Blog News

Plugin Problems

The last 3 days, I had some plugin problems which caused me some pain in managing my site. After installing a plugin (my bad, I think it was for the previous version of WordPress), I got lots and lots of ‘wrong valuetype’ errors in wp_settings.php and wp_plugins.php.

The blog site itself worked without a hitch (oef !) but the admin site was full of the above errors.

I put out a request for help in the WordPress forums, but had no response. At all. I read everywhere that the community is very friendly, but nada on my first query. Perhaps I was not factual enough. I did notice that a lot requests are in those forums, though, mine got swamped almost immediately in other posts.

In the end I found it myself : I had to edit both files, adding (array) to some variables on the offending line numbers (at least the errors also tell you at which line number things went haywire), and clearing the ‘active_plugins’ field in my db to get the plugins working again. It had the value ‘Array’ which I think is just a placeholder.
After doing this, everything worked again, I could Activate and DeActive plugins again, and the active_plugins field got filled with the list of active plugins.

Note to self : before next plugin essay, backup both php files AND do a database dump.

TechScience Future

Printed Circuit Boards from feathers ?

Wired has a news article that looks at the future of the printed circuit board – instead of creating it out of petroleum, they will use the keratin from chicken feathers (the quill is not used), together with Soy Bean oil as a bonding agent.

Blog News

Gallery Integration

There’s actually two posts here to do with gallery :
– how to get gallery to integrate with WordPress
– how to get images from Gallery into WordPress

I’ve been busy trying to integrate the Gallery Photo application with WordPress.

Since I’ve only just discovered both applications, there is a lot to learn. Gallery does provide some integration for PHP Nuke and some other CMSses, but not (yet) for WordPress.

I managed to find a bit more information on what to hack from the ScatteredThought website, but their information seems to be a mix of setting it up for the old 1.2 WordPress and the new version – for example, I don’t have a wp-layout.css file !

A few of the problems I encountered following the instructions :

    1. No wp-layout.css file : in WordPress 1.5 this has apparently been replaced by the styles.css file that is particular for each theme. So, simply edit the /wp-content/themes/default/style.css file to add the new class and you are good to go. Of course, you might want to back this file up first !
    2. The code to edit the wrapper.header.default file is not entirely correct : as a consequence of point 1, you need to edit the wrapper.header.default file to point not to the wp-layout.css file, but to the theme directory for the images.

Results are, hmmm, how to say this, encouraging but not succesful. I now have my logo on top of my photo application, with the background from the WordPress blog, but not in the correct size.

Actually, I would like to make the whole blog site take up the complete screen, or close to. On my 19 inch screen, there’s a enormous amount of space that’s not being used by my blog.

Update :
Found a plugin for WP called wp-gallery : It allows you to put (thumbnail) pictures from your gallery in your post. Excellent !


Pictures of Tom


The pictures of Tom I have previously have put on my website have been consolidated in a Gallery. removed from this site.

Too many strange hits on those pictures for me to feel safe about this. From now on I am using a login system…


Do the iPod Shuffle

Since I’ve been buying songs from iTunes for a while now, I’ve started looking for a player that can directly play AAC protected songs, instead of writing them to cd’s and then re-ripping them (and in the process probably loosing some quality). I still write them to cd’s, but that’s only for backup.

My previous mp3 player, a Philips 128Mbyte one, can only play regular mp3’s, and the interaction with iTunes was not good – I had several crashes of iTunes and even my powerbook completely, so I did not update regularly.

Yesterday in the Fnac in Brussels I stumbled over the 1 Gigabyte iPod Shuffle – there were only a few left @ 149 euros. It is perfect for my needs. I don’t need a full iPod device, I carry my laptop around with me practically everywhere, but for those times without it, it would be nice to be able to play those songs that I’ve bought.
It’s a mite expensive for a player without a display, though. For the same price you could buy a similar 1 Gig mp3 player with lcd display, but that again won’t play aac tracks.

Filling it up as we speak – quality is quite good, except that I miss the extra bass that the Philips put in.

Blog News

WordPress update

Apparently, without even knowing it, I got the very, very latest version of WordPress installed, version 1.5, which wasn’t even out officially until sometime today.

It has impressed me a lot – it has multiple user management, the default theme is very clear (though I can’t wait to start modifying at least some stuff so I can differentiate it abit) and the management interface is amazing, and all this free. Incredible !

I have some pictures up as well, will be setting up an image gallery and trying to tie it into WP. But that will have to wait for another day, I’m tired and have a nasty cold.

Blog News

Previous Posts

My previous posts were all done in another content system called Bloxsom.

I’ve made a static page of those posts, you can find it here and I’ll be creating a page in the side bar to keep them.

Blog News

Hello (again) world!

I just upgraded my hosting solution to use a mysql database. Bloxsom was a nice solution when you don’t have a mysql database handy, but I just couldn’t configure it to do what I wanted (this might be me more than bloxsom).

So out with Bloxsom, in with WordPress.

I’ve been keeping tabs on wordpress for some months now, and it seems to be really, really good. So far the install was done in half an hour, and I am busy learning more about it.

Time will tell.


Using a Gamepad with Prince Of Persia : Warrior Within

This game is quite good, but very hard to play with a keyboard and/or mouse. The developers recommend a dual action gamepad to play it. After being frustrated for the zillionth time in trying to do something simple like walking around a corner, I picked up a gamepad from Logitech – the Dual Action one, for 30 euros. It has an USB bus, is totally black, buttons are numbered from 1 to 12, and it was a doddle to install in Windows XP Home. All the other gamepads were either much more expensive or ridicilously cheap – to cheap to present any value. And since I already had a Logitech Wingcommander joystick, I chose the Logitech gamepad.

It is simply amazing what a difference it makes in playing this game !! All the commands become more or less second nature, there is no finger twisting to get to the right keyboad combination (and then pressing the wrong key), it simply works. Momving the camera about while running at the same time is soooooo easy

It’s like it becomes an extension of your mind,you need to think less about the key combinations (except for the combos). Now I only have the camera views that are sometimes not optimal to blame for my bad jumps..


Akono HB-300 Bluetooth Headset

Akono BlueTooth headset

I recently bought an Akono Sony Ericsson bluetooth headset, the HBH-300, to go with my Sony Ericsson T630 phone. The headset is quite nice, stylish design, the only one left in the MultiMedia Market in Brussels.
Inside building it provides very good quality, with a claimed 10 hours talk time and 300 hours standby time.Since I don’t use it that much, it’s good to go for at least about 5 or 6 days, then I need to recharge it.

However, using it outside is a problem : anything more than a breeze is enough to kill my end of the conversation. The only thing the caller hears is the wind howling it’s melodious tune. Cupping my hand around the microphone and headset does not help : in extreme cases, it cuts the bluetooth connection between headset and phone !

I also find it an extreme hassle to fit the headset in my ear when the phone rings. You see, when the headset is in range, it automatically picks up on the headset. There is no option on the phone, as far as I can tell, that you do NOT want to accept the call on the headset, but want to take it on the phone itself. I am going to look in the manual, but so far haven’t found it yet.
So in the end I am a bit unhappy with it – it’ll only really be useful in the car or in buildings, not outdoors, which is why I wanted it in the first place.

Oh, and the incredibly useful WinSCP utility was updated to version 3.7.2 – check it out.