Sunday, June 13, 2010


first, kudos to the WordPress developers, as well as designers and developers who work on plugins and themes for it. I recently migrated the Berachah Foundation website from my custom code to WordPress, and I must say I'm greatly pleased with the results. I slapped on the WordPress Mobile Pack, as well as the Carrington Mobile theme, and I got a nice mobile version of the site (even though the WordPress Mobile Pack comes with its own themes), almost without doing anything. As an aside, browser detection worked perfectly with the S60v5 phone browser I tested, as well as Opera Mini. Bolt wasn't detected as a mobile browser, so I got the full desktop version rendered :(. Anyhow, the really good news is that I can get some sleep now if I make up my mind to.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

CPanel, PHP, webhosting and other sundry headaches

I should blog more often (among many other things I should do more often). At least, then I'd probably remember the naming convention I use for my posts, since I like to name them by date. Ah well.

A couple years back, I created a custom CMS in PHP for a client. A friend helped with the web hosting and domain name, and after bungling it for a couple months, the site was rolled out. It was my single greatest achievement at the time, as the site used templates, and (theoretically) could have several templates, and the user (should have been) able to switch look and feels (of course, it was delivered late and lacking in features).

This year, due to some things, I tried out WordPress and wanted to switch the site to it after liking it. Reality soon set in. For some reason, I couldn't access the site's CPanel, so I (thought I) couldn't upload WordPress. My connection isn't the most stable in the world, and after trying to upload it via FTP and failing a couple of times, I asked the friend who helped with the hosting to help with the CPanel issues.

My friend is a busy person, and when he got round to it, he had the same issue, and contacted the provider. He told me he'd gotten round to getting the issue fixed, but on my next attempt to use the CPanel, the same thing came around. I contacted him, but decided to try to get the WordPress working myself. Uploading via HTTP then unpacking the archive didn't work either.

Today, I got an idea: Since the webhost has internet, I could download WordPress remotely and unpack it on the server. I got a solution for downloading the archive and created for unpacking it, but I kept getting errors. When I downloaded Unzipper, I also got problems unpacking. So I cooked up my own script for the remote download. Once I confirmed that fopen wrappers were built on the webhost, it became a simple issue of opening the WordPress download with one file pointer, and copying it to a local archive in 8kB chunks. Unzipper helped greatly with unpacking WordPress (zip archive), and I uploaded a wp-config.php file, and now WordPress' installed! Owing to the instability of my connection, uploading themes has been a challenge, but WordPress' ability to download themes for itself has come in handy. I'll start migrating the site to WordPress and soon move the whole to WordPress. And yes, another attempt to upload a theme to the site just failed. Later.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Rugged chronicles

To any reader of this blog who doesn't know, NCCF Zamfara goes for Rural Rugged evangelism twice a year (Rural Rugged is said to be the 'point' of NCCF, by the way). Rural Rugged involves Corps members going to rural areas for humanitarian & evangelistic reasons (in ZM's case, the strong anti-Christian sentiment prevalent makes it basically humanitarian). None of this is really particularly important, except as a backdrop of sorts to the rest of my story.

So, I'm in Morai (pronounce Mo-ray), a village around Talata Mafara/Anka and fighting sleep desperately. I should be on my security detail patrolling, but it was dark and lonely while the Praise Night is going on; thoughts have been entering my head, forcing me to flee to Security 'HQ' where I'm literally in the light. And wouldn't you know it, it also happened to be in the zone where she serves ('she' not being the person many minds are running off to assume 'she' is).

We'll be leaving later today (it's now a few past 1:00am), and while I'm not quite sure why I came in the first place, I've learnt a little about life, and about love.

On the arrival night, I found myself thrust into Security detail (again!), which ended up with me manning a post meant for three people all on my own. I was supposed to light a fire with wood from Welfare. Fuel & matches were provided — all I needed was to get a blaze going. It was harder than I thought. I'm a born and bred city boy. It was my first wood fire, and I couldn't locate any paper. Twice I doused the wood with fuel and lit it, only to burn up just the fuel. I started looking around for some alternative fuel, and found a slipper lying around. I poured fuel on all again and lit it. This third time, I got a good blaze going in a matter of minutes.

I got thinking about it, and realized that any romantic relationship is a lot like a wood fire. The fuel is like the initial attraction — it's great, but tends to burn out quickly and leave you cold. The wood's the long-term substance or fuel for the relationship — what you'll be living on over 5, 10 years. It's relatively slow to burn, but is the meat & potatoes of your relationship in the long term. Maybe you can call this 'love', even though I personally feel the word's been bastardized. Much like the fuel, attraction gets a relationship going, but can't keep it going. It's often over too quickly. My battery power's going down, so let me summarize quickly: every relationship has both short-term and long-term elements. Utilize both correctly to keep your relationship fresh and exciting. And just like my wood fire needed me stoking it from time to time with fresh, quick-burning fuel like dry grass, as well as push the unburnt wood closer to the blaze, so I wasn't stuck with glowing embers that provided lots of warmth but little light, you need to renew the love in your relationship with short-term and long-term shows of attraction and love.

I learnt some more things, but that's for another day. Later.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


finally the chosen month is here! yay! today started out kinda lousy. my roommate (uncharacteristically) took a phone call in the room, and kept me awake, even though i asked him to take said call outside (his voice is loud, you see). at first i was pissed off, and was going to tell him off later today, but since due to it i remembered something i needed to do (2nd quarter — important but not urgent) i'm plenty mollified now.

yesterday morning i made the decision not to ask her out, and sent her a text telling her i wasn't, and why. then i tried calling her to talk it over. a couple times. her phone was busy. then she called just before XtraCool ended. i hope i know what i'm doing, because she's not your run-in-the-mill kind of woman. she's (to use a cliched phrase) something special, quite possibly one in a million. she's the kind of lady you're surprised to see single (guys have learned to download sense into their skulls these days, even if the skulls started out empty dust receptacles — Biyi, you know now). so for the time being, i'm keeping up my (self-given) moniker as the Babeless Wonder. Laugh, darn it!

On a more serious note, i wonder why one of my roommates goes on making/taking his XtraCool calls with speakerphone active and in the room. He's the same one whose phone rings on maximum volume and sleeps through all of it. i've procured a plank for his head the next time he keeps the rest of us awake instead of putting off his i read from a retweet: If your relationship is so damn complicated that you have to identify it as such on your Facebook, get the hell off Facebook and go fix it. God bless us, every one!