Mar 29 2009

BlogRant – My Blog Is Fixed. I Love the Universe Again

Published by at 1:09 pm under blogging,BlogRant,MyLife

NERD ALERT – For those Currents readers who don’t care about the mechanics of blogging, you may want to skip ahead to my next post on life in Vancouver, politics, current events or my latest green sustainability rant. This one isn’t for you.

Still here? OK, my fellow geeks, let’s kick this pig. About two months ago, weird symbols started showing up on this WordPress blog just above the header. At first, I feared my blog had been hacked. Then, a number of sober-minded friends pointed out that hackers weren’t likely to insert diamonds, question marks and other assorted oddities instead of links to porn.

Nonetheless, the problem didn’t go away on its own. My limited technical skills were not sufficient to fix it. My love for blogging diminished to the point where writers’ block became chronic.

I knew I needed professional help. I called up a guy I knew by reputation alone, Shane Birley, the guy who, as it turned out, literally wrote the book on blogging.

Turned out the bug wasn’t minor. But as you can tell, Shane did indeed fix this blog. He is my new hero.

The following stirring account of our success in rehabilitating this blog (well, except the links. I have to re-do those. Darn), recorded by Shane, should be read in a Churchillian, or possibly Gandalfian voice:

This is an account of the adventure that we experienced while attempting to make Currents stronger. It all started when Currents was upgraded.

It was a simple upgrade. Nothing should have gone wrong. Yet, things did go wrong. The first portal opened in the East… cough, cough. Umm, yes. What happened there?

If you had have visited Jonathon’s recently you may have noticed the weirdness that lay up above the pretty pictures and… other menu things. It was very distracting.

Shane was tapped to solve the problem. It proved to be a difficult problem. The scholars at and were mystified. They had not seen such shenanigans before. So, he had to be be inventive.

1. First test the current database for corruption. None found.
2. Do a test installation of WordPress and use the current WordPress xml export to see if the data was harboring evil doers. None found.
3. Talk at length with techs at Bluehost who, apparently, know very
little. Get escalated to tier II support. Nothing happens. No changes. No fixes. Ignored.
4. Deal with crappy hosting solution and, finally, detect workaround.
5. Export data.
6. Create new database with new fresh installation of WordPress
7. Import data
8. Data rewards us with love, affection, and – wow, it worked!
9. Find out that WordPress hates links. No export function. No clear solution. Must return by hand.
10. Grumpy Shane sends feature request to WordPress for any export/import feature for links.
11. Fight with Bluehost on some stupid crap with their domain vs. subdirectories.
12. Shane wins.
13. Test the guts out of WordPress.
14. Jonathon hurrahs! WordPress for the win! Bluehost not so much.
15. Shane pleased. Shane rewarded.
16. Shane does dance. He is still undefeated by technology.

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