Not so quick update

Posted on 08 February 2006 by jose

I finally got website hits from below the equator (hello, Kiwis and Aussies!) and also got hits from Korea and Norway. Greetings all. I guess this means I need to update the map page. I think it's really cool that I can use Google Maps to get a vague idea of where my visitors come from, even the indexing spiders. (I realize that, which does my IP to geographic coordinate conversions is not the most accurate in the world, but I have to assume that it can at least get countries correctly. Feel free to add your IP to their list.)

Did some CSS tweaking to the Regulus theme's stylesheet so it's less pink/purple and more blue; I also made some mild modifications to my poll's CSS to eliminate the bullets and line up the text a little better.

I took the site down to test Debian's latest Etch (aka testing) installer on a 100 GB hard drive I was adding to a second machine for additional space, figuring that I could try this out and then wipe the drive clean before putting it in one of my XP boxes. I discovered that I have two broken drives (a DVD-ROM and a CD-RW) as a result of this test. Goes to show how often I use the optical drives. I'm not in any hurry to replace these drives as I've got two working DVD-ROM and one CD-RW over two other machines, so it's not a huge deal. I did have to borrow a DVD-ROM drive to install Etch.

I noted that the newly installed Etch distribution on the 100 GB drive seemed faster than the old Etch distro on the 15 GB, something that might be partially attributed to size. As the old Etch was actually Sarge upgraded to Etch, I figured I also had a lot of cruft slowing things down, so I backed up the 15 GB drive, wiped it, and re-installed Etch on it. I have to admit, it is always fun to completely wipe out a drive and install an OS from scratch. Everything was up and running relatively quickly, but I want to compare my list of installed packages now versus what I had previously.

On the dynamic IP (and keeping same updated) front, I've moved from a Python script to one written in Perl. Although I hacked the script to query my router for its outside-facing IP address, I have to figure out if it's possible to force the script to log out of my router without having to resort to setting a shorter timeout time on the router itself. When the router is still logged into, the script has trouble connecting to router for subsequent IP polling, and occasionally it has trouble parsing the HTML it receives from the router to extract the IP address. So at the moment, I'm having it query a website; I'd prefer not to hammer the website with requests, though; I think I'm going to re-write the script to allow fall backs (i.e., if the router IP doesn't make sense, fall back to the website check; use the IP address from the website as the master IP every X hours just in case the router is reporting the wrong IP to the script, etc.).

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