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Written By: Gary on October 26, 2007 3 Comments

In the last 60 days I’ve been averaging about 1,000 spam comments a day, that’s significantly higher than normal. Actually the last few weeks it’s been more like 1,500 a day, the number has just been climbing. Unfortunately, I don’t have a way to check daily stats. A year ago I was only averaging about 300 a day. Hopefully, I haven’t been deleting any real comments….

Update: In the last 23 hours I’ve received/blocked another 4,200 spam comments/trackbacks (and moderated a few hundred)..

Written By: Gary on August 22, 2007 2 Comments

Mt4So Movable Type 4.0 is out. I thought it was odd that you can’t purchase a personal license any more, just a business one. Don’t panic though, you can still get a personal license for free but purchasing it used to get you “official” support and (it looks like) that’s not available. But I was mistaken, for $49 you can get a year of support(see Anil’s comment below) you just have to buy it from the business page. I really don’t think I ever used the support (or at least not very often) so not a huge deal, but I think it’s odd that it’s hard to realize that you can buy support you just have to go to the business page. And I still think it’s weird it’s cheaper to buy two 5 user licenses than one 10 user license.

Plus, come fall they plan to release some kind of OpenSource version this fall, which will be very interesting…On a side note, while I love Movable Type and I’d love to upgrade, I’ll have to wait for the 4.1 release, I keep my installation too complicated and installing always brings the bugs to light (old plug-ins that break, bugs that I used to my advantage that might be fixed, and obviously the possibility of new bugs) I’ll wait for the revisions so it’s one less thing to worry about. Plus, I’m really afraid MT-Blacklist will stop working; it still deletes hundreds of messages a day for me with no intervention (since May of 2005 it’s deleted way over one-third of a million billion spam messages that I’ve not even had to glance at) that with SpamLookUp keeps me sane.

Although, I must point out, everyone on-line seems to be saying that MT 4.0 is pretty painless to install…

Written By: Gary on February 18, 2007 No Comment

I upgraded my Movable Type yesterday and today (the blogging software that this site runs on) from 3.2 to 3.34 so if you have any problems commenting or even reading don’t be shocked. I’ll post a note here here when I start (and when I’m done) so outside that range everything should be fine.

DONE! (Well, mostly done, but it’s almost 6 am and I’m off to bed). Details you probably don’t care about (unless you have problems) are listed below…Boring updates below. (Some of this info is for me to recall too too.)

  • 12:22 EST Yesterday – Starting messing with on-line stuff (was reading and making backups, etc. the previous few hours)
  • 12:30 EST – Semi-running on backup copy of MT (where new install will go)
  • 12:34 EST – Sidebars not showing up (many were referenced in old directory path) and the actual trackback is not listed in individual entries.
  • 12:52 EST – renamed to old path and everything seems to be working (didn’t want to do that, wanted some differences but their’s too many changes to find so I’ll live with it)
  • 1:17 EST – All looks good, currently running a rebuild. But all I really did was make a copy of everything. The problem was duplicating the mySQL database, I had to do it via the command line and the file is a little smaller (which makes me nervous) but it seems fine.

    I needed the extra configured backup since I have plans to take Mom out to dinner (and then to see Silent Violet) and if I crash it I need something to revert to.

    All seems well so far, so I’m going to get a burger. I’ll run the upgrade when I get back.

