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Messages - Xepher

General Chat / Re: Does all work suck?
May 06, 2010, 05:17:51 PM
Same reason I quit my last job... once I mastered the few unique things about the job, it felt like a real waste to spend all my time/talent just doing the same basic things over and over. I never got the chance to build anything new. Worse, was that I wasn't just stuck maintaining systems I'd built or setup, but rather had to fix the billion stupid setups various clients had.

I think you're right about "jobs" all being monkey work these days. I really think owning something independent is the only way to make it work. If I can scrape the money together, I'm seriously looking at opening a sandwich shop. Either a Jimmy John's or a Firehouse Subs franchise. Both look like pretty decent investments. Simple to run (no real cooking) with high profit margins. JJ's actually lists approximate income and revenues on the site, as well detailed cost outlays. Basically, I need to scrape together about $100k cash + $250k loan, but stand to make $250k/year net profit. Out of curiosity, anyone here ever worked at any places like that? What was it like. Also, what about just eating there... which one do you prefer?
General Chat / Does all work suck?
May 05, 2010, 08:11:04 AM
So I quit my job last September, as many of you may know. I've been jobless since, living on my savings. It's not critical yet, but it is shrinking. I moved to Houston in December, thinking the change of place would inspire me a bit more, perhaps help me find some direction for my life. However, every time I even try to look at employment stuff, I just get depressed. It seems like all jobs suck. I refuse to believe this is true though. I'm determined to find a job that I can actually somewhat enjoy, AND have the rest of my life work out nicely too.

So, my question to all of you is this... are there jobs that DON'T suck? What about your own job, what do you do, how do you feel about it? Is it a challenge? Worthwhile? Do you feel like it's going somewhere? Does it make the Earth a better place? Or are you, like me, feeling stuck in jobs that are pointless dead-ends that just shower you with money for doing no real work?

Don't limit your answers to any sort of "rational" answer either. I'm just trying to find some sort of job that doesn't make me want to commit genocide. (Yes, genocide... "I'm a pimp, and pimps don't commit suicide.") I don't care if it's local, or in Lithuania, anything has to be more interesting than what I've been doing in IT.
Announcements / Re: Accounts Pending Deletion
May 05, 2010, 08:02:41 AM
Alright, time to start disabling accounts. I got replies from about 8 people, so the rest get disabled for a few weeks, to see if that garners their attention. Deletion after that. Pay attention people! :-)
Applications / Re: The Weekly Toot
April 23, 2010, 03:34:15 AM
Alright, you're in. You should have an email with login instructions.
I fail... I gave you a bad code example above, and you copied it directly (instead of just adding the &scriptaculous=1 part)

It should be

<script type='text/javascript' src=''></script>

Note the added "src=" part in front of the url. I don't know how to edit your site correctly, so I kinda kludged it by editing the template file and then just nuking the cached versions. It looks to work correctly though, and both the banner and lightbox are working correctly on your main site.
Announcements / Accounts Pending Deletion
April 19, 2010, 07:14:08 AM
UPDATE UPDATE: I've finally deleted all the non-responsive sites. Yeah, longest two weeks EVER. :-)
UPDATE: Sites who haven't responded have been disabled. You've got two weeks before I delete things.

It's that time of the year again... time to see who has abandoned their sites and stopped updating. I just sent an email to the on-file addresses of about 2 dozen users who have not updated in over a year. In a week, I'll disable said accounts if I haven't heard from them, and eventually they'll be removed if I still don't hear anything. Do note that this email was sent to the address on file... so it's a good time to remind everyone to log into user services and make sure your email address is up to date. If you find it's not, please update it, and let me know if you're worried that you may be one of the accounts pending deletion.
Hmm... lightbox uses the same javascript libraries I'm using, so the bug is bound to be in there somewhere. Try adding "&skip_scriptaculous=1" to your newsbox code... like this

EDIT: Code Correct from original post... "src=" added in front of url.
<script type='text/javascript' src=''></script>

