May 14, 2003

Blogration News: Part I

I've decided to migrate off of MovableType. I'm pretty happy with the application, but it doesn't seem to be growing with me as I'd originally hoped. Republishing takes forever and I need a lot more flexibility when it comes to dealing with large numbers of photographs.

Stayed tuned - more to come.

Posted by ross at 10:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

April 27, 2003

Article Archive Goofiness

Article archives are under construction. One of those five minute tweaks gone awry. Deal with it. I'm going golfing.

But while I'm gone send me lots of email with ideas regarding how I can break out specific categories from the RDF feed and turn them into their own feeds so that aggregators aren't inundated with inanities and irrelevancies like this one. Thomas will love you forever if you can help me figure this out.

Posted by ross at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

April 22, 2003

Debugging MT Templates

Apologies to anyone that may have been reading out the RSS feed last night - or even to those of you that happened to visit while I was blasting the main page with bogus posts.

MT has been behaving badly since I imported my old Radio posts. Sporadically, the server would return a 500 error when I posted a new article. And of course, there was not pattern to the behaviour. I couldn't figure out why for the longest time - it didn't seem to be a code problem, data integrity seemed to be fine, no fatal flaws in any of the templates - everything seemed to be working A1.

Last night in going through the category archive templates with a fine tooth comb I noticed this:

<MTEntries last="90">
Aha! It should have read:
<MTEntries lastn="90">
"MTEntries" is a container tag representing a list of entries/posts from your blog. "lastn=" is a modifier to MTEntries that simply displays the last n entries to the blog.

In the absence of a properly formatted "lastn=" MT was simply trying to publish archive pages that included all entries for that particularly category. And each time that it got to the "Random Bytes" category, MT choked on trying to create a page that consisted of 100's of entries.

Silly me.

I would love to see better template debugging tools. There really is no way, except trial and error, to find culprits such as this one.

Posted by ross at 08:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

April 15, 2003

Still timing out... even after the upgrade, MT still continue to time-out when I post via XML-RPC using whatever blog client I happen to be using. This has to be server side because I don't see it on other MT installations or with other clients on this installation. Odd. Update: Increasing w.bloggar's timeout to 60 seconds seems to have licked the problem. First "post successful" response I've seen in weeks!
Posted by ross at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Upgraded to MT 2.63

Joe was kind enough to put a new engine under the hood of This is just a test post. Let me know if you encounter anything weird with the application over the next few days.
Posted by ross at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

April 08, 2003

Don't look down...

...things are falling off the bottom. Okay, so its been a slow week. Gibson drives a Jetta. I got stuck with a minivan - would have bought a Jetta if I was allowed.
Posted by ross at 05:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

March 19, 2003

Spring cleaning...

I managed to get one more feature working yesterday that I've been trying to figure out how to do for a while. Right panel, RSS feeds from sites of my choice. Neat. TimA's RSSFeed drives this. I've got a bit more tweaking to do before I've got it doing exactly what I have in mind for it, but until I get back from Brazil, this will have to do. Thanks to Mr. Joe for getting this setup for me.

Brazil - yes. Going to the ICANN Rio meeting. Not sure how extensively I will blog this. I suppose that would be dependent on the the intensity and quality of the meeting (or alternatively, how bored I am :) I would expect Brett and Thomas to do a better job than I...we'll see ;)

Posted by ross at 07:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

February 23, 2003

Imports done...sort of.

So, most of the importing is done. There are a few days that won't import no way, no how - but I've lost interest in the chore. Its really just the last week of December 2002 that is being a pain the ass. If you really want to browse back, you can always use the Radio archive and start filling in the blanks starting on the 20th. Continue reading "Imports done...sort of."
Posted by system at 05:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Jumping Off

Oh yeah. Joe found this.

I'm gonna try it today.

Posted by ross at 01:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink


Made a ton of small tweaks to the front page. Mostly around the vibe of the layout - I wasn't crazy happy with the way things looked so drasticly different from the old site in terms of look, style and feel. At least some of the old feel is back. I'm still struggling with weather or not I actually want to go to the trouble of reviving the old look and feel. Continue reading "Tweaks"
Posted by ross at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

February 02, 2003

Cut-over notes...

The cut-over is completed and things are mostly settling down. I've actually figured out a way to import legacy items into my blog in a most pleasing way. More on that later - it will probably cause me to create an entirely new blog just to explain that seemingly small little thought. I've still got a few navigation things to work out and some fixes that I want to bring to the RDF and RSS feeds, but for the most part, I'm happy with what MT has allowed me to do. More details as they become available. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Rather than spending the entire day in front of a computer today, I think I'm going to finally set up a terrarium for hot peppers...also more on that later...:)

Posted by ross at 07:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

January 27, 2003


Make sure that you sync up the "Local Links" category in the right-nav and also include a self-apparent link back to the main page.

