What to expect around here

Last Updated on September 30, 2010 by Dave Farquhar

I’m still not recovered, but I expect to be on my way. The doc put me on some prescription meds. Which reminds me: The mafia My health insurance company seems to have changed prescription providers YET AGAIN, and I missed my card in the mail. What is this, flavor-of-the-week?
It’s incredibly messed up when it’s easier to get your new license plates than it is to get a bottle of Amoxicillin.

So I’m torqued off right now.

As far as the recurring problems with spammy comments and trolls, I’m fed up with it. I appreciate the people like Dustin Cook and, yes, that arrogant French aristocrat, for telling the most recent one to shove off. But that’s not a permanent solution.

I’m looking at another piece of software that can be set to require commenters to be registered users–if you want to comment, you’ve got to give a username and password. I hate that. I really do. I don’t want people to have to go through the hassle. I don’t want people wondering what else will happen with their e-mail addresses, which I will require. (The answer is, nothing, because I hate spam more than I hate taxes, but the general public doesn’t know that.) Unfortunately, it seems to be the only way to reduce the trolls and stop the spam.

As far as Railroad Tycoon 3, due to my recent sickness I’ve only been able to play two short games. It’s not a radical departure from Railtycoon 2. The economics are a bit different (and far more realistic) and the graphics are a whole lot better, and overall the game is a lot more realistic now. I can safely say I recommend it. They set the requirements at 400 MHz, 128 MB of RAM, and a 16-meg AGP video card. I played on a 366 with 128 megs and a 16-meg Radeon 7000 video card. It was acceptable. You could probably get by with a 300 MHz machine with the same memory and video card, but there’ll be times when you’ll want more horsepower. 500-600 MHz would definitely be more comfortable.

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12 thoughts on “What to expect around here

  • November 4, 2003 at 9:51 am

    Looks like the latest round of trolls/spammers hitting blogs is using search engine listings. I added robots.txt and META tags to my blog page to minimize these listings. I find blogs to read the old fashioned way, by reading other blogs.

    Of course, in your case, I found your page via Google looking for info on the Sotec laptop. So, maybe avoiding the search engines wouldn’t be such a good idea for everyone. Don’t feel too bad about registering users, I’ve seen several personal pages lately that went this route.

    Hope you begin feeling better again, soon.

  • November 4, 2003 at 11:29 am

    The overwhelming majority of my traffic comes from search engines, rather than from other blogs. I get a lot of blog traffic too, but some months Google accounts for nearly 50% of my hits. I’ve always gone after search engine traffic before blog traffic–I want those readers who don’t necessarily care if they’re reading a blog. When I first started, it was hard to crack that upper tier where most of the blog traffic comes from. Besides, providing information that’s rare elsewhere was more akin to what I wanted to do, and people go to Google for that kind of stuff, not to Dave Winer’s blog.

    Today things are different and maybe if I actively sought out more blog traffic I’d get more of it, but I seem to get plenty as it is, and I’d rather spend the limited time I have for the site in production rather than promotion.

    It’s not that one approach is better than the other; it’s just the one I’ve chosen.

    Thanks for your well wishes.

  • November 4, 2003 at 1:18 pm

    I wouldn’t mind being a registered user if it makes it easier on you.

  • November 5, 2003 at 1:04 am

    MovableType has a plugin that helps combat spammers. I haven’t installed it yet – not hit enough to spur me into movement – but it definitely is annoying.

  • November 5, 2003 at 8:17 am

    That spammer on post 821 seems to have just confessed that he loves the Backstreet Boys, and all of his Google-feeding links seem to have mysteriously disappeared. I just hate when that happens. (I’m never ever sarcastic. Not ever.)

    As far as Movable Type, I’ve used it and actually set it up for someone else once, but I want something driven by SQL and PHP. Things like the top 10s you see on the sidebar aren’t possible in MT. My old Greymatter site was similar, and it just got to be too difficult to handle comments on posts that are more than a week old–which seems to be the majority of comments on my particular site.

  • November 5, 2003 at 9:38 am


    No problem here if you want to require registered users to log in.

    Hope you get better soon. My 7-yr old has been sick with a combination stomach bug and ear infection for over a week now, and is just starting to feel well again. The bugs going around this Fall seem alot tougher than years past…

  • November 6, 2003 at 11:14 pm

    been considering… a few whois’s, a few email collections, and replace the offending post with the appropriate email addresses so that they are harvested… Hmm…

  • November 11, 2003 at 4:59 pm

    The racial slur that showed up this morning just about did it for me. A certain impolite 12-letter word that questions one’s relationship with his mother would enrage me a lot less. – – [10/Nov/2003:19:37:22 -0600] “GET /index.php?p=819&c=1 HTTP/1.1” 200 19682 “http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&q=%22microsoft+works%22+%22low+memory%22&btnG=Google+Search” “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.5) Gecko/20031007 Firebird/0.7” – – [10/Nov/2003:19:38:28 -0600] “POST /b2comments.post.php HTTP/1.1” 302 5 “https://dfarq.homeip.net/index.php?p=819&c=1” “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.5) Gecko/20031007 Firebird/0.7” – – [10/Nov/2003:19:41:24 -0600] “POST /b2comments.post.php HTTP/1.1” 302 5 “https://dfarq.homeip.net/index.php?p=819&c=1” “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.5) Gecko/20031007 Firebird/0.7”

    I think that’s plenty enough justification for forcing logins. Some flunky searches Google for Microsoft Works information, gets my post on refurbing a Pentium-200 (which doesn’t really have anything to do with Works), and posts two comments questioning my intelligence and sexual practices, brimming with profanity and racial slurs.

  • December 18, 2003 at 2:14 pm

    What software are you looking at to force commenters to register. My church is wanting to setup a site with b2 or b2evo but we would want to make people register to post comments. We are also interested in Steve’s custom code for score, posts by commentary, and recent comments.

  • December 19, 2003 at 1:36 pm

    Much of Steve’s code only worked with a particular version of b2–I don’t remember all of the details. We’re looking at Geeklog. I hate the name, because “Geek” is derogatory, but it has tons of features and I’m satisfied that it’s been thoroughly field-tested. The most prominent site using it is Groklaw, a blog site tracking SCO Group’s legal escapades. It gets Slashdotted on a regular basis and handles the load admirably.

    Geeklog can be set to require registration and has recent comments built in, as well as numerous other “Top 10s”. It doesn’t track score, but it does track and rank page reads, which is probably a better measure anyway. If lots of people read it, that’s a pretty good indication that it touched a nerve. There’s no way to know from that statistic if that was in a good or a bad sense, but personally, I don’t distinguish. Whether people read me because they like what I say or because they think I’m an idiot, it doesn’t matter much to me as long as they keep coming back. 🙂 And if you notice, Steve’s scoring ranks by votes, not the actual score. Tee hee hee.

    That philosophy is probably adequate for a church site as well, since people who disagree with it may disagree for a variety of reasons, and those reasons will undoubtedly come out in the comments.

  • December 19, 2003 at 5:51 pm

    I will give geeklog a look, thanks.

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