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Yet Another Migration

This site may be up and down over the next few days - March 12 to 16 - as I am trying to migrate to a higher performance hosting cluster. While I dearly love the capabilities of Drupal, my current hosting is dreadfully sluggish.

This is why you may occasionally visit this site and be greeted by a blank page. There are performance problems and I'm trying to fix them.

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The REAL role of Tweets

David Pogue has finally illustrated to me the true purpose of 140-character tweets: they provide a crowdsource for one-liners.

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Tales of Bob and Alice

While writing Elementary Information Security, I wanted simple and obvious reasons to introduce various obscure security topics. Initially I wrote a series of stories about those famous cryptographic protagonists, Bob and Alice.

The actual stories never made it into the textbook, so I'm posting them on the web site.

There are eight or nine of them. I've posted two so far and will post the rest as time permits.

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Migrating a WordPress User List to Drupal

I'm always annoyed when I register for a web site only to have my user ID mysteriously disappear. The "scouting.org" web site has recreated itself about four times in the past decade. Each time has led to re-registration by the entire user community.

Therefore I decided to make a strong effort to retain my user community while migrating my site. The easy part was to contact those who provided email addresses and tell them what was happening. The hard part was to deal with passwords.

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Taking a Site Solidly Down

If you visited Cryptosmith during the afternoon of February 5, you may have seen this:

Cryptosmith Site Down

This appeared while I was removing WordPress files from the site and inserting Drupal files. The "Site Down" display was controlled by the ".htaccess" file stored in the site's root directory. As soon as Drupal stored a new .htaccess file, links were redirected to Drupal's scripts.

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Blogging in Drupal

WordPress is well designed for blogging. I got used to the TinyMCE editor and easy-to-reach features to import graphics when using WordPress. I also got used to less sophisticated things like paragraph breaks and section subheadings. And I like the email alert when there's something to moderate.

I was appalled to discover that these things are omitted by default in Drupal.

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Migrating Blog Entries from Wordpress to Drupal

This process looks deceptively simple. WordPress happily exports all entries into a nicely formatted XML file. Drupal has a "WordPress Import" module that appears to do a comfortable import. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, in Drupal, everything comes down to a question of surprising choices for defaults. At least, if you are expecting ease of use, the default choices seem surprising.

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Overview of Drupal Migration

The migration did not go without a few hitches, but it went as smoothly as might be expected for such a thing.

My inexperience with Apache's .htaccess files caused an unnecessary delay and a lot of "500 Internal Server Error" messages.

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Migration to Drupal

Drupal Icon

After spending a few years with WordPress, I decided to migrate to Drupal. I installed WordPress in December, 2007, and replaced it in February, 2011.

Existing users had to recover their passwords, since ther was no clean way to use WordPress-encrypted passwords on a Drupal site. I also had the site off-line for part of the day while I replaced the WordPress software with the Drupal software.

My main reason for the migration is Drupal's "book" feature. Drupal makes it easy to structure short articles into a long, hierarchically-structured narrative. This is essentially how I write books anyway. This makes it easier to present complex topics built from a series of short articles.

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False Security Claims by Vendors

Galen Gruman on his Infoworld blog has noted recent - and not so recent - discoveries that some smart phone models lie to corporate servers.

Microsoft Exchange has a mechanism called Exchange ActiveSync which synchronizes data with mobile phones.

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