PCs and in HTML. For this and the post below, I used the PC Alt codes, which are not proper HTML, so they may or may not show up right on everyone's computers (please advise if not).

Anyway, always trying to be helpful.

Rick E. Bruner | Site Admin, Various Resources | Dec 23, 2003 | Comments (1)

Bio Pages and Right-hand Links

If nothing else, I'd love to get from all of you some short bio page content, whatever you're comfortable telling about yourself, like I've done for myself here. I'm sure we'd all love to know what everyone is up to, and pages like this would be a great resource for that. (Privacy freaks, get over yourselves. The FBI really doesn't give a shit just because you subscribe to Mother Jones.)

Best would be for you to sign up for TypePad from the email I sent you the other day (if you deleted that or lost that, drop me a note and I'll resend it) and then just post your bio page yourself to the blog. Or, if you're a hopeless blogophobe, send me some text and ideally a digital pic of yourself, and I'll post it for you.

If you have a web page somewhere that you'd like listed in the links off to the right on this blog, send me the URL. I'm the only one that can update that feature.

Rick E. Bruner | People, Site Admin | Dec 19, 2003 | Comments (8)

About This Site

Welcome to GenerationExpat.com.

This site is devoted to those who came from elsewhere to live in Budapest, Prague and other areas of Eastern Europe in the 1990s. The purposes of this site, such that they are, are to reminisce about those heady days of early '90s in Eastern Europe, keep in touch with old friends, let folks know what you're up to these days, post important/interesting/funny/pointless news of the Eastern Europe, and otherwise bullshit with friends.

The site is intended to serve first and foremost the extended group of friends of the site's creator, Rick E. Bruner, namely those who worked at or who were part of the greater social circles orbiting around Budapest Week and Prognosis newspapers. Rick has invited a few dozen folks from that era to join in posting to this web site.

If you were also part of the Generation Expat scene and would like to post to the site, contact Rick. If Rick doesn't know or remember you personally, your chances of being invited to post to the site are much improved by a reference from someone else whose name you see on this site.

Rick E. Bruner | Budapest Nostalgia, Prague Nostalgia, Site Admin | Dec 17, 2003 | Comments (5)

Dummies' Guide to Posting to This Site

If you're already gone through the registration process for this site and are just looking for where you go to post again, log into TypePad and click "Post."

For the rest of you, here is a step-by-step explanation how you can become a co-author to this site. This features three explanations:

 

BASIC INSTRUCTION FOR CREATING AN ENTRY

STEP 1: DO WE KNOW YOU?

This site is designed to help two overlapping circles of friends keep in touch, those who lived in Prague and/or Budapest during the early 1990s, and specifically those who were within the circles of friends of folks working at Prognosis or Budapest Week newspapers. If that does not describe you, then you probably will not be invited to be an author for this site.


STEP 2: RICK MUST SEND YOU AN EMAIL WITH A SPECIAL LINK

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You need to receive this email
in order to post to the site.
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Rick Bruner set up this site using a service call TypePad. In order to write to the site (aka "to post" to the site), Rick will need to send you an email from TypePad with a special link. You'll know it's the right email if the From line is "rick@bruner.net" and the Subject Line is "Invitation to my TypePad Weblog." Write to Rick and he will be happy to send you such an invite.


STEP 3: REGISTER FOR TYPEPAD

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Register on TypePad for free.
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Open the email and click on the link. You will land on a page on TypePad's site. If you've never before registered at TypePad, look for the box on the right bordered in green that says "Don't have a TypePad account?" and click the button that says "Register for Free."

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Fill out this form.
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Next, you'll have to fill out a short form. Basically, you just need to pick a user name and password. Click the green bar "Review your registration" at the bottom of the page to advance.

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You must then accept the invite
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TypePad is quite pedantic, and you must explicitly accept the invitation to sign up with yet one more screen. After that, you're signed up and won't have to go through this stuff again.


