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Comics I Don’t Understand » Your Miscellaneous Comments

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Your Miscellaneous Comments

on Mar 16th 2017

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Please do not use this page for CIDU/LOL/Ewww/whatever submissions, though: that’s what CiduBill at gmx.com is for.

123 responses so far

123 Responses to “Your Miscellaneous Comments”

  1. larK Mar 16th 2017 at 08:44 pm 1

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    I’ve built an archive for the recent comments, so you can see more than just the last 10 or 15 or whatever it’s set to. CIDUBill has even linked to it below the Recent Comments.

    http://scrape.nowis.com/CIDU/

  2. Arthur Mar 16th 2017 at 08:58 pm 2

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    Thank you. I’m pleased to see that it even works without
    requiring active scripting.

  3. Olivier Mar 17th 2017 at 05:12 am 3

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    This is great. Thank you.

  4. Kilby Mar 17th 2017 at 08:31 am 4

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    @ larK (1) - I’m not sure whether it would be possible, but is there any chance that your harvester script could build a parallel list of threads (posts), in the order of the most recent comment in each thread? That way, an old post that receives a new comment would bubble to the top of that list.

  5. larK Mar 17th 2017 at 01:33 pm 5

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    Kilby: I aim to please ;-)

    The new drop down has threads from the last 7 days in order of which has had a comment most recently.

  6. larK Mar 17th 2017 at 05:20 pm 6

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    To clarify: the drop down has active threads from the last 7 days, in order of most recent comment. They can all be ancient threads, as long as they have a recent comment; conversely, a new thread, if it has no comments, will not be listed.

  7. Mitch4 Mar 18th 2017 at 09:11 am 7

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    Thanks for trying out these tabs. They seem to be working as intended! May I suggest that the color scheme is somewhat unintuitive — I would expect the brighter one to be the selected one and the dark ones to be the in selected ones.

  8. Mitch4 Mar 18th 2017 at 09:16 am 8

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    Thanks, larK, for that cool tool! And Kilby for the excellent twist!

  9. Kevin A Mar 18th 2017 at 11:56 am 9

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    @larK
    I noticed today that all the comments, that were still in the FAQ two days ago, are gone (or not visible). Any comment :-)

  10. larK Mar 18th 2017 at 12:08 pm 10

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    @ Kevin: I have two comments: 1) all the comments you refer to aside from your recent one are from last year and beyond, so outside my gathering period; 2) it’s very weird: you click on the FAQ tab, you get no comments; you use my archive to find your recent comment and click on it, and there is the thread, old comments and all. I assume the two got disassociated somehow in being promoted to a tab rather than just a mere thread, and the tabbed version doesn’t show comments, ever? But if you post a comment, it goes to the thread, but the only link to the thread is the Recent Comments link, not anything on the tab…

  11. larK Mar 18th 2017 at 01:17 pm 11

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    Cool: If a comment makes it out of moderation in time for it to still be within the last 10 comments on the RSS feed, then my system pops it to the top rather than putting it in its proper place in the flow. Technically speaking, this is a bug, but I think many of us (certainly me) prefer this behavior, so I’m not gonna “fix” it.

    CIDUBill: is it possible to up the number of comments in the RSS feed from the ten it currently has?

  12. Cidu Bill Mar 18th 2017 at 01:23 pm 12

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    “Comments in the FAQ,” Kevin? I didn’t there had been any yet.

  13. Cidu Bill Mar 18th 2017 at 01:28 pm 13

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    LarK, the RSS feed is something WordPress sets up by default. I hadn’t known there WAS one until somebody mentioned it.

    I’ll root around and try to figure out how to change the number.

  14. Kilby Mar 18th 2017 at 03:43 pm 14

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    @ larK (11) & Bill (13) - Is the “7 days” you mentioned @6 because the archive system is only 7 days old, or is that an effect of the RSS feed only providing results for the last seven days? If the latter, can that be upped to two weeks or a month? That would make this an awesome tool for catching up after a two-week vacation.

  15. larK Mar 18th 2017 at 04:07 pm 15

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    It’s an arbitrary limit I put in to keep the drop down list from getting too long.

    I think you’ll find, though, that after your two week vacation, you can just set the two date fields to the time period in question, and set the number of comments to 1000 or similarly large number, and have all the “recent” comments from the two week period.

    Being as the my archive hasn’t even been in place for a week yet, I’ll leave it at 7 days for now and see how ugly it gets, and you can try the other aspects of the system. If you still feel that it would benefit from covering a longer time period of recent comments, I can always change it.

  16. B.A. Mar 20th 2017 at 05:18 pm 16

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    Tom Batiuk named the fictional comic book company in his strip after HIMSELF? http://m.seattlepi.com/comics/?feature_id=Funky_Winkerbean&feature_date=2017-03-20

  17. Kevin A Mar 22nd 2017 at 12:09 pm 17

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    @Cidu Bill
    So that’s why you never replied there (and maybe told us to skedaddle); :-) :-) comments have been accumulating there for years, for lack of a general comment area, I guess.
    Since there were comments since 2009, I thought I could add mine there (and, honest to god, thought I’d ask about a general comment area).

