Damian Mehers' Blog Android, VR and Wearables from Geneva, Switzerland.

30Aug/081

Moving a blog hosted at WordPress.com to Webhost4life

A couple of days ago I decided to move this blog from being hosted at WordPress,com, to an account I have at Webhost4life.  You can add new domains to your account for only US$15 a year.

When I set the blog up at WordPress.com, I ordered my custom domain (damianblog.com) and that is what I have been using.

Export your WordPress.com hosted blog

The first thing I did was to export my blog from my WordPress.com account, by logging in to WordPress.com administration page for Damianblog, clicking on Manage, and then clicking on Export:

image

This generated an XML file which I saved on my local hard disk.

Installing WordPress on webhost4life

Webhost4life offer a an automated installation of WordPress using the "Php Free Plug-ins" item on the "Site Admin" tab of their control panel.  I first tried using this, however it currently installs version 2.0.3, which will not import the file I'd just exported from WordPress.com.

After a little searching I came across this excellent page, which explains in detail what you need to do to set up the latest version of WordPress.

It worked well for me, except for step 18 (giving NETWORK access) - I found I had to give access to IUSER_DEDI... and also IUSER_<webhost4life account name>.

I also created the zip at step 14 as 'damianblog.zip' and copied that to my root directory and then unzipped it, so that WordPress was now installed under a 'damianblog' directory under my account root directory.

Setting up the damianblog DNS so that it points to Webhost4life

In the webhost4life control panel I went to the "Domain Name" item on the "Domains" tab in the control panel and added damianblog.com to map to the damianblog directory to which I'd installed WordPress.

I paid my US$15, and I was given the name of two domain servers that I could now use to resolve damianblog.com.

Configuring your domain's DNS servers to point to the webhost4life servers

In the WordPress.com admin site I clicked on Upgrades and then on Domains (to the right of "Upgrades" and "Gifts") and saved the Customer Number shown at the bottom of the page, and then clicked on "Manage Your Domains" at the very bottom of the page.

This took me to a new page on securepaynet.net on which I entered my Customer Number that I just saved, and my password.  I clicked on damianblog.com and then clicked on "Nameservers" (the fourth tab), selected "Custom nameservers", and entered the name of the two name servers I'd been given when I set up the damianblog domain name in the Webhost4life control panel.

An hour or so later, when I pinged damianblog.com it returned my webhost4life IP address.

Panic

I went into my new WordPress admin page on webhost4life, and clicked on Settings (on the right-hand part of the page), and made sure the WordPress address (URL) was http://damianblog.com

I clicked on the Import link in the admin page, and imported the XML file I'd exported from the old blog hosted at WordPress.com

I checked, and sure enough when I went to http://damianblog.com all was well.  I could relax.

As an afterthought I tried clicking on one of the links on the web that pointed to my blog.  It didn't work.  Aggh.

It turns out that the default Permalink URL in my new blog was of the form http://damianblog.com/?p=123, whereas all my old postings hosted on WordPress.com were of the form http://damianblog.com/2007/02/25/ajax-screencast/

I went to the Permalink section but none of the common settings were in the form I wanted (they all wanted to add 'index.php' to the URL).  I could configure a custom structure to be the way I wanted, but when you clicked on URLs the page was not found:

image

The solution was to create a small PHP file which handled the "URL Not Found" error and remapped the page as described here.  Just be careful when copying the PHP code from the web page because some of the single quotes are not the standard quotes that they should be.

Finally: the Simpla Theme

The new WordPress installation did not come with the theme I've chosen: Simpla.  Installing it was pretty easy, I just unzipped the theme from http://ifelse.co.uk/simpla into the /wp-content/themes/ directory. 

Unfortunately none of my widgets showed on the right hand side.  I had to make a couple of small modifications to get that resolved.

Done

Now it all seems to be working properly and I can customize my installation as I wish.

