Category Archives: Admin

Design Change

Finally I was forced to update the design of

The old theme has been around since before WordPress 1.0, I’ve kept it together by hacking it occassionally. Finally I needed a reliable and modern theme. So welcome to “fresh”.

Let me know if anything has broken.

Bot trap installed – Spambots need not apply

Over the last two months this site has been absolutely hammered by spambots — automated programs designed to use this site for sending spam, spamming search engines or other nefarious activities.

None have got through to any public pages or done anything useful. But I’ve had about 12,000 unique bots visit in March alone. This became too much to ignore, plus it was making my logs a mess and interfering with my writing on this site. Everytime I went to blog on wealth creation I’d be reminded that “Something had to be done”â„¢.

Anyway I’ve done something about it. The most hit page is an old, no longer existing page from years ago. So it now contains a bot-trap. While setting it up the earlier version of the script caught 38 badly behaved bots in one hour. That’s 38 bots which did not bother to read the standard robots.txt file that almost every website has.

Slowly I’ll implement the bot-trap on all the pages of the site. Should any reader accidently find it and get themselves banned, there is even an automatic unban option for humans.

Thanks to Daniel M. Webb on whose Bot-trap I’ve based my work.

Update 335 IP addresses have been banned in the first week of the bot trap. The beauty of this system is if any of them are dynamic IP addresses that are subsequently legitimately reused, those visitors can automatically get themselves unbanned.

I’m still around

No I haven’t vanished off the face of the earth. My health is suffering, plus this domain is getting hammered by spammers at the moment – I don’t think any is getting through. I basically need a few uninterrupted hours to restore the design for the new version of WordPress I’m using.

Then I can resume my meanderings.

I’ve retired most of Dreamspinner’s trading diary as it was a favourite target for these spammers. Folks I hope you never buy anything as a result of an unsolicited bulk email. ‘Tis because of the 0.001% of recipients that do buy their junk that we are buried under their refuse today.

Funnily enough I deleted 8,000 spam emails and 5,000 virus emails from a client mail server today. They had 200 mild false positives – nothing earth shattering to have missed.
I no longer feel angry about email spam as my tools are now so good that I actually scan my Junk mail folder daily in case of false positives. I get very few.

Comment problem

It turns out that the update to WordPress 1.5 exposed an incompatability in our comments system. For now we’re using the default WP 1.5 layout while we fix it. At least commenting is working again. Please leave a comment so I can test it.

Our regular design will return shortly.

Upgrade to WordPress 1.5

WordPress, the software running this blog, was upgraded to version 1.5

That’s fantastic news as the new features look exciting. However the template system changes are non-trivial. After breaking it, I found these WordPress Upgrading 1.2 to 1.5 Instructions which got everything working properly again. It is a bit tricky – it isn’t obvious that you take your existing 1.2 files, edit them separately and put them into the template structure. Also the header in the style.css file is essential for it to work.

Please comment or email if something is broken. If you don’t know our email address try blog at this domain.

Entries restored

I’ve restored the main entries for the blog. Interestingly the corruption appears to have been in the category related to the succession wars.

Comments are not fully restored yet (and may never be).

But at least we’re operational again.

Please advise of anything strange

Design Changes

I’m gradually restoring the design elements of WealthEsteem. Those of you who remember it should be happy.

Given the improvements to WordPress I’m going to redo the design from the ground up so in the meantime I’ve used the simple_sky style by Chris M of Thanks Chris it looks great.

Let me know if something isn’t working. For now there is not calender. Hopefully it will be back soon.

Update I’m just finished the design at 1:43am Tuesday 17 February 2004. Let me know if anything broke.