Fresh Off The Block


Sep
19
2011

Welcome to our new Server!

Technically Motivated recently migrated to a brand new web-server offering much more storage space and faster processing speed. This means Technically Motivated should run better than ever.

During the migration, the site may have been taken offline temporarily. I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our users. I believe the entire site is up and running smoothly now, but if you see any issues, please do not hesitate to Contact Me.

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    Previous Articles


    Aug
    29
    2011

    Home is where you wanna be…

    …but for Technically Motivated, it was almost the page to avoid for some time! When I decided to redesign the Technically Motivated homepage some many months ago, I decided I wanted to keep the latest posts on the front page but also integrate other content such as a welcome text and the now-famous “What you’re talking about” panel. I spent many weeks looking up various methods to make this possible before actually committing to designing the new Homepage; and eventually came up with a design model that added the post content to a static Homepage using short codes. However, while this method worked, it was incredibly broken – the code I was using to display the posts was leaky, and turned the Homepage into an actual post page; causing layout issues, banners where there shouldn’t have been any, and so on. A few weeks ago, a newly installed add-on also broke as a result of the badly-designed page; persuading me to start over from scratch.

    Today, I am pleased to launch a brand new, rewritten version of the Technically Motivated homepage. This time, I’ve gone the opposite route; taking the already existing page for showing the latest posts and adding in the other content in between. The result is a professionally designed homepage that actually works as intended; and shows you the latest posts across the Blog at a glance while keeping the Ticker at the top and the “What you’re talking about” box in the middle; and without anything breaking. I hope you like the new-found convenience.

    In addition to the above, we’ve fixed the language select on the right so “English” is marked by the Union flag rather than the American one. This seems to get switched back every time we update the language select plug-in ¬_¬

    Aug
    28
    2011

    Registration Issues Resolved

    A couple of months ago, an update to the Forum software used to integrate the TM Forums with the Technically Motivated Website, added in new features for registering users to the site which TM has since been making use of. Unknowingly, the new system meant that the original form for registering accounts with Technically Motivated was being replaced with an alternative form not operated by WordPress itself.

    It had come to my attention recently that due to a misconfiguration in this form, registrations weren’t being handled correctly; and users were occasionally redirected to non-existent pages upon trying to log in or register an account. In addition, on the rare occasions that the form DID work correctly, security settings on the site would lead to the user getting 403 Forbidden errors on registering because the Registration Form was not detected as being part of the main site – and was thus assumed to come from an external website, which the System judged as being a security risk.

    The combination of this double-whammy means that, for an unknown number of months, user registration was severely broken and for most users may have even been completely non-functional. The problems were finally discovered earlier this week via the use of user feedback and internal server debugging; and after intense work I am glad to announce all the issues have been resolved and any bugs cleaned up. This means registration should now function correctly for all users once again. I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience and hope that this has not put off too many visitors from contributing to our site. Steps are being taken to ensure such a catastrophe does not happen again.

    May
    19
    2011

    Write for TM input box fixed

    We recently discovered a glitch on the Write for TM page where the input box for your post content lacked scrollbars, meaning that if your post was longer than the box could fit, you couldn’t see what you were writing. This has now been corrected, and now scrollbars will be added automatically when they become needed. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    May
    13
    2011

    Let’s Share The Wealth

    Truthfully, if I were to describe today in one word, it would be "Updates". Windows Updates, Firefox Updates, Plugin Updates… I swear sometimes it's just all designed to annoy you as much as possible.

    However, "Updates" is also a very appropriate word to describe what's been going on at Technically Motivated, because over the last 24 hours, I've been working on numerous updates to Technically Motivated to make it better than ever – so, I thought, better not leave our readers in the dark any longer, huh?

