Saturday, 28 December 2013


This morning and the first part of the afternoon I was finishing off the cheese photos.

Most of the rest of the afternoon I was preparing my pog website update for tomorrow. Just as the sun was setting I went on a walk - to Lubenham, then across the fields to the canal, and back home.

In the evening I played Jenga and Fluxx with Mark, Sarah, Clare, and Billy.

I always have to check my Junk email folder on hotmail, because Hotmail puts legitimate emails in the junk, and you can't turn the junk filter off. However, today I found a trick to get round it, which is detailed here: Disabling Junk Filtering With Hotmail. I can't be 100% sure it is working, but it looks like it is (no items in the junk folder so far).

While doing my pog website update, I came across this auction for Looney Tunes Tasty Tops full set with case, which sold for US $1,025.01! They must be the most expensive pogs, surely? And I am pretty sure there were two sets of 100 produced (Super Tasty Tops and Mega Tasty Tops), each with around 100 pogs. So that full set is probably just one series.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Photo processing

Most of today I was still processing cheese photos. In the afternoon we went out to Foxton Locks (I think I forgot to say before that Mark, Sarah, and Levi came on boxing day and are with us at the moment). In the evening we played Fluxx and scrabble.

I had a problem with one of my images that I was editing. I had previously saved the image using a RAW file as a smart object, but wanted to crop the image. But when I did this, the image became corrupted. I tried opening the RAW file smart object, and it seemed that the RAW file in the smart object had become corrupted.

Unfortunately this must have had happened when I originally saved the file, as the backup had the same issue. Searching for a solution, it seems that a range of factors can cause this issue: Photoshop: Problem with files and layers becoming corrupt. There is no solution, so I had to just remove the smart object, then re-open the original RAW as a smart object, and copy it into the document in place of the corrupted layer.

I do note in that forum thread that one of the possible causes was a bug in Photoshop, which was fixed in CS6. It does seem rather off to me to only release a bug fix in a new version of the software. In my opinion the bug shouldn't have been there in the first place, and so the fix should be provided for all versions of the software that contain the bug.

Though having said that, it is no longer an issue since Adobe only offer software by subscription now, so you will always receive any bug fixes (or not have any software at all if you don't pay your subscription).

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Washing up

Well, today was Christmas Day. That involves a nice big meal, which inevitably generates a lot of washing up. So quite a bit of the day was just spent washing up.

I also researched some ideas of sculpey to make for the next holiday at home. We went to church in the morning, though there weren't that many people there compared to the Christmas service in previous years.

Billy got Super Luigi U (twice) and Super Mario 3D Wii U, so I played on both of those with him for a while. I read a couple of stories from his Moomin comic strip book as well. And we played scrabble after dinner.

In the evening I went on Animal Crossing for a bit. Annoyingly, I forgot to go on it yesterday evening when it was Toy Day. And I had even made a list of what colour and type of present each of the villagers wanted.

Monday, 23 December 2013


Today I was mostly processing cheese photos. I also went on Animal Crossing for a bit and helped Billy taking some photos for a YE Christmas video.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Being cheesy

Well, I'm quite pleased with myself today. I managed to get my pog website and photo tips website updates ready. I also processed quite a few of the cheese photos I've got to do. I went on Animal Crossing for a bit and saw K.K. as well. So I got quite a few different things done.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013


Today I was doing more website stuff. I decided to look into fixing the an upstream response is buffered to a temporary file nginx warnings I was seeing in my logs. However, after doing some research, I couldn't really see whether the recommendation was to increase fastcgi_buffers size or switch fastcgi_buffering off. I would have thought that turning buffering off should be preferable, as then the client can start receiving the page ASAP rather than having to wait for the backend to finish processing the request. But most discussions were just about setting an optimum buffer size.

So I'm guessing that keeping fastcgi buffering and setting a good average buffer size is probably the recommended route. When I ran a request that buffered to file on the server on my local machine, I didn't get any buffering warning. So that makes the issue a bit more difficult to check the best buffer size and that it is working properly.

When looking at my config to try and see if I currently had any buffer statements in place, I found that I had client_body_buffer_size 2056k;. I'm not sure why I had that set, so I'm going to remove it for the moment.

After I looked into how many requests were giving a warning about being buffered to a temporary file, I decided not to change the the fastcgi_buffer settings, and just leave them at their default values. The error logs had a much smaller amount of lines than the access logs, so I think the vast majority of requests aren't being buffered to disk. (A very scientific way to check, I know.)

