New Hosting and New Domain

It’s been awhile since this site was active. It’s not really active now, but it does have a new name and a new domain.

This site has been dormant nearly two years, with the most recent post made in June 2015. This post doesn’t really qualify as re-activating the site. But I did make some changes and it’s likely I’ll be posting here a bit more.

I moved this site to WordPress.com hosting when I shut down my Linode VPS in 2014. I’m back on a Linode VPS server and I’ve moved this site back to being a self-hosted WordPress site. I kept the same theme and didn’t make any cosmetic changes so it shouldn’t be noticeable.

The migration went remarkably well. There’s a lot of graphics and images missing from older posts, but these went missing when I imported them into the WordPress.com site three years ago. I never got around to fixing them at that time. This time I went through and removed the broken/missing images and broken links from the posts. I did indicate in the affected post that old images and links were removed. Most were of old and obsolete software. Missing images were fairly easy to find so I think I got all of them, there are probably broken links remaining since I didn’t really dig in to find them. Cleanup will continue.

I also changed the domain name. When I started the site back in 2006 the domain osquest.com wasn’t available (not at a price I wanted to pay), so I used theosquest.com. After ignoring solicitations to sell me the domain, osquest.com was dropped and I was able to register it a few years ago. I finally got up the nerve to make the change and now use this as the URL. All the redirects seem to be working.

I haven’t been able to test the RSS feed to verify that it redirects successfully. This post will let me know. But the site has been inactive so long I doubt anyone will notice. If you do subscribe via RSS I suggest you switch to the new feed to avoid future issues.

If nothing else, the site may see some activity as I write about the site move and WordPress setup.

We’ve Moved In

We’ve moved to a new Web host

The OS Quest is up a running on it’s new host, WordPress.com. If you’re on the site you should see a red “The OS Quest” in the header when your on the site.

If you subscribed via RSS the feed should still work and if you see this post in your RSS reader then it does still work.

Mail subscribers will have been dropped, with my apologies, I could transfer them out of Feedburner since you need to opt-in. You can subscribe by hitting the link over on the right.

Some photos from older posts have broken links. I’m working on fixing these. If you come across any in an article your trying to read let me know and I’ll fix those links asap.

The “featured image” feature of WordPress is used differently in this theme. This causes some ugliness in some posts which I’m also working on cleaning up. Going forward things will be much cleaner.

I know things have been slow the last few months on The OS Quest but I should have more frequent updates in the near future.

Thanks for being an OS Quest Reader.

sign that says keep going don't look back

It’s Alive! And Moving

After gathering cobwebs for several months I’m planning to resuscitate this site. As part of that I’ll be moving to a new web host and finally moving off of feedburner. I’ll be moving things this coming Friday February 21st.

To RSS and EMail Subscribers

The move off of feedburner means many of you that read this site through an RSS reader may get orphaned and need to resubscribe. I’ve used the non-Feedburner RSS link for awhile so many of you many not have a problem, but early on I did go all in with Feedburner. I will use the permanent redirection feature which should maintain your feed, but Feedburner has been wonky for a long time now and I wouldn’t count on it. I suggest (and appreciate) looking at the subscription options below and picking one to subscribe after Feb 22nd.

The E-Mail subscriptions will be removed. While E-Mail subscriptions will be available after the move I can’t move them and prove you opted-in. Besides, it’s been so long since there’s been a post that a E-Mail from a unfamiliar address may seem like spam. E-Mail subscriptions will be available after the site is moved. My apologies to those who’ll be cut off.

If you already follow me on Twitter there isn’t any change.

Subscription Options

You can subscribe to this site using any of the following methods.

RSS at http://www.osquest.com/feed

Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/osquest

Google+ at https://plus.google.com/115496065279439065529/. The Google Plus feed is also where I aggregate everything. So you will see posts from other blogs along with non-Tech posts. The feed currently has a fountain pen flavor since that’s where my activity has been.

An email subscription will be available after the move. I don’t want to make it available before the move because I don’t want to end up spamming you by accident during the move.

Why The Changes?

In word: Simplification

While I like maintaining my own VPS server and tinkering with WordPress, the never-ending update cycle takes too much of my time on a schedule I can’t control. So I’m moving over to WordPress.com where they’ll host the site and handle all the updates. I just need to worry about content.

