News for May 2007


Radiation tri-blade 30.may.2007 - The site was moved last night at 10 PM PST to a new server physically located downtown Los Angeles. If you can read this, that means you're resolving to the new server.

Glancing at its specs, this new server seems identical to the previous one (in Las Vegas).

Radiation tri-blade 29.may.2007 - As you might've noticed, we've been having problems with the new server, or its associated network.

Picture of Rad freaking out when he sees his site downThe site was moved to a new server on May 11th. On May 22nd, we started experiencing problems with laggy page-loading times and (more recently) complete site outages, as described in this thread > New server response time pauses.

The problem seems to keep getting worse. At first it was confined only to laggy responses for relatively short periods, of a few minutes, increasing up to an hour at times.

Then complete site outages began, at first for short periods, now (including this morning) they last up to an hour.

I just got off the horn with a supervisor at Lunarpages (my web host), and he suggested I request LP move the site (again) to a new server, saying, "That's what I would do."

Today's entry continues in the blog .. see here > Problems with New Server or Associated Network

Radiation tri-blade 25.may.2007 - Played dad last few days. After lunch today (at a taco joint in Corona del Mar), we stopped by Begonia park.

Rodeo cowboy demonstrates proper calf-roping techniqueAfter playing a while, I carried the bug up to the car. There I laid him on a mat (on the grass) so I could change his diaper.

After wiping clean his little butt, I stood to retrieve a tube of butt-cream from the glove compartment and, when I turned...

... saw he'd bolted down the hill, giggling, running butt-naked, fast as his little feet could carry him .. which is pretty fast (downhill), considering he wore no diaper or pants to impede progress.

Today's entry continues in the blog .. see here > Rodeo Dad Snatches Streaking Toddler Mid-Stride with Impressive One-Armed Grab

Radiation tri-blade 22.may.2007 - Last week, I parked the Rad-mobile (aka Porsche-bago) beneath a tree that's flowering profusely (with blue flowers) & dripping sap.

So I decided to hose it off before the sap dried & flowers left stains.

Unfortunately I sprayed too much water on the engine (which sits in the rear, on a 911, with vents open to the engine compartment for the A/C cooler).

Porsche 911 Carrera (rear engine)It wouldn't start. This has been a common problem, probably cuz my spark-plug wires need replacing, but I don't want to spend $300 for a new set of plug wires.

I have driven thru big puddles before and had the car die instantly.

Anyway, my usual trick of yanking the distributor cap and wiping the moisture inside didn't work (normally does). I must've soaked more electrical stuff that I'd thought. (Yeah, I was in a hurry, spraying like crazy.)

I could smell gas when I cranked it, meaning the plugs were probably soaked (not gonna fire). Then the battery started dying.

So I slapped on the battery charger, but the car still refused to start. (Major sukage.)

Today's entry continues in the blog .. see here > Rad-mobile Won't Start Wet | Changing Spark Plugs on a Porsche 911 Carrera

Radiation tri-blade 18.may.2007 - Been playing Rad dad last few days. The bug is getting to that age where he knows what he wants (and what he doesn't want). No longer can I just grab him and do what I want. Now he must be dealt with.

He slept over last night. In the evening, while we watched Ice Age (1st one) out in the rec room, he insisted on removing his shirt.

It wasn't cold, but not warm enough to play Tarzan. Yet he was adamant about not wanting to wear one.

So I'm trying to figure out how to get him dressed. And I remembered a trick I saw his mom do .. the ol' trade > "If you want this, you gotta do that."

Ice Age ended and he wanted me to put in Polar Express (excellent flick, btw). So I said, "Okay, if you want me to put on polar express, you first have to put on your shirt."

Dude, it totally worked! Real slickly, too. Not one bit of grumbling. I was so pleased with myself .. outwitting a 2-year-old . =)

Today's entry continues in the blog .. see here > Learning Dad Tricks & all about Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

Radiation tri-blade 14.may.2007 - A big part of Indulging Your Technolust involves learning how to use cool software. Once your hardware is dialed in, and your system backed up (crucial step), it's time to become proficient with your favorite programs.

The coolest programs seem to have the steepest learning curves .. like Half Dome & El Capitan, which are both pretty steepYou've probably discovered (as I have) the coolest programs are often (tho not always) the most powerful. And the most powerful programs often involve the steepest learning curves.

Take Photoshop for example. Way cool. Way powerful. Lots to learn. Seems like I'm always calling Julie to ask how to do something in Photoshop.

This is cuz more power involves more features. More features come with more options, and more options lead to complexity. (You know the drill.)

Regulars will recall my recent forays into the (very cool) world of Content Management Systems, and how I've been playing with Drupal (one of the coolest). [My installation of Drupal 5.1 is > HERE.]

