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Movable Type

Information directly related to Movable Type (by Six Apart). This is the blogging software that I used to use, so lots of tips/tricks and info.

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 July 11, 2009 No Comment

autostitch-icon.pngSo one of the coolest programs I’ve downloaded from the iPhone App Store is AutoStitch. It takes a bunch of photos and stitches them together. Alex Lindsey talked about this on MacBreak Weekly a few weeks ago. He spoke so highly of it, I plopped down my $1.99 and started using it immediately.

autostitch-screen-capture.PNGYou take a bunch of overlapping photos and it stitches them together, it does this completely automatically, there is no user intervention. You can use pictures you’ve taken with the iPhone but you can just as easily use pictures that you’ve synced with the phone. So this can work for the iPod Touch too, just sync some photos and when you’ve got some spare time, stitch them together. It does an amazing job.

I first used some photos that I shot on my Canon SD1100, it that just happened to be synced to the phone and did a great job of stitching them together. So you don’t need an iPhone, an iPod Touch with photos that you’ve synced works great too.

Above you can see a sample screenshot from the program where I chose 22 photos and it stitched them together (click it to enlarge). Remember all I did was pick the photos and a few minutes later it churned these out. All these photos were taken with the iPhone 3gs. If I cropped some of the edges of the photos, it’d look like I took there with a really wide angle lens.

Here are two samples:

detroit-cityfestjaggies.JPG
I chose this one specifically so you can really see how it pieces these together. It’s got gaps in it, (I think) this is the one I took 22 photos for the image; just the part with the people on the blanket in the middle is 3 or 4 images.
Click the image to enlarge to 2,500 by 800 pixels.



detroitcityfest.JPG
This one is more complete as I took many up and down photos to go with it. That’s the Detroit Fisher Building on the left.
Click the image to enlarge to 2,000 by 1,000 pixels.

These pictures were taken at CityFest in Detroit this summer.

I’ve used it multiple times and only once had a problem; it got confused when I did a 360 panorama when the same type of railing showed up several times, this was because all the condos where I live are similar so it really couldn’t match things up. There are some matching issues with color/contrast and people moving, but this is really great!

This software is well worth the $1.99! I think I got that much fun out of it in the first hour, let alone all the time since then. ZZZ

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 December 12, 2008 3 Comments

Wow! I’ve been doing this for five years! There aren’t many hobbies that I’ve stuck with for this long. Heck, there aren’t many jobs I’ve kept this long (only one). I did stick with Michigan State University that long (undergrad and grad school) and I collected comics as a kid for this long. Besides living with my parents, I’ve never lived anywhere but my current condo for that long. I’ve owned my current Sebring Convertible for that long too (my car before it was the same model, just a few years earlier model).

So it seems like it’s the latest stuff I’ve been sticking with the longest. Does that mean that I’m figuring out what I like beforehand and sticking with it?!? That’d be nice.

So I originally started out blogging and thinking that’d I’d try not to complain at all but that didn’t last; while I do whine I try not to do it too much. Also, I’ve always thought I’d break out tech stuff into a separate tech blog and get even geekier but that’s never happened (yet).

I’ve met more than a few bloggers and other people from social networks over the last five years which has been awesome. Not only do I get to read these folks, I get to meet some of them too! I’m sure I’ve met 25-40 different people over the last few years, I’d have to count since some of them came to multiple events. And I really hope to make it to TequilaCon this year (is there a location/date set yet?).

I blog for myself but I try to post stuff I think others will find interesting too. When I’ve got 10 topics that I’m thinking of blogging about I do try to choose stuff that I want to talk about and stuff that you might find interesting. They might not be the same post but sometimes they are.

Speaking of blogaversaries: During my first year I had changed the name and the URL a few times (that probably didn’t help with traffic). Halfway through the second year I started using GarySaid.com, changing the URL to it’s own permanent home; I think I’ll always keep this short URL for my personal blog, even if I change the title of the blog itself the address is nice and short and easy to spell. The third year I didn’t post much on the anniversary date but I posted some stat and info a few days later. Year four wasn’t the best, I just never got into gear much this past year but I did get to travel a lot which gave me some good blogging material :)Speaking of whining, it’s been a pretty crappy year this past year. I haven’t talked about all of it on-line much, but things started going downhill last October and I just never got back into gear. I’m sure it’s seemed worse to me because everything was going pretty awesome before that (but that might just be hindsight). While I didn’t blog about much of those issues, I’m sure it affected my blogging some…

Things started picking up a few months ago and I’ve still got a few major potholes that I need to fill. As I start filling them in, I’ll probably start talking about some of them (I just never got around to it before, I had planned to). I’m sure it’s affected the tone of some of my blogging and the blogging itself. Thanks for sticking around!

I’ll be making some changes in my life and around here; since I plan to make it better for me, hopefully it’ll be more interesting for you in the year to come…

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 12, 2007 8 Comments

It’s been 4 years today since I started blogging. It wasn’t really a plan. I had just looked into it for a bit and one day I had something to say and kept going

I think this will be post number 1677 (that averages to a little more than 1 posts a day) and 2,299 comments.

