This is an archive of the pseudo-regular Tomorrowlands news on the site home page, in case you missed 'em the first time around.
They are arranged from newest to oldest.
The forums have had a slight issue with the date setting on this machine hiccuping. If you're having trouble posting, please check this thread for the details. Feel free to e-mail me if there's a persistent problem.
Forums are down. This is, in the words of software hackers, a "known issue." The administrator of Tlands' server has been e-mailed and hopefully things should smooth themselves out quickly.
I also still need to switch Tlands over to some sort of blog setup. That is all.
UPDATE, 2-26-04: Fixed. Post, post, post away!
I'll have more to say as soon as I can sit down and force myself to type it, I promise.
Content will be light for the next few weeks, though. I'm working staff for Further Confusion, in a little bit under two weeks, and I have a lot of pre-con work to get done. Building templates, finding staff, getting organized ... Smart people. They even got me to pay for the privilege.
In other news, it is becoming more and more obvious I really need to find some software that will let me treat tlands as more of a blog, rather than the crusty home-brew one-day-at-a-time stuff I'm running now. Hopefully a redesign will give me incentive to post a little more frequently by keeping news and journal entries and features all together, and keeping more of a backlog of entries on the front page rather than knocking a long and clever piece to the archive if I have a three-sentence observation to make.
The site's been mostly running along smoothly -- with a minor little hitch that, go figure, struck just after I posted the most important journal entry of the year.
The server's UPS blew yesterday and it had to be taken offline for a short while to swap equipment in. Then there were some DNS changes that took a while to get through the system. Short of it is, there was an unplanned outage most of yesterday, but things shound be stable again.
*sigh* Less than three weeks in and the forums are apparently self-destructing. Since sometime last night, they refuse to work in the slightest, producing only a blank white page any time that they're viewed.
I haven't done anything lately to change the forums that might have broken them. PHP itself works (I ran a test script). I don't know any PHP or SQL stuff, so trying to fix this is sort of voodoo debugging.
Except, unfortunately, now that I'm looking into it, the cause is fairly obvious: The entire database for the forums has been moved or deleted.
Not happy now. Talking to admin.
UPDATE, 8:50 PM: Fortunately, false alarm. Everything is cool. The forums work again. I will explain more (after work) in a forum thread. Carry on chatting. (Update update: Longer story here.)
I know some of you have been waiting over 70 days for this news, so let's give it the treatment it deserves:
Unfortunately, due to some conversion glitches, it looks like we're starting from scratch. But having just spent 36 hours straight hammering phpBB into shape, I like what I see, and I think y'all will too.
(Edit 8/29) -- PLEASE NOTE: If you click on the link above, and get the old "The forums are down" page -- or a "YaBB.cgi does not exist" error -- it's a problem with your browser cache. Your computer is storing the old forum index page locally, which was just a reference to the old board script. To fix it, open up your browser's preferences, find the controls for the cache, and clear your cache. Or, less extremely, you can try clicking this link to see if you can see the new forums -- although most links to the new forums will still be broken until the old page falls out of your cache. (End new material)
In other news, I've been pretty silent on the journal lately, and once I
get some sleep
But that journal apathy has given me back enough free time to work on some really kick-butt website features. If you've been here over the last several weeks, you've probably noticed my California recall time machine -- a glimpse, with deadpan sensibilities, into the future of our fair state. And how about The Battle of Rat Corner, in which I chronicle the epic adventures of Squeak in a thrilling true-life office tale? Go check them out for your U.S. RDA of Baxil, and then say hello to fellow Tomorrowlands readers in the brand spanking new, shiny happy spiffy keen cool FORUMS!
Tomorrowlands forums still down
Latest Updates8/25/2003: w00t! phpBB 2.0.6 is installed and running smoothly! I am setting up the board, configuring it how I want it, and (most importantly) enabling the dragon smilies. The good news: Our net connection is being decent again, so it'll be online, gods willing, in less than 24 hours. The bad news: The converter from YaBB refused to work. So we'll have to start fresh, alas.
8/24/2003: Am set up with PostgreSQL (thanks Aeto!). This paves the way for the board installation. Unfortunately, our net connection from home is currently so screwed up that the ping times are making 300 bps modems look good. Just getting the thing running promises to be an all-evening experience.
8/20/2003: Um, still waiting for admin to get the SQL setup all
taken care of.
8/13/2003: Have settled on phpBB as replacement software. Install requires some set-up work with MySQL; have contacted server administrator and am waiting for word bax from him. (Am unable to take further action until SQL stuff is straightened out.) How much work needs to be done once I start installing it remains to be seen.
BackgroundFor years I've been running an install of YaBB, a PERL-based Web bulletin board, for the forums. I was happy with it (and where I wasn't happy, I customized it until I was), but it started running into memory errors that were crashing Tomorrowlands' Web server. The server administrator disabled the script (at the beginning of June) and I've been working to restore the forums, one way or another, since.