This is certainly less flexible, but it should work well for me. I set up a new site on WordPress.com over a year ago. I had been screwing around tweaking design and features when I finally said “screw it” and set it up on WordPress.com. I kept it simple so I could move to self-hosted down the road. Instead I’ve found I liked it and I’m moving my self-hosted sites to WordPress.com.

The stars also aligned to make this a good time to do it. My VPS contract expired in January and it was time for a major OS upgrade to the VPS server. While fun, it’s extremely time consuming. After all, upgrading an server OS also means reviewing the configuration and software used and then reviewing the abilities of the new OS and making changes as needed.

Also on the horizon is a conflict between a WordPress upgrade and the theme I used. I use a lot of customization in the theme and it’s been stable for a long time. I don’t know when, but I have this feeling it will bite me soon.

I hope I’ll see you on the new site.

Free Server Upgrade!

I’ve been neglecting my website recently and was surprised to find a server upgrade waiting for me when I opened the Dashboard.

When I logged onto my Linode control panel today I noticed a “Free Upgrade Pending” notice. Much to my surprise I found that Linode has been doing a bunch of upgrades. This one was to double my RAM size, from 512 MB to 1 GB of RAM. Although it wasn’t exactly free, they got rid of that habit of ending prices in .95’s. So the monthly price got bumped a nickel to the even dollar amount.

The estimate was that my upgrade would take 19 minutes. Linode provides this estimate prior to the request to enter the upgrade queue so I can decide if I have the time. The reality was it took about 11 minutes from when I clicked upgrade to when it was back online. There wasn’t anyone in the queue ahead of me, if there was my server would have stayed up until it was my turn.

I’m also on hardware that now has 8 cores. Nice! If only I didn’t have to share them.

Screenshot of CPUs on host

 

I still haven’t gone in and modified my app settings to take advantage of the memory. I’ll have to think about how I want to use it since my server really doesn’t get stressed. I may be better off increasing my PHP cache so more PHP code can be cached in memory rather than simply increasing Apache or MYSQL capability. Back when I was first learning and tuning the Opcode cache I found that eventually the available memory would file up and it would start swapping stuff out so I cut back on what got cached. I may have enough memory now.

I’ve been busy recently, unable to tend to my sites, and I’ve been considering if I should look for a managed alternative for this site (or something like Squarespace) but I really like to have hands on. It just annoying when I don’t have time to go hands on. Plus, problems always occur at the most inopportune time And then something like this comes along and I get excited. Yea, I know. It’s just more RAM that this site doesn’t really need. But hey, I still get excited.

There’s been some pockets of site downtime recently. Don’t blame the server, it’s been me. I’ve been tinkering and some changes have required server reboots or full restarts of Apache. I’ve done it when traffic is low, but apologizes if you got caught in a reboot.

Linode has been writing about the upgrades on their blog (which I didn’t notice until today, bad me). If you want to try Linode I’ll get a small kickback if you sign up through this link or use the referral code: a6b0ae3bcb8e5d87840c56fac5965e763d4363d4 on the signup form. A bare server OS isn’t suitable for everyone, but I’ve been a happy customer since December 2009. If your already a Linode customer be sure to go in upgrade when you get a chance, it’s only a nickel.

Dropping Feedburner on July 1st

Feedburner has been suffering from neglect for what seems like years.  I’ve decided that July 1, 2013 will be a good time to cut the Feedburner connection for my RSS feed. That’s when Google shutters Google Reader which will no doubt cause a decrease in subscribers and some chaos all by itself. I’m going with the native WordPress RSS feed, rather than be at the mercy of another service again.

I already updated the RSS subscription link on the top of this blog so you can update your subscription if you’re already a subscriber (Thanks!). Or just click this link http://www.osquest.com/feed which is the new RSS link. I haven’t picked a new email subscription service yet so that link is unchanged. Sorry for the annoyance of having to re-subscribe, but I figure a Feedburner death is inevitable and it adds no value to this website since it’s frequently broken.

Alternately you can follow me on Twitter, also linked at the top of this page.

Thanks,

Ray

Mobile Device Support

Along with the site redesign I also added support for tablets and phones. If you access the site from a mobile device you should see the site optimized for the device, although you can switch to the standard view anytime by click on the “Switch to…” link at the bottom of each page. Less than 5% of visitors come from mobile devices, but that’s only going to grow.

There were some caching problems early on but those seem to have been resolved