Rest of the site coming together (and more updates)!

Its been a long week, but things are finally calming down a bit. First of all, Toby is back with us again. The lady I mentioned in my previous post kept him for a few days, and then had let him go. We then tried another lady my aunt worked with, who only gave him 2 hours (seriously, what the hell!). Finally, he spent the night at another possible new owners home last night, but her dog and him were not getting along that well. So finally, we are going to be looking into some Beagle Rescue Groups and the Richmond SPCA.

Otherwise, we have been keeping REALLY busy. We picked up a new desk the other day, and moved around some stuff in our house. Basically, our spare room and office swtiched, giving us a much larger and more useful office. We are also bringing my old PC back up online (with a new 22″ display) so we can get more work done as well. Ill actually be creating a new post on this when its complete!

I spent some time with the site this long weekend as well. As you may have noticed, the theme on this blog has changed a little, as well removing some pages. All this has been moved out of the blog and back up to the top of the domain http://jmlumpkin.com. It would be nice to have it all on one platform, but I couldnt figure out the best way to manage my gallery as well.

I also uploaded quite a few albums up to the new gallery install. Ill be highlighting these on the front page as well over time.

Over time, I really plan on building out the stuff ‘outside’ the blog more and more. Im starting to dabble in random projects, and would like to have a central place to highlight them!

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So long toby!

While we hated to do it, we had to get rid of toby. We loved him dearly, but we felt that he needed a better life. We both work full time and have a rather busy life, and felt terriable that we had to keep him in a crate for hours on end. It’s been such a sad weekend, but we know he now has some of the resources we could never provide him. He is still local, and will be visiting him soon once he settles into his new home.

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Godaddy, WordPress, redirects, and htaccess

There are a million sites out there that help you try to get WordPress (or other cool webapps) up and running on a new domain through GoDaddy. I had to go through my share the last few days to really find the setup I liked, the features I wanted, and more.

First things first, do what most of these sites say…use a Linux account. I was able to do what I needed in 5 minutes on Sunday than what took me 2 hours on Saturday. I REALLY wanted the Windows setup, but in the end, its just too tricky to get WordPress up and running on their IIS 7 / PHP 5 install.

Next, I originally went the auto-install route available on all domains with GoDaddy. This installs a¬†relatively¬†new version of WordPress (2.6.1 I¬†believe). This actually worked great, and even better once I got moved over to the Linux install (mail just worked, things were quick, etc). The only thing I didnt like (and some of the things I noticed on various sites) is that the ‘.htaccess’ file may be restricted to you. So instead, I decided to download the latest build of WordPress and upload it to my account. After extracting, setting up a database, and going to the config page, I was up and running!

The one last thing I had to do (that was a little tricky) is find the RIGHT way to do the .htaccess file to get the ‘Pretty Permalinks’. There where a whole bunch of examples online, but none that I could find that worked in GoDaddy’s newest Linux configs. So after a little bit of changes, this is what I came up with…


# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /blog/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /blog/index.php [L]

# END WordPress

The biggest thing here was that Final RewriteRule that removes the ‘index.php’ out of all my links. If you set up everything just right, this should just work out of the admin (just make sure your¬†permissions¬†are good and WordPress can write to this file).

Thats not it! I did all this but was still having a TON of problems, because the rewrites would work, but I would keep getting 404 (file not found) errors. This is because if you use GoDaddy’s universal 404 error handling, this gets done BEFORE your mod_rewrite rules. Basically, it can not find ‘/blog/2008/11/my-cool-post’, because it is looking for that file, rather than mod_rewrite handling the rewrite for you. You can just go to your ‘Manage My Domain’ screen, then click on Settings, then 404. I¬†recommend¬†creating your own 404 page, and then selecting this on the 404 configuration. I noticed that once I go this working, WordPress would then handle its 404 errors itself!

For a quick list, these are the steps…

  1. Get a Linux hosting account, and at least the deluxe or unlimited account. The Base may not have mod_rewrite enabled. Windows may work, but I could NEVER get email to work just right.
  2. Go to ‘Manage my domain’, then to ‘databases’, and ‘mysql’. Create a new database, and remember the settings.
  3. Download a copy of WordPress
  4. Upload this to your account, then unzip it. Rename the ‘wordpress’ directory to whatever you choose, I chose ‘blog’
  5. Go to your url to where this was unziped. If your permissions are correct ( I didnt need to change a thing), and it should ask you to setup.
  6. Just click through the setup, its only a page or two. Basically you need to create an email account and give WordPress your database credentials.
  7. Once this is done, you should be able to go on the WordPress side. Login, update your settings, and you should be good to go!
  8. Go to the Manage -> Permalink page, and update your permalinks to display the way you prefer.
  9. Go back to your GoDaddy account, click on ‘manage my domain’ and bring up their admin.
  10. Click on settings, and then on ‘404 Error Behavior’.
  11. In here, the best setting I found was to select my own 404 error page.
  12. Click save, and within 30 minutes, things should just work for you! They did for me!

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Problems with slow Vista networking

Have you noticed some slowness with copying files in Vista? I used to have some major problems with this, and already having a slower network didn’t help. After some diffing and research, I found that a new ‘feature’, Remote Differential Compression, was to blame.

Remote Differential Compression allows much faster data coppies if all hardware along the way supports it. From what I read, it seems like this would be pretty similar to rsync, just copy over the bits that change.

