What Was IS AGAIN

... More or less. A week ago, Sunday, 2007 June 24, late in the day, we started a simple update to our hosting server's control panel software. It failed, and in a most horrible way, rendering the server unusable. While this is an unmanaged server, we do subscribe to both RedHat Enterprise Linux and SWSoft Plesk through our rack host, ServerBeach. They had approved the latest Plesk 8.1.1 for use, and upgrade from their last approved version, 7.5.4. After investigating our update woes, they offered two courses of action

  1. They would swap out our four year old hard drive for a new one and apply the latest RHEL and Plesk disk image - instant upgrade but without any of our accounts, domains or data.
  2. They would escalate to SWSoft, with no ETA for a response.

Hmm, a new drive, upgrade the OS as well as the control panel. What's the downside? Let's check our backups... Yep, they're all there from our night [really early morning] backup. We keep two days worth and the size of the backup files one day to the next seem right. Looking at older backup files that we've downloaded - yep sizes look right.

Go for it. Especially as ServerBeach will leave the old drive in place as a slave. Mount and copy. YeeHAH!!!

Oh, NO

Backups made with 7.5.4 aren't compatible with restore into 8.1.1 [or any 8.x]. There is a backup convert utility, but it has known problems with the system level restore, and is questionable with domain level. We have both, so let's see...

Yep, the system level doesn't work for us either. The domain levels work, but they are hinky. Maildir from the backups is placed under Maildir, so we have ../Mailnames/domainName/userName/Maildir/Maildir so the email MUAs [clients] don't see mail, just the administrative directories. Move, copy, domain by domain, rinse, repeat, and email is back. That took two days.

All web sites were inaccessible. CMS and wiki systems give errors, not at all liking the way the restore set up MySQL. Luckily, Clarise still retains some powers from her old title of Queen of the Databases. And, humbly, my past experiences as Lord of Chaos hasn't hurt either. Restore, edit, reconfigure, copy, rinse, repeat.

It has taken the full week, but all web sites, CMS, wiki and blogs are reading. Not everything is 100% operational, searchable, editable, but all is readable. Stacy and Jennifer of ServerBeach were especially helpful.

Let's see what happens here when I hit "Save". &#59;)

Update: It worked the first time. :D

And you were wondering why a blog about the TeleInterActive Lifestyle™ wasn't drooling about the iPhone. Well, when the Motricity eReader Pro is available for it, as well as mind maps and a good outliner... open that SDK, Apple... wait, wrong rant. :oops:

Why Did Todd Buy MS Office

A friend asks why he bought new licenses for Microsoft Office, when Google Apps have all the features he'll ever need. Todd, maybe you felt that you needed to suffer. &#59;) There are so many alternatives now, though Microsoft Office is the standard in the business world, and if you must send editable DOC, XLS, PPT, etc files out, you need M$ Office, as true interoperability and format preservation are still dreams. But Todd, what about OpenOffice.org for your Windows and Linux machines, or NeoOffice for your MacOSX machines? What about Zoho if Google Apps left you longing for more?

I feel very lucky that we've managed to convince our latest customers to use open source and self-hosted blogs, wikis and collaboration software. We have an instantly updated knowledgebase and a record of how each decision was made.

Oh, well, Todd, remember, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. XX(

Can't Comment to The RSS Delimna

Another instance of not being able to leave a comment at a WordPress powered blog happened today. I tried to leave the following...

The primary reason that I click through to the web site from a feed, is to read comments or leave one... As now. Full articles are much more likely to draw me into the conversation.

I generally don't subscribe to partial feeds.

BTW, feeds can contain enclosures. That being said, the day an article opens in my feed reader [RSSowl] and automatically launches some flash spam with sound at full blast, will be the day that I'll have a new reason to unsubscribe from that commercialized feed.end quotation

... to The RSS dilemma by Matt Marshall in Venture Beat.

After submitting my comment, this URL appears: http://venturebeat.com/2007/04/19/the-rss-dilemma/#comment-49841, but no comment does.

