Simmons Consulting, the Website of Toby Simmons


New Zempt domain and site launch


It has been a long time since there has been anything Zempt on the ‘net (except for the occasional post by me in my personal blog) since the original domain expired and was scooped up by a cyber-squatter. Well, I would like to announce a new home for the project. Since it is an open-source and free application, I registered a dot-org domain and sat on it for a while. I have packaged a new build (0.5.113), put together some new screen shots and a discussion forum.

Head on over to the new Zempt domain,, and check out the latest version.

Daylight saving time and WordPress XMLRPC


Zempt is a desktop blogging client and writing tool that is especially useful for those that have multiple blogs. It enables you to write, edit and spell check new blog posts as well as edit previous blog entries by downloading, editing and reposting them. Having been involved with the Zempt project for five years (and being the only developer for the last two or three) I am pretty familiar with some of the issues that can come up with remote editing of blog posts.

New version of Zempt! Zempt 0.5 is released


I finally found some time (I don’t know where) and fixed a few of the bugs that had been bothering me most about Zempt. The biggest one was how Zempt would mess up the internal posting date of existing blog entries when you edited them and re-published them.

It turns out that if you return the timestamp using XMLRPC in UTC time without specifying it with a “Z” at the end, WordPress assumes you are using local time … for me, that meant that when I edited a post originally published at 7 p.m., the edited version would be published with the UTC time of +0600 hours. WordPress assumed the posting date was 1 a.m. the next day … so now, Zempt correctly appends the “Z” timezone specification on posts with explicit dates. Wahoo! Plus the upload file tools seems to work pretty solidly for me.

If you want the latest version, download the installer.

Blood sucking vermin, scum of the earth


Like I said recently, Bill Zeller, one of the original Zempt developers, let the domain registration lapse (this was partly my fault, because Adam Kalsey had asked if I wanted to take it over before it lapsed — at the time, I didn’t.) The domain (which was registered with GoDaddy) became locked by the registrar. Adam told me later, after I had some time to devote to the project, that GoDaddy wanted $80 to get the domain out of registrar-lock. This seemed excessive to me, especially since this is an open-source project that no one is making money on, so I waited several days, checking the availability each day with a whois query.

Zempt — not dead yet


Update (2006-09-19): I have released a new version of Zempt. Read about it in my latest Zempt post.

One of the problems with open source (at least with small open source projects) is that it can take a long time to get updates and patches. Support is provided by just a few people, any web sites devoted to it are hosted and paid for out of love for the project. The people who run the project usually have families and real, paying jobs that preoccupy the bulk of their time. I believe this describes Zempt perfectly.

Zempt Updates Again


Well, I’ve updated Zempt again. The current build (0.4.257) fixes a problem that you could get when running under Windows 95/98. I think the installer has been updated, so hop on over to Zempt and download the latest.

Updates to Zempt — Introducing version 0.4


Screen shot of the new Zempt I’ve made some pretty massive updates (and improvements, in my opinion) to Zempt, so many that I think it deserves a full one-tenth version increase. Adam Kalsey asked me if I wanted to take over development and, at least as long as free-time permits, I guess I’m it. If you are interested in getting a copy, please leave me a comment. Here is a list of the things I have fixed in Zempt:

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