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.


Tuesday, 31 January 2006

The year of the geek

Happy new year (lunar and Gregorian calendar)! I’ve been busy. I have a bunch of projects going on at once. For example, for the past couple of days, I’ve been working on the innards of my blog as well as of Fanatical Apathy — i.e. WordPress stuff. Although I have finally been playing a little with 2.0, I have decided not to upgrade this blog yet (main reason is that is seems a little sluggish). Mostly, I’ve been investigating more spam defenses, since FA has become increasingly susceptible to it again. Well, eight months of WP-Hashcash working pretty aggressively and effectively isn’t bad.

I have upgraded this (musings) blog to WP-Hashcash 3.0 beta but it does not seem to be working the way it should. Namely…do you see any “protected by…” messages at the bottom of the comments form? I don’t, either. And when I turn off javascript in my browser, I should see the <noscript> message, but I don’t see that, either. It’s strange…at least I know the Hashcash is actually working, but those text returns aren’t showing up. Leave some comments and let me know what you see!

The quirkiest problem I have encountered is the result of installing the Auto-Close Comments plugin. It successfully closed older posts, but somehow added an extra <div> tag to the resulting older individual post pages (i.e. permalink pages) (not here, strangely enough, but at FA). So I’m going to figure out if it’s not playing well with some other plugin, or what else it could be…the posts that were not affected by Auto-Close validate just peachy (peachily?).

Anyway, those are just some of the blog side of things. I’ll stop for now with the geeky and mundane.

Make this year a good one, geeky or not. Make it a productive one and a purposeful one.

Posted at 6:15 am | Filed under WordPress |  

Friday, 23 December 2005

In the wings: WordPress 2.0

WordPress 2.0 Release Candidate 3 has been out for a few days. From what I’ve read so far, it certainly sounds more robust (one of the improvements I’m really anticipating: the more accurate post preview that incorporates theme CSS).

Here’s a link to Asymptomatic’s rundown of new features. (Link source: bradsucks.net.)

I haven’t had a chance to play with the RC — I’m going to wait until the official unveiling of the final release, which should be just around the corner (actually, I’ll probably wait a week or two after the final release).

Posted at 5:36 pm | Filed under WordPress |  

Friday, 16 December 2005

Contact form blues

It’s come to my attention that the contact form I linked to in my last post isn’t working, so I’m going to see what’s wrong and fix it now. I’ll update this post when the form is operational again.

Thanks to Peggy for pointing it out!

Update, 6:07 p.m.: It works now!

BTW, I just noticed that this and the last post still have times reflecting Daylight Saving, so I fixed that, too.

Posted at 5:42 pm | Filed under Tech/geek |  

Oh, that we could always see such spirit through the year

As I was telling a few people earlier: it is really amazing how it’s the middle of December. And, to answer a few folks who have asked: yes, I’m still here and well. I’m simply aghast by how quickly the year’s gone. They say it goes faster every year, but if it’s this fast already…

That said, I’ve been thinking of some major changes to the site. I’ve had the urge sometimes to start over completely — as in, wipe the slate clean, as it were. I’d keep some posts from the past and transition some of the static portions of the site into WordPress pages. This has nothing to do with the so-called "Web 2.0" buzzword that’s been flying around lately. Simply put, I’ve often wanted to simplify the navigation and have wondered if having pages of my favorite music artists and movies, etc., is really something I want to showcase here. It’s not as if I dislike talking about "my favorite things," but I feel a need for an approach that’s different from the current presentation.

In any case, I’ll try to post more often again and not leave the dozen or so of you RSS subscribers (and unknown number of bookmark visitors) wondering where I’ve gone. (I can account for about five subscribers who are friends, but who are the rest of you? KCRW nuts? Musicians? Buckner fans? WordPressers? I’m curious who my readership is. I’m absolutely okay with lurkdom, but if you could send me a short note or leave a comment, that would be very lovely. You don’t even have to tell me your name if you don’t want to — I’m basically interested in what made you decide to subscribe.)

Speaking of subscribers, I want to thank the LiveJournal blogger who added this blog to a syndication account on LiveJournal at the end of October. I actually found out about it while looking through my logs recently. (Do we know each other personally? Anyway, if you want, send me a note and I’ll be happy to thank you again here with a link.)

Take care, folks, and happy holidays!

(Note: the date should be 15-Dec-2005, 11:25 p.m., but I’ll leave it so the feed links don’t result in 404)

Posted at 12:25 am | Filed under Musings & everything else, Tech/geek |  

Friday, 7 October 2005

wordpress dot com

Much to my delight, I unexpectedly received an invitation a few weeks ago to start a blog on WordPress.com. I’m still debating what to set up there. Yes, I do have my own domain/space and could easily set up another WordPress blog here if I needed, but I’m interested in being a part of a WP-only blogging service and seeing what WordPress.com provides its denizens.

Posted at 9:57 pm | Filed under WordPress | 2 replies »

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

WordPress 1.5.2

The weekend saw the release of WordPress 1.5.2. It’s a recommended upgrade with a number of modifications and fixes. Check podz’ upgrade support thread for a list of changed files.

Posted at 1:14 am | Filed under WordPress |  

Monday, 18 July 2005

Roll

Just some random-ish tech/geek tidbits:

I’m rolling out a couple of posts that I’d previously written but had saved in the queue for last looks. In the case of "The Lehman legacy", I decided to go with the original date of composition because I made minor changes.