  18. Cidu Bill Mar 22nd 2017 at 12:29 pm 18

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    Kevin A, I probably went a year or two between looking at the old FAQ page.

  19. mitch4 Mar 22nd 2017 at 11:24 pm 19

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    So, over in “Sshh” there was the admin comment We seem to have our consensus, so I’m shutting down comments. Bill, I don’t think I’ve seen that here before. Trying out admin tools? Or concern the only place for a tangent to go would be serious political fighting?

    Just saying, one of the joys of CIDU has been the tradition of productive tangent farming. Not that I had anything special to add on this one, tho.

  20. Cidu Bill Mar 23rd 2017 at 12:56 am 20

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    You nailed it, Mitch4: once the question was answered, I didn’t see any gain in stepping into the Trump minefield.

    For the record, that tool was always available, and I have used it in the past, but very, very rarely.

  21. larK Mar 25th 2017 at 09:30 pm 21

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    So Kilby, my recent comments hack has been running for a little over a week now. The drop down list still has every subject that came up since its inception (the first one all the way at the bottom is “Testifying” — no one has commented there, and it will certainly fall off the list by Thursday, unless someone adds a comment to it).

    What do you think? Is it unwieldy yet, or could it be twice as long (if I upped the limit to two weeks instead of the current 7 days)? I see what you’re saying about being able to catch up, but what is the golden mean?

  22. larK Apr 3rd 2017 at 07:51 pm 22

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    So, what’s with the sudden revival of threads from 2009? Did I miss something?

  23. Cidu Bill Apr 3rd 2017 at 08:26 pm 23

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    Do they all seem to be resurrected by the same person? That might go a long way toward explaining it.

  24. larK Apr 3rd 2017 at 11:01 pm 24

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    no, it seems at least two people independently chose today to resurrect threads from 2009 — weird.

  25. Cidu Bill Apr 4th 2017 at 12:30 am 25

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    I’m seeing three ancient threads resurrected by Jayk.

  26. larK Apr 4th 2017 at 01:11 pm 26

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    Winter Wallaby revived one from (ok, not 2009) 2008:

    http://comicsidontunderstand.com/wordpress/2008/10/18/pizza/#comment-190431

  27. DemetriosX Apr 7th 2017 at 06:57 am 27

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    Heh, Fleenguy Gary Tyrrell has his own IBB. Check the Spam of the Day at the bottom of today’s post:
    http://fleen.com/2017/04/06/les-tacklefordistes-sont-mort-vive-les-tacklefordistes/

  28. B.A. Apr 19th 2017 at 05:02 pm 28

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    The Squirrel never deserved to die as much as he does today. http://www.gocomics.com/realitycheck/2017/04/19

  29. sanford sklansky May 7th 2017 at 12:42 am 29

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    I assume 9 Chickweed Lane is on vacation?

  30. B.A. Jul 12th 2017 at 02:10 pm 30

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    Why am I suddenly, after all these years, receiving e-mail notifications about new messages on threads I’ve commented on?

  31. Cidu Bill Jul 12th 2017 at 06:54 pm 31

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    You are not, I’m sure, expecting any sort of useful response from me.

  32. James Pollock Jul 13th 2017 at 12:40 am 32

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    I’ll go ahead and provide the technical answer.

    Unseen forces are at work.

  33. Arthur Jul 13th 2017 at 01:02 am 33

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    B.A., the answer comes from deep in my quotes file:

    The overwhelming likelihood is that you are the unfortunate victim of the
    “ordinary strange shit and bugs” that plague computer systems.

  34. Cidu Bill Jul 13th 2017 at 02:43 am 34

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    I thought the technical answer is “reboot the machine.”

  35. B.A. Jul 14th 2017 at 08:22 pm 35

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    I got to sound clever today by stealing from paraphrasing Cidu Bill: “If in doubt, Cole Porter lyrics are always about sex.”

  36. larK Aug 4th 2017 at 09:31 am 36

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    So I stumbled across this site that had statistics on the CIDU site:

    https://feedreader.com/observe/comicsidontunderstand.com

    So according to this site, all you “overseas readers” are actually just Russian hackers…

  37. Olivier Aug 4th 2017 at 10:07 am 37

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    What about the mysterious 15.3% neither from the USA (83.3%) nor from Russia (1.4%)?
    I’m a Frenchman usually working in Belgium but currently in England.

  38. Kilby Aug 4th 2017 at 10:56 am 38

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    @ Olivier (37) - Perhaps the remainder is divided so finely that no other country cracks the 1% line? Unlikely, of course, but possible.

  39. B.A. Aug 4th 2017 at 04:58 pm 39

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    Regarding the August 4 Frazz (http://www.gocomics.com/frazz/2017/08/04):

    Can we beat the smugness out of him now? Please?

  40. James Pollock Aug 4th 2017 at 05:17 pm 40

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    “Can we beat the smugness out of him now? Please?”

    I think the point is that he ISN’T an athlete because he’s particularly good at it. He’s an athlete because he loves doing it. It’s a lot easier to be humble/classy when the stakes are low.

