Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Interesting analytics

I don't even look at Google Analytics any more, as it became so inundated with referral spam that it was essentially useless. But I do have the site connected to via Jetpack, and it provides some stats in the admin dashboard that I find rather interesting.

The site seems to get a hit or two most days, then will go a couple of days with no hits. Then it goes back to several days in a row with only one or two hits. But for some reason, November 29 saw 44 hits. I have no idea if these hits are people or bots, but I just found it interesting.

What I really need to do is move the site onto my own server so I have complete control of logging, then I'll be able to investigate these anomalies a little more than I'm currently able.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Moving sucks

My wife and I recently moved about 100 miles south of where we were, and, quite frankly, moving sucks. It took two days until about 4am each day to load and unload the truck. The new landlord is quite inexperienced, and that has been very frustrating. Plus, we now live on a working farm, which brings its own set of frustrations that we weren't quite ready for. We will get those dealt with, and finish settling in, and all will be fine in the world again, but it's a long process.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Really Big Button That Doesn't Do Anything

I thought I had posted it before, but I can't find the post at the moment. One of my favorite site from the early Internet was The Really Big Button That Doesn't Do Anything, though I swear the button itself has changed at some point since I first discovered it back in the 90's. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 21, 2017


I'm watching Hackers for probably about the thousandth time, and realized that this has got to be one of my favorite films ever. It's not a great film, but most people don't realize just how freaking hilarious it is. Also, it's Angelina Jolie's first film, and one of Matthew Lillard's earlier ones. Actually, between this, Thir13en Ghosts, and Scream, Matthew Lillard may just be my favorite actor.

Note: post contains affiliate links

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Skimmer Scanner

Today, Hackaday featured an app called Skimmer Scanner that I wish I'd known about before. Awhile back, I had my debit card skimmed, most likely at a gas pump.

Prior to the proliferation of Bluetooth, in order to skim a card, the crook needed physical access to the card reader to plant the skimmer, and physical access each time they wanted to retrieve data. Now that Bluetooth is common, they only need physical access once to plant the skimmer. As long as no one detects the skimmer, the crook can reap the rewards without any additional risk of getting caught.

This is also good news for consumers, as it allows apps like the above mentioned Skimmer Scanner which looks for a signature used by many skimmers to detect them. I know I'll be using it every time I pull up to a pump or ATM from now on.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

It arrived!

It arrived! My 2nd Tandy 1000SX got here today, but the sound I heard when I took delivery was a bit ominous. It sounded like something rattling around inside. So I got it unpacked and opened it up. First, the case is a bit worse for wear. There is considerable rust on the chassis, and the plastic is a bit scuffed and has a couple of small cracks. Also, two of the slots don't have covers, but there is clearly a modem in the eBay picks. So once the case is open, I discover the Tandy 1200bps modem lying inside, but also some sort of hard card lying loose as well. The hard drive is likely dead after banging around, but it was completely unexpected. Also, one of the ROM chips is a lot higher off the motherboard than in my other 1000SX, so it's likely there is a smartclock in this one, so there's that. Once everything was back together, I hooked up my monitor and keyboard and... 640K appears on screen, the 5.25" floppy seeks, the 3.5" floppy seeks, and "Non system disk or disk error" eventually appears. I put in my Tandy DOS disk and press ENTER, and it seeks the 5.25" drive again, but fails to boot. I am uncertain whether it is the drive or the disk (I suspect the drive, as I believe I previously tested the disk in the other Tandy) but my troubleshooting stopped there, for now.

