Laconica 0.5.0 Upgrade and Related Developments

Last night, I began testing Laconica 0.5.0 on microblog. It is an update from Laconica 0.4.4. I created a new tarball, laconica050.tar.gz. I initially had some problems with OpenID and found that there was a patch to the OpenID code that is in the laconicadepends.tar.gz, so I created a new file, laconicadepends01.tar.gz. This didn’t fix the problem, and subsequently I found that for some reason my 0.5.0 hadn’t been properly installed and on reinstalling that the problem went away, so the depends01 file may not be necessary.

Upgrade Steps

Make sure you keep a back up copy of your installation. Then, install laconica050 and laconicadepends01 into your laconica directory. Copy over your config.php file. You should note that there are a bunch of new options in the config.php, so you may want to take the options you set in your config.php and copy them into the config.php.sample file and save that as your new config.php file.

Copy over any theme you have created. Copy over the avatars that have been created.

The Database Update

The database has changed a lot from 0.4.4 and earlier. Instead of trying to come up with all the alter statements necessary, I took a script that Evan had written and generalized it to work in my environment.

#!/bin/bash

export DB=$1
export SCR=$2
export USER=$3
export PW=$4
export HOST=$5

mysqldump -u $USER --password=$PW -h $HOST -c -t --hex-blob $DB > $DB.sql
mysqladmin -u $USER --password=$PW -h $HOST -f drop $DB
mysqladmin -u $USER --password=$PW -h $HOST create $DB
mysql -u $USER --password=$PW -h $HOST $DB < $SCR
mysql -u $USER --password=$PW -h $HOST $DB < $DB.sql

It worked very nicely for me. However, just to be safe, I did take a backup copy before I ran the script, separate from the backup copy that gets created at the beginning of the script.

With all of this in place (once my 0.5.0 version was properly in place), everything started working nicely. New features include hashtags, which I’m a big fan of, and I’m glad to see incorporated into the site. I’ve gotten SMS working, at least for sending out notices. Incoming SMS probably won’t work well because of how email is configured on my shared host.

One other problem that I had, which I’m not sure if it was because of the failed initial upgrade, or something else, but the public timeline didn’t show any of the entries prior to the upgrade. This wasn’t a big concern for me, and for more active sites, most people would never notice.

I’m still having problems with people being able to remotely subscribe to my microblog. When I turn on database debugging, it works, but when debugging is off, it doesn’t work. Go figure.

Other Stuff

The next thing that I was thinking about was adding TwitterFeed like functionality. Twitterfeed checks RSS feeds and submits a summary to Twitter. To my surprise, Twitter Feed has been modified to support Laconica. What is even better is that it supports any server running Laconica, so, I’ve set it up to send the RSS feed from my blog not only to Twitter, but also to identi.ca as well as my personal Microblog.

Another very interesting development is the translation tool for laconi.ca. I haven’t played with that yet, so I don’t have any details.

So, after a few minor problems, the 0.5.0 upgrade went very nicely. I’m interested to see how it goes for any of the other Laconica sites. Please leave your notes in the comments.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

As is customary, I start off the new month with hopes of a good month. Will I be able to put up a blog post every day? Will I be able to drop 300 EntreCards each day? Will I manage to keep building my traffic? Will I manage to write some good articles for SLNN? Will I manage to contribute to laconi.ca? Will I manage to get enough consulting or a full time gig to stabilize my finances? Each month starts off with plenty of hope.

I went and looked at a large set of EntreCard using sites this morning. Several of them list the top card droppers for the previous month. (Say Cheese, moms…check nyo, Unpredictable Life, and Acakadut as examples.

So, I thought I would list the top droppers on Orient Lodge:
My Absent Mind
Snapshotcap
Turnip of Power
On the Horizon
MamaFlo's Place
Random Ramblings
The Success
High Quality Pictures
Templates Treasure
Blog of Music

Now, time to work on some of those projects.

Virtual world interoperability

(Originally published at SLNN).

As Virtual Worlds Proliferate, Linden Lab explores interoperability, but is it the sort of interoperability that users want?

(Categories: )

Wordless Wednesday



Fiona and her new hat, originally uploaded by Aldon.

