Recently in Administrivia Category

February 1, 2011

Administrivia: A new contributor

After sharing a few pints of fine ale over the weekend, I invited regular commenter Greg. Tingey to become a contributor to the Prattle and he's accepted.

He's drawn my attention to many relevant articles, usually at a time when I'm not able to post myself. Hopefully his presence will prod me into posting a little more often than the once a month I seem to be managing right now. Please forgive him if he takes some time to get used to the posting interface—it can be a little intimidating at first.

October 31, 2009

Annual Happy Birthday post

As has been noted before, the Prattle's official birthday is Hallowe'en. The real anniversary of the publication of the first issue is before then, but it bore the date "Samhain 1988".

Which means it's officially 21 today. W00t!

September 2, 2009

Things about to go pear-shaped

I'm about to update the Prattle's design and implement some new stuff. Things will look a little odd whilst I am transferring templates from the test bed.

Update: That's the worst over with. Now I get to find all the little problems that didn't show up in the testbed.

July 17, 2009

A quick round-up

Well, the comments might be working, or they might not be (previewing first definitely does work), and regardless, they look odd. Search definitely isn't working, but here are a few stories to keep you occupied while I try and fix things:

July 15, 2009


The update has happened, and it's mostly running okay, although Six Apart appears to have decided that accents in names are Unamerican or something as, however I render mine, it mangles them (but only in comments).

Expect random stuff to happen as I get to grips with the new templating system and try to incorporate new functionality without buggering up my existing style. You'll already notice that "last updated" dates are back on the Conspiracy Lists, but that the exact date has been lost in the move yesterday. Feh.

Update: Accents are working now, threaded comments seem okay. Now to see if I can implement userpics, and then hunt out a plug-in that offers Gravatars as an option.

Upcoming Maintenance

Later today I'm going to try and update all the blogs on this server to a newer version of Movable Type. What this means: some time in the next few hours, I'm going to disable comments on all blog entries, on all our blogs. This is to permit me to take a backup snapshot of the current system (and the underlying database) before I start the upgrade. Once the upgrade is complete and tested, I'll re-enable comments. If it fails ... restore from backup. To reiterate: you'll still be able to read the Prattle while we're upgrading it — just not post comments.

September 22, 2008

Moving House

I might as well just repeat what Charlie has to say, as the Prattle is moving in the very same move, and the effects will be identical:

The time has come to move servers.

(This one is so ancient it's trying to figure out who to vote for.)

Some time in the next 24-48 hours I will switch off comments globally on this blog, so that we can mirror the database over onto the new machine. The blog will still be visible — just read-only for a few days.

I'm currently running on an old version of Movable Type. One of the benefits of the move is a chance to do some spring cleaning, and in due course I will be upgrading to a much newer MT installation (and merging the other MT installation hosted on the old server, so we've only got one piece of blogging software to maintain).

When it's all up and running again, comment posting will be re-enabled. (And it had better be sorted before October 5th, because that's when the old server goes away.)

(Our email set-up at will also be interrupted; nothing will be lost, but mail delivery may take a bit longer than usual while the DNS records are changed.)

We now return you to your regular but soon-to-be-interrupted discussion ...

September 9, 2008

A note of appreciation

Just to say a quick "thank you" to A Voice of Sanity, who's been trawling through the Prattle archives and providing updates to many of the stories, and links.

August 6, 2008

Facebook Blog Networks

There's a new tool on Facebook for tracking blogs. Don't know if it's any good yet, but you can find the Prattle here.

November 24, 2007

The Atheist Blogroll

The Atheist Blogroll was getting too long for the sidebar, so this entry contains the list of all the blogs in it.

October 17, 2007

Eyes right

Venerable atheist magazine The Freethinker is online, featuring a news blog, so it's been added to the blogroll. It's also possible to subscribe to the magazine using Paypal, so I did—something I'd been meaning to do for some time.

May 31, 2007

Newsvine feeds

If you look to the sidebar, you might have noticed that Newsvine feeds for both Red Wolf and myself have appeared recently. Several of the stories you will spot are the same as those that appear in the Prattle, but you will also see the ones which were interesting to us, but which were not substantial enough to write up.

February 27, 2007

I should not look

I really shouldn't check my referrers, and I should especially not check the search terms by which people have found the Prattle. Recent searches have included religious meaning of eating own semen, rattlesnake venom in wine health benefits and nuns and priests having children together . Usually I can work out how these strange terms attracted people here, but these three have me baffled.

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