  • 3:39 PM, It’s a good thing I made that backup. Multiple FTP problems. The first is my FTP program (Transmit) has a new feature that it’ll delete directories before replacing them, it didn’t used to do that (not sure when the added that “feature” as the default) so it pretty much deleted my whole 3.2 install of MT. So I had to reinstall the backup. The other problem is now it seems to be stopping the FTP transfer (when pushing up the 3.34 MT install) for some reasons….
  • 3:48 PM, I think the FTP transfer the second time was sort of my fault, it was confused since it new the directories were there and it remember them (even after I deleted them [via command line] and refreshed Transmit). So it was really a caching problem. Althought Transmit does seem to ask me more questions now (merge, replace, skip or resume) and I’m not sure what resume is. It used to just ask me twice (once for files and once for directories) but it probably asked me about 50 times (maybe once per directory).
  • 4:20 PM – It’s all up, but it’s got bugs. Still playing with it to check it out. Gonna start a rebuild if this post updates properly.
  • 4:46 PM – A few minor broke things but I think it’s related to MT-SimpleComments (and there is a new version so I’ll try that after LATE tonight.
  • 1:50 AM – Turns out I thought really broke it and I decided to leave it (I’m so glad I never got to the rebuild), it just got worse the more I messed with it and I was running late to Mom’s (again!). And the problem was SO minor it would have taken me another 5-10 minutes to find it (in hindsight).
  • 2:00 AM – I think I found a minor bug in MT-SimpleComments; if you unpublish a post after it gets a comment it’ll still list the comment. This is rare since the page wouldn’t show up in a listing anyways, but where the problem is is I show a list of recent comments on the front page so it shows up there. I’ve never noticed this before now, but it may be an installation problem, I see a few other minor leaky things (but it might be an incompatible plug-in problem too).
  • 2:28 AM – It’s getting better and better. I think I’ll hit the sack soon, just a few more minutes.
  • 5:45 AM – It’s way better. I’ve got MT-Blacklist working almost all the way. It’s stopping everything, It’s just harder to add things to the list now. I’ve fix a few other things and the only other thing I know is broke is the tops of the Category Archives have all the categories listed instead of just the related subcategories (it didn’t in 3.2). I’ll fix that later, it’s probably simple.

    But I’m done updating this post for now, if something weird happens and you can’t comment, please e-mail me.

  • Written By: Gary on December 16, 2006 No Comment

    So as I mentioned a few days ago it’s been 3 years I’ve been blogging. But here and the last few days I’ve been jotting down some odd stats:

  • 1379 posts so far (counting this one).
  • 1.25 posts a day is my average. Although, lately I certainly haven’t been keeping up with that. But usually it’s more like 2 or 3 a day and then I skip a day or two…
  • 1563 comments! I love comments!!! I’m averaging a little more than one per each post (but most posts get none). I should see which ones get the most, I haven’t noticed a pattern/trend but there may be.
  • 101 trackbacks. Actually, I accidentally deleted all the trackbacks a while back (which was 23) so I currently only have 78. This is unfortunate since trackbacks are so incredibly useful (although spammers have pretty much ruined them for everyone). A chunk of those are probably me making trackbacks to my previous posts, but that’s sort of what they’re there for…
  • 8,800 spam messages per month is what I’ve averaged per month lately. That’s almost 300 a day! The last time I reset my spam filter was May 21, 2005 and since then I’ve have 169,500 comment / trackback spams blocked. I still use MT-Blacklist in addition to to SpamLookup (included with Movable Type). More on this at the end of this post.

    These numbers are huge at least to me), I can’t believe I’ve been doing it this long. It’s a joy to blog, but I do always feel that if I let it go for a while it’ll just kinda die. I hate to blog just for the sake of blogging but I do always try to keep it up-to-date with a few details of life (or tech or TV or something) even if I’m not in an extra blogging mode. I’ve got some other points that make the blogging extra geeky/interesting for me but the list started to get too long, so I’ll finish and post that at a later day. I’m starving right now and need to get something to eat!


    OPTIONAL GEEKY SPAM STUFF: The reason I use both (MT-Blackslist and SpamLookup) is because the stuff MT-Blacklist knows is spam gets deleted without me having to look at it. If I just use SpamLookup, I’d still need to look at those 300 messages a day to make sure it doesn’t have any real messages caught up in it. As it is, I still need to look at the 50 that MT-BLacklist didn’t delete to see if SpamLookup grabbed something important. And sometimes SpamLookup does grab a few (a few a week). And once in a very long while a real spam gets through both and makes it on the web site, but that’s only about once a month (maybe longer).

  • Written By: Gary on December 17, 2005 One Comment

    This is my one-thousandth post! That’s all I’ve got to say about it…


    Although no one said anything about my Christmassy background.

    Oh another thing, since May 21 of this year I finally hit the 100,000 spams stopped by MT-Blacklist mark!

