My first “Hello World” was a program written in BASIC running on an Apple II computer, in 1981. Since then I experienced many other fashions of it, using C, C++, Java, python, LabVIEW, HTML, Matlab, and probably something else more arcane. But this is the first time that it will be put across for many eyes.

I will use this first post to explore some possibilities and options with the editing environment provided by WordPress.com. It will serve myself to remember where to find some info or hints on the basics of blogging. And it is an opportunity to share my particular difficulties (only the non-very awkward ones) and my personal experience and impressions on starting a blog. So, there we go !

LaunchOk, it seems that I was well suceeded in putting a good picture for saying “Hello” to the world. I made some changes in the original picture, which I got from a friend, but you can get here the original. On this link you’ll also find another one also very nice. These pictures are views of the launching of the space shuttle supposedly taken from the ISS (International Space Station) on the orbit. However, you can find here some remarks that it could not be taken from the ISS, but from some satellite.

My start up with blogging at the WordPress.com was not completely smooth. I tried to get hands-on the work quickly and there came up some points that I’ll put here for those that could start in the same way:

  • How to customize the presentation of the blog ? – Go to the toolbar displayed at the top of the blog page (assuming you’re logged on) and find Dashbord >> Presentation. There you can find themes and pick up one of you preference. I’ve made my choice for the Tarski theme, which I found clean and functional.
  • How to put a picture at the header of your blog page ? – Use the same option above, Dashboard >> Presentation. There you find a way to upload a picture and display it in the header.
  • How to change the title of your blog ? – see here in the FAQ .
  • How to edit the blog ? – Go to the Dashboard >> Posts and chose the Edit option at the right of the post you want to edit.
  • How to change the lay-out of the blog ? – Use the same option above, Dashboard >> Presentation and chose Widgets. There is also a FAQ page explaining about the widgets.
  • How to change the pages ? – Pages are listed below your blog’s title. By default there are initially two pages: Home and About. You can edit pages on Dashboard >> Pages.
  • How to upload a picture, a video or a slideshow ? – When you are in edition mode of a post or a page, the editing window shows at the bottom a section for image, video and slideshow upload. Quite easy ! See here more about slideshows.
  • How had I put the You Tube button and link in my pages ? – I had done it using the text widget. The button logo should be uploaded before, in order to get a valid URL for the img object in the html tag. You must create the text in HTML. I found somehow tricky to upload the picture, since I didn’t find an option for doing it in the Dashboard. I hat to enter in Edit mode as if I was creating a new post and upload in the edition window, as described above. However, it is possible to insert a link to YouTube using the Blogroll option at the Dashboard. But in this case there will be no option to put the button logo.

The feature that most attracted me to the WordPress.com blogs is the support for formulas written on LaTeX syntax. However, I’ll leave this to the next post. I knew about this feature and about WordPress.com from the What’s New blog by Terence Tao. Since I’m yet a newcomer, I’ve imitated several features of his pages, which I find very clean and functional.