Mac Lab Report

iBlog Revisited

- 2003.10.02

I ponied up for iBlog some weeks ago and have been using it for my daily agenda postings on the Internet since then. In an earlier article, I detailed the features of the program I liked, but now that Apple has decided to offer iBlog as a free download for .mac users, I thought I'd share a couple of other experiences I have had lately.

First, never ever move one of the iBlog folders you may come across in your Sites folder or in Application support. iBlog depends on these local copies for archival and preview settings. I installed a preview version that accidentally renamed one of these folders "iblog" instead of "iBlog", which of course the Mac doesn't care about - but the Web does. When the next revision (which matches the current version from Apple) came out, the pages stopped updating because all my links said "iblog" and the sites were now "iBlog."

One email and a rapid response later, I reset the publishing and preview state, previewed again, published again, and was back in business. Should you get stuck with this problem, remember that Safari will recall the last site you visited and will stubbornly substitute "iblog" for "iBlog," thus causing a loading error.

I would like to see a couple of changes. There seems to be no way to manually force the system to upload the general homepage again. Resetting didn't cut it. Also, I wish we could allow future posts to be read (good for classroom blogs to show future lessons being planned). There seems to be no simple way to make a link back to your regular homepage without editing the HTML templates, which is fine if you know what you are doing, but it goes against the user-friendly and reliable nature of the program.

I hope you will consider registering this fine program if you do not have a .mac account. I don't buy that much shareware, but I do pay for things that are useful, such as GraphicConverter and now iBlog. I like it so much I don't even begrudge the fact I also pay for a .mac account.

Now that it's included with .mac, more people can use it. But not everyone has .mac, and if you don't, you should seriously consider buying this program.

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is a longtime Mac user. He was using digital sensors on Apple II computers in the 1980's and has networked computers in his classroom since before the internet existed. In 2006 he was selected at the California Computer Using Educator's teacher of the year. His students have used NASA space probes and regularly participate in piloting new materials for NASA. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and scientific papers. He currently teaches astronomy and physics in California, where he lives with his twin sons, Jony and Ben.< And there's still a Mac G3 in his classroom which finds occasional use.

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