smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

This have been really busy here at SM-EW this past week. Baron is getting ready for BABScon tomorrow and is currently matting his little heart out. He's got a panel in the artshow, so if you happen to be going to the show, please feel free to stop buy the artshow room and check it out. Here's a quick look at some of the stuff he'll be hanging:

As far as things here on the site - We have found a new project management system, Project Panorama, that I think in the long run will be a lot better than our previous one. It's a lot simpler for one, and it was expressly designed to be a communication tool between clients and services, so using it as a quick reference for who has what commission and at what point it's currently at is going to be great. It's already up and going for select commissions and will be filling in the other outstanding work in the next week or two. Please note - you need to have a login to smudgemarks-engelwerks.com as well as an outstanding commission to be able to see this feature.

I have also been busy redoing the code to make the site much more mobile friendly. I still have a ways to go with the menu bar and the gallery pages, but it's moving along at a steady pace. Next up on my work docket - getting our SSL in place so we can take cards directly online. Until then, it's PayPal via the shopping cart or contact us and we can send you an invoice that is credit card capable, via our merchant service. Once that gets all in place, it's time to start filling out more of the online store. ^.^

In future news, once Baron gets back from BABScon, we'll be making him a Patreon account. We know several people have asked for this and we listen! So keep your eyes peeled.

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

Just a heads up to Commissioners - due to an error (then followed by the worst tech support I've ever seen), we are going to be migrating to new a project management system.

Yes, I know we just got this last one installed and were just starting to put it though real-world stress tests.

This sill take a while to get it all in and working again. However it will not affect Baron's current schedule for turning work out.

Thank you for your understanding.

In the meantime, have a interwebs cat. Cats make everything better.

ComputerIndy(color)

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)
This past couple weeks have been strange. Not bad just strange.

I've finally tackled the website slowness and fixed the issue with help from you guys. Thanks!

Been also working on the wallpaper for Radio's Indigogo campaign. Inked it in via Manga Studio yesterday and am now onto color blocking it. It should be done in another day or so. Been wanting to get more practice with all digital pieces anyways. So I'm using this assignment as an excuse.

The past few weeks I'm been fighting allergies BAD. Lots of post nasal drip leaving my esophagus swollen and sometimes difficult to swallow. Fortunately, it seems to have left my windpipe completely unhampered so breathing (short of a stuffed up nose) is unhindered. Talked with my doctor again last Tuesday and we've changed my meds again, though only minorly. It's working but not the extent I'd like. Still waking up with it raw but it clears not now during the day. Needless to say, this dose not make for a bright and cheery Smudge.

I did, however, have a great weekend. My Brother and his wife threw a surprise party for my folks 50th anniversary up in the gold country. So me, Baron and our roommate James all piled into Ken and drove up for it. We ended up staying overnight as what best can be described as a cozy dive. The place was old, as in built in the 40's old. It was clean and the staff were nice and helpful, but it really, really, really needed updating something bad. Beds were painful, pillows wimpy, rooms stuffy and full of cleaner smell (which wanted to set me off). Good for one night, but not much beyond that. The party however was very nice. Many of our relatives and friends of the family who are on the west cost came out. Though Mom was trying her best to foil my bro's plans to get her to the casino, it all worked out in the end. I though my dad's face was going to fall off he was smiling so much. All in all it was good.

Still trying to get back into the art groove. Will be a little bit before I can update Ebin & May again, but I'm working in that direction.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)
So - after telling the spambots to go die.die.die. the site sped up, albeit not by much. After all that, it was still not able to update and would time out at the server. So, for a 3rd time, I contacted tech support from the hosting company.

One phone call later and the conclusion to try moving the site to a new, less crowded server was tried. And it worked! It is now, screamingly fast, as it should be.

So now I can stick a fork into this problem and call it done and move onto the next.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)
To update folks on website issues:

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] edg, I was able to finally see what's been going on with the site and why it's stupid slow. It's being slash-dotted by spam bots... to a section of the site that doesn't exists.

When I took over the site from a previous admin there was a forum there that, frankly, was poorly maintained and was well beyond compromised. Oh and none but the spambots actually used it. So, first thing I did was rip it, it's database and anything even slightly associated with it and sent it to the great electronic trashcan in the sky. No more point of entry for hacking - that should clear things up, right? WRONG!

