Archive for the 'WordPress' Category

Revisiting my Blog

I have spent a decent amount of time over the years, trying to convince myself to spend some time on my blog.  I have updated the OS of the VM that runs it.  I have migrated from whatever platform I started on (I think I had two different ones going at one point.)

I have once again gotten interested in blogging.  I have a colleague who started blogging.  You can find him here.  He is a bit easier to read than my stuff.

I am going to try getting into this again.  I have started down a couple of parallel paths.  This is a normal (bad) habit I have.  I get distracted by all the possibilities and become locked in an endless loop. 

For this go around, I have already stood up a dev instance of this blog in Azure.  It didn’t take long at all, and I was distracted (by real life) and didn’t spend more that a few minutes on it at a time.  I am also about to embark on a quest to use a bunch of the things that I am trying to work with in my normal job, to take this blog to the next level (ha). 

As of this writing, this blog has some behind the scenes updates that need to occur.  The MySql and PHP are not as up to date as they should be, and I only just got the WordPress version updated.  My last post was 19 months ago.  I can fix that by posting this.
I am working on a team that is moving to a Scaled Agile approach to our work.  I am in infrastructure, and DevOps/SAFe/Agile are all just a bit more challenging concepts to apply to infrastructure than to traditional dev workflows.  I am excited about this change, and my role in it, and it is still challenging.

So to wrap up the rambling speech to myself, my intent is to:

  • Move this blog to Azure
  • Add SSL (because it should be)
  • Track my work in Azure DevOps
  • Deploy via Visual Studio
  • Have a test/dev and production version
  • Add a few more posts to this blog
  • Learn

Thanks for reading.  See you at the next post.

Not quite yet…

So the other day I said that I was moving this blog to Azure.  I have tinkered with that, and am actually making a little progress.  (This happens when you put little effort/time into something).  I decided to bring it back up where it was in order to do an easier transfer of the image content.  We shall see how that works out.  Wish me luck…

Migrating to Azure

So, at the time of this writing, my blog is down.  If you are reading this, then I must have succeeded in migrating it to Azure for hosting.  If I didn’t succeed, maybe I will be the only one who reads this.  I am an “on again/ off again” blogger, so anything is possible.

I have until a few months ago, hosted this blog on a server running on infrastructure at my employer.  I do that, because it is a good price (free) and because I mostly talk to myself in this blog anyway. 

There is a fairly simple “how to” on creating a WordPress site in Azure.  I am following this post to create a temporary site to test with.  If all goes well, I will do a test migration to this and then do it again to a “production” instance.

So far so good:

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Open Live Writer

Since it first came out, I have been a fan of what was “Windows Live Writer”.  It was probably one of the simplest, and friendliest tools that came from Microsoft in the Windows Live time frame (in my opinion).   I recall coming across something a while back that reference an update to Live Writer, and today I actually downloaded it.

This post was written with “Open Live Writer”.  Cool right?

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2015 Blog Report

Well, I didn’t hit the number I was hoping to hit.  I made it to 162, and I was hoping to make it to 175.  Maybe by the end of 2016?

Since this is a WordPress site and I use Jetpack here is a nice little report provided with no effort on my part: http://jetpack.me/annual-report/6842850/2015/

Windows Live Writer fails to open

I use Windows Live Writer to create most of the posts for my Blog(s).  I recently updated to the latest version and I do think it is a good product, and seems to work very well with my WordPress blogs.  (I contribute to 3, but this is the main one.) 

I have occasionally had trouble getting Writer to open.  I will click on the shortcut, the splash screen comes up and then I get an error.  Then it is gone.  I finally got around to digging into the cause and did a search and found this post from one of the Microsoft guys that builds this tool:

http://jcheng.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/windows-live-writer-2009-wont-start/

We’re getting ready to ship an update that fixes the problem, but in the meantime, there is a straightforward workaround to get Writer running again:

  1. Start | Run
  2. On Vista, enter this command:
    %AppData%\Windows Live Writer\Keywords
    On XP, enter this command:
    %UserProfile%\Application Data\Windows Live Writer\Keywords
  3. You should see a bunch of files whose names begin with “keyword” and end with lots of letters and numbers. Delete all of these files.

That should fix it.

The problem, as you may have guessed, is that one of these files is getting corrupted. This is due to a race condition in our code where the settings file can be closed while it’s still in the middle of being written. Our update will both fix the race condition, and also deal more gracefully with corrupted settings files (by ignoring them).

Well, that didn’t fix it for me.  In that post, Joe has updated to say that version 14.0.8064.206 includes the fix for this problem.  That happens to be the version I am running.  :(  So back to searching…

I was digging around trying to figure out if I had just missed something, but instead I found a log file.  In my case the log is in the \AppData\Local\Windows Live Writer\ directory and it is named, funny enough, “Windows Live Writer.log”.  I looked in the log and found lots of stuff, but the part that stuck out was:

The network location cannot be reached.

That got  me to thinking and after doing some testing, I went back to Joe’s blog entry and left this comment:

Joe,
Another potential cause of the for the problem, Splash screen and then error and then nothing, could be My Documents redirection.
The company I work for as a policy doesn’t back up user machines, but we do redirect the My Documents to a network share. Most of our users have their My Documents set to be available offline. I don’t.
When I tried the steps that you recommended, it didn’t fix the problem, but then I remembered that I have had this problem before, and that it seemed to work fine when I was in the office.
I have two work arounds for this:
1. Open Windows Live Writer while still at the office and don’t close it. Hybernate the machine until I get home and use as normal.
2. Use Run As to run it as a local account so that it doesn’t fall victim to my My Documents being unavailable.
This is a good reason (among others) that it would be nice to have the option to change the default location for post data to be saved.

So, there you have it.  Another reason to NOT use My Documents redirection…  “Let me tell ya about My Documents redirection…”

WordPress speed – take 2

So after I followed Patrick’s advice, it seemed like we had everything working better(?) but then again, it was only faster sometimes… 

After doing some tinkering and comparing between 4 different people, 2 of us with slow performance and 2 with normal performance, I stumbled on the answer…  Patrick and I both had the “wassup” plugin enabled and the others didn’t.  I wouldn’t have known that was it except I am hosting 2 blogs on this same machine and one responds faster than the other.  And the fast one has a post with a bunch of pictures in it…

So we both disabled the “wassup” plugin and now we are both happier with the performance.

WordPress performance…

I was unhappy with the performance of my new blog, but Patrick told me that he fixed it by changing the MySQL engine to MyISAM instead of InnoDB.   Wasn’t that nice of him?  It would have been nicer if he had actually created a post about it….