Upgraded to WordPress 2.3.1

I’m doing lots of silly stuff.  Who else could post a few articles in the morning, and then start with major WordPress upgrade?  Surely, there was a disruption of service while many of your came to read the posts.  Sorry, guys.

The good news is that I finally did it.  The blog was lagging behind the recent security updates and new features, running on WordPress 2.2.2 .  Today I updated it first to 2.2.3, which went without any problems.  Then I went for 2.3.1, which broke a few things.  I had to remove a few files and re-upload them and then fix a few places in the database and adjust the theme a bit.

All my posts were under a single category, and were tagged with Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin, which WordPress 2.3 provided an import for.  That thing didn’t work properly.  Probably, because I have a few thousands of posts, and a few thousands of tags, and importing them all takes more time than a browser is willing to wait without timing out.

But I don’t care for that right now.  It was a mess anyway.  Some posts got tags imported, others didn’t.  I’m not going back to fix them all. What’s done is done and it’s time to move on.  All posts will still remain under the single category (General), but that won’t be displayed.  Instead, you’ll see the tags to each post.  I’ll try to keep them orderly, and maybe even organize them a bit later.  For now, if you want to find something, use the search box of this site, Google, or drop me a line and I’ll try to locate the bit for you.

If you notice any misbehavior of the site, please let me know.  Thank you.

Workspace observation

This Web Worker Daily post reminded of an observation that I made about my workspace. There is one thing that shows if I care about the workplace, work, and the environment, or not. It’s a cup coaster.

I often have a cup of coffee or tea close the computer I am working on. I always, and I mean always use a cup coaster at home. That’s the only place I always care about. When I move to a new office or change a job, I always use cup coaster too. I’m usually excited and truly interested about new places. I care.

If I lose interest, my cup coaster tends to disappear. Either it falls on the floor and hides under the table. Or it brakes. Or the cleaning lady takes it away. Or something else happens to it. Never do I do it intentionally though. It took me some time to notice this…

Question for the English speaking crowd

What is the English word for the piece of carton, wood or plastic which is placed on the table under the cup? Usually, it is used in place of a saucer for large tea or coffee mugs. I’ve spent the last few minutes searching for it, but none of the online dictionaries helped. I also went through quite a lot of tableware, glassware, dishware, and other-ware, but hit a dead end in every direction.

If you know what I am talking about, please leave a comment. Thank you.

Update: the word is “coaster“, or “cup coaster“. Thanks, ma.

The 3 Rules of Self-Marketing

If you are interested in self-marketing, Web Worker Daily has an excellent post with links to more.  Here are some quotes to give you the feeling:

Knowing how to market yourself will do more for your earnings and reputation than becoming better at what to do. Don’t believe it? Think about the people in your industry who make more money and are more famous than you. Do you think they really know more than you? Did they just happen to get lucky? Or were they savvy about how to promote themselves?

Start now. Why? Because this stuff takes time. Building blog circulation, getting people to notice you, cultivating your social network, working your way on to the speaker list at conferences good marketing can take years to pay off.

You’ll notice that I didn’t say these were 3 easy rules. Simple, yes, but not easy.

Web worker’s Halloween

Web Worker Daily is as good as ever.  Here are a couple of quotes from their mandatory Halloween post:

 There seems to be a pretty good correlation between those of us who work on the web and those of us who accumulate things that beep, buzz, light up, transmit, and receive.

and

Take a walk through your house at dusk and look at all the digital time and temperature and channel displays, all the pretty LED lights, all the remote controls listening for your commands, all the wall chargers humming away, all the instant-on appliances: those are all standby power users. Depending on who you believe, they’re responsible for somewhere between 3% and 20% of your electricity bill (and a corresponding percentage of your contribution to global warming, strip-mining, and other energy consumption-related ills).

