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Articles tagged with: Movable Type

A very popular piece of blogging software, I used it for years, but then switched (to WP). I miss it sometimes, the original learning curve is a a lot higher, but once you’re in it, I still think you can do a few more advanced things a little easier.

Written By: Gary on December 12, 2009 2 Comments

So it’s been six years since I started blogging. Sometimes I blog a lot and sometimes a little but I come really close to averaging one post a day (actually about 0.995 posts per day). I’ve really been slacking lately, all the vacation days when I’ve written more than a few help pick up the numbers, but I never like it when a week goes by that I haven’t posted. This year I only did a little over 200, so I’ll try and make up for it over the next year, if I could post five different days a week, I think I’d be happier about it…

This post is a bit of a mish-mash of tech details and thoughts of blogging.

I originally started using Movable Type for the blog in 2003, I had my blog in a subdirectory of GaryLaPointe.com and changed subdirectories a few timesand then in 2005 moved it to here at GarySaid.com and left it alone.

If had a tech suggestion for anyone blogging, it’s pick a domain name and stick to it so that you don’t lose readers (and search engine links); choose something vague/generic so if you change what you blog about your web address can stay the same if you want it to. While I call my blog the same name “Gary Said…” I could easily change the title to “Lone Geek Blogging” (or whatever) but still have the same easy to remember address.

I really enjoy blogging, it’s nice to reflect on parts of my life and have to think up semi-coherent paragraphs to describe whatever it is that I’m thinking about. I try to keep most of my blog positive and remember that I don’t blog about everything in my life, so sometimes it’s not always the easiest thing to come up with a topic.

I never knew who would come read and while I’ve met a few people I really have no idea how many people I know (or don’t know) actually read my blog. The one thing I know is that I really enjoy getting feedback from people (even when it’s something short like “I thought the same thing about that”) and it’s extra special getting a link back from someone when they just mention my site or even a specific article (even if it’s just one of my money saving tips). I hope that feeling never goes away!

Since I mentioned comments, here’s some comment info/stats and then I’m going to go (the day is almost over). On average, I actually get about 1.5 comments per post, but in actuality most posts don’t get comments. Of my 3,000+ comments I’d bet that 1,000 go to the same dozen posts over and over again (my bed has 454 comments, hacking iTunes has 91 and another ten have between 30 and 100).

WordPress For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) Lisa Sabin-WilsonI almost forgot: I switched to self-hosted WordPress last December (I played with it for a bit before the switch) and have really enjoyed using it since then. I feel I can do more with WordPress with less work than I did with Movable Type. I’ve mentioned things like this in a few posts: WordPress vs. Movable Type and Things I miss about MT.

FYI – Lisa’s book WordPress For Dummies is a great resource if you want to use WordPress.

Thank you for reading!!!

Written By: Gary on July 25, 2009 One Comment

I think it’s safe to say at this point I’ve become a huge WordPress fan. But I was a huge MovableType fan for a long time and I miss a few things about it.

What I really miss (and would like) in WordPress is –

  • A good search and replace in the administration interface (dashboard).
  • An easy way to maintain multiple websites with one login interface (a dashboard deluxe). From Movable Type I could maintain several blogs and with blogging clients I only had to log in once to configure for multiple blogs.
  • An easy way to maintain multiple websites with one login interface (a dashboard deluxe). From Movable Type I could maintain several blogs and with blogging clients I only had to log in once to configure for multiple blogs.

Maybe I can do do this with WordPress mu (multi-user)? I’m thinking the last few times I looked at it mu still didn’t handle things the way I wanted it to. Multiple blogs with different domain names still seemed to need plug-ins and I guess I’d feel better if it was integrated in the core. And I’m thinking not all plug-ins are WPmu compatible. I’m thinking when WordPress and WordPress mu becomes one product the plug-ins compatibility will change.

Written By: Gary on January 3, 2009 One Comment

I can’t believe I’m still doing this with 2,000 posts all over the last 5 years! Never would have thought it grow on me so much!

I was trying to come up with something monumental to blog about for this post, but that didn’t happen so I’ll give you a quick update on some tech (the new blog site) and a few personal things:

  • I’m averaging more than a post a day, but sometimes I skip more than a few days, so I’m going to try and post more consistently (and more images with posts).
  • I’m really liking WordPress, I’ve completely migrated all my old posts (from MovableType) to WordPress 2.7 (at least I think I’ve got all 4,000-ish archive/category/single pages) and mostly updated the “about“-type pages. I’ve been playing around with WP for a year and this interface on 2.7 version beats the interface for the previous six months (it was actually better previous to six months ago, IMHO). I’ll be posting more about my WordPress transition over the next few weeks (I’ve been making notes).
  • Google has done an amazing job reindexing the updated site. It’s grabbed a good chunk of the pages and about 80% of the old pages have disappeared been replaced in the search engine. I’ll be posting more about this too.
  • And I just saw they picked the new Doctor Who, but I’ll make that my 2001st post :)
  • I’m still sick from when I mentioned it last week. The (medical) doctor thinks it’s some lower lung pneumonia on the right side so I’ve just been staying close to home and taking it easy (I’ll get x-ray results next week). Sleep has been the worse, I think maybe the drugs are keeping me up, or I’m just bored. Hopefully I won’t be posting more about this!
  • Even being sick, the holidays were nice and relaxing, exactly what I needed after the last year, I’d have liked some more snow consistently on the ground, just enough to cover the grass. I wasn’t sick sick until Christmas so I made it through everything.