Some thoughts on this system: despite not getting a DOS prompt yet (and even if I don't), I'm happy with this purchase. It works well enough to make a good backup to the other one, and the RTC and 3.5" floppy can be moved straight over to it for immediate use. It would be awesome if I could get the hard card going, but it's no loss if I can't. If I can get to a DOS prompt, then I'll likely restore this one too, but if not, the parts I'm definitely using are more than worth what I paid. :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

2nd Tandy 1000SX

I picked up a 2nd Tandy 1000SX on eBay last week for about what I paid for shipping on the first one, but with free shipping, and it should be delivered tomorrow. This one also has a modem of some sort and a dual serial card, and I'll investigate those once it gets here. But it also has 3.5" 720K as the second floppy drive. I'll probably move that floppy to my other 1000SX and will make sure it also has the faster modem (if they are both functional). I'll also be looking to see what UARTs are on the serial card and may swap those as well. But I'll leave the 8088 in this one instead of swapping in a NEC V20. I'm debating on doing the other upgrades to this one (XT-IDE and network card) or on just making sure the current one had all the hardware I want in it, and using this one as a backup should the first one fail. Alternatively, I could wait until I pick up a cheap Tandy 1000 keyboard (which are usually only available cheaply if I'm no longer looking for one) and doing some upgrades and selling it back off to fund more projects ;)

Also, a few weeks ago, I picked up a bunch of gear from an old co-worker and good friend of mine. Part of the haul included a DEC Alphastation 500, which I've been drooling over since they came out. I'm flip-flopping on whether or not to install Gentoo Linux or OpenVMS on. I have very limited VMS experience from high school, so that could be interesting. I was also given a couple of 80x86-compatible servers, so I can put Linux on those ;)

There was also an old Compaq DeskPro 386/25 in that haul. There is no network card, modem, or sound card in that machine, and it's a 386SX, not DX (the difference being that the SX had a 16-bit data bus) with the memory maxed out at 16MB. I may take one of the modems and put in it, pick up another Intel EtherExpress, and maybe an early Sound Blaster 16. I'm not a fan of how Compaq put these machines together with special rails for the drives (the CD-ROM drive doesn't have the rails, so just sorta sits and "floats" in its bay) and things like that, but the DeskPro line were solid performers back in the day. I'm happy to have this system as part of my collection, and I'm actually considering loading DESQview onto it and moving the BBS over to it. That could be interesting, especially if I create a dial-up node and use a telnet <-> RS-232 gateway for additional nodes.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Guest Posts

I have added the ability to submit guest posts to the blog. The post will by placed into a moderation queue until I review it. This will be especially helpful for people wishing to submit "Ghosts of Ohio" stories :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Yet another site redesign?

I'm not happy with the current (free) hosting provider, and am considering yet another site redesign. I also find myself not posting very often. And I am also neglecting my telnetable BBS and related website (, which I'm not even certain is accessible from outside my own network anymore due to DNS issues.

I'm considering pointing www and bbs to the same content on a machine at home. Look and feel would likely remain the same, but content could be driven by the actual BBS. Not all of the BBS content would be put on the site, but the ANSI screens, maybe the g-files section, some specific files from that section, and a web-based telnet client to the BBS could be made available, along with the "From the Sysop" section, so people could get BBS-related news without actually logging on, and would allow potential users to get programs to allow them to log on without using the web-based client.

I've also discovered that analog modems work fine at 2400bps over digital home phone, and I suspect 9600 would mostly work and reliability would go down from there as speeds increased. So I'm considering using my unused line to provide a dial-up line to the BBS as well. It'll still sit mostly unused, but unused with a purpose ;) I have a working 2400bps modem, and can't imagine a 9600 would be too difficult, or expensive, to source used.

It may encourage me to actually take care of the BBS and use it more often myself.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Intel EtherExpress 8/16

Back when 16-bit ISA slots were all the rage, a few companies decided to release 8/16 ISA cards. Many of these were video cards, with a few exceptions. One was Intel's EtherExpress 8/16 network adapter. This card also had a standard RJ-45 Jack on it, so when I went looking for a network card for my Tandy 1000SX, my choices were either one of 3-Com's 8-bit cards, or this particular Intel card (or something less well known, but without easily sourced drivers). I decided on the Intel because grabbing one on eBay is a fraction of the cost of a 3-Com. I won one last night, and within a week or so, I'll have my Tandy 1000 on the Internet.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Disabled Cloudflare

Due to the way my DNS and site are currently hosted, I've currently disabled Cloudlare because it was not properly propagating my MX records, breaking my domain email. So, no more https for now...