  41. B.A. Aug 4th 2017 at 05:33 pm 41

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    There’s nothing classy about correcting somebody and telling them they should call you classy. In italics, no less.

  42. Kilby Aug 4th 2017 at 06:01 pm 42

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    @B.A. (41) - I was just about to hunt through the comments here for something in italics when I realized you were referring to Frazz @39. That font isn’t really “italic”, but it is some sort of emphasis.

  43. B.A. Aug 4th 2017 at 06:04 pm 43

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    I was being kind: that ornate font was FAR more obnoxious than italics.

  44. James Pollock Aug 4th 2017 at 07:26 pm 44

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    “There’s nothing classy about correcting somebody and telling them they should call you classy.”

    OK. but, a technicality, Frazz didn’t do either of these things. At least, not in the cartoon linked at 39.

  45. Kilby Sep 4th 2017 at 08:08 am 45

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    @ larK (1) - I have a new idea for a potentially (very) useful feature (even though I have doubts about its practicality):
    Would it be possible to add a “tag” filter, to search through all threads that carry a particular tag?
    I was hunting for a comment that I new was in a “Barney & Clyde” thread, but I didn’t know which one it was.

  46. larK Sep 4th 2017 at 09:07 am 46

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    Kilby: I don’t collect tag information, only thread (title), link, user, and date (see the RSS feed) — so, the data’s not there, and I don’t see an easy way to start collecting it for the future. :-(

  47. Kevin A Sep 11th 2017 at 11:56 pm 47

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    On this special day in the life of Edda and Amos, I want to thank CIDU for introducing me to “9 Chickweed Lane”; it has been an especially moving part of my life. When I’m lucky enough to have work, it is the only comic I check in on regularly. It hits the spot that moves me to be more direct and honest, and their love, and their willingness to be themselves and express themselves, inspires me. I think I’ve been reading it for between 15 and 20 years.

  48. B.A. Oct 18th 2017 at 03:21 pm 48

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    Has anybody else had enough of the unpleasant storyline featuring the unpleasant Leslie and his unpleasant mother (who interact with one another like bitter former lovers) in Luann?

  49. Olivier Oct 26th 2017 at 02:30 am 49

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    I’m sorry the “more recent comments” button doesn’t work any more: it was very useful to me.

  50. larK Oct 26th 2017 at 09:14 pm 50

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    Sorry Olivier, we upgraded the server this week, and still haven’t worked out all the kinks. It will be fixed soon. Meanwhile, you can use this link to get there:

    http://scrape.nowis.com/CIDU/index.cfm

  51. Olivier Oct 27th 2017 at 02:40 am 51

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    All fixed, I see: thanks !

  52. Bookworm Jan 3rd 2018 at 03:57 pm 52

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    My Firefox just updated and there are WordPress database errors at every entry. Is it a coincidence, or are they related? This is the only comments page I can get to without a 404 error.

  53. mitch4 Jan 3rd 2018 at 04:58 pm 53

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    Bookworm, no you aren’t alone in seeing those errors.

    Oddly enough, the missing table causes those errors, and loses some items in the presentation, but isn’t disabling posting comments in general.

  54. Fluffy Bunny Slippers Jan 3rd 2018 at 11:15 pm 54

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    Does that make this WordPress I Don’t Understand then, Mitch4?

  55. mitch4 Jan 4th 2018 at 12:02 am 55

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    WP probably feels misunderstood!

  56. mitch4 Jan 4th 2018 at 12:05 am 56

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    Previous timestamp “Jan 4th 2018 at 12:02 am 55″. But locally (Chicago) I was at 10 PM Wednesday the 3rd. Is it *two* zones off?

  57. Arthur Jan 4th 2018 at 12:17 am 57

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    Don’t forget that you can get to the posts via
    http://scrape.nowis.com/CIDU/index.cfm

    I got to today’s and made a comment so it would show up there.

  58. Arthur Jan 4th 2018 at 12:22 am 58

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  59. Folly Jan 4th 2018 at 11:44 am 59

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    To whom it may concern,

    I found this website about fixing the wordpress database error. Don’t know if it helps.

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/fixing-cannot-modify-header-error/

  60. larK Jan 4th 2018 at 02:00 pm 60

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    Folly: you should email that link to CIDU Bill, in case he can’t reach his own site…

  61. Folly Jan 9th 2018 at 05:18 pm 61

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    Back to the database errors. Does anyone know what’s going on?

  62. larK Jan 9th 2018 at 05:49 pm 62

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    CIDU Bill says GoDaddy (mumbo jumbo) did something that misplaced some domain names, and says it should all be fixed by this evening (fingers crossed!)

  63. Arthur Jan 9th 2018 at 06:03 pm 63

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  64. Folly Jan 9th 2018 at 07:04 pm 64

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    Bad GoDaddy!

  65. Mitch4 Jan 10th 2018 at 10:47 am 65

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    What a relief! I was not even getting these error pages for several days, just DNS error and versions of “no such site”.

    Welcome back, Bill and CIDU!

