I’m not sure whether too many people noticed but a few weeks back, this blog briefly went offline. I had got a warning email from my hosting company that I had some content on the site that was not consistent with my plan. One of those files was an old file I had stored there to share with someone so I deleted it. The other was a folder that a backup plugin uses to create temporary files that are then sent to a cloud service. I left that one alone.
I got a second email with a similar warning, despite the first file having been deleted but discovered that the account was already suspended. There then followed a fair bit if discussion with their tech support to give me enough access to allow me to actually delete the files. When I got in via FTP, I came to see their worry. The backup folder is supposed to be emptied after the files are copied off. That is happening fine now but there were two years of daily backups sitting in there that never got deleted. Over 4,00 zip files with a huge amount of data in them. No wonder they were annoyed.
Deleting them took a while to do, not least because they took longer than the temporary access period I had been granted so we had a few cycles of getting back in again. However, they all got removed eventually and I was allowed to go back to normal.
I was pondering the content of the gallery on my website. I hadn’t updated it for a long time and thought there were plenty of shots that should be in there that weren’t. I started compiling a folder of shots for the revised gallery. I thought I should check the old gallery to see which shots I should carry across and, when I went to open it on the website, it didn’t work. It turned out the design was not compatible with current browser design! I have no idea how long it has been out of commission.
I looked at what options there were for alternative gallery designs and was struggling to find one that I liked that did something special. In the end, when concluding that a simple design was what I was going to end up with, I went with one of the templates within Lightroom. That made creating and updating the gallery a lot simpler. The revised gallery is now online at the link at the top of this page or, if you can’t be bothered to click up there, here is the link.
The Wings Over Waukesha air show was recently held in – you guessed it – Waukesha. I covered it for Global Aviation Resource and, rather than duplicate everything here, why not head over to their website to see the original piece. Here is the link.
Time for a quick vent. It seems I have brought down upon myself the curse of technology. Being a techie type, there are plenty of forms of technology in my life. Recently, they have been conspiring against me. I am not a superstitious type of person. The world has more than enough of those so it doesn’t need me to add to the list. However, even a rational person could begin to wonder.
First, the TiVo packed up. It had been misbehaving for a while. Finally, it gave up and could not be restarted. It just kept running through the beginning of the start cycle but never got any further. Time for a new TiVo. I had been pondering an upgrade for a while so a repair did not seem the way to go. Plus, I wanted to have TV back quicker than the repair would manage. While working on this, I go to the computer to look something up and it is off. It shouldn’t have been. A reboot brings up a warning about the CPU fan failure. Crap! That is a lot cheaper to fix but still, CRAP!
Next day a new TiVo and a new CPU fan are in my possession. I need cablecards for the TiVo and have two from the previous unit. Only one is needed for the new one but it has to be the M-Card, not the S-Card. I start thinking this is going to be the next problem. I must have the old card type rather than the one I need. A quick Google on my card tells me it is an M-Card. Hurrah! Plug it in and the TiVo is not so convinced. I need an M-Card. Quick cal to cable company says no problem. Place isn’t open until tomorrow but it is an easy swap. Meanwhile, I can replace the CPU fan.
Next day, a quick swap is performed and I have an M-Card. The TiVo likes it. I get some details and call to activate. Done. No picture yet but I’m sure it takes a while. Later on, still no picture. A call to cable company and we run through some stuff. Should be working they say. It isn’t. All tricks tried. No luck. We’ll send out a guy – tomorrow. Okay.
Next day guy arrives, tries all I tried and no luck. He is confused. Calls the office and they un-pair the card and my account and then re-pair them. Bingo! We have pictures and sound. Something is working. Shame we couldn’t have tried that yesterday but never mind. Is everything working now. Appears to be until, oops, a couple of days later, the website – this website – seems to have vanished. A little tech support from the hosting company and it turns out the database password has miraculously changed to something different in one of the website config files and it is nothing like the password I set up years ago when I created the site. (This is a password I have not needed since so do you think I know what it is supposed to be?? Of course not.)
All of these things are now fixed. The question now is, what’s next? Place your bets on the next thing to go wrong…
I previously wrote about how I would get spam comments on this blog. Since I wrote that piece, my spammers have moved on. Some times they leave me alone completely. Nothing for a day or so. I get quite perplexed by what must have gone wrong. However, they always show up again.
I wonder whether they read the previous piece on spam since I get a lot less spam for the bio image they used to use. Maybe they track responses to spam and lay off those that are not any use. I do still get some, though, so it can’t be that entirely.
Now I am getting some far more varied spam efforts. They pick on any post and they come in three categories. The first are the weirdos that have huge messages about everything from movie downloads to fake passports. They are so obvious, I can’t imagine why anyone would accept them.
The next group are the SEO crowd. I get so many messages from people who are offering to improve my website from a search engine optimization point of view. They all come with similar templates so whether I actually need their help or not, I have no idea. I don’t want it anyway!
The others are brand sellers. Right now I am getting a ton of Ugg merchandise sites showing up and have started to get NFL jerseys now the season is underway. Again, since the title of their comment is the website, they are not too hard to spot! I sometimes read the contents and that can be hilarious. They write something that is designed to sound like they have read the post and found it the most inspiring piece of work ever. Fantastic stuff.
What I am hoping for today is to see whether I can get a nice dose of irony and get some of them to comment on this post. We shall see! Meanwhile, congratulations to the one spammer that described my site as awful! Originality is appreciated.