You may have noticed that some recent posts were missing from Nuketown; that's because for reasons unknown, the MySQL database that drives the site became corrupted Tuesday afternoon. The database was unrecoverable, but I was able to restore from a recent (5/26) backup. As for why the database went south, I can't say though I'm planning to ping Dreamhost tech support to see if there were any database server glitches at the time.
The Discovery Channel has Shark Week. That's all well and good -- sharks are equal parts terrifying and fascinating -- but why limit yourself to one species? This summer Nuketown is launching Monster Week -- one full week dedicated to the best in cinematic horror. We're going to have movie reviews, soundtrack reviews, blog and game posts inspired by said movies, and -- if I can swing it -- feature length audio commentary for a film.
I've re-enabled open commenting on Nuketown (meaning posts will be posted without being pre-screened). The Mollom module for Drupal has been doing an admirable job catching spam and I think it's up to the task.
We'll see what actually happens; if we get a major spam attack that Mollom can't handle, I'll have to fall back to the "must authenticate to post without approval" stance I've had since June.
Nuketown's been upgraded to Drupal 6, which is the latest stable version of the open source content management system. So far, things seem to have made it through the upgrade intact, though I discovered that the Image Assist module now only wants to display images that have been "published".
Long-time visitors to the site may be wondering what's going on with comments at Nuketown; for the last year or so, anyone could post without having to log in or have their posts moderated. That's no longer the case.
The problem is spam; the site has been inundated with a particularly annoying variety of comment spam that uses random snippets of legitimate text taken from other web sites, news stories, etc. and a smattering of legitimate hyperlinks to provide cover for hardcore porn comments linking to sites that are anything but legitimate.
It's been awfully quiet around here the last week or so, and I thought I'd post a note before folks wonder if I'd crawled off to a cave for information detox.
I work at a college as a web applications developer. And the thing about working in higher education (or hell, any form of education) is you tend to move through life somewhat perpendicular to the real world. My year starts in July, and ends in June, because that's how our academic calendar rolls. My life gets crazy in late August and late January, because that's when the Fall and Spring semesters begin.
The pace hits an even more frantic note in January and July/August because that's when the faculty and students aren't on campus (or most of them aren't at least) so we conduct this biannual mad dash to get all of our critical upgrades and new programs in place so things will be nice and shiny when everyone hits campus.
The lulls (and yes, there are lulls) come about two weeks into the semester and last until about two weeks after it ends. Which isn't to say we're sitting around playing cards all day, but it is a more relaxed, less frantic state of being.
But now is not that time. Now is the crazy time, and thus, the profound lack of posts around here.
I've been experimenting with analytics on Nuketown for the last few months, setting Google Analytics to watch the site's web traffic and Feedburner to keep an eye on the RSS feeds.
Given the dearth of posts around Nuketown last week, I thought I'd borrow a page from Uncle Bear's Sunday Brunch and give an update on the ol'thermonuclear burg. The day job has settled back down to its normal routine, but as Doc Brown once said "It's your kids ... something has got to be done about your kids!"
In case you missed it, I'm running a poll asking whether or not I should bring back the RADIATIONS email newsletter. RADIATIONS ran for a good number of years, but I gave it up when I moved to Drupal and had an easy way of producing an RSS feed for the site. I'm considering it bringing it back because personally, I find newsletters to be a handy way of remembering to visit the sites I enjoy. And if I like it, well, I figure others will as well.