  66. Mitch4 Jan 10th 2018 at 10:51 am 66

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    I don’t know if you got my mail to this effect, but let me remark here, I and others forget to say this sometimes, but thank you, Bill, for everything you go thru to keep CIDU going ; and thank you to all the participants who keep it fun and interesting.

    Bill, please let us know what else we can do to help!

  67. larK Jan 10th 2018 at 11:33 am 67

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    So, I was a recipient of an email from CIDU Bill; I don’t feel right posting it here, because surely he would post it here if he wanted it here, but on the other hand, I feel compelled to let others know the basic info:

    1) he’s thankful for all the communications and offers of help

    2) it’s all GoDaddy’s fault, and for once they’re even admitting it; their original estimate of fixing it has slipped from Tuesday evening to “almost definitely by Thursday night.”

  68. Arthur Jan 11th 2018 at 12:38 am 68

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    BTW, I’d like to specifically thank larK. Without the alternate
    index to CIDU that he built, this GoDaddy problem would have
    been much worse.

  69. larK Jan 11th 2018 at 01:51 am 69

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    ^^’

  70. larK Jan 11th 2018 at 01:54 am 70

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    :oops:

  71. CIDU Bill Jan 11th 2018 at 06:32 am 71

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    I can’t begin to understand how larK did this. Or, for that matter, how word of the alternate address got around.

  72. CIDU Bill Jan 11th 2018 at 06:40 am 72

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    For the record, I had a few weeks of (weekday) posts queued before GoDaddy screwed up, so anybody using the secret URL will be seeing new daily posts for the foreseable future.

    GoDaddy told me everything would be fixed by Thursday evening — but then, these are the same people who screwed up in the first place.

  73. chuckers Jan 11th 2018 at 09:53 am 73

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    @CIDU Bill #71 Google is your friend. Actually I use Duck Duck Go as my main search engine but the principle is the same.

    I was going to write to you about the site being down but:

    a) I figured you already knew
    b) You were already having it looked at
    c) It was pretty much out of your hands anyway.

    After being down for a couple of days, I just couldn’t take the withdrawal any more and tried to see if I could find another way in as it seems others were making comments. Thus my resorting to Duck Duck Go.

    Here’s hoping that GoDaddy lives up to their promise of getting this back up properly tonight.

    They certainly own you some lost (almost non-existent) revenue! :-)

  74. mitch4 Jan 11th 2018 at 12:36 pm 74

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    Oh heck, Bill said he still doesn’t have admin access, so my comment may never emerge from moderation! It was about the change of artist at a popular panel cartoon.

  75. CIDU Bill Jan 11th 2018 at 02:19 pm 75

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    Not only no administrative access, but I couldn’t post until I remembered which e-mail address I’d originally registered under — becsuse otherwise, my comment would need to be approved.

    And of course I no longer have free rein to describe what straws and vampires do.

  76. CIDU Bill Jan 11th 2018 at 02:36 pm 76

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    Mitch4, it didn’t even cross my mind that a shadow version of the site COULD exist.

  77. larK Jan 11th 2018 at 03:10 pm 77

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    Just so I don’t get accused of witchcraft here, there were a couple of fortuitous circumstances in this particular case:

    * while conicsidontunderstand.com can’t currently be resolved and returns an error, comicsidontunderstand.com/wordpress does still work, as do any other deep links as can be found on Google. DuckDuckGo, etc.; these pages however are defaced with a repeating missing database error, making them hard to read, and the error message pops up in the middle of the URL in anchor tags, making it tough to navigate because the links are essentially broken

    * I have been scraping the rss feed to collect recent comments since last May; the rss feed still works, and it has deep links to the comments, which I collect on my totally independent from Bill’s site (Bill has a link to my site’s collected extended recent comments right under the recent comments section of his site); so going to my Recent Comments site provides direct (deep) links to recent comments (albeit with the repeating database error showing)
    http://scrape.nowis.com/CIDU

    * I got sick of the repeating errors, so I built a page that loads the html for bill’s pages, cleans up the repeating error, and spits out the resulting clean html — yes, this is actually witchcraft… Essentially I am from my site stealing Bill’s pages, editing them, and then serving them from my site. I don’t want to broadcast this too loudly, as 1) my server probably won’t stand the load of too many people coming, and 2) I am stealing Bill’s site AND editing it! As a lark for my own amusement, fine (maybe), but this is some really sketchy territory here, so after Bill’s site comes back from GoDaddy purgatory, why don’t we all just forget I ever did it?

  78. CIDU Bill Jan 11th 2018 at 03:24 pm 78

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    Actually, larK, “witchcraft” was precisely what I was going to say. But, you know, in a good way.

  79. larK Jan 11th 2018 at 03:38 pm 79

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    I supposed I’ll get burned in a good way, too — you know, in a carbon neutral, sustainable way…

  80. Mitch-4 Jan 12th 2018 at 01:18 am 80

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    Heroic efforts, larK!

    I’ll just ask this very quietly … Is this actually hooking into the real back end Mysql somehow? When they fix the DNS and the GoDaddy site starts finding its own mysql service again, will these interim entries have been captured?

