Upgrading to latest WordPress version

The WordPress team has released a new version of the popular and open source blogging software. The new version, 2.0.5, breaks the WordPress tradition of naming releases after jazz musicians. The team named the release Ronan, in honor of contributor Ryan Boren’s son, who was born earlier this month.

Matt Mullenweg said in his post in the WordPress development blog that the WordPress team suggests that “everyone upgrade as this includes security fixes” (emphasis mine). Here’s a link to the changes.

I’ve just upgraded this blog and a host of others I help maintain to the latest version. I initially thought of uploading only the changed files but later decided to upload the whole thing for good measure. If you’re interested only on the changed files, new WordPress 2.0 maintainer Mark Jaquith has compiled a list.

Manage songs in your phone, mp3 player with MediaMonkey

I have long stayed away from using music players such as iTunes to manage songs in my Sony Ericsson k750i because of the way these software organize the files in the mobile phone’s memory stick.

mediamonkey MEDIAMONKEY is probably the best software to use to manage your phone’s audio library from your PC. Click on photo to enlarge.

I find it more efficient to just use my favorite Windows file manager, Total Commander, to transfer the music files from my PC to the phone. I’ve tried using third-party software to make iTunes manage my phone playlist and they work but not to the extent that they’ve become the primary way I manage my songs. I hate the way synchronization with iTunes breaks apart files in compilation albums into artist sub-folders. You’d have to recreate your playlist by repeatedly clicking on album folders. I’m sure there’s a way to configure this but I’m just too lazy to find out how.

But the first time I tried MediaMonkey, I immediately knew it was a piece of software I could rely on to manage songs and podcasts in my phone. The free (but sadly not open source) music library software is easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of fuzz, hacking or third party applications and plugins to connect to the K750i.

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Media Temple offers shared grid hosting

I listened to Michael Arrington’s podcast interview of the guys behind Media Temple last night and their new shared hosting product piqued my interest. If it fulfills even just 80 percent of what the guys behind the service promised then it will be a phenomenal development in the web service industry.

The new product, the Grid-Server, turns the shared hosting services on its head and the Media Temple guys are so gung-ho over the service its chief executive officer said during the interview they’d soon have a 101 percent uptime guarantee where they’d actually pay customers, on top of not charging them for the entire duration of the outage, when they experience a downtime.

The Grid-Server has a different architecture than most current shared hosting plans.

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bbPress now has an official release

The developers behind the forum software bbPress have announced an official release. The release, bbPress 0.72:Bix, continues with WordPress’ tradition of naming releases after jazz musicians.

The open source software is being developed by the people behind WordPress, led by Matt Mullenweg. I’ve been playing around with bbPress for several months now and I’ve even used it for a couple of forums. It is a great piece of forum software albeit geared towards support forums, what with the checkbox to specify whether a post is a support question or not. It’s blazingly fast and lightweight and comes with search engine friendly urls.

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Better photo presentation in your website in 2 easy steps

Photos are best presented with captions or cutlines. The caption adds context to photographs and provides readers such information as the identity of the people in it, where it was taken and any other data not obvious in the photograph.

I used to publish photos with captions by creating an HTML table to contain the image and caption and then floating this within the text by giving the table a left or right alignment. Not only is the process cumbersome but many experts in web design advice against using tables for anything but tabular data.

There is a simpler way to do it.

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Use activeCollab to manage your projects online for free

I have long wanted to install a project management system in my web server. I have gone through a couple of open source project management scripts, from eGroupWare, more.Groupware to dotProject and yet somehow I never found a PHP/MySQL script that was easy to install and use but at the same time fit my needs.

I had wanted to manage my tasks using groupware applications hosted on my server. I don’t do a lot of projects and the bulk of my time is spent on newsroom tasks. But often, I have to deal with different groups of people or even a separate department for some of my personal and work-related projects. I wanted to simplify and centralize all these tasks in an online task manager.

I gave up on installing a script in my own server and instead used Basecamp’s free account and even PBWiki for projects that required me to work with other people.

In July, however, I read a post in TechCrunch about a Basecamp “clone” that was released as an open source project. I immediately checked the site out and fount that activeCollab required a PHP 5 server. Since I was on a web host that only had PHP 4, I just bookmarked activeCollab and made a note to try it in a local server.

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Down

I was downed by the flu for several days this week. The mercurial weather more than a week back took a toll on my out-of-shape body and for the first time in a long while, I had to go on sick leave.

I used to stave off fever by drinking liters (yes with an s) of calamansi juice and eating a ton of fruits. It didn’t work this week. For days I was too weak to work and to use the computer. I just lay in front of the TV and watched a marathon of documentaries on National Geographic and Discovery.

The first thing I did when I recovered enough to spend time in front of the computer was to attempt installing activeCollab, an online project management software that had been earlier described as a “clone” of the widely popular Basecamp service of 37 signals. I succeeded on my first attempt and installed Active Collab in my server without a hitch. I’ll be writing about the tool later.