Archive of older news
|power outage caused webserver to go down||21 Apr 2001|
Well, we had a nasty storm last night here in Lincoln Nebraska, and
apparently my apartment lost power from around 21:30 on the 20th
until the wee hours of the morning. My little UPS tried valiantly
to keep the web server up, but it was just too long for it.
Everything came up fine this morning though.
|New ADSL router installed||02 Feb 2001|
My router went down again today. After many phone calls, much head
scratching by the phone techs and a lot of waiting in lines,
I finally got a replacement router. This one trained up instantly
and it appears to have better throughput too! I hope this is the
end of my ADSL problems.
|Now an information producer||14 Jan 2001|
According to the most recent ADSL transfer statistics from my ISP,
I am now a net information producer. Last month (covering Dec-Jan),
I uploaded 1.4GB of information while downloading only 1GB. So far
for this month, the gap is even widening.
Considering how much I surf, I find this pretty impressive.
|Wow, the hits are up!||27 Nov 2000|
It looks like the submissions to all the search engines I made a few
months back have finally kicked in. A month ago, I was doing pretty
good to get 1000-1200 hits per day. So far this week, I've now
averaged over 3000 hits per day.
Internet Nebraska would get their
ADSL Transfer Stats
page working again. I don't think I'm close to my quota, but it
would be nice to know before the bill arrives.
|Not the router, I guess||8 Nov 2000|
I took my router to the phone company to have it checked, just like
I was told to do by their repair person. The techs couldn't find
any problems with it, but they did upgrade the firmware to the
latest version. This meant I had to take it to my ISP (Internet
Nebraska) to have it reconfigured. When I got home after all of
this, I found my router still couldn't train up very quickly.
Looking at my logs, it appears that it took about 3 hours before it
was able to get a connection.
I guess I need to talk with the phone company again and see what's
|Dead ADSL router?||7 Nov 2000|
Well, my ADSL line went out again around noon today, and as of 19:00
tonight, I still haven't been able to get it to retrain on the
phone line. The phone company came out and checked my line, and
they now say that the problem is my router. I'm supposed to take it
in and get it checked and/or replaced. The phone tech said the line
was "only 8,000 ft", which to him seemed to indicate that things
|Dmoz ain't what it used to be||26 Oct 2000|
A couple of weeks ago, I joined the
Open Directory Project (dmoz)
as an editor in the
Clock and Watch
area. Soon after I joined, they
changed the rules.
Ugh. Now I'm a new editor trying very hard to keep them from doing
The two biggest changes are that they appear to want to eliminate
all websites from the directory that could be illegal in any
country, state or city anywhere in the world and that they now are
claiming copyrights over everything that editors write on dmoz,
including emails and forum articles.
Actually, I don't think they want to rule out things that might be
illegal in the Kongo or Iraq, just those things that large and powerful
countries or companies might find objectionable.
|2 weeks of solid ADSL||6 Oct 2000|
It has been two weeks since I've had ADSL problems. I guess
getting a phone company repairman to check my line may have done
something. I wish I knew for certain, but they never gave me a
followup call on what they found.
In other news, I've finally taken a serious look at the apache
logs. I've turned on the "referrer" and "agent" logging, which
has been quite enlightening. I had worried that my use of PNG
images and Cascading Style Sheets in the HTML might be causing
problems for many viewers, but so far, the agent logs show that
most people are using reasonably new web browsers. The referrer
logs let me see what kind of search terms people are using for
search engines. Unfortunately, this has shown that most people
find my XStar page, not because they are interested in the N-Body
problem or XStar, but because the documentation covers a wide
range of math topics.
|NEW! Improved! Faster web pages!||25 Sep 2000|
I originally obtained the
WML templates and
Tom Gilbert's linuxbrit.co.uk
website. This has been a huge help and I really appreciate Tom
letting me snarf his code, however, it is clear that Tom and I have
different styles. I'm really a minimalist when it comes to web page
designs, and much of what I've changed from Tom's original design is
to remove many of the "fancy" features.
The most recent change I
made was to remove two levels of nested tables from the navigation
menus. This knocked 1.5KB-4KB off the sizes of the web pages, and
makes a small, but noticeable difference in the time it takes
netscape to draw the page. I have also removed most of the changes
to the font selection, the font sizes, and the colors used for
links. They now default to what you have selected in your
browser. So, if you don't like how this site looks, you can
change it! ;->
|Massive seismic shifts in Nebraska!||21 Sep 2000|
My ADSL line was out for most of the day, my ISP couldn't help.
came out and checked the line.
Apparently about 2 months ago, there was a MASSIVE seismic
shift in Nebraska because despite being "close enough to the central
office" for the last year and a half, my apartment is now "much too
far away to ever get ADSL."
When I asked the repairman how it had worked almost flawlessly for
the last year and a half, he replied "Uh, you mean this isn't a new
install? Oh, uh, well then maybe I'll check a few more things." It
makes you wonder how many new ADSL customers are being turned down
just because the phone company doesn't want to be bothered.
|Anyone seen my apache processes?||18 Sep 2000|
Well, I checked the apache logs tonight, and it appears that no one
has accessed midwestcs.com since 9:00 AM. Checking further I found
there weren't any apache process running! Ack! Sorry about that
I'm not sure what happen, but I suspect it is related to me trying
to process some really large image files. I've filled up the
disks several times and run out of swap several times. I also
ended up with a swapfile that was in use, but deleted from the
Bah. Just to be paranoid, I rebooted instead of restarting
|Another week, another fuckup at the
Phone Company||15 Sep 2000|
Welp, the local phone company (Alltel) fucked up my ADSL line again
for about 2 hours this afternoon. So far, they haven't charged me
the ~$40 fee for their mistake, but this is getting old.
|The Phone Company Sucks||8 Sep 2000|
I woke up today to find that my ADSL line had been down for several
hours. I called my ISP, and they blamed the phone company and told
me to dial 611. The Phone Company said that, starting Sep 1, they
would now start charging
$38.50 to check the line if they decided it wasn't their fault.
I called my ISP back and nice folks at
Internet Nebraska seemed to have
managed to get the phone company to fix the line.
|New website is now available!||6 Sep 2000|
Welp, I just put the new website into production. I hope everyone
|Getting close to "release quality"||4 Sep 2000|
I showed off my new website to a bunch of friends last night and they
seemed to like it. Of course, they could be just being polite, but
considering the crowd, I don't think that is too likely. :-> I was
give several suggestions and a few bugs were pointed out, I'm not sure
if I'm going to fix them all before I switch over though.
Oh, and that was a fun "we meeting" guys and gals! I've never seen
sopapillas made before, and they were great. Of course, the rest of
dinner was too.
|Still dazed but not quite as confused...||2 Sep 2000|
I'm making progress on this website. I've learned a lot about HTML,
CSS, and WML in the last few days. I think I'm almost to the
point where I can concentrate on content rather than fluff. It
still isn't the prettiest website around, but I don't much care, I
just want something that is reasonably easy to use and, more
importantly, reasonably easy to maintain.
I would like to say thank you to Jick for pointing me to
WML, which has
made my life much easier. If you have ever seen my old website,
you will realize what an improvement it has made.
I just checked, and these pages pass the W3C HTML validator! WhooHoo!
|Dazed and confused...||31 Aug 2000|
Well, I've started to learn how to use WML. This has forced me to
learn perl again. (I wrote my first perl program something like 10
years ago, and haven't touched it since.)
We'll see how this thing turns out.