Monthly Archive for October, 2005

Dreamhost Review

Ok, so heres my mini review of Dreamhost.

Dreamhost is definitely not as easy to use as my previous host, alot of features that were provided automatically with hostm.com have to ‘manually’ configured. For instance, hostm.com had a 1-click install feature for blogs and forums. Now dreamhost claims to have a one click install, but it really isn’t one click, dreamhost simply sets up the mySQL database and automatically fills out the database config file, Hostm did everything for you.

However, dreamhost provides alot of power with their hosting. Since you have SSH access to the server you can compile custom versions of PHP, or any other command line application you need. I compiled CSS Optimizer on dreamhost without any problems. Additionally, you can add cron-jobs, set your preferred command line editor, look an man pages; anything you could do on a linux box sitting right next to you. Sweetness.

Dreamhost also provides alot of bandwidth, diskspace, email; all that good stuff you look for in a host. The best part is that each month they increase the bandwidth and diskspace. Along the same lines they have a suggestions section where you can vote for features to be added to your hosting account. Dreamhost asks the customers what they want instead of guessing; I wonder why more companies don’t do this, it makes so much sense.

One of my favorite ‘features’ is dreamhost’s incredible knowledge base and wiki set that contains useful information about the ins and outs of their hosting service. This is very cool, instead of having to email their support team most of the time you can find answers to most of your questions through either the k-base or the wiki, an awesome time saver.

Referrals are another great thing about dreamhost. You get $100 for everybody who signs up with dreamhost using your user id, I dont think many hosts have a good as referral program as that. (if your going to sign up for dreamhost I would very much appreciate it if you signed up using my user id, iloveitaly, as the refferal id)

Overall dreamhost is an awesome host, its lived up the reputation that it has on the web. But, there were a few things I didn’t really like about their hosting:

  • If you access your email with an email client (which most computer users do) you have to this cryptic login name.
  • Each mysql database must have its own hostname. This is very annoying, if you have 5 mysql databases you must have 5 different hostnames listed in your connection list for your favorite mysql database editor (mine being YourSQL).
  • One-click installs aren’t really one-click installs

So, thats my mini review of dreamhost. Hopefully someone who is contemplating using dreamhost will find it useful.

Woops: Software Versions

I accidentally uploaded older versions of all the software on this site over to the new server. If you downloaded any of the software on this site within the last few days, you probably downloaded an outdated version. Just wanted to give everyone the heads up :)

Switched!

Everything has been successfully switched over to the new Dreamhost server! So far so good, the only gotcha I came across was that Dreamhost has disabled allow_url_fopen for security reasons, so including files in this fashion would not work, all paths had to be relative:

<?php require_once "http://developer.mabwebdesign.com/something.html"; ?>

I ended up adding the root server directory to

include_path

to allow me to reffer to files with an absolute filepath without using the http://blabla.com.

Other than that everything went pretty well, Dreamhost has a very extensive k-base and wiki which helped me very quikly resolve other small issues that I came across. As you may have noticed, theres a good bunch of changes made to the site:

  • Source section has be reconstructed, rendering issues on IE and FF have been resolved. Additionally PHP source code is now nicely displayed with colors!
  • Some CSS issues with text-size and link coloring have been fixed
  • The structure of pages has been redone to easily allow for a future redesign
  • Lots of additions have been made to CSS Optimizer. There is now a online version of CSS Optimizer, and a new online CSS Uncompresser (or reformatter, whatever you want to call it). Both online CSS tools are powered by Sajax, which makes communicating to PHP via AJAX incredibly simple.
  • Upgraded WordPress to the latest version
  • Added a WordPress plugin for code highlighting

If you notice any problems with any section of the site let me know.

I have a bunch of stuff I’m working on, CSS Optimizer 1.0 is almost ready for release, App Stop 1.1 is also almost ready for release, and a new project is also almost ready to be released. I’ll hopefully release everything over the next few weeks!

I’m getting alot of comment spam, probably about 100-200 a week. I currently am manually moderating them through WordPress. I’ve read about a few ways to reduce comment spam but was wondering if anybody solution. Leave a comment, or shoot me an email if you’ve found a method that has worked well.

Downtime Tommorow

I’ll be switching this site, along with my freelancer site, over to my new dreamhost server tomorrow. Expect a few hours of downtime. I have few new things that I will be announcing once I get the site successfully transfered over.

AS3

Wow, those engineers at Macromedia must really be coding hard. Less than 2 months after Flash 8 was released we now have Flash Player 8.5 and AS3. I cant keep up with all these new technologies. :P

I looked through the AS3 FAQ and all the new features are very exciting. AS is really moving towards being a full featured language like Java or C. We now have types such as int, uint and variable identifiers such as const- sweet. Flash 8.5 (finally!) has a regular expression class, why did it take them so long to add this? Lots of additional classes have been added, AS3 is looking more like a framework like Cocoa; very cool. We’ll have to wait a year or two before we can start using all these new features, which is fine since it will take me that long to learn them all :)

Sed Messed Up on OS X?

While trying to further my knowledge in unix/shell programming I’ve found that the unix command sed is messed up in os x. I think the problem is that the GNU/linux versions of some commands are different that the Darwin/BSD versions, this might be obvious to you linux/unix gurus out there but to me this is new news. I always assumed that the functionality in the commands on os x and most linux variants were the same.

In any case, I downloaded the GNU sed source code and compiled a nice fixed sed command for myself (After I compiled it I found out you could of just easily gotten GNU sed through fink-commander. :P ). Walla, the newline problem I was having with the mac os x version of sed was fixed.