Back in August I described my experience level as “somewhere between ‘power user’ and ‘geek’ — in other words, I know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to get paid for it.” While it was said somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it’s come through with a vengeance this week — especially the dangerous part.

What started as simply trying to install a MovableType plugin has, thanks to my own bumbling incompetence, rapidly devolved to the point where I may not be able to resurrect my server to its prior state without starting completely over from scratch. While I haven’t lost any information from any of the three sites I hosted (the sole consoling factor to any of this), I have managed to utterly and completely destroy all the various little connecting pieces of software that tied it all together.

Something in the old httpd.conf file (the configuration settings file for the Apache webserver) was causing issues after the system reinstall, to the point where CGI executables weren’t running, and Apache itself was sometimes refusing to start up. I’ve just reverted to the default httpd.conf file, and I’m going to need to go through the old and new files line-by-line, enabling features one by one, until I find whatever setting(s) is (are) causing the problems.

MySQL needs to be reinstalled. Once it’s reinstalled, I need to see if I can find the old MySQL database that MT was using, and then see if I can get the new MySQL installation to access it. If I can’t, then MT won’t be able to access any of the old posts, and we’ll have to start over from scratch there.

Perl is missing various libraries that MovableType uses. Off the top of my head, the Perl -> MySQL bridge that allowed MT to read the MySQL database that stored all the weblog entries for six (?) weblogs strewn across the three sites; and the image processing libraries that allowed MT and the Gallery photo album software on the hanscomfamily.com site to automatically generate thumbnails for uploaded images. There are probably more missing too that I just haven’t run across yet.

In other words, to borrow an old military acronym, everything is currently FUBAR.

What I really want to do right now is call in “sick” to work so I can dedicate the day to working on the system. Unfortunately, neither my bank account nor my slightly overdeveloped sense of responsibility to my job will let me do that, so things are just going to have to stay the way they are for the moment.

The worst thing about all this is that it’s not just my own site. If it were only my own personal playground, than while it would certainly be frustrating and aggravating, at least that way I would only be causing issues for me. However, since I have been hosting the sites for both my family and a friend, I’ve now managed to knock them offline too. Bleah. Not a good situation.

Anyway. Whining about it here isn’t really going to do much other than let me vent my frustration for a bit. Work beckons, and then this evening, I’ll be diving back into everything to see what else I can break.

2 thoughts on “Mayday! Mayday!

  1. Go to work. Look at it this way – at work you will have to work and it will take your mind off of all of this. You probably need a break anyway.

    Then stuff you’re thinking about now can percolate around the back of your brain while your coworker annoys you about his golf game.

    When you get home you might have a fresh perspective.

  2. i agree with pops. situations like this call for breaks – constant attention to them will only keep you muddled in the middle and not examining it with a clear head.

    i say – reinstall, don’t worry about attempting to recover archives. That’s why we backed up, right? The only thing I ask is that you back up my images file – I can’t get to it from work (firewalls, bleah) and didn’t think to back it up before. It should be small.

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