How to address your mail

I love geeky stuff like this! The Royal Mail (formerly Consignia, formerly Royal Mail) has a page on their website all about about how to clearly address your mail.

Graphic showing an envelope and what information to write on it
Image credit: Royal Mail

An envelope requires only five lines if addressing somewhere in the UK:

  • Line 1—The addressee’s name.
  • Line 2—Building number and street name.
  • Line 3—Locality name (if required).
  • Line 4—POST TOWN (print in capitals).
  • Line 5—POSTCODE (print in capitals, in full, on a separate line).

Important points to note:

  1. You do not need a county name (e.g. Fife) if you use the post town and full postcode.
  2. No commas or full stops.
  3. Left-align your address, do not centre or stagger your lines.

So now you know. Although you probably use email and Twitter, don’t you!

 

Twins in school—together or apart?

Reuben and Joshua on their first day of primary school
Reuben and Joshua on their first day of primary school

As we approach the final few weeks of the school year, last week I received an email from Tamba, the twins and multiple births association, of which we are members, about a resource to help parents decide whether to keep their twins or multiples together in the same class or not.

We decided to separate our twin boys, and it turns out to have been the right decision. Each has bloomed where he has been planted, each has found his own confidence. While it’s not always been the easiest of paths for either of them, or us (and we’ve often found ourselves wondering if we made the right decision) I am so proud of both of them in how they have grown and matured during this academic year.

The Tamba resource is a short document, produced with Tamba’s support by the Hackney Learning Trust, that outlines the issues to consider. If you have twins or multiples who are heading to school soon then it’s certainly worth a read.

Download the Together or apart guidelines and checklist from Tamba.

Windows 8.1… at last!

Start screen under Windows 8.1 (now with more tile sizes)
Start screen under Windows 8.1 (now with more tile sizes)

This afternoon—after having made sure that last night’s backup happened successfully—I upgraded my PC to Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit). It had been running Windows 8 Pro (64-bit), so just a 0.1 upgrade! Unlike last year’s botched attempt, this time it was successful and took less than an hour.

Issues

Only three applications complained:

  • 8GadgetPack didn’t run until I’d installed the latest version.
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1 reported that it was incompatible. No problem: I’m not using a Windows Mobile phone now. I’ve uninstalled it.
  • SteelSeries Engine reported that it couldn’t initialize. I had suspected my SteelSeries Sensei mouse to be the main culprit in last year’s failed upgrade, so I wasn’t surprised. Downloading the latest version seems to have sorted this.

Tweaks

I’m still using two applications to tweak the Windows 8.1 experience:

  • Start8—Adds the classic start menu back to Windows 8/8.1.
  • Decor8—Personalizes the Windows 8/8.1 start and login screens.

Relief

What a relief to finally get it installed, and without any problems whatsoever. Dear Microsoft, I wish it had been this straight-forward seven months ago. But thank you.

I tweeted my progress through the upgrade:

Uploading media to old posts in WordPress backdates the file location

From the ashes of b2/cafelog

I first started using WordPress in 2003 not long after it had been forked from b2/cafelog. It was version 0.7, before they started using jazz-inspired code names for the releases.

  • There were no pages, only posts. Pages arrived in 2005, version 1.5 Strayhorn.
  • There was no plugin architecture: if you wanted to make changes to the functionality of the application then you had to edit the core files (and re-edit them every time you updated WordPress… which was all done manually, of course). Plugins arrived in 2004, version 1.2 Mingus.
  • There were no themes. Support for that also arrived in 2005, version 1.5 Strayhorn, and was greatly improved in 2010, version 3.0 Thelonious.

The media library was also very basic in those days. You actually had to add the absolute path of the media folder in your b2config.php file, like this: $fileupload_realpath = '/home/example/public_html/images';

Organize media into folders

The media library improved over the years but one thing I never got around to switching on was this one, now found in Settings > Media: “Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders”. I kind of wish I had now, because I have nearly 3,680 images sitting loose in /wp-content.

As part of my site migration from www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk to www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk/blog I am trying to plan the best way to move all these images into month- and year-based folders. If you have any thoughts please do leave them in the comments.

What I did discover, however, is that if I were to retrospectively upload an image today to the media library, say for a blog post dated 9 August 2007, WordPress will upload it to a directory for the month associated with the post (/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/) and not the month I actually uploaded it (May 2014).

However, the media library filter still lists the file as having been uploaded during May 2014.

According to this support ticket “#10752 Uploading new media to existing posts/pages backdates file location” this is a feature, not a bug. It would be rather nice if you could choose which convention it uses: I’d prefer to be able to filter images according to when the image was used on a post, rather than when I ‘fixed’ the image.

Workaround to get a /blog site on WordPress multisite

The following words are reserved for use by WordPress functions and cannot be used as blog names: page, comments, blog, files, feed

Last month I said that I would soon be redesigning and re-architecting my website, including this blog. It has now begun!

Losing the subdomains

Something I want to do is standardise the URLs used on the site. Once upon a time I had an idea of using subdomains for all my mini-sites, so

  • www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk
  • blueprint.garethjmsaunders.co.uk
  • mahjong.garethjmsaunders.co.uk
  • psion.garethjmsaunders.co.uk

I got as far as setting up my blog on a subdomain and I changed my mind. (Or got lazy, I can’t remember now.) 11 years later I have now decided to bite the bullet and move from www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk to garethjmsaunders.co.uk/blog. It’s potentially going to involve a lot of work (and a little .htaccess wrangling) but it will be worth it in the long run.

WordPress doesn’t like blog sites

My plan was to create a new sub-site called “blog” but when I set up a WordPress multisite installation on my local machine to test how this would all work I encountered an unexpected problem. When you try to create a new site called “blog” WordPress multisite returns this error message:

The following words are reserved for use by WordPress functions and cannot be used as blog names: page, comments, blog, files, feed

Ah!

Workaround

The workaround I worked out, however, is pretty simple:

  1. On the WordPress multisite default site, create a new page called “Blog”, with the URL of ‘/blog’. (On my localhost test site this has a URL of http://garethjmsaunders.shed/blog/.)
  2. In Settings > Reading set the posts page to be your new “Blog” page.
  3. Now import your blog into this site. (I imported it category by category, one at a time as I have a lot of posts.)

Of course, if you want your blog to use a different theme than the rest of the default site pages you will need to use a multiple theme plugin.