Broken email :(

It has come to my attention that my tannock.net email has been broken for something like the past 3 or 4 weeks. Unfortunately, with the crazy that is my life, I didn’t notice until this weekend. So if you’ve sent me mail to my tannock.net address in that time, it’s quite likely that I didn’t get it.

I’ve now moved my mail to a new server, so if you did send me mail in the last 3 weeks that is at least semi-interesting or important, could you be so kind as to resend it?

Random Photo

So I’ve finally figured out how to make a random photo from my photo gallery show up, and it now is, down a little on the right. One thing it has exposed is my need to rename Photos!

Hopefully, this’ll add some color to my site for all of your enjoyment, as well remind everyone who cares that there’s pictures to look at too, should that be what floats your boat.

Curiously, if you look at the sectional headers on the sidebar, you’ll see that that I have use 3 different variations of “Constructivist Square” over the years. They’re all ostensibly the same font, all the same type-size, but yet there’s clearly 3 different typefaces there. I don’t get it. I suppose I should redo the old ones to match my curent version, which is the P22 Constructivist Square (which, somewhat ironically, rounds the ‘s’), which I bought after getting my new computer, because I idiotically deleted my old fonts directory when I migrated.

My email

So, if you’ve emailed me at steve-at-tannock-dot-net anytime since last, oh, Thursday, I haven’t received it. My tannnock.net mail is down, and will be for the foreseeable future (my understanding is that the box was hacked and used to spam, so then suffered a DDOS attack, which brought it down). In the interim, please email me anything personal at coreth-at-gmail-dot-com, and of course, anything work-related at steve-at-pencilneck-dot-net.

Ping-Power!

(As you may or may not know, Movable Type has a service that allows you to ping a server upon publication of a post. This tells the server that your site has been updated, and your site will then get listed as a recently updated site in their list – There’s a whole slew of these, anyone familiar with the blogosphere will know them.)

From about September through until I moved my site a week ago, my site was no longer able to ping anything. Mostly because creating an entry would time out and fail before it got to the pinging stage of the process. So I wasn’t pinging anything. Prior to september, I averaged around 70 visitors a day to my site. Not huge, but respectable. From September through January, that dropped off significantly, to around 20-30 visitors a day. Now that I’m sending off those recently updated pings again, by visitors are back up – to now around 100 visitors a day (although, the average had been climbing pre-September, and appears to be continuing to climb – I think this week’s average is more like 150 – could be a blip, but is in line with the upward trend I saw through January.

So what does all this mean? Well, I was never sure whether anyone actually “read” those recently updated lists. With the exception of the occasional bout of desperate boredom, I don’t. But it appears some people do. Either that or at any given moment, there’s enough desperately bored people who will read them to make it effective. It also means that if you want to increase traffic to your site, one way appears to be to simply ping as many services as you can find.

The new, improved me!

You may, or may not have, noticed a slight flash when arriving here. You’ve been redirected (temporarily) to test.tannock.net. Any day now, test. will become the www. of this site. Yes, I’ve had some work done. Nothing cosmetic, but I did get all of my bones laced with indestructible adamantium. I was also given a new ticker. Two, if I understood my fantastic host correctly. Mostly this means nothing to you, as the site is otherwise unchanged. For me, it means that when I post an entry, it actually saves, without me having to rebuild all the relevant pages in a separate process, every time. It also means we’re now running of MySQL, rather than the Berkely DB, which was slowing down as this site grew. It also means that I don’t have to regularly delete files in order to upload, say, a new photo, as there’s actually some spare space on this box. Finally, I upgraded to the new version of Gallery, which is much nicer to work with, although I’m less sold on the public interface at the moment. I suspect some template tweaking will follow at some point. Leah‘s site will be following shortly.

You want yer AJAX!? I got yer stinkin’ AJAX right here!

So, everyone and their dog has been on and on about AJAX. And, as a self-respecting developer, I figured I better figure it out. So, I did the sensible thing, and came up with a problem I thought AJAX would be good at solving, stole code from someone, and then implemented it in order to fix my problem.

