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Well… that was interesting…


It’s been a tense 24 hours here at RCN headquarters, but that’s what you get when you decide to change hosts at the drop of a hat. I still have a few images to upload, but other than that, I think I’ve almost got everything working again.

If you notice any problems, please reply to this post and let me know.

I know I’ve lost a few comments in the move. You’ll have to take my word that it couldn’t be helped.

My apologies to those whose comments were lost.


UPDATE (26 March 2012):

Five things I’ve learned in the past week:

1. WP-SpamFree is an effective plugin to reduce WordPress spam, but it’s a resource hog; same, same, for SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam. If you need to reduce your site’s use of system resources on a shared server, choose something else.

2. Google’s WP reCAPTCHA is an effective plugin to reduce WordPress spam, but it is NOT a resource hog because the CAPTCHA graphic is produced by a server other than the one that hosts your account; that’s desirable because the process of generating the CAPTCHA image can be resource intensive.

3. The efficiency and responsiveness of your WordPress blog can often be improved, and its resource demands diminished, via the installation of a caching plugin. WP Super Cache is a good choice, because it is simple to set up and is a proven workhorse. If you can, set WP Super Cache to “Use mod_rewrite to serve cache files.” Why? It’s all about speed, folks!

4. If you take the above steps to reduce your blog’s use of system resources, it still may not be sufficient to make your WordPress installation perform within your hosting company’s expectations on a shared server. Nobody tells you this when you sign up with a blog host, but your access to server resources is what is key when you’re running a WordPress blog, not “unlimited” file storage, or “unmetered” bandwidth, or the number of domains and subdomains you can host, or the number of SQL databases or FTP accounts or email accounts you can create, or access to your own cPanel with all the bells and whistles, etc., etc. Although such things are certainly important, when you’re running a WordPress site, access to server resources is the one ring that rules them all.

5. Fast, knowledgeable, reliable, helpful customer service and technical support are worth their weight in gold.

P.S. I hope to be able to resume regular posting in a day or two. RCN may seem to be on life support at the moment, but it’s not dead yet…

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I hope you will be patient…

This blog was hacked today, and since I was away from my computer from the early morning until supper time, I have no idea when it happened, exactly, or why. So I’m not taking it personally. Rather, I am now in the process of reconstructing the blog from my backup. If you use WordPress and have any hints on how I might beef up the security here, please feel free to post your advice.

Although my backup is of recent vintage, it is not right up to date, so I definitely have few posts that I need to reconstruct. But if you check back in a day or so, I will probably have everything restored. That’s the plan, anyway.

— RC


It’s 10:49 pm, and I think I’ve got everything back to normal. Again, if any WordPress users out there know of a good plugin to enhance the security of WordPress, please do tell. I’ve already changed all of my passwords, uninstalled a few plugins, and added an htaccess file to stop anyone but a user on my home computer from accessing the wp-admin directory. Suggestions?

Admin Announcements · Hugo Pratt

New WordPress template for RCN…

This morning and afternoon, I’ve been fiddling with a new template for Ragged Claws Network. So if you noticed some changes in the look of this site as you were browsing today, now you know the cause.

If you have any thoughts about what I’ve done so far, or you encounter specific problems that you think I ought to address, please feel free to post here.

Thanks for reading!

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Well, after much deliberation, I have decided to fold the RCN categories “Swipe, Homage, or Happenstance?” and “Call and Response” into a catch-all called “Connections.” I doubt very many people will notice the difference or care — no posts have been deleted; they’ve just been recategorized — but I thought it might be polite, and possibly helpful to those that do care, to draw attention to the change.

I suppose I should also mention that I’ve now set WordPress to close comments on old topics after 30 days. The previous policy here at RCN was to leave the comments on all topics open indefinitely in the hope of attracting a few words of polite comment and/or encouragement. Since that hasn’t worked out — fact is, the only visitors to this blog who think it’s cool to post in old topics are link spammers — I’ve decided to experiment with the new setting in the hope that it will at least reduce the amount of spam cleanup that I have to do each week.

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Visitors to RCN: Where on earth do they come from?

I have never done anything much to promote this blog, and yet it consistently receives from 100 to 150 unique visitors a day and twice to three times as many page views. And during the past summer, RCN often received over 300 unique visitors a day — which, I know, is a drop in the bucket for a commercial site, but to little old me, it’s simply amazing!

And the diversity of visitors! Why, just in the past hour, according to StatPressCN and utrace, RCN received a baker’s dozen of visitors from the following “regions”:

Giugliano In Campania (IT)
Paris (FR)
Beverly Hills (US)
Calgary (CA)
Las Palmas (ES)
Schwerte (DE)
Amsterdam (NL)
Austin (US)
Phoenix (US)
Bogotá (CO)
Syracuse (US)
Farmington (US)
Mission (US)

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg… it’s a pity there’s no easy way to list every region; however, to one and all, I’d just like to say, thanks for looking, and reading, and posting, and linking, and emailing, and… well… just being here. Because the fact is, RCN attracts just enough visitors and feedback right now to keep me wanting to post, but not so many or so much that I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility or overburdened by the time I devote to it.


Here are all of the “regions” (with duplicates removed) from which RCN received visitors today, 23 October 2010, between 15:17:31 and 15:55:06:

Seoul (KR)
Barcelona (ES)
Málaga (ES)
Manresa (ES)
Shanghai (CN)
Amsterdam (NL)
Astoria (US)
Winsted (US)
South Burlington (US)
Paris (FR)
Mexico (MX)

Small world, eh?