In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Category: administrivia Page 1 of 2

Attention readers…

Things might be a little wonky around here.

I’ve noticed a few issues and I decided to reinstall the blog software from scratch. Some of the graphic links are non-functional until I repair them.

Please stand by. We appreciate your patience.

Web Hosting Canada

We had a good run. I signed up with Enginehosting about a week short of twelve years ago. Things went well for the most part, and I was happy with their service. Until now.

About a month ago, I couldn’t log into the server via SFTP. I contacted support, and with their guidance I found that while I could not log in using MacOS 10.13 High Sierra, I could get in with a virtualized copy of 10.8 Mountain Lion. With Christmas rapidly approaching, I downloaded my backup files with 10.8 and enjoyed the holidays.

Afterward, before I could get back to the SFTP problem, I found that I was unable to update the WordPress plugins or WordPress itself. When I tried, I was prompted for my FTPS hostname, username, and password. That’s never happened before, but I entered the required information and my credentials were not accepted. When I submitted a ticket regarding this latest problem, the answer came as quite a surprise.

Most likely your WordPress install needs to be running on new technology than what is on your Enginehosting account to successfully upgrade. We recommend moving the account to one of our Arcustech plans, as Enginehosting is a dead product line.

I know they started a new ‘brand’ more tailored to enterprise customers. It was difficult to not notice the prices were higher. I thought they’d continue to support their Enginehosting customers indefinitely, but it seems I was wrong. If they wanted to shut down Enginehosting, I expected they would act in a business-like manner and let their remaining customers know with enough notice to make alternate arrangements. They didn’t do this. Rather, they stopped updating the support software on the servers until their clients’ software broke. Not cool.

Given that my renewal date is later this week, I set out examining web hosting services based in Canada. Privacy laws are significantly different in the U.S. so I want to bring things back into the country. I finally settled on Web Hosting Canada. Not only is it significantly cheaper, but my SSL certificate is included. The price I used to pay yearly is now my price for three years. Score!

Now we’ll see how well their service and support performs.

Company logo ©2018 Web Hosting Canada

Note to self…


Don’t futz with the mechanics of your website from work when you don’t have your SFTP log-in credentials.

Don’t be tempted to make one little change to a WordPress theme when you can’t replace the file you’re editing because you don’t have the above-mentioned credentials.

While that’s bad enough, certainly don’t make that change when you aren’t going home after work, where home is the only place you can easily repair the damage. Even though a quick bite to eat doesn’t take long, you look like a damned fool when any attempt to access your site returns a PHP error for hours on end.

When you do finally get home, don’t let yourself forget of the error because it’s so embarrassing … because it’s much more embarrassing when you realize, after you’ve been home for three hours, that you haven’t yet implemented the three-minute fix.

Get it? Got it! Good.

On the bright side, all the archives and category listings are now tucked away on a separate page accessible from the menu bar below the site title. Every other page will now load faster without all that baggage.

It’s progress because I’ve wanted to make this change for six months, and finally figured out how now. Yes, it’s a “two steps forward, one step back” kind of progress, but I’m okay with this.


I made a bit of a change. Okay, it’s quite a significant change. Welcome to Thematic by ThemeShaper.

The previous theme was nice in its simplicity, but I’ve been unhappy without easily accessible category links, and with having the archives and RSS links jammed to the bottom of the page.

This theme also has far more pleasing text spacing with the text being a little larger and easier to read, I think. The comments are much easier to read as well.

That said, there are some changes I’d like to make, but the basics are all here. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Let’s see if this does the trick

Microsoft blows. They used to go out of their way to make their browsers non-standard in an attempt to get everyone to use them. People haven’t bought into that crap so they’re moving away from doing this. Thank goodness.

Now the problem is that millions of people are using Internet Explorer 6 and it will sometimes not render a standards-compliant page correctly. No other browser will have any problem, including newer versions of Internet Explorer. So just upgrade? Not so simple. I know a lot of you, the readers of my noodling, work for the government and I wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t upgrade even if you wanted to. Even worse is that many still use Windows 2000, and Microsoft will not allow you to install Internet Explorer 7 on Windows 2000. Why? Because they want you to buy a newer version of Windows, that’s why. In the meantime, they’re sticking you with a six-year-old browser. Lovely.

Two of you told me that this site was not being displayed correctly so before you, you see what action I’ve taken. A new theme that’s far simpler than the old one. Welcome to DePo Skinny. As far as I can tell, it works in all browsers without any problems. If you have any comments or suggestions, you know where to reach me.

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