Kill the Spam Site News
Welcome to Studio42's Anti-Spam section. This page is for news and announcements regarding this site.
I'm not gone, but since I moved to a different ISP, I have been cut off from Use.Net. I am till fighting spam. Still trying to redo a calendar from one year. The site has fallen into what appears to be neglect, so doing a major overhaul and refit of the entire site. Expect both changes and problems. I expect this to be done by the end of January 10, 2012. It will be impossible for me to spot all the problems, so text me problems at: 916-601-7089. Thank you.
Just so you know, there's been a major shift in focus. Studio42 is mostly concentrating on live sound production for concerts and events these days.
Yeah, it's been 5 years since the last posted update. You gonna make something of it? Didn't think so.
So, what's up, or rather not up? Well, once again I switched ISP's. I did that back in 2006 from evil Frontier wiht their over-priced one-third speed unreliable ADSL and onto DigitalPath's Wireless offering. At first, the DigitalPath seemed better, but over time, it's been getting progressively worse, what with the propogation of 802.11x gear. Another interesting issue is that due to the poor economy and houses being foreclosed on, some of DigitalPath's nodes, which often reside on private residences, have been shut down. Service keeps getting slower and slower. Finally, there was a flat out failure of my roof top radio. When the technician came to replace it, that went well, but then my main router died on me. I switched to a back-up router, then replaced that router with a new one that also does 802.11n(draft). And to thank me for my work, then my web server's CPU fan started failing. Due to the age of the web server, I upgraded to a spare 1GHz PIII CPU and mainboard and all was well. For a while. Then that hard drive failed on me, and I had a show the next day. I tried various other Linux builds, but ended up having to go back to Red Hat, which isn't perfect since I can't get the security upgrade because I have old software. I've since downloaded the latest, but I haven't installed it yet because of time constraints. The only things lost were counter files and thanks to some web search crawler, I'm getting hammered with all the missing counter file reports. This is so much easier than finding out myself.
Any other news? Well, obviously I'm still fighting spam. Due to the outage and planned upgrades, some CGI's are flat out not installed right now. The main focus is on Studio42.com. You'll notice if you really look, I failed to do calendars for one year due to some issues that happened, and I may back-pedal and get those done. I've also taken measures to streamline and lessen the amount of pages involving a spam report. 2008 notes what may be the final type of design for this site, where the spam, lookups and any follow-up are contained within 1 file. Not to say the site may not evolve further, but since this is 100% done by hand, it's not a simple effort. I'm sure a database driven structure would work better, but right now what I have works.
May 29, 2003
Yeah, I'm still around. Lots of stuff has happened since the last time I updated this page. Let me recap.
I got engaged. I moved out of my apartment and into a house. There is even a pool in the back yard. I got married. I went to Vietnam for 3 weeks. I got a second pug, and I moved the site off Red Hat Linux 6.2 to Red Hat Linux 8.0. Other stuff has happened as well, but I don't wish to discuss that here. I am still dealing with problems resulting from the site move, which happened in March. What can I say, I've been busy.
July 23, 2001
Been a lot to report, mostly on the personal front, but that is none of your business.
Moved the site in-house to save gobs and gobs of money. Right now I'm scouring the error logs like mad and fixing LOADS of errors. I need to help automate the error reporting process. I will play with that later on over the next few days. Basically, if an error is spotted, the user can just click the button and it will email me the problem so I can fix it. Some errors are human errors, such as putting in the wrong URL and typing errors. Other errors are ones I can not understand, such as files not being uploaded, but those have been very minor. Due to an early development problem, some pages just don't exist anymore and I'm taking measures to correct that issue. That problem comes about because of changing file extensions and then not being able to update all possible links to those pages. I have outgrown the ZIP cartridge I used for the site for active day to day work, so I've transitioned into a more efficient system for working on the site. In short, there have been tons of changes, and many more than I've just stated here. Please just keep the error reports flowing, I really do appreciate them.
