Upgrading WordPress

WordPress 2.6.1 is out. Reading feeds on my flight from IND to PHX this afternoon I ran across the WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin (shouldn’t that be the Automattic?). Nice, but I’d like to plug my approach to managing WordPress upgrades, which I think is even easier, assuming you’re OK with minimal command-line interaction.

First, install WordPress from a Subversion checkout; do: “ $ svn co http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.6/“ instead of downloading the .zip or .tar.gz file. Configure as directed.

Then, when a new version is available, log into your webhost and run: “ $ svn switch http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.6.1/“ from your install directory.


Note that you can also do something similar (but an order of magnitude more complex, at least for my brain) using git and git-svn if you want to version your local settings as well. Perhaps one day Asheesh or I will get that written up.

date:2008-08-21 17:33:19
tags:git, subversion, upgrade, version control, wordpres

Laptop Rejuvenation

I’ve owned my MacBook for about 18 months now, which is coming close to a record for me. I was looking at replacing it with a new laptop — preferably something running Ubuntu that doesn’t totally look like ass. I started looking and saw things I liked from both Dell and System 76 (I really wanted to like Zareason, especially given that they’re local, but System 76 kills them on pricing).

But then I looked closer at the Wikipedia article on MacBooks, the System Profiler on my machine and just what I was paying for. It was then I realized that my MacBook already has a Core 2 Duo T7200, as well as 802.11n support. With most of the economical Dell options still using T5xxx series processors (with it’s 2MB L2 cache, compared to the T7200’s 4MB), it became clear I was mostly investing in more RAM and a larger hard drive. A quick look showed I could take my system from 1.5GB RAM to 4GB for $50[1]_ and could go from the 120GB stock hard drive to a 320GB model for $100. And with the extra drive space I could comfortably run Ubuntu as my primary operating system, retaining the Mac OS X partition until I have all the apps replaced.

So that was my task for yesterday. Unfortunately things didn’t go quite as well as planned. When I put the new hard drive in and tried to power things back on… nothing. No chime, no video, no spin up. Nothing. Sigh. I managed to get an 8 AM appointment at the Apple Genius Bar, but I was pretty bummed about it last night. This morning, however, things turned out OK. Not fantastic but OK.

Brian, my assigned Genius, suggested that the problem might be the “top case” — literally the top of the case, containing the keyboard and power switch. After pulling it off and putting on a new one, things fired right up. So another $150 later, all is well.

Brian was actually really nice and helpful about the whole situation (almost making me regret calling Apple the “corporate asshole du jour” on Saturday, but not quite). As I write this I realize how strange it is that I consider this a surprising exception. Next up: Ubuntu installation and configuration.

[1]I had one 2GB SODIMM already lying around in my Eee PC.
date:2008-08-11 09:49:42
tags:apple, macbook, service

Brief thoughts on Microsoft + Apache Foundation

I’m late with this (typical these days), but at OSCON a couple weeks ago Microsoft announced they’re supporting the Apache Foundation. Bruce Perens has an editorial in Datamation about what the angle may be. Bruce posits that the primary motivation is publicity. That Microsoft has realized open source is here to stay and sees the Apache license as the lesser of a crowd of evils. That all makes perfect sense to me.

I have to admit, however, that my first thought to hearing the news was “who cares?” I’ve realized lately that Microsoft has become completely irrelevant to my day to day life[1]_. We don’t use Windows on our servers at work. I don’t run Windows on my work (Ubuntu) or personal (Mac OS X) laptop. I don’t use Microsoft Office on either machine. The people at work who use Windows (a minority) are pretty much on their own. And when I heard Microsoft had released a new version of their Office CC licensing plugin (as noted in the CC blog) my response was an enthusiastic “Eh, ok; good for them.” So from my [probably myopic] perspective, Microsoft is last year’s news, a has been, and Apple is the corporate asshole du jour.

So while I’d like to think I’m right and that this is just a corporate behemoth in its death throes, Bruce is probably right; it’s probably too early to count them out.

UPDATE Another perspective on the announcements from Michael Tiemann of the OSI board.

[1]Well, not completely; shopping for a new laptop I still have to consider how willing I am to pay for an operating system I won’t use.
date:2008-08-09 20:23:44
tags:apache, license, microsoft, open source