I’ve been waiting over a week to hear back from BlogWare support on a request to retrieve my files from their system. They do provide FTP access for a small set of files, but not all of them. You see, when you upload an image, it gets stored in the _photos directory. When you upload any other file through an entry form, it gets placed in the _attachments directory. Both of these directories are virtual. I was able to get all the images out of the _photos “directory” through spidering the site, but I still can’t get the files in the _attachements “directory.” Asking TuCows to do this for me is tantamount to asking Steve Jobs for the source code to OS X. If BlogWare isn’t going to give me access to my files, I’m going to have to find some other way to get ’em. If any of you care to spider chris.lockergnome.net and grab all the files in the _attachments “directory, be my guest – and let me know where you put ’em so that I can get ’em from you (as my spidering efforts don’t seem to be effective for that virtual location). If you’re going to become a BlogWare user, understand that you may face the same problem at some point, too (or already have).
When we moved over to the new servers, Shayne decided not to open up the port for FTP. Fair enough (a good security move). However, I was left with having to find another way to get in and easily edit files on the system. He recommended that I get an SCP client. I downloaded a few of ’em, not being all that impressed – then I stumbled across WinSCP. It handles SSH / SCP / SFTP sessions, and has direct hooks into PuTTY. I have a long history with FTP programs. Starting with the amazingly old and incredibly unintuitive WS_FTP, I moved to FTP Explorer. When the developer abandoned the project, I flipped to FTP Voyager – and found it to be completely overpriced for my needs. Then, it was off to SmartFTP, until the desktop flashing started to annoy me. I had veen on FileZilla up until recently (living with its shortcomings, too). WinSCP surprised me.
It doesn’t do everything I want it to do, but I discovered that you can locally edit remote files by double-clicking them! This feature alone has saved me so much time and energy. I had been relying on PSPad for the longest time to do all my server-based file editing through FTP (slow, clunky). While the WinSCP edit window leaves much to be desired, it’s quick and painless – and I can hook directly into PSPad for advanced functionality and seamless integration with the file transfer. Wow. Awesome. Cool. You need this. Forget the other FTP clients out there – if you don’t have this “edit locally, save remotely” feature in your FTP program, dump it. And FTP access through a plain ol’ file editor is just painful to navigate! WinSCP is wicked.