That’s it for now, I gotta go read up more on the new Doctor Who

Written By: Gary on December 17, 2008 No Comment

It seems to be going very well so far. I think I’ve got everything imported. Feel free to try a test comment (please).

Most entries and categories and dates should be redirecting. Date based pages are not redirecting (need a .htaccess rule or need to rewrite all those pages in MT with a redirect), but that’s okay, you’re only going to find that from a search and if you clock to comment it takes you to the correct page, just a weird interface change.

Categories still need to have hierarchies and descriptions.

All RSS feeds are redirected, so you’ll probably get a full reader by the time you get this post. And as of right now, they’re all redirected to an Atom feed. Does anyone really care/have a preference?

Not thrilled with this blog template but that’s easily changeable later. I’ll break down the steps of the whole migration later for anyone wanting to go from MT to WP.

Any .htaccess people who can help me with a rewrite rule?
I need date formats like /chapters/2008_12.php -> /2008/12/ and the same for /chapters/2008_12_16.php -> /2008/12/16/ . Actually the latter is really the only one that matters since the first was prevented by robots.txt and I don’t think I did any posts linking to a month (maybe a date).

Honestly, I’ve had harder version upgrades with Movable Type, but we’ll see once I start modifying templates for myself.

Disappointments: I wish the categories could have been in the root directory without having to be in another directory (my /topics/ directory). I wish I could have more easily moved the old files in with their old filenames so things didn’t have to be redirected.

I’ve still got to fix “About”, “FAQ”, etc. and I need the date archives to redirect.

Spam filter is working great! I really like the way the tags work, but they need some cleaning up. Ecto really helped me to turn my technorati tags into WP tags.

Fixed the search engine with a smart redirect. Needed that since I do searches in the middle of my posts (I should be tagging but I’ve have 3 years to go back and tag).

Updated the sitemap.xml files too.

These last few things should really help with the search engines reindexing me (I hope!)

Google has already been cruising through indexing pages….

It imported my pings/trackbacks as comments :( But at least they are still linked.

Some drafts became posts. This may have not been an import/export issue, this may have been something I did after the fact when I reposted posts to get my blogging client, Ecto, to convert my Technorati Tags to WordPress tags.

Written By: Gary on December 13, 2008 No Comment

So after 5 years of using MovableType, and talking about sticking with things yesterday, I’m planning on switching this blog to WordPress. As I said a few months backWordpress-Logo

I think WordPress is easier to setup and it’s also easier for beginners to do quite advanced things with WP than Movable Type. From the other perspective, I think that doing really super advanced things is easier with Movable Type, while doing ultra-advanced things are probably equal between the two.

I’ve slightly modified that a bit to make it more accurate in what I’ve learned since then. I’m also going to add that

Upgrades appear to be much easier to do in WordPress, they’ve all been pretty painless for me. (I never even liked doing incremental upgrades with MT)

Maybe as I customize things more this won’t be as true but for now it’s been pretty easy. And it’s an educational thing for me too, I’ve really enjoyed learning about it…

So for the next month(?) I’ll be changing and testing things. I’ll be running both in tandem stating soon, I’ll want some posts/archives once the switch is made. I’ll probably switch back and forth a few times as I’m testing so be patient with me as I make changes. The worst tests might be for the people using RSS readers, but I’ll try to keep those disasters minimal. If you see things broken for more than a day it means I didn’t notice, so please e-mail me and let me know.I don’t think I’ll be able to ever import everything the way I want to: keeping all my old permalinks and everything else so that I don’t break a million back-links to my site (and throughout my site). So I think when I do the final cut over everything 2008 and before will stay on MovableType and everything 2009 and after will be on WordPress.

I’ll be documenting this since I’m sure I’ll have to do some interesting things for category archives (I think I’ll fudge the last entry of each category to include the old posts) and searching the archives (this may require two searches, but I’m not sure yet).

If I can’t integrate them very well, I’ll just have a prominent button that says “click here for 2008 and earlier”. And I’ll modify a lot of the old templates to say ‘click here for the new stuff’. I’d just hate to have to do that for all the category stuff.

Any tips on the migration from anyone? Any resources?

Written By: Gary on July 26, 2008 2 Comments

So I’m tempted to migrate to WordPress (from Movable Type) I think I’ve got it all figured out on how to even retain my current URLs (as crummy as they are) so that I don’t have a bunch of broken links.

One of my worries is right now a lot of my pages score pretty good in Google searches, amazingly good sometimes, especially since my site doesn’t rank super high anyways, and I’m afraid of losing that rank. I’m not sure if it’s just that I built my pages well? or maybe my meta tags or if the structure of the page helps? or what? It’s just always done pretty good so I don’t mess with it.

What will I lose if I convert? What might I gain?The other thought is to leave my Movable Type site alone, delete the index page and use WordPress from now on but have links to the old pages. I’d need to keep the MT software so that comments and search would still work (I’d modify the WP search pages to say “you only searched the new site, click here to search for old stuff”). But I’d still have to maintain updates and such on the old site and check for spam and more….

