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Whilst I remember…

Did I mention we are off to Spain on Friday morning?

Well, we are, and there are loads things still to do. Not all are related to going on holiday but the holiday has an impact on them all.

1. I’ve not even considered packing but then you do get rather blasé about it when you are returning to the same place, and will be frequenting the same haunts (for new readers; my father-in-law lives in Spain, and has done for a few years now). We don’t even bother with anything ‘smart’ as we eat out at the more local restaurants than anything fancy, and that’s when we eat out at all.

2. Then, of course, the iPod needs to be loaded, books need to be chosen, and I really MUST start using that alarm to make sure I get to bed on time as we need to be at the airport at 4 a.m. on Friday morning… which means leaving the house sometime around 3 a.m. which in turn means that I am seriously considering just staying up.

However, on Thursday, which we both have off, we are heading up to Perth for lunch with a family friend, nipping in to the butcher to buy some rib-eye steak for my father-in-law, and then I’m hooking up with friends in the evening for dinner and some diet cokes, whilst Louise will be acting like a teenager again and going all wobbly for some oik called Justin Timberloch, or something…

3. Of course there are somethings that need done on this site (search not working?), and that’s before I even bother my arse about thinking about email addresses and whatnot – I reckon I’ll stick with my ‘name’ domain for that, and leave the email address for this domain dormant for now.

And yes, I’m still looking into the whole “coloured name” for my mum (which for some reason is harder than it should be!).

4. Ohh my head, too much going on. I have a new guy starting today, and loads of stuff I really need to get done to give me a reasonably clean slate to come back to, although why we continue to do that is beyond me, what difference does going on holiday make, there is ALWAYS stuff to do.

5. I have a package that I’m quite keen to get my hands on which, currently, looks like it will arrive at my office on… ohhh go on, guess which day…

6. I’m also hoping to pre-publish a few posts to carrying things over whilst I’m away, one of which is quite intriguing, if I say so myself, so keep yer peepers peeled people!

7. The great Scottish Blogs cleanup continues and, whilst I’ve had over half the batches back now, I’ve yet to sit and go through the database and start whacking dead sites. It’ll be a long slow job that one, and I’m not sure I’ll have the time until I get back from my holiday. Ohh and the blogmeet is now organised, Edinburgh, 19th May at 2pm in the Jolly Judge. Be there!

8. Last but not least, I can’t for the life of me get some simple CSS floats to work. A sidebar on the right, main content on the left and the sidebar KEEPS DROPPING BELOW THE MAIN CONTENT!! It’s killing me, and no end nor combination of tweaking margins, padding, widths, nor clearing left, right or all, is making the blindest bit of difference. ARGH!

And breeeaaaaaaatthheeeeee…

Finally, before I dash off, some links/apps that I’ve found useful over the past few days.

1. If you are moving your WordPress installation, to a new domain, or just to a new directory, you must must MUST head over to this wonderful site. This is the page I used to move my WordPress domain, and it went without a hitch. All in it took me about an hour to do, tops.

2. That alarm thing I was asking about the other day, well Banshee Screamer Alarm seems to fit the bill. Ignore the fugly look, it meets all my criteria. It has a “start with windows” option (ok, everything has that via the Startup folder but hey, it’s worth mentioning), minimises to the system tray, needs set only once and will repeat on chosen days at the set time, can start an application or open a URL when the alarm time is reached, and can be used silently.

It’s currently running, and will launch a custom HTML page I knocked up which states, in large red (not yet blinking) letters GO TO BED.

Many thanks to B-Rad for suggesting it.

3. Thinking Rock is a GTD style application which I’ve been using for the past few weeks. I’ve mentioned it before but it’s getting a second mention because, frankly, the past couple of weeks have been frantic and without it I’d be lost. Whilst I have been busy over the past couple of weeks, knocking quite a few things off my to do list, the number of items and tasks that I needed to capture grew exponentially and Thinking Rock has helped me keep on top of all that.

Case in point is the site move, with multiple little things to remember, and new items being triggered as I stumbled across something else I hadn’t considered, the ability to quickly dump a one line ‘thought’ into Thinking Rock, processing it later on to add more detail and group it with other similar items, has been a life saver.

Even if you don’t ascribe to the GTD method, it’s worth a look. You WILL need to understand how the app works though as it’s maybe not immediately obvious, but the site has some good info on that front. Think of it as GTD-ish..

Right, that’s enough for now. Things to do, coffee to drink.




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Not Planned

I’m a planner. I plan. It’s what I do.

But sometimes things happen and plans need to be adjusted.

I received a somewhat alarming email from 34sp, an ISP I use for a couple of sites I run, including this one. Apparently a couple of my sites were hacked recently. I don’t visit the sites in question very often so it wasn’t something I noticed, although as they were both only ‘down’ for a few hours I seriously doubt that anyone else noticed either. Thankfully both sites have now been restored to their previous state.

Of course this mean that I’ll need to change my FTP passwords and review my internet security in general. I very much doubt that my machine has been hacked, and I’m fairly careful when sending emails around but it pays to be vigilant, and a few additional precautions won’t do any harm. Of course I don’t want to go over the top but it’s funny how these things make you more paranoid than usual.

And whilst I’m at it I need to get the miniblog working again. I’ve tried a couple of plugins and neither have worked. Admittedly I think recent changes to WordPress haven’t helped much, but until things settle down on that front I’m just gonna go with some custom code. More hassle for me but at least it should work, and will protect me a little the next time I upgrade WordPress.

These things were not planned.

However I did manage to go out for a run this morning, that WAS planned, and there will be more on that, later.




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WordPress permissions

Because I said I would and because this type of thing is still very much a “black art” as far as I’m concerned (networking in general falls into that category), here are the permissions I have set in my WordPress install.

This is what I have setup for my WordPress Theme folder (wp-content/themes/MYTHEME/) but I guess it’s likely to be similar if you have a custom WordPress install. I had loads of problems not being able to edit files through the WordPress admin interface, and various timeouts and 404 errors. I’ve not had any problems since I did the following:

Set the permissions (CHMOD for tech speak users) for the theme, or WordPress, FOLDER to 755.
Set the permissions for all the FILES in that folder to 776.

And that should help. Maybe. As ever with these things, YMMV.

To do this using FileZilla users, connect to your site, then right-click a folder or file, and select File Attributes. In the dialog that is displayed, type in the appropriate number and click OK.

Here’s hoping it helps. Someone.




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