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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

January
4
2009
3:05 pm
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Sometimes things are more complicated than they need to be.  Like Macbook Pros running OSx Leopard.  You’d think that the “common man’s” laptop that’s supposedly for the “artist-driven” and “creative” folk would make some sense.  But everywhere I turn, things are just plain confusing.  

More on that later.

This post marks my 1000th post.  I just upgraded to WordPress 2.7 a few moments ago after writing up the following.  After fixing some plugin issues (a few caused my admin page to give server errors), I came back to edit my post and noticed I had 999 posts.

1000 posts is pretty big.  I wonder if I should give something away.  Then again, I’ve given some things away on past entries that I still haven’t finished delivering (but I will, I promise!).  So maybe the upgrade to 2.7 is my own gift to myself.

This post is about my convoluted WordPress upgrade.  Wordpress is what I use to run my blog.  I’ve been on WordPress for a while now (3.5 years) and have been through a fair share of upgrades.  I’m also pretty geeky – I can do lots of stuff from the command line and know WordPress well enough.  I’ve upgraded other blogs to the latest WordPress 2.7 without a problem, and usually in less than 5 minutes.

But I have a little problem, as I’ve mentioned before.  With all these upgrades I’ve done over the years, there’s something amiss with the blog.  Specifically, the database has issues.  Anytime I try to do a backup of my blog with the tried-and-true WP-DB-Backup plugin, it fails (stuck at wp_options, and the page doesn’t refresh itself).  

Here’s how stupid it is – this backup hasn’t worked for over a year now.  So, what happens when I go and re-try it again just now, just so I can get a screenshot?

Go ahead, guess.  YUP.  The stupid thing actually WORKS.  So now I have a good backup.  SHEESH.

The other problem I constantly had was when I try to use the built-in Export function of WordPress, it fails as well (server error 500).  Maybe I’ll be lucky and it’ll work this time.

Nope.  Well at least half of my complaints are still valid.

Anyway.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, failures.  Ok, so now I have a backup.  I like having more than one backup, so I also want to do a MySQL backup *and* a filesystem backup.  I’m putting those in the extended entry below for those of you who’d like to know how to do that.

Now that those two things are done (see the extended entry for additional info), I need to download the latest 2.7 upgrade.  I keep all my plugins, themes, and code in my ~/src directory.

(uiserver):whall:~/src/wordpress > wget http://wordpress.org/latest.zip
--14:20:41--  http://wordpress.org/latest.zip
          => `latest.zip'
Resolving wordpress.org... 72.233.56.139, 72.233.56.138
Connecting to wordpress.org|72.233.56.139|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: unspecified [application/zip]
    [  <=>        ] 1,849,558      4.80M/s
14:20:42 (4.79 MB/s) - `latest.zip' saved [1849558]
(uiserver):whall:~/src/wordpress > mv latest.zip latest-27.zip

I also like having the multiple versions around, so I move latest.zip to latest-27.zip.

The next thing to do is double-check and triple-check the Upgrading WordPress guide.  Here’s what I did with this upgrade:

