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No, really, it almost led me to start drinking
That is pretty much how I've been feeling the last few days

Normally I wouldn't make a post about site changes because I don't think it is interesting nor it is something that anybody but myself should care about. However since this is one of those changes that will affect some readers I thought I should give a heads-up.

After much thinking (and banging my head against the wall) I decided to switch the blog software from Drupal to WordPress. This also means I will drop the ability of receiving a copy of the posts via e-mail. If you want to know when a new post will be made I suggest you add the blog to an RSS reader of your choice or follow me on Twitter. I was going to add an option for receiving notifications via Facebook too but less than five minutes of using that dang thing and I gave up. Sorry, I just can't stand Facebook. :p

By the way, for technical reasons I am keeping the comments for this post closed. I will open it for comments once everything has moved to WordPress. Also, I will be changing hosts so it might take a couple of days for everything to go back to normal. If you can't wait that long to comment/criticize/send-death-threats on this subject you can use the contact form in the menu above or send me a Direct Message about it on Twitter.

Anyway, there are several reasons for dropping the e-mail option. The short versions is: It has been a pain in my backside in a lot of ways.

The longer version is the following:

1. Spambots have been trying to register e-mails, failing and I end up receiving error notifications about it.

A few months ago I started to receive notifications that certain e-mails were trying to register for the newsletter but failing. It was always the same e-mails and I got a  dozen of notifications a day. It just stopped when I hid the option entirely. Having to delete those notifications from my mailbox was not fun and I rather use that time for something more productive. As for why spambots would do that I have no idea. And I am pretty sure it was not humans trying it as trying to repeat a process like that a dozen times a day and failing just sounds like insanity to me. :p

2. Creating a  local development environment to make sure the newsletters are being sent has been difficulty

Before I monkey around with the site stuff I always test it in a local development environment. This way if things break only I will have to suffer through it. Now, if I only have to setup a local development environment to test stuff that is displayed in a browser that is trivial. If I also have to test the sending of newsletters that hasn't been as easy for me in the past. So I'd rather not have to deal with that in the future and keep things as simple as possible.

3.  The script that I used to convert the blog's content to WordPress does not convert the registered e-mails

I used a script I found in the internet to convert the blog's content from Drupal to WordPress. It is a relatively simple script that converted the posts and comments, nothing more. That is not to say it is impossible to make a script to copy the current e-mails registered for newsletters to WordPress. It is just that I don't have the knowledge to do so and honestly I have not the patience to figure that out now.

4. I haven't given up on Drupal completely.

Although I think WordPress will make my life for blogging easier right now I haven't given up on Drupal completely. I might change back to Drupal at a later date if I find myself unhappy with WordPress. If I do so then we come back to all these issues and more.

This isn't the kind of post I wanted to break the silence with but it was either this or continue posting as normal and some people not even knowing about it. Sorry for the inconvenience to the affected parties. Normal posts will resume Soon (tm).

EDIT: Comments are now open.

UPDATE:

Alright, so let me explain what the problem was and how I screwed up to lead me to write this post. If you prefer the long, more technical answer, skip this paragraph to the next section. If your prefer a short, non-technical answer, here is what happened: In the previous post for some reason the comment section became bugged. In my attempt to correct it I opened the floodgatest so spambots which made the blog have over 100 spams in about an hour. Then when I went to delete the spam I was an idiot and deleted all the comments in the blog instead.

That is the gist of it. You can skip to the last part where I explain what I could do to fix it and what I intend to do. I am really sorry about this mess.

The longer and more technical explanation

If I were to be perfectly honest I have been too happy about the spam prevention options in Drupal (the software I use for this blog). I won't get into all the details of that as it would be an entire post in its own. But I did find a solution that left me happy enough by using two methods and two different modules. The first one is called Antibot. What it does is something stupidly simple but pretty much a stroke of genius. It basically checks if the person trying to access a form (like the comment sections) has javascript enabled. If they do, then they see the form as usual. If they do not then they get an error message telling them to enable javascript to use  the form. Since most spam nowadays are made by bots who can't deal with javascript that effectively blocks 99% of the spam I get.