Friday, July 7, 2017

CF Reader

I picked up a cheap USB CF Reader off of Amazon to transfer files for to the Tandy 1000SX, and, aside from PKZIP and PKUNZIP, the first thing I threw on it was Telix. The good news, the 2400bps modem works fine, even over crappy Digital Home Phone from Spectrum. I found a dial-up BBS number, and it connected fine. I did get booted a couple of times, but I suspect this is because I forgot to disable call waiting first, so I've disabled it completely for my service rather than use *70, on each call, as I don't use that line for anything else.

The bad news, did we really do any work this slowly? It took about 2 hours to install Telix. I guess multitasking back then meant starting your install and then doing the dishes and laundry while you waited ;)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

NEC V20 installed

I went ahead and bit the bullet and installed the NEC V20 CPU. I lose some compatibility, but gain some speed. I'm keeping the 8088 in case I decide to go back.

There's a version of the XT-IDE ROM for 80186 CPU's. I'm wondering how much performance improvement I'll get if I update my card to use that version. But I'll have to remember to revert back should I go back to the 8088, so maybe I leave well enough alone.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet? No, but we're getting close! That somewhat blurry image is my Tandy 1000 SX booting to a Compact Flash card. As part of the upgrades I'm doing to it, I picked up an XT-IDE card which included a 2 gig CF card, and now have more storage on my current Tandy than I ever dreamed of back in the day. Since the CF already had MS-DOS 6.22 on it alongside the XT-IDE utilities, and there were no conflicts between the default settings and the Tandy, installation was pretty much plug-n-play. Opened up the computer, plugged it in to an open slot, and powered up. Viola! Success! I believe DOS will support up to an 8 gig drive, so I may upgrade in the future. But for now, this will definitely do the trick!

Now I just need an easy way of getting software onto the CF. I have several "sneakernet" options, such as installing a 3.5" drive in the Tandy, putting one of the 5.25" drives into a desktop, or putting a CF reader into a desktop. Ultimately, I'd probably prefer to network the computer, and the Intel EtherExpress 8/16 seems to be the most affordable option that doesn't require adapters to get RJ-45. 3com also made an 8-bit NIC with RJ-45 connector on it, but they seem to sell for considerably more on eBay. In the interim, I suppose I could make a null modem cable and run either ppp or slip between the Tandy and a Linux box. It will be pretty slow, as the UARTs on the serial card are 8250s, I believe, which will limit the speed to 9600bps or so. I supposed I should probably pull the serial card and find out for sure, and I could also upgrade the UARTs on the card to 16550 (if they're not already), which will allow considerably faster speeds across the serial ports.

I also received the NEC V20 CPU that I ordered. I know I gain some extra speed if I install it, but I lose some compatibility, as the V20 is instruction-compatible with the 80186 instead of the 8088. I wonder if it is possible to piggyback them, much like the 6309 piggyback mod available for the Tandy CoCo.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


My daughter found a rabbit den in our back yard, so of course decided she wanted bunnies. So we bought her two domestic bunnies and named them Tandy and CoCo. My wife actually suggested the names, but I definitely approve ;) I didn't realize how much character they have. One of them is really laid back, but the other is extremely inquisitive. It is so fun to watch!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Yesterday, I posted about some ideas for upgrades to the Tandy 1000 SX that I have on its way. The two most obvious ones are the NEC V20 CPU and the 8087 math co-processor.

Back in the day, Intel's 80x86 CPU line did not include a built in math co-processor. You had to purchase and install one separately all the way up through the 486DX if you wanted floating-point operations. Not a lot of software took advantage of this, and I never installed one back in the day. Even my Pentium-class machine was a Cyrix 686, which was slower than Intel's CPUs at floating point but faster in other areas. But it's something I had always wanted in my Tandy 1000 SX back then, and they're fairly inexpensive on eBay, so why not?

