With a bit of spare time on my hands, I decided to change the way embedded pictures are enlarged to a more contemporary and elegant method. Feel free to click on any image within any post, and please do let me know if you come across any buggy behavior. Thanks!
I have spent the last hour or so recovering my blog from backups after it was hacked by some f***ers who had replaced my WordPress installation with a single sound-hotlinked page in Arabic. On a plus side, I am pretty diligent with backups, so I was able to restore all of my stuff pretty quickly. On a minus side, I apparently did not back up all of the WordPress plugins, so there may be some things that will not be working correctly until I get to them later in the week. For instance, clicking links right now seems to result in an error… (fixed – 11/6/11)
If anyone notices anything else missing or behaving strangely, please drop me a line, I’d be very obliged.
The interesting part is that the Travelog section was untouched. Of course, there is a question of what kind of protection my hosting provider has that allows such hacking to occur.
Back to our regular [scarce] programming…
We’ve been back on the home soil for two years now. I felt a tiny bit of re-branding of the site was due. The word “[back]” was no longer appropriate as the modifier of our local status.
So, welcome to “Burlaki on the Hudson”, all!
Heh! The whole thing took me less than half a day to turn around, and a couple of hours were idly spent on waiting for DNS changes to propagate.
I have one strange artifact in the Travelog, which I will have to look into at some later time. I also do not yet see the mail server resolved to the new platform. But other than that, burlaki.com is now residing at a new host. And I actually managed to get the cost down to one-fourth of what I was paying before. It’s not that great deal of money, but it makes me happy nonetheless.
If you catch any strange behavior with the website, please let me know. Cheers!
… but there will likely be an intermittent downtime at burlaki.com in the next couple of weeks.
The reason for that is that I am moving the domain to a cheaper hosting platform.
When I started the website about four years ago, I was not expecting that the main blog would become practically the only regularly used feature. I did know that I wanted to host the picture gallery within the site, I suspected that I might need more than one blog running, I had plans for other “fun” sections, I even considered eventually building an online store to parallel Natasha’s eBay activities.
So I went for dedicated hosting, with enough room to grow in my hosting plan. At $9.95/month, it did not feel like a tremendous expenditure.
As time went by, all the site grew into was three different blogs and a picture gallery. Quite a while ago, I concluded that it will not grow into anything else. With such limited needs, paying ten bucks a month for hosting was definitely a waste.
Since both blogs and galleries can be well hosted for free on a variety of specialized platforms, I considered moving wholesale to WordPress and one of the photo sites, supplemented by a set of index pages on some free hosting platform for purposes of re-direction. This worked for Becky’s blog (which she has not been updating for months) and for Picture Gallery, both of which are now hosted externally to the main site. But the main blog and Travelog section both make heavy use of WordPress plugins, which are not available at wordpress.com. I am loath to lose some of the older posts that rely on those plugins.
I also thought of moving to a no-fee domain hosting platform, but researching that I realized it was an obvious case of “you get what you pay for”. I’d rather spend a little money but be able to rely on prompt assistance and not run into regular “this option is only available for premium accounts” responses.
Without boring you any further, I will be moving the remaining two pieces of this site, the main blog and the Travelog, to a host that will provide me with everything I need to run two blogs within one site but charge me one-third of what I am paying for hosting today. The downtime may occur during the time I switch DNS routing from old host to the new one, and also if, for some reason, the newly configured site does not work as needed right off the bat. You should not notice any design differences, though; I am transferring the entire configuration without changing anything.
If you use RSS to subscribe to my blog, and you experience longer-than-usual interval of silence from me, you may have to re-subscribe. While the URLs of the two blogs will remain unchanged, I am not sure if RSS will catch up with different DNS routing by itself.
This sign at a nearby supermarket parking lot kinda symbolizes the speed of my movements this weekend. Aside from seeing friends and watching football on the telly, I devoted the large part of the last two days to cleaning up some loose ends in the Travelog (the most recent articles on Kraków and Budapest are now complete, and the map has been updated to finally show a continuous darkened area stretching across all of Eurasia) and adding a few pictures to the Travelscapes. That’s the extent of the new content. We’ll be back to our regular programming soon.
I know there is a handful of people out there who subscribe to my RSS feed via FeedBurner (which is where the “Subscribe” button on the navigation bar pointed to until today). FeedBurner was bought by Google some time ago, and they are gradually getting around to migrating their service to a different platform. I’ve heard about occasional problems with that from different blog owners who have already been migrated, and, to be honest, I never really needed the additional bells and whistles that FeedBurner provides, some of which, I understand, are no longer going to be available on the Google platform anyway.
Therefore, the Subscribe button now points back to the original feed. I’m not planning to get rid of FeedBurner altogether, so any of my distinguished subscribers who want to stick with that may not even feel a thing, with luck. But if you notice a disruption in the feed at any point in time, please consider re-subscribing with the original feed.
Oh yeah, I also changed my old boring favicon to a slightly less boring one. If anyone cares to clear their browser cache to have it updated, it would make me happy.
Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. I decided to redecorate, is all.
Comparatively loud colors and large fonts tired me after a while. So, I chose a more subdued look instead. Because the selected template was seriously different from the old one, it took me somewhat longer than expected to adjust it completely to my liking, which had a nice bonus of being another little programming project. I rarely get to employ my deteriorating skills otherwise.
Anyway. Please let me know what you think. While I am reasonably positive that all major graphical components appear fine in the new template, I certainly did not go over all of my hundreds of posts to check. If you notice something out of whack, I’d me much obliged if you let me know.
Burlaki.com are happy to announce our newest feature: The very cool annotated World Map. Made possible by the excellent Flash tool by amMap.com, it puts every place in Europe that we have ever graced with our presence onto the interactive map and provides short capsules of visit context and timing for every destination. Further links to available destination overviews within Travelog are provided in synopses.
North America and the Caribbean remain to be annotated next. New destinations will unquestionably be added as we continue our traveling exploits.
We’d love for you to check it out and tell us what you think. Any notes, corrections, suggestions can be left in the comment thread here.