Oren’s blog has moved!

After five years of writing this blog on my staff web account at the UW, I’ve moved it to blog.orenblog.org, hosted at wordpress.com.

Why?

  • There are lots of good options. The future for IT is in the cloud, and great services are available all over the place. When I first started the blog it was at least partly a demonstration that it was possible for a fairly numbskull unix user to install newfangled software on the servers at the UW. That was partly responsible for a whole set of documentation on how to install blogs and wikis and MySQL. I had hoped that this would lead to a generally available campus blog and wiki service, but that never became enough of a priority to happen. It looks to me like now we don’t really need to do that anymore – there’s lots of great options available for people on the Internet that are cheap (or free) and easy to use. There’s no reason for me to continue to run my own MySQL server or have to install and upgrade blog server software, which is good, as I no longer have the time to pay attention to that level of detail. I do want to say that the hosting on the UW staff servers has been terrific for the entire five years – the systems have been responsive and uptime has never been a problem for me. UW Technology’s Distributed Systems staff are a top-notch crew and do a wonderful job of keeping these critical systems functioning very well.  
  • There are lots of things to write about! While I intend to continue to mostly write about the issues that are relevant to practicing IT professionals in higher education, there are other interests I might choose to comment on from time to time, including music, politics, family life, etc. My life doesn’t neatly compartmentalize into work vs. non-work, and I don’t want to have to worry about trying to invent that dichotomy for blog-writing purposes. 
     
  • WordPress.com is a killer service. While there are many good blog services available, I’ve chosen to put this blog on wordpress.com. I will admit a little regret in leaving my long time environment of Movable Type – I think MT is wonderful software, and I look forward to trying out the social networking features in MT Pro on some future projects. But wordpress.com makes it really easy to host the blog. I’m able to tweak the design to my satisfaction using the templates and I used the predefined widgets to get my del.icio.us links and my music listening twitter feed onto the sidebar. And – a huge plus – my initial experiences with contacting support have been nothing short of amazing in helping me get my content migrated properly, including going so far as writing a brief custom  script to properly import my tags from MT – and that’s for the free version of the product!

So I look forward to continuing to write in this new environment, and hopefully you’ll be seeing more regular posts, though I’m finding I’m writing less in the blog and posting short things to twitter.

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Blog – reloaded

My Movable Type installation has been generating problems over time. That’s due mostly, I think, to the years of updates, along with moving and redirecting and splitting parts of things across directories. It finally got to a point yesterday where I couldn’t publish any new entries at all. So I did what all good computer … Continue reading “Blog – reloaded”

My Movable Type installation has been generating problems over time. That’s due mostly, I think, to the years of updates, along with moving and redirecting and splitting parts of things across directories. It finally got to a point yesterday where I couldn’t publish any new entries at all.

So I did what all good computer people do when faced with a big mess of our own making – I wiped the slate clean and started over.

I created a new MT 4.01 installation in a new directory, with a new database. I exported my old entries and imported them into the new blog, and reworked the template to my liking, making a few minor improvements along the way.

The next step is to blow away the old blog and redirect traffic to the new site (http://staff.washington.edu/oren/blog/). If you’re seeing this entry, then welcome to my new blog! Let me know if anything seems to be amiss.     

Problem with publishing comments

Jim Phelps became the first person to comment using OpenID – thanks, Jim! Jim also noted that he got some MT error codes when he submitted his comment – similar to the problems I noted with publishing, the errors go away when I republish the entry. I suspect this has something to do with the … Continue reading “Problem with publishing comments”

Jim Phelps became the first person to comment using OpenID – thanks, Jim!

Jim also noted that he got some MT error codes when he submitted his comment – similar to the problems I noted with publishing, the errors go away when I republish the entry.

I suspect this has something to do with the setup of having Movable Type installed in one directory (weblog3) but publishing to my old blog directory (weblog2). I’ll have to spend some time troubleshooting, or maybe I’ll just rip it all down and re-install.

But permalink entries don’t work right the first time

When I post a new entry, whether through the web interface or ecto, it shows up fine in the main blog entries page, but when you click on the “permalink” link for the entry, it shows a page that says: CODE(0x973dad8) CODE(0x973dad8) CODE(0x973dad8) When I republish the entry it works fine. What’s up with that?

When I post a new entry, whether through the web interface or ecto, it shows up fine in the main blog entries page, but when you click on the “permalink” link for the entry, it shows a page that says:

CODE(0x973dad8)

CODE(0x973dad8)
CODE(0x973dad8)

When I republish the entry it works fine. What’s up with that?

Blog archives are fixed

I’m not sure what I did that fixed it, but the monthly archives seem to be displaying ok now. Let me just say for the record that upgrading a blog from MT3 to MT4 is not a simple process, though I like the features in MT4.

I’m not sure what I did that fixed it, but the monthly archives seem to be displaying ok now. Let me just say for the record that upgrading a blog from MT3 to MT4 is not a simple process, though I like the features in MT4.

Changing look to MT4 templates

I’m in the process of changing the look of the blog to use Movable Type 4 templates – I’ve picked the Minimalist White style that comes with MT4. Most things seem to be working now, but the monthly archive listings still look awful. I apologize for any incovenience – I’m sure I’ll get it figured … Continue reading “Changing look to MT4 templates”

I’m in the process of changing the look of the blog to use Movable Type 4 templates – I’ve picked the Minimalist White style that comes with MT4. Most things seem to be working now, but the monthly archive listings still look awful. I apologize for any incovenience – I’m sure I’ll get it figured out at some point.