December 2, 2014

AdSense Account Disabled for Invalid Activity

Thank you Google for closing my Adsense account for reasons that are out of my control. I've been working with Adsense for more than 5 years now, publishing ads on 4 different websites. Nothing weird ever happened until last month.

On a certain day last month, I got about 150 clicks in less than an hour that were obviously invalid. Someone out there clicking repeatedly on my ads? Probably... I reported that weird activity right away, to make sure they don't close my account. What else was I supposed to do?

Well, a month later, here I am. They disabled my account and rejected my appeal request. Nice.

At least they sent me my last payout the day before they closed my account...

October 4, 2014

From FlatPress to Blogger

A few days ago, as I was customizing my blog again, I realized that something was wrong. All that time I've been using FlatPress, I kept modifying, fine-tuning and working again and again on my blog's design and features without being able to make it feel right. I was investing more time and efforts in the container than in the content. That's not right. It was time to let go and move on.

I happened to test Google's Blogger, a product I didn't use in years. I was surprised to see how it improved over the last 5 years. I found what I was looking for. Then, I went through all my posts one by one and copied them to Blogger. Didn't feel like messing around with a potential way to batch import my entries. Not for only 17 blog posts. 15 minutes later, all my content was migrated.

A part of me is sad to move away from a product I care about. FlatPress, although not powerful and widely used as WordPress or Blogger, is a great product. It's developer, NoWhereMan is a great guy. I decided to go with it several years ago because it's easy to customize and I wanted to learn a few things along the way, which I did. Did I overgrow it? I don't think so. I'm just tired of my blog being in constant development. I still want to develop themes for FlatPress though, it's an amazing platform to learn and experiment, while bringing forward the product's development. But I'm not going to use it for my personal blog. For now.

For the first time in years, I'm satisfied with how my blog looks, feels and works. Hope it'll last!

August 13, 2014

MTU Size for PPTPD VPN Sessions

Users are getting a black screen when connecting to their Windows workstation using RDP through a PPTP VPN? After looking at all possible causes, I found out the issue had to do with the VPN PPP sessions’ MTU size. Here’s how to fix the MTU size of Ubuntu’s PPTPD sessions so that everyone can get their work done.

Edit /etc/ppp/ip-up and add the following line at the end:
/sbin/ifconfig $PPP_IFACE mtu 1500
You’ll see that new PPP connections now have a MTU of 1500 when using ifconfig.

It would appear that an MTU size of 1396 for PPP sessions will sometimes cause issues when using Windows 7’s RDP through the VPN, no matter what the display options are. Fixing the MTU to 1500 as explained above fixed the black screen glitch right away. The problem was on the server after all.

July 25, 2014

Content is King

When I take an overall look at my personal Internet browsing habits, I notice that like most people, I visit a certain number of websites every now and then. Why are these websites in my bookmarks? How did I become at some point a regular visitor? The answer is simple: Content.

Nowadays, it’s not that hard to give yourself some visibility on the Internet and have people visit your website. But will these new visitors remember you and return? If you don’t serve them quality content on a regular basis, you can be sure they won’t. Forums, blogs, most websites are subject to this golden rule of the Internet.

July 24, 2014

Error 193: 0xc1 Service fails to start

Ever encountered this error on a Windows server?
Error 193: 0xc1 Service fails to start

It’s pretty easy to fix things up and get that service to run properly as usual.

You’re going to look at the service’s executable path and check all the concerned folders. Make sure none of those folders contain a file with the same name as the first word of the next folder. When a service is launched, it’ll likely fail to start if a file with the same name as the first word of a folder name happens to be there.

For example: A file named “program” in your C: drive.

If such a file exists, delete it and try starting the service again. I bet it’ll start this time!

June 20, 2014

40 days without a post

Oh boy… Here we are again.

When you aim at developing a website, be it a blog or a forum, what’s one of the golden rules you need to pay attention to? Post new content on a regular basis. Yep, that’s exactly what I’m not doing these days.

Visitors will obviously find your site for its current and old content that’s nothing new. But if you ever want to have regular visitors, you got to always come up with new articles, new stuff to keep them interested and engaged. Otherwise, those possible regulars are going to notice pretty quickly that your website isn’t actually that active and they’ll go somewhere else to get whatever fresh stuff they’re looking for. And you don’t want that to happen, right?

To be continued…!

May 4, 2014

MailChimp: Send Better Email

I tried this service today for one of my communities: MailChimp

Text-only newsletters are a thing of the past. MailChimp provides you with the necessary tools to create your own customized and professional looking newsletters in no time. It completely manages your subscribers lists, automatically eliminates invalid addresses and so much more. You even have a dashboard to actually know how your newsletters performed. It really does a great job. Creating and managing a newsletter campaign has never been so easy.

If you have less than 2000 people in your subscribers lists, MailChimp is completely free. Impressive.

Thanks to MailChimp, I’m never going to send out a cheap text-only newsletter again. We’re no longer in 1999 right?

March 13, 2014

Back on Ubuntu

I thought I could wait until April 17th, the day they’ll release Ubuntu 14.04, before switching back to Ubuntu, but the call of open source was too strong.

I decided to reload my system with Ubuntu Gnome 13.10, a Gnome flavoured Ubuntu right away. Although I never used it very much since it was first introduced, I’ve never been a big fan of Unity. It feels modern and sweet until you try Gnome 3. Everything Unity does, Gnome 3 does it even better. More accessible, faster, looks and feels better. It delivers for sure. That’s why I’m not using vanilla Ubuntu this time.

Oh and… no Wine please!

March 11, 2014

How to contribute to Flatpress?

If you enjoy Flatpress and want to suggest new features, report bugs, or discuss about the product, make sure you visit the official Flatpress Forum.

If you are a developer and want to contribute to Flatpress, you can do so on GitHub: GitHub|Flatpress