Dale's Weblog

looking back it was easy.
Sunday 23 November


July 2004

Complete backend update

Posted by Dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:00 EST

I’ve done a complete update of the backend of my website today. Every piece of text you now see on this website is coming
to you live from my database! ;) It’s very cool. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Currently I haven’t rewritten an admin panel
although it is in the works as we speak. Very cool. Also got some maths done today. hehe nice.


More upgrades.

Posted by Dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:01 EST

w00ty. I’ve got lots working now. Such as:
*Permanent Linking for news items
*Commenting (able to switch on and off for each news post)
*Archive system
*Separate news and index files to make it easier to include this code into other sites.

And what is even better is that I coded it ALL myself. Wonderful. I’ll take down my old site now and replace it with this.

Still need to work on a admin panel that does everything (as you can move the header links around and all that cool stuff, just no admin panel :p), currently it only does my news. We’ll get there, it’s holidays.


Progress on the admin panel

Posted by Dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:02 EST

Progress on the admin panel has been very good. So far I can:
*Add news (enable/disable commenting)
*Add content (eg ?page=links)
*Edit Content

Things to do include:
*Delete Content
*Delete comments
*Delete news
*Add links
*Edit links
*Delete links.

EDIT: ooooo I can edit stuff now. w00ty. As you can see I’ve added the news edit option.
EDIT2: Admin panel now allows you add links and quick links with a position.

List now is:
*Delete Content
*Delete comments
*Delete news
*Edit links
*Delete links.
*Combine addnews.php and editnews.php


Real News

Posted by Dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:03 EST

Okay here is something you can post real comments about. :p My lovely new site is very cool, although there is heaps I can do to improve it.
I’ve successfully combined all news related functions into one file which is good.

What I really like about my current code is getnews.php (although it doesn’t really just get news anymore). Check it out here:

It works with the ?newsid= string so
?newsid=19 or ?newsid=all etc. Really very cool. Easy to add to another site. Currently the rest of the code is stored in index.php although that will change some time.


test: no delete, so I'll just post something :p

Posted by dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:04 EST

Okay I was just testing something with my news script thingy, and I was going to delete this entry but I forgot that I haven’t written the delete code for the news yet, doh :p So why not just post some news. I’m currently at ucostys house having a mini lan (myself, alec and ucosty). I’ve had some time to work on my admin panel too. Now I can delete content (not news yet). When I get time I’d like to make my content system a package you can download and just run, but we’ll see how that goes. Maybe after school has finished that can be one of my projects.


Half working internet!

Posted by Dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:07 EST

Wow my internet is currently doing very strange things. I have been at matthews place for the last few days. This afternoon my website seemed to die and it looked like my internet had dropped out. Anyway thanks to josh I found out that I was wrong! It’s like half working. Josh can currently access the site yet most of the world can’t! So strange. So anyway he setup an apache proxy to proxy my site to his computer and I’m accessing my site via his connection. Trippy! So anyway yeah. I’m getting home later tonight and will have a look at fixing it.

EDIT: Anyway thanks to josh’s help I got access to core and restarted the connection. Everything is up and running again.


Bandwidth usage for the month + more.

Posted by Dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:08 EST

*logs into router*

[root@fx2 root]# ipacsum -t "last month" -f RED -z
IP accounting summary
Host: fx2 / Time created: 2004/07/02 07:37:04 EST
Data from 2004/06/01 00:00:00 EST to 2004/06/30 23:59:59 EST
Incoming RED (PPP) Direct :11M
Incoming RED (PPP) Forward :3G
Outgoing RED (PPP) Direct :14M
Outgoing RED (PPP) Forward :799M

Overall bandwidth usage for last month was lower than the month before. Uploads were close 799MB verse ~850MB.

Website stats for Jun 2004 (www.dalegroup.net)
Unique visitors: 889
Number of visits: 1273
Bandwidth: 90.10 MB

Website stats for Jun 2004 (forums.dalegroup.net)
Unique visitors: 267
Number of visits: 703
Bandwidth: 89.27 MB

The forums did not receive as many visits as the month before.

Anyway I better be off. Going to school today! The cisco people are doing extra work as we want to get the course finished before the Trials, because we need to complete a bridging course.

Oh while I’m posting, the topic of my admin panel.
The following stuff has been coded and working:

Add News
(enable/disable commenting)

Edit News
(change title and content, auto adds a message saying that the item was edited and gives the option to disable or enable commenting)

Delete News
(deletes the news from the database but leaves a "shadow" saying that the news item was deleted, meaning that people don’t think it’s a 404 error.)

Add Content
(able to add any content, does a check to see if you’ve already got other content under the same name)

Edit Content
(able to edit content)

Delete Content
(deletes content)

Add Link
(adds link and a position)

Add Quick Link
(adds link and a position)

There is still more things I’d like to work on, but we’ll see if I have time.


Something strange.

Posted by Dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:09 EST

I’m sitting here in cisco and my front page of my site looks munted. I have no idea why. The last three news items aren’t coming up and the title for one of them isn’t working. No idea what is going on :S


My love for spam.

Posted by Dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:10 EST

[02/Jul/2004 17:23:41] SMTP: From: josh, To: email@dalegroup.net, Size: 65853546, Sender-Host: 203.173.55.xx, SSL: yes

<b>Size: 65853546</b>

Yes you read that correctly. For those who can’t count thats:

62.8028354644775390625 <b>MB</b>

Now what was in this large email you ask? Spam, yes it was full of all josh’s spam. Wasn’t that nice of him? I think so. Give my mailserver something to do for a change. I’ll figure out a way to repay him, pity his iinet account only supports 10mb file attachments *puts linux iso away* anywho

*goes back to checking email for more spam*


GD images.

Posted by Dale on Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:27:11 EST

Okay I’ve fixed up the look of my news layout. Now with funky GD images for the news headings. Each different news item is better defined. I might do some more work on it today, although there are lots of other things I should be doing! We shall see.

EDIT: Testing admin panel with sessions. Seems to be working well.



Posted by Dale on Mon, 05 Jul 2004 11:04:44 EST

I’m posting this from my newer admin panel. I’ve finally got around to making a "real" admin panel. Based on sessions. Usernames and passwords are stored in the database using encryption. So I’m pretty happy. If I get time I’ll continue working on it.

I’m off on holidays this afternoon with the family and friends for a few days. Unsure where we’re going. I think I’ll be back on thurday.

Oh we had kylies birthday party yesterday, that was lots of fun :) Not much else happening. Oh there was some raid thing down the bottom of my street last night, there were like 15 police cars! No idea why, should try and find out ;)


This is a test

Posted by Someone on Mon, 05 Jul 2004 11:22:32 EST

Hmm. Cool admin panel. I’d say remove the poster and email address fields - link that to your adminusers database.

Multilevels work, sort of - I can’t do anything in the edit/delete sections.. but you should make error messages happen, or at least not list the options if I can’t use them. Usability tweaks, for the most part.


RSS2.0 News Feeder

Posted by Dale on Mon, 05 Jul 2004 16:02:36 EST

Stuart was saying that WordPress is much better than coding a site yourself because it comes with a RSS news feeder.

Well guess what? I decided to code a RSS news feeder myself. Still needs a few touches up but it’s working.


<b>What is RSS?</b>
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an XML-based format for distributing and aggregating Web content (such as news headlines).

Using RSS, Web content providers can easily create and disseminate feeds of data that include, for example, news links, headlines, and summaries.


uber authentication

Posted by Dale on Fri, 09 Jul 2004 10:34:28 EST

Well I got back from my little holiday thingy yesterday. Managed to do lots of driving. Clocked up a few hours so that’s good. Haven’t really driven for like 6months :p

Anyway. I purchased a mysql/php/apache book yesterday and it had about half a page on php sessions. Very basic stuff. It talked about passing sessions within a url. So I was looking into that and found out that my current news script admin panel thingy wasn’t all that securer. All it did was check if auth=true in the session. Now that is fine but if I forgot to logout and someone got that session id (or they got the session id by other means) they could use it on any computer. You don’t even need to setup the script to accept a session id, it already does it! So you can’t stop the user from entering a session id from the url. So for example:


sessionname = whatever you’ve called the session (defaults to PHPSESSID)
sessionid= whatever the session id is (randomly generated).

So that means if someone got the session id they could log in from anywhere without a username or password.

My new authentication is oh so much better. It has three points of checking: the session id, the database and the cookies stored on the users side. It checks for many things now. So if you wanted to hack my admin panel you’d need to do the following:
*Get a valid active session id
*Get all 3 cookies off the users computer who logged in (this includes lots encrypted info)
*Spoof the user’s ip address

heh not all that easy to do. This also protects me if the admin panel was stored on a shared server. If for some reason other people could view the sessions (stored in /tmp) they still wouldn’t be able to login. The sessions on the server are encrypted too (plus you need the user’s cookies and ip address). So it’s all good.

You aren’t getting into my admin panel ;)


core nsw telstra router down

Posted by dale on Fri, 09 Jul 2004 21:00:13 EST

If you’re currently experiencing slow internet in NSW the problem is most likely the fact that a core router at Telstra is down. A switch to the backup router failed.

The following is an email from iinet:

<i>"Dear iiNet Clients.

Please be advised there are currently packet loss issues for both Dial-up and ADSL customers when attempting to access local traffic in NSW.

Our upstream provider has been notified and are presently working on the issue.

An update will be provided by 8pm WST this evening.

Distribution: Public
Category: 2-serious
Status: current
Affected Locations: Regional NSW, Sydney
Affected Services: Other
Commencement: Fri, Jul 9, 2004 17:40:00
Estimated Return: Fri, Jul 9, 2004 20:00:00

Please be advised that all Faults are lodged in WST (Western Standard
Time) unless a specific time zone is stated within the Fault description.

If you have any questions about this fault, please reply to this email."


PHP code

Posted by Dale on Sun, 11 Jul 2004 12:19:00 EST

We all love php code so I thought I would try and add an option in the commenting system so you can post php code without any problems.

Let’s just say it was a bitch to code!

I also included some basic bb code. I started with the basic bb code. To include the php highlighting it made the code three times the size!! argh and it only works once per post. Oh well. It’s better than nothing.

You better post heaps of php code now ;)

Okay php formatting should work here now too:
[code]function bbcode($content) {
$text = $content;
$text = htmlentities($text);
$search = array ("", "", "", "", "[u]", "[/u]", "™");
$replace = array ("<b>", "</b>", "<i>", "</i>", "<u>", "</u>", "");
$text = str_replace($search, $replace, $text);

return $text;
} [/code]


General Site Comments

Posted by dale on Sun, 11 Jul 2004 21:53:59 EST

Think of this as like a guest book. Sign away and let me know what you think of the site!


Join the dalegroup network.

Posted by mwdmeyer on Mon, 12 Jul 2004 20:24:13 EST

Currently in Beta stage

Once everything is setup I hope to give users of the network access to some cool things, although I’m going to need to work on it.

Currently you can sign up and activate yourself (that is it). I hope tonight I’ll work on an admin panel and after that funky things! :p

Now I need to wash up! Rolling Eyes So yeah.

Sign up!!1


As it is in testing stages I want you to TRY AND BREAK IT. See if there are any bugs. Currently all you can do is signup and activate yourself.

Report bugs, but please don’t get shitty I wrote this in like 40min. ;)


I just want BCC to work :'(

Posted by mwdmeyer on Tue, 13 Jul 2004 17:59:31 EST






Mailing list, updates and upgrades.

Posted by mwdmeyer on Tue, 13 Jul 2004 21:16:14 EST

well this afternoon has been busy! Most importantly I’ve got my mailing list working. So you can get emails for new news posts and/or comments. I plan to add more features when I have time.

I did a small fix with the RSS feed. It only does headings now, unsure if the other problem is fixed.

Also upgraded the forums to version 2.0.9, just some small bug fixes.

To login to the dalegroup network see here:

To join the dalegroup network see here:



More features for you and more code for me!

Posted by mwdmeyer on Wed, 14 Jul 2004 20:17:27 EST

See those quick links to your left? Don’t like them? Well customise them!!! Check your admin panel found here:


You can disable and enable them when ever you like without losing your save links list. How cool.

