How to Install Movable Type 2.64 on macOS Sierra

I started this blog in May of 2003. I had a LiveJournal at one point, and even wrote my own blog system to teach myself a new language called PHP. But this blog, 90% Crud, started then. I used Movable Type, a Perl CGI application. I wrote some stuff, met some good folks and was inspired to do some neat stuff.

I started this blog in May of 2015. My friend Adam and I wound up looking at some old blog posts with one day and there were some good ones. I thought that maybe that was something worth doing again, even if I never really figured out what I was doing the first time around. I set up a WordPress site and started writing again.

Now that this site is at a new home and I’m working for the WordPress.com company I thought I should finally get my old archives into my new blog. And I did, I managed to export my old blog and import it here. But there was some manual work and I actually had to look at what my old blog was.

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For the record, I try to look at nostalgia as an indulgence. Too much time looking back keeps you from looking ahead. But its still something you should do, from time to time.

Seeing the old posts, I’m struck by how many comments there are. I guess there are plenty of comments on blogs these days, but now they’re all on the ephemeral social shares instead of the blog. 20 comments on Facebook, 0 on the blog. That makes sense in some ways.

I see some of the high points, especially this one, but I like some of the lower-key ones too. An old dog who chews earbuds. Old video games. Citizen journalism (as we called it at the time) with ancient snap-on cameraphones. Nerdy tomfoolery. I had completely forgotten that I had written a Movable Type plugin.

Looking back helps me figure out what I should put here in the future. I’ll be posting more personal stuff here. I’ll keep posting political stuff when I’m fired up. And I’ll try to keep doing projects, even as my free time dwindles.

Anyway, enough delay, I know you want to get Movable Type 2.64 running on macOS Sierra. Here’s how:

To start with, make sure you have a copy of Movable Type 2.64. Maybe in your backups somewhere. Do a find, because it’s not in the directory that you think. Look for mt.cgi. Put that in /Library/WebServer/CGI-Executables and the corresponding static assets in /Library/WebServer/Documents/.

Edit /etc/apache2/httpd.conf and uncomment AddHandler cgi-script .cgi. Marvel that we used to write Perl CGI scripts, ignorant of how slow it was to spin up a new process for each request. sudo apachectl restart

You’ll also need a MySQL dump of the database. You have it somewhere, even a decade and a dozen computers later.

Now you should brew install mariadb since you’ve heard thats what people use now instead of MySQL. Load that up with good old mysql -u root < mysql-dump.sql

Go to http://localhost/cgi-bin/mt/mt-check.cgi and realize you don’t have the DBD::mysql Perl module installed. Try sudo perl -MCPAN -e 'install DBD::mysql' but some of the tests fail for some reason. Find the directory in ~/.cpan/build, do a make install --force and hope those tests didn’t matter. Be glad for your time as a Perl guy.

Go to http://localhost/cgi-bin/mt/mt.cgi and see a login screen! Realize there’s no way you know your password. Here’s the query you need to change it. Now you’re in.

Time to start blogging.

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