500 Internal Server Error Courtesy of the Zend Optimizer

Last night I went to log in to the CMS administrator pages for this website in order to add to this website. To my horror, I was greeted with a 500 Internal Server Error. This was quite puzzling since it had worked fine up until that day. For the next several hours, emails flew back and forth between kiwihosting.net.nz technical support and me, as we collectively searched for a solution. I suspected that they had changed something on the server that resulted in this problem. However, they stated that they had not made any changes for several weeks. The error looked serious, since PHP performed a 48 MiB core dump every time that page was accessed.

Site-Wide Search Now Available

This website now features a search function which can be found in the left column. I have opted to use Google custom search since I have found that Google's search engine often is better at locating information than a website's own search engine. Google's search technology is simply far superior to many of the other search engines provided with various Content Management Systems (CMS). Adding search functionality was relatively easy, although it did require that I create a custom page type for the search results page. The reason for using a custom page type is because the HTML insert functionality in the Silverstripe CMS won't embed the Google search results page code properly; it performs some sort of operation after closing the HTML edit window that destroys it.

Backing Up a MySQL Database (do NOT use phpMyAdmin)

I have always regularly backed up this website, including its database. However, I have discovered that the database backups have been either corrupt or incomplete. This came to my attention when I looked back at the database backups and noticed that they were all less than a few MiB in size (compressed) and the size remained constant. The database itself, however, is approximately 27 MiB. Even taking the compression into account, these files were too small; a test uncompressed  backup (i.e., raw *.sql file) came to 5 MiB. Clearly, something was wrong.

Month in Review - November 2008

Little has happened here over the last month. I have simply had too little time to work on this website. In particular, moving to New Zealand took up a significant amount of time.

Doctor of Philosophy

Yes, I have finally graduated from graduate school with a Ph.D. (i.e., Doctor of Philosophy). In New Zealand, graduate studies are called post-graduate studies (because they occur after graduating with a bachelors university degree), but they are one and the same. This has taken five years from starting in a Masters program at the University of Toronto through to graduating with a doctorate. It is great to finally be finished.

When Life Gets in the Way (Moving)

Anyone viewing either the home page, or this blog will probably notice a distinct lack of updates to this website during this month. The simple truth is, I've been really busy. Not only have I been working on a humanoid robot for a colleague, I will also be moving back to New Zealand shortly. As a result, the list of things that had to be done just inflated over time, and this website suffered as a result. 

Month in Review - October 2008

This month saw a sizable traffic spike due to progress with the RadeonHD project. In particular, the log entry for the first major milestone saw over one-thousand page-views (1043 and counting); that is over half the total number of page views for the entire website in September (1707). The website has also grown to over one hundred pages (107 pages, or 108 including this blog entry). Thus, adding a search feature should probably be made soon, in order to help people locate information.

Technorati vs. Blogged vs. Zimbio - The Verdict

Several months have passed since I signed up to Technorati, Blogged, and Zimbio. Of interest was seeing whether these sites could help increase traffic to this website. A week after signing up, I noted that Technorati was the only one to produce any hits. Now, months later, which one was the most effective? Which one is the "winner?" That title goes to Technorati. However, my initial skepticism has also been proven right; even Technorati has failed to produce much more than a handful of visits.

Amiga Workbench on a Radeon X1300

Workbench being displayed by a Radeon X1300 graphics card.The first major milestone in the RadeonHD project has been reached; Amiga Workbench (indeed, any screen) can now be displayed by the RadeonHD driver on Amiga OS 4.x. Dragging of large windows can be sluggish due to lack of hardware graphics acceleration. Despite this, movies are playable, albeit with higher CPU usage. This sluggishness and high CPU usage will disappear once hardware acceleration is implemented. 

CopyScape - Combatting Plagiarism

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by CopyscapeYesterday I discussed the existence of software tools that steal other people's content in order to make money via advertising. In that post, I mentioned that I was tempted to write a bot that would scan for thieves of my content. Well, as I was submitting that post to Digg, I stumbled upon a service that does just that, Copyscape. Whilst checking a complete website costs money, they have a free service that allows checking a single page for plagiarism. 

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