Site changes

OK, I’m planning some site changes, and this is the first notice. Or maybe. I might’ve posted about some of this before but I can’t find a post on it. Sorry if some of this is redundant info.

I’m moving webservers. Caleb, my most excellent webhost for the last several years, is moving dante, his trusted *NIX server, to Boulder, CO in September, when he starts graduate school at the University of Colorado.

There’s no real reason dante couldn’t continue to serve my sites from Boulder, but during the move the server will be unavailable, and Caleb isn’t entirely certain what bandwidth or connection he’ll have there. It seemed like a valid excuse for me to move. And since I’d rather have more control than less control, I’ve been looking into setting up my own server… somewhere.

I can’t do it from home because of the restrictive EULA that Comcast imposes on my home cable modem connection. What I need is a business-level connection. So what I’ve done is make a deal with my sister, who has a small office in NW Portland. I’m going to pay for her DSL, in exchange for letting me put my own server on her network.

By fiat, I’ve decided that the official cut-over date is Saturday, August 25th 2007, two weeks from today. But I’m starting the move this week. Caleb provided a lot of extras, like site monitoring and text updates of downtime both planned and unplanned, and useage statistics, and backups… it’s going to take a lot of work to match what I had with Caleb’s Open Hand Hosting. But it’s fun work, barely even “work”, actually. It’s tinkering and learning and that’s always joyful to me.

It’s funny to me that I’ve been so resistant to this idea. In my head it was far more complicated than I thought. It’s not that setting up a webserver is easy: I wouldn’t want to teach someone else how to do it from scratch. But it was easier for me than I thought because I have a lot more knowledge than I give myself credit for. The most complicated part, I thought, was setting up multiple named domains (like,, etc.) to be served from one IP address. Silly me! Apache virtual hosts are just a matter of editing a text file. Easy-peasy.

Likewise, I was worried about configuring a non-server install of Mac OS X to be a webserver… and then getting my configuration wiped out after installing my first security patch or update from Apple. Again, that’s not likely to happen, and if I’d just sat down and thought about it I’d’ve realized that none of my preferences and configuration gets wiped out for a security patch, so why would my webserver configuration? I was worried over nothing.

One more thing: I won’t be running a mail server on my own for a while, so I’m permanently making my Gmail account my main email. Don’t use the address anymore. I’ll be forwarding all that email to my Gmail inbox for now, and including an automatic message to remind people to update, for the forseeable future. If you’re reading this now, and you email me, update your address books now! No, seriously. Right now. Do it.

There’s more to say, like the fact that I want to update the look of the site to go along with the move, and how I might switch around my domains. My “business” or professional name is Lunar Obverse, so it would make sense to have a site dedicated to my professional work served from – whether that be my computer consulting, my writing, or whatever. But my blog is named Lunar Obverse, too, so it might make more sense to have that domain. I’ve also got,,,… what do I do with those? I’ve used them in the past for different things, but haven’t really come to a consensus about what their future should be. will always be my running and exercise stuff, though I haven’t posted much there lately. But… It was originally my political rants. However, I think the domain name might come across too negative, and maybe even undermine what I would want to accomplish. I’ve had a thought to move all my strip club stories (of which I have many) to That’s a better fit, I think.

But I also realized today that “The Lie Factory” would make an excellent title for my next novel, seeing that the story revolves around Portland’s uniquely corrupt local government and strip clubs. So many choices…

As for the site design, there’s some things I want to tweak and add. Some of the formatting is difficult to read for some folks, and I’d like to add options to make it more readable for them. I also want to have one page that collects my blog posts (from all blogs), any comments I make on other sites (if people are interested), and my Twitter and feeds, and maybe start using Flickr for my photo gallery and put that on one page… Collecting all that is going to take a large re-design, or at least a design if I want to keep the main blog the same and collect all that under a different domain. Again… more decisions to be made.

I will keep everyone posted, but barring any catastrophes, the actual move won’t be noticeable except for some brief downtime.