300,000

I love music and and I love statistics. So when I first stumbled across last.fm it was a like a little slice of heaven. I tell it what songs I listen to and then over time I get a pretty good picture of my listening habits. That was 8 years ago now and I've been scrobbling ever since.

The other day was a milestone of sorts as I've now reached 300,000 plays from 4,421 artists. The track in question? Well, it just happened to be Closedown by The Cure.

So a brief summary then of 8 years of listening. Anyone who knows my taste in music should remain unsurprised at my most listened to artists.

1) Depeche Mode (11,271 plays)
2) The Cure (8,643 plays)
3) Skinny Puppy (5,492 plays)
4) Nine Inch Nails (5,316 plays)
5) Hocico (4,823 plays)
6) Project Pitchfork (4,095 plays)
7) Killing Joke (4,036 plays)
8) Rammstein (3,538 plays)
9) :Wumpscut: (3,524 plays)
10) The Birthday Massacre (3,515 plays)

Or my most listened to songs.

1) Hocico – Death As A Gift (282 plays)
2) Hocico – Tales From The Third World (253 plays)
3) The Birthday Massacre – Horror Show (224 plays)
4) The Glove – Mouth To Mouth (216 plays)
5) Seabound – Scorch The Ground (215 plays)
6) Hot Chip – And I Was A Boy From School (199 plays)
7) Depeche Mode – Peace (193 plays)
8) Japan – Quiet Life (189 plays)
9) Depeche Mode – Precious (185 plays)
10) Fad Gadget – Salt Lake City Sunday (183 plays)

So here's to the next 300,000 tracks. Played loud of course.

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Backups

For many years I've been backing up my various computers to external USB drives. Since becoming a Mac convert I've switched from rsync to Time Machine and never looked back.

jwz's most excellent backups article is what really gave me a kick in the pants to back up all the time. And having a backup has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.

The only thing missing from this equation was my "house burned down" backup.

That third drive? Do a backup onto it the same way, then take that to your office and lock it in a desk. Every few months, bring it home, do a backup, and immediately take it away again. This is your "my house burned down" backup.

Yeah that. That I have never had. So I've decided to fix it.

Now I backup everything online to Backblaze. For $5 a month, it's a no brainer really. So far it's never gotten in my way, has backed up everything and restored what I needed it to in testing.

Even though everything is encrypted, I did have a brief moment of "oh noes, all my stuffs are on teh internets". So I added my own encryption key into the mix as well.

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WordPress So Far

I've been using WordPress for a little less than a week and I really like it so far. Super easy to install and configure. Really nice looking dashboard with everything organized well. Adding plugins a breeze and changing themes simple. And the fact that there's a living breathing active community of developers and theme authors out there is really a breath of fresh air.

What Plugins I'm Running

Akismet – because who likes blog spam really?

wpuntexturize – because WordPress unhelpfully turns single and double quotes into some unicode nonsense. Stop that. This plugin stops that.

WPtouch Mobile Plugin – to make your site look relatively sane on mobile devices.

Limit Login Attempts – does what it says on the tin, helps to prevent brute force login attempts.

I also had the Movable Type importer installed for a bit but obviously that's a use once and delete kind of plugin.

What's Not Running WordPress

For aggregating online activity, I've yet to find anything as nice as MT's Action Streams plugin. So much so that it's still running in cron driving my stream page. So I can't quite say that I've completely replaced Movable Type yet.

What's Not To Like

There's something to be said for the speed of serving up static HTML. Out of the box WordPress dynamically serves up your pages each time a page is visited, so it's a little slower than the old Movable Type site. I suspect I'll get used to that in time.

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End Of An Era

It is with a teeny measure of sadness that I've made the decision to move from Movable Type to WordPress. This is probably the last post I'll make from my old stalwart system.

So why move now? Well, two reasons really.

Firstly my hosting provider Pair, while excellent in every way, don't like mt-comments.cgi at all. Their system reaper process will kill anything using up system resources on the machine. So adding comments to any of my posts was always a bit hit & miss, sometimes it would work, sometimes you'd get the lovely internal server error. All a bit frustrating really.

Secondly, my version of Movable Type went end of life a while ago. No more security updates will be produced and you're basically on your own and good luck with that. Further, there's no upgrade path even if I wanted to continue with MT. The free single user license is no more. Sure you can get Movable Type 6.0 but I'm not shelling out $595. I'm funny like that.

So, it seems the choice is obvious as there is really only one game in town these days. I installed WordPress the other day and have been tinkering and tweaking and it's almost at the point where I'm ready for it.

So, you WordPress users out there, what plugins would you recommend I install?

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