AuthorTopic: Useful tools and methods for composing articles/posts  (Read 3410 times)

Offline peter

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Useful tools and methods for composing articles/posts
« on: February 27, 2012, 10:43:08 AM »
Example article to show the formatting capability of SMF

The Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Food Production. 
(Part 1)
By: Peter Offermann Feb 27, 2012

Although Hydroponics has already been adopted in growing food crops in a massive way it is still under the radar in the public consciousness because of the main 'Con' associated with it. The potential of hydroponics presents a massive threat to the 'status quo' in today's world. Our leaders who have created this status quo, and who benefit disproportionately from it, have used their control of the mass media to keep this method of food production hidden in the shadows. This is a massive subject and I will break the discussion into a number of parts. In part 1 I will restrain myself to mostly discussing the political aspects.

In the first world hydroponics already produces a significant amount of the food we eat. I'll just insert a few photos demonstrating this here.




Click the thumbnail for more photos. Food is one of the key essentials necessary for life. It is obvious that controlling the food supply gives one an enormous amount of power over those [all of us] that need access to it. Within our society such control not only gives one enormous power over others, it also allows one to accumulate great wealth.

Most commodities put up for sale for profit have limited re-purchase potential. I.e. we only need to buy a new washing machine every few years. Food is one of the key markets that guarantees an ongoing clientele.



A book by Lappe & Collins called, "Food First - Beyond the myth of scarcity." Amazon  Link gives an excellent overview of what has been done and continues to be done today.There is an excellent book that explains how 'The Powers That Be' (TPTB) have used food as a weapon throughout history. Colonization was mostly about taking over other people's resources, most importantly productive farm land, in order to force the local residents to work for TPTB so that they could afford to buy food they needed from the 'Company' store because they no longer owned any land to grow their own food.
 






One of the most damaging things TPTB have intentionally done is to organize the modern world so that no location is food self-sufficient.

Why do this you ask?

Because it is next to impossible to bite the hand that feeds you. Your rebellion will soon sputter out if you don't have the resources at hand to feed yourself. Our modern lengthy, and wasteful of resources, supply lines guarantee that if an area such as Iran won't play ball they can be starved into submission or at least into acting in a predetermined way that benefits TPTB.


'Embargoes' such as the one currently being put in place around Iran have been used over and over to conveniently create wars when TPTB need one. The Jewish embargo put in place on Germany before WWII is another prime example.


Germany was not food self-sufficient at the time. Did they have any choice, or at least justification, for starting WWII if they were being destroyed from without?

 
It is obvious today that TPTB that control Governments worldwide see enemies not only "outside' national boundaries but also 'within' them. This is clearly demonstrated by the plethora of new laws being put in place by government bodies such as the FDA in America which are making it ever more illegal for individuals to grow their own food.   
Story link   Story link

TPTB, or those beholden to them, control the vast majority of productive crop land in the world. They mostly monocrop it not only for growing efficiency but also to assure that no area has a wide enough crop diversity to easily sustain life, even in areas that are highly productive farmland. I.e. if the only crop available in your area is corn or potatoes you still need to go to the Company Store to buy groceries.

TPTB have adopted hydroponics in a large way even though it poses the potential of a great risk to them. They have done this because they are greedy. They can't resist increasing their profit margins substantially. Hydroponic growing uses resources massively more efficiently than soil based growing. The amount of water and fertilizers consumed are but a tiny fraction of what is used in traditional farming. Crop productivity is also greatly increased. Hydroponic growing is not limited by lack of good soil or access to vast irrigation systems.

You can even grow indoors if you prefer or need to.

Can you see both the pros and cons for TPTB in this?

Larger profits verses the technology falling into their 'enemies' hands allowing the enemy to become food self-sufficient wherever they happen to be even without access to traditional gardening.

Many of TPTB's politcal agendas depend on the perception of scarcity which allows them to force draconian measures on the masses because they 'need' to be taken.