Yes, yes, I know, it takes two months to get anything done around here. But you're all patient people. Right? Of course you are. Because Baxil likes patient people. Baxil rewards patient people. Look! He went and set up draconity.com just for you, o patient ones! Going to http://draconity.com now takes you as a shortcut to Tomorrowlands' draconity pages. (One benefit of this should be immediately obvious -- the Web page draconity.com/faq permanently links directly to the Draconity FAQ. Simple, eh? And it's even directly directly, without any placeholder screen.) See what wonderful rewards patience brings?
Tomorrowlands forums downProblem: Currently unknown bugs in the script have caused the webserver to crash at least once and threatened its stability at least twice more.
Latest Updates7/25/2003: Maybe this weekend. I'll look into phpBB and Ikonboard, as have been suggested.
7/18/2003: After half a dozen letters in 24 hours (almost every one of which said "I DO care, I just thought I'd wait quietly rather than be annoying and bug you") ... okay. I'm convinced.
But I still need to find some forum software. Stable, hassle-free and affordable are my primary concerns. Suggestions will greatly speed the forums' return, because I've been dreading the hassle of going out and scouring the web for what I want.
7/15/2003: Okay, seriously, does anyone care? I'd have thought that a month of downtime would have generated at least one e-mail or contact form submission. I'll give it a few weeks to see if anyone actually cares, then maybe yank them for good if nobody wants them back enough.
6/13/2003, 6:45 a.m.: ... Yeah, probably going to have to replace the forum software entirely. *sigh* Am now deliberating best way to do this.
6/07/2003, 7:25 a.m.: The nature of the problem is basically memory-related; YaBB apparently occasionally goes crazy and eats up too many system resources. Whether this is due to a memory leak, bad memory usage, or just too many copies of the script running at once is not yet clear to me. It may be easier to switch forum software than to track down the error. Suggestions welcome.
6/06/2003, 5:45 p.m.: Received word server administrator has
disabled script until problems can be addressed. Do not blame him. Will
be working diligently to discover what can be done about issue. If
problem is irreconcilable, will attempt to find stabler forum software and
install it ASAP. Chance of this happening is unknown. If you need
information that was contained in one of the threads on the forum, please
contact me (via e-mail or the contact page) and
I will forward it on to you.
May 19, 2003 ... A reminder to all of my friends and readers that I am -- this year as every year -- going to be spending Memorial Day Weekend in San Jose, Calif., working as a staffer for BayCon. This year, I have dragged Elynne onto staff with me, so anyone who wants to catch up to me at the con can get two for the price of one.
Drop me a line here if you want to arrange to meet me over the weekend -- or just look me up at the convention. Newsletters will be all over the hotel, and all of them list the newsletter staff room, which is going to be my base of operations.
In other news, in a last-minute pre-con burst of activity, I've transcribed the TTU culturalia essay titled "The Death of Teleportation." As the summary says: "After The Changes, magic was poised to turn society upside down. Then our dreams started dying one by one. 'What happened?' asks a Boston mage, focusing on arguably the most revolutionary magical advance possible." For this piece, you entirely have my digital recorder to thank -- I haven't had the time to write or to edit anything of any substance, but I still drive for over an hour every day, and while driving I can certainly think and talk. So all I have to do when I come home is take my own dictation, make a few last-minute edits, and post that puppy. I like this arrangement.
May 16, 2003 ... I went to see "The Matrix" tonight, just 24 hours after opening night. It's rare that I get to see a movie so early in its run -- and that I get to see a movie so eagerly anticipated by so many.
So, for those of you waiting for the lines to die down but unable to contain your curiosity about the movie, I've written an extremely thorough and inventive review and summary, which even points out some of the plot elements that I feel most reviewers missed -- and exposes the great hoax surrounding one of the most prevalent rumors about the movie.
Be forewarned that it contains juicy handfuls of spoilers. But maybe this is a good thing -- if you're not planning on seeing The Matrix, read through the whole article, and you'll easily be able to "fake" pop culture knowledge in your office conversations!
So, in summary, go read "Reloaded Revealed," and enjoy this unique look at a quite unique movie.
As a first step to clearing out my work backlog, I added Kaijima's writer's guide "Death By Zen." I also added Delcan's "News In Brief, 1" to the story section. I modified the TTU story list to have a "Culturalia" section, for random cultural artifacts from inside TTU, and kicked it off by adding "Top Cats and Tales," an interview with a theri lounge singer.
January 10, 2003 ... There were some problems with chameleon.net's virtual hosting yesterday and this morning; Tomorrowlands disappeared from the Web for approximately 24 hours. This may have resulted in 404 errors or in seeing Chameleon's home page in place of ours.
If you're reading this, of course, we're fully back in business. Apologies for the interruption in service.
Other services were not affected -- specifically, e-mail went through during that time period, so resending letters should not be necessary.
