Another Pox On My Web-house

I look upon the Internet as Manhattan circa 1974. There are museums and cultural attractions. There are hookers, scams and slime. Everyone lives together, though grudgingly at times.

As with the Manhattan of 30 years ago, the underbelly businesses on the net are constantly trying to gain an advantage – often at the expense of the legitimate residents. One of the ways we all see this is in spam. As the proprietor of a website I have additional tsuris. Today, a new one.

I think I have complained before of what’s called ‘comment spam.’ Scummy websites, which could never achieve legitimate ‘weight’ on Google, plant comments on blogs like mine. The comment itself might be as innocuous as: “Ain;t it the truth” or “I couldn’t agree more.” The comment isn’t as important as the fact that it’s accompanied by their web address. That address, appearing on loads of blogs, will increase their Google rank – a very valuable commodity.

I scan all the comments I get, and these spurious ones are gone in a hurry. I hope all bloggers are as diligent – though I’d guess they aren’t. A few days ago I woke up to find a few dozen of these, all from an IP address in Russia.

Now another parasite rears it’s ugly head. Today I started getting bounced spam email – email sent to addresses that don’t exist or won’t accept the mail for other reasons. Why am I getting these bounces? Because the spammer put a return address (nothing more than a random jumble of letters) that ends “”

Already, because of this spam, at least one website has informaed me that mail from this site will be refused! It’s a site I don’t care about, but they surely aren’t alone.

What did I do to get this honor? Nothing. I’m sure I was just picked at random as the spammers tried to hide behind any scent of legitimacy they could find.

I continue to say, unless email is fixed so it can be trusted, the Internet will surely die or lose its incredible promise.

More Penguin Grief

I have now reloaded Mandrake Community Linux onto the second PC. It has been named – all computers have a name – Bullwinkle. This one I’m typing on will become Rocky. Later there will be a Boris, Natasha, Peabody… you get the idea.

The installation went easily (after all these installs, I should know how it’s done). Unfortunately, after the CD’s were on the computer a new ‘evil’ reared its ugly head.

The Mandrake people had decided to change the directory structure of their mirrors (mirrors are other computers that carry files in exactly the same way as the mater server). This killed all the hard coded directions to specific files!

I had been working for a few days trying to install video drivers. Now, files that were crucial to the process were unavailable. I kept going back to Google and the Mandrake site and then finally, I found a glint of hope. It wasn’t the exact answer, but enough of a hint that I was able to find the files and move them into my machine.

Are they correct? I’m not sure. The method I used was ad libbed and a little unorthodox.

Meanwhile, an hour and 15 minutes ago I started the process of preparing the new video driver. For that entire time I have been watching text and random characters fly across the screen on Bullwinkle. There’s an admonition from the developer that this step would take a long time. That was an understatement.

Hopefully over the next few days I’ll get this puppy humming. Hopefully.