Hydroponics is easily capable of feeding the world while at the same time reducing the world's reliance on, and use of, vital non-renewable resources such as oil. Oil is used to make fertilizer, plow the land, maintain the crop, harvest it, bring it to market, preserve it in grocery stores, get us to the store and back.

How much would oil's consumption be reduced if we didn't need to do any of this and instead simply grow what we need at home in an easy and efficient way?

This would present a double whammy to TPTB. Not only would they lose regular customers, their profits on oil would also need to be reduced because of much lower utilization.

What would happen to oil prices if it was no longer a 'scarce' commodity?

End of (Part 1.)



« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 03:55:47 PM by peter »

Offline RE

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 10:56:08 AM »
Looks good so far Peter!  Are you going to use one of those translator programs you mentioned to convert it from BBcode to HTML for the Blog?

RE
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Offline peter

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 11:44:17 AM »
The formatting is a mish mash of html and bbc code. Yes I will use one of the translators once the article is finished but I am incorporating what html smf will accept from the outset.

I compose online rather than in a standalone editor because I get a much better representation of what the final product will be like. Using the right tools it is also very convenient. The addition of a gallery has made a huge difference.

The hardest part was getting images from my computer, or from the web, to where they could be inserted into a post.

There is a gallery link on the forum menu now and when you first go there each member is given their own album. In this area each member can create as many subalbums as they like. I have created an album group for myself [articles] with subalbums for each article.

I keep the album for the current article open in a separate window. I also have a directory on my computer for each article. I make copies of my own photos which I want to use into this directory. On each web based image I want to use I right click and select "Save image as" to the articles directory.

In the album window I select "add photos" and select the images I want to use in that article's directory on my computer and they are then automatically uploaded to the article gallery (no ftp program needed ;D).

The greatest feature in the gallery is that it has buttons to create the embed codes to a whole gallery, or single photo, in either BBcode or html. It lists codes to inset as text links, thumbnails, resized images, or full-sized images. You select the format of link you want to use and paste it into the post. This used to be a very tedious process which is now just a couple of clicks.  8)

Here's what the insertion code for one thumbnail looks like. It used to be very tedious formating such by hand.

Code: [Select]
[url=http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/gallery/var/albums/Peters-Photos/Photos-for-Articles/Hydroponics-2012-02-27/other/screencap011-1425974497.jpg?m=1330374417][img]http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/gallery/var/thumbs/Peters-Photos/Photos-for-Articles/Hydroponics-2012-02-27/other/screencap011-1425974497.jpg?m=1330374447[/img][/url]

I'm soon going to do a post specifically on the workflow I use for composing posts because I have found a combination of tools which makes such efforts relatively painless. I think others can benefit from what I have learned.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 01:25:44 PM by peter »

Offline peter

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 12:55:23 PM »
Another tool I find essential for almost everything I do, but especially for posting is a Clipboard Manager. I prefer to use 'Clipmate'. http://www.clipmate.com/index.htm

It automatically uses the windows "copy" function to create  a library of everything I select [Ctrl-A],  copy [Ctrl-C] and need to paste [Ctrl-V]. The windows clipboard only keeps the most recent thing you copied and all previous clips are lost.

The Clipmate interface.
(Click thumbnail for larger image.)


Within Clipmate I can create clip groups for specific purposes. I do this for each article. When a group is selected anything 'copied' in windows is automatically placed in that group.

One of the more imprtant things this allows me to do when composing online is to guard against an unposted post from disappearing if there is a connection glitch. I regularly do a [Ctrl-A] in the editor window to select everything then do a [Ctrl-C] to copy it. This places a copy of what has been done so far into clipmate which can be retrieved at any time.

The same procedure is great for keeping copies before major revisions that allow you to step backwards if you change your mind.

The only way to accomplish this without a clipboard manager is by a very time consuming process of naming and saving a series of individual files which are hard to find. The clipboard manager gets rid of the naming problem and also makes everything related easy to find.

To use any of the clips, or portions of them, you simply point at the clip you want to use within clipmate, return to your editor, place the cursor where you want the clip to appear, and press [Ctrl-V] to insert it.