Filed under: Uncategorized 1 Comment
30Aug/080

A new Z-Wave blog (home automation)

Z-Wave is a home automation technology which uses a mesh network to allow devices to talk to each other. 

Some devices, such as infrared motion sensors can run for years off of batteries, since their power requirements are so low. 

Other devices that are wired-in (such as light switches) act as relays between devices, thus forming the mesh.

I've got a few of these devices set up now, and have ordered a load more to fully automate my home.  I'm going to be talking about the purchase experience, installation, configuration, and controlling them from software.

I didn't want to "pollute" this blog with a bunch of Z-Wave information, so I've just started a new blog at http://www.thezwave.com/ 

I'll be posting there as my Z-Wave experience evolves.

Filed under: Uncategorized No Comments
29Aug/081

No 64 bit release of BeebMC for now

I've been looking into getting BeebMC to run on the 64 bit version of Vista.  It runs fine, but plays no music.

The reason is that Media Center runs as a 64 bit process, and there is no 64 bit Real Audio plugin for Internet Explorer, just the 32 bit version.

You can run a 32 bit instance of IE and use that to listen to the BBC, but when I host IE in BeebMC, it is running in a 64 bit context, so it can't then load Real Audio to play the BBC streams.

If/when the BBC starts streaming in a format that Windows Media Player can play natively then this problem will go away (and you'll be able to use BeebMC on extenders.

Filed under: BeebMC 1 Comment
29Aug/080

BeebMC 2.1 Released

I've just released BeebMC version 2.1.  Some small changes:

  • It now installs properly when the TV Pack is installed
  • I've changed the icon
  • There are now buttons to scroll up and down on a channel page, so that people with touch-panels can use the page more easily.

Download it from http://www.beebmc.com/

Filed under: BeebMC No Comments
29Aug/080

MCML Scroll Button PageUp jumps to first item in list

In BeebMC when you select a channel, you are presented with the list of programs available to "Listen Again".  You can scroll up and down the list using a remote control, or by positioning your mouse just before the first item, or just after the last item.

I've had a request from someone that has a touch panel.  They have no easy way of scrolling through their list.  I've decided to add a couple of arrow buttons to let you page up/down through the list.  This was pretty easy.  I first added a couple of buttons to my Content:

<con:TouchButton Name="ScrollUpButton" Command="[ScrollUpCommand]"
                 Picture="resx://BeebMC/BeebMC.Resources/arrow_up_blue">
  <LayoutInput>
    <FormLayoutInput Top="Parent, 0.2" Left="Parent,0.05"/>
  </LayoutInput>
</con:TouchButton>

<con:TouchButton Name="ScrollDownButton" Command="[ScrollDownCommand]"
                 Picture="resx://BeebMC/BeebMC.Resources/arrow_down_blue">
  <LayoutInput>
    <FormLayoutInput Bottom="Parent, 0.80" Left="Parent,0.05"/>
  </LayoutInput>
</con:TouchButton>

When the user clicks the button, I page up or down the scroller:

<Changed Source="[ScrollUpCommand.Invoked]">
  <Actions>
    <Invoke Target="[ScrollingData.PageUp]"/>
  </Actions>
</Changed>


<Changed Source="[ScrollDownCommand.Invoked]">
  <Actions>
    <Invoke Target="[ScrollingData.PageDown]"/>
  </Actions>
</Changed>

I tested and all seemed to work well, however then I noticed that although paging down through the list worked fine, paging up was jumping straight to the first item in the list 🙁

Eventually I discovered the problem.  When you click the Up button, the scroll area loses focus, and so it seems to lose track of where it was in the list.  I'm not sure why it works for the Down button. 

In any event, the solution was to add a rule to my TouchButton UI to essentially tell it not to grab focus:

<Default Target="[Input.KeyInteractive]" Value="false" />

Now it works and I am close to releasing version 2.1 of BeebMC, which should work with the Media Center TV Pack too.

Filed under: Media Center No Comments