Thanks for listening and commenting everyone!!!!! And if you’ve just been listening, speak up and say HII’m also guessing I’ve had about 1,000,000 spam comments deleted with via my different filtering systems (about 30,000+ spams deleted by hand).

I need a better way with MovableType to reply to a comment and also post the reply to the web site at the same time. (Anyone?)

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 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…?

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    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)?

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    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 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 May 4, 2005 No Comment

    I think I’m going to upgrade my site (starting tomorrow or Friday). So if there are any technical problems with comments or searching that’s why. It might even cause some viewing problems but those will be temporary since I can at a minimum push the pages (or at least the main page) back on-line.


    I’m not worried about the upgrade in general, I’m more worried about some of the plug-ins that I use might not work anymore and that will cause problems with rebuilds.

    Does anyone know if I can downgrade back down to 2.661 if it doesn’t work okay? My one big fear is my provider (1and1) doesn’t let scripts run for more than 12 seconds and I’m getting pretty close to that currently and if this runs slower it could be a problem. I think it’s only because I’ve got so many posts in my archives ( I think that’s where it’s choking). Other than that I love 1and1, very configurable and the prices are good.

    Written By: Gary on April 23, 2005 6 Comments

    Warning! Extra-Geeky post:
    I’m using MovableType 2.661 I’m missing having sub-categories and I was hoping some of the dynamic features might help speed up my rebuilds. I’ve also been getting really slow responses when posting comments. I do a lot of odd dynamic stuff already (the body of my messages only get built once (processed once) and they just get included everywhere else (although this isn’t really helping me on rebuilds since it’s probably rebuilding the pages anyways, it may actually be smarter than that). I use Mt-Blacklist and some other plug-ins. Some of my category archive rebuilds are really getting slow (I’m sure my date archives are slow two, but the categories just keep growing).


    I thought with TypeKey and comment moderation at a minimum I could turn off MT-blacklist on comments and just use it for trackbacks (assuming that’s one of the things slowing it down) and Lisa recommended MT-Keystrokes for this too (but I think that’s just for MT 3.x). I’m also still reading some confusing stuff on if MT-Blacklist is fully-functional for MT 3.x (does it have all the same features, I don’t care if some of the new features aren’t perfected yet).

    What’d I’d like to see is some rebuild stuff that is were a little smarter when I did reposts. Something like “your message is posted, please verify it and if it is a-okay then press OK to rebuild your indexes, archives and categories”. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t do this.

    So I’m really looking for your two cents on if I should upgrade or what else I should consider. Anyone have any feedback on this or any of the above?

    Written By: Gary on February 3, 2005 No Comment

    So I finally installed MT-Blacklist to help cut down on my comment (and trackback) spam. “Why?” you ask… Because after getting mildly annoyed here and there with the occasional comment spam (and the very rare trackback spam) I got hit with 470 trackback spams in one night! And another 30-40 the next day before I even had a chance to start deleting the others!

    Mt blacklist Let me tell you MT-Blacklist installed like a charm and in less time than it would have taken me to delete 100 spams it took care of all 470. That’s the fastest I’ve ever hit a PayPal donation button!!!


    And to give you a point of reference, I’ve probably never gotten more than forty (maybe only thirty) blog spams total in the last fourteen months.

    My tips for installing it: read the instructions first, then do it step by step. If you hit the place where the instructions split (from congratulations to this is the long path) I don’t know how it will go for you but it was cake for me….

    I only wish it was automated to get more current definitions, it would really help…

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    Written By: Gary on December 26, 2004 No 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 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 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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    Written By: Gary on May 17, 2004 No Comment

    Go listen to a great interview with Ben and Mena from Six Apart (Movable Type). ben and mena trottThey have an interview with Doug Kayeat at IT Conversations. It’s very enlightening since it took place before last Thursday. Anyone who thinks they backpedaled after their announcement would be wrong (maybe a tiny bit right, but not much), they pretty much say it all here (a week or two before). Listen to the recording (it’s 39 minutes) you need to hear it, not read it. They say how they (the company) are changing, what people aren’t going to like and what the changes are and all sorts of interesting things. I think I like them even more now…

    IT Conversations is a great web site. Lots of interesting interviews and conversations.

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    Written By: Gary on May 16, 2004 No Comment

    It’s a little later since my earlier MT posts (one and two) and people have calmed down a bit about MovableType’s new pricing structure. Which for individual personal use really isn’t that different than the previous versions. I like that some of the big names in MT blogging feel the same way as I do/did. (Of course I didn’t list the few big names that disagreed with me.)

  • BradChoate
  • Kotte
  • Jay Allen

    Here’s the problem. It might be enough of a fiasco to have really hurt the company. If for no other reason that bloggers heard about all the alternatives; some of the less expensive (free) alternatives. I’ve been a little blinded from the beginning in loving MT so much I wasn’t exploring all the alternatives but I’m happy with it, so why switch?


