Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

I’ve successfully moved my sites to Dreamhost


It was pretty easy. Access to the shell is very convenient, I could avoid downloading and uploading large files via my slow DSL; I moved them directly between servers instead. Database migration was also pretty easy, shell access was helpful again.

I’ve changed domain delegations yesterday’s night. Changes were effective this morning. The downtime was quite short and it was only the night hours.

I’m happy about the migration:

  • my sites are now independent from the company servers
  • I can run Django applications there
  • The new hosting is fast and has a lot of space
  • I’m always happy having new toys that work

Dreamhost has approved my account


I’ve sent them a fax with my other credit card number and they approved my account. I’m not sure about the payment. The money seems gone. The account seems working. I thought they would return the money and I would pay again with the credit card. However, they have approved my account even though the credit card numbers didn’t match.

The billing tab shows $0 account balance, all functions seem to work. If nothing happens, I’m just going to enjoy the new hosting service.

Dreamhost’s vicious circle


I wanted to buy a two year hosting on Dreamhost. I’ve heard very good opinions and it’s possible to run Django on it (although it’s not officially supported). Parameters are excellent, the price is low, I decided to jump in.

The beginning was easy: a registration form, secure on-line payment with Visa card (an eCard in my case) and I could instantly sign in to my brand new Dreamhost account.

Suddenly… an e-mail came.

We’d like to thank you for signing up for our service! Your account information has been submitted and is currently pending approval of our payment information.

If you are paying by credit card, please print out the authorization form at:

…and fax it to us at (a phone number). The amount to fill in on the form is (the price). We regret the inconvenience this causes, but due to he amount of credit-card related fraud we incur we are forced to equire fax-back authentication.

I visited the fax page which said that I should rub the pencil over the credit card, so the embossed imprints are “copied” to the paper. I examined my eCard. No embossed imprints. The last sentence of this e-mail said: “If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask”, so I wrote to Dreamhost.

OK, so here I go asking. I’ve paid with an eCard, which is a version f Visa card. I can pay with it — I’ve successfully done it the past. The thing is, my card does NOT have embossed number, name or expiration date. Well, it’s a little embossed, but I’ve tried rubbing it with a pencil and it’s unreadable.

My credit card has been charged and that’s OK. I just want to use my account. I can fax the form, but you won’t be able to read anything from the fax.

What should I do?

Their on billing was quick to answer.

Unfortunately since this account has been flagged, our credit card processor requires the fax rubbing. If your card is flat or an e-card,
then you’ll need to use a different card. I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience but it’s a requirement we must meet.

I can understand that. I do want to use a different card. However…

Impossible payment on Dreamhost

I wrote them about the problem.

I don’t see any way of making the payment again.

I cannot do it in the panel because it says: “You may not make a payment to this account at this time. You may only make payments on approved accounts.” My account isn’t approved, right?

I cannot re-do the registration because it says: “domain “” is already in our system!”

What should I do then?

It’s hilarious. They respond quickly (usually on the same day), but the answers are like this:

It looks like your account requires approval by our billing department before we can activate it.

Please go to this web page and print out this form…

Fill it out, imprint your credit card and fax it to us and we can process it and enable your account.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

I think I’ve found an error in the Matrix. A hole in the system. Something that was never expected. They want to help me. When I ask a question, they answer. However, the answer always regards just one side of the vicious circle, and it doesn’t help me out.

My last email (so far) to them says:

I would gladly do that, if only I didn’t pay with an eCard, which doesn’t have embossed imprints, which makes it useless for your faxing procedure.

I want to cancel the first payment and pay with a credit card which has embossed imprints.

This is a vicious circle:

The original sin:
I payed with an eCard -> I can’t send the fax;

The circle: {
I can’t send the fax -> my account isn’t approved;
account isn’t approved -> I can’t pay with the credit card;
I can’t pay with the credit card -> I can’t send the fax;

Is there any way out of the vicious circle?

I hope there is. Otherwise, I’ll have to die, be born again as somebody else, sign up for Dreamhost with a different identity and pay with a credit card.

And furiously rub the pencil over it.

Something opposite


A long time ago, computers were not connected in any way. They were autistic and boring, but they felt lonely, so people worked hard and implemented network connections.

Hooray! It was possible to send a message from one computer and receive it on another!