Mobile, Micro, Photo, Video and Audio blogging Festivals

Barring any unexpected events, Thursday will complete another month of getting at least one blog post up every day of the month. The idea for this grew out of National Novel Writing Month. Various bloggers that wanted to make some sort of writing commitment but didn’t want to write a novel, so they created National Blog Posting Month. It grew and every month, bloggers commit to writing at least one blog post each day. Some hardcore people are even shooting for writing a blog post every day for a year.

Initially, I didn’t feel inclined to commit to this. My life is too uncertain, and I have so many other things going on. Yet, I have managed to make the goal, so far, every month this year. I had doubts about whether I would pull it off for July, since I was on vacation for a week, and then at a folk music festival for five days. However, using my cellphone, I’ve managed to get in a post every day.

How did I do it? Different people have been asking me about different ways of posting from cellphones, so I thought I would go into a little detail here. For blog posts to my blog, I send a picture to Flickr, with title and text attached. Yet I also send content a bunch of other ways, so I thought I would give you the full picture.

I like to send a mix of data. Not only do I send text messages, but I also take pictures and videos which I send as MMS messages and I leave voice messages on various audio sites.

My cellphone is a Motorola Razr V3xx, which allows me to have mailing lists for messages that I send out. It allows me to take 640x480 pictures and videos. The videos are limited to 17 seconds. I've added 2 gig memory card to it so I have more space for pictures, videos, as well as music that I've downloaded to it.

For text, I send my text messages to Facebook, Twitter, Utterz, and my wife Kim. When you set up an account with Twitter, you have an option of linking in your cellphone. When you do that, it sends a confirm message to your cellphone. Once you've confirmed, you can just send a text message from your cellphone to their special code, and it shows up on Twitter. Facebook and Utterz works pretty much in the same manner.

For pictures, I send them to Facebook, Flickr, Kim, Ringo and Utterz. Kim's message goes as a message straight to her cellphone. The others go via email. When you set up mobile accounts at Facebook, Flickr, Ringo or Utterz, they give you an email address you can send pictures to. The pictures are typically posted immediately, or almost immediately. If you add text after the picture, that goes into the description. You can set the title by entering the subject in the sending options.

Typically, I don’t bother with a description or title because I want to get pictures uploaded and pay more attention to the event. However in some cases, I would take a picture and then save it to send to a special Flickr account that is set up to automatically cross post to this blog.

It is basically the same process for videos. I send my videos to Blip.tv, Facebook, Kim, Utterz, and Youtube. They often take a bit longer to process.

Then, I tie a lot of this together with various other linking. For example, there is an application to tie together messages on Twitter to messages on Facebook, so, I could omit Facebook, and my messages would eventually show up there. However, I send it to both places to cut out some of the lag between different sites.

Likewise, I subscribe to both Twitter and Facebook from FriendFeed, although I rarely post anything directly to FriendFeed, with the exception of commenting on other people's feeds.

Now that I’ve been home for a while, I’ve had a chance to go in and add descriptions, titles, tags, and format the posts better.

For sending audio, I’ve mostly been using Utterz. It is good for messages that I speak into the cellphone, but doesn’t do well at picking up music in the background. Utterz has the ability to cross post as well, though I rarely use it.

Now that I’m home, I’ve uploaded pictures and videos from my camera to my computer. I have a Canon SD 1000 with an 8 gig memory card in it. I can store about an hour of high quality video or thousands of high resolution pictures. I typically take a lot of pictures and then select the ones I like best to upload to Flickr. The videos I run through Movie Maker to compress down to a more manageable size. You can see several of these videos on blip.tv, or on various places, like this blog and MySpace which blip.tv cross posts to.

I also have a Panasonic GV-39 camcorder, if I want to record more longer videos. However, now that I have the 8 gig card in my regular camera, I use the camcorder less and less.

To get a sense of what I did at Falcon Ridge, check out the music section of this blog, my Twitter account, my Flickr photos, my Blip TV and YouTube videos and my Utterz. Also, check out my FriendFeed which aggregates many of these sources.

One problem with posting content like this from the cellphone is that you don’t see many of the comments that people make until you get back online. However, you can build a wonderful view of a festival by using these tools.

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