  1. Verified my backups
  2. Did more backups
  3. Said a little prayer for my backups
  4. Downloaded the latest wordpress files (above)
  5. Deactivated plugins
Now I need to follow more of the directions.  I unzip the wordpress files into a separate directory (~/wordpress)
(uiserver):whall:~ > unzip ~/src/wordpress/latest-27.zip
This extracts the files into ~/wordpress for temporary use.  Note that my blog is in ~/blog, remember?  Some people put their blog into ~/wordpress, so if you actually have your blog in that directory, you’ll want to do something else.
The directions say to delete the wp-includes and wp-admin directories.  I know in the past when I forgot to do this step, it’s not a good thing.  So make sure you do it.
(uiserver):whall:~ > cd blog
(uiserver):whall:~/blog > \rm -rf wp-includes/ wp-admin/
Notice I used backslash in front of “rm” because I didn’t want it to use an alias, if any.  I frequently alias “rm” to be “rm -i” so that it confirms deletions.  This way, with the -rf option, it recursively deletes the two directories in my blog directory.
Then I use my special tar command to take the new wordpress 2.7 files to stomp on top of my existing directory, but keeping any other files that I have.  This is important, because I don’t want to lose my plugins, themes, or uploaded files. 
(uiserver):whall:~/blog > cd ../wordpress (uiserver):whall:~/wordpress > tar cvf - . | (cd ../blog; tar xfBp -)
See the extended entry for more info about this tar command.
The final step is to visit the wp-admin page of your blog to check for an upgrade and continue on.  If all goes well, the upgrade is complete and you can start turning plugins on one-by-one to make sure they work.
Now, I wrote all of this BEFORE doing my upgrade, so I’m about to do another backup and then actually perform the steps.  If it all goes well, I’ll be on WordPress 2.7 and will publish this post. 
If not, well, I might still publish it just to complain.
Update: it seems to have gone well, since I’m now editing this post in all it’s WordPress 2.7 glory.  Now to publish and hope it doesn’t break, and then to maybe do some more backups now that I’m on the latest version.

(more…)

iPhone runs VIM

Ok, there’s more to the story than just this, but what caught my eye was the VIM tie-in.  For those of you who don’t know, VIM is “vi improved”, and vi is a visual editor used on unix systems.  It’s completely text-based, harkening back to the days of no mice and no graphics.  It’s extremely powerful, and I still use it daily to do text editing, manipulation, processing, etc.  I’ve had gvim (graphical vim) on my box forever, and rely on it.  To know that it can run on the iPhone makes me 1% closer to wanting one. 

To date, I’m about at 4% wanting one.  If the cost came down to $200 or so, I’d be at 80%.  If it supported ActiveSync (ie, if it supported Outlook Mobile Access – OMA – from exchange front end web servers) like so many other smart phones, I’d be at 95%.  I depend on my blackberry, and it securely syncs up all my email, contacts, calendar, etc wirelessly.  ActiveSync w/OMA does the same thing for non-blackberry PDAs.

So for the time being, I’ll have to be happy with my midpSSH client for my blackberry.  It lets me bounce off my internal blackberry enterprise server, encrypted across the RIM network, and ssh into internal servers @ work, so now I can truly fix those emergency situations without having to find a hotspot!


The David Blaine of Billiards

Never saw this guy before, don’t know who he is, but I’ve dubbed him the David Blaine of Billiards.  Or call it “Street Magic Pool”.  Doesn’t matter what it’s called, but these are some pretty neat tricks.  Thanks to Jen for the link.


147 run in Snooker 

Speaking of billiards, Jen also shared this fantastic video of a guy making a perfect 147-score run in snooker in about 5 minutes.  The guy is awesome.


Breakfast – it’s not just for breakfast anymore

I heard on the news recently that Kellogg’s has found more people eating it’s cereal at non-breakfast times, like for a late night snack or after-dinner treat, so they’re ramping up production of chocolate-flavored rice krispies or special K or something. So I decided to come up with the above tagline.  It’s mine.  I owns it.


New Dennys Menu girl

Well, she just doesn’t do it for me.

The new Denny's Menu girl

Compared to Tiffany, the old Denny’s menu girl, I mean.  I’m not saying this girl here is ugly or anything – her smile is nice, sure, and she’s bringing a GREAT tray of food, and she has that super weird grip on the coffee mug, and she can pour coffee without looking.  Not only that, she has a four foot long spike sticking out of her back (it’s an old war wound), but you can’t see it because she’s looking AT us instead of away.  The lady in the back who’s smiling sees it and is rather rude by laughing at it.

In case you forgot what Tiffany looks like, here’s a refresher.  See what I mean?

Tiffany from Denny's is hot


WHALLcats – Jaden version

I promised some more WHALLcats.  Here you go, but instead of cats (or dogs), it’s none other than Jaden!

whallcats jaden spelz


LOLcats – Wolves version

And here’s one I made up just now.  It’s from a caption contest entry no-one entered.

lolcats wolves


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