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jaysonKnight.com
A conduit to the voices inside my head.

Jayson's Blog

  • Happy Blog Birthday to Me: Ten Years of Writing (But Not So Much as of Late)

    Ten years ago, I started this website as a simple experiment with very straightforward goals:

    1. To see if I could write my own blogging engine (which I did, it was very simple…the earliest capture of my site is available here from April of '05). It was quickly overwhelmed with traffic, and I migrated it to Scott Watermasysk's excellent .Text platform, which was later folded into Community Server, which is what this site still runs to this day, even though it has been deprecated, and is now a closed source non-free offering from Telligent systems.
    2. To see if anyone would actually visit a personal weblog of my authoring. At the time, yes, it was a rousing success, but it is the opinion of this author that personal tech blogs are passé. Ten years ago, having a tech blog filed under your name was very popular. Now, I'm not so sure.

    I've maintained fairly steady traffic over the years, but sites like stackoverflow dominate the tech sector, and rightly so. Other popular programming sites have basically put personal tech bloggers out of business, and again, rightly so. Why have a huge amount of disparate information scattered across the web, when a central repository of like minded authors serves the greater good? I'll be honest, I really would love to have this site take off again like it did back in the day: It took me a long time to build up an audience. But the plus side is I've met some incredible .Net developers along the way, due to this blog. I won't do a roll call, you guys know who you are, but because of this site, I have a pretty nice .Net network, people I still talk to virtually on a fairly regular basis. Because of this blog, I was able to run my own consulting firm, based on building "web presences" for a couple of years, so overall I'm pleased with what this site has done for my professional life. But finding a new voice, breaking some new ground…it's been tough. Back in the day, if you built it, they would come. Not so much anymore though.

    I go back and forth: Take the site down, keep it going, let it stagnate, or fire it back up…ten years is a long time, and I have poured so much blood sweat and tears into this site, both building and customizing it, and in the content itself. It's just so funny when I think back to version 1 of this site, I literally hammered out the database design, backend coding, and frontend design in about a week. I set up the domain name as a dummy forwarder with FreeDNS, pointing to a tiny server I had in my condo at the time (it was an AMD 667mhz box with 512MB/RAM, running on a 1mb/sec broadband connection, it was 128kb/up though…pitiful). I had no clue what a trackback was, I just started writing random content. My early writing was awful, but I was just writing for the sake of writing, just putting up content to see what happened, and then visiting various programming sites posting links back to my various posts. Then Google spidered my site, and traffic jumped through the roof. My initial codebase crumbled under the load, especially given the constraints of my home server setup.

    I'd love to have the time and money to redesign my site, and take it in a different direction, but in the end, it's just a content driven site. I keep it up because I still get a fair amount of traffic, and every once in a while, I'll get a comment on an old post saying "thanks for this post, it helped me do my job today" or an old friend will find me, and want to reconnect. I'm still not sure how often I'll update this site. I was on a roll with my design pattern series, as well as explaining complicated computing concepts in everyday terms category, but as is usually the case, real life steps in, and little pet projects like this site have to take a back burner. The good news is, running this site is cheap. I'm back to hosting it on a home server (a very powerful quad core machine with 5mb/sec up), so all I have to do is pay my yearly DNS hosting fee, and forget about it. But, my little tech site holds a special place in my heart, so I doubt I'll ever take it down. And perhaps one day, I'll get around to a redesign, or a migration to a more modern CMS. We'll see. Happy 10th blog birthday to me though.

  • Aaron Spelling -- Dead at 83

    I don’t want to admit it, but I was a huge Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place fan back in the day.  The man behind those dramas is dead at age 83.  RIP.
  • .Text .95 to Community Server 2.0 Migration Assistant

    Shannon asks me the other day (general wording is mine, not his):

    Will there be an option for all the .Text holdouts who didn’t want to move to Community Server 1.0?  Will we have to upgrade to an interim build first and then to 2.0, or can we go straight from .Text .95 to CS 2.0?

    First off, I’m ecstatic that he’s considering the move over to the CS platform as obviously it’s a kickass product, and .Text is largely dead (though subText seems to be doing pretty well).  Second, that’s a fantastic question:  I wrote my own migration tool back when CS1.0 was released that was essentially a database to database migration using DTS; Kevin Harder came along and trumped me with a very nice tool of his own that used the CS API to migrate the data, which became the defacto migration tool in the community and was generally easier to use and less error prone.

