Site Notes

Re-building "Russian Language Resources"

I've started rebuilding the Russian Language Resources book again, though mostly it just consists of placeholders at the moment. <brokenrecord>Once I get the server fixed, it will go faster.</brokenrecord> I'm actually kind of jazzed to get it going, because I think it could be useful, and I know there are other people out there with similar needs to mine. The worst thing about an intensive year-long course in Russian is the incredible tedium that sets in, reading and listening to the same sorts of things, over and over again...

Anyway, I'll post a link when it's got enough to be useful, but as it is you can search and find it, since I had to set it to 'publish' to work on it properly.

For now, though, I'm going to bed, as the alarm goes off in 6 hours.

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Трудно переводить из сервера на новый сайт

Grr. I've spent most of my evening trying to figure out a GOOD way to selectively import content from the old Sobrania.homelinux.net site to the new Sobrania.net site, and it's just not happening. On the plus side, should I need it, I can backup and restore the current site pretty easily, but I really wanted to be able to transfer things over selectively--certain stories, certain posts, and in particular the Русский resources and web links. As it is, looks like I'll be copying and pasting selectively, and even THAT is a pain in the зад right now because the server is not talking nice at all, and I can't get the network back on the Intarweb until I replace the network card or whatever the heck is wrong with it.

No way around it. Gotta crack the case open. But not tonight. I still have homework, and I want to get some recreational DVD watching done tonight, too. It's already 2000; fortunately, homework won't take but 20 minutes.

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Brief Outage

OK, we had an outage for a few hours, but it was due to scheduled maintenance and upgrades on the host that I neglected to mention. The system didn't quite pop up again right away, but it was sorted out post haste. I'm quite pleased with the support at NearlyFreeSpeech.net so far.

I still haven't repaired my server yet, so it will be a bit yet before the rest of the old stuff makes it over.

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Baen Books CD-ROMs

Baen Books is one of those few businesses that really understands how cool the Internet is, and how to use that for their own benefit--and ours.

First they put up the Baen Free Library, which contains dozens of full-length novels for download with no restrictions. No DRM. Multiple formates--RTF, .DOC, html, several Palm and PocketPC formats. Just download and read.

Aha, but they're sneaky. You download and read a few books, really get into the story line, and discover that the next 8 books are NOT in the library (Talking to you, David Weber). So you shell out cash. Or worse yet, you go to another author there, get hooked on THEIR books, and end up buying some from both.

In the first year that I started visiting the Baen Free Library, I spent over $250 on books from them that I would not have otherwise, including a few hardbacks (which I almost never buy).

So now what? That custom got them lots of exposure, and according to Eric Flint's column there, increased sales substantially for those participating. They followed this up with another brilliant move: Hardcovers sold with CD-ROMs containing even more books, including those not available on the site. So War of Honor, for example, contained the full e-text of that book--plus the first 300 books in the series. And a number of other books by various Baen authors. Plus, you could copy and distribute the CDs at will, as long as you didn't sell them.

So I had all six currently available on my home DSL-based server. These accounted for at least 4/5 of my bandwidth. Now that I'm hosted somewhere, I was trying to cut things down a bit.

It doesn't work very well. I tried cutting out redundant content between the discs, which would have brought it all down to around 1.1 GB, from 4.7 or somesuch, but my error logs were filling up as each page tried to call graphics that were no longer there, and I was getting seriously annoyed.

So I'm going to think about how best to do this so that it doesn't a) cost me lots of money (though the hosting is pretty cheap), and b) doesn't annoy me greatly. Suggestions are welcome.

In the meantime, you can grab the ISOs the same place I did: Oberon.zlynx.org.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Logic Puzzle

  • There are three computers locally, and one remote, linked via DSL.
  • The data must get from one of the local computers to the remote one.
  • The work to get that data moved must be done from a DIFFERENT local computer.
  • Only one local computer can be hooked up to the DSL at a time.
  • Each computer can be hooked up to the DSL or to another local computer, but not both at once.
  • The computer that is being used to do the work sucks. And is running Windows. But I repeat myself.

It's just like one of those freaking logic puzzles. As anyone who knows me well will testify, rational linear thought makes my brain cry. So I'm drawing outside the box, and rather than attempt to solve this puzzle, I'm going to try putting a new NIC in the server so it can talk to the webhost direct.

This is what happens when you pack up your router because your server can do it better. To be fair, however, if I tried to set up the router again, it would probably take 3x as long, and start working mysteriously for no reason whatsoever. It just doesn't get along with this DSL modem.

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User Accounts

I'm not going to go through and re-create the user accounts from the old system because

  • There were only a dozen or so, few of them used more than once
  • It's easy to login using drupal.org or livejournal.com accounts
  • Account self-creation is live and functional

This last is particularly amusing to me, since I could never get it to work right when it was running on my server.

So create an account at will. The basic account will let you customize the layout (not many themes enabled yet, but they're coming) and post comments under your own name, keep track of new stuff since last visit, etc. If you are so inclined, and I judge you worthy (e.g. not a stalker, psycho, or obnoxious 14-year-old), I can enable posting of blogs and stories also.

This may actually be worthwhile to do now, since I have the site hosted somewhere other than my own DSL connection. Thus, the site will be available--even when I'm playing Halo 2.

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Sobrania lives again.

As threatened, I am re-creating my former site, sobrania.homelinux.net, from the ground up with hosting from NearlyFreeSpeech.net. There are some interesting technical hurdles to jump through, and certain things are just not going to make the transition (Baen ISOs, notably), but we'll get there.

This was done a little hastily than planned, mostly because Sobrania (the server) had an unexpected network card hardware failure. Once I get things sorted out, reconstruction should go much faster.

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