Upgrading WordPress Today (NOT!)

Dear Readers,

We are upgrading to the latest release of WordPress today. Hopefully nothing will explode but if it does we will get things working again as soon as possible. Usually there is no problem and we expect this upgrade to be similar.

Gene

Edit: If any of you visited in the three hours we were down I apologize for that. A change to the WordPress config file was not compatible with our site. The error in the config file has been fixed and we have reverted to the older WordPress while looking to see if there are any other “gotcha” problems that need to be addressed. Gene

Edit Sat Mar 21 15:26:42 CDT 2009: Okay, trying this again with much prayer and supplication … Gene

Edit Sat Mar 21 16:58:15 CDT 2009: Nope. Apparently WordPress 2.7.1 is just not going to work for us. There is still somthing keeping the upgrade from working. At least we had the site backed up before doing this. Oh well. Maybe someone at WordPress Support will have a clue. Maybe they won’t just tell us “it’s free software, you are out of luck.” like they have told others there. 🙁

Edit Sat Mar 21 17:07:31 CDT 2009: At least the upgrade to the updated theme works. That is one bright point to this totally lost Saturday. 🙂

More Shopping Site Updates

I am slowly but surely getting content on our shopping site. I actually added some items for you Microsoft users today. A service item for Microsoft system recovery and an AVG Internet Security item. Granted, these are not fun items but they are necessary for many Microsoft users none the less. There are plenty of other places to get the fun stuff … or you could switch to Linux. 🙂

Go check out ERACC On-Line Shopping to see the new items. As always, I look forward to any of your comments.

Moving to Drupal

Our main site and our shopping cart are moving to Drupal with Ubercart. We are going to continue using WordPress for our web log and will post information about the site move here. Those of you that are our customers who have used our shopping cart in the past may have to re-register when the new shopping cart is in place. We are going to attempt to migrate the old database to the new shopping cart. However, this may not work.

We are doing a “destroy and rebuild” as that appears to be the clearest and cleanest route for moving forward. The old www.eracc.com was quite clunky and becoming very outdated. With this move to Drupal we expect to be able to offer a much nicer web site at www.eracc.com as well as a more robust shopping cart system with Ubercart.

Existing or new customers that need to contact us for upgrades, new software, parts and computers please use <sales at eracc dot com>. We will be glad to quote pricing through e-mail the same as in the past.

Edit Sun Oct 5 22:09:55 UTC 2008: With Drupal we plan to have public content and private content. The private content will be available only to customers and/or subscribers to the web site. Customer files that were held in static areas in the past will be moved to Drupal content and protected by requiring a login ID and password. This will allow ERACC to place customer licenses online for easy retrieval in the event a customer loses a license and needs another copy.

This article is open for your comments. Creative suggestions will be welcomed.

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WordPress Update Done

We just completed our WordPress update and everything appears to be working. However, the theme we are using no longer appears to render correctly with the updated WordPress. So, we will be changing themes. We are currently in the process of evaluating WordPress themes and should have a new one that does render correctly with the updated WordPress soon.

Thank you for bearing with us while we work on the updates.

Gene

Edit Mon Sep 22 21:05:14 UTC 2008: We are trying a new theme now called “PrimePress”. Please leave comments here about the theme as to your impressions, love, hate, indifferent. One feature that may or may not be irritating is the rotation of the graphic banners at the top. I’ve created some replacements for the defaults. Let me know what you think about those too if you wish.

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WordPress Update Again

Another WordPress update is out and we are going to be applying it soon. If this “borks” the site we will get it fixed as soon as possible. We may have to change themes (again!) with this update so please bear with us while we do.

For all of you that read what is written here on The ERACC Web Log, thank you.

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Google Sucks! (And Google Can Be Wrong)

I really loathe the fact that Google has decided to be Net Nanny for all of us. Go ahead and try this even if you dislike Google as much as I do. Go to the Google main page and type in, including the quotes, “blog.eracc.com” and click their [I’m Feeling Lucky] button. Did you see something similar to the following page?
Google Sucks 000
If you did not see a similar page and went straight to one of our Blog pages then you may ignore the rest of this post if you wish. However, even if you did not see something similar then take a minute to read this article at PC World“Is Google Falsely Flagging Harmless Sites?”. Then take another minute or two and read “What To Do When Google Tells People Your Website Is Dangerous?” at techdirt.com and come back to read the rest of this article, I’ll wait…

Glad you’re back. Now read this message I sent today (the day of this article).

From: ERACC Webmaster (ERA Computers & Consulting)
To: appeals@stopbadware.org
Subject: Review our web log
Date: 04/15/08 12:11 pm

Hello,

Google has automatically flagged our web log as "dangerous" and it has been
flagged since January of 2008 when we had a bot attack that inserted some
popup messages for online gambling in our WordPress web log. While I agree
that online gambling is evil I strongly disagree that those actually made
*our* site "dangerous". Following the URLs to the gambling sites might have
been "dangerous" for those with a gambling addiction.

Since Google apparently flags sites automatically and our web log was clean
and updated with a new WordPress within a few days I have been awaiting the
automated removal of that warning and it has not happened. Apparently I was
working with a false premise that automated warnings *should* be quickly
removed by automated follow-up checks. After all, Google is still indexing
our blog.

While researching this I found references to other sites also abused by Google
and found this e-mail address to use for arbitration. Review the site and
have Google take that warning off.

Site: http://blog.eracc.com/

I understand this takes up to 10 business days. I would of course prefer to
have the warning removed "yesterday" but I can continue to be patient. Thank
you for your time.

Sincerely,
ERACC Webmaster

I am actually skeptical that this will work but am willing to wait and see as, apparently, my only alternative is to sign up for Google’s Webmaster’s Tools and supposedly use something in that to get our site reviewed. I think I will sign up for a Google “service” the day Sol goes supernova or somewhere near the end of time … or under duress to have our web log cleared, can you say extortion? I knew you could.

I have said before I seriously dislike Google for personal and political reasons and refuse to use Google “services” for the most part. Some, not all, of my reasons follow. I felt dismayed but took a “wait and see” attitude when Google took over the USENET archive formerly at Deja.com. Then I decided to be angered when Google put a web face on the archive and started their own web “forums” which include USENET. Why get angry? Because this allowed pretty much any troller with a cause to have the ability to post near anonymously to USENET thus breaking traditional filters. Yes, one can filter out posts from “Google Groups” but unfortunately that is a broad shotgun filter that also gets many legitimate posts to USENET. I was further turned off when Google started using their search engine for “in your face” advertising revenue by putting “sponsored” results at the top of a search. I understand the desire to profit off of one’s labor and would have no problem with the advertising that shows up to the side in a Google search. But ranking paid advertising at the top of a search is too much in my face for my taste. In my mind all the above are unforgivable sins. I know there are others that have similar views to mine shown here. My more esoteric personal and political reasons for disliking Google I will keep to myself.

This little fiasco with Google disrespecting our web log is just a bit more sewage in the septic tank of Google that helps solidify my resolve to use Google searches only under protest (as of now I prefer AltaVista although I loathe their copying of Google’s “sponsored” results at the top of a search). As for signing up for a Google service … yeah, right.

[No Longer] Trying “Hello Blogger” WordPress Theme

I have received complaints about the fixed width theme we have been using all of 24 hours now. So, I am trying the Hello Blogger theme today I downloaded from FreeWordPressThemes.com. This is a simple, semi-fluid width theme that should work ok for everyone (I pray!). Please post any comments about this theme here.