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Found 4 results for tag "vps"

A Day of Fixin' and Mixin'

Pearls Before Swine

I said that I'd make tonight's posting! Now, on to the day's activities: Keat and I woke up around 12 (it felt nice to sleep in), because the maintenance people were supposed to come at 1 to fix a lot of things in the apartment. We didn't actually leave the apartment till about 1:15, because we had to "tidy up" for the maintenance guy(s) (for example: putting the cats and all of their necessary items in the bedroom, etc). However, before we left, I found out that the sink was backed up! I ran the dishwasher last night and I was expecting the dishes to be clean when I woke up. Instead, both sinks were 90% filled with water and dirty dishes. I checked under the sink and didn't see anything. I removed the dirty dishes, put them aside, and ran the disposal. However, instead of sucking down the water, it sucked it down from 1 sink and spewed it into the other sink! So much for that method. I then looked below the sink again and removed all of the items under the pipe itself, only to find out that the pipe was leaking! There was a divit in the floor of the cabinet since we moved in, and now I know what caused that. Keat and I made a sign for the maintenance guys before we left to let them know the sink was clogged.

We arrived at the office, and I expected to be there about an hour or so. After replying to emails, checking my reader, and other items, I had a few things on my to-do list for North State (adding text, updating photos, etc). We left around 5 and stopped by Wal-mart (for the 1st time this week! A new record!) and Keat got herself a new MP3 player. We then charged through the traffic on the way home, and realized that with: 1) Friday traffic, 2) 5:00 traffic, and 3) holiday rushes, all of these together created one stressful trip home.

We finally got home and I expected for the maintenance guys to have stopped by (is that grammatically correct? I don't know - it's 2AM!) We checked in and saw the workorder on the counter. The drip pans on the stove were replaced (good), the living room outlet was "working" (tested; not working as expected: bad), fixed the A/C unit to heat up (replaced our thermostat; not expected, but good), and unclogged the sink (good; whew!). The living room outlet seems to have a "maintenance curse" on it or something; it never works for us, but maintenance always says it works and assume we're stupid because it is connected to the light switch, and they think we don't know how to turn it on. After testing it myself and plugging various things into it, I found out that technically it works, but it's loose and that's why nothing will stay on when plugged into it. As for the sink: it turns out that the sink was clogged with a carrot top. What are the odds?

Keat and I also found out a good name for the new service (can't say much) and I bought the domain for it. I had some credit on my VPS refund, and a portion of that paid for the domain. I'm also working on the display point-of-concept for the service, and if things go well, I should have that done after I'm done with this posting. I also created a temp logo for it, which looks really good.

We don't have anything really important planned for the weekend, except for relaxing.

Tags:#pearlsbeforeswine #maintenance #vps #domain #repairs

Post-day blog rant

The System

Wow, another late update. Either this week is really busy, or I'm just lazy. I'd like to go with #1. Anyway, here's what happened yesterday:

I watched the Eureka Xmas special, which was pretty good, even for Eureka standards. It was also good to see everyone come together in the end. We also got the result from the Board presentation of the SMDC Expo idea. Guess what: it was pretty much beaten to death. All of the ideas we had (except for the open house) were shot down. But we're not giving up that easily! The whole idea has now been "morphed" into an open-house (only) expo! And it's now scheduled for the spring instead of late winter.

The Client meeting went well. I dropped Keat off at class at 11, then went to the office to set up. I arrived at about 11:10, and the perspective client showed up at 11:15. Glad I got there early. I set up the conference room with a very simple setup (laptop, notepad, chairs, etc), and noticed my laptop was making a "WHIRRRR-CLICK-RRRR-CLICK-RRR-CLICK-RRR-CLICK" noise. Usually, the fan makes a low humming noise, but this was an annoying "CLICK CLICK CLICK" that I couldn't get rid of. I tried to blow out some dust and shake it a bit, and it calmed down a little. When I went outside to get the client and came back in, it was down to its usual hum. Overall, the client meeting went well! She was looking for someone to help her out of an almost-given up situation, and we provided all of the options she needed. Can't wait to get started!