Hmmm…. I’m either talking myself out of keeping the old one separate or possibly not migrating at all. I’m not sure which…

Written By: Gary on February 2, 2008 One Comment

I’ve always been a huge fan of Movable Type, but I’ve been playing with WordPress on and off lately and I think it might become my new blogging platform for anything new I create. I’m not sure if I’m willing to export and import my old blog and lose a bunch of Google results because the pages aren’t named the same or because of something else unforeseen.

Here’s my whole comparison wrapped up in to two sentences –

I think WordPress is easier to setup and it’s also easier for beginners to do advanced things with WP than Movable Type. From the other side, I think that doing really advanced things is easier with Movable Type, while doing ultra-advanced things are probably equal between the two.

The biggest thing I don’t like in WordPress is how dynamic things are and if your web host goofs something up, the dynamic stuff chokes which would be your whole site; I’ve seen this happen with several different hosts. In MT I kept my main page and individual page posts static, and the rest dynamic so at least the whole thing didn’t crash. Also, the dynamic-ishness of the pages slows things down a little. But it’s so very easy, I can’t even tell you how easy it was to do an upgrade (one tip: if you modify a default template to use, be sure to rename the folder it’s in and you won’t accidentally over-write it when you upgrade). On the other hand, when I post something to WP it’s very very quick since it’s not rebuilding things. That’s really nice to be done as soon as you post.

So far it’s also been much easier to do (incremental) upgrades with WordPress. It’s actually so easy, I’m surprised they haven’t added a few other steps which would make it one-click. It’s really disabling the plug-ins, copying the new directories over the old and reactivating the plug-ins; I’m sure this could be made one-click to “halt” the plug-ins, copy from the path that you specify, clear the cache and start the plug-ins back up.

Written By: Gary on December 15, 2007 One Comment

So it’s snowing and we’re supposed to get a lot tonight (the “don’t park in the street” siren already went off). I’m geeked about that since it doesn’t seem like Christmas without it.

But I’ve noticed I’ve still got a fall theme up on my blog so I’ll be changing that to a Christmas theme that I’ve used before (if I can find all the parts). I’ve been learning WordPress and so far I’ve learned it’s SO much easier to change themes in WP than in Movable Type…

So it looks funny over the next hour or so, I’m working on getting out the fall colors!

Written By: Gary on September 24, 2007 2 Comments

So many times I wish I could call someone late at night or early in the day to leave a message without waking them. THere are some services that delay delivery like this, but they’re (at least in the past) costly and slightly difficult.

Jott BetaEnter Jott: It lets you set up a list of people on-line. You call Jott say who/what you want to Jott (you put yourself in the list too) and then leave a thirty second message and it sends it to their e-mail. Did I leave out that it very accurately transcribes the audio file into text for you too?!? And it’s free?!? And it includes an audio file link too, just in case the transcription is garbled. Think about that before I tell you what else it does…

It’ll post it to a blog for you too (Blogger, WordPress (even if self-hosted), TypePad, LiveJournal), it’ll Twitter and Jaiku it for you too and post it to a Yahoo! Group and 30 boxes and you can use it to get Zillow (home value) quotes too. And it’ll set up reminders for you too. It’s all hands-free with your phone. And it’s free!I just posted a sample Jott for you to read, if you listen you can hear a slight mistake but it’s close enough, you’ve never know unless you listened to it. Other than the sentence in bold that says to read this message, it’s just cut and patse. FYI, the sample is a cheat, I really posted it to WordPress and just copied the post here for demonstrations sake. It currently does not work on Movable Type, I think it’s just the way MT handles multiple blogs, but since it uses XMLRPCs pretty close to the other blogs I’m hoping it’s a simple fix (but it’s beyond me).

You must try this!!! I’ve get it set for a few friends, my work e-mail and my home e-mail so I can just call with reminders for me or to get free 30 second transcriptions of text for e-mail that I need to send back at the office.

Sometimes it does take a few minutes (no more than 5 minutes, usually 2 minutes) for the Jott to get transcribed.

Written By: Gary on August 22, 2007 2 Comments

Mt4So Movable Type 4.0 is out. I thought it was odd that you can’t purchase a personal license any more, just a business one. Don’t panic though, you can still get a personal license for free but purchasing it used to get you “official” support and (it looks like) that’s not available. But I was mistaken, for $49 you can get a year of support(see Anil’s comment below) you just have to buy it from the business page. I really don’t think I ever used the support (or at least not very often) so not a huge deal, but I think it’s odd that it’s hard to realize that you can buy support you just have to go to the business page. And I still think it’s weird it’s cheaper to buy two 5 user licenses than one 10 user license.

Plus, come fall they plan to release some kind of OpenSource version this fall, which will be very interesting…On a side note, while I love Movable Type and I’d love to upgrade, I’ll have to wait for the 4.1 release, I keep my installation too complicated and installing always brings the bugs to light (old plug-ins that break, bugs that I used to my advantage that might be fixed, and obviously the possibility of new bugs) I’ll wait for the revisions so it’s one less thing to worry about. Plus, I’m really afraid MT-Blacklist will stop working; it still deletes hundreds of messages a day for me with no intervention (since May of 2005 it’s deleted way over one-third of a million billion spam messages that I’ve not even had to glance at) that with SpamLookUp keeps me sane.

