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Everybody needs a blog

posted Jul 24, 2011, 4:26 PM by Boyce Crownover   [ updated Jul 24, 2011, 4:59 PM ]
Sunday, November 11, 2007, 08:29 PM
Posted by Administrator
Today I decided I needed to update my site pages. I have a little 500Mz Annvix Linux server at home and I've been making a pretty steady stream of updates to my site on it, and when I'm satisfied with it, I copy down a backup of the existing site and then upload the one I've been working on. I've got some tools to make it easier, but they didn't work exactly as planned:

I use a version of the uploadsite.pl script (found on my software pages) to automatically push my site up. The copy down worked like a charm but the delete existing site script is still a little buggy. I got it fixed enough for now and then corrected the uploadsite.pl script a little to make it continue working after ftp timeouts. I set it up to do a check for connectivity before each upload and if it isn't there it will now reconnect. It had shown timeout problems before, so this corrects that.

The math flashcard front page (see homepage) didn't look right due to different default css resources between the local and remote server, so I changed it's layout to use tables more effectively. I don't like using tables to layout html, but sometimes it just works better than the alternatives.

Finally, I got around to creating the blog and got this nifty script which made most of the work very easy. As an added bonus, it appears to create files which will merge up and down nicely so I can post to either the home private server or public server blog and then sync them up later. As far as features go, it had everything I was looking for and an RSS feed tool which I didn't even realize I might want until I noticed it was there for the clicking.

I wouldn't have put so much time into my own stuff except that I don't have to work tomorrow (officially, though I may do a late evening update) so I can stay up until 3:00 and not suffer any terrible consequences, in fact, it may make it easy to take a late nap and thus be even better for the evening update process. I like to be well rested when I get ready to mess with production severs, especially when I'm going it alone.

Now the only thing I know I need to do is add the blog to something that will make it visible on the main page without being overbearing. I'm thinking that what I should do is put it in a div that starts out opaque but then shrinks the amount of the blog it shows and becomes mostly transparent. I'm still considering where to remove the site news information or not, since it basically does the same duty as a blog but it is much less active than I expect this to be.

On the learning curve process, this was (almost) all done from my new MacBook. Right now I'm still in the phase of trying just to learn how to use it easily. I've got the two-finger to scroll part down I think. I've got the Apple+Q to close and two finger tap for context menu (equivalent to right click for MS user) down. It still bugs me to have to use the Apple instead of the Control key for some things. I am still not used to not having real Page-Up and Page-Down buttons and the lack of an End key is irritating the heck out of me. Even the missing Delete key irritates me. It's a slick little machine, but it doesn't have all my creature comforts. I'm learning to get by without them though and to use the alternatives, it just takes time to break the old habits.

I have the Annvix server set to recognize the requested URL so I can have multiple websites on there, but it means I need to be able to tell the machine I'm using where to find that particular site. For Linux it means putting an entry in /etc/hosts, for Windows it means an entry in C:\Windows\drivers\etc\lmhosts and for the Mac it means that I put an entry in /etc/hosts and then update the host database with niload -v -m hosts . < /etc/hosts and finally clear the cache with lookupd -flushcache. All of this is made slightly easier by using a terminal called iTerminal instead of the default OSX one. It isn't much better and the arrow keys still don't send what the Linux terminal is needing, but it's good enough.

I hate to say it, but when I compare the ease of use between the MacBook and a regular Linux installation, it seems like the Linux is easier to me. I suspect it is just from long experience, but we'll see after a few months if I still feel the same way. For the most part it feels like I'm using Solaris with a much prettier interface than it used to have.
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