SABWhen I started this blog a few months ago I decided to try out the free, hosted version of WordPress (at With things beginning to grow, however, it feels like the right time to switch back to my preferred CMS – Movable Type.

You’ll find the site at its new home at Pull up a chair; make yourself comfortable.

Why switch at all?

Most of my sites are running on Movable Type – and have been for several years. A large part of the decision to switch was simply based on the fact that I’m comfortable with MT. This certainly isn’t a WordPress vs Movable Type thing.

Transferring the content

No doubt there’s a simple way to transfer data from a free, hosted installation of WordPress to Movable Type 3.x . After spending a few hours looking for it (I like to automate things like that), I ended up just copying the data across manually. This didn’t include the comments; they’re still available on the old site if necessary.

A couple of thoughts for anyone who’s considering the WordPress -> Movable Type Move :

Currently, WordPress and Movable Type use very different formats for their exported site data (for backups). I haven’t yet taken a good look at the beta of the upcoming Movable Type 4.0 (which boasts far too many improvements to take in at a glance), but the WP 2.x vs MT 3.x situation is :

WordPress 2.x exports posts in a slightly customised XML format is calls WXR. The files exported here can be easily imported into other WordPress installations, but require a fair bit of tweaking before Movable Type 3.x understands them.

Movable Type 3.x by contrast still makes use of formatted text files. As with the WordPress files, there’s no problem importing these files into other MT 3.x installations; the challenges begin when the destination application changes.

One solution to the WordPress -> Movable Type problem is provided here; unfortunately that is aimed solely at self-installed versions of WordPress; not the freely hosted environments provided at If anyone knows of a similar script to convert local files prior to import, I’d love to hear about it.

HandshakeCurrently I’m re-reading the Stephen Covey classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (I’ll post a full review in a few days or so). One of the many incredible ideas in the book is the notion of a 30 day trial for proactivity.

I first came across the concept of a 30 day trial – at least it first sank in – after reading Steve Pavlina‘s excellent article 30 days to success. Having subsequently used the idea with great success during my initial foray into the world of biphasic sleeping, I know just how powerful it can be.

For 30 days, Covey urges us to :

Make small commitments and keep them. Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

That sounds like a very worthwhile trial indeed – and mine began today. Feel free to let me know if I step out of line.

Malcolm GladwellVia Strongest Man in the Gym : an excellent talk by author Malcolm Gladwell at the 2004 TED conference. Life, happiness and spaghetti sauce.

Cool WallAs you may have noticed in the previous post, I’m a bit of a Top Gear fan. One of the show’s staples – the Cool Wall – has been lovingly hand-built in Flash; and features all the charm and wit of the original.

Love it.

TelevisionI don’t watch much television as it is (the Catalyst marathon last Thursday was equivalent to roughly a week’s viewing), so I’m fairly choosy about the shows I watch. Although most of them are documentary or informative in some way, the occasional drama does manage to sneak in (I’m a fan of NCIS at the moment).

As cable TV isn’t set up to be financially beneficial for someone like me (you really need to watch a lot of television before it’s worth the trouble), I download shows whenever possible. The MacBook doubles as a portable television.

My constant dilemma is this :

For shows that are not screened here at all (or several years later, such as Top Gear), if they aren’t available for sale or legal download, is it reasonable to turn to other sources?

By ‘other sources’ I mean purchased DVDs from friends overseas, recordings of the shows that have aired on their local networks, and even the many torrent sites aimed at this type of material. It’s a battle that wouldn’t even occur in many other fields – can you imagine walking into a shop-filled street and shouting ‘will anyone take my money’?

del.icio.usAfter my recent bookmark clean-up I’ve been getting re-acquainted with I used it for a while a couple of years ago, and the few things that frustrated me then have now been fixed (primarily in the working of the Firefox add-on). It’s definitely time to dive right in.

After importing a few thousand bookmarks, one of the first things I did – perhaps a little vainly – was to bookmark a few of my own sites, just to see who was also saving them. I discovered a few people with similar interests that way; so it seems that even vanity has a positive aspect.

Now to streamline that process a little.

The quickest way I found to track a number of things regarding my sites has been through XML feeds, and this is no exception. To set up a feed which will let you know each time your site is bookmarked :

  • surf to
  • enter the address of your site
  • copy/paste the RSS link at the bottom of the page into your favourite feed reader

That’s it. Now you’ll be notified of new admirers whenever they appear. bookmarksI currently use two computers, each with very similar setups – OSX, Firefox and thousands of bookmarks. Those bookmarks are different on each machine.

At least they were.

The cleanup fell into two distinct phases:

  • getting rid of the excess and putting them online (where they’re easy to share)
  • syncing the online bookmarks with the local machines

For now – today at least – I decided to tackle the first part. That would at least leave me with nothing to manage locally.

The process was broken down into the following :

Remove duplicates

For Firefox users, the simplest way to do this is with the BookmarksDD add-on. This is available from and it’s use is fairly self-explanatory.

Unfortunately it only deletes one duplicate at a time, so it may take a while; I’d suggest moving everything into just a handful of folders for now (and setting it to automatic).

NB : Don’t forget to take a backup of your bookmarks before you start deleting things. Just in case.

Manually delete unwanted bookmarks

Once the add-on has cleaned things up a little, you’ll probably see a number of bookmarks that really shouldn’t be there at all (especially if you use the ‘bookmark all tabs’ feature occasionally). Go through and delete any you find.

Sort into folders

Now’s the time to put everything back into folders. No need to get too carried away here; it will, however, help tag things (the folder names you choose will become the starting tags for the import).

Export bookmarks

Open your bookmarks (Bookmarks -> Organize Bookmarks) and export them to a file somewhere (File -> Export). The simplest place is your desktop.

Login to and import bookmarks

Head over to and either open an account (free) or sign in to an existing one. Once you’re in, under Settings you’ll find an Import/Upload option. Follow the instructions and import the file you saved above.

Tidy them up and share them

By default the newly uploaded bookmarks aren’t public. Go through them and share them as desired. This is also a good time to perform any minor editing of their saved names.

Delete the local bookmarks

Once you’ve made sure that everything looks fine online – and ensuring you have a local backup, in case of disaster – delete your local bookmarks. Most of them, anyway (it’s always handy to have a few for regular things such as your webmail account).

Next (hopefully tomorrow) comes the interesting part; syncing the online bookmarks with each computer. Should be fun.