  81. Stan Jan 12th 2018 at 02:57 am 81

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    LarK, thanks for that link. Almost nothing is working for me when I go to the regular CIDU page. I can see the newly posted comics, but scattered around the page is “WordPress database error:” surrounded by incoherent gobbledygook. When I click on the ‘responses’ link, I just get “404 - Cannot find what you are looking for.” and a bunch more gobbledygook.

    When I use your link, I can get to the comments by clicking on the links in the ‘Recent Comments’ section. You’ve saved me. I’ve missed CIDU for the last week or so.

    Bill, if you’re Wordpress paying for this site, get your money back! No one in China can access it without rooting around for helpful links like LarK has provided!

  82. Stan Jan 12th 2018 at 03:01 am 82

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    “Bill, if you’re Wordpress paying for this site…”

    I meant, ‘Bill, if you’re paying Wordpress for this site…’

    Man, whatever has happened to your site contagious is. Clearly that fault mine wasn’t.

  83. CIDU Bill Jan 12th 2018 at 03:49 am 83

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    “Is this actually hooking into the real back end Mysql somehow? When they fix the DNS and the GoDaddy site starts finding its own mysql service again…”

    Mitch4, you’re just making up words, right?

  84. larK Jan 12th 2018 at 11:10 am 84

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    Mitch4: No, I’m just scraping. I’m assuming these comments are being captured (they’re here now, aren’t they?) But who knows, they might flush things or reset things — in which case I’ll have links to comments that they no longer have…

  85. CIDU Bill Jan 12th 2018 at 07:19 pm 85

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    Friday night update:

    Obviously, GoDaddy missed their promise to have everything fixed by Thursday night.

    The guy I’m on the phone with right now seems to understand the problem no better than I do — which is a bit disconcerting since, as many of you know, I’m pretty much technologically illiterate.

    Actually, I’m on hold and a recording is telling me that after my call, I’ll be asked to participate in a survey to rate the quality of their customer care.

    Dude, you do not want that.

  86. CIDU Bill Jan 13th 2018 at 12:24 am 86

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    Okay, so they say 72 hours. Again.

    One good sign is that another of my sites HAS re-appeared, so they’re making some progress (I told them CIDU was the absolute priority, but apparently they went for an easier one first).

  87. CIDU Bill Jan 13th 2018 at 05:32 am 87

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    Saturday morning: the “real” site is still a mess, but thr message boxes are now showing up (I’m posting using it). I’m also seeing messages that had been posted on “larK’s version of the site,” making me more confused than ever about how he created it. I’m just going to go with “magic,” and hope he only uses his powers for good.

  88. mitch-4 Jan 13th 2018 at 10:20 am 88

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    Sorry if my question about that has muddied the waters!

  89. larK Jan 13th 2018 at 11:51 am 89

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    My version is just a cleaned up version of your site — anything posted on my cleaned up version is just posted back to your site. Your site is still the backend, I just have a prettier front end.

    I did turn GoDaddy into a newt, though.

  90. mitch-4 Jan 13th 2018 at 12:05 pm 90

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    And some doubters deny Cold Fusion even exists, while we can see its power in practice.

  91. CIDU Bill Jan 13th 2018 at 09:48 pm 91

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    Mitch4, I’m the opposite: if something that’s logically impossible actually works, like larK’s version of my site or heavier-than-air flight, I will just accrpt it.

  92. Arthur Jan 13th 2018 at 10:06 pm 92

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    Bill, I think Mitch4’s joke was conflating ColdFusion and cold
    fusion.
    https://www.adobe.com/products/coldfusion-family.html

  93. Olivier Jan 15th 2018 at 03:35 am 93

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    Hello, happy new year !
    Whenever I try CIDU, either I get the “wordpress database error” gobbledygook (and no comics) or a “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate” message (and no comics either).
    Thank Tetragrammaton for computer wizards like larK.

  94. CIDU Bill Jan 15th 2018 at 04:30 am 94

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    That is about the size of it, Olivier: GoDaddy blew up a handful of sites, including some of mine, and while they’re trying to repair the damage, larK used sorcery to create a working shadow version of CIDU.

    I doubt anybody can adequately explain to me why GoDaddy is incapable of doing the same thing.

  95. larK Jan 15th 2018 at 12:22 pm 95

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    Witchcraft! I used witchcraft!

  96. CIDU Bill Jan 15th 2018 at 06:05 pm 96

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    Monday afternoon update: Wednesday.

    Actually, they sent me an e-mail this morning telling me site had been fixed and the ticket had been closed, but apparently it’s not the policy to go online and look at the site before raising the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner.

    Seriously. The customer service guy I spoke with confirmed this and at least pretended not to understand why this was a bad policy. Even after I pointed out that this policy leads to tickets being closed while the problem remains unchanged.

    He also pointed out that the fine print in the service agreement absolves them of any responsibility if data is lost due to a catastrophic event of an Act of God. I couldn’t help pointing out that this was less an Act of God than an Act of Carelessness.

