2024-07-20TECHNOLOGY DEPENDENCE

This week saw a major outage across a wide range of businesses due to a single software bug in a single piece of software. Airlines stopped moving, factories stopped producing, hospitals stopped performing procedures.

Yet the IT industries response is that it was simply to great a dependence on a single company rather than being more… diverse I suppose.

In the event of a Carrington Event level EMP every one of these industries and businesses will cease functioning due to irreversible hardware damage to unprotected computers and won’t restart.

If a day or two of computer downtime caused this much chaos imagine if ALL the computers go down and that it’s permanent.

https://www.breitbart.com/news/crowdstrike-crash-raises-questions-about-tech-dependency/

The Librarian

2024-07-13New Master List Imported

The Library files on the site have been copied over directly from the Master List. The Database of the books and links has been rebuilt directly from that list and imported.

There “shouldn’t” be any more missing files or bad book links. If you do run across any please let me know.

And the .zip files have been rebuilt. One day before too long I’m going to take some of the larger ones like the Scientific American and the Radio 73 ones and break them into smaller sets to make downloading easier. Since those Categories are static and not likely to change they don’t have to be rebuilt when new files are added.

The Librarian

2024-07-11FIXING FILES AND CATEGORIES

I’m working on getting the Files and Categories synced properly. Making sure that:

  • Every files in the Master List is on the site
  • Every file is listed in the proper Category
  • All file links are correct
  • All .ZIP files are up-to-date

That was an almost impossible task on the old site since it was purely manual and errors crept in over the years and were hard to track down. I spent much of today checking the Master List of files, recompiling a full list, ensuring the names were regularized and then built a new list for the site.

I’m going to be recopying the files from the Master List to a Server drive, rebuilding the .ZIP files for each category then moving them onto the Website Server. Once I get them moved I’ll swap out the Library directory with the new one and reimport the Files database.

I won’t need to take the site down but it may be a bit sluggish during the file copying.

The Librarian

 

2024-07-10BAD FIREARMS MANUAL FIXED

There was a corrupted PDF of the Savage Cub Bolt Action Rifle manual in the firearms Category. I was never able to find a good copy of it but Mack, one of the site Users, found a copy and sent it to me.

The corrected file has been put in the library and the date update to today to make ii easy to find for anyone interested.

Thanks Mack.

The Librarian

2024-07-08Category Column Added to Search

It was suggested that I add a Category Column to the Search Pages to make it easier to save Books to the proper category.

Done.

It makes the tables much wider than the page layout but… hey… I’m not particularly worried about the sites “appearance” as long as it does what it needs to do.

The Librarian

2024-07-05Date Range Search Added

I’ve added a Date Range Search to the top of the Main Index. It lets you see what has been added in the last 30, 60, 90 and 180 days. Much simpler and easier than all the coding required to enter a specific date and then handle all the possible error conditions.

It’s supposed to sort them title but doesn’t. Since it’s easy enough to just click on Title or Date to resort the list however you like I’m not going to spend a lot of time tracking down why it doesn’t. I might get around to that sometime soon. Oh and it excludes Zip Files which are in every Category now. When ever I add new books to a category I’ll rebuild that Category’s Zip File

So… Search is in. Zip Files are in. Dynamic Tables are in to make it easier to add books. Comments are disabled so I don’t have to spend time dealing with Spam.

FINALLY I can go back to looking for new books, cleaning up ones I already have downloaded, looking for missing books in partial collections and get back to work on some printing/binding projects that have been on hold for a while.

The Librarian

2024-07-03COMMENTS DISABLED

As I half expected 90% of the comments left on the site have been spam. That’s pretty much the norm on the internet these days but the only way to avoid it is to load down the site with heavy spam filtering plugins and all sorts of bot filtering addons.

I don’t really care about the spam as much as I care about having to waste 10-20 minutes every morning having to wade through the dreck, deleting spam, to find the few real communications.

Easier to simply turn it off. My email address is posted on the Contact Me page and I’m always welcome email from folks interested in the books or the site.

