Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The End

Tomorrow, 8 October, is the 4th anniversary of my journal Northern Trip on AOL. As AOL is axing its blogging service, I have decided to cease making entries on this journal from now. It will be transferred to an archive on Blogger as soon as the mechanism for doing so becomes available.

My new blog, Atlantic Lines, is hosted on Blogger and has been in use for a few days now. Please go there for further updates.

Thank you to all in J-land on AOL who welcomed me into the community from 2005 onwards. A special thank you to reader peguera1, who was one of my first commenters.

See you on Blogger.


Friday, 3 October 2008


Greetings from Inverness.

I urgently need to tell you that it has proved impossible to migrate the dormant journals, including those written by the deceased, to Blogger. If anyone does have access to them, it can be done; if not, copying the entire journal manually is the only option. Lori [helmswondermom on AOL] mentioned on her Blogger journal that saving it as an ebook is apparently an option - please check her journal. Haven't got the link here, and have only very limited time.

I am desperately sorry about this.

It is perishingly cold today, with a strong northerly wind and snow on the mountains. Not even just the tops, quite low down as well. Temperatures are currently between 5 and 8 degrees across the Highlands. Had a rough crossing to Ullapool, with sleet showers along the way. Now in Inverness Tourist Office, trying to access my email - not possible due to temp maintenance.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

MSN group

JLand Friends

You need a Hotmail / MSN username & password to join. The email address can be changed.


I am pleased that my J-land 2 folder on Google Reader is filling up nicely with everybody's new URLs.

Ken (buckoclown) is suggesting we drop the J-land name. Let's not have too many changes all at once - this move is proving traumatic enough, and I'm not looking to the heartache that's bound to occur on and after November 1st, when people discover their blogs have disappeared.

The J-land Hub, the Magic Smoke on Blogger, will come to life in the next couple of days with more information on the transfer.

I'll be off Internet from October 3rd until (and including) October 8th, but will try to get internet access at some point. I'm travelling to Orkney tomorrow to photograph 700 wargraves in Kirkwall and Lyness. The weatherforecast is atrocious, so please think of me whilst I feed the fish in the Minch and the Pentland Firth.

entry copied to Atlantic Lines

Midnight update

The procedure for transferring our blogs to Blogger is yet to be announced.

YOU have to do the transferring, there is nothing automatic about it. Any blogs left untransferred on November 1st will be lost.

Setting up on Blogger:
1. Go to http://www.blogger.com
2. Click the big orange arrow
3. If you already have a Google account, use the login details for that to proceed
4. If you DON't have a Google account, provide the details requested, and please don't forget to check the validation email and click on the link that contains.
5. You now have an Blogger account into which you can transfer your AOL journal

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Looking forward

Once the stramash is over, and our journals are no longer hosted on AOL, I shall switch to a new journal, called Atlantic Lines.


Anyone who knows of a blog by a deceased person they wish to preserve, please drop me a line.

Anyone who knows of a blog by a person who will not be in a position to effect the transition to Blogger themselves (through being ill, on holiday whatever), also drop me a line.

I have set up a Blogger account specifically for these instances. I hope to be able to save these journals; for the latter category, it is possible to transfer ownership later.


Magic Smoke

I have been blocked from making further entries on Magic Smoke. The reason why is unclear to me.

I will go so far as to say that AOL LLC is solely interested in making money off the backs of its users, without any due regard for their interests, whether these be tangible or otherwise, as in the case of J-land.

My entries on Magic Smoke have been nothing but helpful, and were not  critical of AOL or its policies. I have endeavoured to take work away from the Journals Team by answering questions and giving technical advice.

AOL, in cutting away the Journals service, is not interested in facilitating the transition to Blogger or making this as painless as possible.


I'm very pleased that many are already changing to a Blogger blog.
Sue [catslittertray] has come up with an idea to keep in touch through Facebook. I'm unfamiliar with that site, but email her direct for details. Suffix her screenie with @aol.com, and it'll reach her.

I am extremely concerned about the number of people that are as yet unaware of the changeover, and have requested Vish to transfer all the unclaimed blogs to a dedicated Blogger account, admin'd by me. Haven't had word back yet (it's 5.10 am in CA), but hope it's going to work.

If you don't know which blogs you host on AOL, put the following into your browser's address bar: journals.aol.com/screenname and hit Enter. It'll come up with a list. Or not.

The migration link will be accessible in a couple of days from now.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Journals break

I continue to be on journals break. I am only making entries to help everybody in amongst the carnage, caused by the announced shut-down of AOL Journals. You'll find those on Magic Smoke. I am pissed off beyond belief.


Apart from AOL Journals, AOL Hometown will also be sunset (quoting the euphemism from AOL bigwig Kevin Conroy on July 25. AOL Hometown, a rather outmoded piece of FTP (storage) space is used / can be used for putting your pics, rev-counter etc. You will lose that on November 1st, if you don't save everything first.

AOL Pictures will meet a similar fate, and please be warned that NOTHING is being done for your pictures. The AOL pictures blog has not been updated since summer 2007, and there is no word on their website. You may well find all your pictures gone by November 1st as well - that's not official, but my personal assessment

In all fairness, at least our journalseditor is trying to make the best of a bad situation. It's still crap though.

Closing down

Right, so we're supposed to save our journals to disk. Does not work.
Manual transfer - I've got nearly 4,800 entries. Forget it.
I'm waiting to hear more from our intermediary, Vish, about a possible transfer to the Blogger platform. I'm not terribly impressed with Blogger, but better something than nothing.

I don't think AOL quite realises what they are destroying here. Is there such a thing as genocide on line?

Closing down

Dear AOL Journals user [UK],

We regret to inform you that AOL Journals is shutting down on 31 October 2008. After this date your content will no longer be available and will be deleted.

In order to save your valuable data we suggest you save your AOL Journals content as soon as possible and we have provided a webpage with detailed instructions on how to do this. Please click here or go to this URL http://www.aol.co.uk/product-notification to receive more information on how to save your content.


The AOL Team

I'm supposed to be on a journals break, but it looks like it will be a permanent break by the end of October.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Taking a break

I have decided to take a break from blogging until October 8th. I have therefore declined an invitation to be guest editor this weekend. Anyone wanting to keep an eye on my pictures is welcome to check them out on Flickr.com. See you all next month.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Visited the graveyard in this small village, 9 miles north of Stornoway, this afternoon. The location is actually quite pretty, so I'll share some of the landscapes of the area.

View from the cemetery

Along the main road, looking north

Gress Beach

Gress River and Back [village] on the hill behind


I am not following "alerts" (through Google Reader) at present, and may not do so for a while. At the moment, I do not feel up to reading and or commenting, and I would not do people's writing any justice. Back soon on that front.

Tuesday 23 September

Fairly bright today, even if with a good cover of cloud. No complaints about the weather so far. More than can be said of Puerto Rico, which has had 24 inches of rain in 24 hours, causing mudslides and flash-floods. The tropical weather system responsible is not a formal depression, but its impact is still quite severe.

Finland has seen another college shooting, the second in two years. Twenty are feared dead, but the condition of the gunman is unknown - he shot himself after going on his rampage. Finland has a high rate of private gun ownership. This story echoed of the tragedy at Virginia Tech in 2007.