This is my attempt at writing my experience at trying to revitalize the Philippine Linux User’s Group in the early to mid 2000s. I am writing this for posterity’s sake, so as to help the current generation trying to do same today, and also for myself to remember details before I get senile.
My first interaction with PLUG, after being in the mailing list for some time of course, was as a speaker at one of their events held at Asia Pacific College along Magallanes. This was 2006. I even got a nice keychain and plaque for my efforts which I still have until now.
I was busy with my webdev work and writing for PDI and other publications so some time passed since then. At some point I started wondering what happened to PLUG, and so I asked this at the mailing list (it’s in the archives). This snowballed and people started to wonder aloud as well, finally leading to everyone wanting to start the group again. At this point I was still assuming that there was still an org in place, but after a meeting we had which I fortunately blogged about here it started to dawn on me that the people involved in PLUG were either just gone or have become disinterested in it. Not only were they disinterested but after another meeting we had at Cubao I realized there was some hostility being held by previous members toward each other.
Ok last night I wailed about * Scout’s (the name of my MSI Wind U100x) minor current of electricity emanating from the VGA port issue which I’m glad to report has dispersed as quickly as it appeared, indicating that it might merely be a static electricity situation as I was using it on my bed (the location of which may or may not be relevant but I suppose is worth noting anyway).
At any rate, said issue is gone now, with no small measure of relief. This prompts me to proceed with discussing the unboxing and preparation of said Scout. First off, le box unwrapped:
Just updated to the not – completely – necessary – but – update – it – anyway latest version of WordPress, also called a ‘Maintenance Release’.
As is my habit, I will test it here for a few days before going on and updating the other sites. Which of course would be a completely useless test if I don’t write on it, so here I am. Writing. Ok, let’s do some highlights as to what’s going on, bullet point style (my favorite):
- Super sick but ok again. – Actually I’ve been worse, but Thu to Sat last week I felt like I was in outer space from a super head cold that completely knocked me out. I’ve figured out I got it from playing Tekken on the PS2 with my sick nephew. Trading game consoles with a sick kid transferred the virus. Coupled with low energy from sleeping late all the time I was out cold for two days with difficulty of breath, constant dry cough and the worst – pain from seemingly every joint in my body. I’m completely ok now – don’t worry my legions of fans, and am actually quite raring to go.
I’ve managed to migrate MomEx posts, which run on WordPress, to Drupal 5.9 on my test server. Whoopee!
I used WordPress Import, a pretty powerful tool which is still in development mode. On the surface it’s a straightforward process of installing the module, uploading your WordPress .wxr file and then mapping out which posts are ‘owned’ by which users (aka authors). It then transfers both posts and comments associated with it.
It becomes a hell of a lot more complicated though when your .wxr file is 17mb. like mine, and I have nearly a hundred different subscribers and authors.
I need to write this down to serve as a list in determining a mass migration of my sites from WordPress to Drupal, so I’ll just blog it right? I’ll start with a list of a few WordPress issues I am frustrated with, off the top of my head:
Asides: I wanna show posts (or post titles, or post titles with excerpts) from specific categories on the sidebar. I have done this with limited success on BallEx on a category I called ‘PBA Notes’ (ftg. news fresh from the PBA), but unfortunately WordPress counting mechanism counts these posts as part of the posts that it should display on the front page, so everytime I post to the PBA Notes category, it removes a post from the index. It’s not a terribly difficult issue and is ‘resolved’ somewhat by merely posting more (which I should be doing anyway), but it’s kept me stumped for too long a while already, and prevents me from putting even more categories on the sidebar. At the moment the setting on BallEx for ‘Options > Reading > Blog Pages show at most:” is set at 30.
As I mentioned on this post, the best Aside Plugin seems to be Katesgasis’ Sideblog, but it has unfortunately not been since 2006.
I upgraded this blog and now my permalinks structure causes 404 errors.
I have reverted this to use WordPress Default, and am not using permalinks at the moment.
I am investigating the sql file and my (very few) plugins but I don’t know if the issue is there. I think it may have to do with rules for Lighttpd. Using lighty has been a struggle really, especially when you encounter errors, because at the back of my mind I often wonder if it has something to do with it.
The mailing list went all quiet last week and I thought it was a lull, but apparently it really is down, as a message I posted was not read by Migs when I asked him about it. Am waiting for it to go up again, but until then, the best I can do is publish it here on my blog so itll come out the PLUG aggregator. Here it is:
Dear People of PLUG:
A week ago I received a proposal from a company called Firsteventsasia (Firsteventsasia.com).
They do events, and are holding one of those generic IT ones called ‘Philippine Information Technology Expo and Business Solutions Summit’ on Sep 30 – Oct 2 at Philippine Trade and Training Center, Roxas Blvd.
Anyway they want an ex-deal. They are giving us a venue for an EB / gathering in exchange for plugging their event on our website.
Here’s the text from their proposal:
And not a moment too soon. Work was piling up and me without a good working computer is like.. Moses without the tablets. Ok I know that doesn’t make sense. Goes to show what happens when I don’t have a PC with me for a long time. Anyway let’s bring on the pics:
Above is my sad, dead PC, about to be rejuvenated. I can work on it from where it is so I didn’t pull it down.
I’m writing this with assumptions on how this latest Ubuntu might appear to newbies primarily because of our long term plan to create a distribution for local internet cafes. In this respect, I’m hoping to create a one – size – fits – all (or as many as possible at least) distributable, bootable image that contains the most practical apps an icafe might need.
I’ve completely installed Ubuntu Horny Herod and here are my notes. BTW I know that’s not the name, I’m just protesting against the downright fugly name. Can’t they give it a proper, cooler name? I mean, ‘Hardy Heron‘?! I can’t imagine the general populace to get turned on by that name, really.
Anyway, here’s some thoughts:
- Downloading the Ubuntu Torrent was a breeze. Installation isn’t for newbies as I chose to do manual partitioning instead of the guided stuff, which confused me more than helped. I had two 40gb. partitions and I wanted to install Ubuntu on the first (NTFS) partition, while retaining access to the 2nd (FAT32) partition. Otherwise I kept the rest at default (monitor, keyboard, network settings, etc.) and that’s fairly a no brainer. Newbies won’t have a hard time installing on a fresh machine and IMO, this is just as easy or easier than Win.
I just fixed one of the most confounding problems I’d ever come across on WordPress, so I’m sharing how I did it because I definitely couldn’t find the solution after weeks of trying.
See I was trying to get the valid XML feed for a particular Tag or Category from this blog, a process I’ve instigated on PLUG’s mailing list, so that the PLUG website can aggregate feeds tagged as ‘plug’ or ‘open source’ or ‘foss’ voluntarily submitted by its (currently 130+ strong) membership.
The problem was when I try to get the feed URL, for example:
I get this error:
XML Parsing Error: xml declaration not at start of external entity
Line Number 2, Column 1:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>