technical


Some people might notice that smalrus.com has had a few minor changes. This evening, I’ve switched the style theme of my site from Vanilla Mist’s Connections, to Ajay Dsouza’s Connections Reloaded.

Many of the differences are subtle, as the fonts, backgrounds, etc are, for the most part, the same as before. However, the new theme is widgets enabled. This means that as I find some relevant widgets (ie, Twitter, Facebook, etc) I will be able to place them on my page. At the same time, I’d otherwise be looking for things that can be both utilitarian, but simultaneously not clutter up the page (as it somewhat looks now). Over the next several days though, expect to see me take a few minutes here and there to sleeken things out.

For those of you who haven’t noticed in the past couple of days, I’ve moved the location of my web page.  No, I haven’t moved from the actual smalrus.com domain name itself… But I have moved my hosting/domain name provider.  After seven years with my old host, they decided to raise their prices to what I was paying when I first started.

Given the fact that the cost of computing is actually supposed to be coming down, I was less than impressed that as a legacy customer (I was a customer for 7 out of my host’s 9 years in existence) I was given a package that was almost twice as costly as that of a new member.  In addition, I found the site to be overall sluggish in response time.  Thus, I took the opportunity to change my provider.

With this change, I was able to simultaneously and seamlessly upgrade to the newest version of WordPress on the back-end.  The end result was a mass migration of the old site’s entire contents (how I managed to amass 897MB of data on the old site, I don’t know).  My new site has a few more features for me, as well as a dedicated FTP directory that I can just shove any files in as necessary.  The bandwidth and site sizes are also larger, and the response time on the web site is faster.  All in all, this should be a smoother ride than before.

Now… I just need to get back to updating my site with a little more frequency.  Hey, I’m not in school anymore,  I should have no excuse.

Thanks to WordPress, I get to use firestats to see just where visitors to my website are coming from. The only thing is, a whois trace ends up ending at RIPE.NET, the portal to Europe’s internet link. Given the vast amount of “junk” websites out there, I’m wondering who in Russia and in Germany are using my site as the springboard for another junk site. On another stats provider through PowWeb, I’ve been seeing a lot of referral sites that are junk sites with no actual links to my site. Also, given the fact that the homepage for my site was hacked about 10 months ago, I’m questioning whether my hosting provider – PowWeb – can truly assure security of my site.

If anyone knows where those visitors to my website are coming from and would like to share, please let me know. Otherwise I might be .htaccess-ing those IP addresses from accessing the site. Not ideally that I’d like to need to moderate my site, but I’m finding the site hits to be really odd (especially since the 4th most visiting hostname is ‘webmaster2.firstvds.ru‘ and I have no idea what that is).

In other news, I might be offering some thoughts later on the French presidential election and the recent rise of Bayrou in relation to Segolene Royal. It’s going to be an interesting race and I’ve been following it rather closely. If Royal can nip Nicolas Sarkozy in the bud, she has the potential of stemming the Bayrou tide. And Bayrou has the potential of stemming the Le Pen tide. However, she really needs to spend her time attacking Sarko’s record, his policies, and his right-wing extremism. Based on my past readings of Sarkozy, he definitely seems to be a moderate version of Jean-Marie Le Pen. And that’s good for no Frenchmen, especially since most National Front supporters tend to hold their tongues on their votes, deflating poll numbers on the extreme-right.

Now in some respects, all the candidates aren’t really of high-calibre candidacy. Sarkozy is too right wing, Le Pen is way too right, Royal has no real stance on anything and might mismanage the treasury, Bayrou is a poseur for the right as well (but capitalising well on the anti-establishmentarianism against the main contenders). I’m not sure who should come in for any run-off of substance other than maybe Jose Bove, the altermondialization activist. However, Bove is an extreme long shot who barely mustered the signatures to qualify as a candidate.

I believe I had more to say about the election, but for the time being, I suppose its time for some shut-eye. Keep reading…

im always kind of interested in who’s visiting my website.  since i switched to wordpress, i installed a new stats manager, firestats on the new pages. firestats offers a few different sorts of things that i really wasnt used to looking for, particularly since the stats are integrated into the wordpress dashboard.

so ive noticed a couple of repeat visits coming from france, a couple from the netherlands, a couple from chile, one guy in belgium from his psp, even japan, romania, korea, and taiwan.  and of course theres the stats like 5.6% of visitors use linux, 0.3% use debian, 19.2% use firefox to browse and 3.5% use konqueror.

so if youre surfing through, feel free to drop a comment and let me know where you’re at and what you think, im interested in dialoguing…

i wanted to put some of the internal links to the older parts of the site on the “pages” part of my site. however, it doesnt seem to want to work that way. this really irritates me since i cant find any wordpress documentation on where to find that part of the site. and unfortunately, im not well enough versed in the php to be able to find the code to manipulate, short of ripping apart 140something of the wordpress files to figure out where exactly the ‘pages’ part of the sidebar is. if anyone knows how to do this, please feel free to email me or leave a comment and help me out.

in the meantime, ive now put that particular link in the “links” portion of the sidebar, where i have an old layout of the smalrus rane lyrics compendium with updated lyrics.