STEP 4: YOU'RE NOW READY TO POST TO THE SITE

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This is what you first see on logging in
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At first glance, there are so many options within TypePad, it can be a bit confusing. The first page you land on when you log in shows you what weblogs you have access to (unless you use TypePad for other sites, Generation Expat will be your only option). You can click on "Generation Expat" on the left-hand side of the page for a page with more detailed options about the weblog, or you can simply click "Create a Post" on the right under "Shortcuts" to skip straight to the authoring interface.

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This is the more detailed view of
weblog optionsClick to enlarge

If you chose to see the more detailed page, you can see all the most recent posts, choose to list all posts, edit your posts (you can see the titles of other people's, but you can only edit your own) and other stuff. This page is most useful if for some reason you want to go back an edit one of your earlier posts. Otherwise, you'll want to click "Create a Post" on the right side or the "Post" tab near the top in order to get to the authoring window.

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This is the main authoring window
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This is the main window for creating and editing posts to the site. It's pretty straight forward. You should assign a title to the post. You can then choose an archive category for the post from a drop-down list. You can also assign multiple categories, if appropriate (look for the "Assign Multiple Categories" option in that list). The big field is for your text.

If you want to make certain phrases bold, italic or underlined, highlight that phrase then click the little round buttons just above the main text field.

Also, to create a hyperlink (those blue phrases that click you through to another web page), highlight the phrase you want to make a hyperlink, then click the "Link" button above the text field and enter the URL you want to link to into the box that pops up.

When you are ready to post the entry to the GenerationExpat.com site, simply click the "Save" buttom at the bottom of the page. Then go check GenerationExpat.com. The new entry should appear in a few seconds. (You will have to refresh the page on GenerationExpat.com in order to see the new entry.) If you want to save the post as a draft and then come back and finish it later (a good idea if you're writing a long post, to make sure you don't lose any work in case the computer crashes, or whatever), to the left of the "Save" button change the "Post Status" from "Publish Now" to "Draft."

That's it! The other things discussed below are extra credit. This completes the basic lesson! Now go forth and post like crazy!

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ADVANCED INSTRUCTIONS: UPLOADING (AND FORMATTING) A PHOTO

Okay, brave soul, here's how you upload a photo to the site. Step 0 is that you should already have a digitalized photo of yourself somewhere on your hard drive. Ideally, the dimensions of that photo should be not wider (horizontally) than about 350 pixels. If it is and you don't have a photo editing tool, don't worry about it, I'll correct it myself later. Or, if this is all a bit much for you, just email me the photo, and I'll upload it myself, in which case you can skip all of the below.

The truly brave among you can continue reading to the bottom of this where I have special instructions on formatting the photos neatly, but that involves a tiny bit of actual HTML, so I'm assuming 90% of you won't want to bother with that.


STEP 1: SELECT 'UPLOAD FILE' FROM EDITING SCREEN

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Here is where the "Upload File" link is
located. Click to enlarge.

From the main authoring window in TypePad, find and click the "Upload File" link. It is located above the "Title" field, to the right of the "New Post" link. See the screen shot here for the exact location of the link.


STEP 2: FIND THE FILE ON YOUR HARD DRIVE

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Using the pop-up window,
find the photo on your hard drive
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Once you click on "Upload File," a small pop-up window will appear. The first thing you do with this is click the button "Browse" to locate the photo file on your hard drive to upload to TypePad. Do so.

There is also a field here that says "Upload Into: Folder Name (Optional)." Ignore that.

When you have selected the file on your hard drive, click "Upload File" to advance to the next screen.


STEP 3: COPY AND INSERT THE HTML

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Select "Show me the HTML
and "Embedded Image"
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Okay, deep breaths. For all of you phobic of technology, this is where it starts to look slightly scary, but we can get through this, I promise. First, after you've clicked "Upload File," you'll see a screen with a few options. At the top of this screen are two choices with radio buttons (those little black round buttons). The default choice says "Create a new post for this uploaded file." That is NOT the option you want. You want to click the other button that says "Show me the HTML."