Posted by ross at 05:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

More Tweaks...

A lot more tweaks went in place today. In the process of working through a blog installed for internal use (reminder to self: make a corporate donation to I uncovered a lot of tweaks that needed to be made to the default templates - far too many to enumerate here, but suffice to say, I think we're done with the tweaking of both.

This should put me in the position of doing the final few things that I need to do to take live under the new look and feel as well as cut-over the internal project to live this week as well. While the tool is definitely easier to use than Radio, I can't say that this is at the point where I'd want to allow my dad to use it yet - too many knobs to break off ;)

Lastly, I'm pleased to note that I've found a way to import all of my Radio items into MovableType. The problem is that I have to go "old skool" to do it: cut and paste. Needless to say I've got mixed feelings about this. On one hand it means that I can finally put to rest the question of where the content lives, on the other hand I've got 289 (according to Joe) entries to manually import and massage. Hat's off to the software architects that made this easy to do and raspberry's to those that didn't.

Posted by ross at 04:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

January 17, 2003

Good night...

...and good night. Dropped in a ton of small tweaks tonight. Still haven't really started messing with the real structure of the templates or the stylesheets - I'm still figuring out what I want to do with the site as far as look and feel is concerned.

Continue reading "Good night..."
Posted by ross at 01:27 AM | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

January 14, 2003

Decisions, decisions.

Okee dokee...with a swift flick of the wrist, I think that I've got what I need to know for now about categories taken care of. Methinks that I've just made a decision to abandon the XP look and feel for this one...hmm...need sleep.
Posted by ross at 10:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Whats old is new and whats new is...broken?

Apparently I have no clue what the categories are for in the first damned place. agh. I do like the new style sheet however.
Posted by ross at 10:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Working on categories and general setup...

This doesn't seem to be that rough at first blush. I'm still peeved that Joe is having such a hard time getting the imports done, but I'm getting close to conceding that point. Philosophy is so hard to let go. sigh.
Posted by ross at 10:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

January 04, 2003

Sun, 05 Jan 2003 03:59:37 GMT

test via remote access - this should work with no problems - thanks for the motivation Brett. :)
Posted by system at 10:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink


testtest - yay works. Radio has perma-home and domain name etc. yay. I rule. etc.
Posted by system at 10:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

November 20, 2002

Thu, 21 Nov 2002 03:50:13 GMT

so is...(sneak up on it...) THIS "qbullet.list"...
Posted by system at 10:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Thu, 21 Nov 2002 03:45:32 GMT

This ";->" is a test. So is this "Andre".
Posted by system at 10:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

November 19, 2002

Radio 16, Me 1

So interestingly, it appears that my earlier whinings about Radio munging posts was simply me being short-sighted ;) Now while I still think that this is one of the most complicated pieces of software out there (theoretically magnificent, practically unbearable), I'm beginning to get the hang of things - but let me say this one more time in a slightly different way.

I used to run a BBS that ran on software called FeatherNet,  a PCBoard clone. It rendered templates into screens and required the use of a ton of macros. Radio brings back those memories all too vividly. It makes me feel like a Sysop. I hate feeling like a Sysop. Everything takes too long. Ever try and dump macros into an ANSI editor? sigh...

Anyways, this rant is brought to you for a very specific reason. If I can use the HTML editor built into Outlook Express to my satisfaction and post via email, I might just give up on trying to modify the innards of the buzzard to my liking.

And if Dave Winer or anyone else at Userland reads this, I think you've all done an excellent job. I paid for your software. Don't let my whining obscure the fact that I paid for it. People that really hate software don't whine about it, rather, they don't pay for it. :)
Posted by system at 12:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

November 17, 2002

Radio for Dummies...

Well, hopefully this self-imposed challenge doesn't soak up much more time. I've come to the conclusion that Radio is interminably disorganized. While doing simple things like posting is well thought-out, doing something that could/should be equally simple like changing to a custom template is...well, quite frankly, a pain-in-the-ass. There seems to be references, tags, schema's scattered everywhere hither, thither and yon and no real centralized way of navigating through them in order to make the necessary changes as you go. Instead, you kind of have to guess and create a mental roadmap of all of the dependencies that also need to be updated.

The current implementation is akin to Word requiring you to update both your document and the true-type binary in order to change the layout of a document.<sigh> I know they are trying real hard, but, eesh,  its not exactly user friendly at this point. To paraphrase Bob Frankston who call me for technical support one day not all that long ago, "I don't need Radio for dummies, I need Radio for Ross."

