Back in Business


This is a boring technical post. In a nutshell, my blog on Blogger.com is working again. This is a great relief. After five days I was suffering from serious withdrawal symptoms: sleeping at night, spending more time staring into my reef tank, googling for solutions while gargling other solutions, reading about WordPress and other blogging software applications, eating regularly, nervous typing, waiting longingly by the computer for emails from Blogger.com support – they never write, they never call, what’s a blogger to do – although their robots were quite responsive… Just terrible. Love lorn in the ether…

All kidding aside, my blog on Blogger is back up and I can post once again. Life is good. And you didn’t realize it was that simple. :) This did point out some serious weaknesses in Blogger. First of all their error messages are piss poor. I was getting variations on the following:

550 550-Quota exceeded: blogtestwp/2005_12_01_wordpress.php won’t be saved 20714 Kbytes used (101%) – authorized: 20480 Kbblogtestwp/2005_12_01_wordpress.php

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This is not a Known Issue in Blogger’s database. I didn’t find anything in Blogger’s Help section or via Googling either. The error message itself is not all that helpful. My web site’s disk storage is set to 1.01GB and only 83MB is used so there is plenty of space. Bandwidth was not the issue. I can access my web servers via FTP just fine without trouble even when trying to simulate loading conditions. I even tried deleting great gooey gobs of data and allotting more space on the servers.

I have gotten variations on the above message spuratically over the month and also got the message with tiny test blogs that I created both on my SugarMtnFarm.com web server and other web servers. The problem was uniform across multiple blogs and multiple web servers leaving Blogger itself as the common link.

Apparently on Saturday according to Blogger’s status page, after I made my post that day, Blogger had serious troubles with their databases. Their posting said they had fixed the problems – I think not. I emailed them about this.

So why does it work now? Good question. My guess is some human at Blogger.com support finally looked at my detailed emails and fixed the problem on their end. I think they had problem in the communications between their databases. But since they aren’t talking the truth may never be known.

In the process I did find several other resources such as:

Yahoo Blogger Support group (not run by Blogger) which is useful to know about if you have a Blogger.com blog since Blogger seems to have abandoned the idea of technical support and human interaction with its users. This is a user-to-user support group. Share the knowledge.

Blogger has an unpublished support page where you can contact them. I did and never got a response other than from their robots. However the problem did eventually clear up. Send detailed explinations of exactly what is happening. Maybe a real live human is actually reading and taking action. It would be nice if they replied. For the price I can’t complain too loudly…

The email address for Blogger.com support is support@blogger.com if you want to try directly emailing them if you’ve exhausted other paths of solution. I eventually did. Maybe that was what got it fixed.

All of this frustration lead me to the conclusion that I need more control over the software and servers behind my blog if I’m going to keep doing this. So I researched other blogging solutions. After much reading, debate and heavy breathing I came to a conclusion – I am switching to WordPress for my blog. The transition will probably take a few weeks. The look may change somewhat but the content should all be there when I’m done. I’ll hopefully notice a lot of difference on the back end, more stability and no more annoying errors that I can do nothing about since I can tinker with WordPress’s code to my hearts delight – WordPress is written in PHP/MySQL which I know. This is an advantage of OpenSource software. This appears to be the best of the many blogging solutions. It does require a bit more technical expertise than Blogger. Blogger.com was a great place to get started and requires almost no expertise. Now I’m flying from the nest.

Another interesting thing I found is Andy Skelton’s way to transfer from Blogger to WordPress which seems to work for most people and it transfers the comments. I am playing with it now and will use it on my real blog real soon. There is an excellent tutorial with pictures and easy to follow instructions.

While Blogger was being tempermental I played with and wrote a review of my new Fuji FinePix E900 digital camera. I’ll post that real soon now. Check out the panorama of the Upper Orange Reservoir on Sunday’s post which is finally available. Click on the little pan to see the big pan if you have the bandwidth. The process of reviewing the camera allowed me to test out all the features and get to know the camera. My way of learning. To summarize, I like the camera and will keep it. It does an excellent job although it is not perfect – not that I really expected to find a perfect camera. In everything there are trade offs. The photo at the top of today’s post is was done with the E900 of Nymocyst in her favorite green bubble tip anemone in my reef tank. This was shot with the E900’s flash which really brings out the color in the anemone. You’ll notice that the clown fish’s white bands over saturate. This is because the scales are reflectors like on safety clothing – pretty intense! If you click on the photo it will give you a 1024×768 pixel image which is suitable as a desktop background picture or wallpaper which you can save to your computer if you like clowns. Enjoy.

Meanwhile, back on the farm we’ve been getting ready for winter. The two feet of snow we’ve gotten over the past month and a half have convinced me that winter is really on its way. Then it all melted Monday night with the heavy rain. These last few days without snow gave us a chance to get a few more fence posts in while the ground was soft, build more bonfires for winter cookouts (a.k.a. clearing brush), do a little soil grading, pickup around the place before it snows again and tie up loose ends on outdoor projects. It is supposed to get cold and snow this weekend.

Thought for the day: The i’s in the word ‘initialization’ are near the start of the Fibonacci series! Too bad it isn’t spelled ‘iinitialization’. :) I wonder what other words have parts of the Fibonacci series embedded in them?

Monday: 31°F/23°F, 1/2″ Snow Sunny/Overcast
Tuesday: 34°F/38°F, 4″ Rain Overcast all snow gone
Wednesday: 35°F/39°F, Drizzle Overcast
Thursday: 30°F/43°F, Overcast

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor…

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5 Responses to Back in Business

  1. Hick says:

    My eyes glaze over with the computer lingo, although my bro is a whiz at all of that stuff. But your picture…your bee-utiful fish. Wowser! I will put it on my desktop, if you don’t mind. It’s getting a little coolish here, too, so looking at a tropical fish will help remind me of warmer days.

  2. Superior looking specs on the camera. I’m glad to see your technical dilemma is resolved. Being some what of an amateur photo enthusiast, I find your photos quite enjoyable to view. Though my friend has severe coulrophobia, I think he’d like the fish.

  3. Coulrophobia… fear of clowns. I just learned a new word! :) Tell your friend Nemo is a sweet heart and pull no tricks on people, other than changing sex. She was born a boy.

  4. Andy's Ego says:

    Walter, I should have known you were in Vermont. As a Real Vermonter™, I am compelled. If you need a hand getting your Blogger blog into WordPress you can contact me.

  5. Thanks, Andy. I haven’t had a chance to get back to the script. I’ll give you a jingle if I need more help! -Walter

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