January 21, 2001
Yeah, I'm still alive and breathing. Many changes have taken place in my life, many are very private so don't bother asking. I have gotten a little pug puppy, and that has given me much joy. The site is continuing quite well. I'm dealing with the accounting department at MediaCity/ISPChanel as they continue to lie to me about monies I do not owe them. You'd think they'd have attempted to resolve this crap after nearly a year, but no, they just hand it to another lying sack of crap.
2001 spam stuff is nearly complete. The 2001 structure is done and in place, but I do need to update the "Special Editions Page" to reflect the new 2001 pages. That is not going to be an easy task and will require a total reconstruction of that page from the ground up. It's a matter of making the time to do it. It will be done before the end of January.
September 26, 2000
What can I say? I have been busy. I have had some interesting things crop up that are NONE of your business, so do not bother asking. NYAH! Let me just say they are rather good and leave it at that. I am also going to get a dog in about a month. I might name him "mallet" because I will teach him to dislike spa, but that is another story.
To be honest, there is really nothing else noteworthy. I might be moving the domain yet again, as a cost savings measure. I am really happy where I am right now, but this new place might end up being even better. It is the same place I am getting secondary service from. I finally have DSL and have had it for just over a month. WHEW!. Sweet! I am creating my own web server and might even just offload the entire site to my own server, but that is highly unlikely at best. I do not think you would appreciate my 128K upload pipe, plus I want that data for my purposes. Other than those items, general site maintenance. I found another quirk that is going to require the editing of well over 20,000 pages, a big manual process that I am going to take my own sweet time with. I expect to have it done by the end of the year. I will start with the Year 2000 files and then move onto previous years. Once those are done, I will then move into the other pages.
Yes, I am still alive. How else do can I explain the updates?
July 17, 2000
Today was a bad day. No, it wasn't because of work or just crap in general. I can aim my anger directly at PacBell. I orderd a DSL circuit on June 12, which included PacBell internet service, static IP. Basically, it was a good deal and provided me all that I needed. Well, the first install was July 7 in the AM. They tech calls around 10:05, and already PacBell screwed up the order. They listed me as basic instead of enhanced service. Don't even get me started on the $99 rip-off for install that I can do myself. Anyhow, nothing had been done to attach my line to DSL, so nothing could be done. So, they reschedule for the Julu 17 AM again. No call, no technician showing up, nothing. So, around 12:50, I call to find out what is going on. Turns out nothing is going on since nothing has been done on their end. Gee, sure would have been nice if they let me know what was going on. Oh, I failed to mention Friday I was trying to get through to make sure that they had in fact done their pre-install work. This wasted my entire morning and I am PISSED. Fortunately, the afternoon went a little better, made a few phone calls, went to CompUSA to return some stuff and get an item replaced and went to the bank to make a deposit. Fortunately, my cell phone was working and I was able to take a few work phone calls during the morning.
On a more happy note, I've settled nicely into my new digs. I'm not compeltely done yet, but am getting damn close. I'm going to get a couple of folding tables this week and then move the rest of my PC's out of the office and to my new place. I've already moved 3 of the 5 Macs still there, but only two of those have made it into production. Once I get the tables that will change. The other two Macs are the SE's and I haven't figured out where to put them in the new place, and even more important is how I'm going to wire them into the network so I'm looking at some sort of wireless solution. Then I've got the issue with printers, but that's nothing I want to worry about right now. My ProTools Mac is also here at the moment being re-certified as it failed on me during a session last Thursday. Things are looking good for ProTools being returned to the studio fairly soon, which is good since I don't have a place for it and it ate my kitchen table up real fast.
June 19, 2000
I'm alive. Nothing to worry about. I've been lazy recently. Well, lazy isn't the right term, but I haven't been keeping this page updated, so we'll just say I've been lazy. So, for those of you who want to read the important stuff:
STUDIO42 will be experiencing a major to total outage from June 29, 2000 through July 3, 2000. Studio42 will then experience a total outage on July 7th as ADSL is installed. During such periods, email will be delayed and responses might be later than usual. The web site will remain totally unaffected by this outage. Thank you for your patience
In layman terms, what does this mean? It means I'm moving into a new apartment. The first outage is indicated by the moving of 3 core computers to the new location and hopefully PacBell will have properly moved the circuit by July 1, 2000.
