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Welcome To The New Room Full Of Mirrors ~ Sat, 06 Mar 2010 19:41:28 +0000

This site, Room Full Of Mirrors, has moved to a new home. I got fed up with my old hosting provider, Blue Host. Initially, and for a few years, their service suited me quite well. About a year ago, however, I started having issues with site uptime and speed, and the technical support had gone down hill. It didn't bother enough to move just then, because I was only serving my personal sites. It was when I had a couple issues with the uptime while dealing with clients for Platypus Web Productions that I decided something needed to be done.

It was clear to me that I had outgrown a shared hosting environment. Therefore, I had to look into other forms of hosting. Dedicated hosting was way out of my price range. But, while I was looking into dedicated hosting, I learned about VPS hosting. VPS hosting fit the bill exactly. While my virtual server would (does) reside on the same physical machine as other servers, there are only a finite amount of physical resources that can be allocated to the virtual machines. Thus it is more difficult for the hosting provider to over sell a machine (put more websites on the server than it can really handle).

After  no small amount of research, I decided to sign-up with as my VPS provider. I've been working with my Linode VPS for about 14 days. So far, I must say that I love it. The server speed and responsiveness is simply amazing. Setting up the initial OS, Debian (of course), was a breeze. And their, what has to be a custom version of screen, Lish is a really awesome tool when you need it.

Finally, as you may have noticed, I have taken this opportunity to move away from the scripts I wrote myself to manage this site. I was reluctant to do this because I felt like the scripts were included in the goal of this site -- to showcase my thoughts and work. By writing all of the backend scripts myself, I believe it gave my site that one more piece of uniqueness. But I don't have time to focus on those things anymore.

A perfect example is in the old commenting system. My basic efforts to thwart comment spam worked well for several years. But in the last few months I've been getting more and more spam in the comments, and all of it from the same people. Inititally, they were using an email address from a common domain that I could look for and exclude. After they wised up to the fact that I was intentionally giving them a 404, they started using different addresses from Clearly I couldn't block all addresses, and the only other option (to fix my own system) would have been to implement some sort of comment analyzation and filtering. That would have been a lot of work for something that would just need to be updated constantly.

So, I am now using Wordpress to manage the content of my web site. There's definitely nothing unique about that, but at least it gives me the tools to keep this place clean. In my eagerness to get moved into my new hosting, I have opted to go with a 3rd-party theme for now. I intend to write my own theme in time, but we will just have to see how that goes.

All of my old content, 7 years worth!, is still accessible at To combat broken links, and let search engines know about the move, I have created several redirect rules that should make those old posts work correctly. But I can't think of everything. If you find a broken redirect, please let me know.

foobar,  Hosting,  Site News,  Technology


Mr Frosti said (2010-03-07 14:31:58 GMT):

God help you if you need to use Blue Host support. I couldn't get my Rails app running, even though it was "officially supported". I wasn't real impressed with the way problem just dismissed as a programming error and directed me to another department that took a week to respond. I got out during my grace period.

Also, you are technically back in a shared hosting environment with John and me right? Wait until one of our funny lolcat pictures get Dugg.

Finally, welcome to Wordpress! I think soon you will find that it was a "duh" decision. There are a billion plugins, and themes available and upgrading is a breeze. Every year or so a major release comes out, and I can't think of how I worked in the confines of the old version. I think it would be hard to find even a paid application that could rival Wordpress for blogging.

James Sumners said (2010-03-07 16:15:54 GMT):

Yeah, we have a "shared hosting" type setup. But I don't believe I have oversold my VM. So we shouldn't notice any of the slow down or down time that would come of that.

I already have a couple nice plugins for Wordpress. My MP3s are being served by a plugin called "Drain Hole" which lets me store the files in a non-public directory, keep track of the number of downloads, and prevent hotlinking (a problem I was having with them). In turn, I'm using a plugin called WPAudio which lets me add a "wpaudio" class to any MP3 link to turn it into an inline Flash MP3 player.