A word on WordPress

Hopefully all of you blogger-types running WordPress have taken note of yesterday’s announcement that version 2.5 has finally been released. I’ve already been running the release candidates since they announced them, so there isn’t a huge change for me on my blogs since the upgrade today (and you, dear readers, will pretty much notice no changes). But I will admit that the interface changes on the admin side are starting to grow on me. It’s not some breathtakingly gorgeous design, but the layout makes more and more sense to me as I use it and seems to be a real improvement over the somewhat cumbersome layout that preceded.

Interestingly, they also redesigned the main WordPress page to mimic some of the design from the new system. It certainly seems more inviting to me. And while I found myself poking around to see what else had changed, this line from the about page popped out at me:

WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes.

I wonder if they realize they’re referring to me? Although this blog has never risen above the “self-absorbed, Internet journal and commentary” site that it started as, I take a little bit of pride in the fact that, with all of the choices I had before me, I picked the one that became the biggest. Even in the olden days of early 2003, the idea of a dynamic system using PHP and MySQL made sense to me. Coupled with an insistence that it be open source, b2 ended up initially powering this site. But development on that was already at a standstill.

That’s why when Matt announced the first release of WordPress (b2 named successor), it was only a matter of 2 days before version 0.70 was running here. Sometimes I get a little sad that I was such an early adopter, but never took advantage of that to get involved. Oh well, I never expected this site to be anything more than a way to communicate with family and friends, so it should come as no surprise that’s all it remains.

Anywho, I just wanted to point out the upgrade for those interested, and to send a “Thank You” to the WordPress team. They helped provide an outlet for my “creativity”… for better or for worse…

Set your phasers on fun!

How lame was that? Well, this is a post for geeks, so deal with it. Wil Wheaton mentioned that he just wrapped up work on a project for Star Trek The Tour. I hadn’t heard about it before but, damn, if it doesn’t look geekily awesome.

A few years back I hit The Star Trek Experience in Vegas with a couple of friends. That was a lot of fun (especially thanks to the crazy Klingon in Quark’s), but this looks (sorry, I can’t avoid a pun hear) lightyears better! Seriously, it looks like it’ll have more than enough exhibits to satisfy the Trekkie in all of us.

They haven’t scheduled anything beyond the first city yet, but I’ll be all over those tickets the instant they announce dates for this area. Who’s in?

Two heart attacks later…

Ever since the incident which I will not speak of, I’ve become rather obsessive about backing up data and not dropping hard drives – hey, I’ve only dropped two in the last month. Now The Woman knows to stay out of my way and not bug me at the computer with the simple phrase “I”m checking the backups”. In other words, unless you want every memory of your niece and nephew to disappear, just go back to watching TV.

And thus I found myself importing new photos this Sunday morning from the nonstop Thanksgiving weekend. It’s a multi-step process designed to confuse and astound passerbys and leave me with copies on as many devices as possible. And so when device number one stopped working, I got pretty nervous – we haven’t even gotten to the real meat of the process and it’s already bugging out. Of course, it turns out to be my own clumsiness as I partially yanked the USB cable out. After re-attaching, the photos get imported and the process continues with me just a little closer to death.

Then I start the master backup, wherein everything is duplicated onto two more drives in an array. My brain and heart stopped for about a minute towards the end as I heard the dreaded clicking noise. Great! Yet another drive goes belly up! But… why is everything still copying? Hmm… I wonder if that graduation tassel swinging from the side of my monitor could be simulating a failed hard drive sound as it bangs the casing of said hard drive… Well, what’s a few more gray hairs?

When all is said and done, Monday morning I come down to do some less important backups. Oddly, however, the system isn’t letting me view the backup drive. You know, the beautiful RAID array that holds my life. Probably just needs to be restarted… except now it won’t turn back on. Let’s flick a switch… now it’s on and still won’t be recognized… now I’m getting worried. Let’s switch from firewire to USB… wow, there’s everything. And running much more smoothly.

In summary, the universe is out to destroy me and has at least succeeded in taking a few years off of my life.


Ever since my little hard drive incident last month, I’ve become more concerned with… you know… backing up my stuff. While the photos are my main concern, I also am sick of re-downloading or re-ripping my entire music collection whenever I screw up. So I purchased an external drive that could be configured as RAID 1 array to act as my real backup solution. Once a week I would copy everything new up to it and then shut it down to prevent any shenanigans. The only problem was how to limit the backups to just the new and updated files – no matter where in the directory structure they are located.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a Microsoft power tool called SyncToy that does exactly what I want. Not being content to hand my backup scheme over to a stable piece of software, I skipped directly to their beta for version 2. I can’t really compare it to the old version, but I will say that this new one kicks ass.

I’ve already set up 3 pairs of folders to accomplish certain tasks. One syncs the music folders on my external drive that I take with me to work with my home computer. Now I can make changes at home and at work and know that everything will transfer properly. But with the other two folders, I just want a one way sync. I used the “echo” function, which will replicate any changes to the photo and video directories on my external drive to the backup device. And today, when I knocked the external drive over, I only had a mild heart attack as I knew all of the important data was already synced.