All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Verify Your Home Directories

Last week I was creating a blog for one of my web clients. A quick down and dirty for informational purposes is that what you do is go into your host and create an area for your blog software to be uploaded to. If you’re domain is going to be your blog then you’re pretty much set. However, if you’re going to add your blog to your existing domain, then you need to create a subdirectory within it.


by Niels Hiedenreich

I went into her host account, which is also 1&1, and created the subdirectory. When you do this, you have to make sure you’re creating the subdirectory within the original domain as opposed to creating a subdomain outside of the main domain. No, I’m not even going to try explaining that because it looks and sounds stupid no matter how I might try to clarify it. lol

After 10 minutes I went to check and the new folder was there, all set for me to upload the software. I did all of that, using WordPress of course, and it took just over 5 minutes. I had already prepared myself by going into MySQL and creating a database for the blog, so I opened the wp.config.sample.php file and put the proper information into it, then uploaded it as wp.config.php, as you’re supposed to do.

All seemed to go fine. I went to the link for the blog, created a password, signed in and all looked pretty good; normal, I’ll say. I had gone searching for a few different templates for my client to select from, but I chose one to start with because I know she likes colors. I had to do this conversion thing to switch it from PHP 4.4.9 to PHP 5.2, and once I completed that I installed just a few plugins that I thought were important to start with.

Everything looked pretty good, but I had noticed when I was looking at one of the themes I was considering that there was some error code showing up. I had planned on sending her an email telling her about the blog, but decided to wait until the next morning.

Next morning comes and I try to find her blog; it’s not there. Neither is her website; ouch! Actually, her website was now showing up as a skeleton of what her blog would look like without any pattern or background. Nope, this wasn’t good. I thought that maybe I had done something wrong to the .htaccess file so I went in and deleted that; nothing happened. I reloaded all the blog software; nothing. As a matter of fact, I was now getting one of those Error 500 messages; things seemed to be getting worse.

I decided to delete all the blog files and start again; this was taking forever. When that was completed I tried to go to the main website and now I was getting Error 403. I wasn’t quite sure about that one so I did what I should have done in the first place. I went to the host site and then to their FAQ. I looked up Error 403 and it said that meant the site was being directed somewhere that didn’t exist as the main directory.

Suddenly it all made sense. I went into the domain settings and I had made a mistake. I had created the new directory, but inadvertently told the site that the new directory would be the new main directory instead of a subdirectory of the one already existing. Ugh! Had I checked the stupid FAQ first I’d have saved myself an hour’s worth of headaches. I went back into the domain area, told it that the original directory was the main directory, waited 5 minutes, and the website was back, proud as anything.

After that I reloaded all the blog software, et al, and the new blog is back in service, looking great, and the original website is back as well; whew!

As I look back on this I realize that I wouldn’t have found the error if I hadn’t started deleting some of the blog files. After all, I had that Error 500 thing, and I’ve seen that before. I put in all the tricks I knew of to get rid of it, the simple stuff, and none of that worked. Not a single reference I found even mentioned checking out the directory first. So, if I can save anyone a little bit of time by writing this post, then it’ll all have been worth it.

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Successful Blogging Isn’t Going To Be Easy

Talk about finding inspiration when you’re not expecting it. I was checking out my man Iceman Baldy’s blog where he had a super short post I’m truncating titled Blogging Inspiration; trust me, the title’s much longer. Anyway, on this particular short post he has a video from a young man named Lamar Tyler, only about 4 1/2 minutes long, and that’s where the true inspiration comes from.

Lamar basically breaks it down in saying that it’s not easy if you want to have a successful blog. It takes time, time you might have to give to it when you’re tired, when you’re not in the mood, or when you just want it all to go away. You put in the time so that you will be successful, you will be able to quit your day job, and you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Goodness, all that in 4 1/2 minutes? You must watch this video! And of course let the Iceman know I sent you.

Obviously this is a principle that applies to more than blogging, but it’s kind of a good one. When I did my 10-hour experiment a week ago, I stated that it was only an experiment and that I’d probably go back to putting in a lot of time on the computer again. I figure that I really want this blog to be the best, and I also remember writing and saying that people have to be ready to pay the price for any real success in this world. Goodness, I remember that post also linked to someone else, Jacqueline Gates, who had a video pretty much saying the same thing.

When we feel put upon or depressed, when things aren’t quite going our way, that’s the time to really dig deep. Take your time to be depressed a bit, then decide that you’re going to rechannel your energies into being responsible for your own life. Think about the steps you’ll have to take to get where you want to be, then take your best shot at it. As it pertains to blogging, just do it. Don’t put off writing your articles because you don’t think they’re good; write them, continue writing them, and you’ll see yourself getting better. You might already be good but not so confident in your abilities. Go ahead, put it out there, Git R Done (yeah, I stole that from Larry the Cable Guy)!

And if you need help… ask.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Sunday Question – What’s Your Most Audacious Wish?

You know, most of the time when a question like this is asked of someone, they give one of those politically correct answers that we all know is a lie. Come on now; I mean, you’re going to tell me that if you had the opportunity for anything you ever wanted the one thing you’d wish for is world peace?

