Moving to

I’ve now completed the first phase of a huge website move – I’m transferring both my websites (GBMINI and MargaretAndIan) to a single blog, hosted on!


There’s a few reasons for this – but the primary two are (a) that the gallery format is much nicer with Jetpack which is included, and (b) that it’s often hard to decide whether a post belongs to GBMINI or M&I. In the past I’ve sometimes split a post in two, describing car-related things on GBMINI and trip-related on M&I; I won’t have to do that any more.

Once the transfer is complete, I’ll also be paying less and (I believe) having a more reliable service behind the website.

Today, I’ve completed the transfer of EVERY post from GBMINI over to this new site; while doing that, I’ve tidied up all the posts and made the image displays nicer, and I’ve deleted a few – those that were primarily about some other website that no longer exists, for example.

The next phase is to move all my M&I posts over and do the same tidying up – this is going to take a while yet (especially year 2009 with it’s “post every day”!); but I’m very pleased with the overall results so for me it’s worth doing.

I’ve also moved GPMINI over to it’s own hosting, here, for now; that site really needed work as it’s gallery has been broken for a few years! I will be losing the old GP owners forum when I complete that move, but it’s rarely active so an acceptable loss.


Safari reader view

Today’s update of Apple’s Safari browser brings a new “reader” view, which seems to be available only sometimes, but with no website effort … I tried it on GBMINI; it wasn’t offered on the main page, or on the most recent post, but Safari did offer “reader view” on my last MINI Takes The States post. Here is the normal view, and the Safari reader version:

There’s nothing special that I’ve done to that post, it’s a bit of a mystery how Safari chooses whether or not to offer the reader view. Which do you prefer?


A quick shout out of praise to Host Gator, where I now host all my websites … a little over a year ago I moved GBMINI to Hostgator, after first testing them with Recently, my other website MargaretAndIan was slowing badly on the old hosting, so I moved it (and MINIsOnTop to Hostgator too.

I’ve been noticing that M&I doesn’t respond as quickly as GBMINI – it’s much better than it was at Geekstorage, but it’s just not quite as snappy. A traceroute says there’s no routing issue, so I wondered if the hosting server for M&I was not as good as that for GBMINI.
Tonight, at 9pm, I sent a support note, asking if there was an issue. In under an hour I got a response, saying they’d checked, found no issue, and maybe it was a routing problem. Standard response no doubt.
At 10pm, I replied again, with traceroute data, and suggested the issue seemed to be possibly with the SQL server rather than with the web server itself.
Now, again in less than 45 minutes, I got this answer:
What seemed to be a issue was that the mysql tables were not optimized. I have optimized all tables for you and the site now loads in under 2 second relatively like the other site loads on the second server. If you still see any issues with this in the future and have had us enable ssh access you can run this command mysqlcheck -u iancull -p –optimize –all-databases this will scan and optimize all databases for your user.

And they’re right; M&I is more responsive now!
So apart from not knowing anything about mysql table optimization, I am just amazed that Hostgator support will go to such an extent of checking all this out, and identifying and fixing the issue. I’d have expected a simple “no, everything’s fine”, but I got much better!

Comcast data usage

So, Comcast has introduced a “data usage meter”, and I find it rather suspicious!

Their FAQ makes such statements as:
The vast majority – more than 99% – of our customers will not be impacted by a 250 GB monthly bandwidth or data usage threshold … 250GB is far beyond the current median of data usage for a typical residential Internet customer in a month … median data usage by Comcast High-Speed Internet customers is approximately 2 – 4GB each month … 95% of service customers could increase their data usage many times over and still not be considered an excessive user …

But then their chart claims my January usage to be well past 50% of their limit! I wouldn’t mind if I torrent’ed heaps of movies, and ran SlingPlayer every day – but I don’t … of course Comcast provide no data statistics to back up their single number, so there’s no way to draw any conclusions from what they claim; I suppose I’ll need to look at traffic monitoring!

Anyone else with experience of this new Comcast feature?

Google Reader and MotoringFile

I happened to visit the actual MotoringFile website today to see if they’d got the latest MINI sales figures; my first reaction was along the lines of “EEK!” related to the formatting of that site (the bold and fat headline font disturbed me!):

But formatting is personal (yes, Robert, I’m thinking of you), so no doubt lots of MF folks like it …

My second reaction was “oh, lots of stories I don’t remember” … Turns out, the Google Reader feed I set up were using the MotoringFile Clippings feed which they appear to not support even though they offer the link – so it’s not had stories updated since mid last year!

Oh well, so I’ve updated the Google Reader feed and it now includes recent MotoringFile stories. I wonder how often a website feed breaks like that? I suppose to some extent, MotoringFile actually doesn’t want me to use the feed, since then I don’t see all their advertising – but I would have expected a broken feed link to give an error, rather than just give many month old data.
Having the non-clipped feed from MotoringFile is a bit disappointing, since they have a habit of blasting a HUGE amount of copied-from-press-release-and-not-edited stuff into a post sometimes, but overall I prefer to read newer news even if it’s a bit of a flood.