Browsing the archives for the Administrativa category

Blogroll Update

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Administrativa

My blogroll was in desperate need of an update, so I went through it and pared it down a lot.

It’s almost been 5 years since this blog was started. That’s a long time. A lot of the blogs I used to read don’t update anymore. I think probably the most disappointing one on that front is the awesome 2Blowhards blog, which was always an entertaining and insightful look into the arts. I kind of want to reminisce over the other blogs I used to read, but well, I’ll spare you.

Then there’s the blogs I don’t read anymore. Sometimes this is just natural. You read a person’s thoughts for awhile, come to understand their perspective, then move on. Sometimes the blog moves away from you: Steven Den Beste’s USS Clueless was very insightful political/cultural blog when it ran. Later he turned his blog into Chizumatic and started blogging about anime. However, he seems obsessed with banal loli and harem animes that I can’t stand watching in the first place, much less reading about them secondhand. Mike Mearls’ blog turned into a twitter feed. I just don’t understand twitter, and I don’t need to read 1,000 1 line updates with no actual thought behind them.

And then there are blogs which I never really liked, but did read as a bit of a look over the fence. Mostly here I’m thinking of Bankuei/Deeper in the Game’s blog, which went through a couple of different incarnations before going off the deep end. Or more realistically – The author of the blog was well off the deep end before, and at some point he wrote a couple of gaming posts that actually were interesting based on real-life and not on confabulation and delusional thought systems, then he returned to the regularly scheduled madness. I’m actually a little irritated with myself that I linked to this guy’s blog for so long as people who perpetuate psychotic ideologies should really be isolated and ignored.

At this point I have to consider adding some new links to the blogroll here. My general reading has moved on to different tastes, so we’ll see.
I should also mention that while WordPress has some nice quick tools for editing posts and pages … Editing blog links is really tedious and slow in comparison. It’s shocking and pathetic there’s not a “Quick Edit” option for Links but there is for other things, nor can you easily “Bulk Edit” links to move their category or adjust their visibility. I may have to look into plugins to improve this because it’s shocking and I’m sure that anyone who has tried to manage their blogroll has run into this issue.

Amazon Affiliates

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Administrativa

I don’t want to turn this space into a marketing blog or anything of that nature, but in the next couple of days if I can make the time you may notice some links from Amazon showing up. I am noticing that Google really doesn’t know what to do with the ads on my site: Geek 2 Geek dating? Ancestry.com? Those are two that I’ve seen show up on here when I check in a browser without AdBlock. Not that I’m terribly surprised, a blog that goes from talking about the minutiae of videogame mechanics and D&D campaigns to talking about politics & cultural issues doesn’t really fit easily into a niche of advertising. What sort of things could legitimately be advertised here? Videogames with culturally-relevant themes (maybe Pandemic)?

I haven’t exactly decided whether the Google Ads will go or not (I honestly doubt many people still read this blog, and if you do you probably use AdBlock because you’re no doubt savvier than the average web-user), but I’m thinking something like choosing selected products from Amazon will be a better route to go. In particular, this will allow me to recommend things that I feel are actually good, and hopefully become something that others can see as a resource rather than as an obstacle to using the site.

Brief Notes on Database Upgrades

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Administrativa, Technology, Wordpress

This blog is so old that the current version of WordPress wouldn’t even install on the version of MySQL that the blog was created using.

It took a bit of figuring out, but this is how I dealt with the situation. H/T Blogging Tips. This is mostly for my own future benefit but someone else may find this set of steps useful as well.

1. Backup Your Current Database

* Log into GoDaddy.com
* Go to My Account > Web Hosting
* Click on “Launch” Control Center under “My Accounts”
* In the Hosting Dashboard, Click on Databases > MySQL
* Find the Database Name you want to back up
* Click on Pencil Icon under “Action”
* Click “Backup” – This can take up to 2 hours.

2. Create a New Database

* You can start this while waiting for backup.
* Go back to “MySQL” and “Create Database”
* I recommend naming the description the same with a “2″ after it
* Make sure MySQL Version is clicked to 5.0 (default)
* This will now be “Pending Setup”
* You have time to go grab a latte or sometimes two or three.

3. Restore Backed-Up Database to New Database

* Refresh MySQL Database List
* If your new database is Setup, click Pencil Icon
* Click “Restore” Icon
* Click Old Database File Name
* Click “Restore”
* Click “OK” on pop-up confirming Database Restore
* This will now be “Pending Restore”
* Grab another latte (or use the restroom after the last ones)

4. Update wp-config.php file

* Use an FTP software – I use FileZilla (it’s free)
* Find the wp-config.php (you may want to copy/save just in case)
* View/Edit (right click in Filezilla)
* Change properties in file with the new MySQL database name, MySQL user name (usually the same), MySQL password and MySQL host name.
* Note that GoDaddy’s MySQL host name is never “localhost”, but an actual URL.
* Save/Upload.