They are always on the subject, always nicely written, and often with seasonal feeling to it.  There are few online resources that I read more often…

Three things to like about WikiMapia

Here are three things that I like about WikiMapia :

  1.  It’s brings together the excellence of Google Maps and the social power of Wiki.  The results are better than anywhere else.  Even Cyprus, which usually gets little attention on the web, is covered pretty good.
  2. It’s easy to add landmarks and notes.  That’s something I really missed so far on Google Maps, where I can just see maps and search for geographical locations.  With WikiMapia, I can find something, mark it down with the notes, and then send the link to somebody else.  I won’t need to provide the instructions like “find two major roads crossing at the bottom of this map and then follow the one that goes up until second turn on the right. You’ll see a sort of triangular white building.  That’s our office” any more.  Just a link.
  3. WikiMapia pages score pretty good in  Google search results (I hope it doesn’t sound like invitation to spammers).  To find map to our offices now all I need to do is search for brief company name – “mmvirtual“.  The map link is the second result after our own web site.

WordPress for Dummies

Matt links to the announcement about “WordPress for Dummies” book coming out.  It’s been a while since I read any “for Dummies” books myself – they are usually written for beginners, a stage which I don’t stay at for long enough to buy and read a book.  But I feel like “WordPress for Dummies” book could use some publicity.  There are a lot of people without technical background using WordPress and trying to figure things out.  I think that a book like that could save them a lot of time and effort, as well as show a few things they might not have thought about.

It’s not the only book about WordPress out there, but it’s not in the crowd by any means.  Here are the Amazon search results for “wordpress”.

Missed another blogging birthday

I’ve been blogging for quite some time now.  I’ve been doing it even before it was called “blogging”.  I had my own website, a diary, and an online journal.  I started, as many others, with static HTML files and a text editor.  That’s how it used to be back than.  Then I wrote a shell script to simplify a few things.  Then I improved it.  Then I re-wrote it in Perl, adding a few features on the way.  Then I improved it more.  Then I re-wrote it again.  Then I found somebody else’s and modified it with my bits of code.  Then I plugged in something else.  Then I found another script for the picture gallery.  Then I found another one… And it went on and on and on.

Then more and more people started having online diaries and software started to appear to make common tasks like editing text, inserting pictures, and linking to other pages easier.  I’ve tried a few of those systems too.

Each time I was moving the archives of the previous diary forward.  Or, at least, I tried to.  There were times when I was too lazy, or when I didn’t care enough, or when I wanted to have a fresh start.  Because of that, some entries are lost forever.  But there are still plenty of others.

Looking at the archives of this blog, as they are now, the earliest entry dates back to October 26th, 2001.  That’s 6 years ago.

Lots of things happened to this blog during this time.  It did a few software changes and updates.  It was redesigned a few times.  The blogging style changed a few times as well. It was experimented on, broken, lost, and restored. But one thing never happened to it.  It was never abolished, lost and forgotten, left to die and rot.

For the last 6 years there was not a single month when I haven’t written an entry for this blog.  Not one.  There were a few slow months with 1 or 2 or 3 entries.  There were periods of high activity with more than 150 posts a month (look at the year 2005, for example).  I’ve written a total of 3,842 posts which averages to 53 posts a month (3,842 posts divided by 72 months).

As far as I can see, this blog isn’t going to disappear any time soon.  It runs on the best blogging engine out there (WordPress, but not the latest version yet).  It got re-designed again recently.  And there are more things to blog about than ever.

So, here is the toast, for a happy blogging birthday! :)

Firefox feature wishlist : tab groups

I wish Firefox (or any web browser for that matter) had a nice and easy way to group tabs together. If I could just move or copy tabs between groups, color them differently together or one by one, collapse and expand groups, search for tab, link tabs together (close one and linked one close together, move one and others will follow), etc.  Considering the amount of time it took for tabs to go mainstream, I am not sure I’ll live long enough to see a solution for grouping…

P.S.: Yes, I am aware of

  • grouping related tabs in several browser windows,
  • ColorfulTabs plugin for Firefox,
  • using bookmark groups to save tabs and open them later with one click,

but these aren’t solving my problems.  Not as they are now at least.

The 20% rule

Sidenote: it seems this is the third post for today, and the third one that is somehow related to Google. This is not intentional.

It’s a wide known fact that Google allows (or, depending on how you look at it, forces) its employees to  work 20% of the time on the side projects.  What kind of projects?  What do they actually do?  Where this time goes?  Here is an idea from the hilarious article at Cracked.com:

Google engineers are given “20 percent time” in which they are free to pursue their own personal projects. This incentive has produced such efforts as Gmail, Google News, and 20% more employee masturbation.