Entries Tagged 'Computers' ↓

WordPress x 2: don’t do it


I recently tried to convert my main site to WordPress, installing a new WP in a new directory. I was trying to refresh the site’s appearance with WP themes.

I used the Make theme and got a front page I liked. This was just a test, so it wasn’t live and I forgot about my WordPress site experiment.

Except that WP used some of the existing database in special ways.

The result? My WP blog which has run flawlessly for years disappeared. Blank screen. No images. No posts. No menus. Remember that Borges story about the ink-drinking monkey? It’s my WordPress install!

After trying a bunch of things for several hours: turning on debug messages, turning off plugins and my current theme – no help. (And what is my latest theme anyway?? To find that out, I used a site that reads WP themes from any webpage; it assured me I wasn’t running a WordPress blog. That was … comforting.)

Anyway, the solution was to go into my cpanel and read the data in my MySQL database. There the blog site’s address was confused with my main site.

(I got that idea when trying to load myblog.com/wp-admin directly into my browser — the blog’s blank — and being sent instead to my main site’s WP installation. The database redirected me to what it thought was my blog.)

I think I can use WP successfully on my main site and my blog site, if I assign each WP instance its own database. Duh. The reason the new WordPress on my main site didn’t APPEAR to mess up was that I created a new static home page and didn’t go to blog pages — where my current blog would have appeared.

Seth Godin’s Without a Keyboard

You can’t create the spreadsheet that changes an industry on a smart phone.

Feed validator.org. Yay!

After spending a few hours trying to discover why my standard WordPress installation wasn’t generating a valid RSS feed, I tried this site. I put in a few good guesses as to the proper URL. After my third try, FVO auto-filled my URL and got it right!

So if you can’t get your RSS feed working, try this site.

(I installed a slew of RSS plugins and widgets fixing and verifying my feed, but still didn’t know the correct URL. No, it wasn’t thissite.net/wordpress/rss/ !!)

Upgrade to Windows Vista: a tough slog

I decided to upgrade my computer’s operating system before the easiest ways to do that become collectibles on eBay. Uh-huh, I’ve stuck by XP, because the press was so bad on the succeeding OS, Vista, that it’s the Heaven’s Gate of Microsoft products. There is some counter talk that Vista is just a big operating system being forced to run on outdated dinky XP hardware, but that’s hard to judge without installing Vista on my oldest mother board. (Oh, yeah, I tried that. The installation complained immediately that the BIOS wasn’t up to snuff and didn’t allow sophisticated power-saving techniques. When I solved that problem, I discovered these power-saving methods by default! include turning off my monitor, which has always been a sign to me of a major crash. Extremely bad idea Microsoft! Why not just use a blue screen of death as the default screen saver?)

I bought an upgrade version of Vista Home Premium, chosen because it would lead to Home Premium or Ultimate Windows 7. It installed speedily in about two hours. I had an appointment, so I couldn’t take the time to suss out why my works-in-XP-and-Linux Logitech mouse wouldn’t work. Or what a failed user logon was.

Silly me. I thought the failed logon was because I had forgotten my password. I have never used User Logons on Windows, though I do in Linux, because the Penguin insists. No, it was not a forgotten password: the whole structure of users on Vista was terribly off. If there were no auto logon to Safe Mode, I would have just stared at the user screen. As it was, I booted emergency Linux from a CD to go online over and over. (Windows does not like the Linux boot loader.)

After three days of trying everything, including sure-fire registry edits and a cheap new mouse, I discovered the hidden administrator system user and how to activate it. This can be done in safe mode from a command prompt, because safe mode is all I had working in Vista. This method is supposed to be a security risk, so I won’t detail it here, but search for it.

Now why is getting this logon fixed so important??? BECAUSE YOU CAN’T RE-INSTALL VISTA WITHOUT IT.

Yep, you can’t install from a cold boot with the DVD or from safe mode.

I was concerned I would mess up the system further by re-installing, but the re-install went well — better than the first time.

After trying a few things in safe mode — SM hmm sending us a message — I unplugged and plugged in my mouse. Hardware driver installed! It worked. After the re-install, the device manager listed no mouse at all. This was an improvement. Before, DevMan said everything was fine, but my mouse was frozen. And of course, it would not detect a mouse as new hardware, no matter what. And no Virginia, you cannot navigate Windows well with just the keyboard.

The next day, because people had said that the SP1 upgrade for Vista made it faster, I installed it. It’s roughly 500 megs and tt takes about an hour to run. Oww.

Zap! All my usernames worked. It even logged me in by default as the most likely system user. Sweet.

In the end, though, I think what anyone is doing on a computer is like creating a painting. The painting is the most important thing. Second in importance, paints and brushes — the programs. And third, way behind, the bucket to carry things in, the operating system.

Right now, Linux makes it simple to do regular stuff and hard to do fancy things. That’s because Linux at the command prompt is a whole other language. On the other hand, Vista makes it really tough to do much of anything.

Anyone for Windows 7?

Svchost.exe error: endless reboots

With the end of Microsoft’s support for Windows XP in sight early next year, I began to look at how to upgrade my old system running winxp.

I would have gone to Windows Vista when it came out in 2007, but the press and user reviews were almost universally bad — a sluggish piece of bloatware than made XP look very good. The in 2009, Windows 7 came out. It got all the good press that Vista lacked: it was speedy, robust and with serious eye candy with the Aero visual theme.

Except from Windows XP the only one-step way to put 7 on your system was a clean install, meaning drag out all those disks for your programs. A tough order on an OS that came out in 2001.

So I will upgrade in place to Vista and then later to Windows 7 and I wanted to be sure my system was running at its best.

It was running well, booting up fast and with few crashes. But for the last week, every time it booted up there was a Svchost.eze error message which stated there was a memory glitch at 0x7C918FEA.

I looked for the error ignoring that memory location. The error occurs in several different memory locations. What’s more, there were a lot of fixes on the internet, re-registering DLLs and turning off Windows Update then re-enabling it. I tried this over and over. No go. Windows Update was never happy. And Svchost.exe error occurred at every boot up.

There were many products claiming to fix svchost errors, usually registry cleaners that allegedly fix every kind of Windows problem. I already own several registry cleaners. They fix some things, but are not miracle cures.

One product even sounds like an infomercial, as it asks “what would you pay a technician to fix this problem? $200? $150?” Good copy, but I was skeptical.

The product costs only $40 which sounds like a bargain. The question is will it fix my particular svchost.exe error? Apparently, it re-registers certain DLLs. (I’ve done that twice myself for free.)

Anyway, I found a solution. It’s at Fix Svchost.exe Application Error – Memory Could Not Be Written

The cause of the problem seems to be my running an unneeded Windows service, but it could have been a tiny registry glitch. I should track down the precise cause, by more trial-and-error repairs, but rebooting Windows XP gets old real fast.

NOTE: I ran the driver-checking utility mentioned on the site, but outdated drivers were NOT the cause.

Anyway, if you are dogged by a pesky svchost.exe error that won’t go away, try the repairs listed on the site. I wish I had found them several days ago.