This is getting frustrating. XX(

Advice to the Very Small by Seth Godin

From our own experience with a Squidoo Lens, we can agree with Seth Godin's recent advice to very small businesses, that a lens can drive traffic to your blog. Our Open Source Business Intelligence lens is #8 in Computers with an overall LensRank of #159. Our lens and blog are now on the first or second page of results from a Google search for Open Source BI or Open Source Business Intelligence. We've been as high as #2 overall. We think this is pretty amazing for an enterprise focus lens of such arcane interest competing against lenses on MySpace themes and designer laptop bags. Our OSS blog gets upwards of 300 hits per month from the lens.

So, I agree with Seth on the value of third-party, high SEO value sites like Squidoo and Flickr. I also have a great deal of respect for TypePad and Six Apart. However, I think that branding through your own domain is very important. I don't think that myDomain.typead.com or myDomain.blogspot.com is as powerful nor as useful as blog.myDomain.com. Most hosting companies, such as our own, where your current web site and email get provisioned now, likely have some open source blog engines like b2evolution and WordPress available. There are many themes under creative commons licenses or freely available for use with these blog engines. Another consideration is whether or not you, the very small are going to do what you're told and blog frequently enough not to look abandoned. After all, as the Nox say, the very young do not always do as they're told. And the very small business owner may be too busy to blog even monthly or weekly, let alone several times per day. So, first consider if blogging is right for you, or if a content management system (CMS), that allows you to easily update your web site with news about your business and articles or reports of interest to your customers, or forums that can serve as a community site for your current and potential customers may be more important for you. Both content management systems such as Joomla! and forums are as easy to update as blogs.

Blogging allows you to speak as if from a podium, add comments and you're a speaker taking questions from the audience, allow trackbacks are you've created a type of panel discussion. Wikis allow you to author or community author a book or magazine. CMS allows you to provide fresh information to your audience. Forums, where registered users can also post, allow the most free-form type of discussion. So, first decide what you need, alone or with an adviser, and then decide if you'll do as you're told. &#59;)

My Comments Go to Dev Null

/dev/null on a *nix computer is the bit bucket, the place where things go to disappear, the black hole of the computing universe. It appears that any comments that I try to write recently just disappear. This is mostly happening with Wordpress and TypePad powered blogs, either on wordpress.com or self-hosted using the open source Wordpress blog engine. With the help of Nicholas Goodman and Gianugo Rabellino, I know that the comments are NOT going into the Akismet queue of comment spam on their sites, and Gianugo even reposted the comment that I sent to him in email "pretending" to be me by putting my name, email and URL in the appropriate fields - it went through just fine. I've even tried leaving the comment with Camino and Safari, as well as the Firefox that I normally use on my MacBookPro. I should have mentioned that Wordpress gave me an error message saying that I had left that comment already when I tried to leave the same comment with Camino after trying with Firefox. I don't think it's a cookie thing; it doesn't seem to be browser related; nor do I seem to be marked as spamming. The only other thing that I can think of is that it is somehow related to my IP address. I'll try commenting from my "south bay office". Any one with any ideas... please HELP.

Update 20070415;13h12: It seems trackbacks won't go through either, as my attempt to communicate with the BI Team blog shows.

Update 20070418;15h45: I should mention that I've had this problem in the past with TypePad blogs, such as Shel Israel's, and today with Seth Godin's.

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The TeleInterActive Lifestyle is about the business processes, life choices, management challenges and technical issues facing organizations and individuals as individuals and organizations adopt the Internet of Things, Mixed Reality, wireless networks of all levels, mobile devices, long-distance collaboration, social networks, digital transformation, and adjust to growing urbanization.

Sensor Analytics Ecosystems for the Internet of Things (SAEIoT) brings value from emerging technologies through data management and analytics, advances in data science, as the IoT matures through the 5Cs: Connection, Communication, Contextualization, Collaboration and Cognition. The socialization of machines will allow for Privacy, Transparency, Security and Convenience to be flexibly provided with two-way accountability to build Trust among Humans and Machines.

AsDataArchon, we have evolved our consulting data scientist work from learning how to incorporate sensor analytics into data warehouses, business intelligence and analytics to focusing on IoT data management and forming sensor analytics ecosystems.

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