Musings @musicandmeaning.com

See, I've only had a photograph to drag around.
"He had a theory that musicians are incredibly complex, and know far less than other artists what they want and what they are; that they puzzle themselves as well as their friends; that their psychology is a modern development, and has not yet been understood." – E. M. Forster

Archive for the 'Tech/geek' category

Techie and geeky. And proud of it.


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

PIPA/SOPA: Seriously?

Just popping in to ask anyone monitoring this site to (1) be aware of PIPA/SOPA (the PROTECT-IP Act and the and U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act), if you’re not already, and (2) join the protest against this proposed legislation. If you are in the U.S., do you know if your U.S. senators and House representative support or oppose the bills?

I’ve blacked out my site for 24 hours for the Jan. 18th strike — not just this creaky old blog but all of my old pages, which still get some random traffic. So if you’re reading this, it’s either a snippet of the RSS feed, or you arrived after the blackout ended; also, if you’re reading this blog entry, chances are that you use the Internet heavily. Do you have your own blog? Do you link to YouTube videos in blog posts or in your emails? Do you use services such as Dropbox to store files? Do you read or participate in any online community sites, or other message boards or forums?

PIPA and SOPA are supposedly about protecting intellectual property/copyrights of content owners, but the methods proposed to “protect” them go way beyond that, and will institute serious measures for all sorts of websites and Internet services, big or small. Take five minutes to check out a summary video (autoplays), and please email or call your senators and rep and let them know that you urge them to vote against PIPA/SOPA. The Senate votes on PIPA on Jan. 24th.

P.S. Thanks for reading, and I hope you are well.

Posted at 12:35 am | Filed under News commentary, Tech/geek | 1 reply »

Monday, 31 August 2009

Still rings true three years later

In the past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time updating old HTML code, or as the case may be, reverting back to it (thank you, Microsoft Outlook). It reminded me of this oldie but goodie comic from Alan Foreman in 2006: "Time Breakdown of Modern Web Design" (language may be NSFW).

I don’t wish death to Bill Gates or IE users (especially since I know that Gates was himself annoyed by some Microsoft product "features") but I will be happy when I no longer have to test using more than one version of IE.

(By the way: this site is optimized for Firefox.)

Posted at 11:57 pm | Filed under Tech/geek |  

Friday, 31 July 2009

The end of the road for WordPress 2.0.x

The WordPress team had announced long ago that the WP 2.0.x branch would be supported until the year 2010, but things change — and as of July 30, 2009, the official support behind the 2.0.x branch ceased.

I guess I’m a little disappointed but not too surprised. I was just telling my friend E^3 last week that I’d been preparing for that day in 2010 when 2.0.x would become officially deprecated, and that I had started migrating blogs over to 2.7.x last year (and now 2.8.x). 2.0.x was arguably more no-nonsense and less bloated, but there’s no question that it now lacks a number of useful features introduced later.

Perhaps the most useful/my favorite of these features is the auto-save for drafts, and the post revisioning — I look forward to seeing additional granular control to help minimize database clutter, but for my personal purposes, it’s been pretty nice. One of my least favorite later features is the media/gallery integration, which still feels like a staircase leading to an unfinished floor. (Apparently the WP team realizes that the media features still need more work because its recent survey focused on exactly that.)

Also speaking of the 2.8.x branch, the WP team released 2.8.2 (a security update) last week on July 20th, about 11 days after 2.8.1. For some reason, the changelog did not get posted in the official announcement (please, developers, always, always post a changelog and a date!) so I had to dig for it and found the relevant diffs on the WP Trac (via Lester Chan’s blog).

2.8.3 and 2.9 are still in the works.

Posted at 11:59 pm | Filed under WordPress |  

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

WordPress 2.2 released

After playing with WordPress 2.1 a little, I decided not to upgrade the rest of the blogs I manage, but wait until the next major release…and now it’s here. I will likely try WordPress 2.2 soon and see how the changes (including over 200 bug fixes) work out. I’m hopeful.

Posted at 6:17 am | Filed under WordPress |  

Saturday, 31 March 2007

WordPress roundup

  • I did upgrade to the 2.1 branch and I have to say, I’d recommend waiting if you use a lot of plugins and/or you use the WordPress Links Manager (specifically get_links()) creatively. If you have a lot of links, be prepared to do some editing wherever you use the tag with a specific integer — the ID numbers will change after you upgrade.
  • In case you didn’t hear, the official WP 2.1.1 download was hacked at some point. If you are running 2.1.1 or have the archive lying around on your hard drive, and you’re not sure if it’s the legit version, just delete it for safety and upgrade to 2.1.2. The latest version for the 2.0 branch is 2.0.9, which is a “low-to-medium priority” security release.
  • Did you know that there are WordPress shirts? There used to be navy ones but they appear to be sold out. Bummer. I’m still hoping to snag a few WordPress stickers someday. They are much better for staying on guitar cases than shirts.
  • Photo Matt met Jeff Bezos. (via Photo Matt)
Posted at 2:14 am | Filed under WordPress |  

Monday, 22 January 2007

WordPress 2.1: ‘Ella’

WordPress 2.1 (“Ella”) has arrived.

Just reading its features overview, I have to admit that this version looks pretty drool-worthy, especially from an admin perspective. Usually I wait at least a couple of weeks after such a major release in case there are any quickly-reported issues, but I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend. I’ll start upgrading some of my smaller WordPress sites to get an initial idea of the new engine, and we’ll see how that goes before I decide to switch over the other sites.

