Category Archives: Computing

WordPress on a new subdomain

Thanks to the nice people at Hostmonster tech support (Christopher), without moving any of my files, I now have a new web address for the WordPress install, that is http://blog.murky.org/

What gave me a little confusion, soon overcome, was that even though my registrar is now hover, hostmonster can still manage the domain, that is because hover points at the old nameservers, which are hostmonster’s. So, why the move? It’s about separating out different roles – not having everything in one spot. If I ever want to break links with hostmonster, I can do this entirely from within hover by resetting the domain nameserver.

Anyhow, to create http://blog.murky.org/ I had to do was go to the subdomain management tools (which is on the top menu of hostmonster, not an icon on the main cpanel page) and make a subdomain which I directed to the directory containing WordPress.

As I type, this is also where www.murky.org is directed, I did it with an overlap so that mid-change I could still access the WordPress admin pages under one naming scheme or the other.

Creating the subdomain using the management tools also created the appropriate A name records too. I shouldn’t have needed tech support really in hindsight, but messing with domains is one of those things that you do very rarely, and so each time you do it, it is as new. If I had to do this task again tomorrow, no problem…. but in a year? I hope the above text will be enough!

I wanted to fix old links – and that was done with a WordPress plugin called ‘search regex’ – a quick search in post content for links to my old domain, and replacing with the new… job done. I also went into WordPress settings to change the URL there.

The next step is to cause www.murky.org to go to a different host – that is a job for another day – and it’s a slightly different task, so it’s back to square one.

If I was starting from scratch, would I do it this way? Hell no, I’d have the subdomains all with the registrar.

Tidying Domains

So, the plan is this:

  1. Move all my domains to a new registrar, get them all in one place. That place is hover.
  2. Create a new squarespace account.
  3. Point www.murky.org at squarespace, and point blog.murky.org at WordPress. This will break some existing links, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay.
  4. I don’t know whether to nuke the blog given that it’s rather neglected.

The first step of moving to hover is underway.

I first had to go to the existing registrar and ensure that the domain was unlocked and the admin email was set to something that I could access. I then entered the domain details into hover and then the process is underway. I also had to enter a code that I got from the admin pages from my existing registrar.

Hostmonster (one of my old registrars) sent me an email with a confirm or abort request. By confirming the change could happen straight away – so kudos to them. I was going to move the blog away from hostmonster, but I’m strongly considering leaving it there purely to that little bit of niceness. Without this there is a five day waiting period – I’m still waiting for this to elapse for the ‘Easily’ registrar (there may be a way to speed this up too, but it’s not obvious).

iTunes and nested conditionals

iTunes 9 introduced ‘nested conditionals’ in smart playlists. I sense I’ve already lost some readers, so let me clarify. If you know this, please bear with me.

In iTunes you can create a playlist based on rules. I.e. Show me all songs with ‘Bowie’ in the artist, released before 1984, that haven’t been listened to in the last 2 weeks. This is useful as it allows iPods to have ever changing playlists.

in iTunes 9, you could have ‘nested conditionals’. This means you could do complex things like:

  • Released before 1985
  • AND
    • Artist=Bowie
    • OR
    • Artist=Rolling Stones

In iTunes 10, the button to nest rules together seemed to disappear. This caused me annoyance, but I found out where it went, and thought I’d tell record this information (on the principle that if it’s been annoying me, chanced are I’m not alone).

It has been merged with the ‘new rule’ button, I think this is a retrograde step in the user interface personally, it should be an option, off by default as it’s not easily discoverable.

So, to create a smart playlist, type spag, option, N. Alternatively, use the drop down menu. Once you have your smart playlist make your rules. When you want a new rule, click the little ‘plus’ button. If you want to nest rules, hold the option button, the ‘plus’ changes to ‘…’.

Job done. What you do with your rules is down to your ingenuity. Don’t forget to rename your playlist to something sensible, and when you sync, tell iTunes that you want this new playlist to be copied to your iPod.

Smart Playlist with Conditional Rules in iTunes

Latex for WordPress

I’ve just installed ‘Jetpack‘ which comes with \LaTeX. This post is to provide a quick reference. \LaTeX parses the text in the WordPress post, and lays out the display as a graphic for the viewer. Though someone reading this will see images, there are no images referred to in the edited post.

\LaTeX is a generalised document layout language, but as far as I am concerned, the main use of \LaTeX in WordPress is mathematical.

Note that as the images are generated on the fly, the page will be slower to load than if the page were pre-rendered. Therefore, I think it may still be best for the web to generate the image, save it and then display the result via an <img> tag (keeping the \LaTeX hidden in a comment so that the image can be regenerated if need be). As already mentioned, I have not pre-generated the images for this post, it is all done in code.

It’s a pity that MathML isn’t well supported at the moment.
Continue reading Latex for WordPress