What’s been happening

Hi everybody. A couple of weeks ago I was busier than usual. My brother Shane, and my cousin John came to visit me in Houston for two weeks and left just after the 4th. So I was cooking supper nearly every day and coming home to fix lunch for all of us. We usually put in a DVD while we were eating. And when we weren’t eating we were playing computer games. Freelancer and C&C Generals: Zero Hour mostly. While I was gone during the day they slept and/or played xBox I think. We had so many snack foods, but who could pass up the 10 for $10 snacks at the grocery store with 2 extra guys in the house.

I was planning to do more things with my website. But hadn’t got the chance to since then. I have a working captcha image that I hope to put on my live blog soon. I just have to figure out a good way to pass the information around. I’m thinking about a random key of some sort. So I have to figure that out first.

At work I recently found out the guy who was my mentor is moving, and it’s likely I’ll be taking on most of his responsibilities. I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet, but I’ll found out soon enough.

I’m starting to get all of my clothes packed for my trip in 50 days. I’ll be going back to Taiwan during labor day. That way I can use my 4 vacation days that week and have the weekend on both sides. The reason I’m packing now is I’m going to mail it over there. So that all I will need is a carry-on. Shao-ling is already planning out what we will be doing in Taiwan. All of us will go to Kenting (south Taiwan) the weekend I’m going home. We’ll take the “fast train” there, and spend one night at a hotel. I hope my Chinese is better than last time. There are at least a couple more phrases I want to learn first.

All right I think I should go exercise now, another goal is to lose at least 20 pounds before I go over there. Being lazy makes it hard to do that. See you later.

Posted in Coding, Gaming, Taiwan, Work | 2 Comments

More updates

I updated a few more things on my website. I fixed a few more things on my about me page. And updated all of my world of warcraft characters! Including the couple of characters I have on a Taiwan server. Cassie, install east language support! I finally translated the name of the server I’m on and I discovered it was called “Warsong”. I thought it was cool, but if you don’t play warcraft you probably wouldn’t care. Anyway, I should get some sleep. It’s past two in the morning here, and I have to wake up at six tomorrow. Hopefully more updates will be coming to my blog soon. Maybe I’ll work on the comment page captcha next… Or maybe a calendar of blog entries… hmmmm.

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Ok my blog entry is now password protected. And I’ve updated my “about me” page again. There is still so much missing from my website though. It’s really sad. I wish I had known pages garden was going under before it was too late for me to get everything back. Oh well. I’ll get most of it back eventually.

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Ok this must be an old version of my blog. Because there was once a bug where anybody could post messages as me in the blog. I fixed that a long time ago, but some spam site just added some new entries. So I’ll have to fix that when I get off of work today.

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Update DNS

Aha! I had to update my DNS servers again. For some reason it was still set to custom server, instead of the servers used for pages hosted on godaddy’s website. Looks like it is working now without me having to manually override my hosts file. It only took about 1 minute for it to update for me. So my networks DNS must be very close to godaddy’s DNS. Everybody else should be able to see it in a couple of hours. I wonder how long it will take to propagate to Taiwan.

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New hosting service

What a hassle that was! I’ve spent the past month trying to get my website up and running again. The problem was I my website was hosted on a site called pages garden. I’ve had very little problems with them for 3-4 years. But somebody finally mentioned to me that my website was down and it said I needed to renew it. So I started the renewal process on pages garden. But a week and a half after I paid them nothing had changed. So I canceled that order (it said canceling would automatically refund), and tried again. It took my money again, never refunded me for the first time, and still didn’t do anything. So 2 days later I sent in a support ticket telling them the problem. A few hours later I got a response saying my ticket was forwarded to billing, and it may be up to 12 hours before I got a response. Six days passed and not a word. I replied to the ticket asking what the holdup was. I had no response by the next day, so I started another ticket but this time directly to billing. Who knows, maybe their ticket forwarding was broken. I explained the issue again. I again got an automatic response saying wait up to 12 hours. 2 days later and still no word. So I started searching the internet for other people with a pagesgarden problem. It seems like most of the problems started over six months ago. It’s like they just went out of business, but decided not to tell anybody. So I went back to pages garden and saw that the billing department number is now in Malaysia. So basically, I had lost all the data on my website, and I was out 100 bucks. I started the process of transferring my domain name to a new provider: GoDaddy. But pages garden registrar requires that you wait for a week for the transfer to complete. I left them dirty messages on my support tickets, and started a dispute with PayPal to try to get my money back. Who knows if that will work though. It could be somebody committing fraud and emptying out the account without doing anything. Anyway I’ve finally got things working again. It’ll take a little while for the new name servers to propagate, but people should be able to see this page soon. I think I’ve got most everything rebuilt. I may not have some of my pictures uploaded anymore though. Restoring my database was a bit of a hassle. I found a backup copy from June 2006 (when I moved to Houston) hidden on a backup of my old hard drive. So it was a backup of a backup. Once I found that it was easy to restore though. The newer entries were harder to come by though. But through the magic of google cache I was able to get the html of all entries back to 2005. Then with some massaging of the cached page using magical VIM tricks and text substitutions I made each an sql query string for my database. It took me a couple of hours to recover though. I then tested it by inserting into a local copy of the database on my desktop. After about 6 tries I worked all the kinks out and imported the entries into the new godaddy database. But there may be some odd issues, or pieces missing because of the global substitutions I was doing. But a quick scan looks like it is all there.

So finally over a month later things are finally back to a somewhat normal state. Now I’m thinking of redoing this ugly web design. I never really completed it in the first place. But at least I’ll now be able to post blogs, receive comments, and most importantly check my email again. Hope to see ya’ll soon.

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More SPAM!

Well I’ve been getting more and more spam lately on my email from this website. All I can guess is some bot stole my email address from this blog. So I just wrote a short bit of code to hopefully hide email addresses from automated bots. I hope it works for the most part. It’s just too bad my email got out there. I may change my main email address just to suppress the spam. I only have a few people who email me here anyway. And as you may have noticed I’ve received some crazy spams advertising something or the other. I’ve deleted them already, but now I’m thinking about adding some kind of captcha to the page to make it harder for bots to submit comments. It shouldn’t be too difficult, the server I’m on has gd installed. It will just take a little time to come up with a good one.

In other news, Shane and John (my little brother and cousin) will be coming to see me at the end of the month. It’s too bad I have to work all day. I hope they don’t get too bored, or kill each other while I’m away. I’ll have to come up with some good things to do with them. But knowing them it will probably involve video games. So I may have to install windows on my computer. Either that or explain to them how to use wine…

I’m also starting chinese classes tomorrow! I signed up at the Chinese Community Center to take Beginner Chinese 1. I reckon most of the lessons will be a waste of my time, but I’m afraid if I went to Beginner 2 or 3 that I would miss out on some of the things they covered in the first class. I’m sure tomorrow will mostly be: “Ni hao! Wo shi ke yi.” Or possibly just going over the 5 tones in Mandarin. Things like that. Anyway I should probably get some sleep so I don’t wake up too late. And so I have time to chat with Shao-ling before class starts. Good Night all.

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Picture gallery

Ok I’ve updated my website a little today. It’s not much better, but at least not quite as much stuff is broken. The rss feed should work (as well as live bookmarks), I’ve added in some more css (ripped from dec0y.net basically) to prettify some the blog stuff, and I added an actual photo gallery. If it takes awhile to load a picture page (or even timeouts) it’s because if a thumbnail doesn’t exist for the image you’re trying to view my code will create one. Yeah not the most efficient way to make the thumbnails I know, but it’ll work for now. I just didn’t want to bother doing it all manually.

Anyway, I guess I’m going to bed, it’s getting pretty late here now. And I want to be able to wake up in time to be able to talk with Shao Ling :).

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New website

I’ve finally started getting some stuff working for my new website. It still has a long ways to go but at least it’s semi-usable now.

I’ve been in Houston for a couple of weeks now. And I’m started to get settled in. It feels strange being so far away from home and becoming completely independent. Because I’m so far away from home I’m thinking about getting a pilot’s license. There are a couple of airports around here that will give you classes. In order to get your pilot’s license you need 20 hours of dual flight time with an instructor, 10 hours solo, 10 more hours either dual or solo, and 10 hours of ground school. Most places offer classes starting at 1900. Once I get a few paychecks under my belt I plan on checking into it.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m so far from home, or simply because I’m living alone again, but lately I’ve really felt lonely. I usually just push the feeling out of mind and think about something else. I have plenty of things to keep my mind occupied. But that feeling is always there nagging at my brain. I need to stop reading other people’s blogs too, that might help. I see that kc is yet again in love (or has been for quite some time), and I’m happy for him. Cassie looks likes she’s back with Donald yet again. I drove my friend down here when I moved so he could visit his girlfriend. It just seems like everybody is in relationships now. And then there’s David. We just exchanged emails with each other. Neither one of us have had a girlfriend since Cassie. I remember a few years back he and I made a “pact” to ask a girl out. I asked somebody and was rejected, and I think David decided he best not ask who he had in mind. I wouldn’t even have anybody to ask if made a pact like that now. And I doubt that I will for a long time. That’s ok though. The only thing that I really miss about having a girlfriend is emotional high that it gave me. I’m very happy with the way my life is right now and I don’t want to change it. It’s more of a struggle between heart and mind. When I sit and think about relationships and all that it entails I’m honestly very glad that I’m single and alone. But those darn emotions keep try telling me that it’s a bad thing. I hate it when I have mental versus emotional conflicts. I want but I don’t want. Ok that’s enough pondering. I’ll try to squash these annoying things called emotions again. I’ve just got to stay busy with things that require a lot of concentration. I can usually keep them to a minimum them.

I really need to finish this website. I should probably do that before I started moving on to my other unfinished projects. Anyway I’m happy all of my friends are happy. And David I’m sure that you’ll find somebody if you really want to. Good night everyone.

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I just got in my SB Audigy 2 ZS Card. After a little bit of fiddling I managed to get sound from it. I guess the card has some type of strange digital output that you have to disable to get it to work. But I’m very happy now! I can finally use several sound applications at once regardless of whether or not the program uses alsa. I was able to cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dspand multiple times without /dev/dsp getting blocked. This is just wonderful. This sound card was well worth the money IMO. I got a ieee1394 port to go with it to boot! 🙂 The bad news is that I’ll have to recompile my kernel again to get the support for it lol. Maybe I should just use genkernel this time. Nah, that’s no fun. I don’t really need ieee1394 at the moment anyway. I’ll get around to it. Right now I’m just going to test out my sound card some more. Maybe I’ll try skyping my parents tonight. Actually first I’ll have to make sure I have the microphone hooked up right. Oh so much fun I can have now.

I’ll try to study for final sometime before Saturday, I promise :p

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