From Pine View Farm

I’m Back 2

It appears everything is working on my VPS. I just updated the DNS.

I haven’t minded a bit of a break from scouring the news.

I will take a rest from this for the rest of the day. In the meantime, I have nothing but good things to say about the quality of the tech support at my hosting provider. I could get cheaper hosting, but I’m willing to pay for value received.

Besides, it’s still a cheap hobby compared to golf or skiing.

In the meantime, my notes from the HTML updates I’ve been posting during this transition are below the fold.

Regular insanity returns tomorrow.

blue divider

Down at the Farm

The “From Pine View Farm” blog has issues.

Attempts are being made to shoot the trouble.

Back soon!

In the meantime, stay informed, stay involved, and *non carborundorum

Visit the main website welcome page.

Update, 2017-02-23:

Yesterday, I successfully connected to the VPS via ssh.

Today, with the help of tech support, I found the easy way to update the DNS.

I’m back.

Update, 2017-02-20:

There is a bit of a learning curve, as I said, and it’s steeper than I had hoped. I took the weekend off from learning and unlaxed a bit with recreational activities (that’s a fancy way of saying I did some crossword puzzles and read some stuff).

Today I accessed the website on the VPN and also successfully FTP’d my way into it. The database migration which I ordered seems to have been fully successful. I have not yet, though, done the necessary stuff to set up the DNS so that persons can find the site via the site’s name, so the old site remains the public site while I do my homework. I hope to bring the VPS live by midweek.

I suspect that, in the interim, I’ve lost some readers. Life goes on. In the long run, the learning will have been worth it. I started the blog because I thought it would be fun and I would learn stuff. It has been and I have. Now I just have to learn more stuff.

And, frankly, it has been nice to pull a bit back from the news, because the news has been so dismal. (Natch, I’m still keeping up–that’s how I know the news has been dismal.)

Off to read some more howtos.

Update, 2017-02-15:

I received an email advising me that the data migration was complete. Over the next day or two, I shall familiarize myself with using the Virtual Private Server and, when I’m satisfied that everything is copacetic, I will bring the site live.

It won’t be long before I can drivel my drivel in the inner webs once more (and there truly is a lot of stuff about which to drivel, is there not!)

Update, 2017-02-10:

I talked with tech support; the site migration is underway even as I type and should be completed in a two or three more days.

There’s more to it than moving files; there’s testing and setup to ensure that everything is behaving properly. In the meantime, I’m off to read my hosting provider’s help files on managing a VPS, because this is new territory for me.

I hope to be back soon.

Update, 2017-02-08:

I have my blog running in XAMPP on my local computer. The older part of my website, which is strictly HTML, ran just fine, but getting the blog running required a bit of tinkering with the config files. In particular, one setting had to be changed in the WordPress configuration file, wp-config.php, and two lines in “settings” tables in the database to tell WordPress that it was running on localhost (that’s geek for this here computer what I’m sitting at in person). It’s been a while, so I had to fish around to find those settings.

I think I have identified the culprits that were causing the database to misbehave. They were database tables associated with various statistics plugins I’ve use over the years. Even if I had stopped using a particular plugin, the tables remained. I knew that excess tables were an issue, but I was hesitant to go about randomly deleting (“dropping” in database lingo), random tables at the live website. Here on my test bed, if I delete the wrong table, it doesn’t break the website in public.

I’m awaiting word on the migration of my data from shared hosting to the new VPS. One that is complete, it will be short work to get the blog back on line again. I was happy to compensate my hosting provider for doing this chore so I wouldn’t have to, so I could do my troubleshooting in localhost.

In the meantime, I’ve been telling myself that this is a learning experience. (That’s what you say about something when you can’t think of anything good to say about it.)

Update, 2017-02-04:

I have my website running on my local computer under XAMPP.

As I write this, I’m working on importing my *.sql WordPress database into the MariaDB database engine, so I can start testing what the heck is causing it to misbehave at my webhost. It’s quite a large database after eleven years of blogging, so the import process is time consuming. This backup was made last Monday, before the site stopped being cooperative.

Once the database is successfully imported, I need to tweak some of the settings in the appropriate table so that the database will run properly on localhost, so I probably will not have it running successfully until tomorrow. Once it’s running, I can see how it runs.

Tomorrow, I’m also scheduled to work with my hosting provider’s tech support to help manage the migration of my website to my new VPS. I expect a bit of a learning curve in getting acclimated to the VPS, so the blog will likely remain on hiatus for several more days. I should have a clearer idea by tomorrow’s update.

It’s been a while since I’ve done this nuts-and-bolts stuff with phpMyAdmin and CAMP–the last time was when I configured the current blog theme, so I’m a little rusty. But I’ve remembered more than I expected to!

(phpMyAdmin has just notified me that the import was successful. I’ll look at it tomorrow.)

Update, 2017-02-02:

Today I installed XAMPP to the CentOS VM and put the website files in place. I did not get a chance to test it, because I also spent a long time on the telephone with a tech support representative. Because of the size of the MySQL database, I decided that the best course of action was to move my site from shared hosting to a VPS. It will be migrated sometime in the next few days.

We concluded that the size of the database is unrelated to the zombie process issue, so, in the meantime, I will continue working locally to discover the culprit.

Update, 2017-02-01:

I have set up a virtual machine of CentOS using VirtualBox, being sure to give it enough resources to run a clone of my website. I spent today installing some of the software I wanted on the VM, then downloaded the files from my website. (I already have a current backup of the WordPress database–I back that up weekly–but I back up the files less often.)

I also received an email from my hosting provider which indicates the issue may be the size of my database vis-a-vis my hosting plan. I will call them tomorrow to discuss the email. I intend to clone my site in any event, as there is some housekeeping I’ve needed to do and I prefer to test any changes on my local computer before implementing them online.

In a way, it’s been kind of restful. I am still following the news, of course (and becoming more apprehensive with each day’s crop), but, without a blog to feed, I’m not scouring the news . . . .

Update, 2017-01-31:

I spent some time with the always-excellent tech support of my hosting provider today. They determined that something in my WordPress install is spawning zombie processes that are consuming CPU cycles and dragging the blog to its knees. Because it’s my WordPress install that I have tweaked and tuned, it’s up to me to fix it.

They attempted to identify the culprit, but were unsuccessful. The zombie processes were wearing masks.

Here’s what I will be doing to identify the culprit:

1. Setting up a webhost in a VM on my local computer.
2. Importing my website to the VM.
3. Testing to find the culprit(s).

Just for the sheer geekiness of it, I will post daily regular updates as to my progress.

This blog is my baby, but it’s a still a hobby, though one in which I’m am deeply invested to the extent of having spent over a decade with it, and I refuse to get upset. Instead, I will tell myself to look forward to what I can learn.

Yeppers, that’s what I will tell myself.



  1. shaun

    February 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I am reminded of my grandmother, a loyal Democrat who is the late 1950s fell into a coma. She awoke several weeks later. Her first words were, “Is that Eisenhower man still president?”

  2. Frank

    February 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    It’s not like I haven’t been paying attention! But it has been nice to take a break from feeding the Blog Monster.

    I’ve got a couple of loose ends to clean up, but the bulk of the migration is done.