Welcome to October

Some additional notes of a housekeeping sort:

1. I was going to tell you all the long and complicated story of how and why I finally ditched MT4 and moved Whatever over to WordPress, but then I realized I was bored with the whole damn thing and I can’t imagine you’re any less bored with it than I. So I won’t. Be grateful.

2. I’ve restored most of the Whatever files to their rightful place in the directories, so there shouldn’t be too many 404’s now. There may still be a few (particularly for September 2007 bits), and I’ll be going through trying to fill those gaps when I find out about them. Patience, please.

3. Likewise, patience while I learn a little about the themes and templates and capabilities of WordPress. You can see I’m doing a little tweaking already, but I still have to figure out the sidebars and whatnot. It’s not brain surgery, but it is different than what I’m used to. On the other hand I think the site looks nice at the moment.

4. My major concern with WP is the issue with dynamically generated pages as opposed to static pages, and we’ll see how much of a strain we put on the server; my host provider has already assured me it’ll let me know when I’m about to blow up the place. I’ll be installing the thingie that creates static pages in WP, probably later today, but for now we’ll see how the site responds.

5. As part of the stress test, go ahead and leave a comment, why don’t you? Thanks.

I hope to be getting back to something approaching normal here soon. Thanks all of you for bearing with me while all this crap went down. Hopefully, the worst of the technological horrors are behind us now.

63 Comments on “Welcome to October”

  1. To hear is to obey, oh Scalzi!

    WordPress gives the following error when clicking on the comments link:

    WordPress database error: [Table ‘db219275380.wp1_post2cat’ doesn’t exist]
    SELECT DISTINCT posts.ID, posts.post_title FROM wp1_posts posts, wp1_post2cat post2cat WHERE posts.ID 5 AND posts.post_status = ‘publish’ AND posts.ID = post2cat.post_id AND post2cat.category_id IN(1) ORDER BY posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 5

  2. Congratulations with the move. I use WordPress myself, and while of course our blogs are of a different size, I haven’t had the slightest thing to complain about.

    But what would be the fun if you didn’t?

  3. Yes – looks like an error where you’d find Trackbacks or something. Not fatal, however.

    Looks fairly decent for now! The contractors are still painting and installing the appliances, but at least the drywall is finished. Welcome home!

  4. Welcome back, John!

    One thing I’ve noticed is that the gray comment boxes make the gray commenter’s name illegible. My name, for example, is John Cusack. Don’t you think someone as famous as me deserves to be recognized in the comment box?

  5. I’ll change the color of the comment box and see if that helps, Mr. Cusack.

    Edit: changed the name color. That worked.

  6. Whew! I tried to access the site yesterday, and could not. I had a panic attack. I thought you were gone. I’m glad you’re not.

  7. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang O.C., the Original Changsta

    HOLY SHIT!!! SCALZI WENT ALL WORDPRESSY ON ME WHNE MY BACK WAS TURNED!!!

  8. Whatever works is a good blog system. We don’t need you messing with this stuff when you have more important things to do. Like write a sequel to Android’s Dream, for instance.

  9. Welcome back! I hope this system works out much better for you. I was concerned that MT4 would spontaneously burst into flames if you got much more frustrated with it.

  10. Having been a wordpress user from the beginning, you’re going to experience the following frustrations:

    1.) Most themes will not allow you to save your comment user name. So unless you have your browser set to fill it in every time, you’re going to be missing that MT functionality.

    2.) Not all themes work with all browsers. It took me over a year to find one that I liked and was compatible with most of the browsers out there.

    3.) Stick with the WP theme browser. Do not venture off the reservation because frankly, you don’t know what you’re going to get. I had a virus in one.

    4.) Widgets on the other hand — are alot of fun. Personally, I’d suggest the Now Reading Widget (which is on my site on the bar) to keep everyone informed of your choices. The APOD (Astronomy Pic of the Day is also cool) and the text widget allows you to put graphics and links in the side column as well. There is also “Subscribe me” which will give people a chance to view you in all sorts of formats.

    Also, you will probably want the “Youtube brackets” widget/plugin since you frequently put up videos.

    Let me know if you want me to send you these so you don’t have to go searching.

    Good luck with the new digs. :)

  11. Oh, and I’ve found the ‘podpress’ widget to be very helpful as well for both podcasts and those Q&A sessions you sometimes do.

    It’s a better format, it doesn’t take your readers to a separate page and allows them to dl it for future use, if they’re not technology savvy.

    That’s it. I’ll stop bugging ya now.