The clipboard manager is also essential for collecting online reference material for an article. You can copy quotes you want to use from pages and also their urls to link to. They all endup in the same group in clipmate where they can easily be selected at anytime for insertion into the article.

I also keep a collection of pieces of code/formatting I use regularly, also names and addresses.

There are a bunch of useful tools within clipmate for manipulating clips. Things like stripping carriage returns out of clips and so on.

Clipmate is another window I keep open while composing.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 01:16:53 PM by peter »

Offline peter

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 01:38:37 PM »
Another essential program I keep open while composing is an image managing program. I prefer to use 'ACDsee'. http://www.acdsee.com/


It allows me to quickly find images stored on my computer and make copies to the current article. There  I can quickly do things like resize, crop, rename, modify them. I rename all article images so they don't get confused with original usually higher resolution copies. In this case I used "hydro-12-02-27-## (an incrementing number for each photo). That is easily accomplished within ACDsee.

For more hardcore image composition I use Corel Photo Paint (preferred) or Photoshop ( :P)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 02:01:21 PM by peter »

Offline RE

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 01:44:14 PM »
I think the last couple of posts should be in the "How To" section of the Forum.

RE
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Offline peter

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 02:08:57 PM »
Quote
I think the last couple of posts should be in the "How To" section of the Forum.

RE

I agree the whole thread should become a how to there. I will move it once I've added everything to it I want.

For composing in private we need to create another class of members for those who regularly write substantive complex posts. We could call them  'contributors' and only contributors and staff would see that area. Each contributor could have their own board where they can create a thread for each article.

Once they are satisfied with the final product a copy of the article can be posted where it is intended to go.

I'm still messing around in public right now because we are still a small group of friends.

At this point I could easily spend all my time just re-arranging the furniture so I will just scribble where I am so I can actually write something. I will clean up my mess soon. In the meantime my ramblings may give other authors food for thought.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 02:13:29 PM by peter »

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2012, 02:19:46 PM »
The "contributors" area is a good idea, but I'd put it on the back burner for a while until we actually HAVE a decent number of contributors.  I've ust been over at Automatic Earth where they have set up very much the same system you have put together, with a few other bells and whistles.

Anyhow, you know how many Members are signed up for their Board?  Around 300.  This after 4 years or so of Blogging.  So I think its going to be a while before we have a huge readership or others doing a lot of composition work.  This looks to be a labor of love here for a while.

Also, did you check into getting "Recent Posts" to automatically drop into the side nav bar?

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Offline peter

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 02:21:11 PM »
I think there needs to be a public gallery linked to in the forum which only contains content we want to share.

There should be a second gallery only linked to in the contributor area which only contains resources for articles and such. The public gallery can remove many of the toolbar links only needed by contributors to give it a cleaner look.

Offline peter

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Re: The Pros and Cons of Hydroponics
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2012, 02:26:37 PM »
The "contributors" area is a good idea, but I'd put it on the back burner for a while until we actually HAVE a decent number of contributors.  I've ust been over at Automatic Earth where they have set up very much the same system you have put together, with a few other bells and whistles.

Anyhow, you know how many Members are signed up for their Board?  Around 300.  This after 4 years or so of Blogging.  So I think its going to be a while before we have a huge readership or others doing a lot of composition work.  This looks to be a labor of love here for a while.


It way easier on everyone to make such changes at the start than after they've gotten used to doing things in a different way.  I'll add that ability in the next few days so it will be there when needed.


Quote
Also, did you check into getting "Recent Posts" to automatically drop into the side nav bar?

RE

No I haven't but I will soon. I think I know how it can be done fairly easily.

DONE
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 02:53:53 PM by peter »

Offline peter

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Re: Useful tools and methods for composing articles/posts
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 05:10:11 PM »
The article is posted over on the blog. The translation using http://www.bbcode-to-html.com/ went perfectly. The only thing I had to do was delete the title to allow for the Blogs Title.

The only thing I miss which I had before in smf was the ability to 'justify text'. I must have added a mod to do that and will try to find it again.

 

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