Category Archives: Blog and Website News

Change In Site URL

In an effort to make the articles on this site slightly easier for people to find and for me to be able to easily give the site URL to people verbally I have moved the blog portion of my site to it’s own URL, Thanks to the magic of mod_rewrite all of the old URLs should redirect to the new site. I don’t guarantee this will be the case forever though so if you are linking to any pages on the blog please find the page again and update your URL.

This move was somewhat spurred by the coverage I’ll be doing from CES this year which will include blog postings as well as some A/V material which will be available through a separate site that will be launching soon. Another reason for the move is that the site has finally received a makeover that has been more than three years in the works and was started over from scratch several times (what can I say, I’m busy). That site now contains some introductory material about myself as well as some information on the many other projects and things I have going on.

Experiments in backyard ballistics with Mentos and Soda Pop

Perhaps he’s not the first to experiment with it but Steve Spangler has a great deal of information about the now popular (at least with the YouTube and Google Video crowd) sport of creating geysers out of soda pop and mentos on his website. From science teachers looking for an eye-catching and engaging demo for the first day of school to crazy teenagers looking to make “cool stuff” happen in the backyard this experiment is bound to be a crowd pleaser.

It’s like stealing from a big monopolistic corporation

I can’t help but assume this amusing page is a humorous jest and ploy to sell novelty toys. It looks like someone had a little too much fun with a soldering iron and superglue and decided to dedicate a webpage to it. Interesting considering the rest of the site looks fairly legit. Of course the patent they claim applies to these devices has nothing to do with the devices themselves.

So what am I talking about? You’ll have to go see for yourself!

Blog software upgraded

Tonight I upgraded from an outdated CVS version of b2evolution to the latest 1.8 beta. I also had to remove a lot of old spam comments that got away from me and, in the interests of time, dumped all comments made on the site since April. If you posted a (non-spam) comment and it was lost in the purge I apologize. The antispam features are much improved in version 1.8 so we’ll see how it holds up in this high traffic environment. If you have any problems or complaints please let me know.

I know that site updates have been few and far between but my life has been quite crazy for, well, a long time now; but especially this summer. I think I can promise a special series of articles in August so stay tuned for those. I also hope to get back to the semi-frequent updates, commentary and news postings you’re familiar with.

In other realms I am still working on a complete redesign of the web site, now over two years in the works (some backlog, eh?) I think that the redesign will go live towards the end of August or beginning of September. Of course if you’re one of the many people or groups who are waiting for a custom software project it means one less thing in front of you in line. Of course there is that book to write which I’ve starting plotting out and could consume quite a bit of time…

Lacking in Updates

You may have noticed the lack of updates the last few days. There are a number of reasons for this but it mainly boils down to a hectic schedule the last few days. I will try to get things rolling again on a daily basis in a few weeks but I would like to write a few slightly longer pieces as well so no guarantees! On a slightly related and interesting note I am serving district court jury duty for the next two weeks which promises to be quite an interesting experience and one suitable for at least one blog entry once I’ve completed my tenure. All I’ll say for now is that it’s quite the interesting process.

A rash of updates

You may have noticed that I’m trying to be a bit more regular with updates to the blog. Instead of posting a glut of entries when I have time I’m writing them all ahead of time and then simply posting one each day unless it’s a date sensitive story. I hope to keep the website more reliable and fresh by having new content each day. I don’t know how long I can keep this up, right now I have a huge stash of topics to do stories on but some are more involved to write up than others so eventually I may not be able to keep up the pace but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. For the time being you should see regualar updates to the blog.

Checking out the latest b2evolution

A few weeks ago I mentioned that b2evolution is working on a new version to address some of the competition from the single user blogging engines. If you want to take a sneak peak at the new version and have shell access to a linux system you can create a directory for b2evo and then issue the following command from inside that directory to get the latest development copy.
cvs -z3 co -P b2evolution

Referers, downtime and caching

As you may have noticed the site has been down for a few weeks now. While it’s an eternity on the internet it flies by in realtime, especially when you’ve got so many other balls in the air. To make a long story shorter…

A few weeks ago I noticed the site was down with a “Forbidden” error. I thought the site might have been cracked so I created a trouble ticket with the host and made sure I had a recent file and database backup. As it turns out the site was disabled due to high CPU usage. Because referrer (or ‘referer’ as the standard spells it) spamming has been a growing problem I assumed the massive hits the site was getting was redlining the CPU and causing the problems. Because I was in the middle of CurrentJam I didn’t have time to deal with it so I setup a temporary page explaining the situation. Finally I got together witha few other people in the b2evolution forums. First, I did some rework on Ed’s referer recheck hack because I needed to do my development on 0.9.12 which was running on my dev server. After I got that working I whipped up the first version of the ReferThis! automatic htaccess generator. With some help we’re now up to build 3. Last night I turned the site back on with the htaccess file in place to limit hits from the bots but CPU usage was still too high for my host to be comfortable with. For the time being I’ve copied the site to another server and will be running it from there until I can bring down the CPU usage.

Thoughts on this are now revolving around some sort of caching system so I can serve semi-static pages to save CPU load. So far I’ve found this 2003 thought by the original b2evolution developer to be of some interest and the WP-Cache-2 project to be another good example of such a system. There’s also this 2002 early thought on the subject. Hopefully some other users will join me and help make this project a reality.

New Blogging Software

The long awaited upgrade to b2evolution has taken place. There are still a lot of loose ends to tie up such as customizing the skin, adding categories and converting the other family blogs over but I have to move on to other projects for the rest of the day. I’ll get back to it I’m sure.

blog set up

finished setting up my blog tonight, let me know what you think about the design scheme, i still need a logo, too bad I have no graphic design abilities, or time to do one, we’ll see what happens. i drove back to school today since i’ll only be here for four days before i head home for the family vacation, i should probably do my cisco quiz and some lit reading now…fun stuff