If some spam still passes through that then it goes through the second module, Antispam, which is your usual check on the message content and holding it for moderation. Lately it has been a bit overzealous holding up comments from people who commented in the past and should have no need for me to manually approve it anymore. That is something I need to investigate further. I just need to find the proper time and mindset for it.

Now, here is what happened. In my previous post for some reason Antibot was giving the "You don't have javascript error" in the comment sections to everyone. At first I thought it was a problem with my Firefox since it has been giving me some issues with some sites. I figured I'd ignore it then and check it back  again later in Chrome then went to play a bit of Everquest 2. That was Big Mistake of the Night #1. Then a friend of mine commented that she was getting a weird error in the previous post and could not comment. So I thought "Ok, the problem isn't just with me. I will just disable Antibot for a bit and analyze the problem better tomorrow. I am pretty sure Antispam can handle any spam that comes through". I did that and went back to playing a bit more of Everquest 2. That was Big Mistake of the Night #2.

About an hour later I finished playing Everquest 2 and went to check my e-mail. There was over a hundred notifications of comments being held for moderation due to being flagged as spam. It wasn't even necessary to check their contents to see that they were flagged correctly, just the titles gave it away. I was pretty tired then but I wanted to get rid of those things so I came to the blog to delete them. Only problem is I didn't pay much attention to what I was doing and instead deleted ALL the comments in the blog. All of them. That was Big Life Mistake #1,843,425 (the number might be a bit bigger than that).

Since it was late and this wasn't going to be an easy problem to solve I decided I would try to fix it next morning and in the mean time just write a quick message (noted below as "Original post") just to let people know I screwed up and explanations would be forthcoming soon.

I still have no idea why Antibot bugged in the previous post. It was a very simple post with just a picture and one line of text. There wasn't anything particularly different than usual. In the Antibot page there isn't any report of a bug similar to mine either. And just to be fair to Antibot, the current stable release is tagged as beta 1. So weird bugs are to be expected. I just wish there was something I could use as a clue to the problem.

What I could do to fix things

Unfortunately my most recent backup is from Monday, right before the post I wrote that day. Even that only because there was a module update that day and I backuped the database just to be on the safe side. That means any comments made after that are gone.

I fixed  the offending post that caused all this mess. Apparently it was something with the image. Don't ask me what exactly because I have no clue either. I just took the original PNG one again, re-exported it to JPEG then edited the post and re-uploaded the picture. The commenting should be fixed now. I am also setting it up to backup the database everyday and for a copy to be sent directly to my e-mail. It is something that I should have done a long time ago.

Longer term I am going to see if I can find a better solution to deal with spam that will hopefully give me less headache. Maybe even switch to WordPress depending on how annoyed I get at it all. There is a lot I need to think about and consider.

I am really sorry about all this mess. This is really one of those times where I wish I could go back in time, punch me in the face before I did something stupid and tell my past self the consequences of such stupidity.

ORIGINAL POST

I messed something here on the blog. I will update this post tomorrow with more details. /sigh

Since I don't want this polluting any other posts (they are coming, I swear!), here are a few things I changed under  the hood but might affect people. I changed my anti-spam module since the previous one (Mollom) was refusing to learn that certain commenters were real people and their comments should not be held for moderation. I deeply apologize for all the trouble that caused. The one I am testing now is one that allows me the choice of using the Akismet anti-spam service, that was one that was built-in with WordPress.com and never give me trouble there. Hopefully it won't give me trouble here either. If it gives anyone, any problem whatsoever in commenting please use the "Contact" link up top to warn me about it and I will try to fix it ASAP.

