Writings on technology and society from Wellington, New Zealand

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How does this website work?

This site is built using the open source blogging software WordPress. WordPress is licensed under the GPL. It runs on the Linux operating system, the Apache web server and uses PHP and a MySQL database.

The site is hosted on a virtual server at Bluehost, where WordPress was installed with one click using the control panel. The domain name is hosted at Iconz.

I have used the Darknight 2.0 theme for WordPress, with the following plugins:

  • Akismet for control of comment spam
  • Random quotes to present a pithy saying on the front page
  • WP-chgFontSize, somewhat modified, to make it easy for people to set the text size as they wish

I load new articles to the blog using MarsEdit.

posted by colin at 9:38 am  


  1. There’s a typo in your link to bluehost

    Comment by Mark — 2 October 2007 @ 8:30 pm

  2. So there was :) All fixed now.

    Comment by colin — 3 October 2007 @ 3:23 pm

  3. This is the first time I’ve been into your site and I’m impressed.
    Colin, I use Blogger as my on-line blog site but I use the privacy controls. I don’t want others to read it unless I invite them.
    I also use Windows Live Spaces to keep in touch with family. I use the blog spot there also.
    One feature I have found with the new Office 2007 Word programme is that you can blog directly from a document. You have to set it up first with your addresses but after that it works well. However, I haven’t worked out how to use the photo uploader.

    Comment by Brian — 18 November 2007 @ 2:28 pm

  4. I didn’t know you could blog directly from Office Word 2007. Interesting – I may try it at some point :-D

    Comment by Ben — 12 March 2008 @ 10:29 am

  5. Howdy,
    I enjoyed and appreciated your chat (last week ?) about the need – and means – for back-up of computer files. I have a couple of flash-drive sticks and I think I know how to save my important files.
    BUT. I use a Toshiba computer with Windows-XP and I use Outlook Express to download and accumulate all my E-mail for a period. HOW on earth do I back-up (or archive)the stuff on Outlook Express, (since I can’t find any links on my desktop nor in windows explorer).
    I know how to save individual E-mail messages by conversion to (eg) word files – but can I back-up the whole Outlook Express box full at one go ??
    Regards, A.

    Comment by Albert — 13 March 2008 @ 11:18 am

  6. Albert

    If you are using a laptop – and I think all Toshes are laptops – you’d be well advised to back up the entire drive with an external hard drive through USB. Laptops are fragile, exposed, and vulnerable to loss.

    To back up Outlook Express – you need to find the place it keeps its file. These may be in files with an extension .pst. That’s how its big brother Outlook works. Go hunting with Windows Explorer.

    There’s another way to keep a backup of your email – use IMAP rather than POP. Check whether your email provider (presumably your ISP) supplies IMAP as well. Change your Outlook settings to talk to the IMAP server rather than the POP server. Then create an “Archive” folder on your mail provider (just create a new folder) and throw your mail messages into it as they arrive, or even better set up a rule to do it for you.

    And yet another way is to set yourself up a free Gmail account – go to – and then set up a rule for your incoming email to copy everything to that account. Use “Redirect” if the option is available so it will preserve the original sender.

    Finally, be aware that flash sticks can die at any time. Never keep your only copy of something you care about on one.

    Hope this helps


    Comment by colin — 13 March 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  7. Hi colin as a believer all things fair in the tech world I was wondering if you had read this article?
    could it be done in NZ?,

    Comment by David — 11 July 2008 @ 2:02 pm

  8. David

    the price of the iPhone 3G here is the handset-only price of about $1100 advertised by Vodafone. All the other prices on offer are linked to plans with a high monthly spend, and effectively these subsidise the handset.

    The real issue here is the high cost of mobile calls in New Zealand. That’s what makes the plans look expensive. It’s not an iPhone issue; it’s an expensive NZ mobile calling issue. And that’s not going away until we have genuine competition.

    Roll on New Zealand Communications, NZ’s third mobile operator!



    Comment by colin — 15 July 2008 @ 8:56 pm

  9. It it great that Gmail has added tasks.It goes a long way towards making it a competitor to outlook

    Comment by Paul Rasmussen — 4 February 2009 @ 3:50 am

  10. Yes – I need to have a play with Gmail tasks on the iPhone. Unfortunately it still can’t trigger an alert on the phone, because like all 3rd party software, Apple won’t let it run in the background of the iPhone. This hampers its usefulness. I know you cn achieve the same effec through a round about syncing route, but as one reviewer put it, that’s a bit like scratching your back with the garden rake.

    Comment by colin — 5 February 2009 @ 7:09 am

  11. I have listened to your Nine to Noon interview on backing up. I use Norton 360 and that backs up all my important data files to a remote location. If I am prompted to buy additional storage I will copy pictures to CD(s) and delete them from my hard drive. Do you consider this to be an adequate backup procedure?

    Comment by Matt Harger — 30 October 2009 @ 2:52 pm

  12. Matt

    First of all – sorry to take a while to get back. It’s best to attach a comment to a recent article or I might not notice.

    Regarding Norton 360, you need to be certain that everything you care about is covered by it and it is genuinely backing them up. Don’t just assume.
    In your shoes I would test it by renaming a file I thought was coverd by it then trying to get Norton to recover it for me. If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, rename the file back and find a better way to back up.


    Comment by colin — 15 December 2009 @ 10:02 pm

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