In fact, I moved the site recently (never much fun) to a new server in order to get MySQL 5.x, which is required for Drupal 6 (still in development).

So I'm still on the steeper slopes of the content management curve, but starting to find traction.

Today's entry continues in the blog .. see here > Proficiency with Software & Setting Root Password for MySQL Database in phpMyAdmin under WAMP5

Radiation tri-blade 13.may.2007 - Test of the new Rad server. If you can read this, you're getting the *new* server. Could be my imagination, but this one feels a little zippier. No?

The new Rad server is a Dell PowerEdge 2650I made some dumb mistakes, such as misreading the new name server, which is now ns1.lunarservers.com .. as ns1.lunarpages.com.

The old name server was ns6.lunarPAGES.com. I saw the ns1 and (foolishly) ignored the rest (.lunarservers.com), assuming the number 6 merely needed to be changed to a 1.

Didn't figure that out until 8PM last night. The site was moved 24 hours earlier (8PM Friday). There's something to be said for the (foolproof) copy-n-paste method.

Then I couldn't connect to the (new, beautiful, fast, upgraded) server via FTP. I've use a dedicated IP address since I've had the site (last 7 years).

But the new IP addy won't be available for 5 days (they tell me). Until then, I use the domain name to connect (like most people connect to their servers).

I'm embarrassed to say I entered http://radified.com into my FTP client, when only radified.com should've been entered (hangs head in shame).

Today's entry continues in the blog .. see here > Site Move to New Upgraded Web Server Complete

Radiation tri-blade 11.may.2007 - Today is the big day .. when the site moves to new (upgraded) server, featuring MySQL 5.x, PHP 5.x & FastCGI.

Changing name server info *prior* to the move (as pondered yesterday) is not a good idea (I hear). I think Lunarpages will leave the site up at the old server for 5 days, after transferring files to the new one (tho not positive about this).

If true, this would mean you have a chance of getting the site at *either* server for the next day or two .. until the new name server info finishes propagating thru-out the 'Net.

You may be getting this error: 404 - Radified File Not FoundThis kind of stuff always makes me nervous. I've made two complete site back-ups, and two back-ups of each database (7).

Radiation tri-blade 10.may.2007 - The site move, as mentioned yesterday (>Moving Site to New Upgraded Web Server) is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. So the site will be unavailable for a day or two afterwards.

In addition to MySQL 5.x, and FastCGI, we'll be moving to a server which also has PHP 5.x (current server has PHP 4.4.3). This will be the second time (in 7 years) the site moves to a new server.

Wonder if it would be smart to change name server data *before* the site is moved .. say, 12 hours or so. So that, by the time the new name server data 'propagates' thru-out the 'Net, the site will (already) be at the new server. Wise or foolish? What say ye experts?

Radiation tri-blade 09.may.2007 - The site move to a new, updated server (mentioned yesterday) involves a new name server (they say), which means the site might (not sure yet, I asked) be unavailable for a period of time following the move.

Okay, they said the new name server *will* need to propagate, which means the site will be unavailable for 24-72 hours, depending on > this stuff. (The Rad server is physically located downtown Los Angeles.)

I'm making a *second* full-site back-up right now. =) The back-up (compressed *.tar.gz) is exactly 999 MB. (You can see why I'm researching content management systems.) It's downloading at ~300KBps. Takes ~ an hour.

They also said my dedicated IP address will change. Not sure why it can't stay the same (since my hosting provider isn't changing).

Received note from Lunarpages (my host) support, which I'd file under: Example of Good Support. See here>

Today's entry continues in the new blog .. see here > Moving Site to New Upgraded Web Server

Radiation tri-blade 08.may.2007 - Stayed up late ('til 1AM) and installed Drupal last night. (Eyes are burning.) The word installation is deceptive, cuz Drupal really installs itself.

Simply upload the files to your server, point your browser to the directory where you uploaded Drupal (in this case, to newly created subdomain > http://cms.radified.com), and a screen pops up, asking for 3 bits of information:

  1. Drupal Open Source Content Management System v5.1Name of your MySQL database
  2. User name for your MySQL database
  3. Password for the MySQL user

Enter the data Drupal wants, click the button that says Save the Configuration and Drupal installs itself. Too cool. Downright elegant.

Gives you a screen that says > Drupal installation complete. I'm thinking, "You gotta be kidding. Can't be *that* easy."

Next screen looks like this > Welcome to your new Drupal website!

Today's entry continues in the new blog .. see here > Installing Drupal 5.1 Content Management System (CMS)

Radiation tri-blade 07.may.2007 - Been learning more about Drupal, Joomla and Content Management Systems in general (CMS).

