Monthly Archives: December 2008

Bad Luck & Poor Timing

My run of bad luck continued tonight as I went to upgrade WordPress on #if debug.

I backed up the database, downloaded a copy of the source files and set about uploading WordPress 2.7 – only to have the power go out twice during the event. That not being enough, I happened to pick a time to perform an upgrade when my web host scheduled my server for maintenance. This was completely my fault, I received an outage notification – I just thought I’d get it all done before the outage window began and I would have if it went to plan like normal.

After I finally got everything successfully uploaded, or at least I thought I had, I was then unable to ‘upgrade’ as the script would terminate without an error and without completing. That resulted in the web site working when you’re browsing it but wouldn’t allow me to login to the admin area – as it kept requiring me to complete the upgrade.

I assumed that the power outage that was the root cause of it – leaving one of the core WordPress files in an incomplete state. I deleted all of the core WordPress files from the server and starting clean and the upgrade of WordPress was then fast and painless.

I still find it amazing that I could be struck by another bit of bad luck, albeit very small and through my own fault walk into a wall – of bad timing.

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Poor Service

This afternoon Claire, Hugo and I traveled to Brisbane to attend Lucy’s graduation which was held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. The graduation was from 2:00PM, which meant we’d need to feed Hugo while we were out. Our carefully laid plans became slightly unhinged when we needed to heat up the bottle.

The Brisbane Convention Centre is considered a best of breed facility, which you’d think would mean that they’d have all of the smaller points handled with ease. You can imagine our surprise when we went into the parenting room to fix up Hugo, that they didn’t provide a microwave to heat up a bottle. In lieu of the microwave, they provided a note informing people to go to the cafe inside the centre – a little odd but maybe they had people abusing the microwave. I head over to the cafe and ask them to heat up the bottle in their microwave and was told that they don’t have a microwave. Instead, I’m provided a paper coffee cup with hot water in it – quality.

After managing to get enough heat into the bottle that Hugo would probably drink it, I thought a couple of drinks would be nice. I order a coffee & a strawberry milkshake and they don’t do milkshakes – how many cafes do you know that don’t serve a simple milkshake. Moving on from that, I later ask for some plain potato chips and they have only salt & vinegar and BBQ flavours – a tad limited for such an large conferencing venue. I then notice that they have a Four’N Twenty hot box on the counter – nothing against Four’N Twenty but it seems a tad out of place in this setting.

All this mind you when they have a graduation on, where they conferred approximately 330 graduands. Doing the math on that for a moment would suggest that there was quite comfortably going to be at least 1000 people in the venue and they couldn’t muster a microwave for the obvious families attending, a better range of chips (of all things) and a milk shake from a so called cafe that serves Four n Twenty from a hot box.

The Brisbane Convention Centre itself was well presented, clean and the staff on the floor were polite and helpful. If only they could have got some of the smaller things right, this could have been a very positive review of a top notch facility.

WordPress 2.7, First Impressions

After making the effort to upgrade WordPress to 2.6.5 on the December 9th, the WordPress team turned around only days later and released version 2.7 – which has had a lot of tongues wagging. Not wanting to be left behind again, I’ve already upgraded and my initial impression is that it’s fantastic.

While I’m sure there are many under the hood improvements in WordPress 2.7, the most noticeable to everyone is going to be the administration area – which has been completely reworked. The biggest difference with version 2.7 has been the development process that the core team have gone through, it has been very iterative and has had constant feedback from the community while it’s been happening. Not surprisingly then, the overwhelming response to the new administration area in WordPress is very positive.

I’ve only had it installed for a short time, however the things that make it worth the upgrade personally are:

  • Vastly improved navigation
  • Customisable on-screen components – move them around or just turn them off if they don’t interest you.
  • Contextually relevant navigation depending on what your mouse is over, which has reduced the clutter
  • Optional inline editing of many elements, such as posts & comments
  • Appearances count and the tight styling between elements is noticeable
  • Dashboard has been improved yet again and now offers a ‘quick press’ if you just want to jot something down fast

No doubt I’ll find a bunch of other really great features in the coming days and weeks but I’m quite rapped about the enhancements to WordPress in this round of development.


The upgrade notification in the WordPress administration area finally got the better of me tonight, I’m now running WordPress 2.6.5.

Not unlike every other WordPress upgrade I’ve performed, the process was fast and painless. For those that haven’t performed one before – you can follow the upgrade instructions on the WordPress Codex and you’ll just sail on through it without a care in the world and if something untoward should happen – you’ll have a backup just in case.

I haven’t checked the release notes for the changes between 2.6.0 and 2.6.5 but I’m positive that there has been some pretty serious improvements in the efficiency of WordPress as the site felt immediately faster. Everything else has kept on working, even my horribly out of date theme and WordPress plugins that I run.

With WordPress 2.7.0 recently being rolled out to, I can’t wait for it to land as a general distribution via It has a lot of new features in it and an upgraded user interface which looks very slick – it might just be the catalyst for upgrading in a more timely fashion next time!

Betting Man

As most of you’ll be aware, I went through a bit of a horror run with my desktop computer and have only recently got it all back together. While my computer was out of action, the last component that I needed to get fixed/repaired was my Asus GeForce 8800GT video card, as it was making a really high pitched squeal. After getting it repaired and overcoming a little PEBKAC – it was all working as expected.

In the month since having my desktop working again, I’ve been seeing a rather strange thing taking place – my computer appears to go to sleep and won’t wake up when requested. This problem has happened 3 or 4 times in the last month and each time everything is locked up – even the keyboard lights won’t respond and it requires a hard reset to get back into Windows.

It happened again last night and I went hunting for the problem again, which I wasn’t able to track down previously. I’d checked the different event logs within Windows hoping to see some sort of application or system level error reported to narrow down the search but to no avail.

Curiosity got to better of me and I had a look at the hardware again and got a very rude shock when I burnt the tip of my finger on my Asus GeForce 8800GT video card. It appears that the fan on my video card is not spinning all the time, which leads me to think that my machine is hanging when it is getting too hot.

I couldn’t believe it when I realised that last night and was thinking to myself, what were the chances of that happening. If I were a betting man, I certainly wouldn’t have even taken a long shot punt that I’d have another problem with the video card between now and when I replace it in another six months to a years time.

In an attempt to see if that is what is causing the problem, I’m going to try and find one of the utilities that monitors the heat of different components in a computer. With a bit of luck it’ll confirm or dispell the theory and I’ll be able to get it fixed.