Welcome to the new box

Welcome to the new box

Welcome to the newly redesigned FreeBSD Diary[1]. The changes you see before
you are courtesy of Bean (thanks). The content remains the same: the largest
collection of practical FreeBSD examples available anywhere. Within the recent
face lift, you’ll find a few new significant changes:

Please click on the links above for more information, or just scroll down.

[1] – In case of any problems, you can access the old website at
http://old.freebsddiary.org/ and
the new website at http://new.freebsddiary.org/.
This should cater for any unforseen problems and allow the DNS changes to catch up.

New colocated server

Shortly accepting a new job and then moving to Ottawa,
I met up with Jake Burkholder <jake@FreeBSD.org> who mentioned
that he had a dual pentium box which was missing some parts. So I bought a 40GB Fujitsu 40Gb 5400 RPM UDMA
100 IDE drive for CAD$139. This forms the storage for the box. I also bought an
Enermax PSU, which I’m very
happy with. Then I installed FreeBSD 4.3 on it, Apache, mySQL, and about 55 other packages.

The box has actually been installed at the colocation center for about a month.
But I’ve only been able to get things ready over this past weekend. The few people who have been to
the site have reported it’s quite snappy. Let’s hope it remains so.


The Diary has long supplied its own newsfeed. Now, courtesy
of a script from Jim Mock, the Diary now shows you the news feeds from other sites.

Jim kindly gave me the script used on his FreeBSD’zine site. This
script makes use of RSSLite by Scott Thomason.

List of sample files

There has always been a samples directory. But you’ve never
been able to see what’s in there. In the past, all you’ve been able to see are references
to the /samples/ directory from various articles. That was a limitation of being
on a shared server (before today, the Diary was just one of hundreds of other websites
on a box somewhere in Chicago). But I have complete control (and unfortunately, responsibility)
over this box. Therefore, I was able to allow directory listings as and where I needed to.
I’d like to thank Mayo for writing up the AddDescriptions you see in that directory. Much appreciated.

Article by article comments

I’m most excited, and probably relieved, that the Diary now has article by article
feedback. Look at the top left of the page, just under the date, and you’ll find
links to read and writing the comments. If you have something you’d like to share
with the other readers, now you can. Your comments will be available for everyone
else. Similarly, if you find a mistake, please feel free to correct me in the

I’m quite sure that every article has been enabled. If you find one which doesn’t allow
feedback, just let me know. Probably via the phorum.

Donating to the FreeBSD Diary

Someone mentioned to me that I should use PayPal and Amazon to allow people to donate to The FreeBSD Diary.
This could be used to offset the increased costs associated with the
colocation service. When I initially investigated the option, I found I was shut out because I didn’t
have a US-based checking account. After consulting the fine folks on the freebsd-chat mailing list, I
was able to find a bank willing to allow me to open an account with them. Actually, they were highly
recommended. Armed with my check book in hand (actually, I don’t have my check book yet), I opened
my PayPal and Amazon accounts.

The colocation box is going to cost me approximately US$100 more than the previous website cost.
I hope I can make up the shortfall with increased ads. My preference is for the site to become
totally user funded. The annual costs are approximately US$330 per year (or a $5 donation from
about 81 people; no, my math is right; Amazon takes 15% plus $0.15 per transaction; PayPal is much
cheaper). If people donate enough to cover annual costs, I’ll remove the ads from the site. Any
surplus will be used for equipment and other website related costs.

But I’ll host your site for free!

I’d like to thank all the people who have offered to host my website for free.
My primary requirement is that the colocation box be in Ottawa. That’s where I live.
I want the box close to me for practical reasons. Yes, it would be cheaper to
host the box in California for free. But it’s just not practical. Thank you.

Other websites

Note: The Diary won’t be the only website on this box. I plan to move
FreshPorts here as soon as possible. Eventually, I’ll also
move my other website heres as well. The Diary takes up the bulk of the cost as it uses about
5GB a month. And FreshPorts does about 2GB a month. All the other websites combined are less than

13 thoughts on “Welcome to the new box”

    1. I second that on both accounts! I really love minimalistic layouts! 😉

      The fonts are barely readable (1600×1200 19" display) in both Konqueror and Mozilla.

      It’s a really bad habbit to use absolute font-sizes. Espcecially the body-font should be left for the user to set!

    2. Can’t really spot any difference, still tiny body-fonts.

      It looks like Times Roman font which I haven’t set my browsers up to use. I’m using Tahoma, verdana and ariel.

      I’m using Konqueror and Mozilla.

      Netscape uses a readable size and is not using time roman (guess it ignores css ;-)).

      CS? What’s that?


    3. The fonts are tiny for me as well. I’m using Netscape 4.78 on FreeBSD, of course. I have a bunch of TTF fonts loaded including Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, and Times. I use Helvetica for my default font. I have to disable all document specified fonts to make the page readable.

      Note, Opera under FreeBSD looks fine.


      1. Huh? Using Netscape on this website the fonts are too small? But under Opera it’s fine?

        BTW: What resolution is your screen? (e.g. 1024×768) What size? (15")

  1. I use Lynx. I’m impressed by how your designer has managed to
    make your new website look exactly like the old one. In fact,
    it looks just like every other web site. It’s so heartwarming
    to know that you and everyone else has embraced standards-based
    website design.

    What were you saying about a face lift?

    1. I use Lynx myself. Not exclusively, but there are times when it’s all I have.

      I’m disappointed you think we look the same as the other sites. But it’s the little things that distinguish one website from another. Sometimes you have to look very closely to see what sets one apart from another. Luckily, with the Diary, the outstanding features are clearly obvious no matter what browser you use.

      Standards are good.

      Nobody has said I need a face lift, but I doubt I’d want plastic surgery in any case.

  2. Your survey writer has it wrong. Since Lynx is a text browser,
    Lynx users necessarily use fonts. Er… they use font. And it
    comes in one size. So the Lynx user’s response to the survey
    question is: "I use Lynx. Aren’t all fonts the same size?"

    1. I’m perfectly aware of who the survey writer is. It never occured
      to me that you would take my attempts at humor as a complaint. I
      appologize. I’m also baffled.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top