The MacDeskBlog Happenings in, around and affecting MacDesktops. Inspired by my ridiculously long house foundation replacement project.

28 August 2011

MacDesktops 10 April 1998 – 15 October 2011

Filed under: MacDesktops,pictures,servers and hosting,site maintenance — Ryan Walker @ 8:30 pm

Well folks, it is time for me to declare victory and move on.

When I started MacDesktops in April of 1998, Apple Computer was going out of business for 10 years if you believed the pundits and analysts. Today, Apple Inc is the highest valued technology company in the world (maybe the highest valued US company period depending up the time and day). In 1998, Mac users were an oppressed minority, struggling to keep our toe holds at work. Today, Mac users are not questioned about our choice of platform. In 1998, Mac users had to go to Mac news web sites to find out about new products. Today, Apple Inc gets weeks of headlines in every major newspaper leading into and trailing out of each announcement. Authors mention Apple in articles just to get page views. In 1998, Apple Computer (re)hired Chiat-Day as their advertising agency. C-D brought us the Think Different campaign, the early iMac campaigns, and the first iPod campaigns. Their messages were heartening, cute and frequently funny. Their ads made for great desktop pictures. Today, I have no idea who makes Apple’s ads. They’re simple and elegant, but ultimately boring.

For the first decade, I was excited to be providing this service. For the past couple of years, I’ve been phoning it in. Submissions have dropped off precipitously over the past two years. I lost my statistics server for the site at least 5 years ago and never replaced it, so I don’t even know how many of you still visit. I expect that you number several thousand now compared to hundreds of thousands back around the turn of the century.

So, I am ceasing updates to MacDesktops. I plowed through the backlog and filled the queue through October 15th.

MacDesktops will remain up as an archive, with the homepage showing a vertical tasting of pictures over the years from the current day.

I hope you enjoy these final installments.

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19 December 2010

Preferences problems

Filed under: MacDesktops,servers and hosting,site maintenance — Ryan Walker @ 7:56 am

I’ve received a few reports of problems with people’s preference settings being forgotten and being unable to reset them. I hope to resolve this within the next few days.

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16 September 2010

Reconfiguration complete

Filed under: MacDesktops,servers and hosting,site maintenance — Ryan Walker @ 11:26 am

I’ve finished with my planned server configuration changes. Hopefully, the site should be stable now. You may notice that pictures now download from two different servers, images.macdesktops.com and images2.macdesktops.com. The only noticeable side effect of this is that 50% of the time links to JPEGs you have already viewed will look like you haven’t viewed them before (blue links vs red links, for example).

If you encounter any further problems, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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15 September 2010

Server problem likely

Filed under: MacDesktops,servers and hosting,site maintenance — Ryan Walker @ 12:13 pm

It looks like the server hung today. I’m investigating. Additional configuration changes are likely over the next day or two. Additional downtime is possible. I apologize for the inconveniences.

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Image server fixed

Filed under: MacDesktops,servers and hosting,site maintenance — Ryan Walker @ 4:16 am

It looks like my configuration changes yesterday were faulty. I apologize for the unplanned outage. Everything looks solid now. If you encounter any further problems, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Special thanks to Rene for alerting me to the problem.

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14 September 2010

Image server cutover

Filed under: MacDesktops,servers and hosting — Ryan Walker @ 11:38 am

Huge thanks to Eric and the rest of the folks at ImportGSM for years of free bandwidth. Happily for them, they are outgrowing their server. So, we’re moving off of it. Today. Theoretically, it already happened, but your DNS may vary.

Images should now be served from DreamHost.

Please let me know if you encounter any broken image links, errors, or broken image icons.

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26 March 2010

Mail server cutover

Filed under: MacDesktops,servers and hosting,site maintenance — Ryan Walker @ 7:20 am

The mail server for MacDesktops.com is being cutover right now. I think that I should receive all mail sent during the cutover, though some will be delayed.

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New announcement lists

Filed under: blog entry,MacDesktops,servers and hosting,site maintenance — Ryan Walker @ 5:25 am

I just finished configuring the new announcement lists on Dreamhost. If you were subscribed to any of the announcement lists, you should have received a confirmation email from the new list on Dreamhost. If you don’t see it, then please check your Spam/Junk folder to see if it was filtered.

If you do not click the confirmation link in the email or if you did not receive one, you will stop receiving announcements.

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11 February 2010

announcements offline, email transitioning

Filed under: blog entry,MacDesktops,servers and hosting — Ryan Walker @ 12:01 pm

I’ve been planning to migrate mail to a new server. The current server must have caught wind of it because it decided this morning to disable the announcement mailing lists. Rather than troubleshoot the problem, I am working on migrating mail. I hope to have announcements working again within the next few days.

[Update] The mail server decided that announcements are okay again. I’m still working on the transition to a new mail server, but the urgency is reduced. I hope to avoid any mail server or announcement outages during this process. [/Update]

[Update 2] It appears that I gummed up my mail server for a couple of days. Some of you probably received multiple daily updates or updates for Thursday or Friday this morning. I’m finished with the groundwork for this transition, but the cutover is still to come. [/Update 2]

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9 September 2009

Preferences fixed

Filed under: MacDesktops,servers and hosting,site maintenance — Ryan Walker @ 12:53 am

I’m pretty sure that I fixed site preferences. It appears that Dreamhost changed PHP versions and/or configuration on me, probably when I had to upgrade to a virtual private server. As a result, cookies were not being retrieved successfully.

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