    Related sidebar: Every year they release a new model of my car, new features, better gas mileage and they all have that new car smell; but I’m still driving my 2000. Actually I bought my car because I didn’t like a “feature” of the new model so I ran around trying to find a 2.661 version (I mean 2000) model of the same car…

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    Written By: Gary on May 15, 2004 2 Comments

    This is a bit of a followup to my earlier entry on the new pricing scheme at MT (which could have be subtitled “whiners begone”). Read Melissa’s post, she made it pretty understandable when she summarized up Mena’s followup post (which clarified a few things and even retroactively removed a thing or two from the EULA). I’m sure they lost some business, there were too many upset people yesterday.

      Highlights of the update
    • Some of their choices were made due to results of a survey (which I failed to answer). If you combine two or three blogs into one (and they aren’t used sepratly) it only counts as one.
    • The dual processor rule should not have been in the EULA.
    • You are not required to upgrade to 3.0 and you only have to obey the liscence as to when you agreed to it.
    • You can add individual author/logs to the personal license for $10.
    • Old archived blogs don’t count.

    Mena says: “Furthermore, it is not our intention to stiffle the creativity of our users. So, if you have a great weblog that uses 11 weblogs seamlessly to appear as one site or weblog, you should not be penalized.”

    I feel bad, I bet Mena and Company lost some sleep yesterday (or maybe they keep a bar at the office).

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    Written By: Gary on May 13, 2004 4 Comments

    MovableType released their new version of blogging software and just about everyone has gone through the roof. They’ve got a new pricing scheme and guess what? It’s not free any more. And everyone is whining. The software has only been out for a few hours, it’s not like everyone is desperate for an upgrade. Many folks seem like they are going to jump ship immediately?!? The biggest feature seems to be the registration for comments which not many people seem interested in.

    My favorite whine is: “it doesn’t have that many more features and it costs too much”, well, keep using the version you’ve got then.

    I probably won’t upgrade unless it’s got some great feature in it. But I don’t rush out and buy the latest version of anything the day it comes out either… I might switch over to a different product and I might rave about it when I do, but I don’t think I’ll whine about MovableType when I do (especially if the only thing they screw up about it is the price/marketing).

    I love MovableType, it’s the only blogging software I’ve tried but it seems that’s what all the cool kids (i.e. smart) are using. I mean I really like it, it’s great. I have see a few other things but they seemed a little more complicated but I may peek into it some more. It’s fun from a programming standpoint, it’s flexible and I really have been having a lot fun with it.

    I gotta ask again. “What’s wrong with your current 2.661 version of Movable Type that would make you migrate to another piece of software?” I haven’t noticed anyone complaining that 3.0 has (crucial) features they want and can’t afford.

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    Written By: Gary on April 22, 2004 No Comment

    So I just did a demo of Movable Type for the technology coordinators in our county (Wayne, Michigan). It was focused around the ways that I use it for school (work) for to help our staff. It’s at http://techliterate.net/ if you are interested, there are three categories (Tech Help, Tech Tips and Reference Information). You’ll notice the Tech Support and the Tech Tips are cross-referenced together in the right-hand column (I love how great Movable Type is!). It’s a (very) boring background, but it’s consistent and the colors change as you go from area to area (and it I think it looks mostly the same in all browsers). My point of this isn’t so much the demo as that Movable Type is great software.

    And of course I had to mention how crazy I thought friends (i.e. Heather) were when they first mentioned it to me. And now, here I am looking for a 12 step program to help me…

    Written By: Gary on January 9, 2004 No Comment

    Remember when I mentioned Kung-Log a while back? Well, now the first public beta of Ecto is out.

    Us poor Mac people don’t even have the formatting toolbar when editing our Movable Type. But now we (and other brand bloggers) have this excellent editor for OS X! Create thumbnails, edit different blogs, easily use categories, post drafts, customize your own HTML commands, save drafts on the hard drive (if not on-line) and edit (yes, I said edit) previous posts and it has a spell check. It’s really great if you like to blog. It’ll even use your CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) to show you the previews!

    Written By: Gary on December 24, 2003 No Comment

    There seems to be some issues with editing Movable Type posts on a Macintosh, it doesn’t show you the formatting tools (bold, italics, underline, links). Well even if it did, you’d still want this software tool, it’s called Ecto (formerly Kung-Log) (for OS X) and it lets you do all that and more. Create thumbnails, different blogs, categoris, post drafts, customize your own HTML commands, save drafts on the hard drive (if not on-line) and edit (yes, I said edit) previous posts and it has a spell check.


    This version requires MacOS 10.2 or higher and either a MovableType installation of version 2.6 or higher, Nucleus 1.55 or higher, or any weblog system supporting the MovableType, MetaWeblog and/or Blogger API.

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