WP Upgrade Blues

*Whew*. That’s what I get for blithely doing what I usually do when upgrading between wordpress versions. This time I was left with a very messed up page, and more than half of my plugins and themes reporting errors. Ugh. There were even error messages when updating the mysql db. Double ugh.

I’ve bashed it back into an approximation of working for now, using the included “twentyten” theme. Now I have to see if I can figure out whether anything else got wrecked.

Blogging is important

I was chastised yesterday (by my niece(!)) for going so long without updating my blog, so I’m going to take advantage of the Memorial Day holiday in the US (== no meetings) to try to make amends.

I really do appreciate that there are people out there who read this site, so I have to apologize for the extended drought. I will try to get back to a more regular (or at least more frequent) writing schedule.

I particularly want to apologize to the commenters who posted while I wasn’t looking. You’re content *is* my reward, and leaving it sitting in the “pending” queue for months in unconscionable.

Spammer creativity

It’s fascinating.

I was reviewing the comment spam for this blog, or rather I was reviewing the ones that didn’t get automatically caught — there’s always a couple. This time, there was one reply that genuinely looked like it could have been legitimate. The content was apropos of the original post, if not directly focused on it; it was clearly not machine generated (i.e. no “dissociated press” style errors); and the tone was heartfelt.

The only things that seemed out of whack were:

  1. The text was written in a way that it could apply to a fairly wide range of original posts.
  2. There was a website link attached to it that seemed a bit dubious.

I really couldn’t definitively cast it as spam. But, for those that don’t know, I loath spammers. To give you some idea of how much, on one of my other sites you can find this:

I formally curse all spammers as follows:

Your children will die of a disease that would have been curable, except that you put such a drain on the internet that the communication needed to discover the cure did not happen.

You get the idea.

In any case, this time the particular comment in question didn’t make it. So, if you’re out there thinking that you legitimately replied to this site, and you don’t see your response, and you’d like to have a discussion about it, feel free to send me a note.

What do you mean mysql can’t find my wp database?

Well, that was more excitement than I was expecting.

Tonight, Deb wandered into my downstairs office and said, “Are you playing with the server? I can’t get to my blog”. I naturally assumed it was the normal problem of my dynamic dns address changing and the associated delay before mikew.ca catches up. So I tried connecting to my blog and what did I see: “WordPress can’t find your database”. What!!! That would be bad; very very bad.

Well, after about an hour of messing around, I realized it wasn’t quite that bad. MySQL and all my data really were still there, but it turns out they had been masked by some misguided hacking I had been doing with MacPorts.


Well, in honour of the near miss, I promptly did a full backup of my entire website (as apposed to the incremental nightlies) and the mysql database, and then upgraded to WordPress 2.5.

So far, everything looks good. The upgrade went painlessly, as it has for me since I started using WP. Man, I wish all software was that easy to deal with.

Bah, 10.5 just blows.

Ok, I’m clearly not the only person who is having problems with Leopard. But I have to say this is the worst Mac OS upgrade I’ve been through. Everything from random messages filling up the system logs (in at least two variations), to incompatibilities, to things that are just plain busted (e.g. neither BtmM nor Time Machine work for me).

I just spent another two hours fighting to get my (Apple) iSight camera to work again — this even though it had already been working since I upgraded.

I really can’t keep wasting this much time on something that isn’t adding significant value. If things don’t stabilize soon, I’m going to have to downgrade to 10.4 again. And if you want to talk about something that would dissipate the Reality Distortion Field, boy, that would be it.

Aside: On my MBP I did a straight upgrade, but I did a complete HD wipe and re-install on the server. Neither one is working well.

Well, that was painful.

We’re back!

It took longer than it should have because I decided to do a full wipe and re-install on the server. Aside from some complexity around getting PHP and MySQL to agree on where the MySQL socket was, this wasn’t too bad. [Ok, I admit it, it sucked big time.] I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it for a while yet (and re-installing a ton of random apps), but at least the sites are back up.

Another contributing factor to the delay was that, for some unknown reason, my internet connection decided to start being flaky on Friday. Now, if this had happened after I got Leopard, I could have blamed it on my messing around, but it actually started the morning before I started making any changes. In any case, as of now, I seem to be getting dropped once a day (at least), and left in a state where it takes several minutes before I can connect again. I’m not sure what’s up here, but it’s (obviously) playing havoc with my DNS address, so if you’re having trouble finding mikew.ca, at least you’ll know why.

The moment of truth.

Last post before I back up the blog, and switch over to 10.5. It will almost certainly be a while before I can get back on line. I only *vaguely* remember all the steps that it took last time, and if the experience on the laptop is any indicator, doing a straight upgrade is asking for bugs.

I’m not sure what to do about it though. There’s so much music software, and other crap on there that doing an archive and install is going to be unbelievably painful. *sigh*.

Minor site news

WordPress version upgrade
I have upgraded the site to run on the latest WordPress. One of the features this version provides is tagging, and I have dutifully added a tag cloud widget to the side bar. I doubt I’ll go back and tag all the old articles, but you never know. Another nice feature is the automatic version checking for plug-ins. There were newer versions of several of the plug-ins I use.
Treo shots have returned
I finally got around to picking up the latest version of the Photo Sidebar Widget, and hacking it to display VOX images. So now I can go back to taking pictures with my Treo. Yay!

Offline Blog Editors

Is anyone out there using separate blog editing software? That is, is anyone using an application to post to their blog, rather than the built-in web interface? If so, which one are you using, and how’s it working for you?

I’m posting this with the 30 day trial for a tool called MarsEdit 2. It seems to be relatively useful, but I don’t understand why it’s better than just using the browser. Has anyone else tried this app? What else is available?