Nope, not buying it. Few people are that magnanimous in life. And truthfully, it’s not even number one at the top of many lists for people who want to help others. For instance, world peace doesn’t cure hunger. It doesn’t kill pollution, nor clean waters. It can’t stop disease. These are great goals, and there are some folks who might wish for these things. Yet I’d be hard pressed, if I were honest, if I had one audacious dream, something I really wanted, and I gave it away like that. It’s not a tangible wish; how would any genie or whomever even be able to determine what that was?

Instead, I ask this question because I want you to be selfish. Not necessarily because I want it to totally be about you, but because reality states that when you have what you need to reach your ultimate dream, you actually have enough to help take care of some of those other things that might be on your mind. If you’re wealthy, you can have anything you want, and also give whatever you want to others to help them without hurting yourself. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Back to the question. This one wasn’t really easy for me way back when. I couldn’t really think of anything I wanted other than money; isn’t that a shame? It actually took me about a month to come up with something that, at the moment, is kind of unreachable. I mean, I started out by wanting a soda fountain machine, but those don’t cost much. Then I said I wanted an Aeron chair, and it turns out that in the scope of things that wasn’t all that expensive either (though I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $1,300 on one).

Then it hit me; I want a big, expensive home that I get to help design and that I get to pay off immediately and just have my peace of mind. Oh yeah! Then I ran into a snag that I still have, that being I have no real vision of what I want it to look like on the outside. The best I have is that I want it to be a one-story home; no steps for this guy. I don’t have any steps for my house now except 4 little steps from my deck in the back. I’d eliminate even that in my dream house.

Ah, but what do I want in my dream house? I want space! I want an extra large bedroom. I want an extra large master bathroom, with a separate urinal; come on guys, who wouldn’t want a urinal if you had the space? I want a hot tub or Jacuzzi room with an extra large TV in it so I could possibly see it without my glasses.

I want an extra large kitchen with an island that has the sink in it instead of on the counter, although since I tend to splash a lot I’d probably have to have a panel I could pull up so I’m not always getting water on the floor. I want sound wired through the entire house.

I want solar panels to help conserve my utilities. I want heated coils under the driveway to melt all that snow so that I never have to shovel again, nor pay anyone to clear it, and I want it to look like a brick driveway; heck, it might be a brick driveway. I want the ability to open up my roof and let sunlight in whenever I’m in the mood, although I’d live with skylights.

I want an exercise room and a sewing room for my wife; I know she’d also like a greenhouse. I want a playroom or entertainment room with a large pool table, and I want that room to be able to convert to a media room where, if I’m inclined, I could invite people over to watch special events. I want special lighting where everything can be bright but there are no bulbs shining in anyone’s eyes.

And I want a closed in area that’s actually still outside with comfortable lounge chairs and a fountain where I can go to relax and still enjoy nature in my own way, peacefully and by myself, since I really don’t like being in the backyard.

That’s all I have; I’m sure I could come up with more things later, but truthfully, I’d be happy with just that stuff. So, what are your audacious dreams? Go ahead, share!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Facebook Applications – How Trusting Are You Of Them?

I’m probably not the only one who gets invitations to sign up for Facebook applications. There are tons of them, and I know I’ve opted out of almost all of them that have come my way. There were a couple I signed up for before things really exploded, since I’ve been on the site for awhile, but since that time I’ve been reluctant to add many of them.


by Beth Kanter

The reason for my worry? I don’t like when an application is ready to load and it gives you all those disclaimers. The first one is always that it’s an independent application and has nothing to do with Facebook. I’m not sure I like that, but I guess it’s the same thing Apple tells people who have the iPhone about their applications. Sure, they’ll allow it to be used but if anything goes wrong they absolve themselves of any blame. I don’t quite like that, but we’ll move on.

The second thing is that the programs all say they’re going to access every single thing you have on your Facebook page. That’s bothersome to me, moreso than anything else, because they also let you know that they might share that information with someone else. In other words, you sign onto any stupid little game application and you’re basically saying to the world “spam me”.

Not that I really expect all that much privacy from Facebook anymore. Sure, they’ve added filters that allow us to protect some information, but they added those filters after they had already made changes then put your information out to the world, when the backlash came. Not that any of that targeted marketing is working anyway; my page says I’m married and I’m still getting ads for dating services. I also get ads for weight loss, other types of computer games, and strangely enough some kind of special new vitamin water; yuck!

All of this comes up in my mind as I’ve been debating whether or not to allow the upload of one application in particular, that being the Family Tree application. Telling more than I need to, I had pretty much gotten my mind into the reality that I probably was never going to see or hear from most of my family members again after some significant members have passed away, and was surprised when a couple of cousins connected with me on Facebook.

Suddenly family members I knew and didn’t really know were coming out of the woodworks, and then this Family Tree thing came up. Part of me thinks it would be really interesting to load it and see just how I’m related to a few of these people. Another part of me sees it as just another application that’ll get my information and sell it off.

What to do, what to do? Well, I still have lots of time to ponder this one out. How do you handle all these Facebook applications, if you’re on the service? How much do you trust them to do the right thing with your information?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell