I have now converted this site’s permalinks to a human readable format. This was one of those things I had thought would be really hard, so I kept putting it off. However, in WordPress 2 it’s really easy!
Just go to the Options tab and choose the Permalinks subtab. There are a list of common options – I chose the Date and Name based one. Then hit Update Permalink structure and it saves and produces a text box on the screen with some code in it. This needs to be copied into a file called .htaccess which should be in your blog’s root folder. You may have to create this file. Save that, and you are away!
Don’t worry about links to your posts that exist which point to the old numeric style URLs – these still work!