Fix Broken Permalinks after WordPress 3.2.1 Upgrade

Have your blog traffic stats taken a tumble after upgrading WordPress? Mine did, after upgrading to WordPress 3.2.1. The fix may be easier than you think. Re-save your settings – that’s all, folks! Easy peasy.

If the only thing that’s different is a WordPress upgrade, this should help. If there have also been plugin updates, try uninstalling plugins. Especially, check the settings on SEO plugins that try to cut down on the number of duplicate pages created via archives. For instance, if you disable date-related archives and then add an “Archives” widget to your sidebar, the links will show in the widget, but they may not behave normally.

If links to pages you know exist are there showing up as “not found,” your permalinks may be broken.
Go to Settings > Permalinks and click on “save.”
Is your 404 page not working, when everything was fine before an upgrade?
Go to Settings > General and click on “save.” This can re-set your htaccess file.
Now that WordPress has re-learned your permalink structure, remind your XML and HTML sitemaps to do the same.
Go to whatever sitemap generator(s) you are using and click on “save settings.”
Are you getting an error about not having php5, though your host has had it working just fine?
Add instructions to the end of your htaccess file:
# END WordPress
Options All -Indexes
AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

This same sort of re-saving can help to clean up little snaggles after a server move.

Posted in WordPress | 6 Comments

Surrendering to Adobe

On Monday I’m going to buy Adobe’s CS5.5 Master Collection. I keep teasing myself about the insanity of taking no profit for personal use so that I can send a big company serious money for software for which there are make-do Open Source alternatives. It’s not that I think Open Source should be free, as in “free lunch.” It’s more that I’d like free, as in “free speech,” to have lower financial barriers for participation, because creativity is a basic human need. We should not have to pay big bucks to express ourselves. If software is a creative tool, I want to use software that I can get into with sweat equity.

Let her Rip

In my non-virtual life I am a strong believer in hands-on art. I want pigment applied with my own hands, on paper I can texturize, tear, collage and stain with my very own fingerprints. I’ve resisted digital arts because I believe the hands-on stuff has a deeper value. I want fine art.

I resent the copied, impersonal patterns that are everywhere in graphic design, yet every day I check in with a Social Media community where my dashboard is decked out with patterns borrowed from design programs. My fingerprints seem to be there because I picked out the patterns, but it’s a surface thing in comparison to what real art can do. This is common. This is the way it is today and the way it will be more and more.

Resistance is Futile… and Fertile

It’s the same old story, “You will be assimilated. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.”

The Industrial Revolution that gave us mass production and therefore more affordable household goods also gave us less individuality, fewer opportunities and necessities for personalization. We have more stuff and in some cases better stuff, but it is also more likely to be the same stuff everyone else has, less likely to be made with our own hands or the hands of someone we value. Even Twitter’s first website was designed around what was basically non-unique clip art – check out this Washington Post interview of graphic artist, Simon Oxley:

I joined the iStock community back in 2004, and began pumping images into the flow a year or so later — at first I was hesitant to join in the stock trade, since the image I had of stock was a little negative, believing that it motivated designers to only create gray, generic images. I soon realized that like many things in life, it is only gray and boring if you make it that way. … and there is enough space for many people to express as many emotions as they wish. iStock provides a channel for creative minds to broadcast their thoughts through and discuss the technical aspects of imagemaking, which ultimately frees people up to make whatever they wish.

Rebirth

Where am I going with all this and what does it have to do with Adobe? At 51, I’ve had a change of life in more ways than one. I want the industry standard tools so that I can read and work with those various file types for financial gain, but that’s not the clincher. The tipping point is a sense of creative mission. I want more ways to put creative “fingerprints” online. So what if there are fewer people who go the hands-on route. Why does that have to slow me down? Doesn’t that present an opportunity for an artist like myself, once I get around my resistance and think like an artist who is also a marketer?

Still, Adobe is expensive. I keep looking in the mirror and saying, “You’re nuts. You know that, don’t you?”

The grin remains. I like this nuts.

Posted in Design | 2 Comments

I think I’m getting there

The old posts are back and all on-site links work.

As I have time, I’ll restore comments on posts that won’t get updated later. Luckily, the ones that had lots of comments are the sort that will get updated.

