Google is too powerful

Well, maybe it isn’t…it just came across my mind to check my ad income though and I can tell you this much, their recent adaptation to “text-link-sellers” really works. Ever since they did the whole “You get less PR if not 0 right away, if you sell text-links”-thing not only are my blogs PR0, but they’re earning less from text-links (d’uh)…so I applaud Google…their strategy worked again…although not completely…because I don’t care. You heard me…if you think that I’m going to stop selling text-links because you stripped my PR you’re mistaken. Thanks…end rant.

How to start the new year on the wrong foot…

…just try to do a quick update of your server management software (Plesk) and watch how shit hits the fan…then try to fix it and make things even worse…curse…then try to get it back up and finally succeed (partially)…

So sick…so…if you’re seeing this, it means that part of the server is back up on it’s feet…happy new year…and please stand by while I try to fix the rest…

Do you like Backgammon? How about Blackjack?

If you like the game of backgammon you might be familiar with and their all-in-one game software, which not only features the game of backgammon but also other games like perudo and poker.

The software is available in ten different languages, so it really doesn’t matter if you’re speaking english or german, french or greek, chances are that you’ll get a version which will suit your needs just fine and it’s not just that which has made this software one of the industry’s leading softwares. They’ve got a strong following of players and you should be able to find a game of your choice most of the time.

…and now, the software and platform have become even stronger. Why? Because they added one of my favourite games (apart from poker): BlackJack or 21 as it’s sometimes called over here. So, whether you’re interested in just Backgammon, just poker, just perudo, just BlackJack or any combination of the above…check out…btw if you aren’t familiar with the rules of BlackJack, why don’t you head over to the BlackJack-Article-section and get up to speed?

Want to own a piece of a football team?

The new season in good ol’ Engerlund has kicked off and for the first time in a few years I didn’t signup for the manger game as someone (you know who you are) either didn’t start a league this year or forgot to invite me. Oh well…I’m mostly busy with my diploma thesis anyway…so maybe it’s best that way.

Speaking of footie…I just came across this site and I gotta say I love the idea of buying a footie team with the help of some thousand ppl…although I’m a little bit sceptical about the whole thing. Is it really a good idea to have that many “voting members”? Maybe, maybe not…I’m going to keep an eye on the site and see how it’ll go… – a nice new revenue stream for me

It’s been a while since I’ve been looking for new ways to monetize my blogs. To my surprise there is a new, in my humble opinion, cool way to earn some money blogging. The site is called payperpost
and the concept of it is quite simple.

If you’re a blogger, you signup and register your blog with the site. As soon as your blog has been accepted into the program (which didn’t take longer than a few minutes with, you can wander around the “open opportunities” section and see who’s willing to spend money on blog posts.

The listings include all the information you need: the requirements you need to fulfill (e.g. minimum PageRank, Alexa Score), the blog categories that the advertiser is willing to accept (e.g. General Entertainment, General Technology, Sports/Outdoor Recreation, etc) and if the advertiser requires disclosure (that your post is payed advertisement). Once you found an offer which is appealing to you (either topic- and/or money-wise), you can take the opportunity and get right to it. Once you’re done writing the post (and pasting the required tracking codes into the post), you submit the title and url of the blog post and wait for approval and you’re done. Easy as 1-2-3.

A beautiful feature is that you can either keep the money or you can donate it to a good cause (e.g. Red Cross) right away, how cool is that. Now, you might ask yourself why I would consider PayPerPost as I experimented with other pay per (blog) post sites. The answer is easy, because they won’t take a huge cut out of your earnings which means more net income for you. So, if you’re looking for another revenue stream for your blog, check out!

Repair and update

I decided to give repair of my good old Laserjet 5 a shot and it worked out pretty nicely. After getting the new toner cartridge and printing some dozen test prints everything is back to normal. Groovy. To celebrate the “success”, I decided to upgrade the printer…so I fired up ebay and started looking for a duplex-unit, the last available upgrade for my printer. I found one pretty quickly and I’m happy to say: not only is my printer up and running again, no, it’s more than that. It’s a fully equipped printing beast now ;-)

Speaking of updates: As you might have noticed I decided to get a new theme…Ingoal’s Insight is about to hit the three year anniversary…so I thought a new look would be a nice touch…hope you all like it…

New laptop arrives, the joy

So, today the UPS man dropped off my new laptop and I started to play around with it. This is really one fine machine:

1. It looks terrific with the black piano finish on top (I hope that I can keep it from getting majorly scratched by using a tucano second skin, which is like a diver suit, neopren, fitting the laptop like a glove)

2. The display is nice…1280×800…more than enough screen real-estate for my needs

3. It’s light (2.39kg)…

4. It’s fast (I didn’t grab a screenshot of the windows performance ranking, but the lowest score is 3.8 on 3D, everything else is well above 4 (4.6, 4.8, etc)), I like! High-five!

