Me Myself And I, Web, Wordpress


It took autumn only a week to sneak up on us. But it’s here now, in all its grey, rainy, misty splendor.

Seemed like the perfect timing to upgrade Gaby’s weblog to WP’s latest version. Did an Extreme MakeOver™ of the theme while at it. Gabriela got me kick-started with a very inspirational autumn inspired header image:


… upon which it was only a matter of picking colors, crunching html tags, css declarations and php commands:


I’m quite satisfied with the way it turned out… Yet I can’t wait for spring to arrive again. Guess I’m not an autumn person.

Web, Work

Upgrading MediaWiki On Dreamhost

Warning: techie post ahead, mainly for my own future reference…

Back in 2005 I set up Zappa Wiki Jawaka, a wiki (you guessed it) dedicated to (you guessed it) Frank Zappa. Grabbed the latest MediaWiki package and patiently went through all the loops of setting up a database, configuring php files, customizing, etc.

No more than one month later, Dreamhost made MediaWiki a one-click install. Instead of having to fiddle around for hours, you now had your own wiki at the push of one button — and were able to upgrade it at the push of that same button. Alas, there I was, stuck with my own homegrown 1.4.2 install which didn’t allow for one-click upgrading.

Adding insult to injury, along came the spam– and vandalbots. My poor outdated wiki was taking a constant beating, and there was nothing I could do about it, because every single extension I tracked down required a more recent version. There was only one solution: bite the bullet and upgrade.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Make a back-up of all the wiki’s current files
  2. Make a copy of the database for testing purposes
  3. Set up a new subdomain running PHP5.2 for testing purposes
  4. Did a one-click install of Mediawiki 1.11.0 on the testing domain from within Dreamhost’s admin panel
  5. Pointed the install to the outdated database, hoping it too would be upgraded in the process.

No dice. The installer ran okay for about half a second, then choked, complaining that it couldn’t find a certain table within the database.

MediaWiki’s online manual to the rescue: a huge forest of words and links where you tend to get lost within a minute or so. A couple of hours and liters of cafeine later, I came across a page that looked like it had the answer. It said: go to your maintenance folder, look for two files (upgrade1_5.php and update.php) and run them.

Hurrah! I quickly pointed my browser to upgrade1_5.php and was greeted with the following message: “this script must be run from the command line”.

Uh oh. Command line. Wargames, anyone?

We’re now a couple of hours later, I’ve got some basic shell commands under my belt from various tutorials and I’m staring at the Terminal. Time for the real magic:

ssh password: mypassword
$[server] ls
$[server] cd
$[server] php upgrade1_5.php
$[server] php update.php

… upon which I re-ran the installer, and was greeted with a shiny “Installation complete!” message.

Hello, one-click upgrade!

Me Myself And I, Web

All Quiet On The Western Front

New look — one that I can actually live with for a while hopefully. I admire people who grab or design a template and then stick with it for the next ten years. Not me. Had to jump some hoops though to keep everything in place. All the drawings and photos posted here have been uploaded at 490px wide since I kickstarted moonbug dot org. Having switched to this 435px (content) wide layout — images sporting a 3px border — I had to find a way to display them accordingly. CSS to the rescue:

#mainCol img {width: 429px; height: auto;}

In plain English, that rule says: “make anything that is an image 429px wide and adjust the height accordingly”. Fine and dandy except for IE 5.5 which in its blatant ignorance chooses to give the middle finger, which is fine by me because if you’re reading this with IE 5.5, listen: your grandkid wants to play; get off the net already. Caveat: what happens to images that are smaller than 429px wide? Ha! This. Which is in fact the very reason why I am posting this: to have that entry wiped off of the frontpage. :-)

I’m also happy to have brought some of my favorite links back into the frontpage limelight. They were sort of buried away in the previous “Hemingway” theme. What else… Oh, you now get a chance to listen to my radio station! Hurrah for sidebar widgets that nobody ever uses! And those Google ads to the right? Ignore ’em.

Apart from this lousy update, there is one thing that I am dying to tell you — but editorial restrictions are keeping me from doing so for now. You’ll just have to wait, won’t you?

Stay tuned.

Snapshots, Web


One of my favorite sites is Daily Color Scheme which provides consistently beautiful color combinations to get your creative juices flowing. You can download them in a variety of formats as well which is quite handy. Here’s what you see when you opt to download the CSS style sheet:

style scheet

Embarrassing typo’s! Ha. Gotta love em.