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power outage caused webserver to go down21 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 installed02 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 producer14 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.

I wish 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 guess8 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 up.

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 were fine.

Dmoz ain't what it used to be26 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 stupid things.

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 ADSL6 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 macros from 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. Eventually the phone company 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 folks!.

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 filesystem.

Bah. Just to be paranoid, I rebooted instead of restarting things.

Another week, another fuckup at the Phone Company15 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 Sucks8 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 likes it!

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.

While I'm not an expert, I believe the information on this page is correct. Please send suggestions and corrections to the webmaster.
This web site runs on 100% Open Source Software. This web page was last changed on 09/05/2000 at 09:57:34.