Try it out!



Posted by mwdmeyer on Wed, 14 Jul 2004 22:35:39 EST

Hah Had a bit of a problem. I finally setup index.php to handle sessions (for the dalegroup network), so you can have links down the side etc. My only problem dalegroup manager (my content admin) also uses sessions and well they both decided to talk with each other a bit :|

So I no longer use a separate admin panel. I login via the standard area now too. This is my first post since the move so we shall see if this posts without any problems.


Latest version, 2.0.50 of apache is buggy.

Posted by mwdmeyer on Fri, 16 Jul 2004 18:32:54 EST

I upgraded to apache 2.0.50 on my windows 2003 server a few days ago. Now at least once a day apache hangs when ever I try to open my web stats package (awstats.pl), which is highly lame (although is continues serving other pages). The error I am receiving is:

[error] (70007)The timeout specified has expired: ap_content_length_filter: apr_bucket_read() failed

Which is highly lame. To fix this problem I’ve gone back to apache 2.0.49. This problem has been seen by other people but not just in this version. I hope it gets fixed!

Bug report here:

Also in the event viewer I have this error:
Faulting application Apache.exe, version, faulting module ntdll.dll, version 5.2.3790.0, fault address 0x00003847.

Although the problem seems to have affected linux boxes more.


RSS upgrade

Posted by mwdmeyer on Sat, 17 Jul 2004 20:09:04 EST

I’ve upgraded the RSS feed. And it’s now a valid feed. Plus we have a quick sms style (160 char) description and valid dating scheme (now now don’t get ideas ;))

In reply to this: http://sc.dalegroup.net/?style=2&page=news&nid=76

So with this RSS feed and the mailing list there should be no reason not to know what is going on down at dalegroup ;)


the employment path!?

Posted by mwdmeyer on Sun, 18 Jul 2004 21:16:04 EST

Well as some of you may know I was working at DET (Department of Education and Training) IT area, and most of it was very interesting.

The first two days were lame:
Day1: Write out the features of Microsoft Office and Burn a CD.
Hey guys, I’m just about to get my CCNA I am more qualified than you! ;) :p
Day2: Sit in the help desk and listen to calls coming in about problems that the schools maybe having.
Hey guys, its school holidays no one is around.
*goes out for a smoke* :p
Day3: Well this was better. Sat in "Computer Support" and worked out how to change the hardware abstraction layer (aka hal) in windows. This is the thing that handles the hardware. It’s like a layer that sits between the software and the hardware, some Microsoft thing. It’s meant to work on any platform too (but that is never going to happen).
Day4: Went to their content management people. Talked at lot about XML and how it is good for interoperability. For example a moderator between two different databases that need to talk to each other.
Later that day I went to networking. Got to play around with some funky Cisco wireless stuff and talk about VPNs.
Day5: Went to the "NT SERVER TEAM". Listened to how they and the Novell team always fight about operating systems, funny stuff. Also talked about what my options are after leaving school.

Anyway it was very interesting. 40,000 email accounts about 40million emails a month. IT is a very specialized area. For example how a server gets setup:
1) Operations team install server into the rack and provide power
2) Networking team sets up routing and gives it an IP address
3) NT server team setup windows
4) Content management people do website

So if you worked in the NT server team you have NOTHING to do with the network. Need an ip address? Ring networking. So in a big company like that you really only do one thing. I was always under the impression that you’d do a range of things. Nope.



Microsoft Proxy 2.0 sucks

Posted by mwdmeyer on Tue, 20 Jul 2004 14:48:33 EST

Argh I’m sitting here at school accessing my website. It’s always been slow through the school. Now my understanding was it was just that the proxy was crap, well it is crap but if I access my site via IIS http://www.dalegroup.net:666/ it runs fast! So I’ll be leaving IIS running for access via school. Most of my hosted sites are also setup to work via port 666 too, so try it sometime.



RSS to kill a website near you!

