Internet, Miscellaneous, Technology

Return of the move

July 10th, 2007 by Jeff | Dump Core

Sorry for the recent silence, everyone. It wasn’t my intention to seemingly disappear for several weeks. As you might guess, it’s been entirely real life craziness keeping me hopping. There were several occasions were I actually planned to post something, only to get distracted and never get around to it.

Well, here’s some news definitely worth posting. I mentioned quite some time ago my plans to eventually move the blog from its current home—my Linux box Demeter sitting behind my cable modem—to somewhere a bit more stable. Not that Demeter herself is unstable, mind you, but the current hoops we have to jump through just to get the blog online have caused casualties to its usefulness, like killing commenting and making our RSS/Atom feeds go through odd channels. While my dynamic DNS service does an admirable job in getting the raw HTML to you guys, it’s not suitable for a long term solution.

The point is that it looks like the move is going to finally take place, only the final destination isn’t where I originally intended. I was planning to move to Keenspot on the back end, largely because I am already familiar with them and how their servers are set up. Of course, this also meant the blog would be loaded with ads to cover the bandwidth costs (unless, of course, you’re a Keenspot PREMIUM subscriber). Not something I’m particularly thrilled about, but I was viewing it as a necessary evil. (After all, it’s the ads (and PREMIUM) that currently keep GPF a float. Lately all our other revenue streams have been high and dry.)

Well, Chris Wright over at Help Desk managed to change my mind. He pointed me to his current web host, and after taking a cruise around their site and FAQ, I was hooked. I have a number of ambitious online plans in the works, all of which require some rather stringent and quirky software requirements. These guys seem to cater directly to online developers, meaning they’re a lot more likely to accommodate my unusual needs, and their prices are ridiculously beyond reasonable. (I’ve never seen a bandwidth plan as cheap as theirs.) So I’m going to move over to them, at least on a trial basis, to see how things go. If everything goes over well, expect to see some rather obnoxious plugging in the future.

So, what does this mean for you? Right now, not much. For the time being I’ve temporarily disabled sign-ups for commenting. Comments aren’t working right now anyway, and preventing anyone new from signing on should make moving the database easier. (Existing accounts should be intact once the move is complete.) The switch in the DNS should be largely transparent, so those of you who visit the site directly shouldn’t notice anything different (other than the odd nested frame set inserted by the dynamic DNS should be gone).

The real funky stuff will come with the feeds. By now, most of you should be using the “domain:port” URLs for RSS and Atom feeds. These bypass the dynamic DNS and go directly to the web server on the port it’s really running on, not being nested through the DNS’ frames. Unfortunately, there won’t be a graceful transition for the feeds, as I have no intention of running the web server on multiple ports after the move. (It’s technically possible, but probably a waste of resources.) So those of you reading the blog via the feeds might want to come by the site periodically and check in for updates, at least until we know the transition has successfully taken place. New feed URLs will be posted once the move is complete. (Of course, I ought to just go with FeedBurner and hide all this behind-the-scenes garbage, but I’m also lazy and I’d rather do things myself.)

So when is all this going to go down? I’m not quite sure yet. The new host has a waiting list as they allocate hardware dynamically based on demand. I’ve been told it should be “less than a week,” which could be anywhere form one to two days. Tack onto that a day or two for me to move the database and debug everything, and it could easily be a week or more before you’ll notice anything. As usual, though, you should be able to just pop in here anytime and get the latest, regardless of which host we’re currently on.

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