Reconsidering Style

The better my browser resolutions get, the more I am reminded that I need to re-do my logo. I’ve been putting it off because of sentimental attachment – this one was my first. Looking at it now, there are a few things I’d do differently. I built it by combining two fonts I liked and slightly re-shaping them with a vector editing application – I don’t even remember which application, but I can tell you for sure that it was before Adobe gobbled up Macromedia, probably before Macromedia bought Allaire and maybe even before Homesite was sold to Allaire. I didn’t understand the benefits of working with vectors and changed the shapes a bit after converting to a jpeg, after which, somehow, I ended up with only gifs. I do not know where the original files are. This is how we learn. :)

I still like that sumi feel.

When I first made my logo, today’s CSS was a twinkle in the W3C’s collective eye.

Now that we have beautifully less buggy CSS and browsers that almost display identical content in identical ways, web design can be soooo much more fun. The first version of this layout was made with tables and little curved corner images, about which I felt soooo clever. It’s had more or less the same look for a very long time.

Change… hmm… I sort of have to grin and bear it, but once I get going I can play for hours and then some.

I’m not unhappy with what I have. However… today I own my very own legal copies of the CS2 versions of PhotoShop and Illustrator and inDesign… and I’m about to upgrade the whole kit and kaboodle and then some to CS5… and that’s a whole lot more to play with.

No content generation promises, this time around. I’m not going to put myself on a heavy blogging schedule. In the first place, I now have real clients who may wonder why I am messing around with my blog when I owe, ummm, work. LOL. Also, my days of having “a blog” are long over. Not sayin’ how many, will say I do keep busy.

Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment

Just a Quickie

The remaining faithful few who subscribed when this blog was active a few years ago may be wondering what’s with the re-appearing older posts. I’m in recovery mode from corrupted backups. I decided against starting fresh, without the older posts. Because of a few of them still get Search traffic, I’ll be gradually restoring everything. Some older posts may be outdated, but the search terms and their reason for being will be evergreen. For now, expect to see some older posts re-appear every day, with original dates and URL intact. After that, I’ll be rewriting fresh content, at which time searchers who would have hit the older version will be land on shiny new articles.

So many projects, so little time!

I’ve missed writing to you.

P.S. Blast from the Past

Wow, this was fun.

Added

26 posts to go. Many links were converted to relative links and ended up being broken. That can be for another day. I haven’t decided what to do about the comments. LOL

I don’t know what all this has done to the inboxes of RSS subscribers who get this blog via email. I promise it won’t be crazy forever!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello world, again!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bah Humbug

I’m still finding glitchy little things that don’t work as they should. Getting the data in here is not enough. At least I was corrupted, not hacked. Ha.

It may be time to start fresh, with an entirely new install of absolutely everything.

Just sign me “raring to go and plowing through the groundwork.”

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Putting a Fork in 2010

Hey world! I had plans for New Years Day that did not involve rebuilding AbleReach a few files at a time. At the moment I’ve got this site 70% back, and where it’s still broken I have the important data backed up in several forms. The rest can wait. In the meantime, let’s just say that a little bit of corruption goes a long way – and I’m back to writing.

More tomorrow!

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Weird Work Habits – How I romance coding in notepad

Today I am printing out two copies of about 300 lines of color-coded source code. This is the html framework for the whole page, with the if/else bits that call includes depending on what’s happening where in the site, but not the includes themselves. I’ll tape all 19 pages together, end-to-end, like Jack Kerouac’s original “scroll” for his novel On the Road, but with nested code and numbered lines. Then, I’ll use a red pen to mark where the big chunks open and close, fold the paper to hide what I’m not working on and clip that part shut. Sometimes (often,) if I want to move around design elements, I’ll cut out the part I’m moving and tape it into the new location. The whole thing gets draped or hung on a copy holder, where I reference it while typing.

Why?

Well… my short term memory sort of sucks, to the extent that I’ve been asked if I have a head injury. This is a logistical problem that can really screw with productivity and self esteem, but it isn’t the end of the world. I could make notes in the code to say “PASTE PART X HERE,” go to copy and cut part X, and, as soon as it’s not in front of me I have no idea what it was that I cut, where I want to put it or why. With a hands-on piece of paper in front of me, I have reference points that don’t go away. That last sentence is the important part, the hope-and-solution part: creativity rocks.

And, though WYSIWYG editors are good enough now to let me drag stuff around without causing too much crippling chaos in the code, I want to keep a relationship between code and visual. Separating design and code seems as artificial to me as separating creativity and science — if scientists were not creative, why would we have new questions?

Don’t underestimate the Little Engine that Could factor. If I’m not intimidated by coding in Notepad++, I’m not intimidated by curly brackets doing unfamiliar things — though I may not know how to make unfamiliar code behave on command, I can figure out where it begins and ends and search for the bits that might make sense soon.

Do I always do this?

No way.

When I was first getting to know WordPress’s templating system I did it. When I design a completely new theme I may do it at some point – for simple CSS adjustments, not so much. Now that I’m learning how forum templating systems work — LOL — hell yeah I’ll be at my patio table with tape and scissors and a little (paper) notebook for observations.

Crazy, huh? It works for me.

Dreamweaver can wait.

Posted in Web Development | Leave a comment

On Social Change and Communication Technology

The real change, to me, is in the advancing availability of communication technology.

Yes, we’ve had communication technology before. When the telegraph was cutting edge, alongside its use for official-sounding business, it was privately re-purposed by whoever had access. One Wild West use was as a sort of an underground gossip network between potential lovers, sometimes with the scheming help of matchmaking relatives. No kidding.

People have a thing about communication and expression. Maybe it’s written in our DNA that we absolutely have to express and connect. That doesn’t say we’re going to do anything about messages that fly back and forth. That’s up to the individual, and on the level of just being able to speak, the individual who speaks has already done enough.

Little voices don’t have to make big change, but isn’t it fascinating when, together, they might show us a climate of possibility?

I heard that a few years ago, in China at the time of Tiananmen, there was a run on a new-ish technological gizmo known as the FAX machine. Traditional media was tightly controlled or at least closely watched. With a fax, a letter or a picture could go long distances in minutes. Time and date stamps can be cut off of printouts, which gets you an anonymous bit of insurgency to pass on, a business communique, or news from family – dealer’s choice. I suppose that someone clever can clear a machine’s memory. With a fax, sent in this way, along with efficiency there is at once privacy and intimacy.

The FAX itself is an object that did not change anything. The individual faxes may or may not have had any influence on anything. The possibility of the potential was important enough to create motivated buyers, for the right person in the right situation. The same could be said for revolutionary ideas, or even a good hug.

Running water does not create cleanliness.

Twitter won’t make social change.

Potential happens in the mind.

There’s a science fiction story about a bug that was accidentally squashed by time travelers, creating a chain of events that changed the world. This is a romantic and frightening idea. And there’s no doubt that a plan has more of a chance of enabling a goal than bugs that get squished along the way when there is the lack of a plan. But, the idea that I can communicate something worthwhile by stringing together letters using this computer thingy has kept me here at my desk writing this post, and I like that I can do this.

I don’t have to be part of an organized movement on its way to accomplishing change to feel that I have done something good just by being here.


p.s. My @quotesnack Twitter avatar will be green for a while. I won’t pick sides, but I will support the people (and a free media,) in my stubborn inconsequential way, from my position here as a butterfly wing on the face of the Internet.

Posted in Social Networking | Leave a comment

Hello, World

After just over a year’s absence I’m more or less here again.  I removed and re-added plugins until finding the half-dozen or so that no longer wanted to play nice, and now I can see the “Add New Post” dialog, you don’t see a 501 server error, and (hot damn) pushing the “publish” button does not result in an error. This is also a shiny new upgrade to WP 2.8.

There are a few smallish things that are missing or a little bit broken, but, for the most part, it’s all here.

One of the really nice finds was that most of the 80-something comments that had stacked up back here were both positive and not spam – very, very cool. Thank you.

And, there are scads of drafted post ideas in there that are still pretty interesting. Yes, this blog already has a garden with working compost heap.

Are you with me? I feel like I’m waving at the house where I lived last year.

It’s good to get this site functioning again.

What’s Next?

Search me if I know!

  • I want a personal soapbox – got opinions, as usual. We live in a fascinating time. Are you up for some editorializing?
  • I need to fix a few things about this site. It needs an updated logo and “About” page, at least, and some replacement plugins, and htaccess will need attention.
  • I’m beginning to feel the need for a place to put creative writing – actual poetry and fiction. I haven’t decided if I’ll start that incognito until I get used to the idea, or if it will be a pen name thing for the duration.
  • I want to redesign QuoteSnack, to make it easier to expand and add services – been having a ball there, and on Twitter.
  • I may split the AbleReach WordPress stuff off onto a site of its own, or the non-techie topics may be better off with their own home, or this could be all-in-one moi.
  • And there are a couple other projects I’ve wanted to start. A couple? A few? Hell, I may need to admit I’m up to however many “fews” it takes to make a “lot.”

So much to learn, so much to do. How’s a gal to choose?

Posted in The Meaning of Life | Leave a comment