rss_iconSo, I mentioned recently, I wanted to migrate off of my shared Hosting to a VPS on Digital Ocean.  One reason sited was more control over what I can do with the server.  It’s essentially just a cloud based Linux machine, I can do anything I would do on a locally hosted Ubuntu box with it.  I came across Tiny Tiny RSS recently, and it’s the perfect example of the kind of thing I wanted the VPS for.

While nowhere near the main reason, the final straw with my tolerance of Google’s increasing level of crap was the closing of Reader, a service I’d depended on pretty much since it’s inception.  I’d tried a few alternative solutions but nothing really did anything for me next tot he simplicity to Google Reader.

Eventually I just sort of lost the want for RSS feeds.  The whole web seems to be abandoning the idea 9probably because it’s not nearly as easy to plaster crap ads all over an RSS feed) so I just decided to let it go.

Recently I’ve been trying to find a good solution again.  I really hate not being able to keep up with infrequently updated blogs i find.  That’s like 90% of the reason i liked having Google Reader, so when that interesting niche blog I like that updates once ever 4 months updates, I can know.

I looked into some Firefox extensions but using them tends ot be clunky.  I’ve tried a few different apps on my phone but nothing is idea.  The biggest issue is a lack of sync across everything.

tinytinyrss

Tiny Tiny RSS is a self hosted RSS Reader.  You download it (with Git in this case), set up a database for it, and let it roll.  I’ve set it up on my little sandbox domain BloggingIntensifies.com and added feeds I was pulling with other services to it.

It’s web based, so I can get to it from anywhere.  Need number one.

It’s hosted by me, so I won’t have to worry about some “thinks they know best” company screwing me over again, need number two.

There is a built in API so it can be access via mobile with an app.  Need number 3.  BONUS!  There is even a compatible Windows Phone app.

The next step is to figure out what I did with my old list of Google Reader feeds and start loading it up.

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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Homemade Pizza

Pizza Ingredients
Pre Cooked Pizza
Cooked Pizza

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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