Category Archives: Blogging with WordPress

Information about how I create this blog with WordPress.

My New MacBook Pro – How I Migrated

I have been quiet this week due to being very busy with work and also receiving my new 17″ MacBook Pro on Wednesday evening.

MacBook Pro

I am just about done with the migration and though I would share some of my findings for anybody wlse who is moving from an old Mac to a new one.

I could have used the Migration Assistant and sucked my old laptop to my new one. I used this when I rebuilt my old laptop and upgraded the hard drive and it worked amazingly. As my old laptop was three years old, and had been used to test a lot of software I decided to opt for the manual approach.

Being an organized person, my data was all organized under my Documents folder. This made it pretty easy to move my Documents to my NAS, and then to my new Mac preserving the same structure as I had before.

I did a bit of pruning before the copy and got rid of old information that I no longer needed. I also archived some of it off to DVDs to go into the Someday/Maybe drawer that I use to good effect.

The data was the easy part. I then had to migrate Mail and all my media such as my iPhoto Library, Aperture Library, and my iTunes Library.

Let’s start with the media. I did expect problems when moving my media due to the customizations that I have done to my media including tagging etc. Well, to my surpirse, I copied my Aperture and iPhoto libraries to my new machine and they all worked fine. I then deauthorized my old laptop from within iTunes, copied the iTunes folder to my new laptop and all went smooth.

I was using iLife ’09 on both my old and new Mac’s so everything was very easy to migrate. iPhoto and Aperture both use a Library. These are package files that contain all the other files and represent themselves as a single file within the Operating System. Sure does make copying easier!

Now onto Email migration. I have a few mailboxes that I use on the client built into the Mac Operating System. My main mailboxes are IMAP through Google Apps so these were as easy as setting up the new mail accounts on the new laptop.

I have a few old POP accounts and for these I created the POP account on the new laptop and archived the old mail onto one of my USB disks for storage and the ability to search through this at a later date if needed.

All smooth so far. Now to re-install some of the applications I use. There are a few killer applications that I use and could not live without. These are my core apps that I installed and I decided that if I need any of ther other apps on my old laptop then I would install them as required.

My core apps are:

I downloaded the latest version of each app and used my serial numbers where applicable that I always store in Evernote. This is a great use of Evernote and I have been storing my software licenses in it since I got it.

So, all migrated and working good. The new laptop is amazing. So much faster than the old one and I cannot wait for the dual link DVI connector to arrive so I can hook it up to my 30″ Display.

Had a real busy week this week and my head has been all over the place. I have been doing some testing for customers and my home office currently looks like a junkyard from PC World. I hate it when my office is cluttered and I am finishing this post to go and declutter!

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

7 Things About Me

I guess the prominence of my blog is growing as I have just been tagged in a meme game by Dragos from eDragonu.

Seems like a good idea to let all my blog readers know more about me as well as to get 7 more blogger’s involved so here goes.

First, here are the rules.

  • Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on my blog.
  • Share 7 facts about myself in the post – some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of my post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

7 Things About Me

Well, as the name suggest I have to tell you all 7 things about me that you may not already know. So here goes..

  1. I am 35 years old and my Birthday is in March
  2. I am married to Helen and have four children, Rosie (Age 9), Jack (Age 7), Tom and Poppy (Twins aged 2)
  3. I am the co-founder and Director of RandomStorm a Vulnerability Management and PCI DSS ASV.
  4. I am a published author with McGraw Hill and Cisco Press. I have written 7 books and 2 eBooks on Cisco Network Security. I am just working on another ebook for Cisco Press covering Router and Switch Security.
  5. My Hobbies include Mountain Biking, Running, Golf, and Wing Chun Kung Fu. When I make time to relax I like to grab a good movie or take my aggression out on the PS3.
  6. My favorite places in the UK are Northumberland and the Lake District. I try to visit both of these at least a week each year. Both have beautiful unspoiled countryside.
  7. When I was 11 I was on the national news and front page of all major UK newspapers for bringing a live hand grenade home from the World War One trenches in Ypres, Belgium. I had it at the side of my bed for 6 months before we found out that it was “potentially lethal”.

Now I have to pass this on to the following bloggers:

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Be sure to check out the blogs I have just mentioned as they are all on my blog reading list. is running WordPress 2.7

Just a quick post to test out the posting functionality of WordPress 2.7 which I upgraded this blog to earlier today.

All seems in order, had a sight issue with some of the plugins not getting re activated after my upgrade.

I am very impressed with the new WordPress interface. I think this is probably the biggest cosmetic update that I have ever seen to WordPress and I am going to enjoy learning all the cool ways of using it in the most productive way.

For those of you who are interested, I performed the upgrade from 2.6.3 to 2.7 using the WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin. All went really smooth and worked fine.

If you find anything that is broken or does not work as expected, please let me know.

New Blog Alias –

Did I Get Things Done LogoIn order to make things easier for my readers, and shorten what is quite a long domain name for this blog I have registered the domain name and pointed it to the existing domain name.

Therefore, from now you can use either the existing domain name or to get to this blog. I will still be using both domain names but will be promoting the shorter name in some upcoming merchandise that I am going to create as giveaways.

There are various methods of achieving what I have done and I did some research before I made the change to ensure that what I was doing would not give me any Search Engine penalties that would damage the good work I have done in building a brand and loyal readership of this blog.

The easiest and most common way to achieve this is to just park one domain on the top of another. From what I have read though Google and other search engines can have an issue with this method as they can see the site as a separate entity, and therefore duplicate content. Domain parking is the most common method that companies employ in order to point multiple domains, or domain extensions to the same website. For example when you purchase the .com and .net domain name and point them both at the .com.

It appears that the best way to achieve this is with a 301 Redirect. With a 301 Redirect you are telling the search engines that your content has permanently moved, so they know that the site is not a duplicate.

The problem is that in order to do this, you need a hosting account linked to each domain name that you want to redirect and then you can either do the redirect in the index.php or in my case I used a redirect in the .htaccess file.

I have a few other sites that are using domain parking. Looks like I have some more tasks to add to OmniFocus in order to get these changed over to 301 Redirects.

You can read more on 301 Redirect at the Wikipedia page.

As always, would love to hear any thoughts or tips any of you have regarding what I have said in the post.

Did I Get Things Done 2.0

SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOGIf you are not already, now is a great time to subscribe to this blog in your favorite RSS reader so you can keep up to date with all the posts.

After a few tweaks here and there the new theme is a go and I am happy to say that I now consider the new site as fully live. I still have to add a few plugins and add some content to some more pages but I guess this aspect of the site will be work in progress.

I have never had a Contact or Advertise page on the site before.

Please use the Contact page to contact myself for any matters relating to the site. I am also looking for guest bloggers so please use this page to contact me if you have an interest in writing for Did I Get Things Done.

This site is for its readers so if you have any suggestions or criticisms, please do let me know so I can improve the site to benefit the readers.

I am also starting to take related adverts from sponsors in order to help fund the site and the ever growing hosting and management costs. If you have a product you would like to advertise, please let me know via the Advertise page and we can hopefully work something out.

I have quite a bit planned for the blog. I am trying to widen it from just a GTD blog to cover my main focus areas of Productivity, Motivation, and Self Development. GTD will always figure high in these as it is the methodology that I started to use over two years ago now.

I thank you for being a visitor to my site and I look forward to achieving my goal of becoming the number one blog for Productivity, Motivation, and Self Development.

I am currently hovering around the 2400 RSS Subscribers and I am trying to get to the next goal of 3000.

Update and Version 2.0 of Did I Get Things Done

I have mentioned in a few posts that I have been working on a new theme for this site and also looking to update the content to broaden the sites horizons.

Well, I am glad to say that the new design is imminent and hopefully will be on the site in the next couple of days.

I have used Unique Blog Designs to carve me a custom theme to facilitate my new launch.

Got a few things planned for the new site that should widen its appeal.

Over the next few days the format and layout may go a bit strange whilst we iron out any issues.

Look forward to speaking to you all via my updated blog.

Thanks, and have a great day!

ProBlogger – Blog Your Way to a Six Figure Income Book Review

ProBlogger Book ReviewI came across the ProBlogger site when I first got into blogging a couple of years ago. I used to read the ProBlogger blog and picked up some great tips from it in the early days. The ProBlogger blog is written by Darren Rowse.

The Problogger book caught my attention when it first came out although I never got around to buying it. I then met Chris Garrett at a Northern UK Bloggers Meetup and thought it was only right at this point to buy the book and see what I could learn.

One Amazon order later and the book arrived.

The book is 211 pages long split into 10 chapters. Each chapter is written by either Darren Rowse or Chris Garrett.

The book is about blogging for money. The reader is introduced to the concept of blogging and taken through the necessary steps to set up your blog and the popular blogging platforms with the emphasis being placed on WordPress as the blogging platform of choice.

The chapter on blog income and earning strategies was very useful and provided me with a great insight into what can be done with your (and my) blog. The book then goes into blog networks and blog promotion and marketing.

The main purpose of the book is how to start a blog and monetize it in order to one day become a six figure blogger. I must admit that the blogger lifestyle does appeal to most but in practice the self discipline needed to write is not for everybody.

I wrote a review of a great book called the War of Art, be sure to check this out if you have not already done so. This book covers the demons, or muses that we have to fight against in order to produce creative work. One statement from the War of Art that I love is the following.

The act of writing is not hard, the act of sitting down to write is what causes us the challenge.

The same can be said about blogging. If you can get over the first hurdle of starting a blog, and the second hurdle of passing the six month stage, as I heard over 90% of all blogs stop after six months, then you are in a good position to make the blog pay.

The book is written by two authors and it is clear from the writing style that the book was split into two, with each author writing their own content. The book is complete, and the chapters flow nicely into each other. All the jargon is explained before it is used and all in all I really like this book.

The typography of the book is good and to the usual Wiley standards. This helps in making the book a pleasure to read. I am still amazed when I read books like The Magic of Thinking Big and see how bad the type is. This makes the book much harder to read in my opinion and maybe this is one area where the second generation of eBook readers will really win.

I feel that I could give this book to a novice blogger and they would get great benefit out of it as well as to a more advanced blogger who would be able to skim a lot of it but still pick up some very good advice.

I learned some things from the book and it gave me some great ideas. That makes it worth the price.

As always, would love to hear any comments about this review, or the book.


iBlueSky – Mind Mapping for the iPhone and iPod Touch Review

I recently did a review of MindMaker, the first Mind Mapping tool for the iPhone and iPod Touch. My review outlined a great concept but it was lacking some key features such as the ability to import and export maps and work in landscape mode.

I was very happy when i received an email from the creator of iBlueSky asking me to take a look at their app that provides competition for Mind Maker. I got the app installed and working right as I was leaving the house to attend the A4U Expo in London.

I was planning on writing the review when I got back from the A4U but I did get the chance to try it in the very first session of the A4U Expo. The first session was from Joost de Valik and was about Search Engine Optimization for WordPress.


Rather than take notes for the session in my trusty Moleskine, I decided to give iBlueSky a live test and use it to take the notes in what was an excellent session.

iBlueSky is very similar in operation to Mind Maker, it is after all a Mind Mapping application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The entry was working out a treat. You are able to use landscape mode and the addition of branches is very straightforward and anybody who has used a Mind Mapping application would be able to pick ip up in no time at all.

There is a default map already installed for you to play around with. The map I created got quite big, quite fast and I found it easy to add new branches, sub branches and also to navigate around the map.


This is in my opinion the best Mind Mapping tool to date for the iPhone and iPod Touch. There were a couple of little niggles which will hopefully get sorted for the next release. These were that the addition of new branches to a busy map sometimes overlapped existing branches. This made organization a bit cumbersome.

The branches were also quite difficult to move as it required an extremely accurate drag to move the branch and not the entire map. Some way of selecting a branch in drag mode would be great. The only other niggle is that when moving a branch, the sub-branches stayed put, creating a nesting overlapping issue.

All of the issues do not distract from what is a great app. Landscape mode works great, although the screen is restricted by the bars at the top and bottom.


The killer feature that really separates this from Mind Maker is the ability to email the maps. Once the Map was created, I emailed it to myself.

The map arrives in four formats:

  • PNG Image
  • PDF Document
  • OPML For Importing into various mapping and flowchat apps
  • Freemind MM Format for use with Freemind, the Open Source Mind Mapping app

How cool is that!

Great app, and look forward to seeing more of these cool apps arise for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Oh, and for those of you interested in the session from Joost, which was fantastic as usual. Feel free to download the map by following the links below.

They even have a nice intro video.

Hope you found this of use, as usual, I would love to hear yout comments..

StumbleUpon – The Second Northern Bloggers Meetup

Well, I have just arrived home from the second Northern UK Bloggers Meetup. After the success of the first meetup, I could not wait to see what else I could learn from the second, and also what people I would meet.

As before, the event was organised by Jamie Harrop and the main speaker for the evening was Tim Nash, who presented a fascinating talk about StumbleUpon. Now, I have not really used StumbleUpon, apart from playing with a paid campaign for one of my other sites at the beginning of this year and it was great to hear Tim, who obviously knows one heck of a lot about StumbleUpon, share a few of his secrets with us. I have already signed up for StumbleUpon and added the toolbar to my installation of Firefox, so let’s see if I can put his great advice to use.

Follow this link to get to Tim’s post that contains his presentation slides and also some more great tips about StumbleUpon

Apart from the usual faces from the last event, there was a couple of new faces in the meetup. One of these was Mike Little from Mike was one of the founding developers of WordPress and I found out when I got home that I have a book in my bookcase that he wrote about Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress.

I also met and chatted with Al Carlton from Self Made Minds, as well as other blogs. Al seemed like a very knowledgeable and well connected chat that I hope to network with further at future events.

Karyn from Miss Thrifty was also a newcomer to this event. Great to see some women at what is usually a male dominated event.

Well, cannot wait till the next one and I am going now to play with StumbleUpon and also watch some Ryder Cup!

One last thing, Stumbles on this post are most appreciated 😉

ScribeFire – Blogging Plugin for FireFox

I am writing this post using ScribeFire, a plugin for Firefox that enables you to blog direct from the browser.

I have been using Safari as my browser of choice for the last year or so but Firefox 3 really has got my attention and I feel a switch to Firefox is real close. It is the plugins such as ScribeFire, Delicious, and a host of SEO related tools that really attract me to Firefox.

Check out this great video below for an introduction to ScribeFire and some of the features it brings. It looks like a great tool but one that has to be learned and hopefully it will save me time and improve my writing ability so I blog more.