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  • Can someone solve my DNS conundrum?

    My other main blog is www.howtosavetheworldforfree.com, which has been running on paid for hosting for several years. However, Blogger is about to shut down its updating by FTP functions, so I thought it would be a good time to let the hosting lapse (it ran out last week) and move the blog to being hosted by Blogger.

    My hosting may have ended, but I still have my domain registered with the same company for another year. I’ve logged in to their DNS management page and, following Blogger’s own instructions, made changes to the CNAME record which should point to hosting on Blogger. Except nothing’s happening, so I can’t complete the move to Blogger.

    I’ve obviously misunderstood something. Could somebody who understands DNS have a look at the instructions and tell me whether I’m right to have created a new CNAME for the www subdomain or if I should be doing something else entirely.


  • Bye bye Blogger?

    I just received this email (several times because I have several blogs using ftp)-

    Dear FTP user:

    You are receiving this e-mail because one or more of your blogs at Blogger.com are set up to publish via FTP. We recently announced a planned shut-down of FTP support on Blogger Buzz (the official Blogger blog), and wanted to make sure you saw the announcement. We will be following up with more information via e-mail in the weeks ahead, and regularly updating a blog dedicated to this service shut-down here: http://blogger-ftp.blogspot.com/.

    The full text of the announcement at Blogger Buzz follows.

    Last May, we discussed a number of challenges facing Blogger users who relied on FTP to publish their blogs. FTP remains a significant drain on our ability to improve Blogger: only .5% of active blogs are published via FTP — yet the percentage of our engineering resources devoted to supporting FTP vastly exceeds that. On top of this, critical infrastructure that our FTP support relies on at Google will soon become unavailable, which would require that we completely rewrite the code that handles our FTP processing.

    Three years ago we launched Custom Domains to give users the simplicity of Blogger, the scalability of Google hosting, and the flexibility of hosting your blog at your own URL. Last year’s post discussed the advantages of custom domains over FTP and addressed a number of reasons users have continued to use FTP publishing. (If you’re interested in reading more about Custom Domains, our Help Center has a good overview of how to use them on your blog.) In evaluating the investment needed to continue supporting FTP, we have decided that we could not justify diverting further engineering resources away from building new features for all users.

    For that reason, we are announcing today that we will no longer support FTP publishing in Blogger after March 26, 2010. We realize that this will not necessarily be welcome news for some users, and we are committed to making the transition as seamless as possible. To that end:

    o We are building a migration tool that will walk users through a migration from their current URL to a Blogger-managed URL (either a Custom Domain or a Blogspot URL) that will be available to all users the week of February 22. This tool will handle redirecting traffic from the old URL to the new URL, and will handle the vast majority of situations.
    o We will be providing a dedicated blog and help documentation
    o Blogger team members will also be available to answer questions on the forum, comments on the blog, and in a few scheduled conference calls once the tool is released.

    We have a number of big releases planned in 2010. While we recognize that this decision will frustrate some users, we look forward to showing you the many great things on the way. Thanks for using Blogger.

    Regards,

    Rick Klau
    Blogger Product Manager

    So, as I already have hosting and there’s a little bit more to spinneyhead than just blogs, it looks like I’m in need of a different blogging engine. Is Movable Type still around? What’s WordPress like (I’ve used it to post on other sites, but what’s it like to set up and run)?

    I’ve been using Blogger since 2001 and remained faithful as other, better, tools came along. Admittedly part of that is because of the size of job it’ll be to shift the archives of all my blogs to another platform.

    Where’s my sysadmin? I need to ask about setting up a database on the server.


  • Bad blogging tech weekend

    This is a test to see if I can still blog by email.

    Two pictures I sent from the phone yesterday haven’t shown up at Flickr, let alone spinneyhead. Blogger itself refuses to post anything, irrespective of server and the video blog I did for Presents won’t upload.

    I’m going to sulk for a while, then try again later, starting with checking whether this arrives.


  • Around Spinneyhead

    Adrift– Page 1 published on Monday (after a slight cock up where it fell through a wormhole and was briefly published in April 2005). Page 10 rendered and lettered. The last few pages have been quite processor intensive render wise, involving about a dozen lights and a lot of elements. There’s one more page in that location then it’s back to the simple one light, one dead guy in a space suit deep space renders.