You may remember that until today, my site would refresh every 2 minutes, if you sat here long enough (don’t worry, I’m not insulted if you didn’t sit here that long). The reason for this refresh was that I wanted the “Now Playing” bit down at the bottom left to always be up to date. I figured 2 minutes would guarantee that it would catch every song as it started playing. But on the other hand, this was skewing stats (page refreshes) and was annoying for anyone reading anything that took more than 2 minutes to read. So today, I stole some code from Kottke, added a little Javascript timer onLoad, and voila! Now just the “Now Playing” section refreshes every 2 minutes, leaving the rest of the page alone. Which, I think, is quite cool.

The silly, geeky thing is just how happy accomplishing this made me. I absolutely feel giddy with success, doing this incredibly tiny, easy little thing.

Photos!

So I’d meant to post the first set nearly one month ago today, but go busy. But better late then never! So for your enjoyment, a double-dose of photos of Liam, from when he was 5 months, and now that he is six months:

  1. Liam at 5 months old
  2. Liam at 6 months old

Those of you who read Leah’s site will note that her photos appear in these collections. But there’s lots more, so still come have a look!

Minor snafu

So those of you who visited this site yesterday or earlier today may have received this page. There was a little glitch on the server yesterday, and as a result, you were seeing the bizarre home page of my gracious host. But never fear, he has since resolved the glitch, and you can now resume your normal viewing 🙂

(as a side effect, those of you receive mail from tannock.net may now notice in the headers that it comes from goddamn.tannock.net. Please don’t take offense. The whole shebang is a result of having to work around the fact that Shaw decided to remove the hostname from my IP, which had prevented me from sending mail. In fixing that, it broke the site. The goddamn. is the workaround on that. Sheesh!)

Not Suitable for Children

Now I know I’ve made it into the big leagues: I’ve been banned by U.S. Libraries! (ok, I know really it’s just automated filtering software, but it’s funny). I got the following email from my friend Brahm today (who’s in the states, cycling from Arizona to Vancouver with his friend Gwendal, who’s cycling the Antipodes):

I tried to access your site today to read the latest update on Liam, and to my surprise, the I could not access it. Apparently, the filtering software this library uses has categorized your website as “Extreme”. Just thought you might like to know that your website is extreme.

I asked the librarian to disable the filter, and was told that it was not possible. I reminded her that US courts have consistently ruled that public libraries have an obligation to provide adults with unfiltered internet access, and she was not aware of that. She only knew that public libraries must filter internet access to avoid exposure of children to obscene or pornographic material.

Yeah, I’m so extreme: pictures of small chilren, reviews of concerts. That’s just like, oh, I don’t know, bomb-making instructions 😉 I suppose I use the occasional profanity… I wonder what exactly got me qualified as “extreme”?

New photo sets

So I’ve two new photo sets to share with you, and a question:

  1. Vancouver Photos. I’ll hopefully add to this album regularly, as I take photos around town. For now, there’s photos from a walkabout I did yesterday, plus a couple from 2 weeks ago.
  2. Kings of Convenience @ Richard’s on Richards, March 11th, 2005.

So if you go to both, you’ll note the former set is posted as I’ve been doing for ages, here on Tannock.net. The KoC photos I posted at Flickr, to check out how that works. And I really like how Flickr works, for the most part. But I shouldn’t use both my own gallery and Flickr, because that just doubles the work involved in upload and commenting, etc, or if I alternate, leave my photos in different places, which is not so good.

So my question to the public at large is: Should I switch to using Flickr? On the plus-side, it has great tagging/indexing/community features, it’s easy-to-use and is “hip”. On the down-side, it’s not mine, I lose some control of the photos uploaded, there’s the “what if it shuts down, or is sold” factor, and given the volume of photos that I post (which still isn’t alot), I’d probably have to pay to use it, whereas my own gallery is free….Any and all your opinions on the matter are welcome.