  12. WOOHOO! I’m glad you’re back, be it on WordPress, MT, or a frigging scrap of paper… I don’t care!

    Got The Last Colony for my birthday this weekend, a great read, thanks for writing it! I’m looking forward to Zoe’s story. Also, I find it amusing that since I read this blog so often, I found myself substituting you, Krissy and Athena in for the characters in TLC. It was kind of hard to separate the three of you from the three of them. That’s not a bad thing, just a new experience for me, since I’ve never known so much about an author that I’ve read before. Kind of cool!

  13. Whats important – that its back up. No, really.

    Also – i like the pictures of sex organs at the top of the page. It makes the place feel all warm and porny.

  14. Commenting as directed. I was really glad though, to see this actually happen, seeing how very long poor Wil Wheaton’s been “in exile” and unable to get his regular site running properly. I would have hated to see that happen to you, too.

  15. Wil’s been in exile for so long it doesn’t make any sense for him to go back, actually. Everyone’s made the switch. I wanted to avoid that on this end.

  16. Oh, great, you’ve already left Chicago and I didn’t get to see you! My signed-stuff shelf is still Scalzi-free, damnit! Well, in my bitterness I guess I’ll just remark that your site is awfully pretty for something a DUDE supposedly put together. Next you’ll be, like, writing a novel from a girl’s POV or something.

  17. I miss the Whateverettes. I want them back. No, I am not addicted to them. I can quit whenever I want. Scalzi isn’t really a dealer, either. Just because I obsessively read the Whateveresque while the Whatever was missing doesn’t mean a thing. And The High Castle being late didn’t, like, make me all twitchy and wanna cry, all rumors to the contrary. If Chang wasn’t so tall, he wouldn’t have seen anyway, and nobody’d even know. Not that it’s true.

    Giants in Hobbitland. That’s not right.

  18. okay – a small point – in my pithy attempt at humor, i typed in “” at the start of that last line, then “” at the end (without any of the quotation marks.) The site apparently tried to read that as actual html.

  19. Mary Dell:

    “Well, in my bitterness I guess I’ll just remark that your site is awfully pretty for something a DUDE supposedly put together.”

    I was just noting that myself to someone. It’s got flowers! I guess that just shows how amazingly comfortable I am in my masculinity.

  20. Hi John, Long time reader. I got my copy of TLC from chapters on Friday. I had been holding out because while chapters.ca had it available none of the stores in Toronto were stocking it. Not sure what the deal was, but I read it the same day. Loved it. Thanks.

  21. Nice theme. Very Whatevery. It feels right. Ish.

    Akismet is a very nice addition to a WP blog. I spend almost no time messing with spam, and my Akismet has caught 100,000 spam since I installed it, and you get traffic that is probably three orders of magnitude greater.

  22. Damn. I wrote a run on sentence just there and it bothers me and I don’t like it and I wish I could fix it but I can’t.

  23. Tania: RSS should be there — does your browser not auto detect it?

    Dean: Yes, Akismet is the first thing I turned on.

  24. As celebration for the Whatever being back, I shall listen to Imogen Heap’s wonderful song, “Whatever.” You should, too.

    Welcome back!

  25. Aw, man — you were in Schaumburg yesterday? You were in my backyard and I didn’t know it, so I missed out on getting to meet you.

    What a gyp…

  26. Relax, folks. It wasn’t something that was open to the public. You wouldn’t have been able to get in to harrass, er, see me anyway.

  27. We use a bastardized version of IE here at work, but you’re not showing up in my Google Reader subscription. From the front page of Whatever I can see the RSS icons for the other Scalziana, but nothing for Whatever.

    PS – this will be try #3 for posting this. The firewall software likes to remind me that you are not a work related place to be, and it keeps eating my posts. I hope it chokes on these electrons. Chokes, I say!

  28. Our favorite Overlord has finally flogged his site into submission!
    Whatever has returned! Yippee! Yahoo! I’m doing the happy dance!
    Ok, I’ll calm down now, don my crash helmet and nomex suit and make some comments and click some links.
    Good to see things back online and nice looking at that, John.

  29. Yup, using a REAL browser fixed it. I had to re-subscribe, but everything is where it should be RSS-wise. Hurrah!

  30. Merry met, and merry part, and merry meet again!

    You’ve been missed (and not for lack of aim on the browser end).
    Take care of the shoulder, it has many books to haul before it sleeps.

  31. Scalzi: Relax, folks. It wasn’t something that was open to the public. You wouldn’t have been able to get in to harass, er, see me anyway.

    Yeah, but I would have at least bought you a beer or something…

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