The problem is solved; it turned out to be a matter of MySQL permissions. For the benefit of anyone else who has experienced similar difficulty, here is what I found and where I found it:
(1) The best general guide which I found was "WordPress on Debian Linux", which is posted at:
This article provides a step-by-step procedure for setting up Apache, with only a couple of minor typographical errors, and a couple of omissions, namely: install "libapache2-mod-php4" rather than "php4", and "php4-mysql" is needed in addition to "php4-pgsql". However, I had only limited sucess with the procedures which are specific to setting up and configuring MySQL.
(2) The best detailed guide which I found was "DJG's Setting up MySQL users and databases", November 25th, 1999, which is posted at:
(3) I discovered an EXCELLENT tutorial regarding MySQL permissions, "An Introduction to MySQL permissions", February 17, 2004, which is posted at:
The only things which the article failed to mention is the need for the command "use mysql;" at the first "mysql>" prompt. Also, the example commands twice omit the semicolon (";") which is required at the end of each MySQL command.
(4) I found helpful the MAN pages for "mysql", "mysqladmin", and "mysqldump". In particular, the MAN page for "mysqldump", at the end, provides examples of useful applications for the utility.
(5) I finally realized that life is too short to fool around with a graphical user interface (GUI) application for routine or repetive tasks such as daily or weekly backup of a database, if there exists a command-line interface which can handle the task. So, rather than continue using "mysql administrator", I have switched to "mysqldump", which is INFINITELY more simple, and which can be invoked by "cron" or "anacron".
(6) I used the following commands to set permissions:
# mysqladmin -u root -p
<< mysqladmin prompts for local_database_administrative_password. >>
mysql> USE mysql;
mysql> GRANT all ON local_database_name.*
IDENTIFIED BY 'local_database_user_password';
# mysqladmin -u root -p reload
(7) It turns out that, once the permissions are properly set, retrieving a copy of the database tables from the on-line, commercially-hosted blog required only the following command:
remote_database_name > name_of_copy.sql
And it turns out that loading a copy of the tables into the local "sandbox" blog required only the following command:
$ mysql -h localhost
local_database_name < name_of_copy.sql
In the above commands, note that:
-> "$" is the terminal command prompt for a normal user.
-> Each command must be entered as a single line.
-> No space is permitted following the "-p" options.
-> The "-p" option does not provide security for the password.
-> The name of the ".sql" file created by mysqldump ("name_of_copy.sql") is arbitrary, including the ".sql" suffix.
-> The user must substitute the actual names for:
(8) Please note that some people use the term "sandbox" for a "static" blog, in order to experiment with themes and stylesheet without the complexity of running a database on the local host. But I am using the term "sandbox" for a fully-functional "dynamic" blog on the local host which allows me to exercise the blog normally, in every respect. If I desired, I could use my desktop machine to serve this blog to the Internet.
28 August 2006