WAMP5 Web server for Windows, including Apache, MySQL & PHPAlso been updating the comparison I documented last week (as I continue to learn more) > Comparing Joomla vs Drupal Content Management Systems (CMS).

In fact, that entry has become big enough (more than 4K words) that I've considered busting it into two sections (e.g. Part I, Part II). Uh, update > done.

I seem to be coming full circle. Began research with notion Drupal represented best option. During initial research, I came to feel Joomla 1.5 would be a better choice (for me).

Now, after considerable research, and feeling comfortable that I understand the relative strengths & weaknesses of each platform, I'm again leaning toward Drupal. (Dizzy yet?)

The main thing that changed my mind was a subtle theme I kept noticing, which goes something like this:

Today's entry continues in the NEW blog .. see here > Further Research of CMS Programs Suggests Drupal Better Option

Radiation tri-blade 05.may.2007 - Last week, I mentioned having a dream, in which (presidential candidate) Barack Obama was assassinated. This week I read he was placed under Secret Service protection.

Cinco de Mayo 2007 (Laguna Beach)Last week I documented my findings from a comparison I did of the two best open source Content Management Systems (Joomla vs Drupal), where I determined Joomla 1.5 represented the best approach (for me), yet was slooow in coming.

This week I heard Joomla 1.5-beta2 was released, the first such release from Joomla in nearly 7 months.

I doubt my entries had anything to do with these developments, but my ego (battered, but not broken) insists, "We know better." (Gotta admit, the timing is uncanny.)

Today is my favorite party of the year > Teri & Alan's annual Cinco de Mayo party. Good food, good people, great location (right on the beach in Laguna). I'm here now .. connected to their wireless network.

Today's entry continues in the NEW blog .. see here > Cinco de Mayo 2007 (Laguna Beach)

Radiation tri-blade 03.may.2007 - Recall a few days ago? When I mentioned the idea of getting another domain name, so I could split-out site content related to my adventures as Rad-Dad?

FATHERHOOD: It's Hard EnoughActually, that post was sort of hijacked by the subsequent comparison of Drupal vs Joomla (two of the best open source Content Management Systems).

I've since been pondering various domain names, such as rad-dad.com (which is already taken, tho I could buy it for a price) and radfather.com (which is available). But none felt right.

Until today, at Newport Dunes beach park, where I was playing Rad-dad with the bug. (Gorgeous day, btw.)

Found myself visualizing what the new site might look like .. beginning with a simple title & logline, such as > FATHERHOOD: Harder Than it Looks .. or .. FATHERHOOD: It's Hard Enough .. in place of where I currently have RADIFIED: Indulge Your Technolust.

Then I thought, "That's it! > HardNuf." In other words, it's hard enough to raise children, without parents bickering. And it's hard enough for kids to grow up in two different homes, without undue tension between parents.

Today's entry continues in the NEW blog .. see here > New Domain Name: hardnuf.com (Adventures in Fatherhood)

Radiation tri-blade 02.may.2007 - World's 2nd largest PC manufacturer, Dell computer, will offer its PCs (both desktops & laptops) to consumers with the Linux operating system pe-installed.

Ubuntu Linux distroThey've partnered with (London-based) Canonical (founded by South African Mark Shuttleworth) to offer the Ubuntu distro.

If you were here last year, you might recall our resident Linux guru, Mr. Magoo, migrated to a Linux-only system (not a dual-boot, Windows/Linux configuration, like most people do), using Ubuntu.

At DistroWatch, Ubuntu is ranked #1, .. out of 100+ Linux distros. Version 7.04 is know as Fiesty Fawn.

Today's entry continues in the NEW blog .. see here > Dell Computer Selects Ubuntu for its PCs Pre-installed with Linux

Radiation tri-blade 01.may.2007 - Back when I first launched Radified (summer of 2000), I purchased a web-hosting account that provided 350-MB storage space .. for $32/month (less discount, if you paid a year in advance).

Lunarpages web hosting provider: Now offers (a remarkable) 350-GB storage spaceLast year I moved the site to a new host > Lunarpages. The new Radified server is physically located downtown Los Angeles (where you'll find the nation's most polluted air).

Today, I received a note from the girls at Lunarpages, saying they raised the amount of disk storage for clients enrolled in their Basic hosting plan .. to (an incredible) 350-GB (still $6.95/month).

As you can see, the number 350 remains the same, yet now it's followed by GB, instead of MB (1,000 X more space for ¼ the co$t). The times, they are a-changin'.

Today's entry continues in the NEW blog .. see here > Lunarpages Web Hosting Increases Storage to 350-GB