It looks like I've had that in there for ages... so I probably ran into this before, but I just don't remember. It may or may not work with whatever version of the library lightbox2 is using, and it might also depend on which shows up first in the page. If it doesn't work, gimme a url for a test page where it's broken, and I'll futz around with it.
I actually made a point of using unique IDs for everything when I wrote the thing, just to avoid stuff like this. It's been quite a while since I coded it, so I don't remember a lot of it offhand, and figured I must've missed one. I'm happy to change it, but I just searched through all my files, and there is no reference at all to "overlay" in any of the newsbox code. Can you give me an example page/URL where this is happening, so I can debug there? Currently there's no newsbox on your site (I'm guessing you removed it since it was breaking things.) Perhaps copy whatever page had the problem to some temp/test name, and add the newsbox there, and I'll work on that one.
Applications / Re: The Weekly Toot
April 15, 2010, 02:23:42 PM
Ugh, sorry for the delay... after getting the server put back together I totally spaced that there were applications still waiting.

Anyway, no need for apologies about the long app... I'd rather have too much to look at than not enough. The newer stuff definitely shows improvement... it's a little borderline still, but it's obvious you've been keeping at it for years, and that counts for something. I'll go ahead and say yes, if you're still interested after the delay. Let me know if so, and I'll setup the account.
Applications / Re: Cats & Owls
April 15, 2010, 02:15:59 PM
Sorry it took me so long to get to this. As you may or may not know, there was a big fiasco with the server at the start of the month, and I forgot there were applications pending. I've taken a look at your stuff now, and it looks pretty good. If you're still interested, let me know, and I'll setup the account.
Applications / Re: Furtigo
April 15, 2010, 02:13:41 PM
Sorry I was slow in getting back to this... the whole fiasco with the server move made me forget there were apps pending.

To be honest... three comics just isn't enough to go on. I'm afraid I have to say no for now. If you're still at it in six months, you're welcome to reapply then. Best of luck to you!
Knowhow Trading Post / Re: need help with upgrading
April 12, 2010, 02:20:33 AM
I got your emails about this and replied there... but yeah, I can give you a hand installing wordpress. If anyone else has more experience with that (and comicpress) feel free to jump in though.
Applications / Re: Application Status: OPEN!
April 04, 2010, 07:35:03 AM
As I'm sure most of you are aware, I ran into major issues moving to a new server recently. As such, I'm really behind on reviewing applications. If you're waiting on an update, please be patient. I'll look into adding new accounts once I'm confident the new system is stable.
Also, thanks to everyone for being so patient... I got quite a few IMs about it being down of course, but I don't think a single one was actually rude or angry, and lots of ya'll were actively encouraging. It's always nice to have a userbase that really appreciates things, which is quite rare, especially when it comes to free services on the internet.
Well, I feel I owe everyone an explanation for the day-long outage yesterday. Let's start from the top.

For the past year, was hosted on a virtual machine at a company I used to work for, because I got a discount there, paying $63 for what should've been $250 normally. They finally decided I've been gone long enough, that the discount has to go. So I look for new hosting. I find a place (call it option A), and it's $160/month for ostensibly the exact same level of service. I put in an order, and don't hear anything for a couple days, despite emails to their support and such. This isn't very promising, so I look at other options. I find another place (option B), really cheap, $55/month, with a slightly less powerful setup, but more bandwidth and diskspace, so I figure, why not? They get me setup pretty much right away, and I spend a day or so moving stuff over there.

I switch all the services on, and it runs great for a few hours, some hiccups, but not a big deal. After a couple days, I figure, eh, this'll work for now, and my contract is up in a day or two anyway on the original service, so I have to move, shutting down the old host and closing that account. I go ahead and let the order for A stay in place though, since I'm curious to compare the two. It comes through about 48 hours ago, 6 full days after I actually ordered it, and by then I'm noticing more and more performance issues with B. The problem is that the CPU is powerful enough, but they have too many users on one machine, sharing the same disk, so anything needing a file gets delayed really bad. Since we have about 150 users here, all with websites, this shows up as a system load of over 100... e.g. there's 100 people waiting in line for a file. At this point, I get a letter from B, saying other customers are complaining because I'm using all the CPU. This isn't the case, as it's the disk that's lagging, and it's not my fault. Other customers may not have 100 people in line, but... well, picture it this way. I have 100 people in line with bucks, to collect their files as they trickle out of the spigot, so my "load" is 100-in-line. The other customers may not have 100 waiting, but they're bringing dumptrucks instead... big file transfers, but since only one person is waiting, their load is only "5" or some such. I tested this by shutting down all services for a bit in the middle of the night, and the load was still sky high, even when my server was doing nothing. Anyway, besides the point... what happens next is the fun part.