Anyways, there's a few more navigation tweaks that I want to make, but they will have to wait until later today (hah - now if that's isn't a recipe for procrastination, I've never seen one...)

Posted by system at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

October 20, 2002

Minor changes...

Moved Radio from the desktop to the laptop today. If the SMTP publishing feature wasn't so flaky, I could probably just live with that - but given that it periodically crashes the upstreaming requiring a relaunch of Radio, I didn't want to live it to chance that the system would stay up during extended absences. I'd rather take the entire kit along with me and cross my fingers that the Internet access at my destination would be good enough to support some of the upstreaming functions. SMTP posting isn't that great anyways - no support for headlines or cat streaming...which basically means that every time that I post something via SMTP, I still have to sit down at the console and edit it manually...sigh. Hopefully this is a better arrangement. The laptop seems to be a little bit underpowered when it comes to rendering the entire site, but it hasn't been too bad on a post-by-post basis...

Anyways, the deed is done - now if I can just figure out a way to blog straight from my new e740 :) (yes, the blackberry is dead. Long live the blackberry.)

Posted by system at 01:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Sun, 20 Oct 2002 18:10:27 GMT

via smtp...
Posted by system at 01:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Won't get fooled again

this is another test. last one didn't work. please work this time.
Posted by system at 01:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Going mobile....

This is a test. Please work.
Posted by system at 12:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

August 30, 2002

Patting Self on Back

I sprung for a Radio license today. Yay.
Posted by system at 01:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

August 28, 2002

Moved Crap to Make Room for Stuff.

Created a new cat today for some of the pop culture things that cross my path every once in a while. It let me get some of the crap out of this category (which leaves me more room for crap like this entry ;)

Posted by system at 12:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

August 16, 2002

Radio eats Link. Radio 2, Links 0

Apologies for the broken links below. For some reason, when I post stories via email, the links get re-written in some cases, thus obviously breaking them. I will fix them manually when I get home tonight.

Update: Originally referred to links on the home page. I must say that this is pretty annoying that Radio keeps munging links submitted via email in this way...

Posted by system at 07:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

August 12, 2002

The web's schizophrenic little brother ?

If you've wondered why I've started putting bracketed question marks in the middle of my sentences, click on one of them one of these days and you might answer your own question [?]. The question marks lead back to a Blockstackers project called "Everything2" which is essentially a community built, self-referencing outliner, idea-sharer, definition provider...thing...

Check it out, its pretty neat.

Posted by system at 09:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Tue, 13 Aug 2002 02:24:39 GMT

Bizarre...two days of stories didn't make it to the main page of the blog (even though I diligently added them all and they showed up in my Home screen)...then, they disappeared even from there and are now completely lost. Weird.
Posted by system at 09:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

August 07, 2002

Thu, 08 Aug 2002 00:59:16 GMT

Yay fixed!
Posted by system at 07:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Thu, 08 Aug 2002 00:55:55 GMT

Blog go boom. Damn. It'll be a bit before I get home to fix this...
Posted by system at 07:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Thu, 08 Aug 2002 00:55:54 GMT

Posted by system at 07:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 30, 2002

Tue, 30 Jul 2002 12:35:49 GMT

I just realized that I named my blog very similarly to Jamie Love's "Random Bits" mailing list. The two are obviously not related - "Random Bytes" simply stems from the domain name that the blog runs under...the "Random" part means just that - no obvious theme for the content here other than items that interest me...
Posted by system at 07:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Test for Thomas...

Thomas - this story should have the permalink enabled in the RSS feed. Let me know if I've missed the boat...

Posted by system at 07:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

July 24, 2002

Thu, 25 Jul 2002 04:44:26 GMT

I must say that I'm pretty impressed with RU thus far. Some of the concepts haven't quite sunk in yet with me, but the overall experience has been quite pleasant. Starting with the negatives, I wasn't impressed with some of the usability. Now I'm a pretty big dweeb, but I still haven't figured out how to make the "My Pictures" tool to work (I even read the docs...), nor can I see any way to include regular old html links in a mail-to-blog post. Hopefully I can pick up on both of these elusive features pretty quickly. Like most users, I tend to get frustrated pretty easily. On the plus side, the app worked right out of the box. As promised, I was blogging live almost immediately and before too long, I was able to start using some of the customizations that make this app really nifty. For instance, it took me all of two minutes to get the mail to blog feature setup and customized. It certainly didn"t take a lot more to get me to the point where I was blogging via my RIM. I look forward to playing with this great app a lot more over the next 30 days...
Posted by system at 11:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Thu, 25 Jul 2002 00:23:18 GMT

I think that I've finally figured out how to do something useful with blogs and wireless..hooha!
Posted by system at 07:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink