Category Archives: Blogging

WordPress Export

WordPress Export. There is a menu item in WP that lest you export out to an XML file, they call it “eXtended RSS or WXR”. The options is under Manage->Export.

Well you should use this to keep a half way decent back up of your blog, but if you want to transfer to another blog service or anything then you want this file. I have been toying around with moving my blog, to TypePad, or MT, or WordPress hosted, just to see what happens, and really, none of them are better than self hosted WordPress.

What I did find, is that the export wasn’t working for me. Was getting cut off at like 1.4, 1.5 MB and tons of my posts were missing from the export. I read in the forums and such on WordPress support but nothing really gave a good answer. So I did what you usually have to do when WordPress chokes on some export or import, play with the memory and execution settings in php.ini

What I found was the max execution time was 30 seconds for a script, which was about how long it was taking to export my file. So I upped it to 120 seconds

max_execution_time = 120;

And ran the export again, and lo and behold, my entire blog archive was now in the import file. Yessssss.

4 years Blogging

Four years ago, I started this blog. It was on blogspot, and then migrated to wordpress on HostMySite, then moved to my own server, but all the posts are here. I have had many different themes and it actually is fun to look back on posts and see what I was doing at the time.

You can look back and see when I was at Cell 2000, then went to W3i. You can see the jump from ASP Classic, VB.NET to C#, ASP.NET, from SQL 2000 to SQL 2005, from C# to C++, then to Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence, SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, and littererd in between with all the gadgets, vacations, photos, politics, fun, random tidbits over the last four years. Music I have recorded, videos too. Just everything. Nostalgic.

I started reading blogs about 2-3 years before I started actually blogging, so that is kind of my time line there. Right now I subscribe to roughtly 350 feeds (My Google Reader see’s a lot of j, j, j ,j, shit+s, s, j, j, j). Newer mediums come in and go. Twitter is one. I use twitter somewhat, but not as much as others. FriendFeed is a new one too. Pownce is good for sharing files. But none come close the full blown blog. I have gotten many friends and colleagues to start blogging, some keep it up, some don’t some come and go. It would be nice to have a “blogging buddy”, but I haven’t found that yet. Maybe in the next 4 years.

People ask me “why don’t you have multiple blogs? One for tech, one for personal, one for XYZ”. Well my answer to that is, this is my blog. This is me. I am all these things. I am music, I am tech, I am gadgets, I am geeky, I am politics, I am random stuff I like. That is me, this is my blog. It is fun for me to do, and once it stops being fun, then I will stop doing it.

I know recently my blogging has been less often, and I attribute that to my 2+ hour commute (even more now with flood detouring! yikes!), but that will change as I get different consulting gigs. I will be introduced to different technologis, different industries and it will get my mind swirling with things to blog about. – Some things are just small snippets that are almost good for Twitter. Like, did you know Excel 2007 lets you have more than 65,000 rows and 256 columns? I didn’t know till today. Not big enough for a blog, but a tweet…

We will see where the next 4 years leads me. I have been from St. Cloud, to Portland, now to Madison. My 10 year high school reunion is coming up in the next few weeks. Funny how time flies so much. Big, fun things to come. Can’t wait.

Fun stuff, and hopefully I get four more!

FriendFeed, Pownce, Twitter, et al – And Why Twitter Is The #1 Service (Even though it is down a lot)

The A-listers. The are the people who just talk about themselves. The A-Listers on the Internet. The A-listers mostly talk to the just the A-listers. They all use every new service that has come out and claim it is the next big thing. Yes, some services are good, some not so good. They seem to miss points on things though. It is almost like the MSM. They don’t catch on to the good things till after the bloggers been talking about things for a while.

The a-listers, they catch on to things, but they get so caught up in everything they don’t step back and take a look at a service (Facebook for instance – for a good two months it was Facebook this, Facebook that, even after tons of people were using it and praising it, a-listers then all of a sudden “discovered” Facebook and it was glorious, now, people still using it, but the a-listers have moved on to new and shiner things aka FriendFeed)

Twitter seemed to pick up steam, and it is good, but can get overwhelming. I am ashamed to admit it, but I do like Pownce better, the ability to put files up is just stellar, which Twitter doesn’t have.

FriendFeed is like a super twitter almost, where it aggregates all these services (Twitter, Blog, Flickr, and more)

What ends up happening though is duplication. Ugh. So I subscribe to you on Twitter – cool, then Pownce – cool, Next, Facebook, alright. But the problem is, you use a tool that posts to all 3 (Plaxo pulse, SocialThing, etc, etc) – so what happens? I get the same update in 3 places – not cool. Duplication.

Then, I get your FriendFeed, which is duplication AGAIN of all that stuff. Yikes.

Now all these sites have web interfaces, which are nice. Some have desktop apps, and more and more desktop apps are coming out. So you end up having 3-4 desktop apps for all these services (reminds me of ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, AIM, Google Talk) – WTF huh? Are we going backwards?

Using the iPhone, you can get to mobile versions of Twitter, Pownce, Facebook, FriendFeed, etc, and its all good, yet … Duplication.

Personally, I like setting up Twitter in my Google Talk (I’m really using Pidgin). Then if I want to be apart of the conversation, I send “on” and it turns on updates, it comes through like an IM, and when it gets overbearing, I just type “off” and they are quiet, and I don’t miss anything.

Pownce has a third party tool, pownceaim, but it really lacks something, its too chatty, and handles auto replies bad.

But, overall, why is Twitter #1? Well, this is why.

You can TEXT your status to Twitter from your phone!

You can get TEXT’s of updates to your phone.

These other services lack in this area. Facebook has something similar but it doesn’t even work for T-Mobile.

Why do these other services lack the SMS feature? One word. Money.

They don’t want to pay for a short code (which is upwards of 5000 a year last time I was looking) to be able to handle text messages. Twitter has paid up for theirs, and I think that is the best part about Twitter, I can update my friends and followers just by texting, which is cool when you are not by the computer.

The blogosphere is rampant with “twitter replacements” this week since twitter has had some downtime, but no matter which you pick, it will never beat Twitter until they accept TXT, IM, and Web, and Other API built program updates – that is the killer feature.. It seems that most of the a-listers don’t realize that.

WordPress on IIS 6.0, Windows 2003 – Some Tweaks (URL Rewrite and SMTP)

OK so I lied. Everything wasn’t working after I set up my WordPress blog on IIS 6.0 on Windows 2003. Two things were broke: SMTP (email from the blog) and URL Rewrites/Permalinks.

SMTP worked through IIS just fine, I could telnet and send email out, but from WordPress, it was getting a 501 error. From what I could tell, it was the way that WordPress was formatting the outgoing “mail from” with <From Name>from@address.com . IIS was bombing on the <> in the string (I am pretty sure). I tried some tweaking on WordPress, some plugins for SMTP, couldn’t get them to work. I tried MailEnable, I couldn’t get that to work either. I did fine hMailServer and that does work after configuring it. Like IIS, I have it just set to local, and port 25 is blocked anyway so outside relays won’t work.

The other thing that wasn’t working was my permalinks. By default WordPress doesn’t use permalinks with a rewrite, it just uses ?p=<post id>, but I have mine changed to year/month/day/title. In Linux/Apache, there is mod_rewrite for rewriting URLs, but in IIS 6.0 there isn’t anything (IIS 7 has more functionality). I could have gotten a rewrite DLL and wrote rules, but I found a sweet plugin that does it for me, especially for WordPress permalinks – http://www.binaryfortress.com/wordpress-url-rewrite/

Other than that, everything seems to be working fine. On other news, I have been looking into other blogging engines, comparing/contrasting, etc. Not sure where I will go with that though.

Madison Blogger Meetup

Trying to get a Madison Blogger Meetup going. There is a Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=17843681384

Hopefully next week (Thursday  Feb 21st, at Mickey’s Tavern)

Everything is subject to change at this point :)

On an unrelated note, Obama is in Madison tonight, at the Kohl Center. I got called 3 times to go and twice to go by people here. I am not going, I will watch it streaming online and watch MSNBC for the Chesapeake Tuesday results :)