I also added a few subdomains via the Plesk control panel on Wednesday, but they weren't showing up. I was about to contact the support guy again and say "Hey! My subdomains aren't showing up. What's going on?" Instead of losing my temper, I thought about logging into the VPS Control Panel (since I recall having to do a 2-step procedure before), and I added the subdomains that way as well. It seemed like a hassle, but they worked today!

Dr. Lockwood also asked about having dinner sometime. I responded "OK" and asked for a confirmation time. I'm still awaiting a response.

Keat and I were ready to watch the DVD we received from Netflix, but by the time we sat down and attemped to watch it, the PS2 wouldn't play it. After fiddling with it for about 2 minutes or so, I opened it up and saw the DVD was cracked. I mean, a clean, straight crack! Don't know how that happened (honest!), but I notified Netflix and sent it back today.

I'll make sure to post today's post tonight.

PS: According to my tracker on the blog (top right corner), I have also been blogging for 1 month! YAY!

Tags:#netflix #plesk #vps #subdomain #client #ps2 #lockwood

A day full of TV - and Facebook URL's!

Amount of Comedy in Entry: 30% - xkcd

Although I'm not getting this in before midnight, I do believe that I should get this done before tomorrow starts. Bear with me...

Last night was a pain. It seemed like I couldn't get to sleep - tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable, staying warm, and....Chi meowing downstairs. Although I did have a few dreams, I believe Chi was meowing away last night as her "heat spell" was dying down. I sure hope it is over soon, because it is getting really annoying with the Siamese-volume meowing and constant "marking" all around the house and anything on the floor (I mean, even with a TOTALLY clean litter box AND being house trained, she still pees on random things while in heat).

The alarm went off at 8am and Keat got up. Yes, that is a first. She got up at 8 and stayed up. And the weirdest part: she got up before me. Although I love my sleep, it's very awkward that she gets up before me. She got some coffee and got ready for school. I tried to sleep for another 30 minutes. I thought I killed all of the alarms between 8 and 8:30, but apparently, my phone wanted to create some alarms to annoy me. 8. 8:10. 8:15. 8:20. 8:30. Okay, I got up.

I gotta say: This 2-day work week is really throwing me off. This morning, I was planning for what to do on Thursday and Friday. After I asked a few questions about using certain cars on Wednesday, Keat said "I don't have classes on Wednesday!" Then it hit me like a brick soccerball (because a "ton of bricks" would kill me). Thanksgiving break starts Wednesday and we're heading out, so (knowing how things will go down) work won't get done between Wednesday and Saturday. I hate putting work on hold for that long, especially when I'm on time-specific deadlines.

We left at 8:59am, and it usually takes us 22 minutes to get from the apartment to get to the office and/or school for Keat. Somehow, we arrived at her school at 9:16am. Don't quite know how that happened.

Anyway, my day was busy. Along with catching up on the weekend tasks and reading my RSS feeds (aka: my "daily digital newspaper" - should call it my "DDN"), I decided to go ahead and start the server upgrade process. Although it upgrades the main hosting server from a 30GB space to 50GB and Red Hat RHEL 3AS (which isn't supported anywhere, and it seems it hasn't been for about 2 years), to CentOS 5 (32 bit) which is something I can certainly relate to since the main operating box at the office, and the box in my home office both run off of CentOS 5 (32 bit). Can't complain about that.

I spent a lot of time talking to the hosting support staff on how to get the upgrade done. It seems pretty seamless from what I understood. I purchased the upgraded server space, but waited to initialize the domain and file transfer from the old VPS to the new VPS. Although I had both VPS's set, I wanted to proceed knowing that all bases were covered before I was slapped with some "unknown" fees. I was about to get things going until....normal business called.