  97. Olivier Jan 16th 2018 at 03:33 am 97

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    If they use their time reading fine print in service agreements, they must not be very keen on doing the service in the first place.
    Be careful : many are the worshippers of Carelessness ;)

  98. CIDU Bill Jan 16th 2018 at 11:10 pm 98

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    I never imagined, when I started this site in 1996, that 22 years later it would be even moredifficult and frustrating to manage.

    I figured by 2018 I’d be able to do it all telepathically from my flying car.

  99. Folly Jan 17th 2018 at 11:59 am 99

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    “Alexa…update my website with a bon mot”

    C’mon GoDaddy, let’s go already!

  100. CIDU Bill Jan 17th 2018 at 08:31 pm 100

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    Okay, so it turns out GoDaddy closed the repair ticket. For a second time. Both times without making the slightest effort to check whether the problem had been fixed.

    Which in this case would be as simple as clicking on the web site

    The woman I spoke to just now (fifth call so far) at first tried to convince me it was a WordPress issue, then retracted that when she looked at the ticket that had just been cancelled. She promised to label the new ticket as “urgent.” I asked her to add a notation not to close the ticket without clicking on the web site. She agreed that this made sense, but she might have just been humoring me.

    So… once more, “everything should be working within 72 hours” (the irony being, of course, that the only people I can tell this to are the people already able to access the site)

  101. CIDU Bill Jan 17th 2018 at 08:33 pm 101

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    Folly (99), I assume 22 years from now, I’ll be able to just say “Alexa, explain today’s Arlo and Janis to me.”

  102. mitch-4 Jan 17th 2018 at 08:46 pm 102

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    So… once more, “everything should be working within 72 hours” (the irony being, of course, that the only people I can tell this to are the people already able to access the site)

    Bill #100 (!), it may be there are some CIDU fans not seeing that news here who might see it as followers or friends of your Facebook presence.

    (But why do you have so much to say about real estate opportunities? :-) )

  103. CIDU Bill Jan 17th 2018 at 09:07 pm 103

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    You are correct, Mitch-4: I’d have changed that to “almost the only people,” except of course GoDaddy won’t allow me to log into my own site.

    (No, I’m not bitter)

  104. mitch-4 Jan 17th 2018 at 09:23 pm 104

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    Just for fun — sharing the ip address
    but if you put the numerical 45.40.157.1 in a browser location bar, the Winnteka club seems to be the favored vhost (virtual host)

    let’s see how much formatting will survive

    PS C:\Users\Mitch> nslookup www.thewinnetkaclub.com
    Server: UnKnown
    Address: 2602:306:cf44:81c0::1

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: thewinnetkaclub.com
    Address: 45.40.157.1
    Aliases: www.thewinnetkaclub.com

    PS C:\Users\Mitch> nslookup www.comicsidontunderstand.com
    Server: UnKnown
    Address: 2602:306:cf44:81c0::1

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: comicsidontunderstand.com
    Address: 45.40.157.1
    Aliases: www.comicsidontunderstand.com

  105. mitch4 Jan 17th 2018 at 09:50 pm 105

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    Bah humbug! I wrote out a long explanation of that, and wordpress wouldn’t connect and accept my comment. And I had ignored my frequent precaution of copying text before pressing submit. I don’t have the heart to rewrite it right now.

  106. Olivier Jan 18th 2018 at 03:20 am 106

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    Good teasing mitch4: now I’m interested.

  107. Brian in STL Jan 18th 2018 at 02:29 pm 107

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    “I assume 22 years from now, I’ll be able to just say ‘Alexa, explain today’s Arlo and Janis to me.’”

    Using the “silver” version:

    https://youtu.be/YvT_gqs5ETk

  108. Brian in STL Jan 18th 2018 at 02:31 pm 108

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    BTW, I found out about the hijack page from rec.arts.comics.strips. Usenet isn’t totally dead!

  109. Kevin A Jan 18th 2018 at 02:35 pm 109

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    Could the folks at GoDaddy be assuming the website is operational since visitors are adding comments?
    I also wonder if their test, if they are actually doing one, is “the equivalent” of (but not truly the same as) typing “www.ComicsIDontUnderstand.com” .

  110. Ted from Ft. Laud Jan 18th 2018 at 05:52 pm 110

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    Brian in STL - /surprisingly/ not. For a fair number of years, about the only thing I’ve followed on usenet has been RACS. But a search related to Meltdown/Spectre last week took me to comp.arch, which not only isn’t dead, but is very active (as apparently are some of its related groups). I followed it from about 25 years ago until maybe 15 years ago (when I lost easy access to usenet for a while, and also lost my main “professional” reasons to follow it), and never really went back. While some of the heavy hitters from the old days are missing, some of them are still there, and much of the discussion is - as it was back then - over my head…

  111. CIDU Bill Jan 18th 2018 at 05:53 pm 111

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    Brian in STL, I just posted an update there.

  112. CIDU Bill Jan 18th 2018 at 05:56 pm 112

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    Thinking about it… I fell out of the habit of visiting RACS after CIDU went to a daily schedule (rather than a bunch of comics posting every week or so), and therefore no longer needed to post “The new CIDU just went live.”

