Backing up WordPress Two Ways

Posted by: TomS on June 27, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

WordPress 3.0 is out and seems to be picking up quite a few downloads.  I’m about ready to take the plunge, but up till now, I’ve neglected the backup side of my site, so now seems like as good a time as any to get an automated backup tool running.  It’ll give me a little piece of mind when I perform the upgrade to WordPress 3.0 and will give me a frequent snapshot of the site should I ever need to restore it for other reasons (moving hosting providers, recovering from a site attack, etc.)

I’ve seen quite a few ways that one can backup their WordPress site, and specifically, I’ve decided to implement two methods.  The first will be a purely command-line method using Linux/Unix shell scripts that will copy backups of the site down to my home machine from my hosting provider.  For my second approach, I’ll use one of the WordPress Backup Plugins to store my backups on an internet based storage provider.

Spring Update and Oddyssey Half Marathon 5/29/2010

Posted by: TomS on June 19, 2010 @ 11:29 am

Oddyssey Half Marathon
It was inevitiable, and unfortunately happened a bit sooner than I would’ve hoped, but I’ve neglected my blog.  I’m going to try and get back into things, keep up to date with the races I’ve been doing, and get a few more tech posts out there.  For now though, I’m putting up the rundown of races I’ve done this spring and a detailed review of the brand-new Oddyssey Half Marathon.

Spring Rundown

Last I checked in, I had just finished the Tyler Arboretum 10K Trail Run, and I was a little worse for the wear, having rolled my ankle pretty badly.  As it turned out, the ankle issue was a bit more severe than I had hoped, and I had to stay off of it for quite sometime.  I still managed a few runs this spring, so here’s the run-down of them all along with a quick synopsis of each one.

  • 4/10/2010 – Dash for Diabetes 5K – West Chester, PA – This was race #4 in the West Chester Downtown Grand Prix.  It used the standard downtown loop course, which I’ve come to be a big fan of.  There was a great crowd, and the race was well organized.  Unfortunately for me, my ankle wasn’t quite healed, so I ran/walked/hobbled to what may be my slowest 5K ever.
  • 5/2/2010 – Blue Cross Broad Street Run – Philadelphia, PA- I was finally back to running normally for this one, and it was great as usual.  Broad Street has been one of the few races that has grown in size, but still feels like a local race and is still affordable (unlike the race formally known as the Distance Run in the fall).  I’ll be back every year as long as they keep it up.  It was HOT that day.  I saw several runners on the ground waiting for EMT attention.  I was trying to pace my sister to a PR, unfortunately, the heat got to us, and we fell about 2 minutes short, but it was still a great race and a great day.
  • 5/15/2010 – Good Samaritan 5K – Phoenixville, PA – This was a very small race on the Schuylkill River Trail section that goes from Oaks to Philadelphia.  It was low-key, nothing exceptional, but no complaints either.
  • 5/29/2010 – Oddyseey Half Marathon – Philadelphia, PA- Read below for a detailed review, but I think this race has a chance to grow into a pretty cool run.
  • 5/31/2010 – Laney Bug 5K – West Chester, PA – Race #5 in the West Chester Downtown Grand Prix. A little bit smaller crowd (~200-300) for this one, but still on the standard downtown loop.  It seems like the next few races in the series will be a bit more crowded; its been nice having a few on the smaller side.  I’m really starting to like the idea of running the same course several times a year.  It gives a nice indicator of progress throughout the year, although it doesn’t help to much that one race had the course covered in a foot of snow and another was run in driving wind and rain.
  • 6/11/2010 – Dub C 4-Miler – West Chester, PA – Race #6 in the West Chester Downtown Grand Prix and the first on a different course.  I can’t say enough about the race.  It was well organized for its size (~600).  The course never felt crowded except for the very start on Gay St., but it was well worth it to have the start and finish go straight through the heart of town.  Timing was done with disposable chips and everyone got a really nice Brooks technical running shirt.  Even more, the race was very affordable at $25.  The race had all the amenities of the larger races I’ve been to but at 1/3 the normal price.   I was pleasantly surprised with my time as well.  I ran this at the end of a week where I had really started to ramp up mileage.  The course was rolling hills the entire way, but I managed to run successive faster miles the whole way, coming in at 28:42.  Hopefully that bodes well for my plan to ramp up mileage for my summer running plans.

The Oddyssey Half Marathon

This was the first year the Oddyssey Half Marathon was held.  Overall, I really like the idea of the race.  The organizers put it toether with two main goals in mind.  First, organize a half marathon roughly a month after the broad street run, allowing first time 10-milers to quickly transition to a half-marathon if they’re looking for the next step.  Also, the event has a certain quirkiness about it.  Its definitely a competitive race, but has some nice distractions for the people that are looking just to have some fun.  All in all, I think the race had a great start.  It certainly wasn’t perfect, but the race organizers have it going in the right direction.