Bellsouth is now offering their new 'FastAccess DSL Xtreme 6.0' service. This is there new 6Mb/sec download DSL service (twice the speed of before). This new service costs $46.95 verses the $42.95 of their 3Mb/sec download service. I know I'm gonna call and upgrade to this!
A couple of quick things to note:
Apple released version 10.4.3 of OS X yesterday. It's available for download in Software Update. Grab a copy today! It's 'only' 97 MB in size!
I managed to get a copy of Visual Studio 2005 last night but had some problems with it. A couple of files were showing CRC errors during the install, so I think my DVD image might have gotten messed up somehow. I'm going to try again today. I didn't get much chance to play with it. Copying 5GB of data over a wireless connection is SLOW!
I also got the new SQL Server 2005 Developers Edition. I burned the CD but haven't tried that one yet.
Not one stinkin' trick-or-treater last night! Now I have way too much candy left over!
Woohoo! Last night my power came back on! I'm one of the lucky few in Broward who has power. Unfortunately everything in my fridge is spoiled so I have to go to the store and buy new everything! :( I am also running very low on gas. I need to go brave the lines today to get some gas. :( Oh well. I'm also back to work this morning for the first time since last Friday. The office is stuffy as hell (A/C doesn't seem to be working right) and half of our servers don't seem to be responding. I think the data center shut down the 'unnecessary' servers to conserve power.
(Screaming in Fred Flinstone voice)
Just a quick note to say that I survived Wilma without any harm or damage to my house. My house has no power, and a couple of trees are down in front of my house, but that's it. I got lucky. I hope everyone else out there is OK.
Just a quick note today to point to an article that describes a new attack on bloggers. This isn't the referer spam I've been fighting but a problem with fake blogs advertising spam products clogging up search sites. I've seen some of this in links sent to my blog....
The referer spammers are still at it on my site, by the way. I spent a couple hours last night searching through my server's raw access logs trying to find the IPs of spammers and blocking them. I blocked a large number of them, but there are still a lot more to go.
Man, I never thought that running a little site like this would become such a pain! Even though I modified the site to not display referer links, the referer spammers are still pounding my site! I had one spammer who pounded my site over 5000 times over the weekend. This spammer caused the CPU usage on the server my site is running on to go too high. Because of this high CPU usage, my web host shut down my site (again!). Fortunately, I was able to isolate this to the fact that the spammer had been pounding my site, causing the increase in CPU usage. After I banned the spammer, my web host agreed to re-enable my site.
I really appreciate the understanding of my web host! Thanks guys!
Ok, I finally did it. I modified the site so that it does not show referers anymore. This means that there won't be any more referer spam! All you spammers out there have just lost another site to post your links to.
I also left a little something for a certain 'Whore'. :)
It has been my observation that people hate change. You get comfortable doing things one way and when you are faced with the prospect of doing something differently, you are usually very resistent. The new way is unfamiliar and scary. The old way is familiar and 'safe'. This is true of everyone, myself included. It's human nature. There are times, however, when change is necessary and important. I'm finding as time passes, that change, while hard at first, usually has a great benefit at the end.
Take learning something new for example. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I'm trying to learn to play the guitar. This is not an easy undertaking for me. I've never played a musical instrument before. My life has always centered around the 'logical' things (namely computers). Trying to switch gears to something very creative is difficult. When I was first starting, and to a certain degree even now, I often feel very overwhelmed by the amount of things I need to learn on the guitar. You have to learn the proper placement of your fingers so that you can cleanly play the note without interfering with the other strings, you have to learn how to read music, you have to memorize the locations of each of the notes on the neck of the guitar (dozens of them), you have to learn such things as chords (playing multiple notes at the same time), techniques like alternate picking, what the different dials on the amp do, etc. It's a lot to learn. At first I was in a kind of mini-panic thinking "My God, there is so much I need to know! How am I ever going to learn this stuff?" The only way I've survived this effort and managed to continue it is to just force myself to tackle it in small 'bites'.
First I learn a couple of notes on 1 string. I spend a couple of weeks doing that over and over and over again. Eventually, without me even realizing it, it all sinks into my head and becomes something I do almost without thinking. I then tackle the second string and do the same thing. Then the third string and fourth, and fifth and sixth strings. Once I've gotten that far, I can honestly say that I think I've mastered at least single notes on all strings. It's taken me several months, and I've only progressed as far as the first 2 strings. I think I've got those down pretty well, and I'm working on the third string. I'm making progress there but I haven't mastered it yet. There is still that uncomfortable pause when I switch to that string. I go from 'running on automatic' on the first 2 strings, to really having to think where I place my fingers on that third string. I'm getting better, but I'm not there yet. My parents have asked on several occaisions to hear me play something on the guitar. I don't feel I'm ready for that yet. I still find myself rather embarrassed to make any attempt to play in public, since my skills are still so lacking. I envy the people I hear playing in the guitar store, with such apparent ease. I know that with time, that will come, but it won't happen overnight. I must be patient.
It is human nature to want the 'quick fix'. You want to be able to instantly learn something without having to put the time into working towards it. This is true of guitars, this is true of computers, and this is true of getting in shape. You won't master it overnight, but with patience you will master it. The secret is to not panic and to break it down into 'bite-size' chunks that you can 'digest' quickly. Don't try to swallow everything at once or you will 'choke'. Remain calm and remain patience. Progress will come, given time. Above all though, you must practice what you are learning! Reading a book isn't going to teach you something. It might get you started down the path, but the information won't really 'sink in' unless you do it! If you are learning guitar, you must play the guitar. If you are learning computers, you must USE the computer. Try out everything the book tells you. Don't just read the book. Don't be afraid of change! Enjoy it! I find it fun to learn new things. There is a world of interesting things out there to learn.
Ok, so I'm looking through my server logs and I notice that over 11,000 hits to my web site have all come from 3 different IP addresses at the domain 'alestra.net.mx'. From the domain name this appears to be some kind of ISP out of Mexico. I suspect that these 3 IP addresses are the source of most of the referer spam I receive. I had already banned one of these IPs as a result of my earlier experiences with the rape/incest porn referer spam I was receiving. I just banned two more IPs from this ISP. I find it hard to believe that 1 person in mexico would be that interested in what I have to say that he would visit my site 7700 times in 8 days!
The owners of the domain 'alestra.net.mx' appear to be providing services to some serious spammers.
Fair warning to all referer spammers: If you send me spam, I will ban your domain from my comments and referer lists. If you continue to spam me, I will ban your IP address from accessing my site at all! I won't tolerate this crap on my site.