A couple of minor “admin” changes:
- If you want to get an email subscription, you can do so by using the “Subscribe to Blog via Email” option at the bottom of each page. Or, if you leave a comment, you can simply check the “Notify me of new posts by email” box. If you’re currently using the old system, please try to switch over to this new variant. Long story short: I can’t access the Feedburner service that I used to use
- For the same reason, I have switched the RSS feed. It should point to http://www.zx81.org.uk/feed — indeed it may already do so — but please check and update if you use it
- I’ve added “Share” links on many of the pages. Some sites are a bit too in-your-face, practically demanding that you share posts. I’ve tried to add the functionality without being too obnoxious. Having said that, please do share my posts!
So there I was, trying to be a good Internet citizen. I updated my web server to use the latest version of Linux and… Boom! It would display the first post and then just peter out.
Unfortunately I don’t have the time or patience right now to track down exactly what the problem is — presumably something to do with PHP — so here you go: a new theme. It’s one of the ones I considered before I switched last time. A bit more minimal, more monochrome than last time. I like the minimal, and the lack of colour makes the pictures pop a bit more so it’s not all bad.
I just hadn’t planned on switching just yet…
I have just moved ZX81.org.uk to a new web server for reasons that are too dull to explain here. The good news is that it should be faster and, hopefully, more reliable than before. The bad news is that there are still a few things that I need to do before we’re 100% whole again.
The main gap is where you’d normally expect to see a picture you might see the word “photopress.” This is because a WordPress plugin that I used to use no longer works on my new server. I’ll gradually move everything over to… something that works. Unfortunately there is a deadline and there was no way that I was going to get everything ready in time.
Update 9 August 2011: I’ve partially (and temporarily) fixed the problem with the photopress plugin. I installed a newer version but my medium term plan is to move away from using a plugin to manage photographs.
If you’re seeing any pictures missing from ZX81.org.uk at the moment this is because of a glitch in the way that I synchronise my pictures from my computer to Flickr. In short a large number of images were removed and I’m having to go back, find out which pictures I’d used and update all the relevant blogs. Please let me know if you find one that I missed.
I normally try to be pretty positive here. Most reviews you’ll find here are of products that I’ve bought with my own money and that I’m broadly happy with.
That makes this post the exception.
You may remember that ZX81.org.uk went off-line for over twenty-four hours last month. Shortly afterwards I switched away from Adept Hosting, but it’s not only, as you might expect, because of the reliability.
I posted the following review at Review Centre:
When their systems are up and running everything was fine. Technical support tended to be accurate when a response was received.
That’s the good. But there’s way more “bad” to note. Their servers were not terribly reliable and tended to go down for extended periods of time without warning and with no mention on their support website. Worse, getting through to their technical support team was almost impossible. I have sent four messages so far about my domain name transfer and have not received any response or action so far. I may have to force through the change through Nominet which wipes out any savings that I obtained by using Adept in the first place.
In short: not recommended.
In Adepts favour they were cheap. Plus some of the things they were bad at — billing for example — worked in my favour.
Maybe that’s their problem, perhaps they’re too cheap. They should be able to support their customers. Their suggested response times are not great and they have, in my experience, consistently missed even those.
But whatever their excuse and however cheap they are it’s no longer good enough and I’ve gone elsewhere.
I try to keep ZX81.org.uk free of direct promotion of my iPhone applications but I think the launch of a new one warrants an exception to the rule.
www.cut is a utility that shortens URLs so that they can be mailed, Twittered or FaceBooked without worrying about character counts or line breaks.
Find out more at the above link or head straight to the App Store to download a copy. It’s free so you have nothing to lose!
Welcome to ZX81.org.uk’s new host. It may look the same as the old one but will hopefully be more reliable!
If you missed the full story, here’s how I reported it on the old server:
If you came here a day or two ago you probably found that ZX81.org.uk was missing.
It turns out that this was not just an extended outage but a planned maintenance activity where they moved my account from one server to another.
Not that they told me — or their own server monitoring tool — about this.
This lack of communication meant that the linkage from the name to the actual server was broken and that no-one, myself included, could access it.
The link has now been restored and if you’re reading this is working correctly.
Hopefully the next change will be a little more seamless. Next change? Yes, frankly this was the final straw and I’m moving ZX81 to a new web host. Hopefully things will be a little more reliable from now on.
You may have noticed that ZX81.org.uk has been offline for at least twenty-fours hours. I don’t know exactly how long, but I first noticed about this time yesterday.
At the moment I have no idea what happened. The company hosting the site have not been terribly forthcoming — no response to the support tickets I raised, no public announcement of the down time — which in a sense is even more disappointing that the downtime. No system is 100% reliable, but you should at least communicate with those most affected.
I am considering whether to move to a different provider (recommendations encouraged), but in the meantime I am hoping that things have returned to normal.
And welcome to the new look ZX81.org.uk! This time I decided to go “back to basics” with a relatively simple, low-graphics theme. Having said that, it’s not quite as basic as things were back in late 1999 when the site first went live. It’s less fussy than the old version and should load more quickly for those people not yet on broadband.
The boring details are: I’m using a slightly modified version of Dagon Design’s NightSky theme for WordPress. Other than a fairly extensive set of plugins, changes were to bring the theme in line for tags and to allow a daringfireball-style “linked list” rather than the rather more static del.ic.io.us list I had previously.
In theory I’m not missing anything that was present before but, as with any significant change, there is a chance that I missed something. Please let me know if you spot anything odd.
If you came to look at ZX81.org.uk a couple of hours ago you may have noticed that it wasn’t here. I’m pleased to announce that we’re back, and better than ever.
The reason for this outage was an upgrade. I generally find it easier to stay with the current version of WordPress but with the big jump to 2.1 I chickened out. Until this evening.
And, honestly, it wasn’t too tricky. I did a test upgrade on my laptop using the webserver and MySQL database in MAMP. I found that the template I use needed a quick update (as detailed on GFXedit) but otherwise the upgrade script seems to have done the job without any trouble. Please let me know if you do find anything wrong.
And the website vanishing? Entirely down to operator error I’m afraid. Need I mention the importance of regular backups?
So overall, a great job by the WordPress team — thanks guys — and a rather shoddy job by my clumsy fingers!