The very last Foxtrot daily comic strips (ever?)

FoxTrot to Cease Dailies

Kansas City, MO (Universal Press Syndicate: News Release 12/05/2006)

Bill Amend’s popular FoxTrot comic strip will go to a Sunday-only publication schedule as of Dec. 31, 2006, announced Universal Press Syndicate today. The last daily will be Saturday, Dec. 30. Reruns of dailies will be available for Web usage.

“After spending close to half of my life writing and drawing FoxTrot cartoons, I think it’s time I got out of the house and tried some new things,” said Amend. “I love cartooning and I absolutely want to continue doing the strip, just not at the current all-consuming pace. I’ve been blessed over the years with a terrific syndicate, patient newspaper clients, and more support from readers than I probably deserve, and I want to assure them all that while I’ll be now a less-frequent participant on the comics pages, I’ll continue to treat my visits as the special privilege they are.”

Amend, who started the strip in April, 1988, and who has more than 1,000 client newspapers, is taking time to pursue other creative outlets. “In addition to Sunday newspapers, we may see FoxTrot entertaining us in other kinds of media platforms,” says Lee Salem, president and editor of Universal Press Syndicate.

Amend has more than 30 published FoxTrot comic collections and has licensed his characters for calendars and wallpapers for cell phones. He was nominated in 2006 as a finalist for cartoonist of the year by the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award.

Creator(s): Bill Amend

Contact(s): Kathie Kerr

Here are the last 6 daily strips provided by the UComics site (click to expand):

Continue reading The very last Foxtrot daily comic strips (ever?)

Don’t use YourDomain.com or MySite.com in your examples

Every time you type one of those urls, some domain parking twit gets another link to their site and who knows how many more hits.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has reserved an url or two specificly for examples.

If you use Example.com, Example.net, Example.org, or Example.info you are not going to be helping deliver traffic to someone you don’t know anything about. These four Example.TLD (top level domain) addresses are IANA_RESERVED and you can use them safely.

Note that other example sites like .US .be .dk .de .co.uk etc are all owned by different companies. Only use the four mentioned above.

Any bash buffs out there? WordPress update script 2 alpha

Are any of you all good and *nix scripts?

I’ve been working on the next version of the “35 second upgrade” script and I’d like some second eyes on it before I release it officially.. I would like your help in ensuring this method isn’t gonna crash any typical *nix based, non-core-code-customized blogs. I was wondering if some of you might review this script and tell me of any errors or problems you can foresee. I’ve got it working just fine updating my blogs. But, I’d like more of a confidence factor than what I can get just having it work for me and only me.

Current Improvements:
1. Can update any number of directories by just adjusting the array at the top
2. Can pull from other sources. You don’t HAVE to update to the current and can just use it to roll back your code, every night, to your customized WP version.
3. Now works for blogs stored in the “WordPress” directory.
4. Cleans up after itself
5. Error checking
6. Observes tmp directory locations.

Coming soon:
1. File backups
2. SQL backups

If you know anything about scripts, could you give it a review and tell me what you think?

This IS alpha stuff, so use it with that in mind…

Source code follows
Continue reading Any bash buffs out there? WordPress update script 2 alpha

1and1.com Sucks! 1 and 1? Says who?!?!

I came across another rant about 1and1 the other day and thought I’d post something I’d sent off to Michael ages ago. It sums up my thoughts on the subject completely and required very little editing…

1and1.com has labeled themselves “The worlds No. 1 web host [by the number of sites hosted]”. So they are a big target. It is true that they do not hold your hand, but that’s not what I am concerned about. I don’t care if they have crappy extras, in fact the more extras they add, the more stuff I’m paying for that I won’t ever use. What I care about is that they are willing to give you the access rights to add more to your shared server. Right now the ONLY things that I haven’t been able to do with my 1and1 account involve port access. And that simply isn’t possible with a shared server.

You will always find complaints about a company. Sometime they are valid. For 1and1.com, the complaints seem to come from the less technical users who looked for help. I agree that 1and1 isn’t great about explaining how to do new stuff. Three years ago, I was in the same situation, learning… but that’s what is great about the internet, there are many many resources available. That can help you through the rough spots if you’re patient and willing to work on it… I find that hosting at 1and1.com and searching Google works well for me and I’ve had my now account for three years plus.

