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Friday, December 7th, 2007

Killed Plugin

I got a report of extremely slow load times for my blog, something to do with scripting, that locked up the browser. At first I thought it was Internet Explorer, but when I checked it myself, it was even worse on SeaMonkey (the latest in the Netscape Navigator – Mozilla evolution, and my preferred browser.) Even though I was wrong about the browser, I was right about the culprit – my Inline Google Maps v2.1 plugin. I’ve noticed problems with it before.

When it came out, IGM was a spiffy tool that allowed you pull a customized map from Google and include it on your web page. You had to use your own Google Maps API key, but I already had one of those because I had been thinking of trying to write something along the same lines. But I guess lots of people had that idea, and Google noticed the traffic; so they wrote their own solution. (Or they just had the same idea, I don’t know.) Now, when you click on the “Link to this page” option in Google Maps, instead of just getting the url with the form data set, you also are presented with preconfigured HTML code that you can just cut and paste onto your site.

I doubt it was the IGM plugin’s fault – after all, it worked fine before – so the Google Maps API must have changed. Maybe they did it to deliberately screw with all those other guys’ solutions. My only option was to shut down the plugin, and now I’ll have to go back through previous posts, use the existing url that had all the map settings in it, go to Google Maps, and get new HTML code to overwrite what I had before. What a pain in the butt.

But I do love my little maps.

Posted by Greg as My Website at 11:57 PST

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Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Having a Little Fun

Going through my page requests, I noticed some 1,700+ from a website called “What the hell is this?” I wondered. Well, it appears to be some lame-ass hacker website in Arabic, located in Saudi Arabia. All those page requests? Some drongo script kiddie forum user had found my revolving skull and crossbones gif and was using it as his personal avatar. He is going by the handle BAD HACKER. He lists his occupation as a “Profissinal HaXoR”.

Normally, it wouldn’t bother me if somebody took an image from my website and used it for his own purposes, but this guy didn’t bother to copy it – he just created a link to my site, so whenever somebody looks at a page that he has posted on, the site comes over to mine and downloads it. That’s taking my bandwidth, so I had to retort.

Now, if someone visits securedeath and sees this guy, instead of having this cool avatar:

Red Skull

they see this:

I Stole

It’s a very simple hack to get around – let’s see how long it takes him to fix it.

Posted by Greg as My Website at 12:33 PST


Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Ending the Subdomain Experiment

After three months, I reassessed my decision to move my blog to a subdomain on my website. It had turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. I’ve moved to change everything back, but I never kept track of all the little changes I made to try and adapt to the subdomain difference, so errors might pop up again and again.

I made this decision after reviewing literature on the implications of search engine optimization on the subdomain/folder choice. The vague generalizations that I encountered had new meaning after my experience of the last three months. I would now have to say that, for a personal website, subdomains present more problems than benefits. I had thought that the subdomains were more technically savvy; but I found that the general public and search engines (which cater to the general public) do not appreciate the difference.

Posted by Greg as My Website at 16:04 PST

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Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Home for a Few Days

I got done in Killeen, Texas on Tuesday. I got really lucky – the storms have been hanging around, but I just managed to get my work in without having to spend more time. I drove from Texas to Missouri on Wednesday and had a few days to try to catch up with everything – I had planned on having the whole week, and figured I could get at least two reports done. Tomorrow I’m going to Anchorage, Alaska, for two weeks. I guess I’ll be writing on the plane!

I finally figured out some very elementary things that had, until now, escaped my notice. Many people come to my blog from a search engine result that uses my old format, and some come from links that I had previously seeded in technical message boards. They’ve all been getting an error page! No wonder my traffic is down. I have thrown up a hasty explanation and workaround on my standard error page, but I should really write something smarter – a PHP page that takes the sought link and rewrites it to the format and then uses a redirect. But it’s been a long time since I’ve done any coding, and just writing has been tough to keep up with.

I knew that some of my images weren’t showing because I had hard-coded the source of the images instead of using relative ones, but what I didn’t realize is just how extensively my own internal links, referencing other posts, are nearly all screwed up. Well, a smart error page might fix that problem for now, too. Still, it’s going to take a lot of work to make everything right. *Sigh*

Posted by Greg as My Website, Travel at 10:22 PST

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Saturday, April 14th, 2007

Revenge of the Search Engines

I knew there were going to be problems by changing my site from to And they have come to be evident. Google thinks that these are two entirely different websites, and I have all but disappeared from the search engine results using terms that I had ranked very highly in before.

Oh well.

If anything, this will give me time to go back and make the changes that I want. It will help to be below the radar for a bit. I’m pretty confident that I can climb my way back up again.

Posted by Greg as My Website at 12:55 PST


Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Blog Moved to Subdomain

I’m trying something new again that might mess a bunch of things up. I set up the subdomain for this blog. It’s one of my first tries with subdomains.

All the files are still actually located in, so I guess it’s some sort of redirect. The first thing I noticed is the pop up saying that my Google Maps API key was for a different site – is different than I got a new API key, so now everyone else who comes in through the old way will be seeing the pop up.

I’m also guessing this is going to screw up my search results in Google and other search engines, and probably screw up my PageRank. The redirect is also botching things when I try to log into other sites using OpenID.

I’ll have to chalk all this up to learning experiences.

Posted by Greg as My Website at 12:11 PST

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Tuesday, March 20th, 2007


A couple of weeks back I was poking through whois and discovered that was available, so I picked it up. I might actually be able to do something with this, set up an instructional/reference site, and finally put my forum software to use. Or I could just use it to blather about all things corrosion engineering. I’ll have to find some more generic content management system software that doesn’t run as achingly slow as the ones I’ve already tried. Right now, I’ve just pointed it to this blog.

Posted by Greg as Corrosion Control, My Website at 08:47 PST

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Sunday, March 4th, 2007

Upgrade to WordPress 2.1.2

The next step in the upgrade fiasco.

Hmm – good sign – I didn’t lose everything when I tried “Save and Continue Editing”.

Posted by Greg as My Website at 04:56 PST

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Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Reinstalled WordPress 2.1

I tried installing the WordPress 2.1 upgrade again, thinking that maybe my problems were from a corrupted file. The first thing I noticed is that the error I was seeing in the admin pages is now gone. I have limited plugins enabled – I still need to go search for latest releases for all my favorite plugins.

Let’s see if I have any problems saving this post.

UPDATE: Well, publishing directly seems to work. But I’m still having problems with the “Save and Continue Editing” function. Since I often take a lot of time writing posts – most often because I like to research and provide links to my references – I like to save often. The old “Save and Continue Editing” button was great in that it saved my work as an unpublished draft, and it gave me a preview of what my post was going to look like.

But since I installed WP 2.1, and even just now, whenever I click the SaCE, I get a yes/no choice to save a blank post name, and when I click “Yes”, I get thrown into the Manage Posts section and my work to date has disappeared. The old admin setup used to keep me in the Write Posts section, leave my work open, and just update the Post Preview. Very discouraging.

UPDATE: I’ve narrowed down the offending behavior. The screwy SaCE problem only occurs after the post I’m writing has been Autosaved. What do I have to do, turn off Autosave?

Posted by Greg as My Website at 04:33 PST

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Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Gotta Fix This


I just spend two hours writing and researching a post to see it disappear in a puff of smoke. So much for the new autosave feature.

I gotta get this blog fixed.

Posted by Greg as My Website at 16:46 PST

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