Not my actual website

Three Weeks of Bloglessness

I should have known. As soon as I made a New Year’s resolution to blog every day, I knew something would go wrong. I made it eight days, and then Kathy made an innocent request:

“Why can’t we change our blog theme? Can’t we upgrade our version of WordPress so we can change the theme? I hate having to wait for you to change the background and graphics …cause you’re so busy, dear. “

Right then, I should have told her what I tell my work customers, when I don’t want to do something: “That just isn’t technically feasible at this time.” But, then, she wouldn’t believe me anyway.

Or I could’ve said, “Tell you what. Here’s a thousand dollars to forget about upgrading.” I would’ve been way ahead, in terms of the cost of my time.

But I was naive and I agreed to do it. Oh, wait; one minor problem, if I upgrade WordPress, I’ve got to upgrade PHP and MySQL. OK, no big deal, I did that — so far only a few hours lost. Then I upgraded our blog, and sat back to enjoy the rest upon my laurels.

Not my actual website

For about 10 minutes, until the website went down. And stayed down. And wouldn’t come back up for more than a few minutes at a time, no matter how I cried, cajoled, fussed, and opened trouble-tickets with my hosting company.

It seems the increased resource utilization of the new versions of PHP and MySQL were just too much for my little server. So I upgraded the server — still no luck.

Eventually, I moved to another hosting company and built a new server from the ground up. Along the way, I learned a lot about the CentOS variant of Linux, about Postfix, and Spamassassin. I learned to perform a variety of sysadmin tasks I had never needed to bother with, as a snooty programmer. You, of course, have now learned more about these topics than you ever could have wanted.

Unless you’re a nerd. In that case, you’re probably saying, “You fool! Why didn’t you just limit the Spamassassin settings to one child process, and set MaxSpareServers in Apache to something reasonable, like 5?

Please feel free to identify yourself in either camp, in a comment. Altogether, I spent at least sixty hours (unpaid, of course) doing all this.

But now, I think the blog is up, and hopefully up to stay. If only I thought it was worth it. I hope she likes this plain, white background…


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