[Update] In case you didn’t know or haven’t checked out the link above, do check out the WordPress Ideas page, where you can propose and vote on features for upcoming releases. If you’ve always wanted a feature or been bugged by something, now’s your chance.

Posted at 3:42 pm | Filed under WordPress |  

Saturday, 20 January 2007

WordPress Upgrade Month

It’s starting to look that way. Since I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the WordPress 2.0.6 upgrade, WordPress 2.0.7 was released on Monday. It’s not labeled as a mandatory update, but it’s recommended (and it’s a piece of cake if you’ve already installed 2.0.6). The next major release (2.1) is supposed to be just around the corner (22nd of January).

Last time, I mentioned that 2.0.6 required a little more upgrading work than usual, but that’s only for folks who use Steve Smith’s FeedBurner Plugin and have WordPress installations on Apache servers running mod_php. Mark Jaquith described the issue and offered a fix. WordPress 2.0.7 includes the fix, so if you’re using the latest version of FeedBurner Plugin (2.2) and upgrade to WP 2.0.7, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

If you’re not using FeedBurner Plugin 2.2 but an older release, it’s a good idea to upgrade. It has a number of advantages over previous versions, and also makes it easier to burn your blog’s comments feed. Also, the new version does not create/maintain a special RSS feed, but simply uses the standard WordPress feed links. If you use “pretty” permalinks, the standard feed might be http://yoursite.com/feed/ or http://yoursite.com/subdirectory/feed/, for example. Upgrading to 2.2, you’ll also have to update the .htaccess to remove the old FeedBurner redirects.

Once that’s done, log into your account at FeedBurner.com and change your feed’s source from the old, special random-number feed to the standard RSS feed of your blog. To check that everything’s working, just browse the URI of your standard feed, and it should redirect to the FeedBurner output.

Posted at 11:14 pm | Filed under WordPress |  

Sunday, 7 January 2007

WordPress 2.0.6 security release

WordPress 2.0.6 was released Friday. It’s being called a “mandatory” release, so get thee to an SSH client. This upgrade has turned out to require a little more involvement for the blogs I manage. And aside from being an announcement, this post is doubling as a test of my new Feedburner setup. It’s very multi-tasky that way.

I’ll update again with more details when everything is up and running again.

Posted at 9:28 pm | Filed under WordPress |  

Sunday, 29 October 2006

WordPress 2.0.5

This past Friday’s release of WordPress 2.0.5 (designated “Ronan” — named after the “first WP baby”) is a recommended upgrade that includes a number of security fixes. I’ve begun upgrading the blogs I manage and so far (fingers crossed), the process has been painless as usual.

Congrats also to Ryan Boren and clan on the birth of baby Ronan.

Posted at 2:07 pm | Filed under WordPress |  

Saturday, 29 July 2006

WordPress 2.0.4 released (just in time for Camp d’WordPress)

WordPress 2.0.4 is a recommended version that includes security and bug fixes. It’s an easy upgrade from 2.0.3.

If you’re still reading this post, then you probably know about WordCamp, a free, daylong WordPress conference next week in San Francisco. It’ll take place at Swedish American Hall. (Normally I wouldn’t have mentioned the venue, but I thought it interesting because I know Richard Buckner’s played shows there.) Although I’m not so crazy about the name “WordCamp,” it sounds like a great event and I’m sorry that I’ll have to miss it. If you happen to go (free BBQ and swag! meet Matt, Podz and Donncha!), and there are WordPress stickers, well, I wouldn’t say no to one for my guitar case…

Speaking of WordPress, let’s talk about anti-spam plugins for a bit. When I finally upgraded musings from 1.5.2 to 2.0.3 last month (I’d already converted the 1.5 branch to 2.0 for some other blogs, and didn’t really see the need to mess with this blog until 2.0 became a little more streamlined), I ended up letting go of Elliott Back’s WP-Hashcash and activating Michael Hampton’s Bad Behavior and Matt’s Akismet. WP-Hashcash proved to be a stringent spam blocker, and I used it for well over a year. However, spammers increasingly found ways around it; the latest incarnation was pretty effective but it didn’t seem to play well with 2.0.3. My WP anti-spam arsenal now includes the triumvirate of Bad Behavior, Akismet and Dr Dave’s Referrer Karma, which I’ve also been using for over a year. Admittedly, Referrer Karma doesn’t seem to have much to do these days since I installed Bad Behavior (e.g. BB apparently has blocked 650 access attempts here in the past week), but since RK requires little maintenance, I’ve let it stand as a backup.

Based on my WordPress experiences in general, I’d recommend Bad Behavior and/or Referrer Karma, and Akismet. They’re easy to maintain (RK may require a bit more time to carry out admin functions — scanning logs and altering blacklists — but you can decide how often you need to check in). Akismet by itself works very well, but it’s basically a spam filter after the fact, so it helps to block spambots before they eat up your bandwidth allowance.

Posted at 1:53 am | Filed under WordPress |  

Saturday, 24 June 2006

Hi FanAppers

If you made it this far from a link on the new Fanatical Apathy — thanks. It’s been an interesting experience re-reinventing the site. Overall there were many more things to juggle compared to last year. Man, do I have some coding stories to tell!

Seriously though, for three weeks I’ve pretty much been living and breathing The New FA, so I hope you like it.

I’d write more, but since I stayed up for the site launch, it’ll have to wait until I recharge my batteries. Thanks for dropping by, and please save me a spot in the Lurkers’ Lounge.

P.S. I know the post title css does not look right in IE. I’m working on it.

Posted at 11:25 am | Filed under Radio, NPR, etc., WordPress | 5 replies »