Heater Recommentation for a Cleaner, Healthier Room

This post may seem a bit out of place in this blog, but seeing as it relates to health, I think that it's important enough to post anyway. It is also an example of how good design and attention to small details makes a difference. The short story is that I recently bought a new heater, and it has done wonders to the air quality in my room. One small change has made the room so much more pleasant to work in.

Computer Dies, but it's Only the Power Supply

I got a bit of a scare today when my AmigaOne XE G4 computer stopped working. Unlike standard PCs, this computer cannot be replaced by simply walking down to a computer store and buying another machine. If this machine did have to be replaced, I would have to order one from overseas. Since I am hard at work with various Amiga projects (particularly this one), this would have been quite a setback.

Upgraded to Silverstripe 2.4.0

This website has just been upgraded to Silverstripe 2.4.0, which adds (amongst other things) hierarchical URLs. While the effort has been worth it, this upgrade was more problematic than previous ones due to version 2.4 including a cleanup of the API, and some rather major changes. Fortunately I now have a test server that I can do trial runs on before making changes to the live website. Here's a quick rundown of the problems that I experienced, and the solutions.

Adbrite Dumped for Poor Performance

It's been a while since I have posted anything to this blog, mainly because I have been busy with other things. I have, however, still kept an eye on it, deleting spam when necessary, and monitoring how the advertising programs are performing. Today I made the decision to dump Adbrite.

Mollom Learns from its Mistakes

Several weeks ago I mentioned that spammers had found a weakness in Mollom. Well, Mollom's learning algorithm has successfully learnt the new tricks that spammers were using, and the spam comments have stopped. The number of spam attempts has not decreased, but I have now had over a week without a single spam comment coming through.

Fighting with Linux

Soldier TuxLast night I had bit of a battle with my Linux server. The evening had already started out badly with a backup of this website failing due to some mysterious Sqlite error (note, that is was on a Windows machine). Next, backups from my laptop to the server failed, and I could suddenly no longer access network shares on the server by the server's name. So, I logged on to the server from my laptop, opened the Samba config file, and added an entry, specifying its netbios name, and then restarted Samba. At this point, the server was visible in the "network neighbourhood" again, and the backups could proceed. Little did I know that this was only the first problem that I was going to be dealing with that evening.

WidgetBucks Removed from This Site

I've been trying out different advertisers on this website, WidgetBucks being one of them. The hope is that, one day, this website will cover its own hosting costs. As of yesterday, WidgetBucks is no longer active on this website. This was done because WidgetBucks popped up a message saying that they were going to disable the account in three days because it was failing to meet "minimum requirements," as outlined in the terms and conditions. I checked the terms and conditions, and there was nothing there that I had failed to meet; they didn't even have minimum revenue requirements. Rather than try to fight the decision, I decided to pull all of their advertisements off this site for the following reasons:

AVLabs Digital Photo Frame Stops at "Initializing"

If you have a digital photo frame from AVLabs (or some other company) and it simply shows "initializing" when you insert an SD card, and switch it on, try a smaller card. I came across this problem recently when my sister bought a digital photo frame, and a 4 GB SD card. Unbeknownst to both of us, a 4 GB SD card, is in fact a 4 GB SDHC (High Capacity) card, and the SDHC standard is incompatible with the SD card that it is based upon.Yes, that's right, despite having SD written on the front (with HC in a different font), and having the same physical size as the original SD card standard, only SDHC card readers can access the data on 4 GB to 32 GB SDHC cards.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Challenges - Reliability and Trust

I have always had my reservations about Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) due to issues such as reliability and control over my own data. To date, no SaaS vendor has addressed my concerns, indeed some people have been openly agressive, to the point of suggesting that I'm so paranoid that I need my head checked. Well, last night I had a problem that highlighted my reliability concerns: the power supply to my home router broke, leaving me without internet until I could buy a replacement today. Due to Dick Smith electronics becoming increasingly poor in its electronics selection (it is now hopeless for the electronics enthusiast), I had to drive all the way into the other side of downtown wellington to Jaycar, in order to buy a 5VDC 3A power supply. One small failure knocked out my internet connectivity for half a day.

Spammers Find a Weakness in Mollom

Logging in to work on this website today, I was greeted by an ugly sight: comment spam! The number of comments on this website had increased by over 150. It appears that spammers have found a weakness in Mollom, and exploited it.

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