Our hosting provider moved site to a new server and broke everything in the process.
Why it was broken wasn’t obvious since all I could get is a 500 server error :-(. After a lot of investigation and dead ends it turned out that the Apache .htaccess file format has changed since I first moved to WordPress. Not something that I would have thought could change, but all the Redirect rules broke this new Apache.
On the other hand I now have a lot more settings to play with.
I got a cheap wireless router a couple of weeks ago to replace our slowly aging/dying ones, mainly to use as access points. So today I tried to set it up. It is a Zyxel NBG-418N v2 for a grand total of 25€. It even has a set of modes to set it to Router, Access Point, etc. Which of course is useful if you actually need that sort of thing. And if you aren’t a network engineer lets just say that those modes are quite different.
I first had the bright idea that instead of unplugging a computer I would just use the iPad. Seemed reasonable and worked, except that switching to Access Point in the web console didn’t seem to do anything. Anything at all, over, and over again. Every time AP was set it would reboot, taking minutes to come back, and then it was still in Router mode. :-(.
So some googling later nothing. I sort of hacked the thing to work using the advanced settings, but it still didn’t work quite right. Especially NAT was active and no way to disable it. I moved it to the place where I actually wanted it and tried again. Nothing, over, and over again.
I unplugged the MacBook from its tangle of cables on the desk and used a cable. Still nothing. Updated the firmware. Nothing. Reset to factory defaults. Nothing. Rebooted it. Nothing. Changed the network settings on the Mac. Nothing. Reset to factory defaults. Nothing. Swore at Zyxel. Googled. Nothing. Turned off WLAN. Nothing. Rebooted. Nothing. It sort of worked. It connected to the LAN and was available on wireless. But still in the half configured mess it was before.
Put the MacBook back in its normal place and connected again to the web console and thought, I wonder if there is something wrong with the web console. Safari on this machine doesn’t have the web developer tools enabled so I started Firefox and connected to the router. I found the page and put a break-point on the script. Sure enough it wasn’t doing anything complicated. Changing the router mode just set a value in a form, and did a script based form-post to the router. Unfortunately when I stepped through the page it timed out. So refresh the page and try again. Only this time since I had refreshed it lost my break-point on the script and when I switched the mode and pressed the Apply button it didn’t pause, but just went straight ahead and rebooted.
Only now when I reconnected it was in Access Point mode. WTF?!, WTF?!?!?
The only difference was switching from Safari (iPad, MacBook) to Firefox. Obviously the Zyxel web console doesn’t work correctly in Safari, but fails silently.
In the immortal words of Russ Hanneman, Fuck you Zyxel. Fuck you in the ass.
iTunes did another one of its seemingly random minor updates again the other day. And today I opened it to watch one of the few podcasts that I use still use it for only to notice that it looked a bit weird.
As it turns out Apple has finally (and this is a real finally) adopted HiDPI support on Windows. From their release notes,
This update is designed for high DPI displays so text and images appear sharper and clearer. It also includes minor app and performance improvements.
I would guess that they got a little push in this direction since iTunes is supposed to be moving to the Windows Store, but it is 2017, and HiDPI has been a thing for over five years. There are complaints about it not scaling correctly above 250%, but this fixes one of the last major desktop apps. Not a minor thing when many laptops come with 4k screens now.
Most people live in a world of magic that they do not understand. They flip a switch and the room becomes brighter. They turn a key and the car starts (making noise) and they can then make it go places. They put pre-packaged food into a box and press flat numbered places on the front and the food spins and gets hot. They walk up to a transparent wall and part of it slides out of their way… They swipe and press on places on a flat glass rectangle and get photos of cats and of their friends making funny faces… ALL of this is magic. They have no idea how any of it works, not really.
Is it any wonder that people believe in magic rocks to put into private parts? Or that this or that magic fruit will help them be healthy? Or that one type of needle wards off evil spirits (viruses) that can make them sick and another type of needle wards off evil spirits (unbalanced chi) that can make them sick? They literally have no means off separating our modern tech and science from woo. All of it is magic.
As Arthur C. Clark said, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. We have arrived.
2016-08-13 05:51:32 +0300 Power failure.
2016-08-13 05:59:48 +0300 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-08-14 10:04:36 +0300 Power failure.
2016-08-14 10:04:37 +0300 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-09-13 07:10:29 +0300 Power failure.
2016-09-13 07:10:31 +0300 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-09-30 10:46:39 +0300 Power failure.
2016-09-30 10:46:41 +0300 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-09-30 10:46:41 +0300 Power failure.
2016-09-30 10:46:43 +0300 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-09-30 10:47:42 +0300 Power failure.
2016-09-30 10:47:44 +0300 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-10-06 18:44:42 +0300 Power failure.
2016-10-06 18:44:44 +0300 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-10-11 08:09:43 +0300 Power failure.
2016-10-11 08:09:45 +0300 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-10-28 17:43:18 +0300 Power failure.
2016-10-28 17:43:49 +0300 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-11-23 13:29:53 +0200 Power failure.
2016-11-23 13:30:55 +0200 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-11-23 13:30:56 +0200 Power failure.
2016-11-23 13:44:40 +0200 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-11-28 00:57:35 +0200 Power failure.
2016-11-28 00:58:37 +0200 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-11-28 01:04:23 +0200 Power failure.
2016-11-28 01:35:42 +0200 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-11-28 01:36:58 +0200 Power failure.
2016-11-28 01:37:43 +0200 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2016-11-28 01:37:43 +0200 Power failure.
2016-11-28 01:37:43 +0200 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2017-01-30 13:11:37 +0200 Power failure.
2017-01-30 13:11:39 +0200 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
2017-02-04 07:42:26 +0200 Power failure.
2017-02-04 07:42:28 +0200 Power is back. UPS running on mains.
Luckily I always had backups of everything related to the site, which basically means the database and the files/uploads. Every day I get an dump of the database and a copy of all files back from the hosting service to my local server. And from there a versioned backup to our cloud backup provider.
So recovering from the hack meant updating to 4.7.2 and restoring the database from a version of the backup I knew was good. Doing an update for me wipes out any existing installation which is good if it was possible to contaminate them somehow. Then restoring the database from my backups is a single command once I restore the dump back to the hosting service.
It is well over a year since getting a 4k monitor. In that time we have gone from Windows 8 to 10 and a couple of updates. In the end I settled on 150% scaling. So not quite full retina in Mac terms (200%), but actually this is the correct DPI setting for a 32″ 4K monitor. An A4 page at 100% size in Word, for example, really is basically full size (and I can fit multiple on one screen!).
In general for how I am working there have been a few minor improvements in that time. In Windows 10 the switch to HiDPI and scaling has gone forward, but a bit roughly. Of course all the UWP apps (Metro) work out of the box, but app support has been pretty spotty and takes a long time.
Of the apps I use most things like Sublime Text made the jump quite early as had Firefox and Thunderbird. Spotify did eventually, and then most recently Evernote. Lightroom now looks and works mostly ok, nicely scaled UI elements with full resolution images. The laggards now are a handful of older apps that probably never move, anything from Apple, plus of course Steam. Although that just means they are fuzzy, but full sized. Rarely now does an app claim to support scaling and then not do it, resulting in a really tiny window.
The real rough spot from comments online seems to be support for multiple displays at different scaling, or switching displays. But I don’t suffer either of those since this is a desktop PC with a single monitor. Of course that was one of the reasons for getting this display in the first place.