Move to Linode

Since I’ll no longer have a broadband connection (or much of a home) in a month to a month and a half, I decided that it was finally time for me to move my websites off of my desktop, which has been acting as my webserver for several years, and onto a hosted server. Having heard of Linode from several friends, I decided to check it out. The cool thing about Linode is that I get a virtual machine that I install my own OS on (I’m running Ubuntu 7.10 on it) and I have the root password for that VM. This means that I can do whatever I want, without having to rely on a sysadmin somewhere to install software as I need it.

So, starting today, I’ve begun the process of migrating my websites out of my apartment and onto the server. In another 3 hours, the data transfer should be complete and at that point I can begin testing to make sure I’ve remembered to install all the software and have the server configured correctly. Once I’m satisfied that everything is ready, I’ll update DNS to reflect the address of the new server and everyone should (hopefully) see a seamless transition as I’ll implement redirects while the new DNS settings propagate.

For those of you using Linode, do you have any suggestions for me? Nifty tips and tricks? Things to watch out for? If so, please, let me know.


And the transition to Linode is complete. If you notice any problems, please let me know.

Google Calendars

Apparently, I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve missed out on the rumours of Google Calendar. I woke up this morning and hit up my RSS feeds while eating breakfast and found a post by Adam Israel that Google had deployed a calendaring program via their Google Accounts. Arstechnica has a writeup.

Feature List:

  • Gmail Integration (Though I haven’t seen this in action yet.)
  • Quick Add
  • Calendar Sharing
  • Comments on events
  • Invitations (and RSVP)
  • Reminders (email, popup boxes, SMS)
  • Search (of course)
  • Import from most existing calendar programs.
  • They’ve tied it into Gmail, when an email mentions an event and time, click a couple of times and it shows up on your calendar. They aren’t providing a whole lot more that’s new besides that if you’re a user of iCal and some sort of publishing software like phpicalendar. (I do mine this way, you can check it out if you want.)

    There are a couple things I don’t like however.

    1) Google still isn’t supporting Safari. This has been an issue for me with Gmail as well, but things mostly work there. Google Calendar though? I get an message saying Safari isn’t supported every time I visit. Secondly, every time I click on a different page (week view, month, etc.) I get a huge error message that flows off the screen and I have to blindly hit enter on the message.

    2) Funny… the Google Calendar thing doesn’t show up in Gmail for me (even when using Firefox, a supported browser.)

    3) I can’t publish from iCal to Google Calendar. Sure, I can export from iCal and then import into Google Calendar, but that’s a pain every time I change an event. With phpiCalendar, everytime I make a change, it’s uploaded to the server via webDAV.

    4) The imported calendar isn’t even correct. Events that I delete in iCal still show up in Google Calendar. This doesn’t happen when I publish to my calendar. Look: Google Calendar (well, you could look if I could figure out how to get a link to that day) and phpiCalendar.

    So, what am I going to do? I’ll probably upload my calendars just to play around with it. To have a timely and updated version of my schedule on the web though, phpiCalendar is still the solution I’m going to stick with.

    Google Adsense

    So, as some of you may have noticed, my blog is now sporting Adsense (and has been for about a month now) , Google’s ads. I’m going text only, so hopefully it doesn’t prove to be too annoying for anyone reading this.

    I didn’t get too many clicks until December rolled around. Through today, Adsense has earned me about $15. That’s 39 ads clicked and I’m paid an average of $0.84 per click. While I’m not earning as much money as some of those people who actually live off of their Adsense revenue, it might pay the bill for my new cell phone this month, which isn’t bad in my eyes.

    Adsense was pretty easy to set up too. It took about 10 minutes to register an account and about a day later, I got a test debit to my checking account (though you can also opt for a check in the mail). Actually implement the ads on the website was pretty easy too. On this site, I just dropped a chunk of javascript into a CSS file and poof!, Google ads. On my Foamy mirror, I did have to go through and put the javascript on each page (I just mirror it for a guy, so I’m not redesigning it to use CSS, which I don’t know well enough for that task). If anyone is interested in setting it up on their site and has trouble, let me know.

    For the rest of you, have a heart, click the occassional ad and make some money for me at no cost to you.

    SBC Doesn’t Suck (at least in this case)

    I’ve been spending a bit of time lately attempting to make Postfix and SASL work to send email through another email server since SBC blocks port 25. Long story short, I was getting nowhere. So, I go to SBC’s website to see if perhaps, they have instructions on how to do it (they don’t). I found something even better though, they will, upon request, remove the port 25 block.

    Coming soon: email from my webserver.

    Bye bye Internet Explorer

    I ran across a story about Google implementing a program where they pay money to people who refer others to Firefox downloads with the Google Toolbar installed.

    There’s also a nifty project called Internet Explorer Destroyer that displays a nice little page recommending you switch when you visit this page. For those of you using IE, I’m sure you’ve already seen it.