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Moving hosts

Most of today was spent continuing to move my Hostgator sites over to WebFaction. When I thought about moving hosts, I just thought of copying the db and files over, then updating the DNS records. Simple. But actually it is a lot more involved than that. Setting up the domains, associating them with an 'app' etc. using the Webfaction control panel takes quite a bit of time.

Then there is the email accounts. I spent quite a while trying to figure out how to transfer the mail over from the HostGator based accounts to the WebFaction ones. Ideally you'd be able to export the mailbox from Thunderbird, change the mail account settings, then import the mailbox again. But despite my searching, I couldn't see any way to do this.

So instead I had to add the new mailbox while keeping the old one intact. Then move (select and drag) the mails from the old mailbox to the mailbox. A sent items folder didn't exist in the new mailbox, so I had to send a message first to create it. Then move over the sent items from the old mailbox. And when all the messages had been copied, I could then delete the old mailbox from the account settings, and I would also have to delete the SMTP record for the old account.

Quite a pain having to do this for each account I needed to move over. Luckily it was only 2 as 1 of the accounts didn't have any mails worth keeping, and another one was already using WebFaction for mail.

Then, SMTP settings on the sites themselves need modifying. I checked all my sites I was moving, and there was only one that needed updating because it was using MailPress.

Cron jobs needed copying over, and a process to archive the logs will need to be written. (HostGator has an option to automatically archive logs, WebFaction doesn't. You have to write your own.)

Anyway, hopefully I have set everything that needed to be set correctly now. The sites and emails seem to be working anyway.

Monday, 9 December 2013


Well, I didn't get any tasks completed today, but I did make quite a bit of headway on several tasks.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Getting stuff done, but not what I wanted

Well, I have a long list of stuff I need to get done ASAP, but I spent most of today cooking. We had some old milk that needed using up before it went off, so I made a double batch of milk loaf. Half I baked as big buns, the other half I mixed in cinnamon and mixed fruit and baked as a spiced fruit loaf.

Clare and Brian also brought some cooking apples back from a walk, but they were quite badly damaged. So they needed cutting up and stewing sooner rather than later. Otherwise the bruises and mouldy areas would just spread and get worse. So I spent quite a bit of time cutting them up, and Clare stewed them up. Then, of course, all the cooking generates quite a bit of washing up to do.

However, I did get a little of work done today. My Hostgator account had come up for renewal, a few weeks ago, so I needed to decide whether to renew or not. I asked them to switch me to a monthly plan while I make up my mind. Hostgator did have a 50% off Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale. But that was only for new accounts, and they stated that if you take advantage of the offer then cancel your existing account, they will bill you for the full amount.

So I managed to look at a few different options today:

Plan Cost per year
Hostgator 36 month 107.05 USD
Hostgator 24 month 124.87 USD
Webfaction extra 50GB 60.00 USD
Amazon Glacier 50GB 6.60 USD
Amazon S3 RR 50GB 38.40 USD

WebFaction I already have an account with. Previously I opened the HostGator account as I was going over my diskspace limit on my WebFaction account. Checking today, I now have a 100GB limit on my WebFaction a/c and so I can actually switch everything I have on HostGator over to WebFaction, and not need to pay any extra storage fees at all. So that is what I plan on doing.

I also noticed on my WebFaction account that I am paying more than their basic package. It seems I am on an old plan, which gives a larger bandwidth allowance than their basic plan. But I am pretty sure I don't need this extra allowance. So, once I have my sites all switched over (might take a while), I will let it run for a month or so. And then see if I am close to hitting the base package bandwidth limit. If not, then I can downgrade to the basic package and save a couple of dollars each month.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Stats checking and stuff being annoying / broken

Today I was doing more stats checking. Rather alarmingly, the traffic for my photo website has dropped by about two thirds since January. I wonder if it is because I haven't been blogging on that site, and posting link backs on Flickr etc. lately? But was I doing much of that back in January?

On another site the traffic has more than doubled since January. Yet I haven't updated that site or posted any link backs for quite a while. Most likely the differences in traffic are just down to how Google calculates their search rankings, something I can do nothing about.

On Bing Webmaster Tools they've added a section so you can add links to your social network profiles. For my photo tips website, I have a youtube account, so I thought I'd add that. The first problem I had was that when I signed out of google in google chrome, it would only let me log back in with the same account I had previously signed in as. You choose your account from a list and then enter a password, rather than being able to type in a username and password. So, if the account you want to sign in as is not listed, then there is no way to sign in with that account.

