Welcome to Blog 2.0

14.05.54 - Mark

After many hours of programming, many, many more hours fiddling around with the database, and a few seconds of changing some settings, I'm considering myself moved off of blogger.

I'd be yelling and screaming with delight (because I was extremely tired of blogger) but for as much work as I've put into this its actually very anti-climatic change over. The last couple of hours were spent fighting with a little navigation script and the blogger redirection tool (which I'll be waiting a couple of days to activate)

Let me know if anything fails horribly. I'm going to step away from the code for a day or two (I haven't opened up my RSS reader in a week)

And sorry for breaking the feedburner feed. Unfortunately it might happen again a few times as I work out kinks in the RSS script.

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I think I'm here

01.40.03 - Mark

After a couple months of on and off work that equals at least a few full days of work, I think I've got my basic blog engine set up. All the posts are in a database, I have an index and an RSS feed, I've set up a complete archive with its own calendar navigation. I design I love and nearly everything I need for comments and post creation. As of this evening, everything worked on my local webserver, so I think everything has made it over to a semi-live server, and if things like my posting engine check out, I'll formerly announce it on my "other, soon-to-be-former, blog" (however I still need to write the redirection engine to completely match my original goals in this move)

I'll be writing some other add-ons, like some administration, podcasting, and tagging tool tools, but for now I'll be happy if I can make all of this work and finish my move. I kind of miss my blogging habit.

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Blogger Exile Progress

18.55.00 - Mark

I figured that I needed to make an update of sorts so here goes. I've moved all of my posts (give or take this one) into a database which was a royal pain in the ass (something like 4 or 5 long evenings). I then spent most of a night (all night) writing and running scripts to reformat what I pulled out of blogger to make everything ready for a custom blog engine, which after a few hours nap I managed start on. Right now I need to

1) Work out and write the code for all the archives (months and posts at least), once I figure out mod rewrite I think I might have it
2) Write RSS feed engine. I think this will be fairly simple since I've got the index working, its just a matter of fixing it.
3) Work in comments. I'd kind of like to try my hand at some AJAX like functionality here, but I'm not sure thats going to happen. Even if it doesn't I still need to add in the comment code
4) Beef up security and posting features. The scripts I wrote to move the database will help, but they are very, very crude, and certainlly not something I can post on a server
5) Work out the blogger redirect engine, this is low priority
6) Move the database and all the code over to the domain.
7) Build and expand. What's the point of custom coding a blogging engine if all you're going to do is write it and forget it?

I'd like to say I'll launch by the new year, but I had been telling myself that I'd be done by my birthday as well, and while that pushed me to finishing the DB and getting the main rendering code up and running, its since passed (aside: December birthdays generally suck, December birthdays within a week of xmas, really suck.)

We'll see. I'm out of school until the 5th, while I've got a pile of DVDs and video that almost rivals my podcast queue on top of whatever the 25th brings. If I decide to go to podcastercon (I'm up in the air about it), I'll really want to have something launched. This one feels a little ratty, and I feel a little cheap when I hand out the URL.

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01.00.29 - Mark

Iced Buds
Originally uploaded by Mark_W.
While not as amazing as some of the ice storms I saw while I was still living in Iowa, the two ice storms that have hit Northwest North Carolina in the last week have been beautiful in their own right.

Because I haven't been blogging much between final exams, trying to get off blogger, and the fact I've horribly neglected my flickr account I've posted a set of photos I've taken after the two storms.


I love winter.

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14.23.00 - Mark

One of the RIAA vs Consumer appeals came out with a decision against the consumer. In itself its not surprising, since the argument was a pretty poor excuse of canned defences. What's shocking is that she's been fined $750 per song. Which makes me wonder where the hell the judge got that figure. I can buy a the CD it came on for $20, I can get the track off iTunes for $.99, or I could subscribe to some download service and get it and a zillion more for something like $5 a month. None of those cases gets over $3 a track. I can understand a reasonable fine for illegal activity, a 750% increase. That's outrageous.

