Mar 15 2008

Software upgrades!

Published by at 00:04 under Blogs,Microsoft,Open Source,Web sites

In the last three I’ve updated some important software I use and I would like to tell you about it.

I have updated:

  • My desktop OS from Windows XP to Windows Vista,
  • WordPress from version 2.0.11 to 2.3.3,
  • Joomla from PHP-Nuke 7.6 to Joomla version 1.5.1.

Vista upgrade.

Last year in december I decided to upgrade my desktop computer OS to Windows Vista the Business edition. Before upgrading I made a list of the software I use, the peripherals I use and what I use my computer for. Upgrading is always something which has to planned carefully.
I build my computers myself and I try to buy “good” components. For instance, the motherboard I use is from Asus. A brand I have been using for years and which has never let me down. The CPU I use is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+. Not the fastest in the market but it delivers good performance for its money. For memory I pick Kingston modules and I read the fine print of the Asus motherboard manual so that I not stuck with non performing memory modules. Most of the harddisks I buy are from Western Digital. As I don’t play games on my computer I don’t really care about the graphic card. As long as it is quite and can deliver the resolution I need. I have a 24″ display so I need 1920 by 1200. My NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT does the job. 

My computer is mostly used for management of my websites and for editing my photo’s. I made the first step into digital photography a number of years ago when I bought a Nikon Coolscan II. That model has been replaced by a Coolscan IV-ED. One requirement when upgrading my OS is that my Coolscan has to work under Windows Vista. The Nikon support side told me that it did not have Vista compatible drivers. There were drivers for the Coolscan V-ED, so maybe it would work or work in the near future.
Of the software I use I only had to replace the Roxio DVD burner software and my Silverfast scanner software which was not compatible. Roxio I replaced with CD Burner XP (open source) and Silverfast was replaced by Nikon Scan 4 (not as good as Silverfast but it is Vista compatible).

I backed up my data and made the fresh install (I never do in-line upgrades). That process went without one hickup. I installed Office 2007, Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture NX, Firefox, Filezilla, Notepad++, SyncToy 2.0, McAfee, Adobe Reader, jZip, Diskeeper 2007 (Vista upgrade included), Realplayer, Nikon Scan 4, CD Burner XP. The result has been a stable platform, as stable as my Windows XP version.

It is March 14 and I still love my Vista setup. The graphics is crips and new, performance is good, stability is good and the new security features of Vista do not bother me at all. The Business version of Vista has some features which you cannot find on the home edition. One of them is VSS. With VSS Vista keeps previous copies of the files you create and alter. A feature you do not really need at home but is really nice in a business environment.
I work as IT architect and I wouldn’t mind having Windows Vista as my business desktop and I would recommend it to the customers I speak with.

WordPress

This website is based on WordPress 2.3.3. I wanted to upgrade to this version but the webserver I used did not have the right MySQL and/or PHP version. So I was stuck with the 2.0.11 version.
With the renewal of my contact with Flexservers (http://www.flexservers.nl) I upgraded my hosting package to a newer Virtual Private Server version with the right MySQL and PHP version. I finally could make the upgrade!

Upgrading WordPress has always been easy and this upgrade has been as easy as always. Backup your site and database, disable all plugins, copy the new files to the server, run the upgrade script and that is it.

WordPress rocks!

Joomla

There are two other sites I manage, both sites are sport related (http://www.the-bears.org and http://www.hvaoz.org). On one site is based on the Joomla CMS, the other on PHP-Nuke. Both are open source packages, Joomla is a Mercedes, PHP-Nuke is a Lada.
I had to upgrade my PHP-Nuke site because to add-ons I used were not updated anymore and security flaws and the PHP-Nuke version I used also had serious security issues. So what to do, stick with the security flaws or move to another MS and look for replacement add-ons. I decided to move to Joomla.

I found some specific sport related modules I could use. It only meant that all data I had had to be transferred, manually.

Joomla version 1.5.1. is beautiful. It is a new version which has completely been rewritten. But it has a “legacy” plugin which means modules and components designed for the 1.0.x version can work with the new version. Most of the popular modules and components have already been updated to the new version of Joomla so the Legacy plugin won’t have to be used for long. Moving from PHP-Nuke to Joomla is a major step especially if you have custom add-ons. Moving from Joomla 1.0.x to 1.5.1 is a step I will try out in the near future.

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