News Flash!

As if you needed more reason to host your website with Dreamhost, they have just quadrupled their storage space and octupled their bandwidth.  So where you used to get 5 GB storage space and ~120 GB bandwidth for $8/month -- which was already pretty amazing -- you now get 20 GB of space and 1 TB of bandwidth.

It used to be that although I have tons of digital photos on my website, I had to keep the full-size original ones on my home server, because there just wasn’t enough room on a hosted account.  Thanks to Dreamhost that’s no longer necessary.


Posted by Anthony on reply

Another Reason to Hate Spam

I haven’t received any email at any of my accounts since about Monday.  It turns out that this is because my IP address had gotten temporarily blacklisted by my host due to spam coming from this machine.

On the contact page there is a field labeled "your email address:" which had served 2 purposes: first, it allowed me to reply to whomever was sending me a message, and second, it allowed me to send a copy of the message to the visitor himself.

But apparently some spammer noticed this, and started entering the addresses of his spam-victims into the "your email address:" field, and then typing his spam messages into the message box.  Of course the spammer didn’t care that I also got a copy of every message, and I didn’t notice because they all got transferred to my junk-mail folder automatically anyway.

So, it worked great for a while, but now the contact page here and on all my sites will no longer send a copy of the message back to its author -- that is, to the person in the "your email address:" field, which may or may not be the author.

Thanks, spammers.

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies


Late Tuesday night, I created a post on about my AJAX File-Upload Progress Script.  It became extremely popular: in about 24 hours, it received 500 "diggs," and it spent most of Wednesday as #2 on the the "popular" page.  (It’s still #1 on the AJAX page.) received 5800 unique visitors who were checking out the script on Wednesday.  At the height of the traffic, there were about 130 visitors online simultaneously at any given moment.  And since the demo version is here on, there were 1800 unique visitors here yesterday, too.

(If you’re wondering why there are so few files in the file-list for the demo, it’s because the uploads were quickly filling my server to its full capacity.  I had to implement a cron-job that automatically deletes uploads older than 30 minutes twice an hour.)

Now at 11am on Thursday, there have already been 350 visitors on, and 250 on  Much less than yesterday, but still going fairly strong.

Posted by Anthony on 7 replies

Web Stuff

A while ago I wrote up an article on doing secure remote backups/transfers across the (insecure) internet, using rsync.  I just put it online the other day over at Encodable.

And speaking of Encodable, I recently finished a major overhaul of my weblog script, turning it into a full-featured CMS (Content Management System).  That is, it can now be used to create and edit normal web pages (as opposed to serial/dated blog posts) anytime, right in the web browser.  I also ~just finished the PMLSC site (Pittsburgh Molecular Libraries Screening Center) which, though you can’t tell unless you’re logged in, uses the newly finished CMS so the author(s) can add & update content anytime.

Finally, speaking of the intarweb, does anyone here actually subscribe to feeds (RSS, Atom, etc) for any of the blogs that they read?  I personally don’t; I find it easy enough -- and more interesting too -- to actually visit the small handful of sites that I read regularly, rather than setting up a new system where I get notified of posts/replies via some special new application.

Posted by Anthony on 3 replies

AJAX-y Goodness For You

A week ago when John Paul wanted to send me the video clip from my bachelor hike, we had some trouble: the file was about 19 megabytes, far too big for Gmail’s 10MB attachment limit.  We tried to send it through instant messenger, but as is often the case, one or both of our firewalls prevented that from working properly.

The easiest solution was for me to write up a quick CGI script so he could upload it to my website, from which I could then download it.

But uploading a 19MB file on a slow DSL connection takes a long time; it took almost an hour, and about 20 minutes in, John Paul was asking me, "ah... is it going?  my browser is just sitting here..."  It uploaded fine, but many an impatient (i.e. normal) internet user would have assumed it wasn’t working about a half-hour into it, and closed the window.

So I decided to whip up a little AJAX goodness and have the upload page show a progress bar and an ETA for file uploads.  The result is the Encodable Industries AJAX File Uploader, which you can try out right here.  You can also download the script to use on your own website by visiting its homepage over on

Posted by Anthony on 6 replies

Yet Another Reason...