The Librarian

 

2024-07-02ZIPS ADDED

Dynamic Tables are in. Some of them span too far to the right due to some long file names. I’ll get that fixed soon. But they work and that is the main point.

Zips files have been added in each category. I prefixed the file name with aaa- in the index so it will sort to the top or bottom and not be embedded in the list. The actual file does not have the prefix and the zips contain the folder name and the files under it and not just the raw files to make organizing them simpler.

I’ll get the search pages added in the next few days.

The Librarian

 

2024-07-01Dynamic Pages, Search and Zips

I’ve gotten the Dynamic Tables Plugin working properly and will be replacing all of the current Category Indexes with Dynamic tables. They will look pretty much the same but will pull data directly from the database when the page loads so they will always be current and new files can be added much more easily than the old static tables.

The Dynamic tables will also make the Search for recent files simpler since they can use a simple database query.

Now that I’m not longer on a hosting service that throttles bandwidth, blocks IPs that download too much and otherwise make posting .zip files useless I’m going to be adding a zip file in each category that will allow you to download the entire category as a single file.

Since this is our primary fiber line and my wife uses it for her job I have to ensure that the line is not saturated by downloads. To that end I’ll be monitoring the bandwidth use by the website and if it gets too high I’ll have to set a limit on it. Just have to see how many people try to download those files simultaneously.

If there are no bandwidth problems I’ll probably add a torrent link as well.

The Librarian

2024-06-28NEW BOOK SEARCH FUNCTION

I’ve finally got the php code figured out and working more or less correctly. Still have some work to do to get all the required pages and code snippets built and tested and then put them in place.

Probably be sometime next before it’s finished but the primary obstacle has been overcome now it’s just the grunt work and fiddly bits to do.

The way I’m approaching it means I’ll be replacing all of the Category pages as well and using a php search function to pull the data directly from the database which is what I wanted to do in the first place. That way new individual books can be added once… to the database… and the proper page will pull it when the page loads. Makes everything much easier to maintain in the long term.

I’ll start working on the Category pages once I get the New Book search function pages done since, for the time being,  they will look exactly the same whether static or dynamic.

The Librarian

p.s. Thanks to all the folks who offered and provided php advice. It’s coming back to me (like a bad dream) and that helped a lot in getting my head back into the php space. .

2024-06-27

ELIMINATED REGISTRATION

I’ve spent several days dealing with snotty emails from the email service I use for the site due to the phony and bot registrations and spurious emails that cause lots of bounces which is bad for them.

I have better things to do than deal with that kind of nonsense so, as I did with the old site, I’ve just eliminated the whole User Registration function entirely.

For now I’ve left the Comment function on and I’ll still have to manually approve them to keep from being inundated with spam and junk. We’ll see if that’s workable or needs to be eliminated too.

I’ll be working on the Book Database today and with luck might have the date based search up and running soon.

The Librarian

2024-06-20

PHP HELP 

Looking for some PHP help. I’m trying to set up the Book Search page to check for books added since a specific date. It’s been a LOT of years since I did any serious PHP coding and I no longer have the patience I used to have for dealing with syntax errors and malformed statements. (No longer have hair to pull out.)

I need maybe a dozen and a half line of code. What I need to do is

  1. ask for Year in a select statement (2024-2020)
  2. ask for a month (01-12)
  3. concatenate them into yyyy-mm-01
  4. call another php page passing that date in the URL.

The second age making the database queries I can handle just fine. If anyone fluent in PHP could help out I’d really appreciate it.

The Librarian

 

SATURDAY 2024-06-15 (evening)

NEW SITE STATUS

Managed to miss some obvious stuff. Some of the menu links were broken. I had left a Meta data block on the side bar and the Contact form was broken. Those are fixed now.

There’s no login/registration function anywhere at the moment. Seems I broke that yesterday and didn’t realize it. I’ll get that fixed this weekend sometime.

The important thing is that the book Index is working, the Category pages are working and all of the files are online and downloadable. That’s the Core function of the site so as long as that is working the rest is lower priority.

All the 301 redirects have been added so old links will work properly.

For now I’m off to bed to dream about PHP syntax and variables if I’m unlucky.

The Librarian

p.s. if you do see something not working please let me know either through the contact form or by just emailing me at librarian@survivorlibrary.com

SATURDAY 2024-06-15

WELCOME TO THE NEW SITE

The new site is live. Basic design and layout is similar to the old site. Minimalist since listing and downloading books is not a high tech function and doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles to perform it’s function

Only real difference is that there are a lot of capabilities available in the new software which I have not begun to make much use of yet and the up to date software will make maintaining the site a LOT easier.

A few things are clearly different since the Category pages are sortable and have a Date Added field for each book. That will make it easier to see new material when it is added. I’m planning to add some PHP code and a new page that will let you enter a date and will dynamically show you everything added after that date. That will make Catch-Up easier. Probably be at least a few weeks before that is added. My PHP skills are not just rusty but severely corroded and need to be brought back up to snuff.

I know there are still some bugs, mostly formatting items, that still need to be addressed and I’ll be working on those over the next few days.

But the main migration is complete… for now.

The Librarian

MONDAY 06/03/2024

MONDAY 06/03/2024
WORK ON NEW SITE BEGINNING
Setting up the Server for the new version of the website. Too hot to do much outside anyway. It’s a Dell R710, Duel; Xeon processors, 96GB ram, Server 2019 Standard, 1-2TB Raid 5 drive space, IIS10, PHP 8.3.7, MySQL 8, Joomla 5 and a lot of other odds and ends.
Yes I know Linux and Apache is better so don’t even start. I’ve run hundreds of websites in both environments over the last 40+ years. But my Linux skills have atrophied over the years and I just do not have the patience to relearn all that Linux esoterica yet again for the hundredth time. So it’s going to run on Windows Server 2019 and IIS 10.
One of the features I’ll be adding that was just too difficult to add in the old site is each Category being in a sortable table. I’ll add a column that shows when each item was added. Everything already on the site I’ll just date 2024/1/1.
New individuals items will have the date they are added and the list can be sorted on that column. I’m going to try to add the ability to simply search for all new items after a certain date so you can find everything that’s been added since. That will depend on how quickly I regain my PHP programming skills which are quite rusty.
Would like to add a column so that people can leave comments or reviews of any books or books and those would be accessible from the book list. Again… dependent on the level of my PHP language skills.
Please feel free to suggest anything else that would be useful since I’m pretty much starting from scratch on the new version of the site. Other than the book names, sizes and links and some of the static text content of some other pages I’m working form a blank slate.
The Librarian

SATURDAY 06/01/2024

SATURDAY 06/01/2024

MIGRATION TO NEW SERVER COMPLETE

The site is now running on it’s new server at the house here. It’s a Dell T410, 32gb, with a few SAS drives in it. Plugged into a 4 battery APC battery backup.

The performance seems better than the old virtual server at the hosting company. I have a 1GB fiber line so don’t expect any bandwidth issues. If too many people start downloading all at once I might have to throttle the bandwidth since my wife uses that line for her job so she makes the rules on bandwidth use.

I THINK everything got tested and is working correctly. But after 40+ years doing this stuff I know better than to speak in absolutes about such things. If you do encounter anything that doesn’t work correctly, bad links, 404 Page Not Found errors and the like, please let me know. 

The files are there and can be downloaded and that is the primary thing.

Now that it’s here I’ll be setting up the target server for the new site (Dell R710 128gb) where it will ultimately reside. Probably do that this next week and start installing all the base software packages AMP, MySQL, PHPO, Perk, Python, SEVERAL CMS packages since #I will probably move away form the current CMS the site is running. But that will be an ongoing process this summer. 

Weird to be doing all this while my phone keeps pinging SMS alerts of the newest X-Class flare being tossed out by the sun.

The Librarian