Eric Kerby: Photography, Web Design, Programming

Archive for the 'Family' Category

Family web services

February 17th, 2011

Over the past few years, I have been dabbling with different ways of offering various web services to help my family share content and stay in touch. I originally started with a so-so wiki that didn't work that well (mostly my fault). I then moved to Drupal where I intended to have a story and biography area, photo gallery, and discussion forum. The stories area did okay, but none of the other parts of the site caught on. That was probably good in the long run since I have had a love-hate relationship with Drupal in the past and wasn't up to spending tons of time to massage the interface.

Now, I have decided to install various open source web apps that have a focused goal and perform their narrow function well. Currently this includes Gallery v3 for sharing photos and videos, webtrees for compiling/sharing our family's geneology, and a MediaWiki install for various documentation, news, and stories/bios.

The biggest hurdle with implementing several sites is supporting some form of central login. It is hard enough to show family members how to use some of these sites, and would be hopeless if they had to manage different logins for each. I am currently using LDAP as the central authentication backend. This works okay with a Gallery plugin, but I'm having to work a bit to get LDAP working with MediaWiki. Webtrees doesn't have LDAP support currently, but it has been discussed as a desired feature.

In Memoriam: Paws

October 3rd, 2008

PawsIf you have not heard, our eldest family dog passed away yesterday, October 2nd.  Paws had been a furry friend by my side for nearly half my life.  At 10 years old, he outlived our past family dogs, Spinks and Becks, by quite some time.  Paws was very special to me.  I still remember the day we went to the Norfolk SPCA and found this spunky little dog looking cute with one of his paws raised in the air.  He was so happy to find a family that loved him.  We later came to assume that he had been previously abused by a past owner since his raised paw actually contained a minorly broken toe.  As many of our family members know, Paws quickly overcame his fear of humans.  He was always ready to play with a tennis ball or towel in his mouth.  Over the years, I always thought Paws aged rather gracefully.  The gray patch on his chin grew in size, but his spirit never aged.  It makes me sad that I have been stuck in Rochester these last few days, but it was better in the end that I missed seeing Paws grow weak.  In my mind he will always be the best family dog that anyone could hope for.  I just hope there is a couch in dog heaven that Paws can hid his tennis balls under.  Goodbye, Paws, we'll miss you.

Birthday photos and Leopard install

November 4th, 2007

I just posted a new gallery of photos I took last weekend. They are of a surprise birthday party we held for my Grandma. To say the least, she was both stunned and overjoyed to see so many of her old friends and family come together for the event. As I noted in my last post, I installed Leopard last weekend as well. I have been running Apple's new operating system on my laptop and desktop for the past week. My initial impressions are quite positive, though I do have a list of frustrations that will be worth sharing when I have a chance. Look for that in the next week or so.

Jonathan's graduation and a summer update

June 24th, 2007

Jonathan in his cap and gown

Let me start off by saying I just posted the photos from my cousin's high school graduation this past weekend. The photos include the after events where we took some group photos and ate some tasty steamed crabs. In other news…I have been working at NASA's Langley Research Center for the past few weeks. My job involves both photography and web programming, so it has been a very good fit for my interests so far. It has been very interesting seeing NASA from the inside and learning the ins and outs of this deceptively large government organization. Stay tuned, and I may post some more details of my experiences soon…though I have to be careful of United States export laws and other government concerns.

Weekend trip to West Virginia

May 30th, 2007

The Bailey House

As I mentioned in my last couple posts, I was in Princeton, West Virginia this past weekend. I had the opportunity to photograph my great aunt and uncle's house and property as well as the house once inhabited by my grandfather, great grandmother, and great-great aunt. I just uploaded them all to four galleries of photos from West Virginia. The photos turned out quite well, and I am looking forward to making some hard copies to send off to the family. Also, take note that I snapped a couple photos of my new car (the blue Pontiac Vibe you'll see in the first gallery). Enjoy the photos, and let me know how you like them.