Widgetized my theme

In preparation of installing WordPress 2.5 I finally widgetized my theme. I’m using an old 2.0 version of FastTrack. Widgets have been around for a long time so as I play with 2.5 I figured I’d come up to speed with a 2.0 feature.

I had a bunch of nested if..thens so that the home page would show one sidebar and single posts and pages would show another. I had cleaned up the theme so I now had separated the two sidebars in the file.

In my theme’s function.php I added the following lines:

if ( function_exists(’register_sidebar’) )
register_sidebars(2,array(
‘before_widget’ => ”,
‘after_widget’ => ”,
‘before_title’ => ‘<h2>’,
‘after_title’ => ‘</h2>’,
));

This let me define 2 sidebars, one for the home page and one for not the home page.

In my sidebar.php I placed

php code for the is_home() sidebar

<?php endif; ?>

<?php } else { ?>

<?php if ( !function_exists(’dynamic_sidebar’) || !dynamic_sidebar(2) ) : ?>

php code for the all other pages sidebar

<?php endif; ?>

<?php }?>

This let me have a default for each sidebar. That’s where I ran into a snag. I want to re-use the same widgets in both sidebars. The widgets won’t let me use them twice. I wanted to use the meta widget on the home page as well as on the single posts.

If I want I can define additional duplicate widgets but that’s a pain. I’m playing with the idea of defining a third dynamic sidebar and display that on the bottom of each sidebar.

I’ll keep playing with it to find a solution I like.

NY Autoshow

Picture of the family in front of the concept Jeep

Monday we took the kids to the NY Autoshow. The kids liked it and they came home exhausted.

It was like they turned Jacob Javits into one huge car dealership. There were very few concept cars. The cars were cool but I could have seen much of the same thing just by visiting the car dealers in my neighborhood.

The photo was from a promotional thing that Jeep was doing. They take your photo, you get it online and get exposed to way too much marketing material. I took pictures too and will probably upload them to Flickr.

The high point of the day was when the kids pulled off the center mirror on a Smart Car they were crawling over. After that I did not let them into the cars anymore.

An odd Easter Sunday

Today is not exactly how I intended to enjoy Easter Sunday. I’m baby sitting my main server in my basement right now. This morning at 6 AM I noticed my server in the basement was not passing traffic since 2 AM. So I rebooted the server and it came back.

I like to attend the 8 AM mass at St. Mathews because I don’t like crowds. Today we got the kids dressed up and went to church. Afterwards we went to Friendlies for breakfast. 9 AM Sunday is a great time to go; no crowds at all.

At 9:45 AM I received an e-mail on my Blackberry that my server was down again. I use the free service from Service Uptime. Yes I snmp monitor my cable modem, server CPU, server throughput, etc. and no I’m not an Uber Geek. We got home, we snapped some pictures (we were all dressed up after all) and I got to work rebooting my server.

Hard rebooting a Linux server is odd. I generally only run tested packages on my servers and I’ve had Linux boxes go for months until I had to reboot it for some kernel patch. So when this one started acting up I’m getting worried. One of my disks sounds like the fan from an old car so that might be a hint.

I pulled out a 300 GB from the Netgear SC-101 since I was not using it. I have a ton of data on the old drive so right now I have both drives mounted and am copying data from the lawn mower and onto the new 300 GB drive.

Going from one ATA bus to the other is about 8 MB/sec so it’s taking a long time. Copying data from your disk is like cleaning up your basement. If you have not looked at it for more than 6 months then you can probably lose it. Once I get what I want of the old drive, I’ll place it on the shelf and close up the server.

If it keeps happening then I’ll just get a Dell refurb PC.  In the meanwhile the kids are having a blast playing in the basement while their Dad waits for his server to finish.

Installed Vista SP1

Vista SP1

This morning the 120 MB download for Vista Sp1 was available. The download was fast but the scary part is that the update eventually happened while my screen was totally off in power saving mode. That took more than 10 minutes.

That’ll cause some people to power off their boxes and cause no end of horror. I wonder if this breaks anything? So far for all of 10 minutes it’s working.

This cartoon says it all

Sometime politicians make it too easy for the cartoonists.

Ben Sargent sums up the Spitzer mess nicely

Ben Sargent’s political cartoons can be found here.

Some people regard this as a referendum on prostitution and that Spitzer should not resign because of this. A friend of mine would call this “Darwin’s waiting room”.  The soon-to-be ex-governor is just too stupid to work here.

The new governor Dave Paterson seems to be a real politician; I mean that in a nice way. Hopefully no more press grabbing bulldozer tactics. It would be nice to see the state government actually work for a change.