Thursday, October 25, 2007

the bamboo bends

After browsing free-webhosts.com, I settled on LeadHoster.com to host my website and point my domain name there. LeadHoster is free, ad-free, and offers 250MB space. Their only drawback is a 500KB file-size limit, but all but one of my files falls within that (and it's hosted elsewhere already). If there's an activity timeout (many free hosts will suspend your site after 30 days inactivity) they don't mention it. We'll see, but having FTP and no ads beats Geocities hands down.

Within 1.5 hours, my website was up with LeadHoster.
No ads, all 400+ files FTP'ed painlessly in less than 1/2 hr, none of that Windows pick-one-file-at-a-time crap, no nonsensical rules, just the sensible ones.

Geocities can suck my dog's dick.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I violated Geocities TOS ? How?

I was uploading files from my old website to Geocities, when for no reason the 70+ files I'd done so far disappeared. I could not create subdirectories. My allowed space dropped to zero. In short, they shut my site down.

I sent off a message to service and received the following reply:
Usage of your Yahoo! account was recently identified to be in violation of the GeoCities Terms of Service, and your site and account were shut down. The GeoCities Terms of Service states that you cannot use your GeoCities site to link any other page, whether inside or beyond Yahoo! and/or GeoCities.

This makes no sense whatsoever. This sure sounds like it's saying I cannot have a link to another page, whether it's hosted on Yahoo, Geocities, or elsewhere. In other words, I can have a single page containing all the information and no links at all. No menu that points to subpages.

What makes even less sense is that their Terms of Service does not actually say anything like that. It says (5.(o)) you may not
use your home page (or directory) as storage for remote loading or as a door or signpost to another home page, whether inside or beyond Yahoo GeoCities

My site does have links to outside pages, such as Northwoods Falconry, the CHC website and the NAFA website. The links switch to those pages rather than loading it into a frame in my site, which would mess with those sites' layouts and make it appear as if they are part of my own. Maybe that's it?

I asked them to clarify what they meant and identify exactly what link triggered the TOS violation.

Friday, October 19, 2007

up and running, sort of

Okay, I'm officially DSL'ed now and it even works. Now I can waste time faster than ever - yay!

Seriously now, even though AT&T claims they give you 1GB storage that does not mean you have webspace. It's just storage.

In other words if you try to upload files for your website into Yahoo Briefcase, the links don't work. Files open, but the pathing doesn't happen. In other words if your .htm(l) has a link to /images/picture.jpg, it won't find it. Nor does ../images/picture.jpg. This is pretty frustrating and I'm probably going to spend all day trying to hack this so it works.

Another major annoyance is that you cannot FTP files. They have an upload screen akin to Photobucket or Tripod/Lycos where you must select each file individually and you can only do 6 at a time. Very, very bad.

Later:
Really, really annoying. Completely fucked, in fact. All the files you upload get a stupid hash added to the end, such as ?BCZvPGHBWBnAfwhO, and the file cannot be viewed without it. If you upload the same file, it gets a new hash number. There is no online editor, so editing a file (and thus keeping the same hash) is impossible.

In other words, you cannot create a working webpage. You can try fixing things by uploading images first, edit your css and javascript menus to correctly reference images and upload those, then edit your htms to correctly link css, js menus, and images, then upload those. But it is way more trouble than it's worth.

If your menu includes a link to index.html, you must kiss it goodbye, because once you upload index.html it gets a new hash. It's recursive, see.

A couple weeks ago I'd worked up a little webpage for my friend K, just four pages and a couple pictures, and it's taken an hour of concerted effort to do half the above.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

choose your poison

Okay, so I ordered DSL last night and scheduled service to start Friday. I figured that would give enough time for the modem to arrive.

I come home to find a note on my doorknob saying AT&T had come by to do the upgrade to my phone line. This had never been scheduled. I'm quite surprised they came the very next day, but if they don't tell me when they're coming, they're not going to be able to do much.

This does not bode well.

The ISP I'm leaving, RCN, sold all its San Francisco and Peninsula customers to an outfit called Astound!. The exclamation point is theirs, not mine. I'm not excited about this at all. Their site is not astound.com, but rather astound.net -- these guys couldn't even get their own .com domain.

