05/08/2011

How to keep your host from stealing your domains

I’ve been lucky enough to not get caught by hosting services that try to ‘lock’ your domain names into their system. I’ve read a lot of the horror stories, and was intent on avoiding this problem. It’s been a key question to ask of various providers.

 

It wasn’t until the latest round of url purchasing that I finally gave Godaddy a try. I was really upset that I had to stoop to the level of siding with an elephant killer to protect myself from liabilities. However, it worked.

 

If you purchase domains, ssl certs, or other products under the same catagory through a provider separate from your hosting provider, it will make transfering hosts all the more easy.

 

All that’s required is changing the DNS server to the new host, and BAM: it works!

11/10/2010

12 Ladybugs & 1 Fly

Today When I got home there was a dozen ladybugs, and 1 fly, crawling all over the inside-top of the window. How they all got in is a mystery, and why a fly was accompanying is also an oddity. It probably doesn’t seem that odd, but it reminded me that the unexpected does happen. On a regular basis.

 

I wonder if this means I get a dozen wishes. I also wonder if the fly was like their leader to this perilous location. Did they have dreams? Were they fooled?

10/05/2010

Drush for drupal updates

BEFORE READING THIS MAKE SURE YOU’RE HOSTING PROVIDER GIVES YOU SHELL ACCESS. Otherwise, this is useless information.

I have a bunch of drupal websites that I have to update today. Obviously I’ve been pretty lax on updating their code. It’s a pretty common problem for most drupal developers to fall behind in updating the code, because it’s a really boring task, and the updates come in almost daily. It’s also not an emergency if you leave a site be, and rarely update it. I learned how to do it manually, but it is a pain to download all the updates and manually add them. I wanted a way to do this automatically… then I found this:
http://drupal.org/node/199368

This gave me some hint that there was a solution called drush. A module that is not a module. oooOOOooo… Like a secret spell of sorts that had a mystical command that would do the job auto-magically. A command is more difficult than a button to click, but for the time saved I wouldn’t mind a command. It takes a really long time to do these updates, and it’s a management nightmare for me because I have dozens of websites to maintain.

The drush module page was of very little help, as was the readme.txt file. However, at least I know that it does more than update. The only thing that I could discern was that this wizardry would get me access to a tool that I could type “drush pm-update” and my troubles would be solved.

Then I found this link: http://ignoredbydinosaurs.com/2010/07/installing-drush-media-temple-grid-server. Ah directions are cool!

I knew I could slide over to the Linux box and make this work after pounding my head against the screen for a while. However, I think that putty would work better. Putty is a sweet little tool for accessing ssh back ends in a command line. However, it’s only for windows, and a pretty advanced tool. It’s a little old looking, and doesn’t require an install, but it’s a pretty awesome little tool for those who can use it.

Great guns, I was inside my server using commands like “cd” to navigate around the directories. Awesome! Now I really needed to install this thing on a test site so that I know it works correctly. So I navigated to one of my sandbox websites. One that I keep on the production server just for funny purposes like this… new tools. Note that, every time I have to test a new tool out on a site live, or development server It’s best practices to have the all the code and modules be up to date.

The problem is that I host multiple websites on the server, so some of the instructions in the first link were a bit off for me. Then I found this, and watched it: http://civicactions.com/blog/2009/jun/10/drush_20_released_screencast_1_installing_drush_and_getting_started

For a host that has multiple sites, it gets a little more involved. Installing drush system-wide is a bit more difficult and involves adding a symbolic link that turns it into a command able to analyze any “folder” that may contain a drupal install. Another way of saying this is that – it is installed system-wide. Yet another way of saying this, is that all I have to do is navigate to any drupal install by typing “cd *folder*” and then type the magic command “drush pm-update”. Obviously installing it on the test website was a bit of a bad move.

I couldn’t be more happy. Now all those guys that chide me for using drupal (most of them use wordpress) will have one less complaint. I have a simple way to update all of the websites without going through the long arduous task of downloading and uploading… simply to update.

Next time I have to do a system wide update I’m going to figure out how to get it down to a single command… maybe a bash or something. The ultimate would be figuring out how to get it to run at regular intervals, or alongside cron. Well, I’ve got to think about that for a while… However, I don’t have time for now. It’s good.

Steps:

1. Download drush module
2. READ DOCUMENTATION
2. READ Readme.txt – just read up man!
3. Install drush (system-wide OR single-website)… use you’re ftp client maybe, or whatever tool you normally use to install modules.
4. Download putty.exe
5. Set up a putty profile for logging into your production server
6. use putty to get access to server command line.
7. use command line to update *scary for most*

09/20/2010

EVE, automation… How to.

I occasionally play this game for uber-nerds online. It’s called EVE and it’s kinda slow sometimes, and very difficult to play. So here’s the plan to make it a little easier to play.

Step 1: Install Virtualbox an awesomely powerful software.

Step 2: Set up a windows virtual computer. I had to make it a 20 gig virtual computer. You’ll have to figure the software out, and this step may take you a few hours if you’re not familiar with the software… It took me 3 tries to get it right. This is the most difficult step because you’re going to have to obtain a good copy of windows that you actually do own.

Step 3: Configure the virtual computer to run in seamless mode. Yeah, I know this one is a little esoteric, but hey it helps not having to click that dang right control key every time you want to use it.

Step 4: You’ll run into some difficulties with the graphics, so you’re going to have to figure out how to get the video drivers to install properly. I had to boot the virtual machine in safe mode and run an install of some software that connected it to the hardware so that it could display the eve client… but I forgot what it was. Just remember that the client won’t run unless you figure out how to get it access to the hardware. Also, make sure the settings gives the virtual computer at least 64 MB of video memory, 512MB of ram, and 3d acceleration.

Step 5: Install EVE, this may take an hour or two.

Step 6: Make sure that EVE can run, you may still need to do *blank*. Your grapics card may not be supported or some random problem that makes the client not run, or run incorrectly. You’ll probably spend a long time banging you’re head against a wall… but eventually your forehead will break bricks.

Step 7: Install Autohotkey

Step 6: Configure the virtual computer, install updates, just clean it up a little. It’s like a brand new computer running on your desktop. Make it easy to use.

Step 8: Start building AutoHotKey scripts to do all those damn tedious tasks in EVE that you don’t want to do, and set them to hot keys.

Now you’re set, you can play eve in the background… albeit, it will reduce your productivity because multi-tasking is so 90’s.

Projects & Links

Colonize the Moon
About moon/mars/asteroid colonies and space stuff

Computer Dungeon
About
linux/raspberry-pi/bitcoin and computer stuff

VidUploadServer
A video upload server I coded myself

Recent Posts