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David Mead

Updating Known to Version: 0.12.2

2 min read

With the IndieWeb Summit going on, I thought it a good time to update this blog to the latest version.

Steps

  • backed up the MySQL database for the site
  • copied the site, via FTP, to my local machine
  • downloaded latest zipped file from https://withknown.marcus-povey.co.uk/
  • unzipped and FTP’d new files over to server, apart from the Uploads and Configuration folders
  • refreshed in browser and voila! content is still there
  • revoked all IndiePub account access (not needed but wanted a fresh start on this build) and logged back in to:
  • added back in Food and Listen plugins from my local backup

Going forward

So far so good. OwnYourGram still doesn't want to work with my server for some reason. Nothing is being pulled in to Together so maybe that needs a little time.

The most notable changes are tidying up of the settings and configuration sections which looks great. There's also a new (updated?) editor which is cleaner and works well.

My existing Twitter plugin broke the site, so I pulled down a new version from GitHub.

 

David Mead

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms

Sunday. It's in the high 70s, and I'm frantically mowing the lawn because Monday comes the thunderstorms again.

Seems this summer is punctuated with rain/storms every other day. Wierd.

Out-of-breath, sweating bullets, and aching but I'm done before the downpour.

 

David Mead

Lost digital music

2 min read

As Warren Ellis searches out physical copies of his music collection, I got to thinking of the various digital music products that I can no longer access.

Loscil - Adrift

This first appeared for iOS and I waited to get the Android version. Turns out he couldn't get it through the regular app store, only Amazon's version (size limitations?). I had to install Amazon's store on my Nexus 7, then download it through there.  I liked it, but it never quite worked all the time and would shut off.

Since my Nexus 7 died, this has been lost to me as it won't download to the older Kindle I'm using.

A (non-endless) version of  'Bannockburn',  is on Bandcamp.

Brian Eno & Peter Chilvers - Bloom: 10 Worlds

Again, something released on iOS, Bloom was a great generative music app.  I used to play it on my wife's 1st Gen. iPad, but it never came to Android.  A decade later, 'Bloom: 10 Worlds' appeared in Google Play.

I would set this going then throw it to my Chromecast to have it playing through the TV. When my Nexus 7 died so dit it-unable to run on my newer Pixel 2 phone. Peter Chilvers himself replied when i ran into this...

"Unfortunately there’s an audio glitch that only occurs on the Google Pixel range, so we took the precaution of excluding it until that can be fixed. At time of writing, it seems to be beyond our control, but if we can find a way to work around it, we’ll make it available."

I live in hope.

MUJI - MUJI to Sleep

This was an app that would play nature sounds to help you sleep.  One of the extra cool things it did was...

"Use the smartphone's light and camera to measure your pulse. From countless sound combinations, the best relaxing music for you is created."

It's now branded 'MUJI to Relax', so that's a win.  MUJI has a good article on sleep too.

SSEYO Koan

In the back of my mind I remember a Flash/SSEYO Koan thing too. It was an early generative music player, but I lost that late 90's.

David Mead

Sketch plugin goes from free to paid, with dark pattern. Looking at you @sketch_runner...

2 min read

I'm a big fan of a Sketch plugin called Runner.  This lets you run, and install, plugins from within Sketch by typing-much like Alfred.

When I hit the keystroke to launch it today, nothing happend. I went to tool bar and everything looked normal, so I started it from there.  What I saw was a splash screen for Runner Pro.

screenshot of Runner splash screen

I didn't want to start a 14 day free trail. I just wanted to keep using the free (and only version up-to that point) that I had installed.

I clicked through the "Discover what's new" sections until I got to the end.  This had another start free trial call-to-action.

screenshot of last splash page for Runner

 

Nothing on how to keep using the version I had.

I went to the site to find it's now all about the paid version of Runner Pro. Digging down into the documentation online I found the top FAQ is now "Is Runner paid only?"

Seems I have to use the paid version for 14 days, which then reverts to the free version. I get it. You want people to adopt it and pay for the hard work put into a great tool. No argument there.  Just this approach feels very "dark pattern" and not great to me.

Some reassuring text on the splash pages wouldn't have had me searching the FAQ's and wondering if there are alternatives. Also wouldn't make me second guess paying for the Pro version, which is where I am now.

 

David Mead

Is @GooglePlayMusic letting out a death rattle?

1 min read

So @GooglePlayMusic has been showing signs of that, oh so worrying, Google product trait where small things start to not work properly.

