no pants Friday
Friday, March 11 2005
It was another cold day with yet another unwelcome snowfall, as all March snowfalls are. I told Gretchen that my aspiration for today was to never put on my pants, and in the end I succeeded. This was made possible in part by modern bathrobe technology. I could have ventured outside in this attire had I wanted to, but I never did.
For those who don't know, the Bathtubgirl.com web server, which also hosts my experimental (and neglected) Vodkatea.com domain, has been down for well over a week. Something happened at the hosting location, nobody knows exactly what, but one theory is that it had something to do with the installation of a new firewall. The upshot of all this is that the server is being shipped to Bathtubgirl and Drew in Arizona so they can determine how next to proceed. They might decide to install the server in a new location, or they might try instead to host their site on somebody else's server.
But there's a problem; the server's sites are all extremely dependent on server-side code, and all of that code relies on proprietary Microsoft technology. If I were coding those sites today, of course, I'd be writing them in PHP and Postgresql. But I'm not coding them today; I wrote most of that code between 1999 and 2002, before I was fully aware of what a trap Microsoft technology actually is. Back at the turn of the millennium, everything I knew about server-side programming was stuff I'd learned on Microsoft servers, so it was natural for me to do all my extracurricular programming on Microsoft servers as well. But the world has changed since then. A long list of security flaws in Microsoft code has made their servers vulnerable to repeated attacks by various internet worms, and the cost of maintaining a Microsoft server is much higher than the cost of maintaining a Linux box. Consequently, if the Bathtubgirl.com machine can't be hosted somewhere (itself an expensive arrangement), the sites will have to be moved into expensive hosting arrangements on other machines. It would be nice to find a way to run it all on a PHP machine, but it's doubtful I'd have the time to do all the code migration (despite the fact that I've already migrated most of the important application-layer functions for use in backend applications in the PHP-based Asecular.com and Casanctuary.org environments).
The thing I most miss from Vodkatea.com is the handy Nedstat-style system I developed for tracking web site statistics. I'd put a web bug on a page and it would proceed to record referrals, hits, browser types, etc., the statistics of which I could browse graphically. Gretchen also used this system to track Casanctuary.com's popularity and the effect of various publicity campaigns. If I go much longer without Vodkatea.com, I'll probably re-implement the system using PHP and whatever SQL I can lay my hands on.
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