The other upgrade, which I hadn't done to my Tandy but had done to another, generic, XT-compatible machine, that I plan on is to swap the processor with an NEC V20. It is pin-compatible with the Intel 8088 but will give you a little more speed at the same clock rate. (The XT-class machine I had one in also had a crystal hack done, which also provided a little bit of speed boost.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


After I get my Tandy 1000SX set up, here are some upgrades I'm considering to make it more useful:

I have a CGA to VGA adapter already that was in an arcade cabinet, but which is not in use, but I may need a different one as the board I have doesn't support the intensity line, but, IIRC the CGA standard and, by extension, the Tandy graphics, requires it to get 16 colors. Without it, I believe only 8 colors will display.

Since it has dual 5.25" 360K floppies, I'll likely remove one and replace it with a 3.5" 720K floppy, or, more likely, floppy emulator. I can then put the removed 5.25" floppy in a desktop and give myself a way to create floppy disks.

There is no hard drive, so I will likely add an XT-IDE interface with a Compact Flash adapter. I always hated swapping floppies, so this, or at least the above floppy emulator, is a must for mass storage.

An 8-bit network card. Intel made an 8/16 model that is still reasonably priced on eBay. I could probably get away without the XT-IDE if I had networking, as I could mount a network share.

A Sound Blaster Pro. I like Tandy's built-in sound much better than a standard PC, but, I prefer a sound card. And even though the SBpro is a 16-bit card, plugging it in to an 8-bit slot will still work as long as I don't try to use a DMA channel that's only available via a 16-bit slot. The SBpro also has a header on it that will take a speaker connector for input, allowing me to pipe the Tandy sound through it to external speakers. This gives me the best of both worlds when it comes to sound.

The SX I purchased appears to have a modem and serial card in it, so neither of those should be necessary. Since I would like to add a standard parallel port, I may replace the serial card with either a serial/parallel or a serial/parallel/game card, especially if I don't add the SBpro above. I'm not sure if you can use the joystick port from either without conflicting with the onboard proprietary ports or not, but, if so, I wouldn't hesitate to try. If I forgo the SBpro, if I get a parallel card, I can build a generic version of a Covox Speech Thing. IIRC I had built one back in the day, but can't remember which machine I had it connected to.

Last but not least, I'm considering a VGA card. Obviously it's better graphics that TGA, but I'm a bit torn on this one. Part of the charm of the Tandy 1000 line is the Tandy-specific graphics and sound modes.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tandy Keyboards

Tandy keyboards are a bit of an anomaly. One of my retro computers, a Tandy 1000 SX, is still in transit, but, in the meantime, I've been doing research on keyboard options, as Tandy decided to use start bits in their keyboard protocol rather than stop bits, and, thus far, I've been unable to find anyone who has built a converter between the two. The Northgate Omnikey is one option, and there's another non-Tandy option, but the name escapes my. I've also read comments about the Tandy 1000 keyboard being a hold over from the Tandy 2000, but I know the Tandy 2000 keyboard uses the same 5-pin DIN as IBM keyboards, but the Tandy 1000 keyboard uses an 8-pin DIN. It was unclear whether it was literally the same keyboard with a different cable, or it was just physically the same but with a different protocol. I finally tracked down the technical reference to both the Tandy 2000 and the Tandy 1000 and reviewed the keyboard sections, and discovered that they are, indeed, identical aside from the connector.

According to the technical reference manuals, both keyboards share the same scancodes and the same timings, and everything in the Tandy 1000 manual is also in the Tandy 2000 manual. The only difference I could find in that section of the manuals is that the Tandy 2000 manual includes the keyboard's schematic, while the 1000 manual does not.

Finally, another Tandy anomaly is the naming of these two computers. The Tandy 2000 is the older of the two, and the 1000 is an entire line of computers that came after. I expect that Tandy updated the keyboard to the 8-pin DIN solely to cut confusion, as an IBM keyboards of the era had the same connector but was completely incompatible.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Retro computers

The first IBM compatible PC that the family had back in the day was a Tandy 1000 SX, which we had upgraded to 640K and, eventually, a 2400 bps modem and 40 meg hardcard. Eventually, I inherited this machine and when it became long in the tooth, I replaced it and gave it away. Now that I'm old enough to really feel nostalgia, this is the one machine I regret getting rid of above all others.