Although, I must point out, everyone on-line seems to be saying that MT 4.0 is pretty painless to install…

Written By: Gary on March 2, 2007 No Comment

So every so often I see my site from a computer with a lower screen resolution and the center columns is just way too skinny especially if there are images. So I’ve done some alterations to the main page if you have a screen resolution of 1,000 pixels across (or less) I feed you a different CSS file that pushes the right column off the right of the screen so if you want to see it you’ll have to scroll to the right (I’m thinking the better viewing will make it worth it). JavaScript will have to be enabled for this to work.

Please let me know if this works better for the lower resolution people (and look the same for the rest of you). I’ll probably move some items from the right to the left if this works out and I’ll do it to more pages on the site (especially the individual ones that you can put the comments on).I used this information from the Movable Type Forums to do this. Everything that you need should be there.

FYI – Over 10% of my viewers have screen sizes less than 1,000 pixels wide and another 10% are unknown.

Please give me some feedback on this, I’m only trying to make this better for you…

Written By: Gary on February 18, 2007 No Comment

I upgraded my Movable Type yesterday and today (the blogging software that this site runs on) from 3.2 to 3.34 so if you have any problems commenting or even reading don’t be shocked. I’ll post a note here here when I start (and when I’m done) so outside that range everything should be fine.

DONE! (Well, mostly done, but it’s almost 6 am and I’m off to bed). Details you probably don’t care about (unless you have problems) are listed below…Boring updates below. (Some of this info is for me to recall too too.)

  • 12:22 EST Yesterday – Starting messing with on-line stuff (was reading and making backups, etc. the previous few hours)
  • 12:30 EST – Semi-running on backup copy of MT (where new install will go)
  • 12:34 EST – Sidebars not showing up (many were referenced in old directory path) and the actual trackback is not listed in individual entries.
  • 12:52 EST – renamed to old path and everything seems to be working (didn’t want to do that, wanted some differences but their’s too many changes to find so I’ll live with it)
  • 1:17 EST – All looks good, currently running a rebuild. But all I really did was make a copy of everything. The problem was duplicating the mySQL database, I had to do it via the command line and the file is a little smaller (which makes me nervous) but it seems fine.

    I needed the extra configured backup since I have plans to take Mom out to dinner (and then to see Silent Violet) and if I crash it I need something to revert to.

    All seems well so far, so I’m going to get a burger. I’ll run the upgrade when I get back.

  • 3:39 PM, It’s a good thing I made that backup. Multiple FTP problems. The first is my FTP program (Transmit) has a new feature that it’ll delete directories before replacing them, it didn’t used to do that (not sure when the added that “feature” as the default) so it pretty much deleted my whole 3.2 install of MT. So I had to reinstall the backup. The other problem is now it seems to be stopping the FTP transfer (when pushing up the 3.34 MT install) for some reasons….
  • 3:48 PM, I think the FTP transfer the second time was sort of my fault, it was confused since it new the directories were there and it remember them (even after I deleted them [via command line] and refreshed Transmit). So it was really a caching problem. Althought Transmit does seem to ask me more questions now (merge, replace, skip or resume) and I’m not sure what resume is. It used to just ask me twice (once for files and once for directories) but it probably asked me about 50 times (maybe once per directory).
  • 4:20 PM – It’s all up, but it’s got bugs. Still playing with it to check it out. Gonna start a rebuild if this post updates properly.
  • 4:46 PM – A few minor broke things but I think it’s related to MT-SimpleComments (and there is a new version so I’ll try that after LATE tonight.
  • 1:50 AM – Turns out I thought really broke it and I decided to leave it (I’m so glad I never got to the rebuild), it just got worse the more I messed with it and I was running late to Mom’s (again!). And the problem was SO minor it would have taken me another 5-10 minutes to find it (in hindsight).
  • 2:00 AM – I think I found a minor bug in MT-SimpleComments; if you unpublish a post after it gets a comment it’ll still list the comment. This is rare since the page wouldn’t show up in a listing anyways, but where the problem is is I show a list of recent comments on the front page so it shows up there. I’ve never noticed this before now, but it may be an installation problem, I see a few other minor leaky things (but it might be an incompatible plug-in problem too).
  • 2:28 AM – It’s getting better and better. I think I’ll hit the sack soon, just a few more minutes.
  • 5:45 AM – It’s way better. I’ve got MT-Blacklist working almost all the way. It’s stopping everything, It’s just harder to add things to the list now. I’ve fix a few other things and the only other thing I know is broke is the tops of the Category Archives have all the categories listed instead of just the related subcategories (it didn’t in 3.2). I’ll fix that later, it’s probably simple.

    But I’m done updating this post for now, if something weird happens and you can’t comment, please e-mail me.

  • Written By: Gary on January 28, 2007 No Comment

    So I’m playing with Technorati Tags on my pages (you’ll see some attached to some of my posts) and I’m not liking how they are working from a placement standpoint. I am experimenting so we’ll see where they get moved to (or if I even keep them).

    Tags are supposed to do two things (IMHO):

  • help you find other people’s posts on the same topic and
  • help other people find my posts related to those same topics.

    Some of these topics I could probably direct you to more specific places if necessary, I’m just hoping to have a few more people find my site.

    I think Movable Type 3.34 and the new version of Ecto (in development) will interact in a way better than I’m currently doing this but for now it’ll help me experiment.

