Installing the blog and wiki software

Installing Movable Type was a piece of cake.  Create a MySQL database, download the zip file, copy it to the public_html directory, and open the config script in a browser.  Boy, these things have come a long way.  And it’s free.  Cool.

I’ve been keeping a wiki for a couple of years for my technical notes.  I used to keep them in a collection of laboratory notebooks but it was getting just a tiny bit cumbersome.  So I installed MediaWiki and started writing notes about software installations, machine configurations, notes for the web site…once I started thinking of things there was a lot to put down.

The wiki has been a lifesaver and I really recommend it for anyone who generates a lot of technical notes – how to get something compiled, how to set things up.  Today I was setting up cgi wrappers on my laptop (the master copy of my website) and suddenly realized it was more complex than I remembered.  Hmmm, wonder if I wrote a note about this when I last did this two years ago.  Yep, there it was in my wiki and there were lots of things I’d forgotten.

My account, the way I like it

I have a lot of accounts on a lot of computers.  I have 70 servers at work that I use for scientific computing, some are Fedora, some are Red Hat Linux, some are Windows Server.  Then I have my workstations, my PCs, and my laptop.  So I spend a lot of time installing OS’s and accounts.  I like to have my account set up the way I like it on each machine – ideally, I like to remote mount my home directory.

Today was getting-back-to-pair-networks day.  My account there is on a generic Linux server so that much is familiar.  However I like a few things different, for instance I’m still a tcsh user who never really made much effort to switch to bash, though I acknowledge its superiority in some points.  I also like the GNU core and bin utilities, for things like having ls not list the emacs backup files, and file name coloring.  My server at pair didn’t have GNU coreutils, so I used wget to download it, then I compiled it and installed  it in my usual location which is ~/BIN.  I put ~/BIN/bin first in my PATH on all my machines so that I pick up any locally-installed utilities first.  And I add ~/BIN/include, ~/BIN/man and so forth to the appropriate environment variables.  It’s a nice way to add some consistency.

Third attempt at a blog

This is the third time I’ve tried to start an I Do Imaging blog.  Both the first, needless to say, didn’t make it.  I set them up on my laptop so that I could build up enough content before I published it initially.  Surprise – because nobody but me was reading it initially, I never did publish it.  This time is going to be different, really.  I’m going to put it all online.  Just as soon as I have enough initial content.