Fixing the WordPress “Could not remove the old version of the plugin” error message

You’ve got to stay on top of all software upgrades if you’re going to administer your own personal WordPress installation. That includes not just the underlying WordPress software but also any plugins that you’ve added. Since so much of WordPress functionality is deployed in the plugins, it’s crucial that you check your dashboard regularly so that your code stays up to date.

I learned several important lessons about WordPress software upgrades after encountering an error message when trying to upgrade one of my plugins. The error messages read:

Unpacking the update.
Installing the latest version.
Removing the old version of the plugin.
Could not remove the old plugin.
Plugin upgrade Failed.

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Posted in Business Practices, Open source applications, WordPress | Leave a comment

Learning WordPress, Google Adsense, and modern web publishing, part one.

The last few weeks I’ve been trying to learn as much as possible about modern web publishing. Let me tell you, being an old-school Internet “expert” (I wrote the fairly popular intro to internetworking, TCP/IP Clearly Explained, Fourth Edition (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Networking)) doesn’t automatically confer expertise in web development, sad to say.

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Posted in Open Standards, WordPress | 2 Comments

Why I Love Asus

The Eee PC is an awesome little laptop, very capable and very portable. On top of that, it’s got enough fans to generate its own version of Ubuntu.

That’s fine for being mobile, but not so great for home. I’ve been wishing for years for a nice (sufficient resources to do real desktop computing) small (book-size) low-power (= less noisy) and inexpensive ($300) desktop computer.

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New Internet radio show

Be sure to check out BeyePERSPECTIVE, an Internet radio show hosted by the great people at the Business Intelligence Network.

This newly launched radio program brings together business intelligence and data warehousing experts to discuss news, mergers and acquisitions, technology announcements and other relevant industry topics.

We’ve had a lot of fun chatting about the business intelligence sector, and we touch on a surprising number of open source issues as well.

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OSes for old (really old) PCs

It’s amazing what can bubble up from forums; consider this: Operating systems for really, really old computers from the Ubuntu forums.

What a great list! The poster (darrelljon)  lists a few dozen little operating systems, mostly but not all Linux, that are small and light enough to run on older computers. Sorted by size, and in subcategories depending on what media they’ll fit on. With links! Awesome!

Posted in Linux Hardware, Switching to Linux | Leave a comment

Dell and HP on Linux

Both Dell and HP officially support Linux. Compare Dell and Linux and Open Source and Linux from HP. But Dell also has Dell Linux Engineering Web and Dell Home & Home Office Ubuntu pages.

So, it might appear Dell is a better source if you want to buy hardware with Linux installed. And maybe that’s the case, going by the rest of the web. First off, there’s this: The LXer Interview: John Hull of Dell a conversation with John Hull, manager of the Dell Linux Engineering team, who talked about things like getting hardware driver support in Linux.

Dell is getting the Linux desktop job done, apparently. For example, one of the big issues with Ubuntu is getting it to play DVDs, right out of the box. Not possible with vanilla Ubuntu, but Dell has gone ahead and fixed that (in other words, adding value for their customers). Linux Update: Ubuntu 7.10 and Built-In DVD playback. Read the article, because it points out other added value Dell provides with their Ubuntu installs, as well as pointing out how customers made the suggestions–and Dell listed to them.

If I were in the market for a new PC, dude, I’d be getting a Dell.

Not an HP. Because there’s this from Matt Parnell: Gee, Thanks HP…Your Support Stinks! Now, HP hardware is probably just as good as Dell’s, but it turns out that they’re still relying on the old "unsupported software voids our responsibility for fixing bugs" excuse. Matt quoted a response he got from HP Total Care when he reported a BIOS bug, and it’s just too good not to repeat here:

HP does not recommend installing of Linux Operating System, it could not guarantee a high level of compatibility for all basic hardware and software components of the PCs.

Now, I realize that this is just a semi-automated response from the outsourced tech support team, and it probably doesn’t accurately reflect the corporate message that HP wants to send–but it sends a strong message to anyone who might ever want to consider using Linux.

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Norway goes open!

Here’s some more good news on the open standards front: Norway mandates open formats. The article is by Arve Bersvendsen, a developer for Opera Software, and points to the original report (in Norwegian).

The bottom line is that in Norway all public information must be in open standard formats. From the article, the mandate requires:

  • HTML for all public information on the Web.
  • PDF for all documents where layout needs to be preserved.
  • ODF for all documents that the recipient is supposed to be able to edit

This is great news, and a great model for other governments. Per the new rules, you can publish in whatever format you like–in addition to the required formats. And content that’s already been put up in proprietary formats has to be converted/translated by 2014.

Way to go, Norway!

Posted in Open source and politics, Open Standards | Leave a comment

Learning about Linux, Online and Free

Not much for me to add here, just a pointer for anyone interested in learning more about Linux but not interested in spending lots of money: 10 Sites Offering Free Linux Courses Online. And in case you wondered, this is just one article from the Education Portal, where you can find pointers to all kinds of educational material free, online.

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Linux Hardware of Interest

Retailers selling PCs loaded with Linux instead of Windows aren’t
really news; there’ve been little startups and garage-based vendors of
such things for years. But now that Dell has taken the dive, PCs
running Linux out of the box are getting more attention. So here are
some links you might want to follow to see what’s up and what’s new
(and what’s not):

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Expanding the Open Source Paradigm: Docstoc

As open source software grows in popularity, so too does the open source paradigm: a new way of sharing thoughts, ideas, and their expression.

For example, the Creative Commons licenses give people a way to share their work–writing, music, photos, art–in a way that gives them wide exposure, that lets others use and adapt their work, and at the same time retain the right to profit from their work.

I like to see this kind of development, as it represents the grassroots support for a system of intellectual property that does not smother content or those who would use it, but rather encourages a sensible way of producing and distributing it.

For example, Docstoc is a (currently beta) website where you can share professional documents, from legal boilerplate to business plan templates to business expense worksheets and many more legal, financial, marketing, and business-0riented documents.

Posted in Open Source Paradigm | 1 Comment