Websites

Thank you, WayBack Machine!

Tonight, as I was updating some of the content on my website, I discovered that I had a link to a page that didn’t exist, and realized that I was missing a number of posts. Rather than trying to dig through the database backups, I went to the Internet Archive “Wayback Machine” at Archive.org for my site, and was able to find a copy of my website from 2018, when it was still running Drupal, before I migrated to WordPress. It had the missing posts, which I was able to copy and paste. I need to go back and add categories and tags, and fix some links and put images back in, but at least I was able to recover all of the text!

Moved to WordPress!

After using Drupal for many years, I’ve decided to switch to WordPress as my Content Management System. My hosting company, MacHighway, uses cPanel to manage user sites, and it provides a default version of PHP and its associated modules, which I don’t have access to change. It seems that recently, Drupal has changed their system requirements to require additional PHP modules, which are not installed, so I have not been able to upgrade to the most recent releases. I found the FG Drupal to WordPress plug-in, which can migrate the content from Drupal sites which work quite well, so I’ve migrated this site to WordPress. I’ve done a few updates already, but I’ll try to review each of the pages to make sure that the graphics are there, etc.

About This Site

This website is an avenue to help stay in touch with family and friends, and share information with other people with similar interests. This site is owned and authored by Brad Tombaugh. Contact Brad using the contact form on this site. 7 September 2021 I have revamped the site from using one of the default WordPress themes to the Astra Pro theme, and have chosen the LatinoType Rebrand font from Linotype. I like the flexibility offered by the Astra theme, and was drawn to the subtle character of the Rebrand font. 16 February 2020 I’ve decided to migrate from Drupal to WordPress. I was able to migrate the previous site content, but bear with me as I get everything adjusted. 28 February 2013After a long hiatus due to a tragic comedy of errors, causing the site to be offline for quite a while, I have everything back up and running, and am doing some updates to keep things current. 1 January 2011Updated the copyright dates. Added a page on Android, and favorite Comics. Updated Movies and TV Shows pages. Many other misc. updates. 3 January 2010Updated the site to use Drupal, importing previous content. 2009Various periodic content updates. 28 December 2008Updated copyright dates for 2009. I’ve stopped tracking individual updates, since I’ve done numerous minor updates through out 2008… 21 January 2008Updated copyright dates for 2008. Apparently, somewhere along the way I’ve forgotten to update entries in this page, as I’ve done numerous updates through out 2007… 1 January 2007Updated …

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Upgrade didn’t go so well…

So, last week I decided that it was time to upgrade from Drupal 6, since it was past it’s end of life for support. I had dabbled with Drupal 7 a bit on my laptop, and had read through a couple of Drupal 7 books over the past year or so… The CPanel script installer kept nagging me that there was an upgrade to perform, and it appeared to have a script to go from 6 to 7… I took backups of all of the MySQL databases, put both of my sites into “Maintenance Mode” and disabled all of the non-core scripts, then let CPanel run the upgrade… Boom! It didn’t get through the update script without errors, and I decided to try the update.php script, and that threw errors as well.. I poked at for a couple of hours, trying to work through the issues. The first problem is that Drupal 6 kept a list of blocked IPs in a table, which Drupal 7 doesn’t have, at least not when it tries running the update. I was able to find a tip with a script to create the missing table, which got me a bit further, but it continued to have issues. I finally decided to try jumping up to Drupal 8, which has an updated “Migrate and Upgrade” module which supports both version 6 and 7. I restored the database back to their original condition, then created two fresh installs of Drupal 8 in separate directories. I enabled …

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Moved to MacHighway

As I noted in December, my former web hosting service, GoDaddy, announced in December that they were going to revoke access to us the Mailman mailing list manager that is included by default in their Linux cPanel hosting accounts. I use Mailman for my personal use, as well as to manage several discussion lists for the MacinTech Macintosh Users’ Group. GoDaddy claimed that it was due to spammers misusing the service, but I don’t really believe that for a second… First, I’ve gotten more spam while being hosting by GoDaddy than any other service that I have ever used, so I have a hard time believing that they take any actions to prevent spam! They also began advertising their own bulk email service just days after the announcement that they were turning off Mailman, which I can’t believe is a coincidence. I had moved my web sites to GoDaddy out of convenience when I was no longer able to host them myself after CenturyLink botched a DSL upgrade, leaving me offline for several weeks. In any event, in early January, I signed up with local Denver-based web hosting service MacHighway. There package is actually less expensive than GoDaddy. It’s also a bonus that they cater specifically to Macintosh users, so their instructions don’t reference Windows for everything, although they seem fairly platform-nuetral overall. So far, I am very pleased with MacHighway. The setup was easy. I have had to put in a couple of support tickets for things like requesting shell access, which is probably not …