Yet another reason why Microsoft Internet Explorer is the worst browser of all time:

posted image

It’s bad enough that the error message tells me nothing about what the error actually is (an element ID?  a line snippet?  anything?  throw me a fricken’ bone here...).  But on top of that, line 49, where the error with "character 3" supposedly exists, is a blank line.

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

Update to the Update

About 10 days ago I posted about, a website that I had just finished designing.  But it turned out that the next day, Caleb left for a trip to Switzerland, and took his server with him, so the website was offline.  It’s back up now, so go check it out -- for real this time.

Posted by Anthony on reply


As my mom has pointed out, I’ve been a little busy lately.  Wedding planning and searching for a full-time job take up most of my time.

I’ve also been cooking up a few new websites: completed is*; in the works are websites for a project that Kim’s lab is a part of, and two personal sites for a cousin and a friend of mine.  I also just finished a redesign of Kim’s site, including some new square image thumbnails that I think are pretty cool.

If you or someone you know wants a website, you know where to send ’em.

*Update: turns out Caleb is in Switzerland this week and took his server (his laptop) with him.  So the site is offline this week.

Posted by Anthony on reply

Many Thanks

I stumbled onto your website while getting a copy of eponym and I thought I would take the time to thank you for sharing your work.

Best Regards from Melbourne.

Posted by roger on 4 replies

And Now...

In need of some free advertising, Encodable Industries will be creating personal websites for free over the next couple weeks.  Since every site has a small link at the bottom that points to the Encodable homepage, every site is a little bit of advertising.

Just use the contact page to say that you’re interested.  If you or someone you know wants a website like this one, to share photos or to have a weblog for example, please spread the word.  This is open to everyone, though it’s mostly aimed at broadband (cable, DSL) users, since for them a website can be completely free.  For dial-up users (read: users on a slow and intermittent uplink) it is of course necessary to pay for a web-hosting account for the website to live at.

It takes about 2-3 hours to get each website up and running, but the client (you) only needs to be present for about a half-hour of that time.

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

Gravatar Offline?

It appeared that gravatar was down, or otherwise broken, but it turns out they are just having DNS issues.  So while doesn’t work, you can still access the site via its IP address,  I’ve temporarily coded my blog to access it that way until the domain name starts working again.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

Broken Gravatars???

ANTHONY!! : (  Something’s wrong with the gravatars! They all say : ________’s avatar // get yours at (that’s what it says when you put your pointer over the gravatar image, when they’re working) Except your’s, your’s is still there. So, what’s wrong with it? Please write back. Thanx, Maria

Posted by Maria on 4 replies


Did this work?

Posted by Tasha Moyer on 5 replies


What it is!

Posted by kaiser on 3 replies

Theme Change

Well, I got tired of that one pretty quick.

Posted by Anthony on 10 replies

More Fun Improvements

So this blog’s archives page is now organized by date, instead of just by post number.  It looks much nicer, and it’s more in line with most other web-publishing systems too.

Posted by Anthony on reply

Photo app

Help!  I used to have a great photo app that you designed called (I think)  "Make Photo Webpage".  But my computer crashed, I had to wipe it clean and reload Windows from scratch and now I don’t have it any more - and it doesn’t seem to be on your website.  Is there any way you can tell me how to do it again?

Posted by Matthew on 4 replies

Posting Improvements

Those of you who post around here should notice that it’s a lot faster now.

Previously, whenever a new post or reply was created, the weblog would email me a zip file containing all the posts ever made on my site.  (Yes, I am a backup fanatic.)  There are now nearly 800 posts though, and all those posts total about 1 megabyte, and emailing a 1-megabyte file is taking my server about 15-20 seconds.

So now, the weblog will only send that big email once per day.  If you’re the lucky first poster of the day, then you’ll still feel the slowdown between clicking the "post" button and your post appearing.  But all other posts/replies will be ~instant now.

I also cleaned up the help page so it’s now Easier Than Ever(TM) to include links and other formatting in your posts.

Posted by Anthony on 4 replies

This Is Only A Test

But if you happen to see it before I delete it, post a test reply and fill in all the fields, would ya?

Posted by Anthony on 11 replies


Hey, nice head shot.  Do you hope to have one for everybody?

