It’s been a couple of years since the blog was last hacked, but it happened again this week. Fortunately we’d been backing up the blog weekly, so once we identified the most recent clean backup it was a relatively quick process to restore the blog and reclaim a clean bill of health from Google. Captchas have been added to the blog comments form for an additional layer of security. We’ll be working on other ways to keep the blog secure, but for now it’s good to be back.
Archive for the 'housekeeping' Category
GimletBlog’s new URL: http://gimletblog.com
Uncle Q helped us through the (mostly) painless transition, and we believe all the links and pictures came through the process intact. We had to reinstall the LinkWithin plugin with the new domain name, so it may take a few days for the plugin to completely crawl the blog before it connects related posts. Old links from the Solitary Elegance domain have been configured to automatically redirect to the new GimletBlog. If we did this correctly, everything should look the same, but if anything is out of place or missing, or links no longer work, please let us know in the comments. Thanks!
Uncle Q helped us figure out a way to transfer the Gimlet Gallery from the old web host to the new one (big cheer!) so we redirected the name servers this morning. Everything on the web site, blogs, and image gallery seems to be working properly on the new web host (another big cheer!). If you happen to notice any broken links, images not displayed, or other bugs, please let us know. Thanks for your patience and support!
You may notice throughout the weekend that GimletBlog and Sinister Craftiness look a little different. Sometimes the Gallery (and its associated photos) will work, sometimes it won’t. Here’s the problem: everything transferred over to the new web host just fine, except for the Gimlet Gallery. So, like in the old disaster movies where the crazy lady runs back into the burning building to find her missing kitty, we’re trying our hardest to salvage the Gimlet Gallery from the old web host, because we really, really don’t want to re-enter data for three years’ worth of photos if we can avoid it. Thanks for your patience! (And if you’ve ever successfully exported/imported a set of Gallery albums + the associated SQL database from one server to another, we’d especially love to hear from you.)
… and it’s not over yet, unfortunately.
If you tried to visit GimletBlog, Sinister Craftiness, or Solitary Elegance today, you were probably greeted with a nasty “Access Denied” page. Our web hosting service determined our account was overloading their servers, shut us down, then apparently took a lunch break, so we couldn’t get access to our files to try and fix whatever was wrong until this afternoon. Our buddy Editrix over at AustenBlog uses the same web hosting service and had her web site shut down for the same reason. After putting our heads together, we think the problem was probably bots hammering our sites looking for a way to break in and hack us. To that end, I’m going to be checking our access logs, comparing them with the other visitor data, and banning the IP addresses that are no friends to GimletBlog. We are also considering today’s lockout as a good reminder to back up everything, just in case. Between backups and the access logs, it’s going to be a long night.
We apologize for the inconvenience, especially to those new visitors from the BSA blog who have been trying to read Thing One’s WashJam review today. Please bear with us while we come up with a good solution to this problem. If your IP address is banned by mistake, send us an email (if you’re a friend, you should already know our email addresses, but you might want to jot down GimletBlog’s contact email just in case) and we’ll take you off our Bad List.
GimletBlog’s theme has been in need of work for quite some time (Meaning the code under the hood. If you don’t like the way the blog looks, you’re out of luck.) So much had to go or be changed that I ended up creating an entirely new theme. Most of the blog looks pretty much the same as always, but there are a few noticeable changes.
The blog header now features a random image which ought to change with each visit, when moving around the blog (for example, to continue reading a post, read posts by date or category, or leave a comment), or browser refresh. It ought to change, but during testing the rotator program has been choosing the same image for the first two refreshes, then moves on to different images.
The width of the posting space and sidebar have been expanded, creating room for larger photos and less text wrapping. The only problem now is that all the pre-upgrade posts look a little odd because they were written for the smaller post space.
Watch the sidebar for an updated blogroll and links of interest, coming soon. And now that we have a theme that supports tags, we’ll start tagging posts more often to make searching for topics easier.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new design. Is the font size too small? Blog too wide for your monitor? Color scheme difficult to read? Something not working? Let us know in the comments. (Compliments are also eagerly accepted.)
It’s time for Team Gimlet to hit the road and drive to Philmont! It seems a little odd to drive east when our destination is the Wild West, but we already knew those of us who live in this part of the country are a little different. Our first travel day will proceed along our usual route, and then we’ll head further south and east to visit southern Utah and the Four Corners area. After a week in northern New Mexico, we’ll head west to the Grand Canyon, then north through Utah where we’ll spend a few days with the grandGimlets, and home again in time for Thing One to get his cast off.
We’ll post photos and updates as WiFi availability permits; otherwise it will be pretty quiet around GimletBlog until we reach Cache Valley, a much-needed oasis of many good things (grandparents, Aggie ice cream, free laundry, and Internet access, to name a few).
Sinister Craftiness is my new blog devoted entirely to embroidery and quilting projects. Why Sinister Craftiness? It seemed more appealing than Stitchin’ With Lefty, though the latter is probably more descriptive of my approach to most projects. So if you’re curious about this:
… or anything else I’m working on, please visit Sinister Craftiness! I hope to see you there.
21 March ETA: All posts in the “sinister craftiness” category have been exported to a new home on the Sinister Craftiness blog. The posts will remain in GimletBlog’s archives as well, but this category is now effectively closed.
GimletBlog HQ is in the process of a major upgrade: our computer has been deteriorating for quite a while, and after our own research and the prolonged evangelical efforts of several family members, we finally decided to answer the old question, “Where do you want to go today?” with “To the Apple Store.”
We’re still getting used to our new toys; Uncle B has been a great help setting it up and answering all our questions.
Even though the new wireless keyboard and mouse mean that there are fewer cables to play with and chew on, Nanaimo gives the new system four (very large) paws up.
Just when we left Team Gimlet teetering on the edge of Kilauea (check out what’s been happening since we were there – wow!), Thing One’s homework, cello practice, and musical practice schedule really picked up and has been taking most of our free time. But I’ve resolved to bring the blog up to date. Upgrades are available for the blog and photo gallery programs, so expect a little down time while those are installed. The Gimlet and Thing One went to Walt Disney World for spring break, so look for a post and some photos; meanwhile, Thing Two’s new interest in birds led us to install bird feeders in the yard, which has made bird watchers out of all of us.
Happy New Year! With Masterpiece Theatre’s Complete Jane Austen starting this Sunday (13 January), I thought I’d better do a little site maintenance, just like the way I frantically clean house just before somebody visits. If last year’s ITV-related surge is any indication, the next few weeks will be busy.
One of a pair of “Promenade Dress” models from the June 1811 Ackermann’s Repository magazine, this lovely lady now graces the Solitary Elegance header.
The Stumbling Fool gang is moving house again — congratulations to them on buying their first home, by the way; we hope this move may be their last and best — and while packing, Uncle Q found the old, broken server on which GimletBlog was originally stored. He plugged it in, and this time it worked! We successfully transferred the May-June 2006 archives from Stumbling Fool to the Solitary Elegance server.
Many thanks, as always, to Uncle Q for salvaging GimletBlog and walking us through the file transfer. We’re thrilled to have our old posts and pictures back! (Look for next year’s blog anniversary in May rather than July.)