Tag Archives: admin

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Cyber-cafeJust a quick post to commemorate ten years of blogging here at Techcafeteria.  That’s 268 entries, averaging to 22 posts per year, or damn close to two posts a month, which is not too shabby for a guy with a family and a demanding day job. The most popular stuff all now lives in my Recommended Posts section.

The goal here has never been much more than to share what I hope is useful and insightful knowledge on how nonprofits can make good use of technology, peppered with the occasional political commentary or rant, but I try to restrain myself from posting too many of those. After my recent reformat, I think I’ve made it much easier for visitors to find the content that interests them, so if you’re one of my many RSS subscribers, and you haven’t actually visited the site for some time, you should take a look.

I’m ever thankful to Idealware, NTEN, Techsoup, CommunityIT, and many others in the nptech community for giving me the opportunity to write for their blogs and republish here (about two thirds of the content, I suspect). And I’m happy to be part of this global, giving community.

Here’s to the next ten years!

Techcafeteria’s Week Of Added Content

pile-154710_640As promised, I added about 40 of my guest posts here from the NTEN, Idealware, Earthjustice and LSC blogs. I also completely redid my categories and retagged every item, which is something I’d never done properly, so that, if you visit the blog, you can use the new sidebar category and tag cloud displays to find content by topic.

Included is my “Recommended Posts” category, which includes the posts that I think are among the best and the most valuable of what I’ve written. These are mostly nptech-related, with a few of the personal posts thrown in, along with some humor.

The newly-added content that is also in recommended posts includes:

Everything has been published by it’s original date, though, so if you’re really curious, you can find all the new stuff at these links:

I’m not finished — NTEN and Idealware have both given me permission to publish the longer articles that I’ve  written to the site.  So I will do that on a new “Articles” page.  These will include write-ups on document management, major software purchasing, data integration standards, RSS and system architecture.  Look for them this week.

Incoming Content – Apologies In Advance!

wave-357926_1280 RSS subscribers to this blog should take note that I’m apt to flood your feeds this weekend. Over the past few weeks, I’ve gathered 35 to 40 posts that  I’ve written for other blogs  that I’m adding here.  These are primarily posts that I wrote for the NTEN, Idealware, Earthjustice and Legal Services  Corporation blogs, but neglected to cross-post here at the  time. The publish dates run from mid 2006 to a few months ago. I’m also seeking  permission to republish some of my larger articles that are out there, so you’ll be seeing, at  least, my guide on “Architecting Systems to Support  Outcomes Management”, which has only been available as part of NTEN’s ebook “Collected Voices: Data-Informed  Nonprofits“.

Another part of this project is to rewrite my tags from scratch and re-categorize everything on the blog in a more useful fashion. With about 260 blog  posts, this is a size-able  book now,  It just lacks a good table of contents and index.

I’ll follow the flood with a post outlining what’s most worthwhile in the batch.  Look, too, for upcoming posts on the Map for Nonprofits and  Community IT Innovators blogs on Outsourcing IT and RFPs, respectively, which I’ll also cross-post here. Plans for upcoming Techcafeteria posts include the promised one on gender bias in nptech.  I’m also considering doing a personal series on the writers and artists that have most influenced me. Thoughts?

Techcafeteria Blog Facelift

If you visit the blog (as opposed to just subscribe), you’ll note that I did a little cleaning.  My old WordPress site had gotten a bit corrupted, so, instead of trying to fix it, I just installed a new copy of WordPress, found a simple theme, and selectively imported the important things from the database. It was about four hours work.

If you ever visited Techcafeteria.com, without the “/blog” appended, that was actually a site that I created in a little-known content management system called Frog CMS. I ditched that; now techcafeteria.com simply points to the blog.

So, nothing fancy – I’m not here to rack up page views and compete with Yahoo!  Do let me know if I broke anything.

NPTech Update

Notes from here and there:

  • On a different topic, NTEN’s Online Technology Conference starts Wednesday. You can still register, and, if you tell them that you heard it here, they’ll give you a 25% discount. Who’s says it doesn’t pay off to read my blog?

Bit by Bitly!

A bizarre bug in a Firefox plugin pretty much 86ed this blog for anyone using IE in the last month or so. I installed the Bitly Preview Firefox plug-in, which expands shortened urls in web pages so you can see where they’ll take you. Seemed useful, since I’m active on Twitter and they show up there all the time.