Dreamhost* has the best help system out there, AFAIK, but their best service plan is $79.99. Through accepting an advertised upgrade deal for existing 1and1 customers, I have way more resources available and pay only ~12% of what a DreamHost customer is paying. I’m getting more resources for my money. I realized the other day that my 1and1 account has space available than what I’ve partitioned my Windows partitions to and that includes the partition I’ve set aside for multimedia. I’ll take my $839 dollars a year savings thank you very much.

*Update – Since the initial writing of this email, DreamHost has radicaly increase their available space available and resources. The prices are now comparable to what I get from 1and1.com. There are trade offs, but by stats alone they basically even out until you look at the extra charges DreamHost has. DreamHost charges a $50 setup fee (It’s like charging an extra $4.16 per month for the first year) and has 100% higher domain registration fees.

I should leave this out and follow the “If you want comments, leave holes in your posts to allow people to reply.” But I know some WILL say “YEAH – but have you ever tried to cancel a service from them?”. Sure, I’ll address that and then THAT you can reply to. EVERY post I’ve seen about this subject has been from someone who’s filled out a form to cancel the service and then not checked on it until 6 months after the fact when they receive the next bill. I’m sorry but if something is important to you, you, yourself, ensure that it is done.

People would have had no problem if they’d:
1. Ensured that the cancel was on record the week before it was due to happen
2. Ensured that the cancel a week later that the cancel took place
3. Ensuring that the 1and1 representatives made notes on their accounts recording each call.
4. Recorded the name/number date and time of each phone call.

1and1 will retroactively refund if you can prove your case. I’ve read about that happening too. I don’t anticipate a problem if and when I cancel. And I CERTAINLY more willing to work toward cancelling a service if it means that I never have to worry about a site I have worked to build isn’t sniped out from underneath me. 1and1’s process doesn’t let that happen and I never have to worry about paying some scoundrel/thief/blackmailer $800 just to get back what is already rightfully mine.

Support is something I know about. I know what an effort is involved for our office to provide the best tech support in our industry. We’ve spent years learning what works and what does not. Mistakes have happened and we’ve learned from each one. When I make a call to any company, a call that matters to me, I’m going to do my best to make that representative take the steps needed to provide me with a good technical support, whether they are trained to do so or not.

Likewise, I realize that we will have customers that we cannot help for whatever reason. I also know that those customers are likely to complain, as loudly as they can, that we have the absolute worst tech support of anybody in the world. All that matters to them is that we could not help them, whether it was an issue on their side or if we did make a mistake. So, I naturally question the most inflammatory posts I read. Mistakes do happen, but all in all it is in the company’s best interest to provide good support. That’s true for where I work and has to be true for 1and1.

Anyway, that’s my take on it.

I guess some people need more help than others (link)…

UPDATE: Oh, look. Here’s another generic “1and1.com Internet Web Hosting Sucks”
article (link) from an SEO guy…

“They are by far the worst hosting company.”

Ummm… He doesn’t mention a single word about their hosting. So, I’ll ignore this part…

“They make it impossible cancel and account, “

OK, he’s upset. Obvioulsy, he’s gonna have some thick thumbs…

“and if you don’t do it correctly they will keep billing you.”

WAIT? WHAT? If you don’t actually cancel the account, the continue to provide you with service? AND they expect to be paid for that?????

No!!!!!

“Think you’ll be ok when your credit card expires don’t worry they will keep billing you and eventually refer you to collections.”

So, he ignored the problem and assumed a business that he had an relationship would simply say “Oh, I don’t care about that money. It doesn’t matter that much. It’s only bad debt. Why collect on that?”

Why in the world would someone be surprised that they would collect upon what they see as a valid debt? Of course it is going to go into their “collections” department and you’ll be sent scary letters! That is evidence that the company is well managed and not that is evil. Just because you don’t feel it is important to follow up where your money goes, you should not assume someone else will be equally lax about where “their” money is.

