Back ----24 May 2007
I'm back from vacation, and a relaxing time it was. We got to enjoy the hospitality of a lot of family in Ontario, and sysadmin duties were pretty minimal. Hell, I didn't even check Slashdot the whole time.
I upgraded my dad's laptop to the newest version of Ubuntu, and got him a new wireless card that'll work in Linux (though with a restricted driver) as an early Father's Day gift. (If I had been able to buy him an old Orinoco somewhere, I'd've done that instead...as it is, I'll have to cringe under the wrath of my inner RMS. :-)
I also showed him how to FTP a new Wordpress theme to the server, and I have to say I'm impressed with how easy Gnome/Nautilus makes it for him. I'm starting to understand the appeal of a nice GUI, though I'm still sticking to my xterms for now.
As a bit of reciprocation, my dad gave me a 2GB SD card for the new camera we've got -- which was nice, because the old 256MB card was filling up very quickly.
I was happy to get back to work and find that, really, there wasn't that much to clean up. Coworkers had filled in nicely for me, and the worst that had cropped up was an SQL bug in a new credit card payment form; it was failing to update the second of two places that indicate someone has paid. (Yes, redundant, but to be fixed next year.) I'm a bit irritated by this, as the bug was an SQL statement, passed to PEAR's Db module, that said:
...set updated_by="foo form" form" ...
Yes, this is my typo, but why did PHP not report this error? What happened, and why wasn't it being caught?
Anyhow. Now that I'm back, relaxed, forced by funding to put off Big Website Rewrites 'til next year and mostly done with this year's web work, I'm finally able to contemplate upgrading our Big Server(tm) to Solaris 10. That will be a bear of a job, but it'll be nice to get it done.
On the home front, I'll be switching to Uniserve's ADSL shortly. They do allow servers, and offer static IPs for a small charge; that'll be nice. We used them at my last job, and the service was fine as logn as you didn't have to contact tech support.
Surprisingly, they also have this clause in the TOS:
65. UNISERVE shall have the right, without notice, to insert advertising data into the Internet browser used by a UNSERVE customer, and transferred to a UNISERVE customer over UNISERVE's network, so long as this does not involve UNISERVE establishing the identity of the customer to whom such data is sent.
In a previous life at an ISP, we started putting in machines run by a company called Adzilla. They were, as far as I could tell, proxy servers that replaced the ads on, say, CNN's website with ones for local businesses. I thought it was scummy, but couldn't persuade the bosses of this. I'm fairly certain this is the same thing, and probably the same company too. I still don't like it, but Uniserve is the best option I've got right now. And at least they admit they're doing this.