  • Written By: Gary on December 16, 2006 No Comment

    So as I mentioned a few days ago it’s been 3 years I’ve been blogging. But here and the last few days I’ve been jotting down some odd stats:

  • 1379 posts so far (counting this one).
  • 1.25 posts a day is my average. Although, lately I certainly haven’t been keeping up with that. But usually it’s more like 2 or 3 a day and then I skip a day or two…
  • 1563 comments! I love comments!!! I’m averaging a little more than one per each post (but most posts get none). I should see which ones get the most, I haven’t noticed a pattern/trend but there may be.
  • 101 trackbacks. Actually, I accidentally deleted all the trackbacks a while back (which was 23) so I currently only have 78. This is unfortunate since trackbacks are so incredibly useful (although spammers have pretty much ruined them for everyone). A chunk of those are probably me making trackbacks to my previous posts, but that’s sort of what they’re there for…
  • 8,800 spam messages per month is what I’ve averaged per month lately. That’s almost 300 a day! The last time I reset my spam filter was May 21, 2005 and since then I’ve have 169,500 comment / trackback spams blocked. I still use MT-Blacklist in addition to to SpamLookup (included with Movable Type). More on this at the end of this post.

    These numbers are huge at least to me), I can’t believe I’ve been doing it this long. It’s a joy to blog, but I do always feel that if I let it go for a while it’ll just kinda die. I hate to blog just for the sake of blogging but I do always try to keep it up-to-date with a few details of life (or tech or TV or something) even if I’m not in an extra blogging mode. I’ve got some other points that make the blogging extra geeky/interesting for me but the list started to get too long, so I’ll finish and post that at a later day. I’m starving right now and need to get something to eat!


    OPTIONAL GEEKY SPAM STUFF: The reason I use both (MT-Blackslist and SpamLookup) is because the stuff MT-Blacklist knows is spam gets deleted without me having to look at it. If I just use SpamLookup, I’d still need to look at those 300 messages a day to make sure it doesn’t have any real messages caught up in it. As it is, I still need to look at the 50 that MT-BLacklist didn’t delete to see if SpamLookup grabbed something important. And sometimes SpamLookup does grab a few (a few a week). And once in a very long while a real spam gets through both and makes it on the web site, but that’s only about once a month (maybe longer).

  • Written By: Gary on June 5, 2006 One Comment

    Sorry for some of the odd display problems lately (no content to the post or no images). I’ve been having some odd rebuilding problems with Movable Type and 1 and 1 hosting (at least I think it’s related to 1and1 hosting, even my access to the MT interface has been slow lately). Anyone else having similar problems…?

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on December 16, 2005 One Comment

    So Yahoo Small Business has started including Movable Type with their small business installations. This has got to be great for Six Apart (MT’s owner) and since I’m a huge MT fan and user you get to hear about it! This includes 5GB of disk space and 200GB a month of storage and a free domain name for $8.01 a month (this is 33% off for the first 6 months) including PHP, mySQL, fastCGI, Perl, MT updates and 24/7 phone support.


    This offer is only through the end of this year. I’m not sure how many MT users this license includes…

    Doesn’t Yahoo! already own some blogging site (other than Yahoo! 360)?

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on December 12, 2005 8 Comments

    So it’s been two years that I’ve been blogging!!! I’m still short three posts from 1,000 but maybe I’ll have something more introspective to post in a few days. I just couldn’t let the day go without a post. Besides, I have a few questions for you…

    Blogging facts from Gary Said…

  • This is really my third permutation of my web site title and my fourth URL, but it’s the only dedicated one so I’m thinking I’ll be sticking to it for good (I hope). I got the distinct address to separate it from (more professional?) non-blogging activities. I’ll probably only switch if I got something better, like gary.com.
  • I get block about 500 comment/trackbacks spam hits a day which is about 15,000 hits a month! Thank you MT-Blacklist and SpamLookUp! Blogging would be no fun without both of these tools (details on these tools below).
  • I’m still averaging about 3 posts every two days. And a few memes that I never got to finishing each week.

    My questions to you:

  • How often do you read my blog?
  • Why don’t you comment more?

  • Where are you from?
  • Have you seen The Daily Meme, my index of memes? (These aren’t my memes, just my index. Just a little self/cross-promotion…)


    Geeky spam details (optional reading): This is about MT-Blacklist and SpamLookUp which are spam prevention tools for Movable Type 3.2. MTB kills most spam (the most obvious spam) and marks some for moderation. SLU checks out what MTB passes in and either posts it, labels it as stuff you should look at (moderation: waiting for approval to post or delete) or as junk (waiting for approval, deletion or automatic deletion in 60 days). This means spam (almost) never gets posted and a small percentage of the real stuff gets delayed but makes me confident real stuff doesn’t get deleted.

  • Written By: Gary on October 27, 2005 2 Comments

    1And1So I use 1and1 for my web hosting for this site and I really like them. They’ve got $5.99 domain name registration all the time (that’s the best ‘all the time’ price around) and a variety of plans and they really have all sorts of options you can choose from (news on your page, mySQL, SSI, PHP, clipart, some built-in flash, e-mail, ftp, ssh, statistics, photo albums and more). They’ve got plans as low as $2.99 a month and that includes a domain name (lower priced plans don’t have all the features) and 1GB of storage and 150 e-mail accounts.

    My biggest complaint has always been the web interface to manage things was slow, but they just fixed it!!! That’s why you’re getting this pitch, I was just using it and the new interface is much nicer and much faster. And the interface works well with a Mac (at least with Safari on my OSX Tiger machine).