Their website makes them look quite fly-by-night. The public-domain photos of happy-people models and the enormous font is indistinguishable from the scores of far-downstream ISPs that host spammers and provide spotty service.

They could be perfectly good, and in fact they had better be, because SF is a demanding market. However, obviously, I won't be finding out.

My annual billing period ends Sept 27th and I received their bill yesterday, Oct 15th. Rather a bit late. Fortunately they hadn't yet charged the autopay. I phoned them to close the account and waited, listening to elevator music that sounded scratchy and very distant, like it was coming through a Philco radio in 1936. On Pluto. They didn't have the courtesy to have a hold-time approximation. I had the sinking feeling I was facing an hour of easy listening.

Fortunately it was about 15 minutes, and the guy I spoke with actually offered to close the account. I wonder if they're doing a lot of account closing.

My website immediately disappeared. Apparently Astound has the users' server already. However, I can still log in to my old account. Good thing.

Monday, October 15, 2007

i may be offline for a bit

I'm changing ISPs and there may be a space when I have no access.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

win some, lose some

P's new primaries are nearly full length, and the bastard drops another. I've never kept close tabs on molted feathers, but this one definitely looks like it's been through a year. (Feathers sun-bleach just like hair.)

We've been getting some rain and cold, and it's taking more food to keep him at weight than in the summer. (Molt season, they're fat as pigs, it sticks to them, and it takes far fewer calories to stay warm.) However, it seems like he needs more than in past seasons, so I wonder if he might have picked up an internal parasite. K always has the entire raptor pharmacopeia, and I'm sure he'll have something appropriate.

In the meantime we're taking doubles almost all the time now, and at greater distances. Finding the second slip can be hard, but I'm expanding my areas. I'm sure P would love catching more (he looked extremely satisfied the day we got four) but I rarely have the gall to slip him off a second time. This afternoon was slightly nerve racking. I generally fly only on public roads, but they just weren't there. Instead, the first was found in the driveway of a hotel near Moffet Field. We passed a good-sized flock (about 20 or so) on NASA property (fenced), but it was secured, so we went on. Turning onto Shoreline Boulevard, P got all excited as we passed the Microsoft parking lot, so I found my way over there and got his second.

Carhawking is effortless not just for me, but for P as well. Several few weeks into the season I noticed a loss in muscle tone even though he was taking plenty of quarry. This would never happen if we were going after cottontails or jacks. So now, once a week he gets a hundred vertical jumps and this has improved his flight considerably.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

packing

I packed the mate's clothes in boxes today. It seemed like the right time to do it, but it kind of hurt too. Like closing a door on your thumb, or your heart.

I'd already given away a bunch of the clothes she didn't wear often and threw away the really ratty stuff. (She liked comfortable; just a few dresses in suit bags for classy restaurants and special occasions.) I kept the things she wore all the time, things that I see her wearing when I think about her. They smell like her, too.

Six months seems short given the depth of my love for her. But we had no secrets from each other. We both knew we weren't going to get old together even with the transplant (survival rate after ten years is pretty low) and she was very explicit about wanting me to find someone.

She occupies a large place in my heart and no one can take her place. The heart simply expands to fit. At least that's the theory.

Monday, October 08, 2007

flying naked

The phrase "flying naked" leads to many jokes, particularly around someone as big as my friend K, to the point of planning a video with some excellent stoops interspersed with scenes of him running around the field among strategically placed bushes. And K does not so much run as gallop: he lifts his legs high and bounds along, which is comical enough with clothes. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we couldn't convince him this could easily become the second most watched video on YouTube, right after "Star Wars Kid."

Flying naked, seriously, is flying your bird without jesses. It's a common longwinger practice because wild raptors can interpret dangling jesses as carried quarry, so it makes your bird subject to attack.

It's also rumored to make it easier for your bird to catch stuff. A paranoid falconer will use two transmitters; an old-fashioned one, two bells. They have a federal ID band and may have an owner's tag as well. All this clutter could add up to an extra ounce, and that's a lot to a 20-ounce bird. It's the same as a boxer having to wear ten pounds of weights and ropes hanging from his arms while fighting.

I've been flying P naked for about half this new season. There are lot of factors going into success but I think this may be one of them.