My wife, being the wonderful person she is, picked up a Tandy 1000 SX off of eBay for a really good price, and it is on its way here. From the pictures, it has dual 360k floppies, a modem of some sort, a dual serial port card, and appears to have been upgraded to 640k. What it doesn't include is a CGA monitor or a keyboard. The monitor I can use an adapter for, but the keyboard isn't compatible with many other keyboards in existence. There is a new-old-stock Tandy 2000 keyboard up for auction, but while the keyboard appears physically the same, it uses the more common 5-pin DIN instead of the 8-pin DIN of the Tandy 1000. I don't know if they are the same aside from the cable or not. There is also a used Tandy 1000 SX keyboard available for a bit more. The 2000 keyboard is expensive enough that I'm not sure it's worth risking incompatibility once the correct cable is built. So, I'm likely picking up a keyboard for more than the computer cost. ;) There are some upgrades I plan for this to make it more usable, but I'll detail those in future posts.

A fairly recent addition to my collection is a 64k Tandy Color Computer 2. I have no storage device for this, but plan on using a Raspberry Pi to overcome this.

I also have a complete Apple IIe system and a Commodore 64 system in my collection. I plan to eventually add a Tandy CoCo 3, a TSr-80 model 4p, and and early IBM.... I'm keepimg my eye out for a deal on a 5150, 5160, or 5170. I'd also like to have a 486-class machine and an original Pentium-class machine. I'm happy enough with emulation for these two that they're nowhere near as high on my wish list, though.

Stay tuned for additions and upgrades, and a full report on the 1000SX once it gets here :)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Westin Hotel

The hotel finally agreed to refund one of the two nights of my stay since I had to cancel my Penguicon trip. Still waiting to hear from the con themselves about whether they will refund my registration or not, but this is at least partial success :)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Has it been cancelled? Nobody told us.

I had to cancel plans for Penguicon due to a medical emergency. Jeff at registration has been great in getting my inquiries about a refund of my preregistration and other questions in front of the right people. The folks at the hotel, Westin, have been a different story, however. Unanswered phone calls and emails, then refusal to take the circumstances into consideration and treating us as human beings before saying "no refunds per policy, sorry about your luck." Guess I know a hotel I won't be staying at in the future, either. Complaint sent to the Penguicon hotel liason. Even if nothing can be done to bend policy, if Penguicon gets enough complaints about the hotel, maybe they'll move it elsewhere in the future. I would love it if the refusal to refund, full or partial or via offering a future stay, a single guest cost them all that future revenue. I don't hold high hopes, but one can dream, right?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Penguicon 2017

It's been quite some years since I've attended, but the wife and I are headed to Penguicon 2017 in Michigan this weekend! The last time I attended, I also gave a talk on MythTV. Unfortunately, my current employer prohibits speaking engagements, free or paid, on topics within my field of employ, which happens to be IT, without prior approval. Not sure it's worth the effort to obtain approval to give a talk, so I'll be simply attending this time around. But, on a positive not, it'll be my wife's first actual Penguicon! She went with me last time, but did not actually attend and kept busy doing other things. This time out, she's an actual attendee as well. So excited to make it back, and for her to attend her first con!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fixed images?

The site from the old backups had all files in the root folder of the site, while the current iteration has everything except the index under "/blog/," which is what caused the images in all the old posts to be broken. I've just copied the folder in question to root and all is fine. I probably could have create a mod_rewrite rule to handle the location difference, but it's not really worth thinking about if there's such a simple solution ;)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ghosts of Ohio

The Ghosts of Ohio posts were part of the backups I restored yesterday! I thought I was going to have to type them in here again. I'm so happy that they're there :) Images in the posts are broken, but I have them. I just have to restore them to the correct location to get them to display.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Old backups

So, I was playing around and discovered an old backup of the site. I restored it to my server, exported the posts, re-imported the posts, and... Holy crap! The site has some history to it again!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Fn Keys

