Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Back to normal?

Well, I seem to have got away with the hard disk crash, without having to resort to restoring any backups. Having removed the offending disk and chkdsk'd it, during which several severe-looking errors were found and hopefully fixed, I replaced the disk back into the computer which fortunately started up without problem.

That wasn't the end, however. Rather than take the risk with that hard drive, I ordered a replacement. The sizes of hard drives these days are such that they take ages to set up, and it duly took around 48 hours to clone one disk to the other. Still, this was done at the weekend so the new disk is happily up and running now.

This whole episode I think has made me realise the value of a raid array (currently only one server is set up for raid), and I might have to see if I can get an old P3 server from eBay. These corporate cast-offs are unbelievably cheap these days - a not-badly specced server went for just £40 over the weekend.

I got a report from my isp that my mail server had been pushing out spam, threatening to suspend my service if I didn't sort it. So that was an interesting Friday night. In the end, it wasn't the mail server at all, but the web server.

Elsewhere on this site I maintain a simple "contact us" page, which basically just fires an email to one of us. The page that does this is very straightforward, and to be honest an almost-identical page will exist on millions of other web sites. Anyway, it looks like this page was getting hijacked, to send emails to all-and-sundry. I don't know how they did it, but to be honest it doesn't surprise me that a vulnerability like this should exist.

Anyway, a simple change to the code on the page should make it that little bit more difficult to do in the future.

Enough of all this tekky stuff, on to real life.

I think I mentioned that we went over to the Cuckoo Fair in Downton a couple of weeks ago, which was quite pleasant. Same old tat as usual, but Alice enjoyed herself and I did manage to buy something for my mum's birthday. That was the Mayday bank holiday weekend, and the weather was quite good until the Monday, which unfortunately was the day designated for gardening! Even as we were in the garden centre we watched torrential rain falling outside. Also, that weekend, we had a spur-of-the-moment excursion to Bournemouth on Sunday night, to go to Harry Ramsden's. The restaurant was very quiet and for a change the service was prompt. A delicious meal followed by a short stroll along the seafront.

This weekend just gone was rather quiet by comparison. Of course there was all the faffing about with computery bits and bobs, but apart fron that the only other noteworthy event was another spur-of-the-moment trip, this time to Hedge End in order to buy some summer clothes. I ended up with some lovely linen shirts which will be great in the summer. I'm not quite sure what spending £200 on clothes from Marks and Spencer says about me, but there again I never really was a Top Man kinda guy!

Finally a note on Alice's behaviour, which is extremely bad at the moment. Aside from the back-chat, which we're kind of used to but which is nevertheless infuriating, there have been about three examples in the last few days where she has flagrantly disobeyed us, using things of both mine and Jacqueline's that she has been expressly forbidden to use. Then, to cap it all, she snook into the kitchen and helped herself to an enormous portion of apple crumble, after I had expressly said she couldn't have any because of her earlier misdemeanours. I'm really at a loss as to what to do about it - I mean on the face of it these things are trivial but at every opportunity Alice just seems to stick two fingers up at us and say "Fuck You".

People talk about the joys of parenthood, but in truth the cost is unbelievably high.


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