Upgrade to WordPress 2

Screenshot of ImageManager plugin for WordPress 2
Screenshot of ImageManager 2.0 plugin for WordPress 2

At last, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve finally upgraded my blog from WordPress 1.5.2 to the latest version, WordPress 2.0.2.

Back in January I tested out the then newly released WordPress 2.0 and decided that I’d hold back on my upgrade until I found a suitable response from the WordPress community over how version 2.x handled image uploads. I wasn’t satisfied with the abolition of the Upload option, since I switch off the WYSIWYG post editor, in favour of inserting my own XHTML codes.

The upgrade went without hitch. The WordPress Codex has a good article to keep you right on how to upgrade from one version to another.

Image Manager

Today I discovered this plugin ImageManager 2.0 that changed all of that for me. And before you could say “database backup” I had backed up my blog and moved up three upgrades in one giant leap.

Here’s what the author has to say about ImageManager 2.0:

The ImageManager plugin integrates the stand alone PHP ImageManager + Editor with WordPress. The ImageManager provides an interface for browsing and uploading image files on/to your server. The Editor allows for some basic image manipulations such as, cropping, rotation, flip, and scaling.

And it does exactly what it says, however I have a few initial gripes with it. Because I have nearly 500 images in my uploads folder whenever I upload an image it took absolutely ages to refresh as it reads all 500 files to create thumbnails of each. Also for some reason the edit and delete buttons aren’t showing beneath images (I discovered that this had to be set in RoleManager). Also the image filenames aren’t listed and there appears to be no way to sort the images other than by its default sort order (whatever that is).

Still, it’s a vast improvement on the built-in image upload. Some more tinkering under the bonnet to be done methinks.

Role Manager

Another WordPress plugin I found today was Role Manager.

The Role Manager allows you to alter the capabilities of your WordPress roles, delete unused roles, and add new roles.

I’ve not explored this plugin thoroughly, but it could come in very handy for some larger projects that I’m using WordPress to manage.

The University of Scotland

Scan of Edinburgh map showing the University of Scotland
Scan of Edinburgh map showing the University of Scotland.

Last week I was driving by the King’s Buildings, the science campus of the University of Edinburgh, en route for the mighty Ikea, to deliver something to my Mum who was visiting there.

Sitting in a traffic queue — they were digging up the roads; it’s nearly April, you see — I spotted something odd on my Edinburgh A-Z map. Nestled in between the Kirk Brae Recreation Gound and the Cameron Toll Shopping Centre was something marked “Univ. of Scotland”.

Shurely, theresh shome mishtake! But everyone knows that the University of Scotland is located in the East Neuk of Fife. It is also known as The University of St Andrews. Or Kilrymont College of Further Education, if you’re rude and currently attend another Scottish tertiary education establishment (you know who you are!).

When I got home I did a search on Google for University of Scotland:

Google search results

Turns out that I was right, all along!

A choice photograph

The Choice exhibition at the RSA, Edinburgh. Photograph by John Amoore
The Choice exhibition at the RSA, Edinburgh. Photograph by John Amoore, December 2005.

One of the lovely things about getting a new job is the congratulations cards that people have sent. One of my favourites is this one that my friends John and Kathleen sent me. The photograph was taken by John and shows the “Choice” exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy.

Lovely composition, great perspective, good use of light and darkness. A choice photograph indeed.

Google Mars

Google Mars map
Explore the surface of another planet today with Google Mars. It’ll help you work, rest and play. Seemingly.

Percival Lowell (1855-1916) is one of the best known observers of the planet Mars. Seemingly. I’d never heard of him until today after I had visited Google UK to discover that they are honouring him today, with this Google holiday logo:

Mars 2006 logo for Google

He made a globe of Mars too. So I’ve read. A few minutes ago.

I find Google Earth fascinating too, but there is nothing quite like ‘flying’ over the surface of another planet in our solar system. I was able to discover where the two successful USA Mars vehicles landed. MER Spirit Rover (USA) and MER Opportunity Rover (USA) both landed successfully in January of 2004, and remarkably are still running. It’s amazing to think that those man-made-on-earth vehicles are still running about remotely on a completely different planet. I know people who are still amazed that you can change TV channels from the lazy comfort of your sofa!

The crash site of the failed Beagle 2 Rover (ESA) British lander, part of Mars Express mission, that failed during descent, can be found nearby — it’s the yellow dot on the right hand side on the map above.

I blogged about that back in December 2003. For those who can’t be bothered to click the link, here’s what I wrote:

Bad news about the Beagle mission to Mars. It’s always disappointing to get a new remote-controlled toy at Christmas only to find that it doesn’t work properly!

I feel suitably small and insignificant now.

UPDATE: James Frost directed me to this video: Flight Into Mariner Valley, a narrated and computer-animated movie about the solar system’s largest canyon, on Mars.