More Electricity Independent System Operator Information Added

In the left sidebar are the links to pages at Email @ dot com with the most current system information and prices (depending if they are revealed by the ISO) for the major ISO’s in the US. In most cases he operational data is available on the associated page.

The right sidebar now includes a list of resources from various organizations and governmental bodies.

WordPress Freelance Job Request Observations

I watch Twitter for the “WordPress job” search term. Over time it appears the most frequent request is for work on theme. I think this is reasonable since this is what presents the content to the website visitors. Many times the request is to emulate another website’s look using WordPress.

This search yields 100’s of tweets per day so this shows the subject is in demand.

ERCOT Data Tables Added

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is the system operator for most of the Texas electricity grid. There is some data that is updated throughout the day. The data tables have been added to the left hand sidebar and are real time as ERCOT updates them. Below the data table links in the sidebar is the system forecast status chart.

The Agony of the Theme Selection

I have used WordPress since 2005. One of the decisions I have made has been to change the look of the Texbiker.net. In WordPress this can be controlled by changing the theme. This can looked at as the search for the Holy Grail. I want a unique look and style but at the same time the budget is low since Texbiker.net is not a commercial venture. It would be difficult to count the number of themes I have tried both in public as well as using theme preview.

More than once I moved to a different theme to then change back because a key element does not work or meet the look or style I want. Even worse is when a change was made and a key function was lost. The plugin I use the most is Event Calendar. In some themes Event Calendar would not format properly or just plain did not work. In the Event Calendar email newsletter the most frequent question is theme related.

For some applications theme selection is a one time event but not me. I have agonized back and forth many times on the blogs I have created for myself and others.

For a couple of years I have been using various versions of the Atahualpa theme from BytesForAll. The attractive feature I like most is the flexibility of the layout and widgets. This is the theme driving 3mailat.com.

WordPress Houston February Meetup

The February 21st meeting of the Houston WordPress Meetup group was held at the Zebec Center. Eric Rasch provided an indepth recap of how he built a WordPress based website for the John Ritter Foundation. The slide presentation is on the internet.

I found Eric’s approach to creating the theme was very different from I expected. He used some coding frameworks rather than a fully built theme.

If you are interested in learning more about WordPress I recommend that you join the Meetup group at www.meetup.com.

Strategic Technology Choices

Strategic technology choices can make a difference in both the money you spend and the equipment you select. Sometimes the marketing hype overrides the real needs we are working to satisfy.

A case in point; Apple has mounted a very persuasive marketing campaign for the iPad. I really like how it operates and the apparent simplicity of the hardware. However, the iPad’s strength is in content consumption and not content creation. I am seeing a number of keyboard accessories come on the scene and people appear to be purchasing them. Now when you add a separate keyboard to the iPad you now have two pieces of hardware that can cost more than a more powerful laptop or netbook.

I am interested in creating content for this website and the Texbiker.net bicycling blog. For this my HP netbook is far better and the cost was a $75 less than the basic iPad without the keyboard. Add a $100 keyboard and the difference is even worse.