Category Archives: General Tech

Server move successful

Servers designed for Linux
Image via Wikipedia

On February 2, 2010 I finally completed the server move to the new co-location facility. I had, in the prior weeks, backup all data and files, did a clean install of the operating system and restored all functionality to the server. The new facility will not only help achieve faster load times, but a much better environment for the server than sitting at my house under my desk. With this move you all should notice faster page load, better usability and the RSS feeds hopefully will load and refresh across the Net faster.

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Server Going Offline For A Few Hours

Ubuntu 7.
Image via Wikipedia

Sometime within the next week I will be taking this server offline so I may perform some system maintenance and upgrades. At that time, I will also be locating it in a new data center so the actual speed will be what it should be and the performance should be increased dramatically.

There will be many system updates taking place at that time – some of them will include a complete Linux upgrade, WordPress upgrades, database upgrades and more. Most of these items will be performed in multitude to lessen the down time.

Once all the upgrades are done, within a day or two after I will be moving the server to a new data center. This will allow the server to operate at a fast connection, with much more ability to serve the growing needs of several blogs and other sites hosted on it.

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Entitlement Reaction

Social Media Landscape
Image by fredcavazza via Flickr

Jason Tryfon, a swell guy and app developer, writes on his blog about Entitlement and questions whether or not Social Media is furthering this mentality.  You can read his full post here:  The Culture of Entitlement, Is It Forming Thanks to Social Media Sites?

The sense of entitlement isn’t just confined to the Internet and Social Media.  More over, especially American society, has gained a perspective of it is for me, my benefit and you need to make sure you do what ever it takes to make sure I stay happy.  To the point that legal action gets taken, smearing across several avenues takes place, and generally ill will and the perception that it is okay to do whatever it takes to cause any type of harm because something did not work out as planned.

Far too often I think people feel that they have ownership in these services, products, companies, and even other people.  That somehow by providing content, value, or time they have a vested “ownership” that is merited a return on investment.  As the original article points out, most of the sites and services that are being questioned in creating a Culture of Entitlement are free and/or “freemium” services.  In other words there generally is no cost, save with some advertising being shown.

That brings me to another point that was discussed in the comments over on Jason’s site.  Fullbirdmusic states if people spend all this time creating content on these sites, putting time and sweat equity, there should be some form of return.  Randy stats that members on these are not just membership numbers in a database, but are partners in these networks or apps.  Which stands to reason – put something, get something out.  Is that true of life in general?

If we voluntarily use a service, without paying for it save viewing some advertisements and the time we “opt” to put into it, should we have any expectations of return on it?  When we go to work for the day, we expect that we will give an honest days work for an honest days pay.  When we volunteer in our community, we expect that we will see betterment of that community.  When we create content on a service or site of someone else, is it reasonable that we “expect” a return from that, even when they are providing us, the user, with the tools for free or next to free? Are we entitled to expect anything from a free tool when there are plenty of alternatives in any variety of locations, contexts to which we could still publish and push our content?

I used to always take advantage of the $4.95/month hosting specials.  Hey, you got a free domain name, they setup all the DNS, MX mail records and everything.  They even gave you a control panel so you could control any aspect of your account, your site, your email your everything online.  Yet, frequently in the early years of doing web development I constantly found myself persuing open source scripts to speed up development time and to learn from and unfortunately many times this allowed me to find limitations on the hosting provider.  Maybe I needed shell access, or root access.  Maybe I needed a special Apache configuration.  On these shared hosts, it just was not feasible.  My solution?  Instead of expecting them to fix my problem to better my return, I created my own solution and since 2004 have owned and operated my own web, email, dns and database servers.  Sure I could have purchased a dedicated server from the same hosting company – well leased it – but now I own the hardware and pay for a certain amount of bandwidth and IP address, to which monetary value is exchanged for a certain guarantee of service.

So if you are not getting the expected return from what ever tool you are using, maybe it’s time to find a new tool, make your own tool or change what you are doing.  Quite simply, you are getting a return – you are getting a free tool to use, free search traffic, free analytics, advertisement supported applications, services and more.  If there are issues with any of these services, to which you are not paying for a dedicated service level, use a different one, make your own or stop all together.