In conjunction with it I am using a module that makes it so that it checks for javascript to show the comment form. The rationale behind this is that spambots don't use javascript therefore they will never see the comment form to begin with. So if you see something about a javascript error instead of the usual comment form that is why. Just enable Javascript on your browser or allow it for this site if you have a plugin for that and it should be fine. Again, if there is any problem just use the contact form above. Although I've been using it for a few weeks and nobody seemed to have noticed it... :p

The "Let's Play" of Icewind Dale will resume as soon as possible. By soon, I mean as soon as I can get away from Everquest 2 to actually post something. Dang you Everquest 2! Why did your housing system had to be so good?

Anyway, I am a bit ahead of where I stopped my last post on it so it is not like there is a lack of material to write about. It is just that my return to Everquest 2 was unplanned and triggered all my addiction for decoration again. My excuse for not having posted anything for the NBI yet is the same. Although at least that one I should be writing much sooner than "Soon". I also need to do some serious catch-up on it! Yikes!

UPDATE: Seems like the antispam module was giving an error when people tried to comment on here. Sorry for the problem and for now that module is disabled. I will check to see if I can figure out the problem, if not back to Mollom it is. Hopefully people won't have any trouble commenting while I figure this one out.

12

As I explained in my post in the previous version of this blog, I decided it was about time to move it to a new host. But that wasn't the only change. The other thing I changed was the software I am using for blogging.

"Wait, what?!?" I hear someone asking. Well, to make a long story short: Instead of using common sense, use WordPress, do a simple export/import dance and then call it a day, I decided to instead do things in a slightly more complicated way. I decided to use Drupal. There are a couple of reasons for that. Without going into too much details, the reasons are that I just like Drupal and that I wanted to learn more on how to use it.

The first part is pretty subjective, everybody likes different things so no further need to explain it. As for the second part there is only so much one can learn with an offline site in their own machine. Eventually it is just necessary to go online to learn more about this kind of software. And I can't think of anything more simple than a blog to start learning. Plus if something goes horribly wrong (*knocks on wood*) then I should be the only one losing any hair over it.

Now, I tried to match every feature WordPress.com offered but if there is anything that you feel is missing or would like to see added, this is a good time to say it. Just make a comment on this post or use the contact link up there. I am disabling the update notifications via e-mail for now  though, just to make sure things won't blow up, obliging me to switch to another software... like WordPress. I apologize for the incovenience and in the mean time, I suggest people use the RSS option as an alternative.

Speaking of broken things, if anything isn't working (*knocks on wood again*), please let me know in the comments below, via the contact form or by sending a message via twitter to Rakuno_SoI. I tried to make sure everything is working properly but there is always something one can miss.

Oh, some of the ancient content may look funky right now. I will get back to fix them eventually. Same for the new content, I will eventually get back to fix the typos and cluncky paragraphs. But for now I just want to go back to ol'regular blogging 🙂

14

After much brooding in my hidden lair, I think it is time to get back to blog posting.

So here are some things that have been going on my mind as well as some stuff I've been up to.
If it seems there is a lot of uncertainty in this post it is because... there is. I blame it on my chronicle indecisiveness. Anyhoo, let's get started with...

Plans for the blog

One of the things I've been thinking the most is what I want to do with the blog, both from a technical point of view and from a content one. Mostly from a technical point of view.

...continue reading "Status update! (for the blog and some personal ones)"

2

This blog has been in need of a revamp for a very long time. Not only it is about time I tried to give this blog a more unique, interesting look, for those who take the time to visit it, but also because since the New Blogger Initiative my blogroll pretty much exploded in size. What can I say? Participating on that exposed me to a lot of great gaming blogs I wasn't aware of because I was just stuck on my little corner of the internet. And I am pretty sure it will continue to grow as I find more great blogs to read.

Due to these circumstances I am finally stopping to procrastinate and actually doing something about it. The first step was breaking the blogroll into categories. It is still not perfect and I am still thinking if there isn't a better way to do it. For now it should make it easier for readers to find the blogs that interest them. If you are the author of one of them and feel like your blog has been put into the wrong category, please let me know and I will correct it immediately. If most people don't like it then I will just go back to the old blogroll. Oh, and if anyone has any suggestions on how to make it better it would be much appreciated!

