KeithMcD Network

Yesterday I spent most the day configuring WordPress MultiSite. This is a feature that the WordPress team introduced in version 3.0 and expanded upon in version 3.1. This allows me to basically run my own blogging service – similar to or Blogger.

So, I now can run my own blogging service – what is the benefit of doing this? I have no current plans to offer blogs, however the benefit I have in doing this is that I can now manage all the sites my family has under one global umbrella.

However, last night, I found that after I had already migrated three other sites to the new platform, my main site (, was exhibiting some oddities in the blog posts. A “” was showing up at somewhat-random places in all posts regardless of how far back I went, but was not showing up in the database itself. However, new posts I created to test had no such characters shown. It turns out this was a remnant of my early WordPress days.

Back in the days before WordPress 2.1.3, the database used latin1_swedish_ci collation for whatever reason. As such, my blog was using that for all tables created at that time onward. Any new blogs I created were created with later versions and as such, were created with utf8_general_ci, so did not have this issue. So, now that I knew what was going wrong, how to fix this?

First, you have to take a complete backup of all the affected tables. After I had a dump of those tables, I simply edited the CHARSET which is used by those tables and re-imported the tables. My dump included drop statements so the tables were dropped then recreated immediately which would minimize any issues from random WordPress tables in a production environment just suddenly going missing. However, this didn’t quite fix it. It made the “” visible in the database table. Next, I had to run the following SQL statement which replaced the “” with nothing and cleared up this issue.

UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = REPLACE(post_content, ‘Â’, ”);

I haven’t checked other tables to see if they are effected as well, but this resolves the user-visible items at the very least.

So, with those issues fixed I can now shift my attention to migrating two remaining sites and fixing any issues which may crop up from those as well.

This brings me to a minor topic which is this: the KeithMcD logo is in dire need of a refresh.  Have any ideas or design suggestions?  Currently there isn’t much of a logo – it is really just the favicon which is pretty bad and lacks any design at all.

Site Upgrade

Yesterday WordPress, the software which powers this and other sites that I host and support, updated to version 3.1.

I have upgraded this site and am playing around with some of the new/updated features.  As such, a few very minor changes will be coming up.  I will also be tweaking the theme some and trying to make it a bit more fluid in its appearance.

WordPress 2.7 “Coltraine”

Hi there,

Something’s different here as of this week. It’s this blog, once again. WordPress 2.7 “Coltraine” was released this week by those fine folks. About the only difference that you, the user, will see is that it will load faster. The main changes happen behind the scenes where the administration section has been overhauled. It took some time to get used to but is quite nice now.

And wouldn’t be proper without yet another theme change. Although I liked the last one as it was quite simple (mostly black with a small splash of color), this one is even better. It has been customized a bit. I’ve removed some pictures from the top of the site and have restructured the bottom links and tag cloud a bit. If you have a large monitor like me (1680×1050), then the tag cloud will be next to the links at the bottom. If it’s smaller, then they’ll just stack on top of each other.

I’ve also beefed up security a bit. Comments are now more open as I’ve installed the reCaptcha system. This is a great CAPTCHA as it not only stops spam, but also helps to transcribe old texts by people’s answers to the CAPTCHA. Want to learn more? Visit reCaptcha to learn more about this win-win project.

Enjoy the new site and look for something new soon. I will be (seriously) updating this site more now although I know I say that often. In less than two weeks I’ll be on a long Christmas vacation in China. I’ll be trying to blog about it daily in order to keep everything fresh from my mind.

It’s been a long time

Yes, that’s a line from a song. Yes, I barely ever use this blog. In a few days the iPhone 3G I purchased from the AT&T store should be in. I’ll be posting some pictures for that. I’ve been having some stuff going on at home but hopefully should be caught up soon and can work on Places some more again. Little pet projects get pushed aside quite often.

Also, just completed an upgrade to the site so now running on WordPress 2.6 (supposedly released yesterday too!)

More to come (soon hopefully).

Coming soon


I’ve had a few other features of my site available for a while now, but they’ve sorta been hidden. Take a look at the Gallery and Forums links at the top of the page and let me know what you think. The Gallery is available at a different link, but I’m trying out an embedded version. The page will look pretty bad right now until I can get the visual style to work properly.

Also thinking about making my rss feed a feedburner URL instead so I can track users (if any other than me).