Thursday, February 10, 2005

To Tina Or Not To Tina?

Ever since I put up The Homepage For That Scar On Tina Fey's Face I've received over a hundred thousand hits on that page alone. I've been the number one search result on Google for "Tina Fey Scar" in both the regular search and the image search.

The rest of the site doesn't do as well. In fact, the only person who reads it is my mom and since The Internets doesn't come to her house I have to print out my site and mail it to her every month.

Getting so many hits one one page was both a blessing and a curse. It's certainly nice to get some attention. After all, this is a blog, which would make me a blogger, and everyone knows bloggers are nothing but attention whores with bad skin. But on the other hand, the comments people left on the Tina page were usually annoying. People said some horrible things about Ms. Fey, and very few people actually got the point of the site. Hint: I wasn't making fun of Tina.

So now the Tina page is gone. At least temporarily. But anyone going to the old page is going to be redirected here and they're going to want to know what the deal is with that scar.

So do I put the page back up or what? I'll have to decide.

In the meantime, for all you who wish to know what the deal is with that scar, I'll post the story next week. Keep checking in.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

In which I switch to a default template because I'm too damn lazy to create a new one.

So long, yahoo. So long, Miva.

I'm on a new host now and my old page relied heavily on some Miva code I wrote so I had to either get rid of it or rewrite it. After mucking about with HTML for an hour or two I realized I know very little about web design so I just grabbed an off-the-shelf-template from Blogger. I take no credit for the current design of this site though I do hope to soon have a design of my own, or at least one that is stolen and made my own.

The downside of getting rid of Miva is that all my old comments are gone. This isn't actually a big deal since 98% of my comments simply said "Tina Fey is teh h0tz0r!"

So long, Network Solutions.

Years ago when I went with Yahoo as my web host, they registered my domain name with Network Solutions. At the time I didn't want too much personal information available so I didn't put my full address in the registration form. For 'company' I wrote 'Bondcliff Enterprises' just because I'm all wacky like that. Everything worked fine and things were pretty much hunky-dory.

Life continued for me. I did some stuff. Then I did some other stuff. Years passed.

Until a month ago when I needed access to my domain registration info over at Network Solutions. Doing a WHOIS on Bondcliff.net showed my name and the same old fake address. The email address they had was an old one that I no longer had access to. The technical contact listed was the fine folks over at Yahoo. Since I wasn't the one who actually registered the domain with NS I had no password to get into my account. Using the 'forgot my password' form sent an email over to the old address which, of course, I would never receive.

Basically, I was locked out with no way to get in. It was mostly my own damn fault because I never changed my email address with NS, but Yahoo could have been a bit clearer on the whole process when I signed up.

Emailing Yahoo did no good. I figured since they were listed as the technical contact thay might have a way in. No matter how carefully I explained the situation I'd get some form letter back telling me I needed to do exactly what I was unable to do and to have a swell day and thank you for choosing Yahoo as my webhost and shouldn't old people be sent to camps.

Ok, I made up the part about the camps.

I called Network Solutions. I explained that I was the site owner, I was locked out, and I needed to change the email address from my old one to my current one so I could log in and change my DNS information. They told me they couldn't help me because my name was James and the site was registered to a J. Merullo. J and James are not the same name, you see. I could be any old impostor attempting to hijack the personal website of one J. Merullo.

They did tell me that a representative of Bondcliff Enterprises could authorize the changes to be made. I explained that there was no Bondcliff Enterprises, that I had made it up on the spot because I'm all wacky like that, and they informed me that someone from Bondcliff Enterprises would have to resolve the situation with the incorrect company name.

The only way anything could be done was if this J. Merullo fellow from Bondcliff Enterprises filled out a form on their website listing one James Merullo as the new primary contact, printed out the form on official Bondcliff Enterprises stationary (which must have the same address listed in the site's registration information), and faxed it over with a copy of J. Merullo's driver's license.

So, I fired up Microsoft Word and created some letterhead for Bondcliff Enterprises. For the address I simply put "Watertown, MA" because in the site's registration I had "Watertown" for both the street name and the city name. I printed this out on an HP Deskjet. I made a photocopy of J. Merullo's drivers license (which, funnily enough, listed him as "James") and attached it to the form. I signed it using my normal signature, which is just a squiggly line. I faxed it all over to Network Solutions and hoped for the best.

Three days later Network Solutions emailed me to my current address informing me that J. Merullo from Bondcliff Enterprises had made me the primary contact for Bondcliff.net.

Behold, the power of letterhead!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Yahoo sucks big monkey balls.

A few years ago, when I first decided to get my own domain and webhost, it seemed like a good idea to go with Yahoo. They were cheap, domain registration was free and they offered free lifetime renewal. A great deal. I went with them, it seemed easy enough to work with them as a host, and I was happy.

Then I learned more than three things about creating a website and I realized how much they suck.

Look up. Notice how the URL ends in ".mv" That's Miva. You've never heard of Miva. You're thinking to yourself, "Self, what the fuck is Miva?"

Miva is the scripting language that I use for my comment system, among other things. It also runs the database for the comment system. There are a million free comment systems out there, none of which I can use, so I had to write my own. I can't use the free ones because they are not written in Miva.

