Archives » December 10th, 2003

December 10, 2003

Apache Me

This week I started getting serious about moving my site over to an Apache server. My host, Brinkster, has some big issues with reliability, and I find there are times that I just can’t view my own site. So I’m moving off of them and over to an Apache host, most likely freedom2operate. It’s about half the price of my current host, and I have a feeling it will be much more responsive than what I have now. It was founded by Daniel J. Cody, a founder of Evolt, and its main mission is providing free accounts for people to cut their teeth on PHP. The paid hosting subsidizes the other work they’re doing, so I know my money will be going to good use. Plus, there is so much more you can do with Apache and PHP that just isn’t possible on Windows. So the switch will be coming up here, as soon as everything’s ready.

That’s the trick: getting everything ready. Right now my site is written in ASP with SSIs. My weblogs are maintained in Blogger. My goal is to switch the entire site to PHP, with Movable Type on the blog side. So before I can do any switching, I have to convert my entire site to PHP, and set up my blogs in Movable Type. And I’m getting there. I’m definitely making progress. You can see what I’ve done so far at my free F2O site. And you can see my progress with Movable Type there too. Converting most of my site was simple. It’s all static HTML with SSI includes. I changed those to PHP includes, set up a few mod_rewrite rules in .htaccess files, and the site was ready to roll. That worked for my travel pages, tech, and personal information. My blog, like this one and Sammy’s BabyBlog, are going to be a little more involved, since I have to wrap my head around Movable Type to get those running. I have this blog converted pretty well already, at least the main page. Now I need to figure out archiving. I want to archive URLs to look like, like Mark Pilgrim and Simon Willison have. I haven’t figured it out yet. Right now they’re just Passable, but not what I’m after.

It might be a pain getting everything going just right. But that’s okay; I’m used to it. It was a pain getting the static HTML files and PHP includes running at first, and the main menu that’s at the top of every page on my site. But I figured them out. And I’ll figure out Movable Type too. I just might take a while.

Jethro Bodine and the cursed land

They should have been working on Jethro’s casino by now. Instead the building is sitting as empty as ever, and now the headlines are saying Max Baer Jr. is suing his neighbors, who don’t want him to build the casino. It think the land is cursed; a quick look at the history of the lot shows a bunch of unhappy people.

It was an empty lot when Wal*Mart came to Carson City and built there. Because of a deal the city had made with a neighboring store, there were already restrictions on the land. No supermarkets could be built on the land, since it was inside the “no compete” zone Raley’s had negotiated for. But that was fine. Why would Wal*Mart want to build a supermarket?

Wal*Mart was soon joined by JC Penney and a little strip mall. The three owners entered into a pact that the center would only be used for retail. A “theater, bowling alley, nightclub or other place of recreation or amusement” was prohibited. This was fine with everyone. This was a shopping center, after all. Why would anyone want to build entertainment there?

Years later Wal*Mart decided it did want a supermarket. The company was in the process of transforming existing stores into Super Centers, and they wanted to do the same to Carson City. But there was that nasty little “no compete” zone to deal with. The city would not let Wal*Mat expand into a supermarket. So Wal*Mart hiked up its skirt and moved across the county line to build a brand shiny new Super Center. The old building sat deserted.

Max Baer Jr, having given up on his dream of building Jethro’s casino in Reno, bought the Wal*mart building, intending to transform it into his lifelong dream gambling palace. But then the other two owners, the ones who entered into the “retail-only” pact with Wal*Mart, cried foul. The building was still bound by the terms of that pact, they said, and a casino is a place of recreation and amusement. They won’t let Jethro build his casino.

So now Jethro’s in court. Everybody is suing everybody. Jethro wants his casino. The other folks want their quiet shopping center. I think the only winners out of this whole deal are Raleys, who engineered that “no compete” zone back when the whole place was nothing but sagebrush.