Makes me glad I'm not supporting the RIAA.

(unrelated side note - most blog posts have been moved over to a database, and after exams finish up this week I'll get back to writing the blog engine)

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22.19.00 - Mark

96 year old color photos from Russia

Via Damn Interesting

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20.00.00 - Mark

I may end up getting an Video iPod soon than I expected, my 20GB grayscale 4G iPod died sometime yesterday afternoon - massive hard drive failure. I've known since last night - between not booting, random error messages, and a very loud, clicking hard drive I knew early on it was the drive. Unfortunately its out of its 1 year warranty, and I know the drive is gone for sure since I was able to mount it long enough to run some disk utilities. Despite a full reset, an attempted repair, and a try at reformatting, its one very screwed hard drive.

At this point I could start shopping for a new drive off ebay, but a new known working drive is easily $150, and I was already outgrowing the 20GB drive. A new 60GB would run me around $370, give me photos, video, and more space.

I'm pissed, tired, and a couple other things, but in the end this just means I'm getting a 5g sooner than expected. I just wish I had moved some of the files I was storing on it over to one of my file servers before it died - most of them are replaceable, some not so much.

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Semi-happy ending

15.08.00 - Mark

The Mount Airy City Schools have had a problem with bomb threats over the last month or so, receiving 4 bomb threats in 5 weeks (one at the high school, three at the middle school), all after I made a post about what I felt was a real blunder of disaster planning at the near by community college I'm attending and the FBI visit I received a few days later.

Well apparently the public postings paid off. After a couple rounds of echo the message (minus some of my colorful phrases) filtered up to the Superintendent of Mount Airy City Schools, who I've heard instantly caught onto the idea and that there's a good chance the the district will implement some form of distributed evacuation at the schools.

This isn't saying anything about the college, but then again, they haven't proven themselves to be especially receptive to criticism. Apparently they really pissed off the county commissioners last night. I don't know the full story there, but I know it deals with questions the commissioners had about the school's "very positive" reports despite all of the student complaints about the administration and some of its policies.

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12.03.00 - Mark

Writing a decent script to move all of my 1350 posts (+ comments!) into a database is nearly a fruitless effort. I couldn't get blogger to output everything in something resembling a useful file (I'm not supprised, I've discussed the issue before), So I'm going though the painful process of copying and pasting all of the entries. I whipped up a couple web forms and tied them to the database to make entry a little easier, but bleh. I've barely finished one month worth of posts (leaving me with ~1300)

Part of it is that I'm homebrewing a blog engine, but even if I was moving to word-press I couldn't use the existing scripts.

At least its fairly mindless, and I can eat my way though my podcast playlists while repeatedly hitting command C Tab Tab V Tab Tab.

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Plan for Victory

20.16.00 - Mark

It's too easy to make fun of this image.
heil Bush
Image is from reuters via Wonkette (via Kung Fu Monkey because I missed it at Wonkette)

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Blessed are the ignorance, for they shall internet the earth

18.36.00 - Mark

Its amazing how ignorant people are when it comes to security. In a networking class today we had a teacher closed us off from the rest of the network and let us raise hell with hacking tools. Plain l33t hax0r script kiddie junk but a practical introduction to security, and more importantly, how its really hard to know when you're being attacked. So we're running our packet sniffing and password detection tools making one very hostile environment and nearly everyone is silly enough to log into some significant personal account. Several emails, a few personal web spaces, one fool even logged into paypal (which begs its own questions), I'm not sure what was more concerning - logging into priority accounts in a known hostile environment, or the week passwords. Makes me glad I use a lot of heavy passwords (the default brute force settings wouldn't have cracked my passwords).

At least this teacher seems to have the common sense to teach this well, even if it might give a few of the older students nightmares. He certainly seems to know the subject, and it looks like its going to be a smooth lead in to the network security course he's teaching next semester

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