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Saturday, May 22, 2004

May 22, 2004

To Upgrade...or not?

Well, I finally got around to working on the server upgrades (to Fedora Core 1) at home here...only to discover something peculiar:

They won't upgrade!

First off, the older box has a difficult time booting from CD as I 'discovered' today. I'm assuming that it's a BIOS problem, since the drive itself isn't that old. The curious part is that it hasn't had this problem I was beginning to wonder if perhaps there was an underlying media issue (or something of that nature).

Anyway, I decided to skip that box and go to the other; the idea being I could copy the images to disk and do an upgrade directly from disk (instead of via CD)...but I would do the second server before. So, it boots into the setup procedure nicely and does a bunch of stuff...until I get an error about a file (on the CD). As it turns out, the media itself is bad -- two of the three (are confirmed) to have issues on their surfaces which are causing the errors. This I find particularly interesting since I used them in the server reinstallation at work a few weeks ago.

So, I decided to put that project off for just a bit longer. While I don't like the idea, I don't have much of a choice right now aside from downloading new CD images. And since they've released Fedora Core 2, I'll probably just download those images and re-run the upgrade with them.

More Web News

Well, as of yesterday (Friday) afternoon, the user frontend of the work website is complete, valid, and ready to go. The last step of my week was to go through and validate each page with the W3C XHTML validator and fix until happy. After that came the CSS validator, and both are now complete. After I get some new text content to put in place for some of the product pages, we'll be able to go completely live with it.

I also took today (Saturday) to work on some of the backend conversion. Fortunately, this only took a few hours (the look changes are quite simple) due to the fact that the backend is mostly PHP and has very little HTML embedded within. It was, however, a good time to go through and do some error checking, bugfixing, and general cleaning.

I didn't complete the backend work -- there's still more to be done (although mostly in fine-tuning the appearance), but something which shouldn't take longer than a day.

House Stuff

Well, while we haven't gotten a bid for the septic upgrade, we have found out the details regarding the change. Fortunately, we're able to use a system which will operate better in our frigid winters (some people have problems with the particular system we don't have to install) and which will also cost roughly $1000-$1500 less to get set up. Hopefully sometime early in the forthcoming week we'll get the bid so we can continue the process...

Until Next Time...

...have a great weekend and enjoy the mid-May weather. Hopefully it's better where you are than here (low 60's, overcast)...

This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/25/07

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

May 19, 2004

Web Work!

Well, it would seem as though my 'work web project' is coming along (and going) better than anticipated. After all, had you told me this time a week ago (which is about the time I was beginning to think about tackling the renovation/upgrade project) that I'd be as far as I am, I'd have laughed... smile

Long story short, the complete renovation (completely new look, additional functionality, general HTML/XHTML compliance and simplicity, and cross-browser compatibility), at least as far as that which the user sees -- which is only about half of the entire site), is about 3/4 complete. It's actually more complete than that as far as HTML is concerned, but factoring in some proofing time and time it will take for new content generation gives me that estimate.

I have to admit that, even though I really was not looking forward to the color scheme and pre-determined pseudo-layout requirements, the look is really impressive now that it's mostly complete...and has actually grown on me. I would anticipate that within (or in about) a week from now, the user frontend will probably go live. As far as the administrative backend is concerned, that's another story... But as far as that goes, most of that will actually entail just changing the look to the new one (which actually isn't all that bad, since the lot of it is done with PHP includes), so it's going to entail finding all the unused and extra CSS (I've started fresh with a new set of stylesheets since the old ones were getting a bit big and bulky) and changing things around as appropriate. So, the backend is mostly change in look and not function, whereas the frontend is a combination of both.

Besides, the news system I finished developing on aside from some random optimizations and/or cleaning up with PHP, it shouldn't be too bad.

Another Step Gone... the house obtaining process. Hopefully by sometime tomorrow (Thursday) we will have some new and better information about stuff related to the house (in regards to the septic system). What does this mean? Well, it really means that (if all goes well), we should probably be at the bank (again) sometime early next week at the latest to give them some new actual they can begin their process again. They already have an app on file, so it's mostly a matter of changing numbers...

And then the next round will begin with appraisal and 'more final' approval...

At least the process is still in motion -- for a while we were getting a bit erratic. smile

Anyway, until next time...

This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/25/07

Sunday, May 16, 2004

May 16, 2004

Twice in as many days?

Yes, it's true. I go through this news bit in's just that some times are better than others.

Today's news is pretty mild, actually. Nothing hugely important, but more of an informative entry. As of today, both servers have been up and running sans restart for over 90 days. This isn't actually all that odd, because they're meant to do that. I believe the longest I've gone without a server restart (for either of them here at home) is just over 108 days. As is also anticipated, the server uptime will start back at zero, probably sometime this week. But more about that a bit later.

The really odd thing today is that my personal machine (WinXP Pro box) has been without a restart for now almost 33 days (give a couple of hours). By the time I go to bed, it will have been 33 days of uninterrupted computing, which had previously been unheard of in my life with Windows (I was lucky to get a couple of decent days out my 98SE installation. Granted there's been no binge CPU cycles eaten up 24/7, but it's not like it's just sit idle either. This to me is impressive, and goes to truly show that (even though Microsoft can be a little tricky) their products get better with time.

Servers, Schmervers...

Well, the time has come and gone...and RedHat 9 is no longer supported for errata and such. As I've mentioned in the past, the server setting I've made at work is centered around Fedora Core 1 (essentially the 'poor man's RedHat solution'). I've been very impressed with FC1 -- even though it's running on essentially the same architecture and setup as one of my servers here, it definitely seems as though FC1 is a little bit better and lightweight than its predacessor RH9. Now, I could be very wrong in that statement, but it's worked well thus far and as far as updating goes, is a little easier for me to personally manage when I need to (but that's an entirely different story).

So, with all that said, it's time to do the upgrade from RH9 to FC1. This is a move I've been putting off for some time, mostly because major changes as such tend to scare me a bit. smile Specifically this one, because it's technically a distribution change. Anyway, my guess is that it won't be too terribly bad and will just take some time -- after all, it would possibly be worse to have to reinstall it all -- at least this way I can just upgrade from the CD set.

My real guess as to when I'll do this -- sometime this upcoming week. It'll take time, but should be time well spent. smile Hopefully it goes as planned.

Anyway, until next time, enjoy the remainder of May! I can't personally believe that it's already mid-May myself...

This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/25/07

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