¡Hola Totoro!

No hockey, no mountain biking, no gym, no general running around doing stuff.

I needed to find something sedentary to do, so I gave my blog a facelift.

Say goodbye to Yellow Bike…

Say hello to Totoro! :-D

Goodbye Stinkoman

Hello Yellow Bike!

If you read this blog through the website, you’ll notice it looks different. If you read this blog through the feed, you already know things are different.

Old Host You Are Lame

I’ve been annoyed with my old host for a while now. They’re slow to install new versions of really basic things like PHP and MySQL. That, and I was grandfathered in on a promotional account from 10 years ago that limited me to one MySQL instance hosted on a separate machine that didn’t allow access from outside servers. Still, inertia is hard to overcome. But when I tried to upgrade my blog to a newer platform and found my database was too old, I decided I’d had enough.

One big problem with searching for a new hosting company is that reviews don’t help much. Every company has users with horror stories. In the end, I went with overall ratings and price. I was surprised to find a package cheaper than my current $5/month rate. $3.95 for way more features than what I would get upgrading to a $10/month package with my current host? I’m sold!

New Host You Are Less Lame But Somewhat Annoying

Not that my new host is perfect. I was annoyed when I signed up and my username was automatically created using the first eight letters of my domain name. It’s *really* hard for me to type “soopahvi” without the final v. Plus, it looks silly. I am not a r-challenged super text editor!

What’s more annoying, although less permanent, is the domain transfer loop I’m stuck in. It goes like this: I request a transfer on the website. The website tells me to call a number to verify my account. I call the number and get put on hold for five minutes. A recording then answers and tells me to record my name and domain name in a message. Later the website either tells me to redo the transfer or gets stuck telling me to I need to call to verify my account. I’m still not transferred.

Also, when I call the number to verify account, the opening message tells me I’ll have a chance to take a survey about my experience at the end of the call. You know what happens after waiting five minutes to be told by a recording to leave a message? The system hangs up on me.

Okay, enough whining. (Although since I whined here I promise not to whine at you in person. Also, everyone please get a blog so you can not whine at me in person too.)

Blog Upgrade

How to go from Movable Type 3.1.1 to WordPress 2.9.2?

  1. Back up MT 3.1.1 database.
  2. Install MT 5.02 and try to upgrade 3.1.1 database. Watch it fail because your host runs an ancient version of MySQL.
  3. Get a new host. Install WP 2.9.2 on new host.
  4. Try to use the export function in 3.1.1 and watch it choke after spitting out a fraction of your posts. Notice the export doesn’t contain category information or comments.
  5. Install copy of MT 3.1.1 database on new host.
  6. Install MT 5.02 on new host and try to upgrade 3.1.1 database. Run it a few times until it makes it all the way.
  7. Use the export function in 5.02. Get a giant text file.
  8. Split up giant text file into manageable chunks.
  9. Import chunks into WP 2.9.2
  10. Reorganize categories.
  11. Notice paragraph breaks were lost in migration. Scream.
  12. Fix the latest handful of posts to make front page look presentable. Cry.

I still have a lot of other things go fix, like broken archive links. I may or may not get around to it. We’ll see.

What’s Different?

For one, Stinkoman is gone. It was time for something new. I love me some yellow bike!

For another, the blogroll went away. Sorry, but that thing was getting pretty archaic. Go get yourself a good feed reader and subscribe to all those lovely blogs you used to visit through this page. And while you’re at it, you can add this feed too.

My Hockey and GTI and Links pages went away. The links were definitely archaic, I don’t own my beloved GTI anymore, and I can keep track of all the hockey teams I’ve played on in my wiki.

Wiki? What wiki? The one I’m going to install in one of my 100 available MySQL databases. :)

Waah

Some people like to whine (on, and on, and on) in person. I like to do most of it on my blog. This, of course, immortalizes me on the internet as a whiner (oh noes), but I look at it this way: It’s human to whine. It’s healthy to vent. Whining in person follows a push model; the person being whined at either has to sit through it, which is not fun and somewhat stressful, or tell the other person to quit whining, which will probably hurt their feelings. On the other hand, whining in a blog follows a pull model; if you don’t want to hear my whining, you can stop reading. Simple as that.

So no, I’m not going to stop whining here. And it’d be great if more people started blogging. It’d save us all a lot of push model whine time.

This post brought to you by the three posts immediately preceding, which were nothing but whine.

Are You A Spam Bot?

Blog spammers are driving me nuts. I added an extra field to the comments page to try (yet again) to thwart them. Sorry, it’s more typing for all of you, but it’s only an extra key or two. All capitalization permutations of N and NO should work… “should” being the keyword.

Linkroll!

Step one of my del.icio.us website integration is complete: I’m finally using del.icio.us. I’ve imported all of my non-website bookmarks, tagged them, and made them public. And, since I’m on a blog badge kick, I added a mini del.icio.us linkroll to the sidebar so I could share with you my latest favorite sites. How much use that will get, I don’t know, but really, I just wanted to integrate yet another site into my blog.

Step two, which was my original reason for wanting to use del.icio.us, is to import all of my website links and pull from del.icio.us for display. Currently, I’m organizing my links in XML files and formatting them for main content and sidebar display with XSLT. It works, but maintenance is tedious. I originally designed it this way so I could play with XSLT, and because SOA hadn’t really taken off yet. But now, with the ubiquitous magic of tags and badges (APIs are nice, too, but overkill for display purposes), there’s no need to create my own system for managing and sharing most things. A big fan of SOA, I am.

All that said, let me profess here my hatred for del.icio.us’s inexplicable tag flakiness and single-bookmark-only editing. It took me a full week of grumpy wrestling with their site to get everything set up properly. At one point, I said about my experience, “If my applications ever make any of my users feel this way, I will have failed [as a developer].”

All this hate, you say? Whatever, it hated on me first!

Maybe some other site does link management better? I’m open to suggestions.

Google Reader Badge

New addition to the sidebar: my shared articles from Google Reader. I hope to get into a habit of sharing articles I find interesting and/or funny. At the very least, integrating the badge was fun. It’s my little victory of the day. :)