In the meantime, I have been preparing for this move. A lot of garbage has been thrown out, and just about all my stuff has been packed up, ready to move. Today I ordered a new DSL/Cable modem NAT box/router and a 16-port 3Com Office Connect Dual Speed Switch 1600. One computer will be returning from studio service to NOC in the beginning of July. A new TV, surround, center channel and subwoofer and A/V receiver have been purchased as well as proper speaker wiring harnesses built. A new printer has been purchased, as well as a flatbed scanner and a QuickCam Pro. In addition, new furniture has been purchased and will be delivered. Data will be priority 1. Audio/Entertainment will be priority 2. Everything else will be secondary. On July 7, ADSL will be installed, and I'll get T1 down, 128K up, enough speed to consider running my web site over this link, but that's for later on. Between now and then, normal site maintenance will be done and additional items will be packed and/or placed into storage.
April 23, 2000
Nothing terribly exciting to report. Recently, I've had a rash of computer hardware outages, which is both annoying and expensive. Fortunately, there has been no data loss. I had a hard drive start to develop bad blocks on my fastest PC, so that 8GIG Seagate was swapped out for a 20GIG Quantum. The Seagate drive will be replaced under warranty.
Trying to get all my PCs up to spec, I've been fighting putting a ZIP drive in a specific PC. The ATAPI drive works, but causes the IDE access light to stay nailed up. System performance is not compromized nor are there any real problems, but that is an issue. As a result, there's been a lot of hardware swapping going on. I got the SCSI Insider ZIP out of my Sony PCV-70 and replaced that with the same ATAPI ZIP. Now the problem is a SCSI card/OS problem as the machine I'm trying to install the ZIP drive into will be my Linux server/website/mail server/DNS/whatever. That machine may end up with no ZIP drive, which will probably be OK.
Combine the above with an annoying issue with Red Hat 6.1's installer and I've been extremely frustrated. Seems it has a problem configuring X unless I can get into the installer with the monitor not connected, then I can get things done correctly. It's a horrible kludge, but it works. The worse part is that Red Hat 6.2 is now out so I'll be picking that up tomorrow.
Add on top of that a CD-ROM drive failure to my NT Server PDC. I thought it may have been an issue with the HAL when I did the BIOS upgrade. Speaking of which, the BIOS took away necessary features. But, it was definately a CD-ROM drive failure. That drive is being dealt with under warranty. I'm still looking for an AGP ATI Xpert98@Play card for my NT Server BDC, but that machine is otherwise working flawlessly.
My PCs were't the only machines affected by failures. The hard drive inside my Mac LCIII(current DNS and email server) I had to declare unsuitable for production and installed a spare 2.1GIG Samsung SCSI drive that I was really saving for something else. On the same Mac, it hates the new high-density 32MB SIMM I got for it, so I popped in a 16MB SIMM until I can locate a 32MB SIMM at a price I like. Thank goodness for virtual memory. On a side-note, my work Mac provided for me by my employers had the internal IDE hard drive fail and was a total loss as far as data recovery. I decommissioned all "employer provided" hardware and quickly placed my PowerMac Performa 6320CD into production. It wasn't a big deal, as that Mac was ready to go anyways.
Right now I am evaluating flatbed scanners, QuickCams and some potential video card upgrades/swaps to accomodate some business going forward. I may not need the video card I talked about earlier if I go with the video card upgrades since I currently have an ATI AGP Xpert98@Play that would end up being moved. I am definately in the market for some used SCSI internal ZIP drives in small quantity.
As far as the site, the logs are helping me troubleshoot problems. The site is running smooth. I'll do backups tomorrow.