    First of all, the TM Forum has been updated to the latest build, fixing a few usability issues. There's also been some rewrites to the theme, which should hopefully fix any visual or spacing issues on the Forums some users may have noticed. Continue reading the rest of the changes…

    Apr
    30
    2011

    Even Websites Need Love Sometimes…

    Earlier this week the software responsible for the Blog was updated to the latest version on the advice of the authors, who claim the latest version "fixes many security issues, and also a posting glitch that could allow anyone to post an article improperly". This was later followed with an update to the Forums which basically made the same claims.

    With all the updates I've had to do, I thought I might as well make a job out of it and also rewrite parts of the website to improve Technically Motivated in ways I feel it deserved it. So, over the past few days I've been working on a few improvements to Technically Motivated to make it even better, and I thought I should share the wealth.

    As well as the Software Updates, another major change comes to our Commenting system. All our comment forms use a WYSIWYG Comment box, meaning you now have the ability to write and see your comments exactly as they will appear when posted (prior to moderation if manual moderation is required). This also means there is no longer a need to Preview your comments because you already see them as they'll look. As a direct result of this we've now removed the "Preview Comment" button, which to be honest barely worked anyway.

    Other advantages of the new Comment Boxes are that they can be resized to be as big or small as you like; and you have buttons to quickly add basic formatting. The Comment Form has also been somewhat redesigned to fit everything properly, although annoyingly the checkbox for "Subscribe to future comments via email" still seems to get placed in a totally random position and we can't seem to fix it.

    The sharing buttons underneath each post have also been improved, and should allow us to add further sharing and donation options in future. Nothing's been added yet, though, but do watch this space. Combined with a few internal changes, the results of all this work should mean a sleeker and simpler website for everyone.

    Apr
    05
    2011

    Forums back up!

    Due to a mistake in the upload process, a required update to the Forums that was meant to be installed after I moved everything to the new server, didn’t get applied, and instead a new install was created in another folder. This resulted in the Forum temporarily being unavailable.

    I have corrected the mistake now and upgraded the forum – getting rid of the extra one in the process – so the Forum is now back up. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    Apr
    04
    2011

    We now return to our originally scheduled blogging…

    During a change to our hosting platform last month, Technically Motivated suffered database corruption which kicked the entire site offline. Ironically, a few days before this occurred, I had taken the decision to move the blog to a new server anyway, partially due to instability on our old server and partially due to a sponsorship agreement I have going (more on that another time). Because of this, I had full backups of the entire website’s files. So rather than repair the website on the existing server, I decided to move the backed-up site on the new server I had already been planning to use, and set it up again there.

    Unfortunately, the process took a little longer than expected, as there were issues with domain transfer, and also I got tied up with real life issues. However, I finally managed to sort out everything earlier this week. Today I finally finished the set-up and updated all of the outdated plugins etc. With this done, I am pleased to announce the return of Technically Motivated to the internet.

    Everything should still be as you remember it before the crash, and no content or accounts were lost as far as I can tell, so you can get back into the flow instantly. As for myself, I will return to my regular services here later in the week, so keep an eye out for new articles very soon!

    Feb
    09
    2011

    I’m back!

    This is why I wish I had other collaborators… I hate the blog going quiet this long. Sorry for my long absence from the blog, fellow Motivators, but one of my other websites crashed and it took me a while to repair it. Then another community I’m a part of got into legal trouble…

    Anyway, enough of that. I just updated the Blog Software to the latest version, and I thought that this would be a great time to announce my return. So, expect to see the blog pick up its original pace later today.

    Oh, and if you know anyone who is in-the-know about Technology and is a good writer, get them to contact me via the Contact Form, or post a comment here telling me how to contact them. This way, hopefully we can see more articles written, and maybe enjoy another’s point of view. At the very least, it’d keep this site active the next time I’m not around, although I hope that isn’t any time soon 🙂

    Feb
    03
    2011

    Gone for a while.

    Due to some unforeseen and potentially crippling issues cropping up on another project I work on, I am going to have to take some time off from working on Technically Motivated until everything’s sorted out. This means that this blog will not be updated until further notice. Sorry for the inconvenience, and I hope Technically Motivated can continue to bring you more high-quality tech musings very soon!