Posts Tagged ‘set-up’

Work on Movable Type

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Having spent the best part of a couple of days this week working on a Movable Type installation that needs to be migrated for a business RBI sold recently, I’m getting more than a little frustrated. Months ago I specified the MT version they needed, and then about 5 weeks ago provided them with a back-up file to test with. Looks like they did nothing with all that – until this week – and now it’s absolutely crucial that they get this productionised NOW!! I’ve almost completely rebuilt their installation to something a little bit sane, but they still have problems with imports – I did two just fine today – and there are some horrible problems with the content which looks like it’s been badly constructed with absolute links for pictures and other assets. It’s enough to make one weep! I’m wondering if I should offer to do this freelance for them at the weekend – a good rate to charge might be what the Landrover garage charge for working on the car. Might make them think, though. Perhaps I should sell them hosting as well!

ZoneMinder Running Again

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

After a long period, since Grace moved into her present bedroom, so probably about four years, I’ve finally got my CCTV system running again. This is based in a software package called ZoneMinder – and it allows you to toe up a bunch of video cameras to a PC and do all the monitoring and movement detecting you want – with alerts, time-stamps and the ability to manage and view from any net connected browser.
I have an eight port input card, which cost a fortune originally, and as I no longer run a power hungry file server, I fitted it into a Mini-ITX box. It’s running Ubuntu 8.04 as that’s about the most recent thing that will run (without recompiling a kernel) in the C3 mobo as the Via processor doesn’t have the mov instruction. Probably unsurprisingly, it runs quite well despite the lower specified board in use for this application. I’ve run a length of CAT5 from the point in the loft where the original co-ax cables terminated into the new study and connected a four way BNC/CAT5 balun at each end. This seems to work well enough for monitoring purposes.

Montage of four video feeds

Video Feeds at Sefton Villas

I’m collecting four feeds (the fifth, an IP camera, makes the system reboot, so it’s not presently included) – one of which is a nest-cam mounted in a box on the side of the shed. At last, a blue tit has started using the box – as yet only at night to sleep – and this is probably because we have remounted it in a better position, now north facing, on the new shed. The picture accompanying this post is a montage of the feeds, including nightime Front Garden and Back Garden views and of the little bird snoozing this evening. Grace has named him(?) Albert.

Getting my blog up and running again

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

It’s about time that I made the effort to get this blog finally up and running properly – with some sort of regular posting going on.  Too many attempts at this in the past have fizzled out – but, working in the IT/Publishing industry, and managing the technology for an installation of over 250 blogs for the UK’s largest business publishing company, it’s about time I did what I do!

Of some note is that this is a WordPress based blog – yet at work I deal exclusively with Movable Type.  Both make good blogs, but it strikes me that the most important thing is to use the most appropriate tools for the job in hand.  For large scale business publishing I don’t think Movable Type can be bettered for us.  Running it on Linux, though, is an absolute must.  The work installation I inherited was two front end Windows 2003 IIS servers with a MySQL/Linux database.  Today, thankfully, it’s twelve front end Linux hosts with MySQL databases (still on Linux).

One or two blogs are worth a mention from this group:

Kitchen Rat, possibly my favourite
Mannerisms – from the wonderful David Manners and his slant on the electronics industry
Any of the Farmers Weekly Blogs

They all keep me amused, and very gainfully employed but back to this blog…

WordPress claims to be famous for it’s five-minute set up – but it took me rather longer.  Some of this was the interminable FTPing of files back and forth, and some was a rather daft attempt at an in-place upgrade which went wrong.  I think it was the style sheets or theme for the older WP version that caused the invisible pages, but a complete scrub and restart  from scratch finally did the trick.  WordPress always remind you to back-up before you start anything like this, and although I’ve never had a problem like this before, ignoring the advice will always bite you in the bum eventually.  I should have known that!