Recently in Tricks and Workarounds Category

Gather round the campfire kids, and listen to this cautionary tale.  If you are reading this blog you probably heard about Trendolizer, my trend-tracking website, powered by Movable Type.  Recently I noticed the server load for it was constantly over 20, with multiple run-periodic-tasks instances running at 100% processor use all the time.  Not good!

Two of my clients recently encountered this issue, so I thought I'd mention it here along with the fix.  In some versions of Movable Type (4.38 was the one my clients used) there exists a bug on the 'Edit Profile' screen you can reach by clicking your own username in the top right of the screen.  Any custom fields for users appear to be empty on your own profile.
Recently I ran into an obscure issue with image uploads on a Movable Type installation of one of my clients.  Several users had been complaining about photos being uploaded into the entry editor not showing up as (thumbnailed) images, but as direct download links.  When later trying to insert the same image in a different entry, the image would ony show up as a file, not as a (thumbnailable) image.  All these images appeared to have been taken with recent Nikon-brand cameras.
I recently encountered a bug in Movable Type where uploading a certain image failed with the message "Saving (filename) failed: Invalid image file format". Some digging led me to the file lib/MT/ where the uploaded image was failing a check.  This was in MT4, but some older versions of MT5 can also have this happening.  So, what is going on?
On a recent project I had a Movable Type blog with entries containing embedded videos hosted on YouTube and Vimeo, and I needed a way to get a thumbnail image for each video so they could be displayed somewhere else on the site.  Here is my solution...
The error "Error saving plugin settings: Could not register story template with Facebook: Unknown method" has been popping up more and more among users of the FacebookCommenters plugin for Movable Type.  The cause is a change to the API at Facebook.  Six Apart is aware of the issue (check the Fogbugz ticket here if you have access) and a fix has been committed but not released yet.   I have been told the updated version of FacebookCommenters will be bundled with the upcoming Movable Type 5.13/4.38 release.
Having a list of related, similar entries below each entry in your blog is a good way to entice your readers to stay on your site longer.  But how do you generate such a list, making sure only the most relevant entries are listed?  And how can such a list be kept up to date, especially on older entries? 
If you ever need to copy-paste some text from Microsoft Word to Movable Type, but you don't want to bring along font sizes, colours, styles, tables and the like while still keeping your paragraphs and line breaks intact, here is a short video by Adam Tinworth explaining how to do it (from 2008 but the trick still works, and it seems only 88 people watched it since then; let's see if we can increase that number a bit).  
This Japanese blog post alerted me to the existence of an undocumented 'to_json' modifier in Movable Type 5.  There is a well documented list of global modifiers like encode_html, trim, capitalize... available here, but 'to_json' seems to be missing from that list or any other place in the documentation.  What does it do?
It is quite simple to list all (or some) entries in one or more categories using Movable Type's MTEntries tag in combination with the 'category' or 'categories' attribute.  But what if you need to display just the entries that are *not* in a category? I was recently faced with this problem, and here is the solution I came up with: