As part of my efforts to be ready for wherever my next employment takes me, I've shifted my email home. For a long time my usual practice has been for email to end up delivered to my home computer, which I log into remotely from wherever I am. The way I see it is that my personal email is mission-critical, and I don't want my email home to be on any computer I don't control, especially not one belonging to an employer or to Google. I have had content in my email subject to a court case before, the other side in that case wasn't able to interrupt my email because they had no right to and it was all routed through systems controlled by people who understood that, and I'd like to keep things that way.
Running my own email service requires my home computer to be accessible on the Net at all times, and I've now had a couple of adventures in which it or its Net connection stopped working while I was away from home and I had to switch to less useful backup systems. So, as of today, my email is now going to a leased server elsewhere on the Net. I can connect to it remotely from wherever I have a good connection, even if my home computer doesn't. This may be especially useful if, as seems quite possible, my current home computer goes into storage for a while and I end up spending a lot of time without an operational home computer of my own at any fixed location.
Hey, anybody have suggestions on what would be a good comment icon? Since I'm moving away from PivotX, I'd kind of like to stop putting the PivotX saw-blade logo on every comment.
I'm switching this Web site's underlying software again, mostly due to security, reliability, and performance concerns related to PivotX. I'm trying to do this stepwise without breaking too much, but you may notice some features added, removed, or different over the next few weeks. I think comments here should continue to work, but if not, email me with any problems you notice.
I've upgraded to a new beta version of PivotX - not that that'll make much visible difference in itself, but I took the opportunity to make some other changes. New image plugin that handles thumbnails in a more rational way than before, so now instead of polluting your feed reader with huge images, there'll be small images you can click on to see the entireties of. Test of that below. I was getting a lot of trackback spam advertising prescription drugs, and occasionally having even my own comments rejected as spam for silly reasons, so I hacked in new spam-protection code of my own to replace PivotX's insufficient system. Now trackbacks get handled separately, and a lot more strictly; and I cleared out the keyword blacklist and will re-populate it based on only the spam I actually see. More work in the short term, better results long-term.
But best of all: now there are star ratings on entries, so you can vote for your favourites.
Just a note for long-time readers: as you can see, I've been gradually posting material copied over from the old site. I don't have a clear handle on what does or doesn't appear in the RSS feeds, nor what RSS readers (and syndicators such as Facebook and Livejournal) do with backdated entries. I'm going to post some old material as new postings, with or without notes at the top mentioning that it's reposted; other old material will be posted under its original date, and in that case it most likely won't appear in your reader. The "archive" links don't seem to work for old material, but that may be fixed at some point, and it remains accessible through the page-by-page and tag-based navigation as well as the search.
I'd like to remind you that I've also created a Japanese-language section. Items from that will not appear in the main RSS feed through which you're reading this entry; if you want to subscribe to it, you have to subscribe that page's RSS feed separately. The two share the search feature and tag cloud, but most other things are separated. I expect traffic on the Japanese side to be low but nonzero; subject matter will be determined by my language skill as it advances, but at the moment it'll be pretty elementary. Some day I'd like to be able to translate a lot of my "greatest hits" material, but my writing style in English leans heavily on technical skill in the language. It would be hard even for a native speaker to translate my work and have it still sound like my work, and it'll be a long time before I reach the level where I can do that myself.
I've gone ahead and made the switch to PivotX. The old site remains more or less up, at the "Old site" link in the left-hand bar, but things will steadily disappear from there and appear here. Reasons behind the switch are discussed at length in this posting.
I created a section for Japanese-language entries because the software made it easy to do that, but don't get your hopes up. After a year of lessons my Japanese is still pretty rudimentary. Some day, though, I'd like to write and post entries in that section.
I am typing this into a local installation of PivotX on my home machine. My plan is that if I can get it whipped into acceptable shape, I will upload this installation to the Web server and have it replace my existing Web site. At this point I think it's likely I will go through with that; however, there are some annoyances I'd like to mention.