The “importing” function in MovableType 2.63 is an absolute joke. It won’t import HTML, for crying out loud. All of the existing links in my 160+ blog entries are all gone, kapoof, history. Disgusting. I can’t believe they’d even try to pass that off as an importing program. (And don’t even get me started about the two hours it just took me to get the importing function to even get this far.)
Anyway, I’m happy now that I’ve got MT up and running. The blog entry/editing back end is great, has lots of nice tools, and makes life easier for me. You can now leave comments here, leave trackbacks, and more. It was worth the half-day I’ve spent so far.
I still have to take care of bringing over the old images (no, the importing doesn’t do that either) and testing the RSS and trackback functions, but we’re getting pretty close to being in business.
In unrelated personal news, I’m on vacation this week, and we’re heading up to Michigan to hang out with Dad & Caryl. Erika hasn’t been up to MI during the summer, and I know she’ll enjoy the mild weather.
Well, got MovableType up and running, and I’m learning the basics of templates. This morning, I’m adding a couple of blog entries to test how the templates look with multiple entries, and by lunchtime, I’m hoping to have my existing blog entries ported over. Let’s see how it goes.
I quit. I give. Mercy.
I installed MovableType this afternoon. I’m tired of reinventing the wheel: I figured I could either spend a few hours implementing TrackBack and Comments, or else I could spend a few hours installing MovableType and get a really powerful blog system.
My web server runs Windows 2000, and MT is really designed for Linux/Unix systems. The installation process was a nightmare, a total pain in the rear. I was hissing and cursing at my machine, trying to keep the noise level down because Erika was napping in the next room. I finally figured out all of the obscure command line garbage and got it working, but I still have a lot of work left to do. I need to set up my templates, import my old blog entries and photos, and shore up the security.
Here’s the first entry on MT, anyway. I’m getting ready to click Save…my fingers are crossed….copying this into UltraEdit just to be safe…
Growing up, Dad took me to the Indianapolis 500 several times. He worked in the tire business for quite a while, and we got some neat seats and had great experiences. The whole spectacle still impresses me, and I try to watch it every year. I don’t watch any other car races live, but I love this one. I’m watching it as we speak.
There’s a lot of cautions this year, so I decided to play around with the Red Hat 9 installation on my Thinkpad. Patrick Glennon suggested I install Apt and Synaptic to make system updates and installations easier. I’d tried it the day I got RH9 installed, but I wasn’t able to get it done in half an hour or so, so I gave up. Today, I gave it another shot, and it was a piece of cake. As a Windows user, I’d think when I double-click on an RPM, it would install. No dice – I had to do the install in a terminal, and then it fired right up. Nifty.
Still haven’t been able to get my Lucent Orinoco working, but there’s a lot of laps left in the 500…
David Berlind’s latest column for Ziff-Davis explains what a pain in the rear Bluetooth configuration is, and why it’s too late for the standards group to fix it. The implementations out there now are all wildly different, the user interfaces are wacko, and the whole thing isn’t easy.
For those of you who haven’t used Bluetooth yet, it’s a wireless standard designed to make it easy for you to have a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, wireless headphones, and to make devices talk to each other wirelessly. For example, your laptop can connect to the internet through your cell phone, but without having to connect any cables, and you can keep your cell phone in your pocket the whole time. It’s specifically designed to make life easier for users.
It’s a great idea, but falls down miserably on execution. Why? Because you can’t hand out a hardware standard to computer companies all around the globe, and then expect them all to design software independently that will work together. Interoperating equipment doesn’t just require hardware standards, but also software standards. My prediction: Bluetooth will die a slow, meandering death in 2-3 years.
Linux worked for a few minutes on the laptop, and I left to go get some coffee and eggs. When I came back it was locked up with a grid of boxes on the screen. Luvly. Guess the screen saver’s got a bug, or maybe something in the power management systems. Of course, I didn’t actually *configure* anything – it just came like this out of the box from RH, so it’s not like I can blame myself for picking a fancy screen saver. The only thing I’d loaded was Mozilla.
Ah, that explains it.
Unbelievable – it’s a breakthrough. Red Hat 9 installed on my Thinkpad and detected (almost) everything automatically. Most importantly, on the very first boot, the video worked correctly. What a difference. So now I’m sitting on a Linux desktop, viewing my site in Mozilla, and adding blog entries. Only in America. Okay, well, maybe not.
I changed database structures when I redid my blog this week, and I have to redo all of my blog-management pages. Well, I say ALL like there’s fifty of them, but there were only a few pages. The new version will require quite a few more, because it has more tables and whatnot, and things are just getting started. I can add blog entries over the web again (as opposed to doing it in SQL Enterprise Manager, which is a pain) and it’s actually a cleaner interface than the last one was.
It’s a night for changes again tonight – I upgraded the drive in my home server, Miss Piggy, to a 60gb one so that it’s got more space for MP3′s. I keep all of my 400+ CD collection online in MP3 format to make it easy to play any CD from my computer.
And, brace yourself – I’m trying to install Linux on my laptop yet again. This time, it’s Red Hat 9 going under scrutiny. I found a few step-by-step checklist web pages that walk users through getting RH7 to work on a Thinkpad T21, so I’m hoping RH9 will be roughly the same process. I can’t believe XFree86 doesn’t support this laptop out of the box – IBM sold cajillions of the Thinkpad T20-T23 series, all with the same video adapter, and it’s not exactly esoteric gear. Already I’ve seen problems with the RH9 install, though – it totally disregarded my Lucent Orinoco Gold wireless card. Come on, man, that’s another world-standard piece of equipment. Aaargh.
So, why am I subjecting myself to this? Because at work we decided to go with Java as our programming standard, replacing Delphi back end Windows programs and the ASP front end for the web site. We tried to decide between Java and .NET/C# – I was on the .NET side, but we’ve already got a few Java developers in another office, so Java won out. Neither way is a loser, I think, but I’m not thrilled about it from a personal perspective. I’m really gung-ho on RAD tools, and in Java, I’m not seeing anywhere near the level of RAD tools that I’m used to in Windows. We’re talking about a guy whose second programming language was Winbatch, so you know I like the high-level stuff.
I’ve set up an RSS feed for my blog, but you don’t want to click on it if you’re using Internet Explorer. For some reason (bad coding on my part, I’m sure) IE chokes hard on my RSS feed. After a few attempted views, it starts behaving abnormally and won’t even do DNS lookups, leading to interesting errors like server-not-found when trying to view localhost.
Anyway, the whole RSS thing is extremely strict on syntax, so now I really have to watch my P’s and Q’s – especially the P’s. For example, my p tags to start paragraphs have to always be exactly the same case. One uppercase P and one lowercase p means that SharpReader won’t validate the RSS feed. Ouch.
The whole RSS thing is mildly interesting to me. Matt Jefferson pushed me into motion by asking for the RSS version of this blog, and now I’m bound and determined to implement proper trackbacking and images quickly. Thanks, Matt!
Back at the end of April, the plastic bracket for my Ultraport Camera on my IBM Thinkpad T21 broke, and so the laptop-cam on this site wasn’t working. I was going to just toss it in the can (the camera, not the Thinkpad, duh) rather than dragging around the USB adapter. This morning, though, I sat bolt upright in bed and said, “I could superglue it on.”
So now, my Thinkpad has a very permanent webcam attached to the top of it. If you haven’t seen the Thinkpad Ultraports, trust me when I say it definitely looks like the camera came with the laptop – it doesn’t look like a tacky add-on, even when superglued.
I’m actually glad I superglued it on because now I’m not tempted to buy the digital array microphone or any of the other cool Ultraport accessories.