    Tiger– not a lot of progress on the layouts this week. I ahve been messing around with an arts package called ArtRage that Clare bought for me, learning how to use it by working on backgrounds for the early pages. I’m going to be away from the computer for a while this weekend and I’ll try to use that time to get some more layouts done.

    Spinneyhead’s archives- I’m trying to republish them all, but, Blogger being Blogger, never get much further than 10% completed. As I remember stand out posts, ones which garnered search engine traffic, I’m republishing them.

    How to Save the World for Free- as detailed below, 2 Wheels Good has gone over to the Green side. Dig and Digest will follow at some point. It just makes sense to group those blogs together. I may also start sub-directories dedicated to solar panels, bio-diesel etc. to maximise earnings from the subjects.

    Technorati tag:


  • reception

    reception
    reception,
    originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

    Given that there are some rooms in my parent’s house where there is no reception it’s still easier to post by mobile than to use the land line. Next time i visit there should be broadband.

    Is anyone else having trouble viewing spinneyhead in internet exploder? The content isn’t appearing until the bottom of the sidebar, just like when blogger started messing around with floats. Only, as far as i can tell whilst the computer can stay connected, i haven’t changed any of the relevant settings.

    Ah well, i will investigate when we get back to manchester.
    Technorati tag:


  • Tinker

    With thanks to Stephen Newton my Blogger inflicted formatting woes have been partially fixed. IE, at least, now doesn’t show huge whitespace after the first post (on my computer anyway, contact me if it’s still screwed on yours).

    Update Blogger are responding to the problem, sort of.

    (I promise I’ll go over to WordPress one day. But if I want to port across all of the archives I’ll have to wait until Blogger is sufficiently fixed to be able to update all my archives without crashing………)


  • Which?

    My parents are about to join the broadband revolution. Their local exchange is wired for sound and they’ve just got to decide who to have as a provider. BT would be the obvious choice, but I’d like to hear from you if you can think of a better ISP.

    Maximum speeds and download limits are unlikely to be an issue. Price and overall reliability and service are the most important factors.

    (You’ll notice that the comments have changed. Backblog has been experiencing problems that have resukted in the page taking far too long to download. So I turned it off and have gone over to Blogger comments instead.)

    Technorati tag:


  • Feed Me!

    I get most of my news from RSS (atom, XML, whatever) feeds, which is why it was so annoying when my computer crashed yesterday and wiped out details of my subscriptions. (Goes away and exports OPML file, just in case.)

    And I know at least one person satisfies their Spinneyhead habit from the full text feed. So I’m pleased to see that I may soon be able to extend Adsense to my RSS feed. I promise not to over use it when it becomes available.

    Another useful RSS trick I discovered yesterday-

    Some blogs don’t publish a link to their feeds. However, it seems that Blogger creates one by default on new accounts, and puts the information you need into the templates available on its site. So now you can keep up with that blog you forget/ don’t want to visit every day. When viewing the page, go to View->Page Source and look for a line something like link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”RSS” href=”../spinneyhead_rss.xml”, which sould give you all the information you need to find and subscribe to the blog’s Atom feed.

    Technorati tag: ,


  • Spinneyhead Scale

    The Spinneyhead family will be expanding in coming weeks. Spinneyworld’s still in development, so the first step on the road is the relaunch of Spinneyhead Scale as a blog. The world of models and modelling isn’t the fastest moving news wise, but teh Internets are a great place to find obscure reference material and out of the way garage kit manufacturers. I may also use the blog as a place to experiment with getting the most from Technorati tags, seeing as Blogger doesn’t allow me Movable Type style categories.

    Technorati tag: ,


  • Pet

    BlogPet is a little creature for your Blogger homepage. When you install your pet it will read your blog when you update it, guess what kind of mood you’re in and tell visitors what it thinks. And sometimes the pets know a few jokes too!

    It’s similar to a Tamigotchi, except it doesn’t need food or water. The only thing your BlogPet loves is the sound of your voice!

    Strictly, it should be on the sidebar, but I’m going to see how it feels trapped after two posts about fractals (and I’ll try to put something dirty on top of it).

    via visuallypleasing