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JoshMiller

Josh Miller has been a hobbyist blogger and writer online since 1998 on a variety of topics mostly centered on Video Games, Toys, and Technology. Josh has also worked in the technical end of the television industry for many years.

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My Failed Venture as a Hockey Team Manager

So, a few months back, in an effort to expand my horizons and try something new, I joined a Fantasy Hockey league.  I had been considering Fantasy Football but I’ve been wanting to check out Hockey a bit more and the opportunity just sort of came up.  Many other people in the league were newbies to Fantasy Hockey at least, though I have no idea of their level of knowledge on real Hockey.  It seemed like a good idea.

So i went to the draft.  Having no idea what I was doing I picked out players that they system told me were “best” for each position and then for a while i picked players with funny names, then I started picking players off the bottom of the list just for the hell of it.

I started losing games.

I tried to fix this by doing some trading and swapping but having no idea what I was doing, I think I may have ended up playing with half a roster.  Probably not real good for points.

At this point, my team is 2-11 on W-L and I’m ranked Ninth in a league of ten teams.

Screenshot from 2015-01-15 08:22:28

I’d say that’s kind of an abysmal failure.  It also didn’t really help kindle any interest in Fantasy Sports or Hockey, so there was failure on those fronts as well.

But hey, at least I tried something new I guess.

JoshMiller

Josh Miller has been a hobbyist blogger and writer online since 1998 on a variety of topics mostly centered on Video Games, Toys, and Technology. Josh has also worked in the technical end of the television industry for many years.

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Testing The Waters on Digital Ocean

A while back I set up a Digital Ocean VPS running OpenSIM.  I then promptly forgot about Digital Ocean.  Part of the problem was I forgot my password and form some lame reason the email didn’t show up when I searched my emails for “Digital Ocean”.  It was also more of a fun side project that didn’t really cost anything since DO gives you some credit when you sign up.

I’m thinking of using my VPS for a bit more though, specifically, as my new Web Host.  I currently use GoDaddy which works great and is affordable but I’m starting to do a bit more experimenting and coding and I feel like i could benefit from something with a little more versatility.  For a few bucks more than I currently pay for Godaddy I can get a pretty decent VPS going and at the very least host all of the blogs I currently maintain on it (currently 4 with little to no traffic, and 3 with reasonably light traffic).  i can always beef up the VPS if the load ends up being too much.

I wanted to test out the migration and set up though, I was going to move Raid-Tier over but it’s kind of in a state of limbo and i wanted something I use with some content behind it.  If I am going to discretely move my wife’s blogs over interruption free I need to KNOW I can do it and KNOW it will work.  One, she’ll get pissy if it doesn’t and two she is getting a fair amount of traffic and I’d hate to interrupt that.

So I moved Joshmiller.net here over.  I also moved my little Sandbox Project over at BloggingIntensifies.com over as well but mostly because it’s inconsequential if it gets lost somehow and I wanted a second domain on the hosting so I could make sure I’m doing the server configuration properly.

The migration wasn’t without issues.  For one, the SQL export from this blog is larger than I could get the SQL locally to import so I had to do an old fashioned WordPress import/export.  In my experience the WordPress import/export works great for small volumes of data but extremely poorly for large volumes of data.

I also had FTP issues, All of the help files for vsftp I could find were outdated (not uncommon with trying to solve Linux issues) and there is some newer “feature” i couldn’t figure out that seems to amount to “vsftp won’t run if root has ftp access”.  I’m not sure that’s right because like I said, I didn’t figure it out, i used SSH file transfer instead.  I needed to move all of the images from the old host to this host, all 3-4000 of them.  Its not a huge amount of files but it is a LOT of files.

i still have permissions issues I have not figured out.  Permissions are probably the most annoying part of using Linux, yeah yeah blah blah security, I get that, but fuck there is all this users and groups and who owns the files and who can write/use the files and what user and group are the processes using.  It’s kind of insane.  I even tried the whole “give everything full perms chmod 777″ method to no success.

Which has left some broken internal links on this blog.  I’ll do some backend SQL work on it but basically, I set up the old blog to run on /Year/Month/Day/PostTitle Permalinks and the new one uses the ugly post?### style.  for some reason WordPress can’t change this setting in .htaccess and it still doesn’t work when I manually create the .htaccess file.  So screw it, for now it’s ugly links all around.

Phase two will be to pull Lameazoid and Raid-Tier over, if those go smoothly I’ll start with my wife’s less used/trafficked blog and see if she even notices, then work my way up from there.  The whole process actually should be seamless all around since ultimately the domain will point to the same structure and data on the same domain.

The point is do get a more versatile host to do some more complex projects without paying for TWO hosts.  I’d rather pay more for one host than putz with two hosts which end up costing more.  I also still plan to keep Godaddy for my domains for now, I’m not unhappy with the service over there by any means, I’ve just outgrown it.

