Thinking about Oshkosh

Watching Steve Fossett’s record breaking flight, I started thinking about last year’s aborted trip to Oshkosh. Last year would have been amazing, with appearances by the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, Spaceship One, and more. I couldn’t get anybody to go with me, so I was planning to fly the Lance and camp. I only have a tiny one-man tent, but with the Lance, if things got bad I could sleep in the back there is so much room. But I had to cancel because Vicki and I bought this fantastic house and we needed to clear up 15 years of crud from the old place and prepare the new place. I have no regrets about the house, just about missing Oshkosh.

I was looking forward to camping because the previous time I’d gone with a bunch of guys from the flying club, and while it was fun, I felt let I was being pulled away from the grounds just at the best part of the daily airshows because they wanted to avoid the traffic and get something to eat. By camping, I wouldn’t have to leave the airfield at all. Of course, there is the slight problem that I don’t have much camping gear any more, and so I’d have to buy a camp stove and cooler and food and stuff like that. But that’s minor.

So then I read in Mark’s blog that he was thinking of driving out to Oshkosh. Hey, I thought, here’s a chance to do some flying with Mark, camp at Oshkosh, and have some fun.

I’ve booked the Dakota for the trip. Sure, the Lance is available, but as of this spring, the Dakota is going to have a new engine, new prop, new Garmin 530 GPS, a fairly new Stormscope, and a paint job barely two years old. It’s really the show piece of the club, and I’d be proud to fly a “Rochester Flying Club” banner from it while tied down in Oshkosh camping. Of course, taking the Lance is still an option, and maybe the extra room would come in handy, but with the ancient radios and old engine and all that, it just wouldn’t wow them (and Mark) like the Dakota will. And even the Dakota will seem roomy next to the Cessna 150s he’s used to flying.

Content Management Systems

My experiments with SQLite have been on hold for the last week or so because Vicki signed me up to be on the web committee for the Browncroft Neighborhood Association. The current page is functional but not pretty, plus it’s hosted on an AOL member’s account. If I were to host it myself, they’d have gigabytes of space instead of the 2 megabytes they have now.

We’ve got a committee together, so the first thing I did was set up a mailing list for the web committee. After a week, though, not one member of the list has sent any messages to it except for me.

The second thing I did was register the domain and set up virtual hosting on my home server.

The third thing I did was spend some time at trying out different Content Management Systems (CMS). One that caught my eye was ModX, which has a really nice AJAX-y administration interface. So I set it up on my server to experiment with. Obviously, I’m going to have to wait for the committee to decide on what content they want and where they want it, and that sort of thing. But I think a CMS looks like the way to go for the basic framework.

One thing I haven’t figured out how to do with this CMS is how to create role accounts that can upload files and link them to one particular web site – so, for example, the news letter editor can upload PDFs of the newsletters and link them from a news letter page. Or the History Committee can upload pictures and articles about the history of the neighborhood. Maybe I can do it, or maybe I’ll have to switch to a different CMS.

One thing that some CMS have, but this one doesn’t, is a web forum. I don’t like web forums much myself – I much prefer email lists. Some people like them though, so perhaps what I should look for is a web forum that can also email out posts to a mailing list as well as through an RSS feed. That way everybody can be happy.

The search continues.