Building my little pile of electrons

The semester is almost over. The pace has slowed down and I need to do something a bit more geeky just to get my grey matter back on track. So, inspired by D’arcy Norman’s reclamation project of his data, I decided to give a whirl to some of the tools he mentioned to see if I could bring some of my data into my world rather (or along with) the hosted solutions.

I am not quite a self-contained as D’arcy and probably won’t be. He dumped Flickr and I don’t see myself doing that anytime soon as I really like Flickr and the service it provides. I see it more as a backup for my photos than the main storage so it is not my end-all, be-all  for image files. I have tried Coppermine and, to be honest, really didn’t like it at all.

But, I have all this “power” with my Bluehost account over installing MySQL databases, adding users and so forth. I wanted to wield that power!!

The Hippie Hosting co-op is intriguing but I have invested way in advance wlth Bluehost and have no complaints so I am going to stick with them for a while.

Thus far, I have installed Lessn for a way to shorten URLs ala and tinyurl to keep them local rather than relying on a third party service. Seems to work fine but my main concern is that the domain I am using ( is so darn long it might not be as helpful for URL shortening as I would have hoped. I guess my decision is if something is available and worth the $20/year for another domain.

I also have installed Scuttle for bookmarking. After Delicious was purchased by Yahoo and then leaked that it might be “sunsetted”, I really was concerned about my bookmarks as I had LOTS of them (I have been using it since 2005). I jumped to Pinboard and that has worked but I also liked the idea of having a local version of these bookmarks, just in case. I do like how Pinboard gathers my URLs from Delicious as well as from Twitter so it really is an aggregation of all the places where I save URLs.

Also, installing Scuttle allowed me to become a bit more of a MySQL admin as I had to create a new database, new DB user and then run SQL scripts to create the tables, etc. I have always used something like Fantastico and SimpleScripts to do this in the past, so I was happy that my efforts went off with no problems.

But, wait, it can’t be all smooth sailing

Image: 'The droids we're googling for'


However, when it came time to import my Delicious bookmarks into Scuttle, I did hit a roadblock. Scuttle only will import XML files from Delicious. Delicious used to be able to do that so I was off to my best friend, Google, for some suggestions.




I found a Python script on GitHub that sounded good and learned that I can run Python from TextWrangler (awesome!!) However, that had some kind of error in it so I could not get the XML file generate.

I found was another often mentioned alternative that no longer answers as a webpage (Doh!). However, I did find on Tech Cocktail that you can use this URL:

Use command line prompts to export your bookmarks. Visit the following URL:  https://{your username}:{your password} > bookmarks.xml to get the bookmarks as bookmarks.xml

That worked great and I know have my bookmarks in Scuttle from Delicious. Now, if I can figure out to get all of my bookmarks from Pinboard into Scuttle – I would really have the funnel in place and a nice redundancy for this collection.

Back to my good friend, Google!