March 24, 2002 - Head-on collisions and bandwidth usage.
Monday while driving to work I was hit head-on by a GMC pickup truck. The driver said she had quit smoking a few days ago and was ďfeeling dingyĒ. She
picked a heck of a day to quit smoking. To ease the pain in my neck and forget the insurance people Iíve had to deal with, Iíve been working some more on this website. I ran some stats on my log file for the past
year. I had visits from 335,000 different addresses last year. When I redid the site my bandwidth usage shot through the roof. I went from about 60 megabytes to 160 megabytes per day, although I was still serving
about 1300 distinct visitors per day. Perhaps some of it is people visiting more of the site, but I think itís primarily the bloat of the auto-generated pages and all the content is now served from this server,
instead of being partly served off saber.net. I must do something to reduce the load or itís going to cost too much to host the site, so Iíve been editing the pages, reducing where I can, splitting some pages in
two, so light browsing doesnít serve all the content of a page. Since I plan to expand the site further, this is just a small hedge, and Iím still trying to figure out what to do. Itís very convenient(and reliable)
to serve all the content from one server. My free webspace on sonic.net has only a 1 gigabyte per month limit, and Iím serving between 4.5 and 6 GB/month right now, so splitting some of it to sonic.net wonít do
much. Iíll figure something out. I donít like banner ads, donít worry!
January 29, 2002 - Fine tuning ďthe lookĒ of the new site.
Iíve gotten quite a few pages added back, itís about half done. Thanks for feedback on how the site looks, both good and bad. Iíve noted your comments and
made some changes to the look. Lots of you have commented positively about my choice of the right side of the page for the navigation menus. I did it to help people with small screens see the body of the page
without needing to scroll horizontally. The other reason, if youíve ever printed a web page and had the right side of the page get cut off, the navbars are the least important part of the page to print, if they get
cut off itís no real loss.
January 6, 2002 - This web site gets a major overhaul.
It needed work, but push came to shove in early December, 2001. You may know that internet bandwidth costs money. That became apparent a couple of years ago
when the Propeller Clock got mentioned on Slashdot. Within hours, this site was getting thousands of hits per hour. I
got an email from my host, ted.net, that the meter was spinning pretty fast. I then had the clever idea to move all the images to the free webspace I get as part of my dialup account on SaberNet. This crude load-sharing worked OK until an administrative error at SaberNet caused them to forget to send me a yearly bill, and when my account ran out on December 6, 2001,
they deleted all my files and closed my account. Needless to say, I was pissed. Any business that cuts off a long-time client without so much as an email doesnít need my business, and Iím now getting dialup from Sonic.net and Iím very happy. That still left me with the problem of all these empty spaces in my web pages where the pictures should be. Rather than just edit all the pages to point to a new location, I decided it was time to redo the site. Itís not completely done, I am still filling it out, but I hope the effort was worth it. Until now all the pages were edited by hand, and it was pretty unwieldy with the large number of pages. Now Iím using one of those web-site-in-a-box programs, so the pages are a bit bloated, but changing, adding, and fixing things is a lot easier. I hope you like it, please stay tuned!