5. Battery life could be better…it ships with a 4 cell battery so the actual runtime is somewhat limited (roughly 3h)…maybe I’ll get the highcapacity battery (double capacity, 8 cells) in the future…for now, I’m fine though as it’s not going to be “on the road” (without a power outlet in reach) for an extended period of time…

So…I’m exited and looking forward to using this bad boy to do some (semi)mobile writing and playing in the months (and/or years) to come :-)

Vista upgrade done

Well, it’s not really an upgrade, it’s more like a switch as the upgrade process didn’t work (see here). So, I did a complete backup of my system partition and fire up the install. Surprisingly enough, it worked like a charm and the system was up and running in less than two hours. The only bad thing with this “clean install” is that I had to reinstall all the programs. Oh well…now that it’s done, it’s done and it feels good to have this whole thing up and running – probably a better idea than to hop around hoping for the upgrade to work and spending hour after hour with it.

The only thing that’s bothering me: Why does a clean install work like a charm when the upgrade process doesn’t? I mean, I didn’t install anything different or anything, no hardware or software change (as I installed exactly the same stuff that was on it before with Windows XP Pro)…weird…

So…my initial review of Windows Vista Business:

  1. Look and feel: sweet…although it’s a matter of taste…do you really need all the transparency and stuff? The answer is quite simple: not really. But if you’ve got the resources (e.g. CPU, ram, video card) anyway, why not…
  2. Performance: Everything is running smoothly, although Vista gave my video card (nvidia onboard model) only a 2.5 (which is rather low end on the performance scale). Everything else is way up there though (X2 3800+, 2GB ram, SATA HDD, …), especially since I added another gig of ram today gotta love that the price of DDR2 ram dropped by a third since december (back then around 90 Euro/GB, now 60 Euro/GB).
  3. Sidebar: I love it and the widgets errm gadgets are sweet…I especially like the multi-meter and the weather gadget so far…
  4. Compatibility: Well, after installing program after program I gotta say that most of the stuff I usually have on my pc is running fine. The only downside so far was that I couldn’t install divx as it doesn’t support Vista (yet), that’s a bummer.
  5. Sure? Sure? Sure? Click! Click! Click! This is one of the most annoying things I’ve ever seen. Why oh why do you ask me again and again if I want to do x? Hello, I’m an admin here, I told you to do so…so get off my back – I guess I need to search around a little to figure out if there’s a way to circumvent and/or disable this whole question/answer thing…
  6. Startup time: A little slower than Windows XP Pro, but not all that much (I would say around 10-20% slower).


Letting go…

I’m usually a “collector” type of guy, but it’s time to let go. Last week I decided that I would let go of my proxy network ( and put it up for sale at the MarketPlace of the great SitePoint Forums, where I’m an advisor (moderator).

Although the number of inquiries was huge, the number of bids was little…at least in the beginning. Then, it happened pretty quickly. After I posted a BIN, it was sold within 24hours…which leads me to believe that the BIN (12x net monthly revenue) was a little low, but hey, I’m not the type of guy who’s whining afterwards. I’m happy that I sold it at the price I did and all that’s left is to wait for the money to roll in and then getting everything setup to make the transfer smooth and easy…

…and on the upside, I’ve still got more than 40 sites to my name, so I’m not really retiring from the website business…and with the cash raised in the sale, I’ll get myself a new laptop (among other things) which will be put to good use in my upcoming diploma thesis… ;)

Finding the culprit and WordPress support

After waiting and waiting and waiting on someone to have a look at my post on the WordPress support forums – without any luck – I decided trying again, finding the culprit that was causing the posts to be empty that is, not to post on the forums again.

In the end, I did nothing more or less than what I did right after the move. I don’t know why it is, but as you can see, it worked…although it didn’t work last time…hmm…weird stuff there…and although I can’t exactly figure out what went wrong here, I’m glad that everything seems to be working again.

…which brings me to the WordPress support forums: No offence guys, but my experience (granted that I tried/needed them for the first time in, well, something like 3 years) was horrible. No responses, no hints, no questions, nothing and it’s not that I didn’t try to provide as much info as I could on my problem…this is really disappointing, but hey…’s all good, I know how forums work, it’s all based on voluntary basis and well, if it’s on volunatary basis (aka you don’t pay anything for it), you can’t/shouldn’t complain if you don’t get anything out of it. So, no offence when I say: I just know that next time I run into a problem with WordPress again, I won’t even bother posting in the “troubleshooting” area, as it’s a complete waste of not worth my time…or as the orangutan from Doctor Doolittle would say: “Gracias por nada”

Finding the culprit

So I had a look at the server logs and stats today and notice a huge increase in both incoming and outgoing traffic. What hit my eye immediately was the sheer amount of nearly 240GB used yesterday. As I browse through the stats to find the request using the most bandwidth I find links to numerous japanese forums – and guess what I find in those threads, yes, pr0n. Not that I’ve got a problem with that, what I’ve got a problem with though is the fact that they are exploiting a loophole in one of my proxies.

Usually it’s quite easy to figure out that you’re getting hotlinked and the solution is easy, three lines of mod_rewrite goodness and you’re done. Now I was facing another variant of the same problem. Let me explain:

The proxy shows a url in the form of once you surf via the webinterface. Now this url can be any type of thing (html, php, gif, jpg, flash, …) so they were just using that fact to their advantage: … img src = “ ….

Now that I noticed that I just block all direct access to such urls via a HTTP-Referer rule…so no more bandwidth theft, use my site, enjoy and watch some ads, damn it ;-)
On another note: good thing that I’ve got a contract with unlimited bandwidth, if not this would have been an expensive loophole…

Edit: It seems that the rewrite solution isn’t working out to good…need to figure out something better, maybe ip blocking…