    Written By: Gary on December 12, 2005 8 Comments

    So it’s been two years that I’ve been blogging!!! I’m still short three posts from 1,000 but maybe I’ll have something more introspective to post in a few days. I just couldn’t let the day go without a post. Besides, I have a few questions for you…

    Blogging facts from Gary Said…

  • This is really my third permutation of my web site title and my fourth URL, but it’s the only dedicated one so I’m thinking I’ll be sticking to it for good (I hope). I got the distinct address to separate it from (more professional?) non-blogging activities. I’ll probably only switch if I got something better, like gary.com.
  • I get block about 500 comment/trackbacks spam hits a day which is about 15,000 hits a month! Thank you MT-Blacklist and SpamLookUp! Blogging would be no fun without both of these tools (details on these tools below).
  • I’m still averaging about 3 posts every two days. And a few memes that I never got to finishing each week.

    My questions to you:

  • How often do you read my blog?
  • Why don’t you comment more?

  • Where are you from?
  • Have you seen The Daily Meme, my index of memes? (These aren’t my memes, just my index. Just a little self/cross-promotion…)


    Geeky spam details (optional reading): This is about MT-Blacklist and SpamLookUp which are spam prevention tools for Movable Type 3.2. MTB kills most spam (the most obvious spam) and marks some for moderation. SLU checks out what MTB passes in and either posts it, labels it as stuff you should look at (moderation: waiting for approval to post or delete) or as junk (waiting for approval, deletion or automatic deletion in 60 days). This means spam (almost) never gets posted and a small percentage of the real stuff gets delayed but makes me confident real stuff doesn’t get deleted.

  • Written By: Gary on May 15, 2005 2 Comments

    So in the past eight days, MT-Blacklist stopped 1447 pieces of spam headed for my web site. It also prevented six duplicate posts (people hitting submit twice). That’s pretty great!

    While I scroll through the logs, it’s still a lot of “stuff” to sift through. My big question is: Has anyone tried to post in the last eight days and the system refused to let you post? Please e-mail me if you’ve recently had any problems.


    I’ve been using MT-Blacklist for a while now, but I did the upgrade last week since I had upgraded MovableType. So I’m just worried/concerned about any problems since then.

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    Written By: Gary on April 23, 2005 6 Comments

    Warning! Extra-Geeky post:
    I’m using MovableType 2.661 I’m missing having sub-categories and I was hoping some of the dynamic features might help speed up my rebuilds. I’ve also been getting really slow responses when posting comments. I do a lot of odd dynamic stuff already (the body of my messages only get built once (processed once) and they just get included everywhere else (although this isn’t really helping me on rebuilds since it’s probably rebuilding the pages anyways, it may actually be smarter than that). I use Mt-Blacklist and some other plug-ins. Some of my category archive rebuilds are really getting slow (I’m sure my date archives are slow two, but the categories just keep growing).


    I thought with TypeKey and comment moderation at a minimum I could turn off MT-blacklist on comments and just use it for trackbacks (assuming that’s one of the things slowing it down) and Lisa recommended MT-Keystrokes for this too (but I think that’s just for MT 3.x). I’m also still reading some confusing stuff on if MT-Blacklist is fully-functional for MT 3.x (does it have all the same features, I don’t care if some of the new features aren’t perfected yet).

    What’d I’d like to see is some rebuild stuff that is were a little smarter when I did reposts. Something like “your message is posted, please verify it and if it is a-okay then press OK to rebuild your indexes, archives and categories”. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t do this.

    So I’m really looking for your two cents on if I should upgrade or what else I should consider. Anyone have any feedback on this or any of the above?

    Written By: Gary on February 3, 2005 No Comment

    So I finally installed MT-Blacklist to help cut down on my comment (and trackback) spam. “Why?” you ask… Because after getting mildly annoyed here and there with the occasional comment spam (and the very rare trackback spam) I got hit with 470 trackback spams in one night! And another 30-40 the next day before I even had a chance to start deleting the others!

    Mt blacklist Let me tell you MT-Blacklist installed like a charm and in less time than it would have taken me to delete 100 spams it took care of all 470. That’s the fastest I’ve ever hit a PayPal donation button!!!


    And to give you a point of reference, I’ve probably never gotten more than forty (maybe only thirty) blog spams total in the last fourteen months.

    My tips for installing it: read the instructions first, then do it step by step. If you hit the place where the instructions split (from congratulations to this is the long path) I don’t know how it will go for you but it was cake for me….

    I only wish it was automated to get more current definitions, it would really help…

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