WP Plugin ‘Live Update’?

Holy cow. Leave the WordPress world for a few years and the features just seem amazing. Apparently, the latest version (or perhaps one a few releases earlier) notifies you when you have a plugin that is out of date and will allow you to update it from w/in the admin interface. No more tracking down the plugin author’s website, downloading, unzipping, uploading to your server, and configuring.

Perfect.

beans

[I walk into the master bedroom w/ freshly heated baked beans and sit down to work at the computer.]

Mar: “I was praying that you’d know to bring me ice cream.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I had beans on my mind.”

Mar: “No. Obviously, you weren’t listening to the Holy Spirit.”

bish vs. WU… fight!

I just managed to win my three day fight with Windows Update. What an ordeal to get updates to install! I figured I’d post my experience here so that anyone that happens to have a similar problem might find the solution or at least a direction they should start looking should they happen to find my blog in their search results.

Problem

3 days ago, I got a user’s laptop to the point where it needed 11 updates from “Microsoft Update”. I don’t believe that the specific updates were an issue, but for the sake of full disclosure, I’ll list them:

  • KB943649
  • KB945185
  • KB907417
  • KB943973
  • KB947355
  • KB945432
  • KB943985
  • KB950213
  • KB950380
  • KB950241

After displaying the list of updates that needed to be installed, I clicked “Install”. Normally, for 11 updates, I’d let the machine sit for fifteen or twenty minutes before checking to see if it was done installing. That day happened to be a fairly slow day so I sat and watched it out of the corner of my eye while fiddling w/ my Twitter client’s request-rate-limits (Oh, Twitter… /sigh). Within a few minutes, a result window popped up declaring that all 11 updates failed to install. I didn’t think it was a big deal… restarted the laptop and tried again. Same result.

Troubleshooting

“Ok, I’ve had this trouble before.” I recalled. “What did I do?”

Previously, when encountering this issue, I’d perform the following:

  1. Stop the Automatic Updates service.
  2. Navigate to “C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionDownload” and delete all contents.
  3. Navigate to “C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionEventCache” and delete all contents.
  4. Start the Automatic Updates service.
  5. Re-visit Microsoft/Windows Update site and get updates detected and installed.

Normally, that’d take care of it. It didn’t yesterday. I’d empty those folders, restart the service, return to Microsoft Update and upon detecting the 11 updates I needed to install, it would inform me that it had already downloaded the necessary data and wouldn’t require any time to do so. BAH!

After fighting with it some more today (wasting time!), I remembered that the company I work for has a WSUS machine setup at corp. HQ in California. They’ve used this WSUS machine to block certain updates that have not been qualified by corp. IT yet or have been marked as disruptive to internal applications. At this point, I assumed that this was the cause of my problem.

I unplugged the network cable, turned on the wireless card, and hopped onto our ‘test’ wifi that isn’t connected to the internal company network. The Download and EventCache folders were still empty, so I figured I had a good shot of getting the updates installed this time. However, I had the same symptom: “11 updates, 0MB, 0Min.”

“What the hell?”

Solution

I did some more poking around in the SoftwareDistribution directory. I found a “C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionWuRedir” directory w/ some .cab files and .xml files sitting in subdirectories. After stopping the AU service again, I removed the whole “WuRedir” directory and restarted the AU service.

Still on the external wireless, I revisited Microsoft Update. This time: “11 updates, thirty-something MB, 10Min.” Fifteen minutes later, they were all downloaded and installed successfully.

Finally.

Passing down the tradition

My son and I spent some time playing w/ my old Lego collection today. As I was putting him to bed, I was reminded of a Lego set I saw in the store as a 12 year old and just WANTED. My dad encouraged me to save my money and after several months, I had the $50 necessary to buy that set.

Tonight, 18 years later… I rebuilt it using instructions I found online. I was surprised how many of the original pieces I actually still had. I got most of it built aside from the ailerons and the related linkages. I was missing too many of the small technic parts… I wonder if I can purchase just the pieces I’m missing somewhere in order to finish it off?

Creative?

So, it’s getting more and more obvious to me that I long to be creative. More often, I’m finding myself daydreaming about a new career path… one that doesn’t involve job responsibilities that can basically be described as putting out people’s fires. I’d love to be in a job where I could produce something – where I could create.

As a step in that direction, I’m seriously considering getting a website up and running again. I’d like it to be a semi-personal space where I can hone my atrophying design skills and start to build some things to showcase to potential interviewers and employers.

Here’s the question I keep coming back to:
What domain name do I register?

My old ones got taken by lame cybersquatter companies. Here’s a list of names I’m considering:

  • bishless.com
  • foobish.org
  • whatthebish.com

Thoughts?

Joey’s first prayer

My two year old son said his first prayer on Friday night. You can only imagine the well of tears in our eyes… It went down like this:

We’d just left Villa (an awesome, family-owned Mexican restaurant on Tucson’s NW side). Martha and I had our usual – red chili beef quesadilla and a carne asada burrito – and ordered a shredded beef taco for Joey… of which he had none. So, as we’re driving out of the parking lot, we’re all chit-chatting in the car…

“Stop talking a me! I pray to God.” Mar and I were stunned… We got real quiet.

“Jesus, thank you for my taco.”

That was it. And I think it was a fantastic start.