Anyway, this plugin apparently had a bug. If you had the 1.1 version installed, and you edited anything in a rich text editor (like, um, the one I’m writing this post in), it would toss a little javascript code in after your text. The code wasn’t malicious – it was pretty ineffectual – but Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, versions 6 and 7, were completely dumbfounded by it (MS admits that this is a bug and say that they’ve fixed it in IE8). Anyone visiting the blog in those browsers recently has been hit with a pop-up error complaining that the page can’t be displayed. This blog is not the biggest destination site on the web, and I’m pretty sure that most of you are reading this in the comfort of your own RSS reader (you should be – look for my upcoming Idealware article explaining how and why, if you aren’t).

Anyway, the fix was to remove or upgrade the bitly plugin; load up PHPMyAdmin on my server and run the query:

select * from wp_posts where post_content like ‘%bitly%’;

then, since I only had a handful of matches (my last five posts), select them all and remove the line at the bottom of each post, which was a script containing the text:


Definitely one of the odder glitches I’ve experienced!


The contact form is back, with an annoying little verification routine that will hopefully be enough of an annoyance for my spammer friend that I won’t have to upgrade it to a full-blown captcha (which I have the code for, but I hate those things – they always take me three tries).

This interesting research article suggests that phishing scammers make such a ridiculously low amount of money at it that it’s insane that they bother. They could deliver newspapers or beg in the street and be much more profitable. I have to think that the same kind of dogged stupidity is a trait of my spammer, as he obviously spent some time perfecting his script, maybe up to three or four hours work, that sends messages with links to, um, nature sites – or sites where wildlife and humans, if I’m guessing correctly, do inappropriate things together — to me. Only me. I don’t click on them, reply to them, or forward them to my Mom.

Anyway, I’m ready to continue the battle, and I’ve fired a salvo by restoring the form. But I hope this idiot is as bored with it all as I am!


I’ve taken down my contact page for a while. If you need to reach me, leave a comment – I have a good spam filter on those that should lock out the pest who has been sending upwards of 50 messages a day through my contact form containing links that, from the descriptions, I would never click on, even if I was foolish enough to click on a link in a message that I had no context for in the first place, which I’m not. I’m on vacation; when I return I’ll use some of the methods I’ve used on other web sites to discourage this type of creep.


Those of you who read the blog at the site, as opposed to via feed, might have noticed a dramatic update in the blog’s appearance. To keep a dull story short, I haven’t been happy with my website at Techcafeteria for a while, so I rebuilt it last month, using a foundation called Frog CMS. Now I’m really happy with the site, simple though it be, and I wanted my blog to share the design. After a couple of days of serious CSS hacking, I dare you to tell me where I haven’t cloned it to the point that you can’t tell that you’re leaving Frog CMS and going to WordPress. As of this writing, there’s still a bug in the positioning that i’ll resolve so that the sidebar stays put, to which I’ll only mutter the traditional curses against IE 6 and 7 and their broken HTML compliance. And I’ll revisit the Sidebar content soon as well – is the picture necessary?

Anyway, always good to have an excuse to keep those web skills up.

Here, There and Idealware

It’s official – I’m not even trying to keep this blog up to date anymore, because I aaccepted a volunteer gig blogging regularly at Idealware. As I’ve mentioned before, Idealware strives to be the Consumer Reports of nonprofit software, and, in my opinion, that description doesn’t do the site justice – it’s long been one of my most referenced resources; the place that a nonprofit can go to get focused, concise answers to those tricky questions like “What software is out there?”, “Which one fits my needs?” and “What are the best practices for deploying it?”.

I have two things up on Idealware this week: My new article, “The Perfect Fit: A Guide to Evaluating and Purchasing Major Software Systems” and my first blog entry “Smartphone Follies“.

Needless to say, I’m honored and excited to be publishing regularly to Idealware, and urge you all to go there and subscribe to the articles and blog, which features some very sharp friends of mine, as well: Steve Backman, Heather Gardner-Madras, Paul Hagen, Eric Leland, Michelle Murrain, and, of course, Laura Quinn, the founder and genius behind Idealware. See you over there!