Prepping for MSIgnite – Review the session plans.

In just over a month I will be heading down to Florida for Microsoft Ignite (#MSIgnite) – the conference formerly known as TechEd. This is a conference that I’ve always wanted to go to and this year I am finally able to get to go.
It’s a large Microsoft based conference and I know I am going to learn a ton and be extremely tired at the end of the work.

As this is my first visit, I thought I would add some notes over the next few weeks on my planning for #msignite. Feel free to follow along and add any comments and advice to the posts.

Review the session plans

Last week the Myignite site had the session planner activated – there are currently 1124 sessions planned right now and it is essential that you plan the sessions that need to be attended before you go to the conference.
One of the attendees has also released a PowerBI app that gives a really nice graphical browser view to the sessions in a calendar view – This is a browser option only though and doesn’t allow you to add sessions to your calendar/planner.

Neat graphical viewer for #MSIgnite sessions
1500 sessions is pretty overwhelming so I would recommend that you select the subject matter(s) that you are particularly interested in as that will then filter down the list of relevant sessions.

Don’t get too excited and expect the number to drop drastically, especially if you are involved in a lot of subjects. My list of sessions went from 1500 to 540 to pick from.
Select the Personalized sessions edit icon at Personalized session to select the topics you are interested in.

I then went through this list and selected the option to add to schedule option to select all the sessions I am interested in. Some of these sessions are ones that I would want to download and view later, some of them are ones that I want to attend. Right now I do not see a way of prioritizing these sessions as must attend, 1st choice, stream later – hopefully this is possible in the future.

Once you have selected all of the sessions you are interested in, go to my schedule under My Conference/My Schedule and then select the week view. This is where you see that you have probably double, triple or quadruple booked your sessions. This is where the priority options would come in handy so a colour coded view would allow you to see which sessions you really want to go to.

Weekly schedule in Ignite.

Last year there was a mobile app that would help you keep up to date with session changes (there has already been several changes published to the conference page) but I don’t see it available at the moment – there are plenty of ignite 2017 apps in the Google store but none of them are the Microsoft ones (at time of writing)

WordPress fixed.

Well that was embarrassing – this website  has been down for a while. It looks like some kind of WordPress upgrade blew the site up – the site was last updated 7/30 so I know it was fine then but it looks like some plugins were updated on 8/2 so probably around that point in time, but looking at my visit stats it looks like it actually went down on the 3rd/4th August.

When I went to the site this evening I got an ugly message of “Fatal error: Class ‘WP_Widget_Custom_HTML’ not found in /pathtomywordpresslocation/wp-includes/class-wp-widget-factory.php on line 106″

From what I can tell, this is the one of the core files from WordPress so is not a file that typically gets changed.

The typical advice for this sort of error is to deactive the plugins installed – either through the database or by renaming the plugins directory in the wp-content directory.  I found that this didn’t actually work and I had to run a manual update for WordPress as per the instructions at https://codex.wordpress.org/Updating_WordPress#Manual_Update

Note that when removing the plugins, wp-includes and wp-admin directory you may want to rename them rather than delete – this way you always have a copy to refer back to. I found that my theme actually required some files from the plugin directory so although the admin site was available, the main site was not available until after I copied the plugins back.

Even more interestingly, after installing WordPress manually and logging into the admin interface I still get “An automated WordPress update has failed to complete – please attempt the update again now”  This is easily fixed by deleting the .maintenance file in the main wordpress directory and then refreshing the admin page.

Phew!

I have now updated my monitor script to check for the existence of text in the page as opposed to just checking that the web page is up and running.

 

 

 

Review: Match Up

Match UpMatch Up by Lee Child
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had only read a couple of these authors and I am always on the lookout for new books to read so this was a great way of trialing them out. The unique idea of blending characters from different authors together in multiple short stories was intriguing and worked really well. None of the tales felt awkwardly written. Each story was different and engrossing – the only sad thing is that they are short stories and I often wondered what would happen next! Highly recommended – especially if you’ve read at least one of the authors and want to see one of the characters in a completely different scenario.
Netgalley was kind enough to give me an ARC for this book but it would definitely be a book I would get for myself.

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Review: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog

Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious DogDownward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog by Samm Hodges
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some funny haiku
make an entertaining read
No photos used though.

A very quick, cute read. As a fan of the tv series, I hope this book isn’t a spoiler of what is to come in the episodes as there is an unexpected and (initially) sad event in the book but keep reading!
I was initially expecting photos to be used in the book but instead there are cute pictures (which is probably just as well considering some of the subject matter!). But this combined with just a few words on the simple pages along with a read that takes less than 5 minutes, does make me wonder what the value for money is in the book.

Thanks to NetGalley for the Advanced Review Copy for this book.

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