International Journal Việt Nam

Old Entries

I had so many problems with my last MT configuration that I had to re install everything. So I lost some of my old rants, but have pasted them in the excerpt….


I spent all day working on the website. For some reason there is an internal server error for the archive and recent entry links. Also, if I add an extended entry the link doesn’t work either. I spent three hours looking for the answer but no luck. But I like the challenge of finding the answers and when I set my mind to something I can usually solve the problem even if it takes a long time like getting this movabletype software to work.

I then gave up for today with that and worked on getting some pictures up. I found that there are very easy ways now to share pictures online but I don’t want to do it that way since it would mean giving up control. I once shared my pictures online five years ago with the MSN program. I forgot the name of the program but it looked like a colored butterfly and integrated e-mail, browser and had goodies like picture sharing. However, one day they decided to delete all my pictures and I lost all my e-mails. I forget if they were upgrading or asking me to pay but ever since that time I don’t trust the free services because one day they will ask for money or go out of business. That is why I take a long time to optomize the pictures myself in Fireworks, and then put them into a table in Dreamweaver. It takes forever and I hate doing it but unless anyone has found software that makes this easy and I maintain control I’ll have to continue doing it this way.

I also spoke with the family today and one thing about being an ex-pat is you have to sacrifice a lot like spending time with family and friends, missing weddings and funerals etc. I’m missing one of my good friends weddings today and it just sucks. I really wish I could have gone. But this is the price to pay for living abroad I suppose.

This weekend is an important one here in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). It marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the American (Vietnam) war and there are celebrations throughout the city. I’ve heard that Vietnam will have it’s first lazer light show to commemorate the event and the streets are packed with people.

I was recently asked if it is an Anti-American event but that is completely untrue. I too would have surmised before I came to Vietnam that it would be anti-american but I do not feel this setiment at all. As I had guessed from my vacation here, I have confirmed that the Vietnamese are the best in the world at forgiving and forgetting. In fact the Vietnamese are very engaged with America and the rest of the world and the government has done a very good job at opening up the economy to foreign investment which has been improving the lives of the people here.

Vietnam really wants to join the WTO and it seems that they will do so in the near future. I went to an American Chamber of Commerce event a while back to learn about when Vietnam could join and it seemed that the community here did not get the answers from “the powers that be” that they wanted. First we heard from the director of the STAR group which is the liaison which works out the technical details that the world says Vietnam must complete before joining. This means passing laws on intellectual property rights, lowering tariffs and so on. It took about an hour for the head of this organization to complete his speech.

However, the issue was brought up that Cambodia has already been accepted and Vietnam is much more advanced and has more stable set of laws already in place. Therefore why couldn’t they join by the end of the year? That is when the American government official hit the podium and was extremely evasive in my opinion. He said that there is a “working party of parties which have concerns about Vietnam joining the WTO.” It is this “working group” who will decide when Vietnam can join the WTO. So what I gathered from the speech was that it is not about technical details at all and simply about when “the powers that be” decide Vietnam can join the WTO. It all comes down to politics and I’m guessing the main “working party” comprises the U.S.A., China, and most likely France.

Therefore, I found it a bit comical that we spent so much time talking about the technical economic details when the true answer lies in politics, and the politicians are being evasive. I have concluded that they will say Vietnam can join when it is most favorable for them and they can get the most from Vietnam. It amazed me that we have courses in University on International Trade and how the WTO works when the true answers lie behind the curtain and are basically politicians making deals.

I’ve done it!
Hello Everyone. As you can see my website has changed dramatically. It has taken me over a year to do this due to getting frustrated and quitting. Here I would like to tell you the abridged version of my quest to get MovableType to work on my website.

I started playing with Movabletype in Japan over a year ago. At first the instructions seemed very complicated for me since I knew nothing of databases. However, I wanted to learn so I tried to get it to work. After failing I gave up and went back to using Dreamweaver and Macromedia products which I am very comfortable with. I tried starting a blog with simple html and did that for a while. However, MT remained in my mind and I was determined to make it work. However, I could not get the database to load and it took a lot of letters to my server. It still didn’t work and I gave up for half a year.

When I came to Vietnam, there were so many things I wanted to write about that I tried again. It took me a week to get it loaded on my server, but there were problems. After a week of research I discovered that MT doesn’t like Windows servers and everytime it created a new page I had to manually go in and configure the permissions for each new page which was a pain!!!!

So I decided to change my web hosting provider. However, this was very difficult from Vietnam because my IP address was coming from here but my credit card is based in the USA so I could not change it automatically online. This was very frustrating and finally I broke down and paid for the international call to get my new web hosting provider set up. It’s taken me two days to get MT to work but with this new provider things are much simpler and there are no problems like there were with the other provider. I could go into a million details of all the problems I’ve had but frankly they are complicated and I’ve forgotten most of them. So from here on I’m going to continue setting up this blog and making it really cool.

I will have more pictures and plenty of stories shortly.

International Journal Việt Nam

Saigon Stories – Today's Adventure

Today was actually not so adventuresome. However, today the Buddhist funeral infront of my house ended. The old lady who spoke to me in French not 6 months before and told me to “Firmez le porte doucemont” passed away. They then erected a shrine and had chants, prayers and visitors for three days. It was really something to experience and I had never seen anything like that before.

Also, two days ago I went to the Norwegian “Constitution Day” reception hosted by the Ambassador of Norway. It was very nice but in a town like this it’s not uncommon to be able to go to these things if your an expat. This town is pretty small and if you can network and get a job in a foreign company it’s not difficult to be invited like in other cities. I really never thought I would be able to attend events like that though at age 27.

Yesterday however I had a catastrophy. I have an 8 foot long fishtank yesterday and one of the supports for the light fell into the water. This means the light also fell into the water and electrocuted all my goldfish. When I got home I had one morbid fishtank that was milky white and full of dead fish. It was horrible. So now I have to start over but attach those tricky supports better.

Today after work I went bowling with two of my co-workers. I got the high score of 178 and was definately in the zone. We were playing next to about 6 Vietnamese and my Vietnamese co-worker informed us that one of the guys was a famous DJ from T.V. Again, in this town if you have a decent job, it’s not uncommon to come in contact with the elite of this town. My friend who brought me to Vietnam is also pretty famous and I would have never thought I would be hanging out with famous people but in Vietnam everything is possible.

I still can’t believe I got Movabletype working. It only took a year of frustration and giving up, only to try again. It actually became an obsession and I refused to go to WordPress because I feel I don’t have control like I do in Movabletype since it’s difficult to write the HTML in WordPress.

Ok, I’ve rambled on enough for this entry. Back to formatting my webpage.


Movabletype finally works

Today I decided to try and tackle my movabletype problems one more time. Before, I had trouble with the comments, archives and basically any link that Movabletype was supposed to take care of. So I deleted the whole thing, downloaded the new 3.6 version and reinstalled everything. This time I made sure everything was uploaded in ASCII mode that was supposed to be and lo and behold, everything works now!!!!! I can’t believe it! So now here I am at 11:00pm trying to replace all my old links and add more content. I’m pooped.


E-mail about to host about Movabletype

I’m trying to install Movabletype on my website at “” but I’m having some trouble.  I’m pretty much an amature at this and have read the directions on your website and in movable type but am still having trouble.  Everytime I try to access my .cgi files I keep getting the message “page not found error 404.”  Can you please tell me why I’m getting this error message and more detailed instructions on how to install movabletype on your server?  “
I just wanted to let you know that I am uploading my files ASCII and that is not the problem.