March 26, 2000
All is well and better here at Studio42. Today, I felt adventurous and edited my global .htaccess file. The end result: I learned a lot, and all of it good. I just wish I could find that example page. Those of you who know more than I do(there's got to be a whole mess of you who visit here) know that there's a lot that can be done with the .htaccess file. Well, it's enabling a key feature that makes this site run AND is now blocking again, as it should.
Learning a tad more about Linux helped. I wrote a couple of shell scripts to make my life easier. I could write a few more, but I'd start to forget the names of things. I can clear a thousand worthless pages with a simple command. I can automate my backups with another command and then delete the backup information with still another command.
Other than those items and me actually doing a back-up, the week was fairly boring. I had a CD-ROM drive fail so I gotta find the reciept to get it replaced under warranty. I have a failed SIMM I still have to get replaced. I am realizing that my long term goals are going to require that my web site be on-site. While I really like where I'm at, we're going to butt heads pretty quick about file number restrictions. They aren't screwing me, it's just too inconvenient in the long run. I've got a lot of learning to do real quick. I'd say a couple of months of serious study and a DSL circuit and I should be ready to move the site. As it is, I'm going to upload the site to my Linux server this week via my LAN and start testing. Other than new CGI's, it should work just fine. The email is my weak point right now along with DNS. I'll pick up some books on Apache, sendmail and BIND and I should do fine. I should be starting MCSE training soon so I'll be fairly swamped between the two OS'es.
March 19, 2000
Ah, the new home has been lovely. I'm still glad I moved my web site. My former ISP is still billing me. Hey, no surprise there, it took them 6 months to fix the billing, but they still screwed it up, and it's still screwed right now. Screw 'em, I ain't paying for non-services rendered. Now they are having a problem with their web farm and shell accounts, in addition to more email outages. It seems I jumped ship at the appropriate time.
I'm working hard to make the site friendlier for those who have contacted me in regards to banner ad advertising. I can only hope that they want top ads. I can do bottom ads on some pages, but for other sections, it would take a few days to get things ready. Regardless, I'm going to do the work anyways just to open things up. I'm not looking at this as a way to make money, but rather a way to off-set the hard cost of running the web site.
Other than code fixes, problem report fixes and similar type issues, it's been a slow week. I added to the video game site, and my normal work week went painfully slow due to the response time of one customer. The average time for call-back was 6 hours, so the entire day gets wasted. I fixed my mail server's problems, not that any of you knew. Turned out I got a bad SIMM. I've got to go find directions to get to the place that can replace the SIMM. This is precisely why all my SIMMs have lifetime guarantees.
Enjoy the sites and keep the error reports coming. If you think there might be a problem, don't guess just report it and make it my problem. I still have work to do on the site but I am satisfied with functionality.
March 6, 2000
Wow, in 3 days, JPS.Net has totally pissed me off. First, they said they allow SSI, which this site requires. NOPE!! Second, the shell account doesn't directly relate to the site, so it's worthless for anything really cool and useful, like 90% of what I have to do to make the site work. THEN, the screw up my MX records and I can't get email for 2 days. So, I moved the site over the weekend. I signed up on Friday, got a confirmation with my logon information Saturday morning and all Saturday and Sunday I uploaded the entire site. I also spent time tweaking the CGIs to make them work at the new location. I'm so happy as the site just WORKS!!! WHEE!!
I'm also paying someone for secondary SMTP service. In the long run, I'm spending less and getting a ton MORE!! Kick ass!
OK, if I left the site where I had it, SSI would not work, but would have required the manual editing of over 15,000 pages, usually by a find/replace command and multiple passes. Since the move, I have not edited a single page, but I did have to move some CGI's and tweak all CGI's. Hmmm, 15,000X3 vs perhaps 40 scripts.... Scripts win: edit them. Site is working damn near flawlessly, as if I never moved it. DO report any and all errors, no matter how small. However, this should be considered as an open offer as anytime there is an error, I want to know about it so I can fix it. I can't stand errors!
March 1, 2000
ISPChannel has done quite a bit to piss me off. First, I've been trying to resolve a billing issue for 5 months. They have refused to credit my account, they have been lying to me and screwing with me for far too long.