Below that is something about "Image Thumbnail." Ignore that. Leave the box unchecked.

At the bottom is a choice of two buttons. Select the one on the right, "Embedded Image."

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Copy the HTML code.
Click to enlarge.

Now, if you correct chose the "Show me the HTML" button on the previous screen, you should at this point see HTML code gobbledigook here. Copy that code into your clipboard and close the small window.

paste-html
Paste the HTML code into the text field.
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Finally, paste that HTML code into the top of your text window in TypePad. Make a blank line and start typing your text for your entry below that.

Easy as that!

Okay, normal human beings should stop reading at this point, but if you're a real apple-polisher and want to format the image neatly so that text runs around the sides of it, I've set up [warning, here comes geek talk] a special CSS class in the style sheets to let you do this. What you need to do is put the following around either side of the <img> tag:

<div class="imageleft">
<img src="...">
</div>

If, God help you, you want to get really fancy and add a caption to the image, do so like this:

<div class="imageleft"> <img src="..."> <div>Insert your caption text here</div></div>

Note that you add another <div> before the caption (inside of the other <div>), and then you close the <div> twice at the end.

If this breaks or you just don't want to be bothered with any of this, don't worry, I'll correct it for you later.

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ADVANCED INSTRUCTIONS: CONFIGURING YOUR PROFILE SO ALL ENTRIES POINT TO YOUR "ABOUT ME" POST

The point of this exercise is so that people will have some context on who you are when you post to the site. Remeber, even though you think you're a super star in our circle of friends, there were several waves of expats over the years, and moreover, this site is meant to include those from both the Budapest Week and the Prognosis groups of friends, so a little context helps.

TypePad is configured such that every post you make to the site is signed with your name, and that name in the footer of posts has a hyperlink. When properly configured in your Author Profile, that URL will point to a page you specify. Unfortunately, I (Rick) do not have sufficient admin power to go into your profile myself and do this for you. You are the only one with the privilege to access your Author Profile page. So I'm going to bug you about this till you fix it.


STEP 1: CREATE AN 'ABOUT ME' POST

It's been a long time. Everyone wants to know what you've been doing the past 10 or so years. I'm hoping everyone will eventually get around to creating a basic post with info on who you were back then and what you've been up to since. Ideally, include a photo.


STEP 2: COPY THE 'PERMALINK' FROM THAT 'ABOUT ME' POST

copy-permalink
Copy the "permalink" for your "About Me" post.
Click to enlarge.

Go to the post you've created on GenerationExpat.com. At the bottom of every post, in the footer, there is various information with hyperlinks, including the name of the author, the category, the "comments" link, and the date of the post. The date links to the page's permanent URL address, it's so-called "permalink," in blogger speak.

Copy that permanent link to your clipboard. If you're using computer with Windows OS and Internet Explorer, you can copy a URL by positioning you mouse over the link and then click with your right mouse button and select "Copy Shortcut." (Or, you can also click on the link and then copy it from the URL field of your browser, but that's an extra step!)


STEP 3: PASTE THAT "ABOUT ME" URL INTO YOUR PROFILE PAGE

select-control-panel
Select "Control Panel" in TypePad
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Log into TypePad and at the first screen after log-in, select the "Control Panel" tab (next to the "Weblog" tab).

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Select link "Edit Your Profile"
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On the next screen, click the link in the center of the page "Edit Your Profile."

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Paste this URL into the "Web Address" field
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On this page, you can opt to fill out lots of these fields, or not, but the key one for this exercise is the one labeled "Web Address (URL)." Paste into that field the URL for your "About Me" page that you've copied into your clipboard. Then scroll to the bottom of this page and save the update.

author-name-updated
Check the site homepage to
see if your address is updated
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If you go back to the GenerationExpat home page (or to any page with one of your posts, anyway) and refresh the page, you should now see that your name in the footer of the post links to your "About Me" post.

In which case, you're done. And I'm done with these instructions!


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Rick E. Bruner | Site Admin | Nov 23, 2003 | Comments (196)