In other post news, I have plans to start writing about old games — not to take anything away from Wil Wheaton, of course (I highly recommend his column). I’ve wanted to do this since I played (or re-played) a few computer games over spring break last year. I wouldn’t call myself a "gamer" per se, but I do have favorites (mostly of the adventure ilk) and would like to feature them here.

BTW, Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird 1.0.6 are on the way. The Mozilla Suite will skip over 1.7.9 in favor of a 1.7.10 release.

Posted at 12:18 pm | Filed under Tech/geek |  

WP shorts

[I started writing this on 6 July 2005, but I'm posting it now.]

This is old news, but WordPress 1.2.1.3 is a recommended security upgrade. Check the change log and the related support thread for more info.

Speaking of WordPress, now that I’ve had more time behind the wheel, I’ve arrived at these conclusions:

  1. If you know what you’re doing, WP is very easy to install.
  2. Customization is the tricky part. There are scads of plug-ins, themes, and other mods. Some of the plug-ins don’t work quite as smoothly as one might hope, and working with themes — as with any creative endeavor — may consume most of the blog-tinkering time.
  3. For Movable Type migrators who want to keep MT post ID numbers: it is much easier to do this from Movable Type 2.x rather than MT 3.x. At least, this was true for MT versions 3.15 and below — I’m not sure about 3.16 and 3.17. I found this migration guide by Scott Yang extremely helpful, especially modifying the MT CMS.pm file. After learning that trick, I used it in different ways (e.g. using the MT CMS to export only the comments in the database, while associating them with their correct post IDs).
  4. Before importing any posts into WP, make sure they will validate in XHTML 1.0 (you should be checking this when you write a post anyway — especially if your blog offers RSS or Atom feeds). Valid markup helps prevent blog quirks from occurring. Currently, WP uses the XHTML 1.0 Transitional DTD.
  5. Also, WP automatically formats entries (it inserts automatic line breaks and paragraph tags), so if you used <br /> or <p></p> in your previous blog posts, they may look funky after you import them into WP. Otherwise, you’ll have to install a plug-in that negates the default auto-formatting. (Here’s one: Text Control, which incorporates such plug-ins into the "Options" menu. N.B. I haven’t tried it.)

More WordPress observations forthcoming…

Posted at 11:10 am | Filed under WordPress |  

Thursday, 7 July 2005

Warning about eNom

In the MeFi and Daily Kos threads linked in the post about Go Daddy, I noticed many recommendations for the domain registrar eNom.com or Namecheap.com (a reseller of eNom).

Last year, eNom started a questionable business practice: the company took clients’ personal information (name, phone, address, e-mail address, etc.) listed in the WHOIS database and, without permission, used this information to register .info domain names that matched their clients’ existing .com domains. For example, if you had registered [domain].com and [domain2].com with eNom, the company used your WHOIS info for those domains to register [domain].info and [domain2].info…without your permission. So, those .info domains showed up registered in the WHOIS database with your name, e-mail, etc. Then, eNom offered a "courtesy" service so that if you wanted to use those .info domains, you could then agree and pay a fee (in some cases — in other cases, the domains were free).

Some more details are in an article from the Netcraft news archive and in a thread from the WebHostingTalk forum.

A few opinions expressed in the WebHostingTalk thread are positive. They’re basically in the vein of, "So, what? The registrar did it as a service, for our own convenience. If we don’t want it, no prob" or "Why complain? We got free domains!" However, I’m with the customers who aren’t so thrilled. If you actually (and knowingly) register for a .info domain, there are different terms of service you must accept (separate from eNom’s TOS), because .info domains are operated by Afilias (afilias.info). Also, you have to agree to let the registrar release your personal info to Afilias. So, if eNom registered .info domains without your permission, it means that eNom agreed to Afilias’ terms of service for you, and also gave your personal information to Afilias without your permission.

Apparently, eNom’s method of .info promotion is still going on.

Namecheap.com is a popular reseller of eNom. I’ve seen the president’s responses to problems in the WebHostingTalk forums. The word is that Namecheap will become its own accredited registar soon, but until that happens and the company operates independently from eNom, I’m wary. (I’d also avoid other eNom resellers.)

Posted at 2:15 am | Filed under Tech/geek |  

Go Fishy

If you have domains registered and/or hosted by Go Daddy, you might want to read these threads at Daily Kos and MetaFilter. The top of GoDaddy.com features a link to the personal blog of Go Daddy’s CEO, who recently used the space to publicize his politics.

Also, Photo Matt linked to a Niall Kennedy-authored post about a not-so-well-researched Go Daddy press release.

GoDaddy.com is just one of the companies under the Go Daddy Group umbrella. The others include WildWestDomains.com (a GoDaddy.com reseller), BlueRazor.com (another domain registrar), DomainsByProxy.com (WHOIS privacy service) and StarfieldTech.com (SSL certificates).

A few years ago, I almost registered a few domains at GoDaddy.com. However, something (I don’t recall exactly what) in the terms and conditions agreement made me look for a different registrar.

Posted at 12:18 am | Filed under Tech/geek | 5 replies »

Thursday, 2 June 2005

Two-year itch

I’m moving the entire site to another server, so if you experience any downtime or DNS resolution issues with musicandmeaning.com in the next couple of days, it’s only temporary. Thanks for your patience.

As for the "two-year itch" thing, it hasn’t really been 24 months yet, but looking at year numbers, I noticed a pattern: server migrations happened in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005. I never thought, "Well, it’s almost two years. Time to switch!" For some odd reason, it just worked out that way.

Posted at 11:08 pm | Filed under Tech/geek | 2 replies »