JoshMiller

Josh Miller has been a hobbyist blogger and writer online since 1998 on a variety of topics mostly centered on Video Games, Toys, and Technology. Josh has also worked in the technical end of the television industry for many years.

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I Don’t Know What do Do with Lameazoid…

I am at a bit of a loss…

I don’t know what to do with Lameazoid.  I have killed it and tried to revive it several times over the past couple of years.  I just have to admit, my heart just isn’t there anymore.  It’s still kind of my baby but at this point it feels like I keep shocking it back to life only for it to struggle to breath for a few more months before it lapses into a coma again.

I don’t plan to wipe it out completely like I did last time, I just don’t know if I want to bother updating it anymore.  Almost all of my content over last year was World of Warcraft Related, and i even spun all of that off into a new WoW related blog.  I’m not sure if I even want to bother with that anymore…  I like the idea, I am just kind of tired of trying to make everything into some sort of blog experience.  I just don’t have the time to do reviews to the level I’d like to do them.  I don’t like reviewing games I have not played all the way through. I’ve been doing my best to make my own screen shots, which is easy on PC but a pain on consoles (The screen shots on my Beyond Two Souls Review were all done with my DSLR and cropped down.  They came out nice enough but that’s a pain, I have to set up the cemera on the tripod and make sure things are good and square, then keep the remote shutter handy in case something exciting happens.

I think a lot of it comes down to i just don’t care anymore.  It’s like reviewing toys.  I pretty much only buy things I know I actually care about so it became pointless.  I’m not going to blow money on shit just so I can have some negative reviews.  It also gets a little repetitious.  I’ve been doing this for a while.

I’ve tried all sorts of angles, new review styles, posting more newsy things, etc.  I just feel like I am not doing the vision justice.  There are better places to get news and better places to find reviews.  Besides everything these days is videos and Youtube, which I hate.  It’s kind of ironic since I can and have edited and produced videos, i just have no desire to do it for my blog.  It’s probably, once again, a time issue.  Shooting and properly editing video takes time.  If I lived in a perfect world where i could just produce content all day as my job then I might consider it but that crap just flat out isn’t reliable enough to you know, make a real living.

Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky but I find it real “cute” when these young kids think they can make a career out of making videos for Youtube.  The ones that make anything worthwhile are few and the ones who keep making anything worthwhile after even a year are even fewer.  “Gamer dudes” who can act stupid or edgy in front of a camera are a dime a dozen and “gamer girls” with huge cleavage and nothing worthwhile to offer content wise are even more plentiful.

I’ve considered other options.  I could write for someone else on the side, less frequently.  I’ve considered seeing if I could get some others to write for my blogs but I don’t make any money on anything so I couldn’t pay anything.

It’s always just been a hobby anyway, if I don’t enjoy other hobbies anymore i give them up and move on.  It’s not like I plan to stop producing or writing, I’ll probably always write about whatever I feel like here, I just don’t feel like running Lameazoid anymore.

This doesn’t leave a bit of a hole because I do sometimes feel like producing related content.  I have no idea where to push toy photos these days.  Instagram maybe, but it’s not really meant for galleries.  Flickr is great but it’s a graveyard.  I really dislike Google Plus.  It’s kind of a moot point anyway since I barely take photos anymore anyway.

JoshMiller

Josh Miller has been a hobbyist blogger and writer online since 1998 on a variety of topics mostly centered on Video Games, Toys, and Technology. Josh has also worked in the technical end of the television industry for many years.

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I Made a Blog…

codeSo for the maybe one person (including myself) the idea that I made a blog isn’t news.  I’ve mentioned here before that I’ve probably created and killed two dozen blogs over the past 15+ years.

This one is different because I made it completely, from scratch.

Like, I opened Pico and typed out a bunch of code and saved it to a bunch of files and put it on a server.  You can see it over at BloggingIntensifies.com.  This is one of my extra “what do I do with this” domains.  I’ve been thinking of making it a sort of portfolio site of projects with no real blogging because “LeL hilarious irony of the domain”.  The first project is essentially the blog itself.

Part of the point was to better learn PHP and mySQL and database manipulation.  I’ve got some projects at work that involve Cold Fusion and MSSQL and while they aren’t identical, the basic idea is the same.  I also tend to learn best by doing, and I needed a project.  I found a little tutorial project ot build a simple contacts database and then took that framework and ran with it to build a simple blog platform.  I plan to add more features to the code over time as I feel like working on it.  If it becomes something decent I’ll use the code as an excuse to learn how to use Github properly and post the code online.

It’s been an interesting experience and my code is probably totally insecure but I’m pretty proud of the result and it was definitely a good exercise to combine several concepts that I have been familiarizing myself with.

