Hoo boy. I am tired. I’ve had a busy busy month! First, if you recall, I upgraded my hosting account to a virtual server, which was supposed to be moved overnight. We all know how that turned out. Two weeks later, the blog is finally transferred over, and my email works again. Meanwhile, I had a midterm, a term paper, and a take-home midterm. Plus I’ve been sending off samples of amplified DNA to be sequenced so I can work on pinning down my gene. Oh yeah, I got bees, and am planning a wedding!

This week, Ariela and I were making our wedding invitations, and we finished them last night and sent them off by mail today. Just in time to beat the price increase at the post office so we could still use the American Scientist stamps! Right in the middle of all this, on Wednesday, my website shuts down. Again.

At first, I thought it was an issue with server settings. Didn’t seem to be. Then I thought I needed to upgrade my version of wordpress. Only the .php files in the website weren’t working; html placeholder pages, pictures, xml feeds, those were still there. Yup, must be the wordpress, perhaps a compatibility issue with the new server digs. I soon found out that I couldn’t edit my folders on the server – because they were under the control of some other username, not my own, from the transfer. Luckily, that was quickly addressed by Startlogic, luckily for them I should say. Still, no avail, every php file came up blank and useless. Today they tested a separate php file and it worked on its own, and suggested that I reinstall wordpress from scratch.


That’s what I told the tech support person who was helping me.

Later today, I got a call that our garden plot could be roto-tilled for us if we got ourselves out to the garden, so I finished up planning out my new molecular marker, and took off to get this new time draw underway. Yep, gotta love gardening. Actually, it should be way better than Davis – it rains all summer here in Madison! I can almost forget about it at times. Tilled to shreds, with the help of some fossil fuels, our organic garden plot needed mulch, which took up the next hour.

After dinner, I set myself to the task of finally fixing this everlasting website problem. I deleted all m wordpress files, created a new MySQL database for a new installation of the latest version of wordpress, and uploaded it to be installed. A few short moments later (Their famous 5-minute install is an exaggeration) I was back in business. With an empty blog.

All of my 360+ posts, all the comments, categories, registered users, drafts, pages, settings, blogroll, were sitting in the old database file on the server. Any attempt to link the new wordpress installation to the old database was met with the now-familiar-to-me White Screen of Doom, and I needed a special export of my database made by a functional wordpress installation to import it into the new one! Any attempt to import the old database into the new one was met with insurmountable error messages. A conundrum. Page after page of wordpress support forum topics and questions provided no answer, until I happened upon this page.

It presented a simple plan. Export each table from your old database into a zipped text file, delete the corresponding table from the new, empty database, and import each table one by one. At less than ten tables to export, I thought I would just try one for starters. An export of my “posts” table, a deletion, and an import later and BOOM. Posts restored to the blog instantly. Not ten minutes later I had everything back in, and I proceeded to set up my plugins. Everything except for the video plugin is working again, my theme is back up, I can write posts, and I already had 25 spam comments for me to delete, left over from before the big crash!

Wow, I crunched some sequence data and made something useful out of it. I learned all about MySQL today. I chased down my last (hopefully) server demon and fixed my site again. I [we] got our plot tilled and covered in mulch. I made Lasagna. I’m tired.

Really tired. The last month has been a blur for me, and now that it seems all this craziness is over, there’s still more. We’ve got to fly to California tomorrow to see a fading grandmother who will receive an invitation to a wedding she may not make it to.

Then, next week comes my finals! Yay…

As you can see, I’ve been a little too busy to make new episodes, but that will soon change in the following week.

Hey, this is life, isn’t it, a mixture of boredom, intrigue, work, hobbies, rest, life, death, and bees?

I think its time for me to go to bed. Stay tuned for some news on Saturday.

Published by

Karl Haro von Mogel

Karl Haro von Mogel serves as BFI’s Director of Science and Media and as Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. He has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from UW-Madison with a minor in Life Sciences Communication. He is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar researching citrus genetics at UC Riverside.