WordPress database connection errors today.

tl’dr? Set new database passwords and move to PHP7.

I just noticed all 3 of my WordPress blogs have been down for most of the day with a database connection error. It looks like my my MySQL database back-end was upgraded or modified overnight by my host and my MySQL ‘old_passwords’ were no longer valid.

The simple work around was to set new database passwords from the MySQL front end for each connection then update my sites config files with the new connection information.

This looked like it had worked at first, my sites came back up and all looked well again. However I soon found I was unable to access my WordPress sites back end control panels due to a 500 server error at the admin login page ‘\wp-admin\’. Looking at the WordPress logs I could see various initiation errors and out of memory errors. I took this opportunity to switch to PHP7 (coming from 5.6) and now everything is working again, I am not worried enough to go back and find out what the issue was there but have been looking at moving to PHP7 for a now and it seems like the logical place to be, and my host allows more memory if you use 7, great! 🙂


Sony Xperia Z 4.4 Kit Kat battery problem [Unsolved 4/7/14, Sony and Google suck.]

Update: Oct 2015:
I binned recycled the phone a month after my last update, it was incredibly frustrating to use with the battery drain. I now use a HTC one (M8).

Update: 4/7/14
That didn’t last long. Today I have had devastating battery drain. I give up.

Update 3/7/14:
My Sony Xperia Z battery drain problems resurfaced after 3 days of solid running. I had a hunch and just performed my last step of “managing data > clear all” and clearing the  cache again and it immediately solved the drain again.

Something happens inside of the Google Play services package and causes my phone to be awake 100% of the time, what that is, I have no idea. but it seems the above advice sorts it out… for a while.

Original post:
For anyone having the terrible battery drain problems since the 4.4 kitkat update from Sony / Google I have finally found a solution.

Download the latest Google play services app 5.0.82 (released yesterday 30/06/14) from the Google play store.

Strangely the store lists it as still being v4 and doesn’t auto update but it will let you manually press the update button. Odd, beta maybe?

Either way once you have Google play services v5 your Xperia phone’s battery drain issues will be cured.

I also cleared the cache and used the manage space option after updating which may have helped. I dont know.
I have decided to leave interest based ads turned off (as was suggested previously).
Play store auto updating and location are back on without battery drain issues you will be pleased to hear.

So far I have had 5 hrs standby with only 10% battery use compared to maybe 70-80% over the same amount of use pre update.

Whats next for the Xperia line? Its been problem after problem since I bought my Xperia Z back in April 2013…

-Ricky (written on my Xperia Z)


The 24 hours of Le Mans (2013)

I finally made the pilgrimage to Le Mans in France for the 24 hours (motor car race) last month.

I dont know really know what to say about it. Beyond the facade of the history and and the obvious facts about the race I can only try and put it into words what the 24 hours IS, to me anyway.

It is the most pure human and machine pairing in motorsport that I have ever experienced. There is something magical about the progression of time into the night and back into the day. You feel the struggle of the 24 hours just like the drivers and mechanics do, it is a unique experience.

The cars for some reason can quickly become something more than the drivers inside of them, this is an extremely odd sensation, I have never really revered and willed on a racing car before.

Unfortunately during this 24 hours we experienced loss of a drivers life and that was tough to deal with but at the same time I become acutely aware of the reality of motorsport properly for the first time. It really is life in the fast lane, life at the limit, where success and failure stand side by side and control and calculation err more towards chance and luck.

I can’t wait to do it all again.

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