MUniversity of Minnesota

November 2005 Archives

November 29, 2005

Upgrade update: Day 2

Welcome to Movable Type 3.2 Day 2! I am pleased to announce that we have successfully implemented the StyleCatcher plugin which means you will now be able to use a whole bunch of new styles for your blogs. However, just like on the test system, in order to use the StyleCatcher you must either create a new blog, or you must use the "default templates" on your existing blog.

Creating a new blog is obviously the easiest. Right now, to create a new blog log in to UThink, click on "Weblogs" in the right hand menu, and then look for the "Create New Weblog" link. We will be moving this link to the main menu screen shortly.

If you would like to use the StyleChanger with your existing blog (a blog created before the upgrade), log into UThink, click on your blog, and then click on Templates. You'll note checkboxes next to all the templates on the first screen. Click all of them (or click the checkbox next to "Template Name"). Then, use the "More actions" drop down menu to the right and select "Refresh Templates." Do the same thing for the tabs "Archives" and "System." Once you've done that, enter the StyleChanger link at the bottom of the screen (under "Plugin Actions") and select a new style for your blog. You do not need to use the "Find Style" button. Just click on "Saved Themes" if none are showing.

Besides the StyleCatcher, there are a couple of other things to note. You may have already noticed that the Blog Directory is not functioning. I hope to have that back up and running by this afternoon. Also, the Blogroll plugin also requires that you either "Refresh Templates" to use the default templates, or that you add some new code to your Main Index Template. I will give out some instructions concerning that later.

And speaking of instructions, I will be updating a lot of the instructional pages of the main UThink blog over the next couple of days. I hope to make them more helpful than they were before and more complete.

In the meantime, let me know if you see anything out of the ordinary on the new system. Thanks and happy blogging!

Posted by snackeru at 09:36 AM

November 28, 2005

Upgrade update: almost there

Hello everyone! Well, we're about 3/4 of the way there. Some of the functionality, like the StyleCatcher and Future posting, has not yet been put into place due to unexpected difficulties, but general blogging should be possible.

Please note that for some reason Safari browsers for the Mac are having some difficulty with the new admin interface. I'm going to try to solve that one tonight. Firefox for the Mac seems to work fine. (Update: if you are having the same difficulty, clear your cache in Safari: Safari menu -> Empty Cache. That fixed it for me.)

You will also note that the system is going pretty slow right now due to the fact that it is attempting to rebuild every blog on the system one by one. It should be done sometime late tonight.

So, feel free to log in and give it a try, especially if you've got some assignments to take care of, but please be aware that we hope to finish the rest of the install tomorrow morning.

As always, let me know if you encounter any difficulties.

Posted by snackeru at 04:15 PM

November 17, 2005

Attention UThink users: Upgrade to MT 3.2 on November 28!

If you were thinking of creating a new blog using UThink, you may want to wait.

We will be upgrading the UThink system to Movable Type 3.2 on November 28 (the Monday after Thanksgiving). This means that access to the UThink/Movable Type administration interface ( will not be available that day. We hope access will be returned by the end of the day on the 28th, but this, of course, depends on how smoothly the upgrade goes. So, please plan accordingly. Again, there will be no access to UThink for most of the day on November 28.

We have decided to upgrade now rather than wait until the end of the semester due to the increase in spam on the system over the past month. Plus, MT 3.2 has some very nice new features!

If you haven't had a chance to give Movable Type 3.2 a try on our test system, please point your browser to:

We are confident the upgrade to MT 3.2 will be a welcome one. Among other things, some of the new features available through MT 3.2 include:

  • Better spam blocking tools.
  • Better comment and trackback management functionality.
  • A cleaner, easier to use interface.
  • Dynamic publishing capabilities.
  • New plugins including StyleCatcher (to change your blog's appearance) and MT Blogroll (to more easily include a "blog roll" of links on your blog).
  • A new administrative tool called "List Blog Files" which will allow you to manage your uploaded files from the MT administrative interface (Under "Utilities").
  • The ability to add multiple Internet IDs to a single blog at the same time (currently you must add authors to a blog one at a time).

And much, much more. In addition, please be aware that UThink has expanded the maximum file size per upload to 15MB with unlimited space for your blog. This should allow for more podcasting and vlogging on the system.

Thanks for using the UThink system. It is about to get a whole lot better. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions!

Posted by snackeru at 02:51 PM | Comments (5)

November 07, 2005

Upgrade update and spam

Hello everyone! First of all I'd like to inform all of you that testing the new version of Movable Type has gone extremely well. It appears that the upgrade should be able to happen without disruption to existing blogs. Due to the success of the testing of MT 3.2 we are planning on upgrading UThink the week after Thanksgiving, most likely the Monday after Thanksgiving. We have chosen this day because 1) we need to take UThink down for most of the day to make the upgrade happen and 2) the Monday after Thanksgiving will probably be a slow day for blogging. So, please be aware that for most of the day of the upgrade you will not be able to access your blog(s).

Secondly, as you are probably already aware, blog spam is getting to be a little outrageous. For various reasons, over the last couple of years we have been somewhat protected on UThink, but it appears that more and more spammers are finding a way into our blogs. I know, it is extremely frustrating. This is another reason we are trying to make this upgrade to MT 3.2 happen, and hopefully happen quickly. MT 3.2 has new tools that help in the fight against blog spam and upgrading to MT 3.2 should drastically reduce the amount of blog spam on our system.

Finally, access to the test system for MT 3.2 may be intermittently inaccessible. This isn't because we are intentionally denying you access. It is because we are working towards upgrading the system. Thanks, as always, for your patience!

So, onward and upward. MT 3.2 is on the way.

Posted by snackeru at 10:20 AM