    My other complaint is that you must have them manage your DNS list (you can buy your domain name somewhere else but 1&1 must host it and the sites that goes with it, you can point your mail MX record somewhere else). This probably will not matter to the average user (and probably isn’t understandable either).

    FYI – Movable Type requires Perl (which is not in the $2.99 plan) this means you need at least the $4.99 plan to run it.

    Written By: Gary on October 8, 2005 No Comment

    Happy Birthday! Movable Type blogging software turned four today. As many of you know, I use Movable Type for this blog and I think it’s excellent software. I’ve been using it a few months shy of two years and it’s only gotten better and better. If you’ve considered Movable Type you should check it out (it’s free for personal use, but of course this provides no support to you).

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    Written By: Gary on October 1, 2005 No Comment

    B--Biethon2005So it’s that time of year again, a time to share. The time when bloggers (female and male) reveal more than what’s in their hearts and bare more than their soul. This year they are raising money for breast cancer and Hurricane Katrina victim relief (previously I think it was just the former). Covered bloggers (hands, props, food items, bras, etc.) were free to view, but they still hoped you’d donate. You have to donate $50 to get the password for the uncovered bloggers. They’ve raised over $17,000 dollars the previous years, so please check out the fourth annual Boobie-thon, it runs from October 1st until the 8th.


    This is my first post using the scheduled post function of Movable Type. I’m posting this mid-September but wanted to get the info out at the correct time so a few details may not be perfect. (I’m assuming that it all works the same as last year.)

    FYI, the auto post function didn’t work…

    Written By: Gary on September 25, 2005 One Comment

    Sarah said:
    1. Go into your archive.
    2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
    3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
    4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

    “I’m the guy who still hardcodes his own HTML and I just didn’t get it.”

    “It” was using special software like Movable Type to run a web log. Why would I every want to do that?

    FYI, this was over 800 posts ago on January 5, 2004 and the title was Might as well face it… (I’m addicted to blog!)

    Written By: Gary on August 26, 2005 3 Comments

    So the new version of Movable Type is out. And they’ve got a great promotion price for the personal editions only $39.95! Don’t forget, they always have a free version for personal use which also has unlimited weblogs (the free version of the software is not disabled at all) but no support other than the forums.

    Powered ByIf you have donated before, they let you apply a $20 credit from earlier versions and it makes it $19.95! It’s “just” five authors (that’s four more than I have), it’s $30 more for unlimited authors. This is an awesome deal! Nothing like when they did the 3.x release upgrade that made everyone (not me) crazy about prices and limitations.

    I’l probably be upgrading next week, once everyone else has worked out all the bugs ;)


    I think it’s got moderation for trackbacks and some new styles “stuff” to make it easy to manage the look of your site. Also an unlimited number of blogs! Here’s a list of their “32 Favorite Features”.

    It’s also got some 3.2 specific plug-ins: one that’s supposed to be super for enclosures (like for feeds and podcasting!), some notifier stuff, something for stats and I guess the new styles thingy is a plug-in (or maybe this is something extra).

    Written By: Gary on May 16, 2005 One Comment

    Testing a slight problem concern with posts and dynamic templates in Movable Type 3.16. They don’t seem to be resetting the cache properly. Actually it’s working to some extent, but it does take a while (close to an hour) for some of the pages to update; see below for more information.


    There is something odd with cached dynamic pages in Movable Type 3.16, I’m not sure exactly what it is yet. When dynamic pages are created they are supposed to remain in the cache so they don’t need to be created again. But when I view the pages after rebuilding (reposting/updating) a page it seems there is a delay (minutes?) before it rebuilds them. This isn’t a problem (for me) if there is a delay (even if it’s minutes) it’s just hard to see what’s going on with them. For my test it took just over an hour and I don’t know why they finally changed (no pings, comments or attempted spamming in the logs).

    WARNING – GEEKY CONTENT FOLLOWS:
    I created this post at 6:47 pm and I later modified it (at 8:40 pm and also 8:55 and 9:15) and the changes are not showing up (immediately) on the category or date archives. I even tried changing the timestamp (to 9:18) but it didn’t seem to speed anything up. Eventually they all changed (9:42, 9:47 and 10:07 were when the 9:15 changes propagated through; but that doesn’t mean the other changes propagated around before then).

    It didn’t seem to make a difference when I did a new post (I did one 15 minutes ago and it still doesn’t show up on the same date archive pages listed above). Still a delay before those changes propagate around. Last night when I noticed this I did delete the cache and templates_c directories, it didn’t seem to help anything (other than everything rebuilding automatically the next request). This last update is posted around 10:40 pm…

    So it’s hard to test when pages rebuild. I’m not sure if it’s with every new post or just with posts relevant to those pages being modified. Anyone know?!?

    Another interesting (but unrelated) point with the cached dynamic pages is my pages (used to) say what your search terms were, like “It looks like you came here searching for Veronica Mars” but it wrote it to the cache so even when someone came to the page looking for something else or even by directly clicking it still reported that “fact”. Very interesting. Now all my pages say at the bottom when it was created so if it’s not the current time, I can see how long it’s been cached. This is probably affecting my search results record keeping. But it should still give me a good idea of how people find my site.

