The long and winding road
It's been another, shall we say, interesting week on the technology front. As reported here last week, I'm trying to move this blog to a new web host. And I've decided to upgrade my blogging software from Movable Type 2 to Movable Type 3 in the process. Although I'm making good headway on both fronts, it's taking much longer than I anticipated. Instead of being a painful but relatively quick process, it looks more like one of those challenges that one progresses through only a little at a time, with a dull ache the whole way.
On the host switch front, I'm off and running with a new provider and a much improved customer service situation. But it turned out that the server that the new outfit had put me on didn't have the most recent version of MySQL, the database program that makes Movable Type tick for most of us. When MT3 tried to talk to the server they gave me, the hideous "connection errors" appeared. After figuring out the problem by consulting the voluminous web literature on Movable Type installation problems, I was able to tell the folks at the new host the help I needed, and they provided it quickly and smoothly. A refreshing change for me.
Installing Movable Type is no picnic. One of the things you need to do is to have MySQL create a database on your new server. I figured that one out o.k., but then there is the process of configuring MT. There's a key little configuration file that you have to rewrite yourself, and get everything just right. If you don't, you get more error messages. After a handful of tries, I was able to break through and do my first work under the new version of MT. The results are here -- not much so far, but an accomplishment of some sort nonetheless.
One of these days, when the blog on the new site is running like a champ, it will be time to have my domain name, bojack.org, changed so that it points you all automatically to the new web host rather than the old. Since I've got a dot-org domain, I have to show a long number called a registry key to make that move. It took about a week for me to wrestle that password out of my old host, but now I have it, and I should be able to make that move when the time comes.
Web domain lore is kind of interesting. There are a number of commercial outfits out there that serve as the registrars of domains. Mine is a joint called eNom, up in the Seattle area. (I didn't pick it -- my old host did.) My new web host uses a registrar in Melbourne. G'dye, mite! These are the ones you need to tell the world that, say, "bojack.org" means one IP address rather than another. The folks at eNom have been quite helpful in explaining to me what I have to do to start up their part of the deal. Don't hold your breath, though -- it can't happen until the new blog site looks just like the old, and that's still a ways off. A long ways.
So now it's back to the divine comedy of getting a mature MT2 blog moved to another server, and upgraded to an MT3 operation either before the move or afterward. What I've read about this so far is that the migration is "fraught with peril," as one site put it. One of the key steps is performing something called a "dump" of your data at the old server. Man, to tell a computer to "dump" something after three and a half years of building it sends a chill through my spine. My old web host has become an intolerable problem, but I'd rather have a blog that goes up and down like a yo-yo all week (as this one has) than a blog with nothing left on it.
And so I proceed with caution, one step at a time. Perhaps a prayer to Saint Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes, is in order. I hope you'll keep rooting for me.