Migrate your Subversion repos to Git

I’ve been using Subversion for years for my code versioning needs. Lately, I’ve been using Git more often. But I still have a bunch of SVN repositories. The task: migrate everything to a private Git repo.

There’s the geeky, harder way. There’s the easier, hacky way. I choose the hacky way anytime of the day.

The hacky way involves Github’s SVN import tool. Here’s the step by step process.

1. Go to https://import.github.com/new, Github’s import tool, and enter your SVN’s active URL. Depending on your current SVN’s settings, you’ll be asked to place in your username and password again. Mine was private so, I had to place in the SVN credentials so Github can pull and convert the repository.

GitHub_Importer

After it’s done, you go to your Github account and review the imported codes.

2. Create your local repository and pull the new Github repository

$ mkdir
$ cd
$ git init
$ git remote add origin https://github.com/[username]/[new-repo].git
$ git pull

You can stop right here if you want to host your code on Github’s public repository. In my case, I want it private. I found Gitlab to be hosting free private Git repositories. So, go ahead and create a Gitlab account and (or, where ever you want your codes to be hosted privately).

3. Push your new code to the private repository

$ git remote add gitlab git@gitlab.com:[username]/[new-repo].git
$ git push gilab master

4. Delete your Github’s public repo.

Summary: in essence, we should thank Github for making this hack possible ;)

TEN – The Evening News

I love going after the niche. In business. In doing church. Being small gives you the luxury of  focusing on a certain group of people that you can care for and bring specific focus on what actually excites them. The niche is never going to be the majority, but that’s a good thing in a lot of ways.

When it comes to targeting a niche market, TEN – The Evening News on TV5 does it good. Stars Jove Francisco, Martin Andanar and Cherry Mercado, TEN is a unique blend of news, humor, light commentary and internet updates and reviews. They have a huge cult-like following among the tech savvy, young population.

Being a 3rd placer in the network war, making TV5’s newscast different is a good move. The trio do not try to be Ces Drillon or Arnold Clavio and the rest of their counterparts in the other huge networks. They tried to be different and successful in doing so.

If you’re a TEN fanatic, here’s the sad news, though: there’s a rumor circulating on the internet that Manny Pangilinan, PLDT’s big boss who bought TV5 recently, is planning to sack TEN for a traditional newscast (some say for an RPN9 type of newscast). And of course, if you’re like me, you’ll disagree that it’s a bad move. TV5 will loose it’s niche and will just be “one of them”.

My “insider” claims, though, that it’s not yet too late. If we can bug Manny Pangilinan enough, maybe he’ll change his mind. So, if you’re a TEN supporter, post a comment here. Let’s try to keep TEN alive. :D

Love-hate relationship with Rackspace cloud

As I reported last week, we’re moving our entire online business to Rackspace Cloud after managing a VPS for almost 5 years.

The transfer has been running smoothly until I had a not so good experience with one of their support staff. I’m not going to say what it is — I don’t want to bad-mouth a company where my business will revolve around — but I just would like to say that maybe, their fanatical support being “fanatical” as advertised online and on their websites is a bit overrated.

Still, I think they are an awesome hosting company offering an innovative hosting solution. And while I was tempted to respond to offers given by other cloud hosting companies after I posted those couple of twits, I will stick with them and continue with my plan to have my web applications revolve around their cloud hosting.

Update: I did mention that I’m sticking with Rackspace Cloud and that even with the glitch, I still believe that they are an awesome hosting company.

This proves me right. The head of operations contacted me and insisted on working it out with me. Long story short, we came up with a middle road to take. While it may not be “all that I wanted”, I’m still happy for several reasons, two to name a few:

1) This proves that even how little a client is, Rackspace cares. I may just be one of their thousands of clients, but that didn’t matter to them. What matters, as I felt during our conversations, is that they sincerely want everyone satisfied with their service.

2) This attitude towards customer service and doing business as a whole inspires me. I mean, I’m a small technopreneur. I live (and die) for a satisfied client. I have to admit that my attitude towards some of my clients aren’t always positive. But with this experience with Rackspace, I learned that even the most irritating client needs to feel important. LOVE your clients, THE BUSINESS follows. Huge principle to live by.

How a local domain registrar screwed us up

I’m writing this in the hope that the local internet industry will try to pursue excellence, small as we are. There’s always a start. Pissing off clients is not.

Years ago, I moved and registered my domains — and my clients’ — to a local domain registrar. They claimed to be cheaper than the cheap domains. But looking back, I actually used their service in support of the local internet companies and not really because of the price. If there’s anyone who offers the same service locally, why would I go out? That’s my principle then — and still is.

Unfortunately, though, this local internet company started missing the essentials. They stopped receiving online payments, forcing clients go to the bank to pay for the domains. Their control panel keeps on failing. Their “mother registrar” — mydomains.com — keeps on emailing me. At one time, I renewed the domain at mydomains.com after I received the email, not from this local company, thinking that “it’ll reflect to my account anyway”. It didn’t.

I had no choice but to slowly move my domains out.

This week, I had enough.

2008 – I started moving my domains out

Oct. 2008 – I changed servers. So I had to change the NS record through the domain control panel. Their control panel was failing when I tried to have one of my busiest local client’s domain changed. So what I did was to call their customer support after my emails are left unanswered. And after about 2 days of trying to reach them via phone, at last, somebody answered! And she agreed to change the NS record manually. It worked.

Jan 5, 2009 – I planned to move the domain (one of the last 2) out. So, to prepare that, I updated my email address via their control panel. Take note, just the email address.  I successfully did that.

Jan 7 – It was Saturday and my client is bugging me. She was freaking out because their website is forwarding to the old server. I checked, and it really was. I noticed that the NS record has reverted back to the old record! Huh!? I didn’t do that? Who would have done that? Or was it an API failure? Meaning, their control panel isn’t speaking correctly with their “mother registrar”? Anyway, I tried to solve the problem by simply changing the NS record back from their control panel. Two hours have passed, 4, 8, a day, and then Monday, nothing was happening!

Jan 9 – I called the customer service and asked why, I have changed the NS record from their control panel but the WHOIS isn’t changing after 2 days. She said, sometimes, they do it manually. Manually? She means that their  control panel actually doesn’t work 100% of the time. So, no time to argue, I have a pissed off client shouting at me, I simply asked her to change the NS manually — again.

Next day – still nothing is happening. My client is loosing her business. I was freaking out. I tried calling the customer support. She was out for the day. I asked, who can I talk to other than her? The answer: none. And the owner is out too. They didn’t offer to call him. Why would they, I’m just one small client with issue on one domain? No big deal. At least to them.

And the next day — I finally reached the one-woman-band customer support. But she was clueless why.

Let me stop here and drive my point. I’m part of the local internet industry. My dream is for us to go head to head with international leaders like India. There are factors that we have no control off — like government support. But there are things that we can control. And by pursuing excellence, we can make a difference. So, local internet industry, let’s learn from this domain registrar’s mistakes:

– poor customer support

– very poor API integration to their provider, affecting their clients in a big way

– lack of reliable and systematic ecommerce facility.

Would you like me to name that local domain registrar? Nah…