    Hmm… It just hit me that I do some PHP to make sure non-content related stuff doesn’t go into the search engines (ads, comments and my sidebars) I bet that doesn’t run live anymore (actually if a search engine grabs a page first it’ll look all mucky for everyone else, I’ll probably remove that code). This is not to cheat the search engines, it’s to get them to get the data that this page was published for.

    Written By: Gary on May 6, 2005 3 Comments

    I’m in the middle of my Movable Type upgrade. So far so good, it was pretty easy to do so far. Comments are in moderation mode, I have to approve them before they appear, once I get the new spam catchers intalled I’ll open them back up to the world for instant posting. If something seems really bizarro is happening you can e-mail me… Thanks!

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    Written By: Gary on January 5, 2005 2 Comments

    Thursday Thoughts is a new weekly meme. Don’t forget you can always links to all sorts of memes at The Daily Meme

    Since this is the first of Thursday Thoughts, let’s start with first-time blogging.

    1. When did you start your blog/web site?
    Just over a year ago, December 2003.
    2. Why did you start it? (Is there any specific reason?)
    I had kinda been thinking about it and then one night after watching an episode of Joan of Arcadia, I started one up and rambled a bit about her and I’ve been going ever since.
    3. What is your blog/site generally about?
    It’s a little bit about everything. Me, my life, lots-o-memes, Joan, technology, blogs, movies, books, music, friends, travels and other stuff. Any day now, I’m going to start a separate tech blog so I can get a little geekier about tech; I’ll still mention tech I just won’t get too detailed, that’ll go in the new one.
    Written By: Gary on December 26, 2004 One Comment

    Mell (of Divergent Poles) was trying to understand what a trackback is, so I’m making this post as an illustration.

    While creating this message there was an empty spot (just like there is a place for the title) to add trackbacks, since I’m referencing this post (i.e. I’m talking about Mell) I’m adding his trackback information to that spot. When I post this message it’ll send a tiny message (called a trackback or sometimes referred to as a ping) to Mell’s message and now he’ll know I was talking about his post and get a better understanding of this (I hope). There is no indication on my site that I trackbacked him (other than me telling you), the main reason is to let him (and his readers) know I are talking about him and when others read his site they’ll know I’m talking about Mell so they might follow the link to see what I say (in this case, if they want to know what I think a trackback is).


    Trackbacks are generally for when you are specifically referencing someone’s specific message. Sometimes if you’re making a similar post or have more information. But I think internet etiquette is it’s if you’re referencing their specific post. Since I am talking about his post, this is a valid example… I can’t even tell you how long it took me to understand this, hopefully my example will make some sense.

    The trackback is not just the address for the site or the message, sometimes it’s something odd (for this example it’s http://haloscan.com/tb/mditangco/110399998884597771) but you don’t care ’cause you’re just going to cut and paste this part. If you look at his message you’ll see it now says “Trackback (1)” (or more, it was 0 before I posted) if you click there it will reveal the first few sentences of this message and the title is clickable and takes you back to this message (which is much more helpful as a link if you started at Mell’s and not here), it’ll also list any other trackbacks that may have occurred since then.

    I use Movable Type and it supports Trackbacks, some software does not, so your mileage may vary.

    This is where it gets confusing (the differences/similarities between trackbacks and pings) – Every time I post a post my blog automatically pings a few different addresses so other pages know I updated my page. Why? (I’m glad you asked) Here’s three examples. 1) This is so that things like the MovableType home page knows I recently updated and lists me as a recently updated page. 2) And so Blogrolling (see the list of blogs I read on the lower right) know I was updated. On my page if a page has been updated in the last 48 hours and blogrolling knows about it (from a direct ping at http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/ or from looking at some other pingable places) it marks those pages in bold/italics for me and I don’t have to do a thing. 3) This same auto-ping alerts Yahoo! so that when (if?) people have me show up on their MyYahoo! start page it knows to update the content for them. This is probably technically called pinging a site but it’s probably not that much different than the trackback concept (if not identical). Bottom line, if I changed all the spots on my site to say “pings” instead of “trackbacks” it’d be the same thing.

    Written By: Gary on December 7, 2004 No Comment

    So I’ve almost been posting for a year AND I’m almost to 500 posts. If I average my average number of posts per day I’ll probably hit both at the same time.

    I kinda jump from one end of the spectrum to the other (funerals to sappy TV shows to technology), I keep thinking that I’ll break out the tech into it’s own blog, but I can’t decide it that’s necessary. I’ve got an idea for a tech specific blog, and if I do that, then I’d have two tech blogs (extra geeky and semi-geeky) so I think I’ll keep them together for now and if I go the other route I’ll just keep the long tech reviews to the extra geeky blog.

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    Written By: Gary on September 17, 2004 No Comment

    I finally got a few comment spams. It’s probably the only place I’ve ever mentioned the word c_sino (and I’m not going to say it again, it’s that place where you go g_mbl_ng).

    THis isn’t any kind of an invite, but it’s just weird how long it took and the fact that I make people type in that little code (like at ticketmaster) before they can post…


    The confirmation comment post that movable type sends you should have a delete option built in! RIght?

    (I’ve since removed the CAPTCHA requirement to post)

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    Written By: Gary on August 10, 2004 No Comment

    Nothing super significant: I’m using the columnize plug-in to save some space for my archives and categories, I’m using the more javascript to make the extended entry accessible on the main page, hmm… (I did a third thing too, something I found on Girlie’s site while looking for something else…) Oh, at the bottom of the my main page, how I did the recent additional entries was an idea from Girlie. Of course this was all done with Movable Type from Six Apart.