Posted by Rolly on 8 replies

In Search of the Perfect Domain Name

One of the hardest parts of making a website is coming up with a good domain name (AKA address).  Or rather, it’s not hard to come up with a good one, but it’s very likely that whatever you come up with has already been registered by somebody else.

I’ve been pretty happy with "," even though it’s a tad long and may be tricky for some people to spell.  Those two issues aren’t really a big deal for me though because most of my visitors come from Google or from links on other websites, where you don’t need to manually type in the address.

My home computer has always been named, which I think is really good (among * names) because the part that I got to choose ("stop") is so short and easy to remember.  But this address doesn’t need to be remembered or typed by anyone except me, so again those issues don’t matter that much.  Still, lately I’ve wanted to give it a new name -- one that isn’t tied to, one that’s a top-level name instead of a subdomain.

Well, last night I came up with one that’s awesome and available:  (It’s pronounced "ANT ee oh" or "AN tee oh.")  Scoring a 5-letter domain name is virtually unheard-of, especially one that has any meaning or relevance, and that is pronounceable too.  As you can see, the dot-com version has been registered by one of those stupid domain-squatting companies, and they’re selling it for $700, on top of the normal $10 yearly fee.  (Normally, domain names have no cost other than the yearly fee.)

So now, when I’m at work or at someone else’s house and want to connect to my home system (to view my home desktop, check email and IMs, access files, etc), I’ll be connecting to instead of  I like this new name so much, I’m even considering renaming my website to it; but that’s a much more drastic move, with implications for my Google rankings among other things, so for now that won’t happen.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

Eponym Update

I recently added a couple of cool features to Eponym.  In addition to supporting hostnames, it now supports your own domain names through’s dynamic DNS service.  So now you can use Eponym to help run on your home computer, instead of having to use (though that is still supported too).

Secondly, it will now send you an email whenever your IP address changes, and whenever there’s a problem updating your hostname(s).

If you’re running any kind of server on your home system and you’d like a static hostname (whether or to go with it, check out Eponym.

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies


On the "Recent Discussion" list, is the reply-count a useful feature?

...ok, now be honest: how many people had no idea that the mysterious unlabeled number was in fact the reply-count?

Posted by Anthony on 8 replies


So I’m trying the whole 3-column thing, which I first deployed on  I think I like it better for the blog, as it makes short posts look better, and encourages breaking longer posts into smaller paragraphs (since they look really huge otherwise) which aids in comprehension.

For other pages though, a less-squished center column would be better.  On the musicbox page for example, I had to re-smallinate the images even further just to make them fit.

On the other hand, maybe this is a sign that my navigation/info sections -- everything but the center content column -- are getting too numerous and cluttered?

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

Random Roundup

On Monday I had 172 visitors, stomping the previous (year-to-date) record of 148.  Then on Tuesday I had 186.  I’d been wanting to re-add my daily visitors bar graph to the site, and having a surge in visitors helped convince me to do it last night.  You can see it at the bottom of the navigation section on the lefthand side of the page.

One reason for the increase in the visitor count is that previously, I didn’t have my visitor-logger on my photos pages.  I added it last week, and discovered that I was getting a few dozen hits per day from people searching for things like beefalo pictures, pistachio insect, and nice scenery, and those search-terms lead them directly to the photo-sets bypassing the main page and the visitor logger.  So it’s not actually a few dozen new visitors, it’s just that they weren’t being logged before.

In other news...

Google Maps is awesome.  It’s awesome because you can click and drag anywhere on the map itself to navigate -- the page never has to reload.  I think that mapquest and yahoo!maps will be switching to this format soon, as it’s just leaps and bounds better than their way of doing it (click, wait for page to load, find what you want, click again, wait again...).  It’s also awesome because it’s implemented entirely in JavaScript, which means it doesn’t require any yucky plugins like Java or Flash.  Finally, it’s awesome because it works in Moz/FF, and it doesn’t spike my computer’s CPU at 100% like many yucky-plugin-based webapps tend to do.

Update: AND, the size of the map-image on the screen isn’t fixed (and tiny) like Mapquest’s is.  If you put your browser into fullscreen mode (press the F11 key), the map is HUGE.  These are the best map features of all time, and yet they seem so obvious... I almost can’t believe no one has done this before.

And last but not least, why does "not at all" mean "not even a little"?

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies
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