After I sent out a mass message on FB asking people to "Like" Shadow Dev, I received a tip saying that a local competitor may need some help. Long story short: the business owner opened up a new business (while operating the current business), and things seemed to fall behind. The tip suggested that we offer our services to them in a non-competition agreement. I said that I'd think about it, and may attempt to contact the owner after Thanksgiving, allowing the holiday chaos to calm down a bit. Odd request, but what the hey?

I also received some updates from a client concerning some cosmetic items and photos. The photos they sent were to be used in the main slideshow on their site. All were good photos, but I could only properly use a few of them. There were also some issues with spacing and photo placement, but nothing unusual from normal day-to-day activities.

I went to Arby's for lunch, which was good for variety, but I swear: their "Value Roast Beef" looks like (Bread + Air) + 1 thin slice of Roast Beef + (Air + Bread). I've always been an Arby's fan and loved the Big Montana sandwich back around 2002 (which I believe is now a #4), but this was a little unacceptable. I wish I got a photo, but I was so hungry I didn't care what it looked like. I'll get a photo next time (I also dowsed it in Arby's sauce so it actually had some flavor). Their chicken is still good though; fresh, crisp, and thinly breaded. Pure flavor there. And love the curly fries. there an Arby's open this late?

After Keat and I got back to the office, I read an updated headline about "including your Facebook URL on your marketing materials" and thought "there's no way I can fit our super-long url on our marketing material. How can I fix that? Hmmm. Oh! Unique Facebook URL! Ok, how do I get it?" I recalled a re-tweeted tweet from a local competitor trying to perform a "social experiment" to gain 25 "Likes" to get a "Vanity Facebook URL". Not a bad idea. We had a few "Likes", and I knew it would take a while to get to 25. I thought "If they could do it within a few hours, so can we. Let's see what happens."

I posted the first "Like Us" post on my profile, Shadow Dev's page, my twitter, and Shadow Dev's twitter (turns out that auto-made shortened FB links don't always work) at around 3:30pm. I posted updates on how many followers we had and made sure to be at the top of the "updates" list about every 30 minutes or so. After multiple update posts (and probably the point that most of my friends were tired of me), we reached 25 followers at 8:30pm and I got Shadow Dev's own Vanity Facebook URL at (30 characters) - what a space saver (instead of, which is 77 characters).

After that happened, I offered a 10% discount to all new customers who are Facebook fans, in order to show my appreciation of their support. Honestly, I think it's a great deal. Like us = save 10%. No coupons, rebates, or special conditions. I recall Land's End had a similar deal for me when I was ordering the shirts. The lady on the phone said "Can you go to the Land's End website?" / Me: "Yea" / Her: "Do you see our main special on the front page?" / Me: "Yea, the one about logos?" / Her: "Yep. That special allowed you to save on your logo setup fees. Congrats." / Me: "Really? Wow" / Her: "Yeah, it's that easy." Why not give a little incentive to some fellow facebook fans?

Keat and I picked up some dinner and went home after that and caught up on some of our favorite TV shows. However, Keat made a good point while we were picking up dinner. She and I were talking about the Direct and Indirect competitors for Shadow Dev. Although I had a rudimentary understanding of direct and indirect competition in my 1 Marketing class while in college, I don't believe I got a lot out of it since I was preoccupied with ScrumIt and Nascent (when the idea of riding the Indy Speedway in a Limo is in your head, nothing else really fits). It has been determined that Keat knows a heck of a lot more than I do at marketing, and that is one of the many reasons she's studying Marketing and I'm studying Operations. I'm going to leave just about everything "Marketing" to her and do what I can with what I have.

Back to the shows: Futurama had a new special out yesterday, and we watched it online (comes out 1 day after air showing). That episode was.....a little weird. After that, we watched The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show. Although they had good stories, it certainly seems like Matt Groening, Seth MacFarlane, and their writers are stretching to find good quality stories.