Posted by mwdmeyer on Tue, 20 Jul 2004 21:07:20 EST

"The popularity of RSS feeds is testing the web infrastructure of at least one publisher, which likens the impact of newsreader traffic to a denial of service (DoS) attack."


Did you get this news item via my RSS feed? ;)



Posted by mwdmeyer on Sun, 25 Jul 2004 09:11:04 EST

Well I thought I should post some news. It’s nearly been a week :p

Really nothing much has been happening, most of us are all studying hard for the Trials. So that is taking up most of our time. I think everyone is looking forward to finishing. I know I’ve got a lot of little personal projects that I want to do but can’t until the HSC is over. I’m really looking forward to getting out into the "Real World", school just feels so restricting. I’m sick of learning about things which suck! :p I spose uni is going to be the same, but there is more choice into what things you do end up learning. I’m looking forward to hunting down all the "computer nerds" in uni and bringing them to the forums, whammaahahhaa. *ahem* yeah.

Time to move on! School is too old school….



Posted by mwdmeyer on Wed, 28 Jul 2004 16:46:35 EST

This site uses cookies:


Just thought you should know that. By the way, I don’t like Oreo’s and we really should call them biscuits seeing we are in Australia.



Posted by mwdmeyer on Wed, 28 Jul 2004 21:10:50 EST

This is the first spam message to get through both my mailserver and outlook!

We are looking for business-partners in world for cooperation in money exchange.
Our company is the leader in online money-exchange on the Russian market.
Nowadays Russian web-sponsors, as well as web-sponsors all over the world,
feel the deficit in online-money (such as E-gold).
We are looking for partners with bank accounts in diffrent countries
for quick money-exchange from sponsors account in E-gold.
In order to become our partner you need: corporate or personal banking account,
ability to expand your bank account in short period of time (or use Western Union money transfer).
Money transfer scheme: we make an bank money transfer (ASN, WIRE),
so that money will be available to you in several minutes.
After that you have to expand the E-gold account or make a Western Union transfer.
You get 10% from all transactions, plus we pay all your expenses. (Your income per day
start from 200$ - 800$)
Please fill simple form, and provide some information about you and we will contact with your soon.

(we do not want any information about your account info etc.. only name of bank u have)
Thank you.



Posted by mwdmeyer on Thu, 29 Jul 2004 21:50:35 EST

w0000. Dalegroup has just hit 30,000 page views this month. This is the number of pages loaded for the dalegroup website and dalegroup forums over this month. And, we’re still not quite at the the end of the month. Nice work! Currently this is the second largest month in the history of dalegroup. The biggest month was Oct 2003 with just over 35,000 pages.

Yes we’re still a small site, but one day mwmwhahaaa! :p

Also looking at the router status we have uploaded more content as a whole (this includes hosted websites such as SC and Terminate who too have had big months). I think this is great!

On another topic last week I rebuilt apache and php because of server issues: http://www.dalegroup.net/index.php?newsid=55
Apache hasn’t died since. There may have been some config stuff left over from the old version. I’ve had this problem before (not updating config files), when I upgraded php and used the old file. GD crapped out and locked up apache and needed a reset. Did this on two servers, whoa I’m smart ;)

So ALWAYS redo your config files on a new install of server software, I know it takes time but do it!


Agile is cool

Posted by mwdmeyer on Sat, 31 Jul 2004 20:44:43 EST

http://www.agile.com.au/agile, is http://www.internode.on.net/ (a large adsl provider) IP/data carrier (internode also own agile). Internode/Agile is very different from is competitors (such as Chime/iinet) as it has one massive national network. iinet use Telstra to provide connection between different states, where as internode have their own. Although iinet are rolling out DSLAMs they still rely on Telstra for data services. Internode has their own network just for them. It has been seen that this is much more reliable than its competitor’s counter parts. On the topic of data services. PIPE, a peering company also has a pretty nice setup although their POPs between states are not connected. There are lots of alteratives to Telstra, it is a pity that iinet rely on them so much (although iinet peer with PIPE). I am very interested in this area of IT. One day I shall have my own national network providing phat bandwidth to everyone ;) I’m sure I can fit in a data centre for hosting too.



Sorry for that random news post ;)


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