New hosting service – 2016/08/10

owenduffy.net has been moved to a new HSP.

Though for the most part it should be transparent to visitors (if I have done my job correctly), the underlying IP addresses have changed and some software that caches IP addresses as part of their optimisation may need to be forced to refresh from the current site.

Further, the level of some key server software is inevitably different and although some considerable time has been spent on compatibility testing, there may be some defects that come to light in the coming days.

Hopefully we will put behind us the service experienced with A Small Orange, one of the EIG group companies.

Apologies for service disruption

Some changes were made by others that disrupted the site availability.

As a result, I am moving the site to another HSP, and that may result in some issues over the next week. It is quite a complex site and exposed to the way in which apache and PHP evolve (without 100% backwards compatibility).

My apologies.

Hosting change

Over the last two weeks, owenduffy.net has been moved from one Hosting Services Provider to another, domain registration, DNS, website, and email hosting.

Despite efforts to make the transition transparent, some code in some calculators turned out to be less reliable on the new site and some changes made to make them reliable. QSRF was the main troublesome app, but is now stable and the update service has been improved to two hourly in the revision.

It is a quite complex web site, and a huge amount of work, some 10,000+ files, several databases, lots of custom PHP applications, and subtle but significant changes in PHP and apache environments.

Hopefully it has been worth the work (~150h) in terms of reliable affordable service for the future. The new hosting environment is certainly easier to work with and properly supports remote secured access… so that has to be good.

It has been two years already…

This blog was started two years ago when VK1OD.net was closed due to forced change of call sign.

In that two years, more than 450 blog articles have been published here and there are more ‘in the wings’, around 10 articles ready for release as I write this.

Though I set out to write mostly about electronics and less about Amateur Radio application of technology, that clearly hasn’t happened as the majority of articles are about Amateur Radio related technology.

Interestingly, the most popular articles are about technology, but not about Amateur Radio technology.

Amateur Radio has relegated itself to a backwater in electronics and technology hobbies. Relegated from the proud tradition that saw many of the significant contributions to electronics and communications technology from people who were also radio amateurs, and that had help shape their development. Amateur radio has transformed itself under the active guidance of its peak bodies into a contesting activity, train-spotting if you like and promoted as “radio sport” and the ‘original’ social network, a pursuit where technology is no longer the main shared interest (or much interest at all) and bad behaviour is rewarded.  Progress!

Overall, hit rates on the new site are much lower than for VK1OD.net which was quite expected. Factors, positive and negative include:

  • + shorter articles intended to be more digestible to modern audiences with busier lives and shorter attention spans;
  • + format that presents well on smartphones and tablets for the mobile user; and
  • – diminishing interest in the underlying technology in amateur radio.

There a many current projects that will give rise to blog articles, after all, the blog is my experimental notebook. Most current projects have some Amateur Radio element, but they apply wider current technologies to the experiments and are relevant not only to Amateur Radio but to radiocommunications more generally and general applications of technology to discovery.

owenduffy.net performance improvement

I have been concerned at slowly degrading performance on my web sites, coming to a head with migration to WordPress (this blog) about six months ago.

To improve performance, I have migrated all content to a new hosting service on Godaddy’s latest cPanel hosts.

It is a substantial amount of work, and I think everything is working properly. It is certainly much quicker and consistently quicker (at the moment) on the WordPress application.

Though I have taken care in specification of character sets, it appears that special symbols have been trashed in the migration. I have done some global search and replaces and think I have found and fixed all (or most) problems. Credit to the Search Regex add-in.

 

owenduffy.net rework

With the closure of VK1OD.net as a consequence of an enforced change of call sign, a monument to the growing emphasis on train spotting in ham radio, owenduffy.net is being reorganised.

It will essentially be a blog site with a mainly electronics focus, but less ham radio focussed than was vk1od.net.

Articles will be shorter, and expose less proof / derivation / evidence to better meet the needs of modern people who I am told just don’t have time for all that stuff.

Some meatier topics will appear as a series of bite size articles to better fit the concentration span of modern readers.

Nevertheless, there will be some citations, but I will keep them to a minimum.

Excuse the large extent of self citation. It is not done for self promotion, but to acknowledge that some material is based on earlier work, some of which may be offline… and to remind me of where to look if I need to follow-up comments on the article.