The deck project

Finally, I built the deck! This project has been postpone for 3 years actually. I spent about four days to finish it, all by myself except the post setting. Post caps were installed but not pictured here. This summer has been so hot and dry and my lawn was almost gone.


Upgraded to WordPress 3.1.2

It’s been a little while since my last upgrade of WordPress for this blog, the last version is an old 2.2.2. WordPress has changed and improved a lot since then, so I decided to upgrade it to the latest version 3.1.2. Also, I also changed the theme to give it a new look. Hopefully this is a new chance for me to post more.

The migration was basically smooth, but I still got several small problems.

  • Post revision is a new feature comparing with older versions. But it will make the database bloated and sometimes it’s not really needed. It can be disabled by adding this line to wp-config.php just before the last line:
    define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 0);

    The number defines the number of revisions will be kept in the database’s posts table, 0 is for disabled.

  • The structure of table wp_posts is changed. I backed up my old database then restored to the new installation, but I found there’s no trash link for me to retrieve or delete posts or pages I trashed. When I checked in phpMyAdmin, I found the post_status can not be set to trash. The trashed posts or pages are still in the database but you cannot delete them, this will cause some problems, e.g., I cannot generate a new post or page with the same slug that’s used by a trashed post or page. I solved this problem by backing up the old database by its data only without selecting the structure. So that the structure of the new database will not be changed.
  • In this new version, seems the problem for Chinese support is still there. As before, I need to change the following section in wp-config.php to make it display Chinese characters correctly:

    define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');


    define('DB_CHARSET', '');

Blog address changed

Considering that this blog is the main function of this domain and WordPress can be easily customized to be a portal, I decided to change the blog address to permanently. It’s implemented by referring to this document.

The main drawback is the old permalinks from bookmarks or search engine cache, i.e. those led by, will not work. Instead, visitors will get to the ugly 404 page, though I have put a note in it.

UPDATE: Just installed the Redirection plugin at Urban Giraffe and it solves the URL problem almost perfectly.

Blog upgraded

Last weekend I spent one night to upgrade this blog from WordPress to 2.2.1. Basically everything goes smoothly except the database character sets issue because there are some Chinese characters in my posts. I searched the web and tried many times and finally it works, though I still don’t know the details because I am really not good at MySQL things. What I did is:

  1. Run SQL query
    show variables like '%character%';

    to check the character sets of the database. If the character_set_database is latin1, change it to utf8 by

    alter database mydb character set utf8;

    where mydb is the name of the database.

  2. Edit wp-config.php, change the line
    define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');


    define('DB_CHARSET', '');

These two steps basically solve the Chinese display problem. (References: 1, 2 and 3)

The new version of WordPress is very good, especially the support of widgets and many other improvements from version 1.5.x. I also changed the theme to GlossyBlue 1.4 and modified a little.

6ix Day

Today is 06/06/06. Long time no update to the blog. Recently I am very busy on the project, house work, etc.

Just installed Gallery2 and PG theme, looks good for me. Now I can arrange my old photos into that gallery. But the speed is still unsatisfactory, I don’t know if it’s caused by extra server load due to database usage. I am still playing around with it.

Domains transferred

Finally I completed the transfer of my two domains from Yahoo! domains (reseller of MelbourneIT) to GoDaddy. I initiated the transfer on Feb 26 and the transfer was completed on Mar 11. Basically I followed this post. The reason it took so long time is that Yahoo! domains customer service is terrible. In the entire procedure I contact three customer service representatives and the first two just don’t know what’s going on or lied to me they have done that but in fact nothing was done. It’s a joke. I would seriously suggest never go with Yahoo! domains for any domain registration. It’s cheap but it’s troublesome when you want to transfer.

It’s now

Happy New Year! My blog is now running on, my personal domain name. The subdomain for this blog is

UPDATE: Because WordPress is not so friendly with subdomain, I am going to keep the URL of the blog as, however will still work, i.e., take you to my blog and all links leading by will work well too.

New look

I decided to change a little to the look of this blog. The new theme, Semiologic, is designed by Denis de Bernardy and I made some minor tweaks to it. “Wuhan“, the last theme I have been using, is also a very nice one but it’s a little bit too grey and it’s not flexible to modify because it uses images to create the round corners. Semiologic has all the features I am looking for from a good theme and still doesn’t lack simplicity. The CMS plugin collection comes with it is also handy to use. So far so good.

Freedom celebration

Watched 4th of July parade and firework show today. The weather was bad, hot for parade and shower for firework. The worse thing is that the firework was postponed for almost one hour and finally came in cold rain. But that’s not bad enough. The worst thing about this event is that nothing is new from last couple years, for both the parade and the firework.

A hot weekend

I really have not updated this blog for some while. Seems I was not too busy nor too lazy, but I just felt there’s nothing special or new to post and share with the possible readers.

We ran out to watch the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” during this weekend. The movie is okay, maybe a little bit less than what I expected. The cast is good, and some gossip news makes it more famous (I assume you know what I am saying). I personally would prefer this movie as a marriage comedy more. The dramatics are turned out in a way of war, however. It’s not totally my preferred style though.

I spent one or two hours last night to configure the Gallery v1 on this site. I have been a loyal user of it and I still think it’s one of the best album software out of there. So I just make a copy here in case I want to use it for my new photos, including my baby’s of course.

This weekend is really hot here in mid-west. Hope it will be cooler next week so we can also save some bucks on our bill. :P