Category Archives: web site

Trying to de-spam my blog

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I am often getting around 500 spam comments to this blog to moderate every day.
I’ve done a few things in an attempt to stem the tide.
I’m too lazy to go look for WordPress plugins or anything, so I am just editing the PHP code directly myself.

The main thing that has helped is that I’ve edited wp-admin/moderation.php
to present a much more condensed list of spam.
Here’s the spam I’ve had in the last 5 hours:

spam list

click for bigger version

Now in this instance there are only 13 pieces of spam, which would be no biggie, even in the old interface,
which would display the entire comment along with two lines of borders around it.
This lets me handle spam about 4x faster I would say.

Along with presentation, the code also sorts the spam by the name of the sender.
So I can scroll right past the “Buy *” section nice and fast.
It also defaults everything to “(*) Spam”, which saves me a good couple of minutes on those long, 500+ lists.

I really should look into WordPress anti-spam stuff.
Does anyone out there have any recommendations to help me save some time?

T’nir is back!

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All it took was transferring the domain from to!

Even so, DreamHost has this hiccup where the main domain (in this case has to point to DreamHost itself.

I set up the DNS such that * (literally) points to “tnir”, my Linux box, so, et al all work.

Actually there was a second hiccup where I tried to send mail to tnir by entering “”.

DreamHost reserves a few subdomains along with the main one by pointing them at DreamHost at well:, and[!].

So, fine, I changed the mail domain to “” and, as far as I could tell it was working late last night.

I worry that DreamHost’s scripts actually look at the mail MX record and reserve whatever subdomain name you use to point at DreamHost.

However, it’s been over 24 hours and it still *seems* to be working .

We shall see.

I’m at Hrach’s typing this on his laptop while Vartan, John and Michael finish off a game of Twilight Imperium.

They just finished, so I’m going to wrap this up.

I’ll probably add links later.

tnir update 2

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Well, moderate progress:

% host has address
% host domain name pointer
is owned/part of, so at least it’s not under the control of that place.

I thought this meant I could use their web-based DNS setup to re-set it, but I’ve tried twice since this change happened on Saturday with no luck.

I’ve chatted with Harald about doing my own DNS.
Should I wait for this to fix itself first, or will I be able to wrest control of my DNS away from completely?
Since they call their DNS stuff a “courtesy service”, they imply that you really should be doing it yourself, so I would hope that the web front-end for changing your DNS host is more robust than that for changing your lowcostdomains-hosted DNS setup.


tnir update

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Just now got this email:

Subject: [eTicket #40339] – DNS problems?
Date: Thu April 6, 2006 12:24:50 EDT (CA)

Dear Reid,

Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing difficulties with our
courtesy domain forwarding services. At this time we are still
investigating the problem and unfortunately have no estimate on the
time until repair. We appreciate your understanding in this situation.


One would have liked a promise of another update at a specified time, rather than this vaguest of assurances.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.0

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I ran across WordPress 2.0 tonight, so I upgraded my blog to it.
So far, I am happy that they centralized all the filters in one place so I could remove the dreaded “autop” filter from my content.
I don’t like my returns etc being interpreted by WP for me.
It’s okay for comments though.

I’m not sure what all the changes are, but my old theme definitely doesn’t work, so I will be using the old original WordPress theme (which is nice and liquid) until I get it working again.
No doubt there will be help for this on the site.
I have noticed a large aount of AJAX in the interface though.

Sheeeee’s back!

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is back up and running, so feel free to go back to reading Luisa’s blog as often as you used to.

It turned out that because the domain had expired, we were unable to transfer the domain to a new provider, so we ended up paying “lowcostcomains” $22 instead of using Domainsatcost for $13!
They’re not getting any more business from us.. unless I screw up again!

Using Flock to post to my blog

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Flock screenshot

I’m going to try using flock to post to my blog. Apparently it uses tags, and lets you edit in a WYSIWYG way. i’m not sure about image though.

Ah, yes, you actually can wrap your text around images. Excellent.

Flickr Photo
The screenshot to the right shows the advanced editing of links. There are also similar editing panels for images (which is how I got the text to wrap to the left of the image).

Flock has a built-in Flickr browser, allowing drag-and-drop placement of images from Flickr, which is how I got these screenshots into the posting. The screenshot above shows the standard “Flock” toolbar (which Flock calls “topbar”), and here you can see the “Flickr” toolbar.

Oh, in case you didn’t follow the link above, Flock is primarily a web browser, but with a definite emphasis on what is being called “social software”, which means sharing of links, blog postings, etc. It is only a “developer preview”, which means it isn’t really ready for most users just yet, but I have to say it looks very cool to me.