Well, I was using Vista in a mostly Windows 2000 server environment, and this just didnt work. So to turn it off:

  • Click Start
  • Go to Control Panel
  • Click ‘Programs and Features’
  • On the left, you should see ‘Turn Windows features on or off’
  • When the box comes up, towards the top you should see ‘Remote Differential Compression’, uncheck this box.
  • Click OK
  • You may then need to reboot for changes to take affect.

New Site!

Well, I finally made the move to my own hosting environment again, and have made a few changes! Now I have full control over the look and feel of the site, as well as the ability to put up a LOT more content. Im going to be spending a few weeks really tuning and cleaning things up here, but the blog was to come first!

I started off with a Windows account on godaddy, but I was having a few problems getting things to work just right. They let you host on IIS7 and use .net 3.5, silverlight, and other cool new technologies, but getting¬†certain¬†PHP things to work right under it was a pain. So this morning I converted my account over to one of their newer Linux hosting accounts, which means I now also have access to Python, Ruby, and more! While I wanted to do a few things in ASP.net, the Linux hosting is a bit faster, and is going to force me to learn some new languages, which is something I wanted to do anyways ūüôā

So please update your bookmarks and check back often with all of the changes! Also, i’ve moved over to FeedBurner for my RSS feed, and the new link is here –¬†http://feeds.feedburner.com/jmlumpkin/blog

Nine Inch Nails Live: They just keep getting better

Last week, Debs and I went to our second Nine Inch Nails show, this time at John Paul Jones arena in Charlottesville, VA. Those who know me know that i’m a pretty big NIN fan (have been since I first heard the Downward Spiral years ago, even though mom didn’t like them). I was pumped to see that they were coming back to Virginia again, and after the first concert a few years ago, we had to go again.

This time, I brought my camera. And our seats were 100x better. I was able to snap off a few shots on our little SD1000, some of which came out pretty good! I also recorded a few videos as well, trying to get some of the really cool special effects that were used.

Trent knows how to perform, and he knows that a concert is not just about the music, its about the presentation as well. In the last concert they used similar screens, but this time they were more interactive. As you can see in some of the videos, the lights would pulsate to the music. The video above is from ‘Ghost Piggy’, which as the name states, ‘Piggy’, but under more of the Ghost’s theme and mood.

Words can not nearly explain just how awesome this show was. So check out the NIN set over at flickr. And if Trent and Co are coming anywhere near your town, you need to check them out!

Listening To: ‘Apple Tree’ by Wolfmother

On Richmond.com and my last week…

Well, as im sure many of you have heard by now, Richmond.com has been sold, and this week is my last (though, they were two¬†separate¬†events, and oddly enough, not related. I announced my departure a little over 3 weeks ago, and just knew about this a little under 2 weeks. (For those that don’t know that are visiting the site – I have been working in Technology over there for a bit over 1.5 years).

It was a shocker. I could go on and on about what I feel about the situation, what I did/didn’t know before the announcement, etc. I just don’t think this is the place. If you are curious, and do want to discuss, then email me. Though, please realize, this is becoming more and more ‘distant’ to me as I prepare to move on, and not really sure if I even want to THINK about it anymore.

It sucked. Friends lost their jobs. Things had been rough for all of us for a while, and towards the end, just outright confusing. Obviously there were things I couldn’t talk about, and then keep on going as if things were ‘normal’. I made it though, and so did they. Its a crappy economy, a crappy time, and if you don’t adjust to what needs to be done, you won’t be able to go much further. Of course after everything happens, we still have to keep our heads up and march on. Half the people did keep their jobs, but who knows doing what once moving down to Franklin street.

I don’t think it was ever competition. Yes, all these sites are awesome. I personally love rvablogs and rvanews. If you haven’t been using them, you should. Same with inrich.com. Yes, for a while, they were ‘the enemy’, but they had some amazing resources we didn’t. First, its just coverage¬†– they are a newspaper, and of course have the editorial resources readily¬†available. Then you have technology. You have amazing people like Tripp and Tess (although Tess not for much longer). We obviously had amazing people too, and for a small team, I think we did really well against the ‘big guys’. Of course with Ross and all over at Rvanews/Rvablogs, I have always thought these guys were brilliant and ‘knew whats up’. There’s just tooo many smart minds in this small city of ours, but obviously this is a very good thing.

Other than those in our company that had to move on (and those after the next week I will no longer be working with), Im also really going to miss those I have met through the Associated Cities. They are a great group, and I just wish there was some way to stay with them, although i’m no longer affiliated with a geodomain. These guys are doing some amazing stuff for those with geodomains, and everyone should keep an eye on them for the good stuff that is still yet to come.

I had been super stressed out trying to keep all this in. So sorry if I pissed anyone off or have seemed ‘odd’ for the last few weeks, life has just been a mess. But we are just counting down the hours now…

So who knows whats next. Obviously people have their rumors, and I can neither confirm nor deny what you here. And hell, after this Friday, I won’t know any further, and will just step back and watch (though, Im pretty excited to start doing ‘my own thing’ as well). All I know is that for the next week, i’ll be working for this new¬†company, pretty much assimilating all knowledge I have built up over the last 1.5 years, to pass on to the next person. And now that ‘its all out there’, I think this last week will be a lot more comfortable, for all (other than those that they didnt keep), than the last few.

Finally, I want to leave a few links of coverage, from all over the country, covering this news…

Listening To: ‘Under Your Spell’ by The Smashing Pumpkins