First of all, apologies for some downtime on Planet Gary. This was due to the need to update the programming language that the site runs on. Planet Gary uses a software package called WordPress, this in turn requires an underlying operating system called PHP (Pretty Hot Programming). My version of PHP was getting rather old and really needed to be upgraded. However, when I upgraded from my ancient version, PHP 7.4, to the latest version, PHP 8.1, the site totally crashed with only a page of gobbledygook and fatal errors.
Some detective work revealed the errors were down to four very old, out-of-date and incompatible plugins that I used to tweak Planet Gary beyond the standard WordPress setup. So, to allow me to upgrade PHP and with no other alternatives they had to go. However, deleting them could result in a total mess as 60 pages would revert to “normal” but it had to be done.
The latest versions of PHP are more stable and secure so essential really. Okay, so I deleted the plugins and as expected 60 pages immediately appeared in the menus where I didn’t want them to appear. To get round this I batch converted 50 of them into posts (that’s the new entries you see regularly appearing online) and thankfully all looked and worked okay. Phew!
Not much turfing these past couple of days, all down to the new porch being built. Yesterday saw the builders back on site for the final snagging items and some electrical work. And that’s it finally finished, well, as far as construction work is concerned. I still have all the usual internal finishes to attend to. The previous day was spent re-laying the driveway pavers to form a band around the perimeter of the porch, a very back-aching exercise but I’m just about there now. Just need to add a small mortar fillet to stabilise the band and add the finishing gravel.
The evening saw me out on the Surly Ogre turfing Bonnyrigg and Rosewell. And a good opportunity to test out my new tyres, a set of chunky Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB 29 x 2.25 off-road tyres, replacing the Schwalbe Marathon Plus 29 x 1.75 road/touring tyres. Initially I thought they would slow me down too much but that was not the case, the Ogre still flies along just fine. In fact, I’m most impressed, the bike seems much more comfortable, has better grip and generally more capable now. Will need to use them a few times before a final opinion.
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