Unfortunately, it soon turned out, that the network connections could be maliciously used, so people started implementing something opposite to the network connections: firewalls. Personal firewalls for Windows 98, in-build firewall in XP, everybody built a fortress around his computer.

Computers were autistic again, but a little less boring because this time it was possible to browse some web.

Somebody thought that maybe computers could be used for something more than web browsing. A new generation of software was born. The software, that makes something opposite to what firewalls do! The software, that pierces them! It can actually send and receive data! Wow!

Wait, didn’t we have this already in the beginning of the ’90s? Eh, never mind. We’re happy now.

Given that everybody installs now software that circumvents firewalls and allows to control their computer remotely, we are more and more concerned about people’s security. I’d like to suggest doing something opposite to what Skype does: second generation of firewalls. Let’s build a laserwall, let’s block Skype, remote assistance tools, p2p programs. Let’s block them all! It will not only improve people’s security, but also stimulate the market to produce next generation of software, that pierces our laserwall.

It’s natural: invent the network to exchange data, fight the network with firewalls to improve security, fight the firewalls to order exchange data, then fight the ones who fight the firewalls to get the security back.

What’s next?

Keeping or changing my blog’s profile


This blog was initially intended to talk about technical Linux things, then switched into data analysis. Now, since my thesis writing is over and I don’t currently do any data analysis in my work, it has become stagnant.

I’m thinking whether to stick with the data analysis and Linux or to allow myself to write about variety of other topics which I’m following at the moment.

My primary `social’ blog happens to be in Polish. There’s a great on-line community on Jogger, a jabber-enabled (and Google Talk-enabled) blogging site. I definitely still want to stick with it, so my blogging time is to be still divided between Polish writing on Jogger and English writing here.

I definitely want to keep on writing in English, to develop my writing or at least keep it in shape. That might be the main reason to widen the topic range. It would be better than not writing at all.

My dream was to create a blog with great articles, something like Stevey Yegge. Perhaps I won’t work out just yet. I’ll stick with writing small notes. The time for great articles will come.

I’ve finished the theory part


I have been going throught the theory the whole weekend and I have finished it. At last. The funny thing is, that I was learning mostly from Wikipedia, as it contained the best descriptions, but then I had to find the corresponding parts in the books, to make references. So I’ve learned from Wikipedia, but didn’t reference it. I’ve referenced the books, but I didn’t learn from them ― I have only checked if what I have read in Wikipedia, is correct.

11002 days to go.

Should I really write my own forum engine


The software rewriting topic came back to me. I just came across the CADT Model, defined by Jamie Zawinsky.

(…) there is no incentive for people to do the parts of programming that aren’t fun. Fixing bugs isn’t fun; going through the bug list isn’t fun; but rewriting everything from scratch is fun (because “this time it will be done right”, ha ha) (…)




Spin website screenshot
Have you seen the short (8 minutes) film “Spin” from Double Edge Films? You can watch it on-line, or find it as a part of a German television program about the Open-Source and Creative Commons licensed movies. It’s also available in Google Video, but at least on my computer video and audio go out of sync, what effectively destroys the expression of the sound and image. The television program has the best quality. Spin begins in about 24 minutes 30 seconds of the program.

Maybe I’m biased with this, but the Spin’s story is much like software development and bugfixing. I couldn’t think of it any other way that the DJ is a programmer, the city is a program and all the wrong events are software bugs.

Forum with tags


Since 2003, I’ve been maintaining a forum. It was constantly growing, from 60 users to 1800 at the time of writing. As the forum was growing, the demand for moderation work was growing as well. I recruited moderators from the most active and trustworthy users. It helped maintain the order on the forum, but the load on the moderators was constantly increasing.

While learning about the new Web 2.0 services, I got an idea of finding a forum engine with tags. I found a mod for phpBB, which adds tags, but I must confess that I don’t particularily like phpBB and want to move out of it.


Why rewrite Wengophone?


I’m still using Wengophone Classic, which works well, it just has some annoying issues.  I would expect the developers to eventually fix them, but the whole development powers are invested in the Wengophone NG (a.k.a. 2.0). So those little things will keep bothering me until the new version of Wengophone is usable, which doesn’t seem to happen soon. They publish the betas, but I neither could run the binary version nor compile the source code.

The main three problems are not that big, but since they happen very often, they get more and more annoying.