Now to update the other blogs on here…

Dusting Things Off

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Administrativa

I am not sure if I’ll be returning back to blogging here on a regular basis, but I was recently informed this site wasn’t even accepting new comments on existing posts. Well, this kind of spurred me into making some of the major updates this place needed: Updating the database, backing up the database, installing the latest WordPress and plugins, finding a nice new theme, adding some ads (hopefully these are not too obtrustive – I personally use Adblock plus so I do not even see them. If you don’t use it and you find them obnoxious feel free to let me know here. I wouldn’t mind making back a little bit of the money that it costs to host the site, though.)
There’s still a lot of things that might need to be done and like I said – I don’t know if I’ll want to return to more regular blogging here, but at least it should be functional again for anyone who wants to comment on anything.

At the very least I will probably finish off some posts that have been sitting in the queue here forever. I do have a lot of ideas for other things I want to write about as well, the trick is finding the time to write in between doing all kinds of other tasks for so-called “Real Life.”

K0ed

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Administrativa

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated, so I figure I may as well give some sort of indication to what’s going on behind the scenes (or not) here.

About two, possibly three weeks ago now I updated to WordPress 2.5. It was only shortly before that I’d upgraded to WordPress 2.3 and finally ironed out the kinks between WordPress 2.3 and my theme, k2. Not surprisingly, when I upgraded to WordPress 2.5, k2 ended up having some issues, the most important of which on my end is seeing the nice message:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function: wp_register_sidebar_widget() in /…/dashboard.php on line 31

Every time I log into the site. Now, from the looks of things, this doesn’t really interfere with my ability to post. But it certainly interferes with my desire to actually post anything at all. I mean, here it is weeks later and the only information I have about fixing the issue is from the k2 site promising a WordPress 2.5 update “soon.” If the k2 guys can’t be bothered to fix it, why should I?

Of course, I did at one point seek out some information on the problem, but the suggested solution didn’t work. So here we are. Hopefully things will settle down and start working soon so I can post without being hassled.

Commence Indifference

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Administrativa

The site layout is still “broken” in that images will expand beyond the main column. I’ve got a post sitting around here with some images that I’m considering posting, but it’ll show up badly due to the way images are currently working. I’ll probably hold off a few days and see if I can fix it, but I’m having a hard time finding the desire to dig into the layout.

I think having a layout that I’ve been reasonably happy with (K2 with default stylings) for so long has ruined my tendency to want to tinker with the blog’s theme. I know at some point I’ll have to go and re-add the AdSense blocks and such, which is fine. But I remember the last time I changed themes I had some pretty elaborate theme ideas, most of which have just fallen off since I’ve had a layout which worked decently and wasn’t overwhelming. Since when did upgrading mean, “Getting everything that was working broken and have to fix it?”

WordPress Update

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Administrativa

I noticed some clunky behavior of the blog today on the back end here, so I decided to go ahead and upgrade to the latest version of WordPress. In the process this seems to have screwed up my theme, so working on getting everything functional again. For the time being I’m back on the Terracotta theme, although hopefully I’ll get K2 working again soon enough.

Edit: Well, K2 is back, but images are still screwy, and the sidebars are messed up. I’ll get this sorted out eventually.

Image Hotlinking Disabled

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Administrativa

I noticed a couple of sites recently that were hotlinking images that were hosted on my site, so I disabled all image hotlinking. I felt like this was an unfortunate but necessary step, since obviously some people can’t be bothered to put in even the minimal amount of effort that would have been required to simply rehost images locally.

I can understand hotlinking in some situations: Let’s say someone in a forum linked to a post that I wrote about a game and also wanted to include some of the pictures I usually include with videogame related posts. Although forums tend to be huge wastes of bandwidth, that sort of usage makes some sense and isn’t instantly objectionable. After all, presumably the example here is one that’s discussing what I wrote and with forums you don’t necessarily have an easy at-hand way to deal with images. On the other hand, someone who has gone through all the trouble to make their own website and secure hosting for it doesn’t really have an excuse.

I would prefer if I didn’t have to completely disable hotlinking, so I am thinking about how I can revise my access policies, but for now it’s gone.

UT3 Intermission

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Administrativa

I think I’m going to take a little bit of a break from the UT3 weapons now that I’ve finished posting thoughts and information the core weapons set. I’ll get around to the Translocator, Avril, Redeemer, and maybe some of the other miscellaneous items later. The interruption comes out of a couple of different motives:

One, I went out and bought the full game and have started playing it. I’m only on the single player campaign right now, but I think it’s fantastic. Having access to the full range of maps makes the game feel so different than simply playing with the three demo levels. I put in a good number of hours in the game yesterday, and I’m still playing the campaign — It’s actually pretty cool for an Unreal Tournament singleplayer mode, and there’s a bit of humor mixed in with outstanding gameplay. Playing on CTF-Hydro16 or CTF-Coret brought back memories, and both maps feel really good, fast, and action packed. The only complaint I have is pretty common: The bots on my team are incompetent, while the bots on the other team are pretty good.

Two, there are some other things I want to write about, and even though most of my work on the UT3 weapon summaries was done last weekend, I’ve been doing editing and checking of my material over the course of the week, so I’m a bit burnt out on that. Besides, it’s time to mix it up a tad.