Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

New Home Done

19. October 2009 19:46 by Rick Glos in

Well we are in the new home finally.  Took longer than expected.  We moved out in November of 2008 and our old home was then promptly demolished.  The builder guessed 4-6 months, the contract said 9 months and the bank said no longer than 11 months.  It ended up at 10.5 months basically.  We moved in this weekend.

Old Home New Home
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Still getting acclimated but it is great.

I took over 500 photo’s while it was being built.  Some of it to document the process, document where the wires were behind the walls and most of it due to just plain excitement.

My favorites right now are the new appliances, no more making ice by hand – love the ice cube maker in the fridge, the stacking washer and dryer are quiet, the dishwasher is quiet but my highlight is the fireplace.

Fireplace turned out nice.

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Of course I had to get one going this weekend.

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The kitchen…

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Heidi’s new favorite spot.

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Stairs and open landing to the three bedrooms upstairs.

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My truck actually fits in the garage.  Well barely.  But not bad for a 3/4 diesel truck.

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And of course you know what moved in first.

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I’ve had a few people ask about a house warming party.  Never had one so I don’t know what that entails but we should do something so that if you are wanting to check it out then cool.  If not then it’s an excuse to get together.

Updated bandwidth test – Oct 2009

16. October 2009 07:38 by Rick Glos in

This is the first test of the bandwidth in our new home.  Dramatic improvement by 33% down and 300% up (16Mb/5.7Mb).  I did this at ~7:00 am on a Friday morning.  Interesting to note that if I use a local server to test, Portland, the numbers are dramatically better at 23Mb down and 8.5 Mb up.

Oct 2009

May 2008

Aug 2006

Blog comment spam

6. October 2009 11:25 by Rick Glos in

I’ve been getting quite a bit of blog comment spam the past few days.  When someone leaves a comment, I currently receive an email.  It’s a nice feature of BlogEngine.NET which is the blogging software I currently use to power this site.

After 3 years of mostly clean comments, apparently I’m now the target of an automated spammer called a bot in the techie world.  It leaves your inbox looking like this:

9-30-2009 6-33-06 AM

In the course of a few minutes you can receive hundreds of these.

So now you’ve got multiple problems:

  1. Clean out your email inbox.
  2. Stop this from happening on your blog.
  3. Do it in a manner that isn’t annoying to users that want to leave comments.
  4. Clean out the spam on your blog.

Clean out your email inbox

Not sure if there’s a better way to do this but shift clicking and or selecting all and clicking delete.  Using gmail this wasn’t too painful.

Stop this from happening

It had been awhile since I’ve upgraded the BlogEngine.NET code.  I think 2 years.  I was one 1.2 and they are now on 1.5.  First step was upgrade.

The latest version of BlogEngine.NET has the ability to add Extensions.  I was hoping that there would be some kind of spam management built into the engine but there is not.

One method would be to turn on comment moderation.  I don’t want that.  That means every single comment, good or bad, would need me to click and ‘OK’ button before it gets posted.  Sounds like work and I want automation.

Unfortunately there isn’t a clear list of extensions available for BlogEngine.NET.  Sure there’s an extensions page on their website but the list is certainly not complete and some of the links are link dead.  In particular, of the two ‘Anti-Spam’ extensions, SpamFighter is link dead and Akismet Anti Spam is outdated.  With some googling, I found an extensions project on CodePlex, that however has gone stale, the last release over 1 year ago. 

I finally found one that was somewhat recent called AkismetExtension (initial post|update).  It basically uses a service to check the body of the comment for spam and if it passes then it posts.  Ok fine.  Sounds good for now.  I’ll have to see how it pans out.

In the mean time the only change you the user should see is a new blog style.

Do it in a manner that isn’t annoying to users that want to leave comments

My wife was looking to leave a comment on blogger and I’m sure you’ve all seen those images where you have to figure out what the word is from some image.  She could not read it.  I could barely make it out.

How many users get turned away from using that method?

I also don’t want to have to do registration or force moderation, etc.

Compounding this is two types of spam.  Automated spam and spam from someone who is actually paid to manually add a spam comment.  I have been getting these for some time but the volume is very low so it’s easy to delete these.

Clean out the spam on your blog

Now I have to individually delete each spammed comment on blog.  This is going to be pretty tedious.  Logged into the blog, I get a few extra LinkButtons that you normally don’t see.  Like the IP address of the comment, the users email and a Delete option.

10-6-2009 9-17-27 AM

I’ve left a post lamenting the lack of comment management tools in BlogEngine.NET.

Looks like I have some work to do…