Blog Comment Spam

Blogs are seeing increasing numbers of blog comment spam. This shouldn’t be encouraged.

Signs of blog comment spam:

  • Name is not a real name, but a commercial product –
  • The URL link is to a commercial site.
  • The comment is vague and could apply to any posting on the internet. “Hey nice blog, very informative, thanks for info!”

These kinds of blog comments are not entered by humans but sent programmatically.

Some bots are clever and first comment has no link, but when first comment is approved, secondary comments are just to get links to their site. Spam comments can be marked as spam.

Backing Up WordPress

With wordpress it is always advisable to backup your database, and not just rely on your hosting company to have a backup.

However, I have had experience where for some reason uploading database doesn’t work quite as it should.

As a triple back up, you can export your blog as an XML file. This offers a second way to back up all your posts, categories, tags and images. Also, with an XML file, you can easily import to another blogging platform. Whearas with just a database, you’re stuck with wordpress.

It is very easy to get an XML file,ย  just go to tools and export.

Vasudeva Server has various backup policies. But, there is no harm in getting your own XML backup.

New Drupal modules by Vasudeva Server

We are pleased to announce some new Drupal modules we have developed

  • Rearrange Child Pages – allows you to change the order and titles of the child pages of the node you are currently on. This is very useful if you are using Drupal’s book funtionality on a very large site and the books contain very many nodes. View project page…
  • Domain Migrate – Allows users to migrate content on existing Drupal sites to their own domains. View project page…

In addition, we have merged our Domain Administration Helper module into the Domain Admin module, and are now co-maintainers of that module

Domain Administration Helper module released on

Vasudeva Server are pleased to announce the first of what we hope to be many contributions to the Drupal community – the Domain Administration Helper module. You can visit its page on here…

Basically, the module allows administrators of subdomains to do admin tasks without requiring sitewide permissions. We developed it for our websites and These sites have subdomains for each country (50 for Sri Chinmoy Centre, 40 for Sri Chinmoy Races) and we wanted to give the website editors in each country as much flexibility over their own sites as possible, whilst still keeping each site as a harmonious whole.

Three minutes every hour

Sri Chinmoy, the inspiration behind Vasudeva Server, suggested once that having a small meditation every hour on the hour for three minutes could help you stay in an inspired frame of mind throughout the day. It is something I actually did many years ago when I was researching my PhD, when nobody really cared too much what you did with your time, but as the years progressed I somehow lost the habit. However working with computers means that sometimes you definitely need all the tools at your disposal in order to stay in an inspiring frame of mind ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought about it again recently, and started searching around for some application for my Mac that would toll the hour, so I could break of from what I was doing and meditate. It didn’t take me long to find Cuckoo – it basically installs itself in your System Preference pane. For an extra $6 you can get all kinds of extra bells and whistles, but the free version has what I need, a ding dong sound to mark the hour. (Note: the ‘Campanile’ tone seems custom-made for hourly meditation. Maybe in some future version they’ll even put in some Tibetan bells or an Aum chant to further make my day. )

Don’t Make Me Think

"Don’t Make Me Think" is a book about designing websites by Steve Krug.

I only read it very briefly but liked the essence of his book.

Inspired by this book and other sources here are a few ideas for designing sites.

1. First Impressions Count: 

People’s attention span is very short, especially on the internet.
If something is too complicated or not interesting, they can easily click and leave.

2. Make it Obvious 

People don’t surf the net to work things out and calculate, people generally take the path of least resistance.

You may spend hours designing and working on a site, but 80% of your visitors will spend less than 30 seconds.

3. Simplicity

Don’t overcomplicate pages. But, make it very clear what it is about.

4. Send Visitors Where You Want Them To Go

Web visitors do not spend time trying to think where they want to go. They will click on the most obvious links. Therefore, make sure, you point visitors exactly where you want them to go.

Continue reading »

New GitHub repository

We now have a GitHub repository for releasing Drupal modules (and other code, if needs be) to the general public. We have placed a couple of our smaller modules there for now, with more to follow. See our new repo here…

Eventually, many of these modules will find their way onto, but here’s a good place to put them until that happens ๐Ÿ™‚

Dterm – a very handy command-line utility…

I was rebuilding my development setup following my recent hard drive crash when i came across this very useful Mac utility: Dterm.

Put simply, it allows you to go to a folder using finder, press a hotkey (apple + shift + return, but that can be configured) and then a window comes up where you can enter a command line:

Perfect if you just want to enter one command, you can also select files and use them as argumants. And if you need to do more than just one line, press shift + return and a Terminal window will open up already arrived at that folder.

( p.s notice the amount of space i have in my new hard drive – every cloud has a silver lining ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Configuring private keys for ssh access

(On Mac OS X) – This assumes you have already downloaded your priviate keys to your desktop

There are 2 keys, one private and one public (this one has a .pub extension). Using Terminal, move your downloaded keys to your .ssh folder: for each file, type

mv Desktop/{name of key file} ~/.ssh/

Give your keys the proper names:

cd ~/.ssh/
mv {name of private key} id_rsa
mv {name of public key}

The private key should have readonly permissions:

chmod 400 ~/.ssh/id_rsa

So now you can login to the server. To simplify the process, you also create a text file ~/.ssh/config , where you can set three lines for ssh login info for your simple ssh use. To create the file, type:

vim ~/.ssh/config

Press ‘I’ (capital i) to go into ‘edit mode’, and then the following 3 lines (using the example of our Vasudeva Server servers:)

Host {server-name}
Port {port-number}
User {user-name}

Where {server-name} is the name of our server in lower case, {port-number} is the port we use to connect (for security reasons this is very often changed from the default port 22) and {user-name} is your user name to access the server. When you are finished, press escape (to exit edit mode) and then ‘ZZ’ (to exit and save changes)

After you have done that, you can try to log in using the command

ssh {server-name}

Another tip…

You can also create a simple alias for the server name by adding a line to your /etc/hosts file

{server-ip} {server-name} {server-name}

So a example for a hypothetical server located at ip address would be antara

This means that when accessing our servers, you can simply type

ssh {server-name}

without the at the end.