Apparently WordPress intercepts any 404 page error to display it's own page. And since the server is actually serving something (and not just an error) the spam bots are all "Oh! There's something here! We should KEEP HITTING IT!", and have spread infinitum. Oh, and because they are ONLY hitting the non-existent folder on the site, their hits don't show up on my hit counter, even though a WordPress page was served. I was blind to what was going on, thanks to that. No wonder DreamHost was throttling the site. Good LORD! ~.~

So, once we determined what was going on, it then became a question of properly blocking them. I first opened up my .htaccess and put in blocks to two of the biggest network offenders, then added a proper 404 error output to anyone trying to access the offending folder. I really hope this will work. But it'll take a couple of days to have to spam bots realize there is nothing there and move on. Cross your fingers.

I really wish there was an automatic way to say "if someone tried to access [offending_non-existant_folder] more than once, BAN THEIR ASSESS!", but so far, no love on that one.

I also went and tried to find a way into the back-end that would let me see what's going on. And, at least for live traffic and failed logins, I found one: WordFence, and anti-hacking plugin for WordPress. I have been using it over the weekend to help me smite with the biggest BANHAMMER I can get a hold of.

I really hope this clears up soon so I can do more basic maintenance, like, oh - updating the site. Frankly, if this doesn't clear up I really don't see a reason to keep the site open anymore. All this spambot throttling has pretty much driven our users away. What's the point of having a paid site none can come to due to extreme slowness and timeouts thanks to all the spambots?

Man, I really hope that's not going to be the case.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)
Okay - So, one of the things I've been doing is occasionally building WordPress sites. And I've kind of gotten descent at it. But I have this one site I maintain that is... let's call it a 'trouble child'.

It is slower than molasses in the Montana Winter, to the point that I can no longer update it without the server timing me out. I have been fighting this for a long time now. I *think* I've even talked about it here. I have talked to my hosting provider, but they keep saying the same thing: According to them, the site is being pounded. Their solution? - modify the .htaccess and add a robots.txt file, to tell spiders to go away and remove all hot-linking to the site. Which I have done. But it's not working. At all. And hearing this for the fourth go around when it's not working is, well, beyond frustrating.

I am literately at my whits end here and am asking for help because, this is frankly beyond my skill set. I may be a good artist, and a decent, basic programmer, but I am really far from being a server admin with suspenders.

So, what do I need? A new direction on which to talk this issue.

What I don't need - telling me, or offering, to rebuild the site from the ground up using [insert personal baby program/service/webcode/DB here]. The site is build with WordPress with Php5.x/MySQL. That will not change.

If you have any ideas or want to help out with this programming puzzle, please, please, please post a comment below or shoot me a note.

Thank you!
smudgedragon: (Radio Comix Logo)

Mirrored from Ebin & May.


Ebin and May has updated!

Hey-ho! your favorite Radio web-monkey here. Just wanted to give folks a heads up that I'll be doing some site maintenance on Ebin & May over the weekend. So if you hit the site and things seem a little off-kilter, don't panic. It's just me doing my Web-monkey thing. ^.^

Carry on!

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
Just a heads up for any who care - We've finally gotten off our butts and moved the DNS of the old backbreaker.com site. Hopefully I did it right and was able to get the email boxes moved too. Only time will tell now. @.@

Been meaning on doing this for ages, but work with the Radio Comix site kept piling on me so that I had no time to deal with my own. But our housemate, Dave suddenly came panicking down the hallway today saying that his site was down and his email was not getting though (which is kind of bad since Dave relies so heavily on his email for his work). His old host, and ours, was getting out of the hosting end of things for various reasons, but it left him in a learch with nowhere to go. Since we had been getting smudgemarks-engelwerks up and going slowly on a different provider with the idea of moving backbreaker.com there as well (to slowly rot), I was able to get him disk space on our hosting. So, it all worked out in the end.

*If* I did everything correctly ....

Unsure dragon is unsure.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
Thank you one and all for the Birthday wishes yesterday. It was quite unexpected and wonderful!

