Suddenly, a new look…
Aug 18th, 2011 by scaredpoet

Let’s see if anyone notices! 😀


Update:  Yeah, that look sucked.

Lesson (Re-)Learned: back up religiously
Oct 25th, 2009 by scaredpoet


So, I’ve been backing up the contents of this blog pretty religiously for about 5 years now, since its inception.  Every week I’d have a fresh new copy of everything ready to go in case disaster struck.

Then of course, a little complacency and Murphy’s Law conpsired against me, and the one month I finally trip up a bit and lapse on doing backups, disaster finally strikes.

I attempted to upgrade this server to the latest and greatest version of Ubuntu.  It’s a fine server operating system by the way, I highly recommend it.  Anyway, the upgrade had gone well all of my test servers and some productions systems I’m responsible for, so I figured there shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Sadly, no.  The update, for reasons yet unknown, put this particular site into a coma, and all data was unrecoverable.  No way to log in.  No way to save anything.  No way to even get the web server running again so people can read my drivel.

And so I had no choice: wipe out the server and rebuild it from scratch, restoring from backups.  Too bad I got lazy and my last backup was over a month old.

As a result, everything I wrote through the month of October was essentially lost.  Not that it was Pulitzer winning material or anything.  Even so, losing any of your work can be very disheartening.

Needless to say, I’ll be backing up far more frequently once again.  And, being a little more cautious about upgrading tot he latest and greatest server OS until I know for certain things will go well.

Changed names and derailed upgrade paths
Aug 4th, 2009 by scaredpoet


So, my old photo gallery is largely inoperative at the moment. Not that it had anything of really significant value, and I DO have backups of everything, but because the developers of phpwebgallery decided to turn it into something else without really letting users fo the old stuff know what’s going on, the upgrade path is quite botched to say the least.

I appreciate that we’re all about web 2.0 and making things look exceptionally pretty, complete with ditching perfectly utilitarian software names into fruity, ambiguous, twitter-friendly portmanteaus. Heck, I’ve moved this site a few times from the dark and angsty color scheme it originally had into Macster-hip-roundness you see before you today. But when you don’t really offer an easy way for followers of your old code to maintain or migrate, it can be a real headache!

Since I now prefer the more integrated photo approach to my blog, I probably won’t be migrating from phpwebgallery to “Piwigo”. Instead, I will just fix links and move old gallery images into the in-line gallery format as time permits, in order to restore functionality. But seriously, what a pain!

Mark of the Beast (or, “what happened to that rant about Sony?”)
Mar 23rd, 2008 by scaredpoet

Deleted Database

Maybe I should’ve just taken Easter off, and left the site alone. Alas, the fact that I hadn’t written anything in a while left me with a bit of guilt, and so I put together this nice, invective-laden piece about Sony turning into a too-big-for-its-britches ghetto brand. You might’ve seen it, for the few hours it was actually up on this site. Coincidentally, I spent two days writing the piece, and I failed to notice that it was article #666 in the article database. Oh, what a bad, bad omen that was.

Sadly, the article is no more. Because shortly after I wrote the article, I sat back to vainly admire the literary fruits of my labor. And then I noticed a curious bug in the site’s code.

So, I went to fix it. A simple software update should do! Right? No, alas, the software update not only failed to solve the issue, but caused another annoying problem. So I tried another fix. Another bug is created!

Well, now I’m annoyed. So I decide the one way to fix all of this, once and for all, is go directly into the site database and manually edit it.


Read the rest of this entry »
Windows Users: time to update!
Jun 13th, 2006 by scaredpoet

A huge update – 12 patches and bugfixes – for Microsoft Windows XP is scheduled for relase sometime later today. At least one such update is listed as critical and involves a security exploit. So folks, be ready to fire up windows update tonight.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft has also made it clear with this batch of updates that they are going to stop updating Windows 98 and ME operating systems against new vulnerabilities. According to the BBC:

At the same time as information about the update was being released, Microsoft mentioned that it will not be able to patch Windows 98 and ME against a loophole discovered in April 2006.

Fixing this bug in the ageing software would require a major re-write of the Windows Explorer program used in these old copies of the operating system.

Microsoft is not prepared to undertake this work, given that all support for Windows 98 and ME ends on 11 July 2006.

On its security blog Microsoft wrote: “We strongly recommend that those of you who are still running these older versions of Windows upgrade to a newer, more secure version, such as Windows XP SP2, as soon as possible.”

Alas, for those users of the older operating systems, forced obsolescence has finally come.

Oh, and  keeping with the spirit of updates and such, this server has been updated to the latest versions of Apache (2.2.2) and PHP (5.1.4).

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