JoshMiller

Josh Miller has been a hobbyist blogger and writer online since 1998 on a variety of topics mostly centered on Video Games, Toys, and Technology. Josh has also worked in the technical end of the television industry for many years.

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Why Can’t I Hold All These Devices?

There are 5 people in my household.  At this point, each of these people has at least a laptop and a tablet and the majority of them have a handheld smartphone style device (only one is actually a phone with data).  There are several game consoles and media devices, a couple of additional desktops, some security cameras, my Pi projects, etc etc.  A quick rundown gives me 33 Devices, though there are more that are not frequently active.

At some point, it became necessary for me to take control and actively manage my home network.  I was getting issues with double assigned IPs from DHCP, I have files on shared drives which need to have static IPs, I needed to implement security and filtering on the network for the kids to keep them from doing things they shouldn’t be doing online as well as tracking usage.

It also helps with security because I know what devices are online and if there are “outside” devices on the network.

So, a quick basic rundown of networking.  Every device, from PCs to Xboxes to iPods, get a unique IP address, most commonly on home networks this will be 192.168.1.XXX.  This is ahow data is pushed around, data has a header that says “I need to go to 192.168.1.XXX, where is that?” and routers and switches push this data around appropriately until some device says “Here I am, send it to me”.  This is really really generalized but it’s the basic idea.

These IPs can often be set up to be static (always the same) on the device, it can be assigned randomly from a pool by the Router (DHCP) or it can be assigned to be static by the Router based on the Device MAC Address.

Every device also has a MAC address.  MAC Addresses are unique to the device interface.  Think of it as a fingerprint.  I say “Device Interface” because if a machine has multiple network interfaces, say, WiFi and a Network cable jack, these will have different MAC addresses despite being one device.  In most routers, you can set up a table of MAC Addresses and tell the router “If you see this MAC, assign it the IP X”.

This is really useful for things like Laptops, Phones and Tablets.  For a machine like a desktop PC or a server that never leaves the network, it may be better to assign the IPs on the device, that is, the Device connects and says “i want to be assigned IP YYY”.  If you have a Wireless device assigned with a static IP, it can cause trouble when that device travels out of network, the static IP may not be available at say, your friend’s house or a coffee shop.  The remote location may use a different IP scheme, they may have their Router assigned to a different IP, there may be another device already using that particular IP.

So why assign IPs?

File servers really need static IPs.  If other devices are connecting to another machine to get say, photos, that other machine, the server, needs to always be in the same place.  Imagine how hard it would be to go to your friend’s home if their home was always in a different location and every building looked identical.

This also avoids IP conflicts.  This is less common since the Router is supposed to not double assign IPs but occasionally if a device disconnects and reconnects while another device is reconnecting, the IP may accidentally become double assigned, which means those data packets go nowhere.  This would be like trying to go to your friend’s address but there are two homes with the same address across the street from each other.

Assigned IPs is also great for security.  Limiting the IP range of DHCP, or limiting the number of devices that can connect keeps the network from getting over loaded by random people, though with a WiFi password this wouldn’t happen anyway.  You could also limit the capabilities of IPs connected through DHCP.  With scanning software you can also know at any time what is connected to your network.  It can also help diagnose issues.  If your unable to get your Wii to watch netflix, you can run a scan and if everything shows up but the Wii, you know the issue is probably on the Wii itself.

It’s also been good for my own experience in better learning methods for managing small networks and configuring the router.  I started off with a list of devices in a spread sheet.  I then gathered all the MAC addresses through a combination of scanning the network or checking the device itself.  Most devices will show you the MAC address in the settings somewhere and if all else fails it’s often printed on a sticker on the back side.

i then sorted out blocks of IPs based on device and sorted everything into these blocks.  This helps organize things.  The only thing that changes is the 4th octet of the IP, so everything is 192.168.1.XXX.  From here I use the following schema:

  • 01-09 = System Devices, the Router, the Wifi Access point, my NAS.
  • 10-20 = Game Consoles and media Devices
  • 21-29 = Desktops, of which there are 4.
  • 30-39 = Handheld Devices belonging to the Kids
  • 40-49 = Laptops
  • 50-59 = My Devices
  • 60-69 = Reserved for IP cameras
  • 70-79 = Reserved for Raspberry Pis and other Internet of Things style devices.
  • 100+ is used for DHCP assignments

This can be modified based on personal needs of course.  The idea is essentially that if nothing shows up under the 100+ IP range, I can know at a glance that nothing unknown is attached to the network.

JoshMiller

Josh Miller has been a hobbyist blogger and writer online since 1998 on a variety of topics mostly centered on Video Games, Toys, and Technology. Josh has also worked in the technical end of the television industry for many years.

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