Weeknotes 13

1st April 2019 – 7th April 2019

A busy week between work, childcare and tiredness.

Client work

I finally got access to my client’s new server from my development machine, which runs OSX and was having trouble. The end part of the week became packaging up their main site, test site, and 30+ small sites and moving them over to the new server and setting them up again.

We had been using a couple of different ways of doing URL re-writing on the old server, layered in over time. One of them didn’t work on the new server so I had to update several sites to use something IIS 8.5 could run. Unfortunately IIS 8.5 seems a touch fragile, in that whenever I stuffed up a re-write rule it stopped responding and needed it’s service restarting, taking out everything not just the site or set of directories affected by the re-writing. I was glad I got a chance to fiddle with them before the sites were live as although restarting the service didn’t take long, it was still more downtime than I’d like.

Moving the sites was a little time consuming but not too bad, mainly compressing them in to big files and transferring between servers – nice and quick as they’re in the same datacentre (or ‘cloud’, which of course is another name for a datacentre in this case.) Most of the time disappeared in to getting email sending through the client’s web servers – always a problem as it involves two layers of support at their IT support firm, setting up SQL Server and transferring a database, configuring ColdFusion, and myriad other small fixes.

To get everything done quickly before the client starts getting charged for running two servers – they get a grace period for a cross over, a lot of which was chewed up getting me access to the new server – I worked a chunk of Sunday to make progress, knowing the school Easter holiday starting next week would mean a lot of my time would disappear on family things. Hopefully the move will be finished early next week.

My Projects

I have a small web app which I made a couple of years ago to track how my marketing for my app and the Farm was progressing. As part of it’s monitoring of what I put out, it reads the RSS feed of this site and I noticed that was failing. A quick investigation discovered that it didn’t like certain types of secure certificate, i.e. the type used by Let’s Encrypt, due to the version of Java running under the site (which uses Railo, an open source ColdFusion engine.)

At the moment I’m putting up with the irritation of it not working. I might up my hosting package at Viviotech to get some space running Lucee, a more recent open source ColdFusion engine. That’d be cheaper and more robust than spending the time trying to write around the problem, which would involve me having to work out which feeds are affected and then crawl them via another of my sites running something that can read the certificates correctly. Delving in to that felt like a big distraction so I’ve left it for now.


I got quite a lot done, in the time I had for work as I was doing a lot of school runs and childcare this week and felt knackered for a lot of it.

A bonus was several hours of no pain from my hip on Tuesday morning, which I’m putting down to doing several short walks in the day on Monday as I needed thinking time for solving some problems. I tried to replicate that in other parts of the week but didn’t quite manage it.

The gap in pain brought home to me how used I am to having it play up in one way or another at the moment, which is not really positive for the future as I was rather hoping my hip would last for as long as I need it (say, another 40 years or so) and it doesn’t seem to be going that way.


Not enough time on this as I got time in for one lesson, but haven’t managed to schedule some exercise/research time, which I need in a couple of decent sized blocks. Hopefully I’ll be able to get that done once the server move is done.

The Farm

Once again in the Caxton Arms this week, and numbers down to just a dozen, although it was quite a good night – sometimes the smaller group can feel that way as you get a chance to follow so many conversations and threads.

  • Finding bugs in your own old software
  • Car problem noises
  • Doing your accounts
  • Reconsillyrubbish
  • Pay an accountant or do your own accounts?
  • Hardcoded paths and IDs that should never have been hardcoded
  • Mutual almost project catch up
  • Rates for Node.js work in London are _very_ high right now
  • Cavern diving in Mexico
  • “If you crash it, you pay!”
  • Mega zip wires
  • Bitcoin
  • Mackrel, dogfish and fishing on hard mode
  • Learning fishing from YouTube
  • Is there an ethical way to catch a fish?
  • How to kill a goat
  • How to tell a potential client their budget is just too low for what they want to do
  • Cat stories
  • Addiction to Love Hearts

Reading: Finished Ancillary Mercy, which I found very satisfying but I can see why some people don’t like the series. I’m going to try to find time to do a longer write up of some of the themes I saw in the books, hopefully I’ll find time rather than letting it fade in to the background because of work. Started A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick, as something completely different.

Writing with: I did indeed stick to the Zebra Z-Grip Max until it was finished, then switched on to a Papermate Inkjoy 0.5 needlepoint, which is also a nice, smooth writer.

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