October 2010 Archives

Scampo Setup on Centrale I have a serious itch to move from Scampo to a fire-breathing multi-core Windows 7 development platform.

Although I have my eye on some contenders (basically a hot Dell XPS 9100 or its comparable Alienware Aurora configuration), I must resist making the jump.  Although I will likely upgrade before the end of 2010, there are some things I need to keep my eye on.

Core Scampo Functionality

Before I cut loose from Scampo, I must remember that there is on-going use of this Gateway 831GM Media Center PC running Windows (Media Center) XP SP3.  As much as I want to be on Windows 7 and desire to be able to upgrade to tools that are no longer supported on Windows XP, there is some baggage.

  • An E-MU 1820M that I need to move to Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (and there are new drivers available, and Cakewalk Sonar will support the 64 bit operation).  I must make sure that the upgrade has slots and connectors for the 1820M PCI boards.
  • My Hewlett-Packard ScanJet 7400C, although a little long in the tooth, is still my primary scanner and it will need to run on the upgrade (name yet to be chosen).
  • Battery Backup may need upgrading to handle the 550-850 watt power-supply, depending on configuration.  Apparently, some of the higher-performance machines will see spikes on backup kick-over and shut down.  That is an additional problem, as well as making my office setup provides enough power through the outlet cluster my computing equipment is dedicated on.
  • Centrale Network HubGigabit Ethernet?  A router/hub upgrade to provide Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to the Windows Home Server might be wise.  The greater capacity of the new development engine, with multiple virtual machines for interoperability testing and confirmation of software porting on multiple platforms may stress the WHS capacity.  There may need to be some upgraded drives and perhaps even an upgraded WHS machine.
  • Although not part of the initial upgrade, the desire is to eventually upgrade from 24” to a larger monitor (at least 27” but 30” preferably) once they are more affordable and Energy Star compliant.  The upgrade will have the graphics power necessary for that and for multiple monitors, even if the completion of upgrading is later.

Obsolescence Staging

Although I want to deal with fundamental system configuration and upgrade issues, there are also problems of preserving in-progress project and dealing with my current dependence on software that will have to be changed-out as part of platform upgrading.

  • Microsoft Money is now on life support.  I still use it and have not migrated to Quicken.  I doubt that the version I have will run very well on Windows 7 (although it might on the Windows XP VM that will be provided).  I need to be prepared to do a financial software migration along with or prior to pulling the plug on Scampo.
  • Microsoft FrontPageMicrosoft FrontPage and web-development Issues.  It appears that Microsoft FrontPage and FrontPage extensions don’t operate properly between a Compagno on Last LegsWindows 7 system and a Windows XP SP3 machine running IIS and the FrontPage extensions.  This may also be related to issues with regard to Visual SourceSafe integration.    There is a long-overdue retirement of Compagno that moves the IIS development web to WHS, moves VHS support, and then moves from FrontPage use to Windows Expression for continuing web development.  I can’t stop web development using Windows XP SP3 until I accomplish that transition.  It will be an eventful November-December 2010 because of this issue alone.
  • Microsoft Office 2007/2010 Upgrading.  Because I run two copies of Outlook, one on desktop, one on laptop, I must have the same version of Microsoft Office, with Outlook, on both machines so I can move my .pst files back and forth.  I am on Office 2007 now, but my Windows XP SP3 Tablet PC does not handle Office 2010 well enough for me to do a synchronized move to Office 2010.  It is also a pain to run multiple versions of Office on the same platform, another reason why I want to have a VM-capable development machine. 
    I need to be running 2010 and beyond for interoperability testing purposes, but I will have to stay on Office 2007 as my working installation simply because of the need for Outlook parity.  At some point I would like to have a single PST that is on the traveling machine, but I can use it from the desktop when I am in the office.  If I keep the PST on the traveler, using it in the office by remote-desktop is an option but it may not go quite so well with the degree that I use copy-and-past between Outlook and other applications.  A weird but promising solution would be to run Exchange server on a future traveling replacement for my current Tablet PC, and then I would have full Outlook access to it locally and from my office desktop when I’m at the home office.

There are probably more considerations and setbacks I have to deal with.  But this is enough top-level to serve as a reminder that I can’t just throw a switch and have a shiny new high-performance development system up and running.  I must address the staging issues.  And I shall.

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When I catalogued the next steps for restoring my now-dormant blogs, I failed to include the importance of migrating Orcmid’s Live Hideout off of Windows Live Spaces.

My intention is to exercise all of the migration choices that are being offered:

Current migration reminder text that appears on my way into Orcmid's Live Hideout

The page with these options is only present when I visit the blog and am signed-in as its owner. 