Continual uploading

For sometime now the web interface keeps telling me there's one more song uploading. I have no idea what it is. I click on the icon, taking me to the 'recently uploaded' screen, to find everything there.

screenshot of Google Play upload icon

Incorrect artwork

When adding the last four free Underworld tracks, Google Play Music has given them all the same artwork, even though they each come with individual covers.  These covers can be seen when looking at the file locally, but in here they are all the same. Which brings me on to my thrid thing...

screenshot showing same artwork for 3 different music tracks

Cannot upload artwork

At some point Google Play Music lost the ability to upload cover art for tracks or albums. I can pick a new piece, but it never uploads. This means missing, or wrong, artwork can't be fixed.

screenshot showing cover art upload error

I moved away from using iTunes and an iPod quite some time ago, but that option may need to be dusted off (literally) again.

David Mead

Listened to the album, Departed Glories

By Biosphere

Dreamy, meloncholic, haunting.

I'm a big Biosphere fan, but this took me a couple of tries to get into.  Though similiar to some of his work, such as Shenzhou, it's still different from his normal output.

The more I listen the higher it climbs in my favourite albums list.

David Mead

Fogbound 001

Fogbound 001

Rolling in at work

David Mead

I have lived for over half a century, so far...

1 min read

It boggles my mind that I drew a breath before man walked on the moon. Before VCRs, computer games, and cell phones.

I remember thinking about changes my grandparents and parents saw. Then consider the rapid technological leaps & bounds I've seen.

As I type this I'm looking at a brilliant full colour screen, sitting in a milled piece of aluminum on my lap. Magnitudes more computing power than put those men on the moon at my fingers.

I live and work, not only in another country, but a different continent.

I've outlived family, and friends.

I have a family of my own whom I love.

I am loved.

Here's to whatever I have left.

David Mead

Why I ignore concept work in a designer’s portfolio from @BaldMan, Alex Jones

Alex (@BaldMan) brings up some good points here. Personlly I do like seeing a little concept work, if it's presented in service of an executed project - A glimpse of the road taken.

David Mead

Setting up a blog, using Known, part 3

4 min read

Time to get a WordPress instance back up and running. Piece of cake as I backed up and exported everything, right? That way links don’t stay broken and I can just start using the Known blog (on the root) going forward.

Day Three

Even though I had removed everything of my existing WP install by FTPing into the server, using Coda, I went in through the Media Temple control panel and removed the WP install there too.

While in the 1-click-apps screen I then added a new version of Wordpress in /blog.

That set up just fine. In my browser I went to http://davidjohnmead.com/blog - Lo and behold a brand new WP site. Created a user and went about importing the WP created .XML export file…and waited.

The WordPress Export

I’ve been blogging for a while now, and have imported various other blogs into this one; Blogger, Tumblr, Known, and older WP blogs since 2005. When it finished I was presented by a HUGE page informing me of all the things that didn’t get created or failed!

This was worrying.  I did notice the first block were all referencing Post Kinds.  Now, this is an IndieWeb plugin that worked well, but I hadn’t reinstalled it. That must be the problem. So I went, installed the plugin and ran the importer again.

This time I no Post Kinds errors, but still a huge page (over 6000 lines) with a lot of 'Failed to import media', 'Post “blah blah” already exists', and...

“Warning: mysqli_real_escape_string() expects parameter 2 to be string, object given in /blah/blah/blah/blah/blah/blah/davidjohnmead.com/html/blog/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1102”

Now posts already existing does make sense as this was the second time I’d tried this. The bigger issue was when I went to look at the blog there were no posts after September 2016! Over two years of photos, checkins, and writing gone.

Opening the file on my local machine, and checking the file size, I noticed that it was way smaller than zipped versions of previous exports. Hitting the end of the XML I saw this at line 475098…

<b>Fatal error</b>:  Out of memory (allocated 242221056) (tried to allocate 130968 bytes) in <b>/nfs/c03/h05/mnt/56448/domains/davidjohnmead.com/html/blog/wp-includes/taxonomy.php</b> on line <b>1398</b><br />

OMG! When WP ran and built the export it failed and I never saw any notification of that.

So not only am I missing the last two years, none of the 4.5k entries that are there have media that were part of the posts.

The SQL Export

Time for ‘Plan B’ - The diligent exports from mySQL I make every so often.

After asking someone who knows (Thanks GWG), I logged into myPHPAdmin and started to import the .sql file into the new WP created database.

And waited.

And waited.

And it failed. Too big. This is a nearly 60Mb file, but the upload cap it set to 10Mb.

Now comes the searching for help documentation, the cries for help on IRC, and me gingerly typing things into Terminal that I don’t understand in the hopes I can move 60Mb of SQL to the right database using SSH.

Not my fun idea of a weekend, but looking the bright side I’ve already got 4 spam comments on the WP blog less than a day of putting it back up.

Issues

  • importing WP content into Known still doesn’t work
  • posting from Teacup still doesn’t work
  • checkins from OwnYourSwarm still need to be resent from within the tool don't appear on blog
  • Importing WP content into WP didn’t fully work
  • SQL file to big to import through web