  113. larK Jan 18th 2018 at 06:10 pm 113

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    I suppose that since the first rule of Usenet is you do not talk about Usenet, I guess having the link to the hijack site there is about as obscure as having it on my More Recent Comments site off of CIDU… But it still kinda bothers me. Point is, I don’t really want the link out there to be indexed and archived — otherwise, why not just post a direct link here?

    What I guess this means is that as soon as GoDaddy gets their acts together, I will have to actively zorch the witchcraft, rather than just letting it fade away…

    And for me, I haven’t posted to RACS since, what, 1993?

  114. Brian in STL Jan 18th 2018 at 07:05 pm 114

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    I had been a devoted usenet participant for a number of years, up until mid-September of 2011. At that time, I got a new computer at home, and decided not to set up a newsreader. More or less a cold-turkey stoppage. I did drop into rec.arts.sf.written on occasion via Google Groups to ask for reading recommendations.

    I started looking at usenet groups again about a year or so ago. It was really surprising, even shocking, how much the traffic had declined.

    RACS had always been fairly low-traffic, but there was a dedicated core. Now there’s almost nothing. A couple of guys like to track which which comics are in reruns/reuse.

    RASFW was a high-traffic group when I left, although it always had a large portion of that was off-topic crap. Now the traffic is low and the off-topic crap is almost all of it.

    Right now I follow RACS and RASFW via Google Groups and that’s it. I will be retiring from Megacorp here in a few weeks, and I haven’t decided whether to up my participation in usenet or not. At its peak, there wasn’t anything like it and there hasn’t been since. Probably reddit is as close as you get to centralized discussion on a wide range of topics.

    I miss fun little groups like alt.fan.tom-servo. They were kind of the canaries in the coal mine. When those began dropping below critical mass, I knew things were turning. Today, some are doing . . . okay I guess. But it’s kind of like the mall where a few stores that face out to the parking lot are in business, but the interior is a ghost-town. The future ain’t bright.

  115. mitch4 Jan 18th 2018 at 11:51 pm 115

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    I was just going to do a quick and very incomplete primer on DNS.

    There are many things the Domain Name Service (or System) is used for, but a fundamental part of it is “translating” from a domain name, or hostname in a domain, to the numerical IP address associated with that name. That’s necessary for most communications on the internet, because the names aren’t really addresses (though people do say “web address” sometimes for a domain + hostname), and most messages or requests need to go somewhere specified by a real address, which is to say, a numerical IP address.

    In comment 104, Ï was using a user-oriented tool called nslookup to look up the ip addresses for a couple of names. For “www.comicsidontunderstand.com” the answer was “45.40.157.1″. (There is other stuff in the command response, mostly about identifying the server that is answering the query.) For ” www.thewinnetkaclub.com” the answer was also “45.40.157.1″. I could also have asked about a hostname “ip-45-40-157-1.ip.secureserver.net” and the answer would have been that same numerical ip address.

    There’s nothing actually wrong with that. A hosting company like goDaddy can have many customers with different domain names all sitting on one physical server which might have just one IP address. (Also they will have their own name for it, not connected to any client — like the “ip-45-40-157-1.ip.secureserver.net” in this case.) These are different virtual hosts, or vhosts.

    If you type either “www.comicsidontunderstand.com” or ” www.thewinnetkaclub.com” into a web browser, it will send an http request for a web page in both cases to the same place, IP “45.40.157.1″. The names were used to get the IP address, but weren’t totally discarded after serving that purpose. The name is sent as part of the request, and the web server software at “45.40.157.1″ will use the transmitted name to figure out which customer vhost files to send back.

    If you plug in just the numerical 45.40.157.1, or the hosting company’s native name for ther server “ip-45-40-157-1.ip.secureserver.net”, into the location bar of the web browser, what happens? It just depends on what their setup is. In this case — give it a try. Whoa! I get The Winnetka Club. That means they are sort of the most-favored child — the default vhost.

    (to be continued)

  116. mitch4 Jan 18th 2018 at 11:51 pm 116

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    The tool I was using there is somewhat different from what happens when your web browser or other program needs to convert a domain name or hostname. A program like nslookup (or “host”, or “dig”) queries a DNS server for you (either the one it defaults to or one you specify) , but there is a more complicated system when a program that actually needs to use the ip address result looks for it. There is a hierarchy of ways it will look, starting on your device itself, where it might have stored in a cache the result from a previous time it wanted to know — if it has the answer and obtained it from outside not too long ago, so it is not stale, it will go with what it already knows, or thinks it knows. If it has no answer, or the one it has is old enough to count as stale, it will escalate the query to the next in a chain of sources.

    Next may be a cache on your local access point (in its role as “router”, to accept a common misnomer), and then a DNS server specified by your ISP, and then the DNS servers that one looks to as authorities, and so on. At some point an answer is decided on, and gets updated at each step back down the chain. It’s a little complicated as described, but that is what makes it a distributed system, and what allows it to function without bogging down the root authorities, as would happen if all queries had to be resolved centrally.

