Random Thoughts

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So my post earlier today was a lot of frustration at myself and not having the skills necessary to continue to move my school forward. I was at my wits end and was not looking forward to walking into first period and hearing the “Mr. U, I can’t get on my blog.” I felt as though I had let them down, that blogging has become a part of ‘just what they do’ and I had taken that away from them…even if it was only for 4 days….they were missing it…I was missing it..and I didn’t know how to fix it.

But I did know where to turn to for help. I have to say rackspace.com calls their support “Fanatical Support” and I have to give it to Alex today who spend 1 1/2 hours on the phone with me trying to figure out what the problem was. I was proud of myself though that everything that he checked I had already checked. My database was fine, all the files checked out, and domain was set up correctly. It came to a point that over the phone Alex says to me. “Well, when you don’t know what to do…read the manual.” Not sure how old Alex is, but he sounded Native to me.

After reading and trying a couple tweaks on the Apache server, he finally found the right combination.

the apache configuration was modified from this:

Directory var=”” www=”” vhosts=”” saschinaonline=”” blogs=””

allow from all

Options +Indexes


to this:

Directory var=”” www=”” vhosts=”” saschinaonline=”” blogs=””

AllowOverride FileInfo Options


There you have it two simple lines in the way in which the server looks at scripts was the difference between no blogs, and 500+ happy bloggers.

As soon as the blogs appeared I could feel the stress leave my shoulders, and I started jumping around the room. I ran to my wife’s office, she wasn’t there so I left her a note. When she got back to her office she called me and then ran to my office to give me a big huge (I know, I know, she’s awesome!). She knew she got her husband back.

Anyway….the site is running really well. Moodle was updated to the latest 1.8 release. The student blogs are all up and running. We’re launching a beta teacher site, where teachers can set up web sites for use in their class. It’s actually a WordPress MU installation, but WordPress has so many different options that it can be way more than a blog. So we’ve decided to call them web sites rather than blogs. It’s in beta for the rest of this year and we’re taking the geek teachers who want to test it out with us on a two month trial here at the end of the year and hoping for a full out launch come August.

Now this site is no where near our friends the Hong Kong International School to the south and what they are doing with their Dragon Net. (See L&L Feb. 2007) But it is a long way from where we were just two years ago. As you can see there are still two more spots for things we hope to bring online next year. I could tell you what they were but that’d spoil the fun. 🙂

A big thank you to everyone in the blogosphere for your support, especially those of you who follow me on my twitter account and had the benefit of a play by play last weekend of the ups and downs as I worked through the site.

So I’m back among the sane…for a little while anyway until I decide to try something crazy again…the scary part it…I’ve already got ideas running around in my head. So is the life of a continual learner. 🙂


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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Congratulations! While I’ve never had to do quite the scale of migrating that you did, I know how it feels to finally get over the “hump” and see a functional site! Web 2.0 might be a LOT easier for the *average* user to create great stuff with, but that doesn’t take away the hard work and digging that the webmaster must deal with.

  2. Susan Ettenheim Reply

    Hi! Wow – congrats! I’ve been searching for a way for my students to be able to speak with students in China. Is there any chance that we might be able to interest you in joining us at Youth Voices, http://www.youthvoices.net? Please email or skype me!

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