I just realized a whole 1 1/2 episodes of Futurama have played while I'm writing this (we sleep to Futurama in the background). I'm gonna sign off before this becomes a term paper.

Tags:#xkcd #thanksgiving #chi #linux #vps #fb #arbys #shadowdev #discount #marketing #futurama #thesimpsons #familyguy #americandad #theclevelandshow

Does anything go right?

I know this is a little late for yesterday, but I wanted to make sure I got it in. Yesterday, it seemed like nothing went right, except for one thing - I'll get into that later.

As for thing not going right, a client wants us to get an e-commerce system for their site. In my mind, I'm thinking "Ok, no problem." So I find out that I have to install cURL on the main server. I tried to add cURL via yum, but yum couldn't find any appropriate packages to install cURL. So, I tried to update yum, but yum was missing an important file called, which was needed for proftp. So I go out searching for, which only exists in far out-of-reach corners of the Internet. Afterwards, I'm sent on a wild goose chase to track down dependencies for out of date files, which are out of date themselves, so I had to find up to date dependencies which needed more dependencies......can you say "endless loop"? So I try to update some of the main core files in the RHEL system, but it turns out that RHEL 3AS, which is on the server, is no longer supported anywhere.

I contacted the main server hosting service asking if the OS could be upgraded. It turns out that the OS cannot be upgraded, but PHP and MySQL could be (they failed to mention a $75/hour fee, which I did not commit to). I could upgrade the VPS and get a new OS, which would handle the PHP and MySQL upgrade without the upgrading fee. However, the new VPS upgrade would only allow 10 domains to be hosted instead of "Unlimited" which I was promised when I first signed up for a VPS system with this company back in 2007. In addition, we can move the files of the client websites, but can't move anything else (like httpd.conf, email forwardings, specific server configuration files, etc).

Shortly after I unsucessfully tried to install cURL on the main server, I thought "Ok, why not try to install it on a local server" (little background: local server "Blueice" has Centos 5, not RHEL 3AS). I ssh'ed into it. ran a yum installiation for cURL, and 10 seconds later, I had cURL on Blueice. After I saw this, tested it, and confirmed it, I was furious. Why couldn't the main server be this easy?!?!

So basically, I spend 5-6 hours trying to get cURL installed only to find out that the system itself is outdated and I have to upgrade the whole system. I decided to tell clients "We've outgrown our server capacity and have to upgrade." In a sense, we have outgrown our current space and need to upgrade, but I was furious for the first few hours. I also think this could be the "kick in the butt" we needed to take more risks in the business. With the new VPS system we're looking at, we'll have more space, more bandwidth, up to 100 domains (which shouldn't be a problem; once we reach 100, we should be able to get another VPS or self-hosting), and up-to-date software. Not really my day.

After I gave up on the server upgrade for the time being, I tried to work on the Accelerator to make AJAX-ified fields appear. It works with 1 box template (a hidden box with pre-determined fields), and I thought I could merge a "field adder" (without removing the existing text), with the drag-n-drop system, similiar to Netflix's Queue manager. However, once I configured the system to have custom boxes (like "Title", "Instructions", "Text"...basic stuff), the system would run through it once and then wouldn't add any more on demand. It seemed like the event listener in the AJAX file wasn't working and wouldn't add the proper event listeners with the proper binding properties. In my mind, it works perfectly: Click "Add Title", type in. Click "Add Instructions", type in. Click "Add Text Box", type in. Move and re-arrange the text boxes for better organization. Submit structure and build database based on the input. doesn't work. Great....

On the up-side, I stopped by Wendy's for lunch, and saw that they had the 5-piece Spicy Nuggets on the Everyday 99 cent menu! YAY! I was so afraid that they would take the 5-piece Spicy Nuggets away again.

After we got home (after Keat went to class), we watched Psych on Netflix and then went to bed.

Tags:#netflix #accelerator #wendys #kick #vps #server #nuggets #curl #e-commerce