The of B emails me, with the complaints... but instead of giving me a chance to respond or work on it... he just shuts down my server. And in the email he tells me he's installed a script that will automatically shut it down again anytime load goes over 10.  Keep in mind, there's already a line of 20 dumptrucks (each from a different customer) in line, but if I so much as get 10 people with bucks at the end of the line, I'm shutdown again. I can reboot the thing through the control panel, but it obviously mucks with stuff to just reboot every few minutes. I write out a reply, explaining all this, but he apparently went to bed, because I don't get any response for 8 hours. In the meantime, I do the only thing I can. I shutdown the web service and try to migrate stuff as quickly as possible from host B to host A.

And then it gets more fun... host A is even slower on the disk response than the first one. As in, I can literally download it from the internet faster than it can save it to disk, so it's taking like 18 hours to move all this stuff. I just kept at it for 6 hours or so, but realized this place will probably be even worse, and for $160 there's got to be a better option. Finally I got with ThePlanet, and get a dedicated server. No sharing it with anyone... no VMs, no VPS, pure hardware all for me! And it's $125.

I order it, but one catch, it doesn't come with gentoo, the OS I use. So either I rewrite all my management scripts and all the custom programming, or I find a way to install gentoo myself. The thing has two disks, so it should work, but... well... OS install via the internet. Yay. It's slow going, but I make some headway, but finally, I reboot and it won't come back up. I give in, and tack on another $30/month for a KVM (virtual keyboard/monitor access) to let me fix things. That takes another couple hours for them to setup.

So now I have KVM, and I work through stuff for a good solid 30 minutes, then it refuses to boot because I screwed up a boot menu option. No biggy, reset it and pick another thing from the menu. FAIL! I can't reset it with the ctrl+alt+del, since it's frozen. So I use their panel to power it off and back on... but my KVM goes dead and stops responding as soon as I do this. Later, I find out the KVM is powered by USB, and takes like 60 seconds to come up. So, by the time it powers up, the computer has already booted, and once again gone with the broken default!! So I put in a ticket for them to go reboot it manually, and wait some more.

They're actually pretty good on this, get it done in like 20 minutes, and I finally get a working, bootable system. Then I start copying all data off of B, because that's the last place a complete copy of ever actually made it to. (Well, I have a full backup of everything on my desktop, but uploading from a home connection would take 3 days or more.) The attempted copy to A has been going for the entire day, and it's still not done either! I nix that, and just focus on moving everything into the physical machine. It finally finished about two hours ago. I've been up since 5pm on tuesday, and it's now the wee hours of the morning on thursday. 31 hours awake, and 25 of them trying to sort all this out.

There are a thousand more little things that went wrong of course, but I'm too tired to rant anymore. Bottom line is, while it wasn't my fault, I do apologize. I never like to get caught with my pants down, so to speak, and all this hit when my options/infrastructure was weakest. Almost any other time I have a backup plan that's better than this, but having to move only 2 days after you just finished one... and with a script rebooting your only functional system anytime you so much as look at it funny... Oi!

Well, with all that said, I'm off to bed. If you run into any problems or snags, it's entirely possible I missed 1 (or 100) things in this, so do let me know. Also, any of you hosting here... feel free to tell your readers/visitors what happened, and send 'em here, anyone is welcome to ask questions if you want clarification or whatnot... it's not just for members here.

Somehow, I keep thinking all this must've been 24 hours early, because I would swear this much fail would have to be an April Fool's Day prank!