I've owned a Lenovo notebook for awhile now, and have been using it for work since I got it, but one thing that's driven me nuts about it is the the Fn hotkeys are active by default, and you have to press Fn to use the actual function keys. This isn't so bad itself, but one of the keys is "Airplane mode," and I'm constantly bumping the thing and disconnecting from my WiFi while I'm working, which boots me off my VPN and I have to log back in every time. This usually happens when it's most inconvenient, so I finally got fed up with it and discovered a bios setting to disable hotkeys by default, so I have to hold Fn to activate them, and the function keys actually work as function keys. Yay! No more accidental airplane mode! :)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Soarer's Converter

Yesterday, I purchased an ATmega32U4 to build Soarer's converter for my IBM M Keyboard. I'll be mostly following this guide to do the conversion, as Soarer used a Teensy 2.0 in his original design, and this guide uses the same one I've ordered. I'm still debating on whether to do the conversion internally or externally. If I do it externally, I'll likely get a low-profile case that I can attach to the keyboard where the Num, Caps, and Scroll lock LEDs would normally be so that I can add those. I'll also likely either map some of the extra keys, or use optional external buttons, to quickly remap the keyboard for Linux, Windows, and Mac usage, and possibly emulator usage as well. I'd love to dye the keycaps black and paint the frame black as well, but I'm not sure how to re-do the lettering on the keys without them completely wearing out. Unicomp has some cool keycaps, but nothing in black and, sadly, it appears the largest set the sell is 104 keys, and there are no 122-key sets.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Yamaha Heritage Classic?

Some years ago, I owned what I thought was a 1982 Yamaha Heritage Classic, which had a 650cc engine and was an absolutely beautiful bike. It was really heavy for its size, and was the perfect height for my 5'6" frame. I got rid of it a LONG time ago, but recently started thinking about getting another motorcycle. When I Google "Yamaha Heritage Classic," I get results for "Yamaha Heritage Special" instead. I'm not sure if I'm mis-remembering the name of the motorcycle I owned, or if it's just a rare beast and my Google-fu simple isn't strong enough. The Heritage Special looks quite a bit like my old bike, but it's hard to say because the seat had been replaced on mine with something completely different from stock long before I owned it. I'll be keeping an eye out, for either. If any of my readers run across a reasonably priced one within a few hours driving distance of central Ohio, let me know...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

IBM M Keyboard

A couple weeks ago, I managed to snag the holy grail of computer keyboards off of eBay, an IBM M keyboard, for a really good price. What I didn't realize is that there are so many different versions of it ;) The one I wound up with is the 122 key terminal keyboard with a 5 pin DIN connector. Except the DIN connector isn't the same as the PC/XT/AT connector. The pins are spaced further apart and have a different layout. The good news is the these keyboards have a header connector inside them for the cable, so it's easily replaced. The bad news is that when connected to a PC with a replacement cable (or adapter) they act as an 84 key keyboard, wasting all those extra keys. But there's an adapter that I can build to use it with USB, allowing me to map all those extra keys. I can build this adapter externally, or mount it inside the keyboard itself. Alternatively, I can build something similar using a Pi Zero, putting an entire PC inside the keyboard. I think I like the idea of the external adapter better, though, as is allows me to add Num, Caps, and Scroll Lock LEDs, which this version of the keyboard lacks, and also allows up to five external buttons as well.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


I've re-enabled SSL for the site by using Cloudflare's services. Unless your DNS is stale, like mine is, you should be seeing https in the address and a lock in your browser. :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Site registration

It appears that site registration is mostly broken.

I discovered that the site wasn't sending activation emails, so I found a plugin to bypass that and automatically register new accounts. It partially works in Chrome, but only returns a blank page once the account is created. During troubleshooting, I discovered that other browsers give a javascript and cookie error when trying to register, even when they are enabled in your browser. This error is caused by an anti-spam plugin I'm running, which I have temporarily disabled. Now, the other browsers behave the same as Chrome did. If you create an account, just go back to the main page after the blank page appears, and log in using the new account credentials. I will keep an eye out on spam and may have to re-enable the anti-spam plugin (or find a new one) if this becomes a problem again. I will try to track down the bug with the new plugin. It hasn't been updated in quite some time, after all.

edit: Partially resolved. The system now proceeds to the page that says the activation email has been sent, even though activation is not needed. You can click Log in and proceed from there.