Spent the day unabashedly doing... work. nice, boring work. Weeee. Expect some changes to the Radio Comix front page very soon! I do plan to have a small, quite get-together with my folks this coming weekend to celebrate both my birthday and my Dad's (who's turning... yikes!... 80!). No clue where we're going to go for that, but we'll figure out something.

As for today, it's inking the next page of Ebin & May to post for tomorrow. I really don't like cutting my art-to-post times so close. Extra pressure I don't need. But I didn't get the pencils for the backgrounds off of Baron until last night. And trust me when I say that I could never have done these background and it looks AWESOME! I just hope I don't kill it all in the inking process.

Anyways - thank you all once again!
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
Been working my ass off lately, but not doing what I want to do. Blargh.

Been getting BMI ready for upload for download distribution. This is taking a lot longer than I'd prefer. Mostly because I keep having to backtrack on my work. I also need to get Trouble Express ready to go too. But I am very unhappy with the scans I did for issue 3 and am wondering if I need to re-scan the entire lot. Alas working on getting new stories ready to go for Radio Comix website. Which of coarse means more scanning.

On top of that - I am doing the stupid, suicidal thing of writing my own theme for WordPress. Mostly because I am sick of fighting with ComicPress, and I have issues with Easel and how the base theme is handled. I know just enough programming to get myself in real trouble. So off I go. The theme will most likely be for my own, personal use and not made available to the web community, mostly because I don't want to spend the rest of my life supporting it.

When that is done, I should probably write a plugin that will X-post to FA and DA, but that might be beyond my programming skills.

And on top of this is Project Garefowl which I really need to get moving but everything else keeps getting in the way.

And this is why I am grumpy and not really talking on the internet. ^.^

Back to work for me.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
This post is mostly for me, and maybe Elin -

Things have been so buggered lately, I thought I'd make a post of what I've done work wise and what still needs to be done. I've long since lost track of it all so I was thinking that this might help me get on track as well as proving to myself I haven't been useless and not doing anything (though I seriously feel that way right now).

Sinfactory Comix - have finished installing the new Sinfactory member site and all subsites. New Ratmaze has all been posted as well as the conclusion to Hard Time.

Radio Comix - have put in the new add boxes for Tiger Team Three and Trouble Express.

have done some random sketches that really aren't worth sharing. right now my artistic drive is stuck in pure neutral.

Things I still need to do -

Sinfactory Comix - need to set up the front end to the site (that you don't have to be a member to view).

Radio Comix - need to set up the new ComicPress child site template. Along with that, will be a members only section (for the artist currently uploading to the site) that will have information just for them.

Personal site - need to get the child site to not display the text on the header.

Need to do more art. Not sketches or doodles, but real, hang-on-your-wall art. feh.

There's probably mroe I need to add to this list, but for now I can't think of any.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
So I go outta my way to test website upgrades before getting them going on the main sites I manage. Except in this case, the main sites broke but the test sites work just fine. ComicPress/WordPress, why do you mock me so? Oh, right, it's because I'm using the multi-user installs.

*head desk*
*head desk*
*head desk*

*runs around screaming while pulling hair out*
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
Been feeling... off. Not sure if it's just a low level allergy attack or just in my head. I am inordinately grumpy when I should not be. Apple rings and Virgel's Rootbeer has help, but it was only a temp solution.

Woke up yesterday, Monday, with only a couple hours sleep with a really bad allergy attack. We're talking mild fever, the railroad spikes of doom up my nose, and a really killer migraine. Baron thinks it was caused by some of the cleaners he used to get the black-mold and runner residue that was gunking up the bedroom window, Sunday. Fortunately, while my nose was plugged, my throught was fine and did not close so at least I could breath normalish. I took a couple of hours before I was well enough to go back to sleep.

But that seems to really have set me off this week. Grumph.

Today - I'm hoping on working on my personal site more. mostly sitting down and designing a logo for it. I'm thinking something dragon related and swooshy. We'll see what develops. Once I have the logo, I can start constructing ads for Project Wonderful. No clue if they will actually help drive to the site, but we can hope and see.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks.

