Reports of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
A Beautiful, Peacful Place where I've been trying to imagine myself lately ( a deserted road near this place ) -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/6.3, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
A Beautiful, Peacful Place
where I've been trying to imagine myself lately
( a deserted road near this place )

So, my web site was down for a few days. Sorry about that.

It doesn't happen often, but this time was a doozy. The ISP hosting my server went bankrupt, and by the time I found out, my server was sitting dead on the floor of a warehouse.

How I've Felt Lately another of the wisdom kings at the Ushio Kannon Temple (牛尾観音) -- Ushio Kannon Temple (牛尾観音) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/25 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
How I've Felt Lately
another of the wisdom kings at the Ushio Kannon Temple (牛尾観音)

I've got to say, though, I'm actually very thankful.

My web hosting has always been free, a kind, ongoing gift from a former coworker at Yahoo!. Even though we haven't talked for a decade, he's let my server sit in his business and occasionally burn up some of his support staff's time. I've never had to pay for bandwidth, or even think about bandwidth. For perhaps 15 years. I'm so very thankful.

I'm thankful that my brother Steve dropped everything to help me set up an empty virtual server at Amazon Web Services, where in this situation help me is used euphemistically to mean did everything. I looked into it as a backup a year ago, and the configuration was just too daunting for me to comprehend.

I'm thankful that I had a backup of my system, and that it was up to date. Crashplan doesn't officially support headless clients like I'd need on a remote server, but they tell how to do it and it works, and works well. I was able to restore 50+GB of stuff in about an hour. It seems that both Crashplan and Amazon have fast pipes.

My Cup Runnith Over ( please ignore that “ my cup tippith over ” is probably a more -appropriate caption for this photo ) -- Daichiji Temple (大池寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
My Cup Runnith Over
( please ignore that my cup tippith over is probably a more-appropriate caption for this photo )

After setting up my work environment on the new system, and restoring the bulk of things from backup, I then had to set everything up. This is a bit like collecting stuff from a tornado-ravaged house to set up shop at an empty cabin across the street. I had to relearn how to do all the system-administration tasks, moving as I did from Debian to Amazon. Amazon's yum package management system seems easy enough to work with ("YUM" stands for "Yet Uh-nutha' Manager"), and is nicely populated with packages, though it took me a while to figure out yum list installed.

I had to re-figure out how to configure the main pieces of my server solution (Apache, MySQL, wordpress) and get them to work together. After doing that, I had to do it all over when I had to bite the bullet and grade major versions.

After that it was checking things and correcting the bazillion little things that needed to be re-installed from somewhere, reconfigured, or retwiddled. I'm sure as many more wait to be discovered.

Loose Ends I'm sure there will be many ( at the Daichiji Temple (大池寺), Shiga Japan ) -- Daichiji Temple (大池寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Loose Ends
I'm sure there will be many
( at the Daichiji Temple (大池寺), Shiga Japan )

The worst part of the whole thing has been having to deal with email via a web page. I've used emacs to read email for over 30 years, and I'm used to it, but with my machine crashed, I had to revert to interfacing via a web page. Ugh.

In the end I think I've got almost everything back to normal, and in hindsight I'm amazed at how smoothly, relatively speaking, it all went.

One casualty of the move is my (now disabled) Online Image Metadata Viwer. It got a fantastic number of accesses each day, but most were scrapers using it, it seems, to try to access other sites anonymously. I went to great lengths to try to shut this kind of use down, but enough gets through that I just can't risk the bandwidth, now that I'm going to have to pay. I have no idea what kind of bandwidth I used to use, nor how much that would cost now. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Potato Boy because potatos -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/1800 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Potato Boy
because potatos

All 12 comments so far, oldest first...

Good to see you back up Jeffrey … just in time for Christmas 😉

— comment by Paul B on December 18th, 2016 at 3:58am JST (3 months, 11 days ago) comment permalink

Glad you were able to get everything back up and running so quickly.

— comment by Rick on December 18th, 2016 at 6:38am JST (3 months, 11 days ago) comment permalink

Jeffery,

Glad to see you are fine, and getting the website back up. I have a fair amount of expierence with AWS and Linux administration. If you let me know the basics of how you are configured (do this via email for security reasons), I may be able to either help you setup or setup for you the Maildir email system that can be accessed from emacs.

Tim

— comment by Timothy Spear on December 18th, 2016 at 8:59am JST (3 months, 11 days ago) comment permalink

great to see the site back, I was starting to wonder …

Too bad for the exif viewer, it’s the one I always used when needed, but thanks for providing that !

— comment by Alain on December 18th, 2016 at 11:08am JST (3 months, 10 days ago) comment permalink

Good to see you back online.

— comment by Janet Heineck on December 18th, 2016 at 1:27pm JST (3 months, 10 days ago) comment permalink

Haven’t been down this way in a couple years, but glad to see you’re still chugging along.

— comment by Kerrus on December 19th, 2016 at 12:16am JST (3 months, 10 days ago) comment permalink

In case you have not yet considered migrating to http://gohugo.io/overview/introduction/ – it may be a worthy effort.

— comment by Vlad on December 19th, 2016 at 12:45am JST (3 months, 10 days ago) comment permalink

What a relief. I was getting DT’s or something like it.

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on December 19th, 2016 at 5:18am JST (3 months, 10 days ago) comment permalink

Sorry to hear about the isp problems. I learned about it when the exif viewer stopped working. I understand your reluctance to start paying for bandwidth, especially if the cost is unknown. I can’t find an alternative exif viewer that is even close to the quality of yours. Is there any prospect that you can offer the exif viewer on a subscription basis to cover the cost of bandwidth?

For the time being, I’ll try using CAPTCHA to see how that works. The new site is http://exif.regex.info/. For the moment it’s a “soft launch” without a link from the original. —Jeffrey

— comment by David Clark on December 21st, 2016 at 1:59pm JST (3 months, 7 days ago) comment permalink

Thanks for the quick reply. I am not sure how to use the info about the new site. I am using the Chrome extension. Is there a way to modify the extension to use the new url? Is there a way to send images to the url without using the extension?

I don’t know about Chrome, sorry. You can pre-load the url of an image by putting it where I have “XXX” in here: “http://exif.regex.info/exif.cgi?url=XXX“. You still have to go through the CAPTCHA process, which is a hassle, sorry, but I’m paying for bandwidth now, so have to be even more aggressive against robots. —Jeffrey

— comment by David Clark, San Diego on December 22nd, 2016 at 1:43am JST (3 months, 7 days ago) comment permalink

Hi from MN! The geocaching puzzle group https://www.facebook.com/groups/geocachingpuzzlehelp/ feels for you. Your online exif viewer with GIF splitting was very nice.

It’s available again, now at http://exif.regex.info. —Jeffrey

— comment by Rick Richardson on December 22nd, 2016 at 8:16am JST (3 months, 7 days ago) comment permalink

Sorry to hear about server problems – I was lost without your EXIF viewer. It’s by far the best around and great you have found a solution and hope its not too bandwidth hungry. (At least for me, the embedded Google maps display isn’t working, although the links are.) Thanks for the wonderful programme and merry Christmas! Pat (England)

— comment by Pat Heslop-Harrison on December 25th, 2016 at 2:55am JST (3 months, 4 days ago) comment permalink
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