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GoDaddy Shutting Off MailMan, so I’m Shutting Off GoDaddy

This afternoon, I received this email from GoDaddy.com, my web hosting service: Important information about your hosting account Due to spammers abusing MailMan – a cPanel feature that lets you send bulk emails – we’re removing the feature on January 23, 2016 If you want to send bulk emails to your customers or clients we recommend checking out GoDaddy Email Marketing. Not only does this program let you email customers, it also includes more powerful features than MailMan, like opt-out management. If you have questions or need assistance, contact our Support Team at (480) 505-8877. Mailman is one of the services that I rely on for personal use, as well as for the web site and mailing list that I operate on behalf of MacinTech, a non-profit Macintosh User’s Group here in the Denver area. I’ve just spent a half-hour on the phone with goDaddy, and there is no exception to their decision to remove Mailman from the service that I’ve already paid for in advance. Their proposed solution is to pay them twice as much as I do now to add their email marketing program! There are other hosting providers, like MacHighway, that offer hosting packages for LESS than GoDaddy, which include a mailing list manager, Dada Mail, which is similar to Mailman. So, after many years at GoDaddy, I’ll be canceling my service and domain registrations with them in January, and moving to MacHighway.

I hate SPAM, and GoDaddy is Useless!

After the debacle with my CenturyLink DSL last summer, I had to make a quick decision on alternatives to hosting my own domain, email and web. I ended up being off the network for two weeks when CenturyLink couldn’t figure out how to restore my DSL server when they did an upgrade that I had already cancelled. Many years ago, I used a domain-hosting service called DomainDiscover that registered my domains and DNS, redirected web requests inside of a frame, and relayed email from a virtual domain to my ISP account. After I started running Apple’s OS X Server, though, I realized that I could provide most of those services myself, on my own home server. My ISP, NeTrack, who was later acquired by Indra’s Net, provided a static IP address, so hosting my own domain was fairly straight-forward. Once I started running my own services locally, I decided that it wasn’t necessary to be paying DomainDiscover for the other services that I wasn’t using any longer. All I really needed was a domain registrar. Checking on pricing, it seemed that GoDaddy was about the least expensive, and while nobody had a great customer service record, GoDaddy was large and established, so I transferred my domain registrations to them. So, when my DSL was down for an extended period of time, I did some quick checking, and discovered that GoDaddy had recently started using CPanel virtual Linux hosting, and had hosting plans on sale for half-price, so it was only about $5/month, as I …

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Welcome Back!

After many months in the dark, I have recovered the last of the pieces from my old Mac Mini G4, so that all of my services — DNS, Open Directory, Email (Postfix, Cyrus, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, MailMan), MySQL, and Drupal with updated PHP, since Apple’s default PHP install doesn’t include any of the necessary modules. First my external drive for TimeMachine backups died… I replaced it with a new drive, but it had to complete a new, full backup. During the full backup, the external drive that the server was running from died from old age… After several partially successful attempts to recover the data using DiskWarrior, I tried to reconstruct the old Mini, but wasn’t able to get it to boot up… I thought that I had recovered enough of the data that I could use it to migrate to the new server, but the server migration wizard would die partway through. After manually rebuilding Mail under 10.7 with Server 1.0, I found that when I updated to 10.8 and Server 2.0 that the migration wizard couldn’t even move my data and configuration from 10.7… So I had to manually rebuild DNS and Mail once again… I have since migrated from an old 32-bit G4 Mini, to a newer 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo, with 8Gb of RAM. I’ve gone from OS X Server 10.5.8 to 10.7 and on to 10.8.2 Mountain Lion, with Server 2.2.1. I’ve had to manually install MailMan, since that is no longer included with Server. …

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