Next step should be to work on the blog's theme. Well, or at least that is what I intent to do whenever I can decide anything about it. I am just... too indecisive. Anyway, if you return here some day and it looks like the blog suffered a time traveling accident and it looks like it went back to 1999 then you will know what happened!

2

I guess this won't come as surprise to anyone. I am giving up on the whole "Overdue Month" idea. I won't go into the reasons why unless this becomes a whiny and full of self-pity post. That is not something I want to have in my blog. Suffice to say that I just need sometime alone. Playing MMORPGs or posting on the blog doesn't help much with that as much as I wish it  did.

I apologize for anyone who were looking for the announced posts. I still intent to cover the subjects announced in the future. Just no promises on any date whatsoever. Also, next time I try to do something special like that I will try to start ahead by writing some drafts even if it is just for the opening paragraph. That should save some considerable time. Also not try to tackle 4 completely different topics in the same month, plan my schedule better and not do it in the middle of MMORPG and/or real life event season.

Posts will resume as soon as possible. Again, apologies for this and hope you continue reading the blog.

I admit January was pretty lackluster in terms of posts on this blog. It is true I haven't set to myself a minimum of posts per month but this one in particular just annoyed me because there were posts I wanted to do about Final Fantasy XIV but couldn't due to a kerfuffle with its subscription. To make a long story short, that was only solved by the end of the month and I've been trying to catch up with everything since then so I can make those posts I wanted to. That made me think about all the posts I thought about writing since the beginning of the blog but for one reason or another I didn't.

So to make up for all that I decided to do a little experiment on the month of February that I am dubbing "Overdue Month". The idea is basically to write one post per week about a topic I intended to but never did. Posts should be up on every Friday of this month. Right now the planned topics are: Final Fantasy XIV patch 1.20, a tokusatsu show called Garo, Fallen Earth and Lineage 2. Not necessarily in that order but most likely so. Also, I would have preferred to write about Frayed Knights instead of Lineage 2 but I doubt I will have enough time to play Frayed Knights to make a proper post about it. At least with Lineage 2 I already have some previous experience with the game to make a comparison on how it was before to how it is now. Plus I am still curious about how the game is nowadays.

Between those posts I might end up writing something about the Valentine's Day events that they will certainly have (Final Fantasy XIV version of it already began I think) if I find something interesting to talk about it. Or anything else that I find might be interesting.

Honestly what I am worried about the most is not being able to meet that self-imposed deadline. There is a lot to play and my ramblings do take some time do take some considerable time to write despite how inane they may be. Still I want to give it a try just to see how I deal with a more regular posting schedule. If I fail I will try to tackle the missed topic as soon as possible.

So, here starts "Overdue Month"! Tan-dan-dan!

P.S.: Yes, kerfuffle is a technical term if anyone is wondering.

EDIT: Forgot to say, I might also do another reorganization of the categories here. That won't really matter to anyone besides me but thought I should mention. Might also try a few other things if I don't lose any resemblance of sanity while trying to make sure "Overdue Month" goes smoothly. We'll see.

4

This blog is a little hard to introduce in a proper way.... Why? A very simple reason: The intention of this blog is more of a way to keep in touch with my friends in a way other forms would not feel adequate.

In other words, a place where I can ramble on and on about stuff that is in my mind right now but would take too many words to talk about. That and it is a way where they can avoid it (if they have any sense) without feeling guilty for not replying to or not knowing about any new update.

I suppose that description is still too vague however and might bring horrible mental images of a blog filled with nothing but pictures of kittens or quizzes nobody care about. Although I can't promise one or the other might end up popping up in the future, that is not the intention of this blog. You see, my goal with it right now is mostly to ramble about the games I am playing right now, mainly MMORPGs since those are the ones I usually play more and have more to talk about. Single player PC games might feature just as much if I find myself having something to say about it. Besides that probably some anime or anything that caught my (fickle) interest at the time.

So, that is about it. Onward to, what I hope will be, many more posts!