When you call to speak to a supervisor and tell them to cancel an account you aren’t using anymore and is in collections, they still won’t cancel it.

OK. He had problems with the first cancellation. Don’t you think it would make sense to call and receive confirmation that the account was cancelled successfully? If he did that, I see no evidence of it. I do see that he admits to making a mistake in initial cancelling process. I’d guess that he never verified the cancellation that time either. Obviously, there was a mistake here and 1and1 should have canceled the account, and billed him for only the service up to the day of this “second” cancellation. Hmmm perhaps that’s what they did. It is not clear if the continued debt is the full amount due for that period.

They will however keep sending you an email to an address that no longer is in existence and refer you to their online web form.

So, he didn’t even continue update them with his correct contact information until the situation was finalized??? After all why should he care that they be able to reach him? Maybe he is just to frustrated to type all the details in this article but wait, he can clearly think of all possible search term for his post: (parenthetics mine)

1 & 1 Web Hosting Sucks (um not)
1 & 1 Hosting provider sucks (HA!)
1 & 1 Hosting Sucks (Oh really?)
1&1 Internet Web Hosting Sucks (says who?)
1&1.com sucks (Did you try to protect your money?)
1&1 Control Panel Sucks (HORRAY for those that build their own!)
1&1 Internet Inc FAQ SUCKS (Not really)
1&1 Hosting Reviews (but he never reviewed their services)
Reviews of 1&1 (He still doesn’t offer a review)

From here on he just copy and pastes… yeesh… That’s enough for me…

I think I’ll spend 4.95 to get a domain and then cancel it before the year is out… It would be worth $5 just for the experience… I should make it something like “Wonderful1and1.com” so that people won’t say the name made them cancel it. Hmmm Not a bad idea….

UPDATE: Here’s a nice review of 1and1 (link):

The 1 and 1 services offered to the small and medium enterprise are impressive. Their strength is their excellent value for money, in offering a very large array of services and features with their web hosting products for an extremely low monthly charge.

The 1 and 1 homepage is attractive and is set up to give clear information about their products and services and what they offer. There is a graphic showing very clearly the extras to be had for each package, helping reveal what stands out. This is definitely a plus in deciding which package to choose. The company track record is also clearly stated with financial summaries, and is rock solid.

Well, I can’t say I’m even a bit displease with this…

I might not look quite as good in leather chaps, but she’s a mighty fine, honorable person… The results of my Serenity Firefly Personality Test:


You are Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)



Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
90%
Wash (Ship Pilot)
80%
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
75%
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
70%
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
60%
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
55%
Inara Serra (Companion)
50%
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
45%
River (Stowaway)
45%
Alliance
25%
A Reaver (Cannibal)
15%
Dependable and trustworthy.
You love your significant other and
you are a tough cookie when in a conflict.

Click here to take the Serenity Firefly Personality Test

Thanks defender75! This journal has some quality stuff on it! Like a post about these little babies coming out in May:
Click to go to the original site.

Doctor Who Christmas Special Dec. 25, 2007 Video Spoilers

So, I’m getting excited because I know that in just 7 days, not only is it Christmas but also the new Dr. Who Chrismas special is airing.

I’ve done a little research on the new series tonight and came up with some videos. Now I am HORRIBLE about spoilers. I almost never read the blurbs on book covers and dust jackets because invariably they reveal too much. So, I’ve watched 10 seconds of each new spoiler and closed the window.

Perhaps you aren’t so hung up on things and can enjoy these… I’ll come back for them on Boxing day…

Spoilers!!!
End of Last UK Season Spoiler – Such sweet sorrow… (DO NOT WATCH if you are Watching this only on SciFi)
Spoiler #1 – Footage from The Run Away Bride
Spoiler #2 – David Tennent, Sarah Parish, Catherine Tate Runaway Bride interview

More Dr. Who Videos are available on their Advent calendar, on the main Dr. Who Site.

And if Doctor Who isn’t really your thing, you can always tune into see
FanBoys – The Movie with guest appearances by Captain Kirk, Princess Leia and Lando Calrissian. No, it’s not a joke check IMDB!