My approach is to work through this in stages:

  1. Download my Blog
    I want to preserve the blog.  I downloaded all of my Blogger blogs and I wonder how much the download from Windows Live Space preserves the material of the blog.  Although essentially a safety-measure, it may provide useful material to use in preserving the posts I want to retain somewhere under my own web hosting arrangement.
  2. Transfer Posts via Windows Live Writer
    I know I can retrieve previous posts into Windows Live Writer and then repost them to a different blog from there.  Before I can do that, I need have a place to park them, although they could remain on my local machine as Windows Live Writer drafts, I suppose.
       I considered moving the blog to WordPress.com and then using Windows Live Writer to fish posts from there.   But it dawned on me that if the upgrade to WordPress has breakage of any kind, that will be an irreversible act.
  3. Upgrade the Blog to WordPress.com
    I will do this simply because I want to see it work and to know that I could continue the blog there if I was so inclined.  This has to be the last possible step, because of the prospect of incomplete or unsuccessful upgrade.
  4. Retire Orcmid’s Live Hideout
    I don’t expect to continue the blog in any form, so it will be abandoned or shut down once I have preserved what I want from it in some useful form.  I do want it in static pages on a server under my control and backup procedures.  That’s a serious consideration for me.

I’ll be making progress on this in little steps along with the other activities around a systematic restoration of my now-dormant blogs.

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2001-03-12: 2010-03-12 Vicki's Scritto Computer in Daily Use

Scritto is the Dell Inspiron 15 that inhabits Vicki’s SOHO office desk.  It is the latest addition to the Centrale LAN.

Scritto is the only docked laptop on Centrale, serving as an office workstation while easily available for mobile use in Vicki’s pottery studio and on her travels locally and internationally.  As the only Windows 7 64-bit system on Centrale, it is also the most powerful computer that we have at this time.

This is the kind of setup that Vicki had wanted for some time.  All that was added to accomplish that was the Dell Inspiron, the 24” monitor, the monitor stand, and the USB docking unit.  Everything else was scavenged from the retirement of Ceramica, the desktop predecessor of Scritto, or was already part of the office computer, telephony, and wired-LAN setup.

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Now that's a greeting that tells me I'm wired into Zemanta properly (so far) I don’t know what happened between yesterday and today, but now the Zemanta plug-in for Windows Live Writer knows my handle on my Movable Type implementation of this blog.

It appears that plug-in version 0.660 has cured the problem of associating the plug-in with the Movable Type configuration and the blog that was not working with my installation of version 0.650.

I must let them know on the support site.

So now, life is good.  I can see that my own Flickr pictures are being recommended to me as well as others.  I can forgive them that “plug-in” is leading to many photographs about electric vehicles

The only change from yesterday was that I shut down overnight and then booted-up in the morning.  This may have completed some things for the plug-in update.  Also, the fresh start today may have led Windows Live Writer to refresh some connections as well.  It’s a mystery.

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The Zemanta LiveWriter Plugin 0.660 Salutation on Startup Zemanta has released an update of the Windows Live Writer plug-in.  Version 0.660 does not address me as Marko the way that version 0.650 did.  On the other hand, it doesn’t address me by name at all.

Consequently, I don’t know if it was only the message that is changed or is there a change that has Zemanta now properly connect to my Zemanta account and preferences.  It is difficult to tell from the offered Media Gallery and Related Articles suggestions.  My Golden Geekhood has taught me that sometimes problems are “fixed” by hiding the symptoms.

I will play along and see what differences I notice after more usage.  If I can find release notes, I’ll check those too.  For now, I am skeptical that my profile is being relied upon.  Except when I changed my preference for the Zemified symbol, the new version is showing up.  Hmm …

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Worthiness.org is [reserved] on the list of domains that I am renting for nfoCentrale.  Here’s what that is about.

David Weinberger (via Wikipedia)When I was acquiring the domains for the TROST project, I was also looking for anything related to trustworthiness.  That was too much to hope for (as was trust itself).  But worthiness.org was available.  That put me immediately in mind of the way David Weinberger uses self@evident.com.

What I want for trust@worthiness.org is a digital signature that can be used as part of certifying (usually via countersigning) that an open-system component is developed and confirmable in a manner consistent with the TROSTing principles around open-system trustworthiness.

I also saw the site as a way of providing a cataloguing of components that had been so identified and what versions of those were, how to find out more about them, etc.

This is not well-thought-out, and you will notice that there is no http://worthiness.org site at this point.  I shall remedy that, after determining whether I can make more add-on domains under my current web-hosting service account.

[Cross-posted from Spanner Wingnut]

For those wondering if the now-dormant blogs will every see the light of day anew, here are the dreary steps that will be confirmed before going farther:

  1. The procedure for configuring and maintaining images uploaded via Windows Live Writer will be fully documented on nfoCentrale Status.  The accuracy and completeness of that procedure will be verified by adding the support to Spanner Wingnut and also maintaining it there..
  2. The next visible changes will involve learning to adjust the sidebars on the blogs, including customization of plugins, templates, and styles for individualization of the different blogs operated under the single MovableType engine.  This will also be seen on both nfoCentrale Status and Spanner Wingnut.
  3. There will be some invisible work to support how a blogs features are adjusted over time but a record of changes and the progression can be maintained.   This will be accompanied by infrastructure adjustment as part of the deployment model for the various blogs, starting with nfoCentrale Status and Spanner Wingnut, with the big test being restoration of an existing, now-dormant blog.  The prime candidates for first restoration are Orcmid’s Lair, Pursuing Harmony, and Kiln Sitter’s Diary.
  4. There is also more work to complete and stabilize the nfoCentrale site as the repository of all of the procedures and template-development work that is promulgated across all of the blogs and sites.

My current thinking is to have this completed enough by the end of the year that additional blogs start waking up and there are useful developments on those blogs and their related sites.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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