There is an 'add account' button, but I didn't want to add an account, just sign in. I am pretty sure that clearing cookies would fix the issue. But I didn't want to bother with that as it would mess up the other sites I was signed into.

So I fired up IE, and was (pleasantly) surprised to find it had been upgraded to IE11. I signed into youtube with my photo tips account and got the profile URL to add into Bing Webmaster Tools. While I was signed in, I thought it would be a good idea to check for any new comments (unfortunately Youtube won't email me when someone comments on one of my videos, so I have to manually check it).

I checked the Youtube inbox, which had a couple of comments that didn't really need replying to. Then I went to the video manager to check the videos on my account and see the comment counts. I know from previous experience that often when people comment on a video, the comment doesn't appear in the youtube messages inbox. There was one new comment (actually a few months old) that needed replying to, but there was no reply link under their comment (or any of the other comments).

I tried to find out how to reply to comments, and it seems that this is a bug with Youtube since Google switched it over to G+ comments. I watched a few different videos about how to fix the issue, but none of them worked. The fixes revolved around changing settings in your Google account, and it seems Google has now removed these options. Maybe Google just don't want you to be able to reply to comments?

Eventually I found a video that offered a kind of answer that kind of worked. Apparently what you have to do is type a plus symbol (+) followed by the commenter's name that you want to reply to. Of course, this won't work as a proper semantic reply since your reply contains no reference to the message you're replying to, just the person you're addressing. Threaded comments will be impossible with this system. Does it notify the person you mention? I don't know.

Also, in IE11 the formatting in the comment textbox gets all weird when you choose the person that you're addressing. (The +name text gets wrapped in resizeable box similar to a text box in word processing software, very strange).

Checking other comments from the Video Manager, on some videos there were comments I had previously made as a reply to someone else. However, the other person's comment wasn't appearing in the comment list. If I clicked their name (from the 'in reply to name' link above my reply), it would load the page for the video, but underneath the video it said 'no comments on this video'.

On my personal youtube account, comments behave quite differently. Videos show no comments under them. You have to click a link to view the comments, then the comments are listed on a separate page. So you can't view comments and the video at the same time. But on Billy's youtube account you can see the video and comments on the same page. Seems like Youtube comments are just seriously broken at the moment.

As a side note, I kept receiving 'Internet Explorer has crashed and needs to close' messages while using IE11. Nice job MS! Strangely though, neither IE or the active tab was closed, so I'm not sure what part of IE it was that was crashing.

Bing Webmaster Tools was rather annoying today in listing pages with missing meta descriptions in the SEO Reports section. When you click one of the supposed 'non-compliant pages' it loads the page in the SEO analyzer, which reports 'No SEO violations were found for this page.' And when you check the page source for the page, it does include a meta description tag in the head.

The annoying thing about this, is that you could have some pages that actually were missing the meta description tag. But how are you meant to find out if most of the pages reported are false positives?

In the evening I did some Christmas present buying. For a book that Mauser wanted, on Amazon UK it was cheapest from a marketplace seller that said they dispatched from the US. But the postage cost was still a lot more for sending to Japan than to the UK. I checked, and there it was even more expensive. Finally I checked, and it was about the same price as via the marketplace seller on the UK site (with postage included). So there wasn't any cost benefit of ordering from Amazon Japan, but at least Mauser should definitely get it before Christmas.

Entering Mauser's address in Japan was very tricky though. On, when you entered the address in Japanese, if you made a mistake (I included the postcode symbol as part of the postcode), then the form would refill with all the characters converted to numeric HTML entities. Whether this was just a display bug, or Amazon would have actually converted the Japanese text to HTML entities and then printed these entities as the address, I don't know.

When I tried (with the language switched to English), I similarly had trouble putting the address in. It would come up with an error, but not tell you what the problem was. I think that probably it thought the address lines were too long.

By moving the hostel name to the company name field, the town name to address line 1, and just putting the ward and street address on line 2, I managed to get the form to submit successfully.

So now I just need to get Billy and McRad presents, and my Christmas shopping will be finished.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Isn't that a pip?

This morning I did some Korean learning and checked my emails. I looked online for a present for McRad as well.

Most of the afternoon I spent updating the church website.

In the evening I went out to try and do a star trails photo.