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Month: March 2021

Upgrades…

Posted in Blog

A while back I was successful in reclaiming my old domain, and then set up an old Apple Xserve on it to host an equally old web page with some links to random stuff.

This was fun, and even somewhat useful as a ‘start page’, but with my moving everything at work into the cloud and spinning down local services, I shut down my personal servers too.

A few days ago I fired up some shared hosting at DreamHost for the domain, just to see if I wanted to run this thing on WordPress – and if that was the case if I could import everything from Livejournal to it.

The answer to both turned out to be “yes”… With some caveats…

The el-cheapo shared-hosting service was just barely fast enough to run the import process. It took about a dozen tries to get the entries from 2020 loaded, because it was taking the shared host over 120 seconds per image to copy images hosted over at Livejournal, and the process would time out…

I mean, I can’t complain – you simply don’t get much processing power for $4 a month, but I wasn’t willing to go all-in without some testing.

Another symptom of this underpowered shared-hosting thing was the WordPress control panel was pretty sluggish, and even the editor would get wonky in the evenings when all of my digital neighbors were using the server too.

Anyway, I finally got everything imported – including all of the images – and I squeezed enough CPU time out of the shared host to fiddle with some of the internals for WordPress enough to be satisfied with it.

So, today, I sprung for a VPS-like setup called DreamPress, which gives me some dedicated ram and CPU, 60G of storage, and essentially unlimited bandwidth – so I can do a bit more than just blog… I might also set up art and story pages for various characters and settings, or something.

This also came with things like free JetPack – which I use for the company sites, SSL – because everything needs SSL, and even SSH access into the VPS itself – which I’m sure will be endless fun.

All told this endeavor will run me about $300 a year, which is a considerable increase from the $25 a year I spent on Livejournal – but I think there’s enough bonus potential to make it worth it in the long run.

Partly Cloudy

Posted in Blog, and Computers

Last night, after two weeks of simply trying to get employees to log into office.com so that I know they’ll have access when the the mail host changes, I flipped the MX record for my company domain.

While the global DNS was updating, I ran another sync between O365 and Google to catch all of the user-land emails that had happened since the first run. This was fairly quick, save for the marketing director who seems to measure his self-worth by how many emails he has in his account…

The first sync moved about 65,000 of his emails, but was just a proof of concept and was stopped before it finished. The second run last evening moved another 85,000-ish emails over a six hour period.

Meanwhile I have email in my company account going all the way back to 2004 when I started at the company – and there are a bit over 8000 emails in there.

I clearly don’t do enough “work” by sales standards. 🙂

For my own site here I removed all of the old posts and redid the import with a fix for pulling images from external sites… The XML export from LiveJournal randomly put <IMG> calls in single-quotes, and I was expecting double-quotes, so a bunch of attached images didn’t make it in the first import.

I think everything is there now. I’ll be going through over the next week or two and cleaning them all up as far as tags and whatnot.

I’m also still poking around the core WordPress functionality… One thing I’m missing is the ‘listening’ element from Livejournal. I enjoy looking back over the years and seeing what music I was into at the time.

I’m sure I’ll find something… Or maybe I’ll just write something.

Peripherals…

Posted in Blog, Computers, and Thoughts

Back in the old west, your choice of firearm said a lot about you; peacemakers for gun slingers, lever action rifles for ranchers, single-action army revolvers for the law, and bolt-action big-game hunters…

Here in the digital frontier, I like to think a person’s choice of keyboard and/or mouse says similar; gamer, wage-slave, black hat, corpo-hacker, etcetera.

Take my setup for example: Azio “MK Hue” mechanical keyboard and Logitech’s cheapest gaming mouse is telling the world I spend a lot of time at a desk, in a terminal session, in a dark room all by myself (wired peripherals that don’t move, white backlit keys, and no one to complain about CLACKITY CLACK) and my mouse needs are slightly more than basic point and click… I’m probably a corporate network-shaman.

My iMac came with a wireless keyboard and mouse from Apple, and I’d never even taken them out of the box until a few days ago – so I figured I’d give them a whirl to see how life as a true Apple user was.

Dear lord…

The default Apple keyboard is atrocious. No key travel, cramped layout, no tactile or audible feedback – and it’s tiny and weighs nothing… It might be useful for a TV remote or something.

The mouse is even worse… It’s too small, shaped poorly (like half a bar of “Dove” soap), the optics are on the top edge so it no longer sees the mousepad long before you feel you’ve left the mousepad – so it stops working randomly, and the charge port is on the bottom – so you simply can’t charge and use at the same time.

The touch-pad top of the mouse is pretty neat though…

Basically the OEM Apple keyboard and mouse is telling the world “I don’t really use a computer, I bought this to look good in my home office and make people think I’m hip”.

Anyway, I’m back to my Azio and Logitech – but it’s good to see how other folks live on occasion… And if you’re still using the OEM Apple peripherals; self-flagellation won’t score you any bonus points with the ghost of Steve Jobs – do yourself a favor and buy some real peripherals. 🙂

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

Posted in Blog

And sorry I could not travel both…


Here is where my two decade long run on LiveJournal comes to an end, and my journey onward with WordPress begins.

As I mentioned on LJ; I bear the service no ill-will. I wasn’t impacted by the move to Russia in … 2007 was it? And the addition of Cyrillic users didn’t phase me in the slightest.

In fact, the only thing I ever noticed was some slight delays in serving images on rare occasion – which I attributed to them being stored on the other side of the planet, literally.

But, when LJ mentioned today that they needed to switch billing to Rubles for obvious reasons, I decided it was time to find a way to move my thousand odd posts to a new host and new platform.

So, here I am with my luggage in tow.

There’s still a bunch of older posts to clean up, and everything prior to this post will probably look slightly different because of the XML import process; but all of the important bits are here now and can be polished up as needed.

In general I think this will be a good change for me. The editor is a bit busier and it has a tendency to flicker as modals change and it tries to present what it thinks I want to see – but I’ll adapt.

Maybe there’s a focused text editor plugin… I’ll have to go check.

Sensational!

Posted in Blog, and Thoughts

I don’t do “news”, so it can often appear that I either live under a rock or that I’m emotionally detached — because I’m not in a panic over whatever today’s panic is scheduled to be.

Outside of just eschewing ‘news’, I’m also fairly resistant to sensationalism, because I tend to skip headlines and seek out the underlying reason for the article.

Here’s a current example:

Sounds bad, right? Outbreaks everywhere! And won’t someone please think of the children!

But, let’s get beyond the headline here… My first instinct with anything that quotes numbers is to see what story the numbers really tell. So, to the Internet!

With a quick internet search I find that there are 4,126 public schools in Michigan, so 62 is just about 1.5% of all the schools referenced in this headline. Also in this internet search I discover that, as of last year, there were roughly 1,745,300 public school students in Michigan, so 247 is 0.01% of the student body.

Now if we average 247 cases across 62 schools we end up with about 4 students per school.

I know I’m old, but “4” doesn’t strike me as an “Outbreak”. I mean, pre-covid, would four students coming down with the flu even be known by the students in the school? Would it make the school paper let alone regional news?

Probably not, but hey — fear sells clicks.