Web Log Fiber

HDR Infrared

2009 is dead, long live 2010!

As always some reflection happens at this time of year, and I took a look under the hood of this website.  Since the first post in 2006, I've sporadically found time to put up random happenings and thoughts.  2009 was no different, although the content is not uniformly distributed:

Pie Chart of Blog Posts per Month

It would appear that half of the content for the year came in the first month.  Furthermore, most of the summer filler content was PhotoFriday postings.  I'm going to put my best foot forward try to be a bit more regular on this website.  Towards that end, I've signed up for Project 52.

Project 52 Icon

The goal is simple: New content every week of the year, or you face public shame.  The self imposed accountability should be the stimulus I need to keep things regular.  I'm slotted in at # 506 and already I am formulating plans to ensure that I do not fail.  I'm sure things are going to happen this year that will derail this endeavour, and I need to have some machinations in place to keep moving forward.

Photography stands in centre stage of current topic ideas.  I'm pretty sure I can form an opinion or two about software development as well.  After those topics, I'll pull out journaling of my life; when I can't seem to generate content anymore I can result to link whoring and empty Photo Friday posts.

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I Had a Bug

Dirty Dog

Anyone who has travelled here from the dirty interweb recently, probably was encountered with a Safe Browsing alert. Well anyone that isn't using IE anyway, it doesn't seem to mind travelling to sites that distribute malware. Basically, DavTraff manufactured a beautiful piece that ran through my wordpress installation and added it's distribution <iframe/> to anything it could.

Alerts started coming in from friends and family, and when I investigated I found that they made use of the online website editor feature in WordPress to facilitate their dirty deed.  Needless to say, that feature has been disabled.  The cleanup was a battle hard won with find, sed and grep. After surgically removing the offending code from over twenty files, my site was once again ready to emerge from quarantine.

Getting off the naughty list required some authentication and an audit process, and now Devauld.ca can be viewed by those protected by Safe Browsing enabled browsers

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Hosting is Slow

I've Got You

The gents at DreamHost are having problems at the moment. From their status wiki:

Most of the filer problems from yesterday have been resolved, but there are still a few outstanding issues. One of our switches is saturated at the moment and is causing high loads on some servers. If you’re still experiencing slow load times with your site or email, this is probably the cause. Our team of admins (who haven’t got much sleep the last couple of days) are down in the datacenter now trying to remedy this situation and hope to have it back to normal shortly. We thank you all for your patience as we try to clean up the last of these issues.

They're usually pretty good, but if you've been wondering, that's why this site is so bloody slow.

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Retooling Devauld.ca

Between the Clouds

As I mentioned previously, I've been tinkering under the hood of my Blog. Odds are you haven't seen that post, or this one, as I haven't updated the DNS entries that will have http://devauld.ca point to this shiney new site. I'm holding out on a couple people who I manage their mail for, so that I won't be putting them out into the cold.

First and foremost, this page is now powered by Typo instead of the homebrewed php, I had previously. I no longer host my own photography, because Flickr does a much nicer job of it. If you want to look at my photos, you can click on the snazzy little badge to the left. I love Flickr's interface so much that I modified the default Typo so that it would do a flickerish collection of my Tags, scaling the ones I post into often larger, and the ones that don't get a whole lot of love, smaller. There is also a neat live search (top of the nav bar), so you can search through the comments and posts for some words, and it's all rolled up with AJAX so you don't even have to reload the page. The comment engine has been changed so you don't need to add an e-mail address or website; simply because nobody did anyway.

You may have noticed that I love the colour green, and I stuck with a green based theme. Typo's themes are really easy to manage, although the CSS differences between IE and Firefox did bite me a couple times. The modifications to Typo were really easy too, now that I have a better understanding of how Ruby on Rails works.

Now it is time for the bad news. I started porting over all of the old content, and I realized it was going to be a swack load of work. Since the pictures are embedded in my posts, and they are now on Flickr, I would have had to look each one of the pictures for the 130 some odd posts I have photos attached to and change them. On top of that, the insertion into the new database, mangled the id's so the comments were appearing on the wrong posts. In the end, I just ended up nuking everything that was causing a problem. I'm not interesting enough for people to go that far back into my history, so I didn't think I was losing anything.

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The New Site

Identification Required

Well, it has been forever since I've uplifted this site. I originally edited HTML by hand on wesdevauld.com. Then I moved to a perl based CGI script that would read out of a flat file that I kept on the server. Version 3 entailed a move to php and using a mysql database, that should have had more backups than it did.

Now, it is time for the next iteration. I was previously wrapped up in being in control of all of my net based content. I wanted to run my own server, hatching e-mails, providing web pages, and protecting myself from whatever the haxx0rs wanted to put onto my machine. But now, that is all changed.

I sat infront of my server and typed in the required emerge -up world to see what was required to bring myself up to date. I was astonished to see that I required over 100 individual packages to be upgraded to keep up to date. In that instant, I decided that I would quit being the greedy hoarding capitalist I was, and trust the internet to hold onto my possessions.

I've moved to a different host to ensure that my plethora of web sites are available all the time. I've moved away from maintaining a webserver when there are others that do it so much better. Instead of piling up byte upon byte of picture data, I've decided to let flickr deal with the details.

After I installed Typo, I spent a good deal of time bogging down my computer uploading the 450+ photos to flickr. I didn't quite get it right the first time, so I ended up killing my computer and its connection a couple times.

I'm down to the nitty gritty now, and I need to push over my old entries, and the pictures associated with them, as well as a couple comments, and I'm all finished.

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