Dented Reality v5.0

You’re now looking at (I think) the fifth major revision of this website.

It’s been a (long) time coming, but I finally got it online today. I thought it would be fitting. It is a day of change after all. It’s definitely time for a change here at Dented Reality — the previous version was online for around 5 years (April 20, 2003 according to the WayBack Machine). I think it stood up quite well considering the changes that took place in the browser landscape in those 5 years.

Dented Reality v4.0

Dented Reality v4.0

You may notice that there are a number of new posts here, which just magically appeared. That’s because I was posting while I was developing this site on my laptop, but I didn’t want to post to the old site. For the record, here are all the posts that are new as of today (oldest to newest):

There are going to be a lot of small tweaks to be done still, and I’m sure there are some broken links etc, but I think this version is quite a step up from the previous one. It reflects a change in direction for the site and I think does a better job of showing who I am and what sort of projects I engage in.

Dented Reality v5.0

Dented Reality v5.0

Comments are now open (and powered by IntenseDebate), so please feel free to leave a note on what you think of the new site on this post!

Comments Disabled

Well, I’ve had enough of dealing with blog-comment-spam for now, so I’ve decided to disable comments until I can come up with a satisfactory solution. I have 123 blog posts that I’m going to have go through by hand – AGAIN – to remove spam from. I don’t have time for this, but I refuse to be a PageRank monkey for these losers by leaving their links up and accessible on my site.

It really saddens me to have to do this, and I think it reflects very poorly on the current state of the internet. Damn the idiots who are blog-comment-spamming, damn them to hell and back. People like you are making the internet a worse place to be. We’d all be much happier if you would go away and die in a hole somewhere.

Settling In At DreamHost

Well, things aren’t going too badly with DreamHost, I’m sorting out all my domains and CGI, databases, PHP etc and things are looking good. When I get dentedreality.com.au across, then I will know things are good 🙂

UPDATE: Things are looking very good – .com.au is transferred properly and appears to have propagated pretty much everywhere, judging by the traffic on my old account. I’ll leave it there for a couple days longer and make sure I’ve migrated everything properly, then close my account at phpwebhosting.com.

New Web Host Soon

Well, I think I’ve finally outgrown phpwebhosting.com as my host, so I’ve started the process of setting up my new account with DreamHost.com.

The reasons that I have decided on DreamHost are along these lines:

  • UNIX Servers (personal requirement)
  • SSH/Shell Access (crucial)
  • .htaccess Editing (crucial)
  • CGI/PHP (crucial)
  • Ability to host multiple domains/subdomains (can only have 1 domain on phpwebhosting)
  • IMAP Mail server – good benefit, since I am switching to web-based mail
  • Good price – for me to host 10 domains there (6 properly + 4 mirroring) is $14.95 per month
  • Good reputation – checked around and only heard good things. The usual criticism of their support, but hopefully I won’t be using it much, so it won’t matter 🙂
  • FTP – I can add users who will have FTP access to certain areas on my servers, which will be good for sharing some space with friends
  • crontabs – can edit them and set them when I want

So please bear with me over the next few days as things might get a little messy on this site (and related ones) while I am moving things around between this host and my new one.

UCMore At It Again

A couple weeks ago, I realised that the UCMore Toolbar was hitting my website something like 20,000 times a day (based on the User Agent string in my Apache logs). I looked into their site and it looks like it’s trying to get my favicon.ico (which I don’t have) to use as part of a suggestion for similar content to people using their toolbar.

I emailed the guys there and asked them to remove my site from their toolbar because that traffic was a waste, and the icon wasn’t even there. They replied courteously and said that they’d remove my site. A couple days later, the traffic dropped off to around 10,000 hits a day, but has since returned to, and exceeded, 20,000 hits a day.

I emailed them again, and they say they are taking care of it, but so far it looks like something similar is going to happen again (ease off, then jump up again). If things don’t change, I’m going to have to revert to a technique I have seen used around the place and use Apache Rewrites to redirect all traffic coming from their toolbar back to their site, which will be something like an automated DoS I suppose, although I don’t suppose that this amount of traffic will cause any problem on their server, but it’s a statement if nothing else.

Waiting, waiting — will give them 5 days from now.

blosxom Plugins Online Again

In case you didn’t notice, all my blosxom plugins are working again!

Now that that is taken care of (ended up being a naming conflict within a plugin), I can eventually get around to doing what I had actually intended on doing, which is upgrade to the official release verion 2.0 of blosxom, and then implementing some more plugins to create better RSS feeds and probably sub-topic menus within the templates to aid in navigation of the sections.

Thanks to phpwebhosting.com (my web host) for giving me access to an error_log, even if it’s only a shared one across the whole server 🙂

Domain Offline… Again

Up until recently, I would have recommended phpwebhosting.com with flying colours for their fantastic, very cheap web hosting service. Unfortunately, over the last couple weeks, I have had a few days where pretty much for an entire day my site has been unreachable. I haven’t really had any feedback from the staff there as to what’s going on, except to say (after the fact) “we had to do some upgrades, but they are finished now”… only to have another day’s outage soon after.

I still think they are a great provider, but they are going to have to be very stable for a pretty long time to get me back to my very happy status of yester-week…

Got Some Flavour For You

Here’s the flavour files and style sheets that I use for this blog. Please note that they have been modified slightly (story.dr especially) since I am using a “custom” version of blosxom, with some Apache Rewrites to handle my URLs in a prettier way than normal 🙂 This may or may not have worked, so you might need to play around a little with that one file. Also, you will probably want to modify the paths to the style sheets in head.dr so that they are full paths, or at least root-relative (which is what I use, if you are interested).

Also please note that I am using these plugins, so there are references to their output in the flavour files;

  1. writebacks
  2. calendar
  3. breadcrumbs

That’s it – unzip and enjoy! I’ve named the flavour files *.dr to avoid overwriting any of your existing flavours, so that shouldn’t be a problem for you either 😉