Everyone else in the universe uses PHP and MySQL. That seems to be the standard out there. Go to a bookstore. Notice there are books about PHP. Notice there are books about MySQL. Notice there are books about using PHP with MySQL.

See any books about Miva? No. Because nobody uses Miva. Nobody.

Well, some people use it, I'm sure. But these people also want to touch your nephew in inappropriate ways.

Why do I use Miva? Because Yahoo doesn't have anything else. I can't use PHP, I can't use MySQL, I can't use Perl, I can't use anything but Miva.

Well, I could use Frontpage, I suppose. If I were an idiot.

As long as I use Yahoo, I'm stuck using Miva.

So one day I got it in my head that I should find a new host. There are plenty of Host-type-places out there that are as cheap (or cheaper) than Yahoo and most of them let me use technology that more than three people in the world are familiar with.

I found a host I wanted to go with, read their FAQ to see how I could go about transferring my domain, and that's when the fun began.

Tune in tomorrow, or next week, or next month, to hear the exciting story about my adventures transferring my domain.


Friday, January 07, 2005

In the beginning was Napster, and it was good. Many nights were spent downloading megabyte after megabyte of song files. Some were songs I wanted to learn to play, others were songs I liked, but most were just acquired for the sake of acquiring them.

Then the big mean lawyers and Lars Ulrich came and took Napster away.

So we all switched to AudioGalaxy. That was ok, though not as good as Napster. They shut that down too.

Then there were a bunch of other things like eDonkey and Kazaa. They were better than nothing but 80% of what was downloaded turned out to be mislabeled, virus-infected, or just plain broken.

Now there's BitTorrent, which takes a bit of work to get going but holy crap does it work well once you find what you're looking for. And the quality of stuff is pretty decent, MP3s are usually organized and tagged. They're trying to shut that down too but I'm not sure they can.

So now that I have a buttload of MP3s (all public domain and stuff I have a license for, of course...) I needed a player and a way to organize them. I've tried half a dozen players, from Winamp to the stuff that came with my sound card. Nothing worked well. I'm not very good at organizing stuff and creating playlists was annoying. As a result I'd have it just shuffle through all my music so I'd get some hippie-folksy-dykey accapella singer followed by an Anthrax tune. Now, I like my hippie-folksy-dykey accapella stuff sometimes and other times I like my thrash metal, but put them together and you get two great tastes that taste like ass together. Resees ass cups.

Enter iTunes. I've been hearing a lot about iTunes lately but I've been ignoring most of it because the people saying it were Mac users. Yeah. Those people. Steve Jobs could shit out Windows ME: Extra Annoying Paperclip Version and Mac fans would claim it was the greatest thing ever. They're all morons. All of them. 'cept for Ellen Feiss. She's awesome.

It's been my life's mission to make fun of those people.

Which is why I hate admitting that they're right.

iTunes fucking rules! It's so damn simple and intuitive. Toss in a disk, hit 'import' and you have your MP3s. Smart Playlists make it easy to play only tracks by a certain artist or a certain album. Organizing things is as simple as a single click. Add a Firefox extension to put the audio controls right in my browser and I'm styling. This is the MP3 player I've been waiting for.

Now I want an iPod.

Stupid Mac users.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I'm not a fan of new year's resolutions

I've always felt that if you really want to change something about yourself you need to start immediately, not at some date in the future. Picking a date and saying "I will continue doing what I'm doing up until that date and then I will stop" is just procrastinating and ultimately will not lead to long term change. I'd be willing to bet that people who start going to the gym in, say, June, last longer than those who start going in January. Nothing proves a point like facts pulled out of my ass.

So with that in mind, I have begun updating my blog again before January 1st. Hell, January 1st is on a Saturday this year and nobody reads the internets on the weekend anyway.

With everything in my life, I go through spurts. I'll find something new that interests me like, say, chess or astronomy or having a kid, and I'll be obsessed with it for a few months before putting it down and never looking at it again. Which reminds me, I should probably check in on whats-his-name. (just kidding, Seamus, daddy loves you. Put down the phone.)

Blogging was one of those things. If I look back at the first year or so of bondcliff.net, it amazes me at some of the stupid and uninteresting things I wrote about, simply because I needed to update. It was my thing-o-the-week. I was in a spurt of creativity.

Obviously, my creativity has dried up in recent months. I'm trying to get it back. I hope I can manage.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Somebody better nail ol' Jesus to the cross again.

Somehow on Christmas day the conversation turned to file sharing and bootleg DVD's (it may have had something to do with the bootleg DVD of The Incredibles that I received) and my mom, my ultra-Catholic mom, mentioned that she had a copy of The Passion of the Christ on DVD that she got from "A guy at church."

I guess it's not on the same level as shooting an abortion doctor to keep babies from being "murdered" but to me it does somehow seem to be missing the point.

My mom is a DVD pirate. That's awesome.








Tuesday, December 07, 2004

HOLY CRAP!

A new record! 35,000 visits this week and it's only Tuesday! Not bad for a guy who never even updates. Thank you, Tina Fey. Most impressive of all is being linked to from Mr. Skin, the guy who posts all the naked clips from R Rated movies. My mom would be so proud.

I really do need to update more often. Someone needs to inspire me.