edit2: Resolved! There's a "redirect" option in the plugin, which I sent back to the main page. The original problem turned out to be with the Gmail SMTP plugin I was using for outbound e-mail. Turns out something had happened, and it was failing authentication. I disabled it (for now), so site-wide e-mail is currently not working. Any password resets will need done manually until I get it working again ;)

edit3: site-wide email should work again as well :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


After a looong amount of downtime, I've resurrected my old CoCo page, including my old CoCo Serial# Database. The database likely needs an update... Maybe move it from a flat file to a MySQL database, and make the entries easily editable.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Does anyone know how to get Letsencrypt working with U Host Full? I moved the website over, as my poor little netbook just couldn't keep up, and it just fails when verifying ownership. Unfortunately, I can't use DNS to verify the domain, as I can't add TXT records. If I could, this would be a non-issue.

edit: It appears that it's getting an error: 403 - Access Forbidden. When I visit the URL to validate ownership, it displays fine. When I use wget to access the same URL, I get the Access Denied error. And if I debug the letsencrypt client, it actually shows a bunch of headers that I don't see when accessing it myself. Go figure.

edit2: It looks like U Host Full doesn't like the user agent that wget or Letsencrypt sends be default. Changing it for wget to just "firefox" does the trick, even though "firefox" by itself isn't a valid user agent. I think I can change the client reported by Letsencrypt as well, so I should have ssl enabled soon.

edit3: wget issue resolved, but U Host Full is serving up some javascript to Letsencrypt for some reason. Trying to figure that out.

edit4: The javascript that's being served up is some anti-bot measure that U Host Full has in place. It's also blocking validation for a couple other things I'm working on :/ I've opened a ticket with them, but it looks like I may be looking for a different hosting provider again. Granted, I'm using their free hosting plan, but I don't mind upgrading to their premium hosting, but not unless they prove their serious about securing the web by allowing it to work on their free plans.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

number ten, number ten, number ten…

ahcapella submitted this analysis of line 10 of the Anagram from Hell <tm>:

Woah! Did I just stumble onto the translation for line 10 of the anagram?

10 (I, B) ltnsIolB ruseur uyufft'o o e e (6)

As I was compiling some information on the Cassie anagram for our new SL friend, Stiletto Sorbet, I began puzzling (pun intended) over line 10—the line some people have assumed contained a mention of Bree due to the presence of a capital B.

I used Renegade’s Anagram Solving Assistant, into which I typed “But I’ll suffer”— I mean of course Cassie would have a line with “suffer” in it! “But I’ll suffer” takes care of the capital I, B, and the apostrophe.

These letters were left over: nosruyutooee. They had to form 3 more words for any chance of legitimacy.

I pasted nosruyutooee into the Mac anagram program,* forced it to find anagrams comprised of 3 words only, and it came up with 21 possible solutions. As always, most of them were nonsensical, such as OUSTER EON YOU, and NOOSE YOUR UTE. (What does Cassie have against Native American Indians?) But the line at the top looked as if it had potential: ENSURE TOO YOU.

But I’ll suffer ensure too you.

>>> But I’ll ensure you suffer too. <<<

Certainly sounds like Cassie! “My only friend Bree is dead, killed in The Ceremony thanks to you incompetent layabouts! You all failed; I hate you! I’ll make sure YOU suffer too!” lol! And it has the correct number of syllables. The scansion works.

If it is correct, then the “rhyming triad line theory” (the belief that Cassie had suddenly, inexplicably changed her rhyming pattern to aaa, bbb, ccc, ddd, etc. for the last anagram) was a misconception—or maybe even a gamejack—and the 2006 translations of lines 3 and 9 are entirely erroneous.

Hey, at this rate we could have the entire anagram solved by 2108!

* - There are Windows and Linux versions of this handy anagram software too. Click that link for the download page.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Currently, it seems like WordPress may be total overkill for the site. I'm considering going back to a simple php script, but then there won't be an easy way to allow comments without opening up the floodgates for spam.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

It looks like I scored 22 out of 31 for my Daily December challenge. Not great, but not bad for having neglected the blog for years ;)