Finally got my personal site back into shape and happy. While it’s far form perfect, at some point you just have to stick a fork in it and call it done.

I’ll now be putting up my better art here along with stuff for sale and links to the different “shops” I have around the web. Except for originals, I’m having other places take care of the shipping/storage/manufacturing of my different items. Since I have almost no room at my current abode, this seemed the way to go. Less tax stuff I have to deal with too.

I’ll still occasionally use my site as a ‘test bed” for other sites I manage, hopefully they won’t be quite as dramatic as the changes it’s undergone recently. As such – I’ll probably update here more than LJ, since I can cross-post to LJ now without too much trouble. Wish I could do the same for my other WordPress/ComicPress sites, but the PhP on this server is not up to snuff for that. Feh.

Anyway – keep your eyes pealed for more good stuff!

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
Been working on the Radio Comix website all week.

All I can say is... I want this mug - http://www.zazzle.com/css_is_awesome_mug-168716435071981928



*trundles back to website work*
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
So I've been beating against WordPress/ComicPress for the past couple of days and have come to the conclusion that's it's too buggy to use for now. As far as I can tell, this is all on the ComicPress side of things.

So what have I been stonewalled with?

1. Images not displaying on the backend in the manager
2. Image file names being converted to html escape code and corrupting the images in the process
3. Comic images not syncing up with posts when imported in from previous versions
4. New CSS calling for images, but never displays them (in menu bar)

While the WordPress MU install is freak'n nice for controlling multiple users and sites form a single install, right now, it's just too buggy for me to do anything with. So it's back to the same ol' nested installs for me.

I just hate wasting time like this only to give up, when I could have spent that same time doing something more productive.

Feh.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
Finally got a chance to go riding yesterday. Felt good except my knees. I know it's been almost a month since the last time I rode so I knew my knees were not up to speed, but dang, my left knee is miserable. This frustrates me. I can't get better with my riding if my knees won't let me. grrr.

Today - it's going to be a lot of website stuff again. still trying to test WordPress MU/ComicPress out. Keep running into bugs I can't seem to fix myself. Hopefully, I can find some answers today and make a break though. I really want things to go smoothly so i can have a good day and not end up even more frustrated by things.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
Can I just strike last week from the record?

Spent most of the week sick. Felt like I lost twice my body weight in water out both ends in a 24 hour period and it's taken me this long to get back up to speed. Didn't help that after I got better, [livejournal.com profile] rindis got what I had. ended up spending all night Sunday at the hospital wit him. *He* has medical, the lucky bastard. ^.~

Finally got my main site fixed... for now. It and AoB are probably going to break again in the near future as I test more things out. Thanks to Frump for the help as it was far more convoluted than I'd have could have diagnosed on my own.

Up early today in an attempt to reset my clock for riding tomorrow. I need to get back into the saddle. Otherwise - it's time to poke at the website more, and maybe do a little art if I'm lucky.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
So I've been upgrading my personal site. And I think I broke it. everything is displaying properly but my actual gallery. At this point I must walk away until until later.*

*later will be defined as hearing back from the bug-forums for the blog-program, or me breaking down, ripping it all out in a week and starting fresh, whichever comes first.

Also note, I'm actually not too upset over this. It's annoying, but not upsetting mostly because I figured what I was doing would probably break things. And it did. I fixed most of the breakage on my own, just this last spot of trouble that I can't seem to get over is in my way. I'm using my personal site to test things before I take it live at things like Radio. Seemed safest.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
Been working on more Ebin & May - Inking currently - should have it done in a day or two, then it's on to writing the next episode. It's been slow going since I can only ink a page a day to keep my hand from falling apart. But it is moving along.

Also been trying to poke more at Longing for Home. And it's fighting me. Hard. I finally found a nice star scape I can use (courtesy of NASA). But Hash, probably because of a version upgrade between when I started and now, has inexplicably stopped lighting it the way I originally had it set up. Since the shot is all based around the lighting, this is a game-killer. Oh, and my backups are corrupted so I can't go back to the older version. Been at it for 4 hours now and I'm about ready to shoot my computer.

At least I'm trying...

*head desk*

Tomorrow - back end work at the Radio Site. And horsies.

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