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    Written By: Gary on June 27, 2004 No Comment
    1. Have you ever blogged something you’ve regretted in the morning? Do you leave it? Delete it? Pray that no one reads it?
    If I regret it, I’d delete it. I thinking of it as the Post-its of my life, they can be removed at any time.
    2. Last week, RE: Blogs asked about the location from which you blog. This week, RE: Blogs asks for a photo of your favorite blogging environment. If you don’t have a camera ready – or aren’t willing to share a photo – – describe your favorite blogging place to the best of your ability
    I blog from everywhere. I use ecto and it lets me save posts while off line, then I can manually post when on-line. I can always hook up my cell phone to connect and a few restaurants (Burger King and Panera) have WiFi.
    3. What do you like most in a blog post by another blogger? Personal experiences? Fictional stories? News/Current events? Tech advice? Share some of your favorites from this week (either yours, or someone elses).
    Personal experiences – either funny or drama, I wait for the next installment of their life. Tech advice is great, if it weren’t for others, I’d never use Movable Type as well as I do.

    From RE: Blogs

    Written By: Gary on June 12, 2004 No Comment

    Today was a nice day, I’ve been working on my To Do list and adding things almost as fast as I can cross them off. But I’ve been getting lots done. The one annoying thing was buying an additional bathroom rug (which I thought I did a week or two ago but searched the house/car/house/car many times for) and after being home 5 minutes I found the one I already bought… Back to Kohls!

    One of the High School teachers was having a barbecue and I got an invite which was nice, sometimes things like that just go out to the specific buildings and I don’t hear about them. I’m on that odd borderline of Administrator or Person, depends who you talk to, what their mood is and how upset people are with other administrators. It was a lot of fun, we grilled, played croquet ate and played with the kids. There were some babies, one that finally warmed up to me and let me carry here around, and some older kids. Got to meet some spouses and that’s always interesting. I felt bad taking off as some others were showing up but the allergies had been starting to kick in and and then the neighbor started mowing (cut grass is my kryptonite).

    On the way home, talked to some older gentleman at Borders who was looking at the O’Reiley’s Essential Blogging book and hopefully I gave him some good info, he want to get into it but wasn’t sure where to start. I pushed Movable Type but suggested TypePad if he just wanted to try it out. I found a few winners myself: Two 2004 O’Reiley’s books PHP & MySQL and and Pocket Linux guide.

    Plus I found out a person I dated was getting married soon. For some reason I always find that interesting when I find it out about someone…

    Written By: Gary on June 7, 2004 No Comment
    1. Most of us pay for hosting our domains in which to blog on – – however, under what circumstances would you shell out hard earned cash so that you can use the blogging platform (i.e. your blogging application). Considering Movable Type’s recent license fees – – would you? If yes, why – – If no, why not?
    For the right tool, I’ll pay! I love Ecto (paid) for managing my blogs off-line and Transmit for FTP/textediting but I need to see if I need to pay for that one (or if I have).
    2. RE: Linkage – – I’ve seen many a trick to increase traffic and ratings in certain ecosystem offerings. For example – a few I’ve seen have one or two domains as a mirror to their main one and register all domains with TTLB – – so every post that you make is mirrored on the ’secondary domain’ – and each post is linked to the ‘primary domain’ which is recorded by the ecosystem as an inbound link….which could, for examle, bring your inbound links from 100 to 400 – depending. Do you have methods you use to ‘trick’ the ecosystem to skew your results to give you a higher rating? Care to share them? What tricks do you use?
    No but I’m making notes… Actually i guess I’m doing something similar (but it’s to keep what little I’ve got, not generate more), I decided to modify my url so I started changing it previously to start moving some traffic and now that I’m using it I’ve slowing been changing the blocks of links (images, archives, main root, etc.) it hopes to have my traffic move with (I just don’t want to disappear from the blogosphere). From your logic maybe I’ll stretch out the process a little longer… I don’t want a higher rating, I want more visitors….
    3. RE: Templates – – show off some of your extra add-ons you’ve been working on with your templates. What’cha been up to, huh? huh?
    My image (as of this post) on the background is a live ariel view of Dearborn, MI (everytime you refresh it’s updated). The colors match the blue and green of the Earth. At dawn and sunset and other times during the day you can see the dividing line between light and dark (it must have a name?). I was doing the moon, but it was tooooo sloooooww.
    4. RE: Other blogs – – Show us some of the newer blogs you’ve linked to recently, in the past week, or so. We all like seeing new blogs and fresh material. Who are they – and why’d ya link ‘em?
    Okay, clearly this is going to be a regular thing and I need to get prepared for it. On my blog I’ve been running a scrolling sidebar (well it might not scroll in all browsers, but it should atlease be there) for “Interesting Recent Sites” (so check it out), I did just change the date format, so it’s not consistent but it’ll be oklay in a day or three (I only keep the last 30 or so). I’ve got a script to grab the URL and title or highlighted text and add the date and ftp it up (it get’s included via PHP).

    From RE: Blogs .

    Written By: Gary on June 6, 2004 One Comment

    I finally saw a copy of ‘Teach Yourself Movable Type in 24 Hours’ at the store and it’s mine! Mine! Mine! I’ll do a short review later. But I’m notoriously bad at doing book followups….

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