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Old West Meets High Tech

Professional Bull Riders
Image via Wikipedia

What do Cowboys, Computers, the Web and Social Media all have in common?

They are joining forces to bring high-tech into the daily happenings of the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series. Through the use of social media, the web and computers (and by computers I mean desktops, laptops, netbooks, smartphones and more) they are expanding their reach into new markets, new genres and opening up the sport to a much wider audience than ever before.

The 2009 season has seen quite a few changes at the PBR – from the main web site (http://www.pbrnow.com) getting a complete face lift early on, to the event information pages being completely redone to provide more information and better timed, to using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to not only communicate with fans, but provide more pertinent information even faster, the PBR has expanded its high-tech offerings to the world at large in the digital age.

You can follow @teampbr on Twitter to get behind the scenes photos in real-time from the events, including the currently happening PBR World Finals. They also provide some scores as they happen in real-time, along with photos of riders, bulls, opening ceremonies and more. They also run some trivia and other fun items during the events to engage followers even more. The same can be said for their MySpace and Facebook pages, with information going out faster and through more outlets than ever before.

One of the late offerings of 2009, which debuted two events prior to the PBR World Finals, was the addition of the Live Event Center. What the Live Event Center brings to the fans is a real-time, live updated ride-by-ride scoring system viewable in their web browser. Within seconds of a rider either riding a bull or bucking off, fans have the ability to see the rider score, buck-off-time if the rider bucked off and in all cases the bull’s score. The fans now have the ability to see the scores and other information at times they cannot watch it on television or the broadcast is delayed rather than live.

Additionally, one of the staff writers, Keith Ryan Cartwright, is “live blogging” – sending updates every few rides with information about the riders, their rides, the bulls, their bucks and behind the scenes text commentary with the riders, and others. This has been placed on to the live score page, so that visitors not only can see the scores, but then get a flight-by-flight “blog” update of all the action that gives some perspectives behind the scores. So now visitors to the PBR site can not only get live scores, flight-by-flight commentary, but they can follow the @teamPBR team and get some photos from in arena as well as other updates in regards to the rides, riders, bulls, bull fighters and more.

If that were not enough, for the debut of the 2009 PBR World Finals, visitors to http://www.pbrnow.com can click on the live photo page and get a very special treat. Andy and Matt from Bull Stock Media, the official photographers and stock provider to the PBR, are posting real-time live in-arena photos. These are in-your-face photos of the bulls, the riders, the rides – all the dirt, grime and hustle that makes the PBR THE Toughest Sport on Dirt. The photos are posted from the start of the show, including the rider introductions, the bull introductions, during the presenting of the American Flag, all the way through to the round winner circle, and eventually at the close of the 2009 World Finals World Champion ceremony.

Combine all of that with a mobile powered web site with the latest news and feature stories, http://mobull.pbrnow.com, blogs from some of the best in the businesses, including 9-time World Champion Ty Murray, and a complete online Audio podcast and Video archive located at http://pbr.tv – it is easy to see how the Toughest Sport on Dirt is fast becoming a high-tech sport – reaching new fans, new avenues and generating more content for viewers than ever before.

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Red Lights

As I was out and about driving this morning, I managed to hit every red stop light on the way. Frustrating? You bet…I was in a hurry.

However, it got me to thinking – there really is nothing wrong with a red light – it’s traffic control. So that got me to thinking about red lights in social media, blogging, programming, web development – you know all the things I am really enjoying in my technology portion of life.

Having a red light in these areas is a time to pause. A time to reflect on what you have learned, what you have shared. Help received, help given. It’s also a time to prepare for the upcoming green light – when you start writing more lines of code with a clearer thought process, write a new blog post after a great reflection or share something great with your community that was shared with you.

Is having a red light in your technology interactions a bad thing? I don’t think so. Is it good when you hit many red lights? Not really. Can you use a few to reorganize your thoughts, processes and gain some clarity about the road in front of you? I bet you can.

What do you think of red lights in your social media interactions, blogging, programming or whatever interactions you have on a daily basis? Good? Bad? Necessary evil?

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