Screw ISPChannel. I have left them and moved the site to JPSNet. More space, less money. However, this moving process has serious drawbacks. For one, this site relies heavily on SSI, which they said they supported, but they really don't. Second, they don't allow me to have a TRUE cgi-bin directory. The end result means a LOT of hand editing of pages. The shell account really bites the big one as it doesn't directly associate with the web site. Still, the decision has been made and I'm going forward with it.
If you're a regular reader of this page, you won't see this in a timely manner. I'm working as fast as I can when time permits. The work is very repetitive and tiring. It may be a few weeks before the site is truly up and running. My focus is on the spam-fighting CGI's right now, then onto the guts of the anti-spam content. I'm going to need ALL of your help. I need each of you to report problems, no matter how small. I only ask that you be very specific and provide exact URLs that are having problems. While I can't guarantee a quick and timely response and/or fix, I can assure you that I will read each and every complaint and will act upon it as soon as humanly possible.
On the lighter side, my Linux server is up and running. WOW! Lots of changes between Red Hat 6.0 and 6.1 in regards to server installs. Let's just say I'm fairly screwed right now because I don't know how to manually load the X-client. That's OK, I'll convert my other Linux box to a workstation instead of a server and get around this problem.
Lastly, today was a joke as far as another task. For a short term fix, I have a Mac LCIII that I was intending to use as mail server. Well, I left a cable at the office and ran back to get the cable. I moved the mail server software over and it requires a newer version of Open Transport, which I have on CD, that I left at the office. I didn't feel like running back again so I'll just delay this for 28 hours. No big deal.
December 26, 1999
WHEW!! I'm pooped out. I think I'm coming down with a cold or something. If you know me, and I know none of you do, let me tell you a little stupid factoid: Typically around this time of year I get a really bad cold. I'm sure it's the flu. So far I've been lucky. I think I'm just run down because work has been heavy recently.
So, let me give you some real site news. I'm at over 600 spams and they don't seem to be coming in as fast as I expected. I was able to complete ALL of the work for the upcoming Year 2000 spams, including full directory structures, templates, counters, include files and anything else I need to get started. It's all online and ready to go. I think I had this all done around the same time last year. The calendars took me a long time last year. This year it didn't take me more than an hour. Also, because it was requested and because it was offered, I added the more narrow search engines to help speed things up. I felt inspired and did specific searches for 1996/1997, 1998 and threw in 2000 while I was at it.
As far as things still needing to be done: backup all current counters, the guestbook and the web board. As soon as I can put an end on 1999, then I will burn the entire domain to a CD-ROM for safety purposes. I'll do those at the office tomorrow.
What have I been up to? Well, I finally moved the ProTools system to the studio. More recently I've been doing marathon downloads so I could burn CD's, such as Info-Mac and Info-Win, my commercial software safety copies and basically making safety copies of everything on CD. No, this is not Y2K paranoia, I'm just covering my tracks because a lot of this stuff is/was on old floppies that are close to failing. Other interesting stuff was upgrading the OS on my DOS on a Mac card from Win3.1 to WIn95. Sorry, it won't run NT or Linux. I also had a MAJOR confrontation with my ISP who had severely screwed things up a few weeks ago. The denied the problem yet fixed it anyways. Verio really sucks. I'm also battling with Toshiba to get my laptop fixed. I'm also trying to get my hosting provider ISP to get their act together with their accounting department flunkies. I'm refusing to pay my bill until they get things right.
I've also recently re-discovered PC-based gaming. I've been playing a lot of MechWarrior3. I also got the Microsoft Force Feedback Sidewinder Pro joystick. Definately an interesting gaming experience.
I'm looking into some banner ad for pay program to help fund this site. I'm also considering some of those pay to surf programs since I can slave off those tasks to the PC in the Mac card and not have to deal with it. As long as it pays for the site, I don't really care. Enjoy the holidays and don't freak out over Y2K. I'll be here!
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