    That business about using the latest answer you already have, if it is recent enough to not count as stale, typically may be around three days. This is why you sometimes hear that DNS changes can take that long to “propagate”. It’s not that transmission could actually take that long, but that there is a timeout involved. Nowadays it is generally shorter in practice, but your provider may say three days out of habit or to be safe.

    And indeed, if your hosting company moves your site, for a while end users looking for www.comicsidontunderstand.com will not know it is at 45.40.157.1 and will be sending their requests to maybe 72.167.183.13 and not get a good result. Again, things have improved over the years, and now the old server is likely to send back a notice of permanently changed address, which will trigger the DNS chain to skip the timeout and force an update.

    (to be continued)

  117. mitch4 Jan 18th 2018 at 11:52 pm 117

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    One thing thing that may be going wrong is if the web server software is querying the backend database MySQL at the worng address, because their own internal DNS has got it wrong. That makes WP in the web server (and the PHP and Apache programs underlying it) think those tables are just missing, as though they were erased somehow. Those are the error messages we see, about missing tables. But though that interrupts things on the web service so we dont see good pages in ordinary web browsing, clearly it is able to go on with things well enough in the background, so that the scraping and cleaning/filtering works.

    If goDaddy is just testing that a DNS change has propagated, that seems already done, and accounts for why they repeatedly think their work is done. In terms of testing, of course they absolutely have to just try raising the site in a web browser, as Bill has been telling them.
    But then, in terms of testing for what’s causing the errors we see and they will see, I hope they focus on the MySQL backend connection, and the things that can go wrong there. One possibility is my odd hunch about internal DNS; but there could also be problems with authentication to MySQL or actual damage to the database at some point.

    Errors with the MySQL database and how the server is connecting to it are not, strictly speaking, WordPress errors, though it’s related and could go under that label if it helps. But it should not go under that label if that is GoDaddy hosting support making an excuse that it is not their problem to solve anymore.

    continued wishes for good luck!

  118. Brian in STL Jan 19th 2018 at 01:43 am 118

    WordPress database error: [Table 'com0800608122374.wp_users' doesn't exist]
    SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = '2' LIMIT 1

    Could you expand on that?

  119. CIDU Bill Jan 19th 2018 at 01:51 am 119

    WordPress database error: [Table 'com0800608122374.wp_users' doesn't exist]
    SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = '2' LIMIT 1

    larK, in case you misunderstood my comment about “a new CIDU is up,” rest assured that I have been not been publicizing this temporary version, because I know we’re guests on your server: I was referring to the fact that I used to use RACS to announce the site’s weekly-ish updates.

  120. Olivier Jan 19th 2018 at 03:27 am 120

    WordPress database error: [Table 'com0800608122374.wp_users' doesn't exist]
    SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = '2' LIMIT 1

    @mitch4: now, I feel like I somewhat understand what’s going on, so thanks !

  121. larK Jan 19th 2018 at 08:57 am 121

    WordPress database error: [Table 'com0800608122374.wp_users' doesn't exist]
    SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = '2' LIMIT 1

    No, Bill, it was certainly not your comment I was alluding to — you fully get the semi-clandestine nature I am going for. It was that on RACS someone posted a direct link to the shadow site, so that that link is now forever there on Google’s index. I thought it was kind of clear I was trying to avoid that (certainly you got it), I mean, otherwise, why not just post of direct link here instead of being circuitous about it?

    And yes, Usenet lives forever. I once had some wisenheimer resurrect a comment of mine off Usenet some 20 years later on some forum I’ve never been to, and then the forum toadies spent a good long time kicking me and burning me in effigy because they didn’t like what I had had to say 20 years before. And scarily their goto method was to try and doxx me — as if that would put me in my place for daring to have a contrary opinion 20 years earlier — and even more scary was how bad they were at it. My name full name signed the post, and the best they were able to come up with was my LinkedIn page, which I have long ago given up for satire. The best part of all this was I didn’t even find out I was being mortally insulted in this forum until 2 or 3 years after this all went down when I happened to do a vanity Google search on my name (and all the clear links to me and pictures of my life and even my address and phone number (old, but don’t tell them that) where there for the taking from a simple Google search …)

    Even here with my semi-obscurity, I know anyone who really wants to can trivially find out all about me based on the address (sorry, mitch4 — domain name!) it’s hosted from. Still, I would have been happier without a permanent link in Google…

  122. Brian in STL Jan 19th 2018 at 12:46 pm 122

    WordPress database error: [Table 'com0800608122374.wp_users' doesn't exist]
    SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = '2' LIMIT 1

    Probably the best idea would be to have someone post to that usenet thread once the problem is fixed. It’s true that in the future someone might read it and go to yours anyway, but I think we’re talking such a small number of people that the effect will be very small.

  123. CIDU Bill Jan 20th 2018 at 01:31 am 123

    WordPress database error: [Table 'com0800608122374.wp_users' doesn't exist]
    SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = '2' LIMIT 1

    Well, THIS is a bad sign: the customer service person I spoke with the other day gave me an e-mail address I could use to get follow-ups. And the address is invalid.

    I never had the experience, when I was younger, of a girl giving me a fake phone number so I couldn’t actually call her, but now a customer service woman from GoDaddy’s done it to me!

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