There was no data loss, and no persistent problems are expected, so please return to your regular browsing habits.
December 18, 2002 ... Work is going to be eating my life over the next few days. As in, I'm going to be away from the office in the next 36 hours almost long enough to get a full night's sleep and then go to work again in the morning. I don't have access to update Tomorrowlands (or the time to web-surf) at the office; please don't expect more than a few words out of me until Friday evening at the earliest.
And, yes, this does mean that I'm catching up on my TTU work backlog ... albeit slowly.
September 20, 2002 ... Just a brief update to let you all know that I'm still alive. Went to an interview today, finished some more roofing work, and have been catching up on my sleep. I'm going to spend the weekend helping my sister move in to her new apartment in Santa Barbara, just in time to start the fall semester of her sophomore year at my old alma mater.
A short time ago, I finished the Playstation 2 RPG "Shadow Hearts," having discovered along the way an interesting trick that allows you to earn "cash" (the game's financial unit) very quickly. I expected that one of the existing FAQs on gamefaqs.com would cover it, but to my surprise I seemed to be the first person to realize the possibilities. So I sat down at my keyboard and documented the Shadow Hearts money trick. I submitted it to GameFAQs, and they've placed it on their site (yay! more mildly obscure fame!), but I'm keeping a local copy here as well.
Next on the agenda: I'm a little backlogged on TTU work. (I guess that happens when you run an open story universe and submissions cluster together instead of drift in at a constant rate.) Although I'm going to be gone this weekend, I hope to post Titania's Toys, Book 2, very shortly (editing is over 95% complete). After that I'll edit Tchjdaedn's "Snow" and Ss'hLeer's "Bending the Rules" so I can get back to them and we can iron out the canon issues. Also, expect Kaijima's "Death By Zen FAQ" to reach the site soon. (Heck, maybe if I find the time, I can even get back to my own material, and post information on the Gold murders or the Valdine case.)
As a coda: Summer is fading fast, but days here have still been
gloriously hot. I'm given to understand it nearly broke three digits out
in our area today. I can't remember the last time I've felt so
Tiger.chameleon.net (Tomorrowlands' server) will be down much or all of Friday, July 5 for a major system upgrade. Tomorrowlands will be inaccessible for the duration (because I'm too lazy to host the pages elsewhere in the meantime).
Take the opportunity to go out and get some sunshine. I'll make sure over the weekend that everything still works, and Tomorrowlands will be back before you've had a chance to miss it.
June 6, 2002 ... For all the trauma that I've been going through in the last year, it's something of a miracle that I've been updating my site at all. But it looks like, finally, things are beginning to turn around -- or, at least, I'm finding the motivation to create again.
There's a lot of work in progress, and I hope to post another update announcing project completion in the near future. For now, though, I'm starting out small: I've been putting in some work behind the scenes, keeping existing features current. How so? Well, I've (finally) rotated in a new poem to the Poem O' The (Whenever) page. There are more Chibi Jesus submissions to look at. I've fixed a few broken links in the archives (and let me know if you see any more).
As usual, enjoy.
February 15, 2002 ... I think I'm becoming a geek. Which is to say, I think I'm becoming even more of a geek than usual. Which is to say, I think I'm starting to lose the ability to do things that don't involve being buried in code.
Case in point: Having finished writing my adult-file handling script, you'd think I would be able to sit back and relax with some ... I don't know ... writing, or art, or TV watching, or something normal for a change. But, no. I needed some stress relief this week, so what did I do? Hacked at Rogue, that's what. (No, not the "swing sword at monsters" kind of hack: the "pound head against assembly language" kind of hack.) And then documented it in excessive detail, for the benefit of the four people in the universe who might someday be tempted to play the Macintosh port of the classic ASCII dungeon crawl.
Thank goodness at least I've gotten myself onto a daytime schedule these days; if it weren't for the sunlight I think I'd be turning into a cave troll.
January 22, 2002 ... I'm digging through my backlog -- might be a little easier to do now that I am unemployed again -- and have reached that wonderful point of the site updates where I have to sit down and wade through PERL again. It's not pretty, but it's functional, and it makes the site less of a headache to navigate and/or maintain.
Case in point: I whipped up this evening -- while working on some of the homebrewed library files that I want to port my CGI over to, so that I can reuse code much more gracefully -- a script to provide a single reference point for my journal entries. Throw in a date, and it automatically forwards you to the proper page to view that day's entry -- so I can link to Javaiku or today's entry with equal ease (even if that entry is still on the front page).
Next on deck is a simple little script to process an age confirmation, so that I can put any adult material on the site behind at least a thin firewall; this is an issue because of some TTU stories that have been submitted, so when I get that done I'll post an update there. And with that, I'll say: "The joys of coding. Yay." ... and go to bed.
Page updated by script; most recent update is the date of current news. Design (c) 2000 Tad "Baxil" Ramspott.