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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Happy Labor Day!

PS: do the unemployed celebrate Labor Day? 

Don’t forget – LOLcats are at the end.  This week I have two semi-long stories.  They didn’t start off that way.. in fact, they started off empty.


Crucial contradition

Does my pinky look fat to you? 

My parents had an older laptop that wasn’t suitable for use within their business anymore, but probably would be fine for internet browsing, email, chat and homework, so I wanted to see if it would work for my 14yr-old daughter.  It’s an older (> 4yr old) Sony Vaio (Vaio’s are so cool!).

So far, it’s proven to be an excellent laptop for student use.  The CPU is fast enough, it has decent battery life, it has wireless, etc.  It has 512MB ram on it, so I wanted to see about upgrading it.  The online manual says it can go to a gig, which should be plenty good enough (and in all frankness, the 512MB really is good enough , but if it’s only $15-20 I’d like to get the upgrade).

So I go to crucial’s site and have it auto scan the system.  And I’m confronted with a contradiction:

sony vaio crucial ram tester upgrade

On the one hand, it says my system already has the maximum amount installed.  Then it says I have 512MB installed with a capacity of 1024MB.  Then it says I have 0 available memory slots.  I CAN’T TAKE IT!

FAIL.   So I’ll have to dig into the manuals and figure out what I really can do.

The second thing I wanted to mention about the laptop is that I could probably never use it, at least for any length of time.  They keyboard is so incredibly hard for me to use!  The shift key is miniscule and all the keys I use frequently (end/home/pgup/pgdn) require the use of a function key.

sony vaio laptop keyboard is too small shift fn function key

As I was using it to run updates, install anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc, I found my pinky constantly hitting the up-arrow button instead of shift. 

I had no idea my pinky was so fat!


Wayne: 1;  1 and 1: 0

Once again I feel compelled to write about 1&1, my ISP.  I’ve done it before, and it’s not always a good thing.  Just now I realized that LAST Labor Day, they screwed up as well (complete with a WHALL LOLcat photo).

On Sunday, I got an email from the President of our Astrological Society asking if our website was down and sure enough, I checked and there was the dreaded Internal Server Error – 500.  After a bit of troubleshooting (it’s what I’m really good at), I determined that Apache, the web service software, was running fine, but PHP, the “scripting brains” behind WordPress and many other types of web sites, was not. 

Since this is a hosted service and not a dedicated server, I have extremely limited privileges on the machine.  All I can do is call them up and beg for them to look at it.  After a phone call that basically verified that the person answering the phone doesn’t know what they’re talking about, I at least got them to do, quote “reset the web service.”  Ah, is that what the kids are calling it these days?  He said to call back in 30-40 minutes because that’s how long it took (Wha???).  I was increasingly frustrated but it’s all I could do.

An hour later, nothing was fixed so I called back in.  This time the guy had a different answer that was even more absurd than the first.  He put me on hold for a bit and then came back and said “is it working now for you?”  I verified that it was and asked what the deal was.  He said “there were too many processes running on the server you were on, so we killed a few and it’s working.”  I had assumed he meant someone else’s hosting package because I don’t run anything but wordpress and drupal, and it’s all web-based.

Then the next day I got a twitter letting my know my blog was down.  Same problem: Internal Server Error 500.  I was mobile, so I emailed 1&1 support letting them know the problem was back; here’s my case number from yesterday, please fix it, and tell me what is causing it a second time in a row.

The response from 1&1 is so bad it’s laughable.

We have checked further your issue here. We need to ask more information form you. What website application are you using when you build your blog site? Is it thru wordpress or thru your 1and1 blog?  If your answer is wordpress you need to upload .htaccess file to the home directory file, yet make it sure that you have back up file for your existing .htaccess file. After which you need to parse the php to php 5.

All you techno-neophytes out there – don’t worry if you don’t understand the above paragraph.  The paragraph makes no sense, AND it’s completely wrong.

I called in to support and let them know that the email response I received was inaccurate and unacceptable.  After talking with them for a while (and holding forever), the guy told me that I had too many processes running.  Specifically, he said I had too many PHP connections open.  So naturally I wanted to know – “how many connections?  What’s the limit?  How do they know they’re mine?  How can I determine this myself so I prevent the problem in the future?

He had no answers at all.  He just kept talking himself into a hole, using terms he had no business using.  I wish I could have recorded the conversation.

I also responded to the email:

I just called in and got a completely different answer than what you just put in the ticket. Your response portrays a significant lack of knowledge on the service you provide.  Please escalate this to the next level and explain to me how I’m using too many processes. Is it a load average issue? Inodes? Number of running processes? Ram consumed? Is there some quota that I’m subjected to that I’m exceeding? I need my hosting service to work and I need to know what arbitrary limitation has been placed upon my package recently that is causing this issue.

And guess what response I got…. yup, completely unrelated gibberish

We thank you for providing us the necessary informations. As we have checked on the websites whall.org/blog and astrologyaustin.org , we can see that both websites are working fine. We have also checked on the server where your websites are being hosted an it is also working fine.  Please try to clear the cache and cookies of the web browser that your using or use another web browser.

I almost wish the hosting package wasn’t so inexpensive, or that the cost of transferring 100+ domains wasn’t so prohibitively costly.  I’d consider switching if otherwise.


Best of LOLcats

I want you all to know that I’m not so closed-minded that LOLcats has to be restricted to cats. 

lolcats omg that dress ick dog

 

lolcats surprise eggs dude not yet

lolcats make da voices stop

 

 


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