I think the theme of 2016 for me was procrastination regarding this site. I had planned on reviewing The Force Awakens when I got back from Christmas vacation, but I kept putting it off. I certainly did not stop listening to, reading, or watching Sci-Fi. The last movie I watched was actually Rogue One, which was great! I guess I’m a bit selfish, as I certainly could have carved out the time to write reviews, but I had other priorities. I was working with my wife on a job search that took up almost all most of my free time, and hers. What free time I did have was spent watching TV to unwind after applying for jobs. We didn’t start keeping track until June, but between then and October we applied to 50 different jobs. In the end I found possibly the best job out of them all, in an area we want to live. Hopefully in 2017 I can possibly circle back and write up some high level reviews of stuff from 2016. My commute now is just over an hour on public transit, so I’ll be plowing through audiobooks like crazy at roughly 2 hours a day. I’ll try to take some time for posts about new books, movies, and games in 2017, but no promises!
So where did 2016 go?
I finally upgraded my WordPress install today, and like a responsible web admin, I backed up my database and also my file tree. After my upgrade I noticed that my comments were all gone! I grumbled a bit and figured I’d extract the files from my backup. I opened my file up and noticed there were no comments. Doh! Where are they? I checked my backup from June, no comments. The latest backup I had with comments included was from February. The phpMyAdmin console showed the table “in use”. Not sure exactly what to do, I opened up a quick Live Chat with my hosting provider, HostGator, and noticed that I was #1 in queue with what, 147 agents available? My problem was fixed in less than 5 minutes. The fix also recovered a few comments that were posted after my last good backup.
I apologize to those of you that tried posting comments the past few months, because they were all eaten up due to the table being locked. I’m not sure what happened, but the support guy told me how to fix it myself if it ever happens again. Essentially, there’s a GUI in the cPanel to check and repair individual databases. I work with MySQL quite a bit at work, but I wouldn’t consider myself a DBA. Now I need to find a better WordPress backup plugin, because I think it should have thrown out some type of error if the table wasn’t readable.
Anyway, I’d like to take this opportunity to recommend HostGator. If you need hosting, please check them out. Any signups done through my link will help pay for my web hosting. Also, you can use code SCIFI25OFF for 25% off your first order. They offer 1 click WordPress installations if you are looking for something like that.
Here are my steps prior to all WordPress upgrades:
- Backup Database via Plugin, also can be done through phpMyAdmin
- Open cPanel and through File Manager, copy my WordPress directory “/installdir” to another directory like “install2011backup”. I think you can only do this quickly if your blog is not installed directly into the root / – note, this takes just SECONDS, rather than downloading thousands of individual files
- Run upgrade, hope for the best
Here is how I restore
- Restore Database via phpMyAdmin
- rename install directory to /install-bad
- rename backup directory from /install2011backup to /install
Do you have a blog? What is your disaster recovery plan?
I’ve been a bad reviewer lately. I usually try to write my reviews right after viewing or reading but I haven’t had as much time to write them lately. I’ve been playing World in Conflict quite a bit lately, which competes with my reviews here. I should actually do a review for that sometime, since I spend so much time playing it. It takes place in an alternate reality where the Soviets invade the US in 1990. For more information in the meantime just click the link above.
So, here are the things I have watched so far, but have yet to review:
- Blade Runner – The Final Cut: (I’ve watched the movie, which was awesome, but I still have to work through the rest of the special features on the last disc)
- I am Legend (2007) – I’ve actually watched this twice, once with my Father while on vacation, and again with my wife
- Battlestar Galactica: Razor – Unrated Extended Edition
I’m also in the process of reading two books: Children of Dune by Frank Herbert, and The Age of Spiritual machines by Ray Kurzweil. The latter is not really science fiction, but I’m about half way through it and many of the ideas probably seemed like fiction back when it was published in 1999. Many of the predictions Kurzweil makes in the first half are fairly accurate, so I’m interested to see what he will say in the second half.
My next major milestone will be to read Chaos Theory, Asimov’s Foundations and Robots, and Herbert’s Dune: The Fractal Aesthetic of Epic Science Fiction.
That should keep me busy for a little while.
Wrapping it up, the epic saga of Isaac Asimov’s Robot and Foundation Universe – PrologueWrapping it up, the epic saga of Isaac Asimov’s Robot and Foundation Universe – Prologue
Almost three years ago I set out on a massive project to read all 36 of the books in the Robot and Foundation Universe. The main thing that prompted me to start this project was an eBay auction that had a specific book I was looking for (The End of Eternity, which is loosely connected to this project) and several other books which I’ve already read. I purchased about 16 books in a lot for about $35 total. After finding this deal I decided to try and purchase every book in the series, which I eventually accomplished. (more…)