    So I emailed Kevin and asked him just that…the answer is a resounding yes that he’ll be updating his migration tool to support a .Text .95 to Community Server 2.0 scenario.  Before anyone asks…there is indeed a timeframe in place, but nothing is nailed down yet so I can’t mention it here.  It’ll be done when it’s done, and it’ll definitely be done by the 2.0 RTM.  This is great news though, and hopefully CS2.0 will be a compelling enough upgrade to get the rest of the .Text folks over to the new platform.

    Brilliant!

  • I Blame Bush

    [edit] I made a mistake...they were actually trackback spams.  Not that it makes any difference.  [/edit]

    The comment spammers have f’d it up for the rest of you guys (95 spams today, a new record for me)…for the first time since I’ve started blogging (almost 2 years now), I am going to have to turn moderation on.  I’m pretty religious about checking email so the comment turnaround should usually be pretty quick if you choose to leave one.  Man the internet really pisses me off sometimes…goddamn spammers.

    The good news is that the next build of CS will support IP banning…I’ll get the newest build up and running within the next couple of weeks; I hate having to moderate comments.  Cheers.

  • Community Server Live Demo -- Updated to Beta 2

    I’ve updated my Community Server Live Demo site (login is bob/iambob) to an internal beta 2 build (meaning it’s not released to the general public yet, but it should be soon)…I need you guys to go poke around and try to break stuff/find bugs if/when you get a chance.  Our bug list is getting pretty short, so hopefully we’re getting close to a final release soon…which is fantastic news.

    It’s stable enough that I’ll probably be rolling with this build on my main site soon, perhaps this weekend…so expect some changes in the very near future.

  • Change is in the Air -- JaysonKnight.com Reloaded

    I recently came across this skin and decided that it would be a welcome addition to my site (for now it’s only on the blog page, but I’m working on the rest of JaysonKnight.com); it will also be the theme I’ll use when I migrate over to Community Server 2.0, so I figured I’d get everyone on board early with the GUI changes.  Overall it’s still got the same basic “look and feel” as my previous theme, but “looks and feels” quite a bit more polished IMO.  RSS folks click here to have a look.

    As always, recommendations are welcome, and I’m still in the process of doing some minor CSS tweaks from my end (namely getting back to a dual sidebar layout as the left sidebar is a bit cluttered for my taste).  Thoughts?

    Sidenote:  I’ll be getting back to doing more technical posts once the holidays are over…I have drafts/notes for lots of stuff, but a severe lack of time as of late.  I’ll be doing a “best of JaysonKnight.com” post within the next few days to provide a refresher for any new visitors.

  • News of the Disgusting

    I try not to link to plain news stories, but this is just flat out disgusting (and therefore worth blogging about).  From the article:

    Marcus Wesson, the domineering patriarch of a clan bred through incest, was convicted Friday of murdering nine of his children, whose bodies were found in a bloody pile last year at the end of a police standoff.

    Wesson's conviction on nine counts of first-degree murder makes him eligible for the death penalty. He also was found guilty on all 14 counts of raping and molesting seven of his underage daughters and nieces.

    In the words of Jules Winnfield; “This is some fucked up repugnant shit.”  I simply can’t even begin to fathom what possesses some people to act the way they do.  The article also mentions that his family (I'm assuming the members he didn't kill) still supports him?  At some point you really have to just walk away…let it go man.  Bleh.

  • Heading Off To Dallas -- Revised

    My trip to Dallas for my round of Microsoft interviews was pushed back a week; I'll be flying in on the 12th of this month, interviews will be conducted for most of the day on the 13th, and I'll head back home that evening.  I really wanted to try and stay over the weekend, but other obligations are preventing that from happening.  I'm as ready as I'll ever be, and as I've stated before no amount of studying can prepare anyone for the MS interview process.

    Sidenote:  I hate flying.  Actually, that's not true...I love the actual flying and landing parts, it's the taking off that really gets to me.  I don't know why...I used to fly a lot (half a dozen times a year or so for a few years) but around age 23+- taking off started making my palms sweat.  Maybe it's just the control freak inside of me, who knows.  If I get this gig I better get over that real quick!

  • Oh. My. God.

    You simply must be kidding me.  Is this really at the top of America’s priority list right now?  I’m speechless…
  • I *Heart* Wikipedia

    Wikipedia has become almost as important to me as say…Google is for searches, or IMDB is for looking up movie related stuff.  I won’t drone on about it as I’m sure everyone has been there at least once, but it’s really become very much a mainstay in my internet arsenal as of late.  Thanks Wikipedia!
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