wordpress plugins

new and improved?

Monday, October 1st, 2007

i upgraded to wordpress 2.3 this morning. it was a bit rocky, since at first all of the admin files didn’t make the transfer for some reason, and then i realized that somehow my categories table was erased, and now one of my plugins doesn’t work any more. i prevailed nonetheless, however, which makes me feel kinda cool, since i had to do a few very simple but not immediately obvious things that are not covered in the wordpress troubleshooting files but instead were intuited by my razor sharp intellect and nuanced understanding of the intarwebs. this enabled me to maintain an eerie calm and actually chuckle and fix things rather than believe that the universe was crashing down for the few minutes when my blog was splinched during its faulty disapparation, and that feels like a victory of human evolution right there.

i approve of this database backup plugin, which made creating the sql file that i would need to back things up in case of catastrophe very easy. and indeed, i needed it, given aforementioned erasure of the categories table. which is a hellacious error, really. i mean, wtf?!

i am frustrated with the plugin situation, given that the one that doesn’t work is the one that controls which categories show up on which pages, and that is also giving me trouble in OHEP land, and it has always struck me as such a basic and simple issue that i continue to be mystified by the shitty workarounds that people use to solve the problem.

so we’ll see how things work out in that department, and hopefully i will not discover that other crucial files are missing or major functionality is on the fritz. if i hit “publish” and accidentally launch a missile to grenada, i’m sorry. that was totally not in the manual.

the most immediately obvious perk of this upgrade is that i now have auto-save so i don’t have to worry about accidentally hitting back and erasing entire drafts. yay!

now i get lunch!

doing my part

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

i installed a captcha plugin on my blog.

this means that when you want to comment, you get to play one of those little games where you type in letters to prove that you are not a robot (sorry victor ;).

i have been thinking of doing this for a while, but never got around to it, until today when i was pushed over the edge by the discovery of the cleverest distributed computing idea since seti@home. and maybe even cleverer. cuz aliens? they might already be here kicking back with some watermelon while they wait for us to wise up a bit. did you see my pictures from last weekend?

the captcha program i found, however, is all about the improvement of our earthly existence. it is called recaptcha, and it works by fusing two pieces of tedious data entry – captcha verification and OCR proofreading – into one handy package. in short, every time you comment on my site, you are helping to create a more complete digital library for us all. as the recaptcha site explains:

About 60 million CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. In each case, roughly ten seconds of human time are being spent. Individually, that’s not a lot of time, but in aggregate these little puzzles consume more than 150,000 hours of work each day. What if we could make positive use of this human effort? reCAPTCHA does exactly that by channeling the effort spent solving CAPTCHAs online into “reading” books.

this is so unbelievably clever that i cannot get over it. and since it took about ten minutes to sign up and pimp my website with the already built wordpress plugin that handles all the computer talky talk, well… let’s just say i can already check “further the revolution in some small way before lunch” off my todo list for the day.

and that just makes a body feel good, ya know?

thanks, as often, to lifehacker for the heads up.

now back to saturday blogroll catchup. fun, ain’t it?