Category Archives: Blog

Stuff about this blog and Wordpress.

The Photos are Coming Back

I stopped having flickr send my moblog posts over here to the blog in July. Well, since I don’t write too many blog posts, I think it’s time that my moblog makes a return. I made a set at flickr with the pictures I’ve moblogged since July. This is the link to the set: Missed Moblogs. Thanks for your patience. :)

Why I Left TextDrive

From the TextDrive helpdesk site:

Please be aware that due to some temporary hardware and network problems we need to work out, backups are not currently being made on any of the shared servers. This situation may take some time to resolve.

So… let me take this opportunity to remind people how important it is to own your data and keep local copies of anything that is important.

This was posted on July 13, and it has not been updated since. In other words, none of my data has been backed up in a month and a half. Even though my blog has been on my VPS at the wonderful Rimuhosting for about 6 months now, I still host my email on my “legacy” TextDrive account (which is down right now…again!). The email server has been down way too often the past few months, most often at peak business times, and I can’t take it anymore. I will be moving the remainder of my Internet presence away from TextDrive this weekend.

I know that some occasional down time is a fact of life on a shared hosting account, but what bothers me most about my entire TextDrive experience is the attitude toward the customer that pervades the company. In most of my communication with the company (whether it be direct customer requests or just trolling forums), the attitude has been similar to this: “There’s something wrong with your server. Another dumbass user like you did something he shouldn’t have. It must suck to be you. Deal with it.” The company is rarely apologetic and frequently blames its customers rather than take responsibilty for its poor service. One thing I learned at Rackspace is that hosting is easy. It’s service and the customer experience that is important. Unfortunately, service and customer experience are the most difficult things to get right, and very few hosting companies are able to pull it off. That is why Rackspace has been so successful while charging more than most of its competitors.

I joined TextDrive because of the hype in the open source community, and I love the idea that a chunk of my bill every month goes to an open source project. I would have been an easy customer to keep. I don’t want to worry about my web and email host, and I definitely hate switching, but I have been driven away. I stuck around too long, and I feel bad that the chunk of money that didn’t go to an open source project went into the pockets of the jokers at TextDrive. I rarely care enough to publicly slam a bad company, but the attitude at TextDrive is deplorable, and I would advise all my friends to steer in another direction.

Whew! Glad I got that off of my chest. I promise my next post will be much more positive.

It’s Settled

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been experimenting with new themes for the blog over the past few weeks. I know it’s not kosher to experiment on a production site, but most of you read my blog via the RSS feed anyway. The theme is a tad more Web2.0ish than I normally like, but it’s simple, and it stays out of the way. I like a lot of whitespace, and this theme has that in droves. There’s still some tweaking to do, but the main theme won’t change anymore.

I have some good posts that are currently being edited for final posting, and I hope to accompany the new theme with a bunch of interesting writing. There’s a lot going on in my life from a technical and career standpoint, and I’m excited about sharing it. I also have a cool announcement that I’m waiting until tomorrow to post. The rest of this year should be really good for me and for the blog.

Now @ TextDrive

I finally decided, after a botched update of plesk, that I would no longer have my own dedicated server. It’s too much work for no profit, and only existed as a legacy of my consulting days. So, I bit the bullet and transferred everything over to TextDrive. It was simple and painless. There were a few permissions issues with getting my Maildirs all moved over, but it was a success! The server at ServerBeach is gone now, so if my site wasn’t working for you yesterday or today, then the DNS was really slow to propogate into your neck of the woods. I’ve also made a semi-significant change in that the blog URL has changed from blog.neror.com to neror.com. I’ve put a permanent redirect over at blog.neror.com, so if you have a decent RSS reader, it’ll know to change.

That being said, TextDrive had a significant change of their own today (two days after I signed up). They’ve merged with/been acquired by (notice the difference in the wording of the blog post and the press release) Joyent. Joyent’s stuff seems pretty cool, and I’m looking forward to using their webmail client. I hope TextDrive can keep its community feel, though. That’s what I really like about it. There was definitely a bonus, though. They’ve upped the disk space quota from 2GiB to 3GiB. Still, the best part is that I don’t have to worry about the server at all. What a relief! Oh, everything’s a lot faster, too. 😀

New Theme!

I finally upgraded to the latest WordPress, and all of the security holes in my blog are now filled. After doing this I realized the the blog was a little boring. Not just the content (there’s not much I can do about me being boring), but also the theme. So, I wasted a little time at work installing and tweaking a new theme. This one is the winner of the WordPress theme competition, and it was the one I liked the most. It was also one of the few I could use without having to mess with the image sizes in my moblog posts.

I did a little (very little) tweaking of the layout, and I learned a lot about wordpress themes and pages. I must admit, I was considering a switch to drupal, which I’ve used on a couple of side projects recently. Drupal is probably the best PHP CMS out there, but I like WordPress’ simplicity. I’m only using it to do one thing, so I don’t need all of the power and flexibility of drupal. Plus I already had WordPress all set up how I liked it, and the idea of having to migrate data from WP to drupal made me cringe.

Let me know what you think. I think the site looks a lot better now. Oh, I also have a Contact Form and an Archives section now. What fun!

RSS Back!

Ok. It looks like the RSS feed is back. Wanna know what I did?

NOTHING

That’s right. It just magically started working again on its own. As nice as that is, I’d still like to know why it was doing that. Maybe I’ll dig into the Apache logs and see if I can spot anything…NAH, I’ve got better things to do. Welcome back newsreaders!

RSS Feed Issues

I am aware of the blank document at my feed url, and I’m looking into it. Thanks to the people who pointed it out. Hopefully, I’ll have it fixed this weekend. Thanks for your patience!