Helping me helping you

This damned site is really annoying me.

It seems that no matter what I do, you lot are having problems.

The problems seem to fall into three categories –

1. You can't reach the site at all and just get a message saying you are banned.

2. You can see the site all right but it's stuck on a particular page [the 11th seems to be popular currently, and it's not even a good post].

3. You get a message saying the security certificate is not trusted.

Problem 1.  I have a security add-on which gives the message "you are banned".  However a) it should only ban addresses I supply and b) I have disabled it, so I haven't a fucking clue why it still gives that message.  It's possible that that little irritation is fixed now, as the complaints have tailed off a bit with that one. [or else they have abandoned all hope altogether?]

Problem 2.  The strange thing about this one [and something that doesn’t help me at all] is that the vast majority of visitors seem to have no problem.  If I look at the dashboard, it tells me that the latest post is always near or at the top, which means that most are arriving there.  If I look for the page from the 11th, it's right down at the bottom which means very few people are visiting it.

Problem 3.  This one is easily remedied and it's more of an annoyance than anything.  If you see the thing about the security certificate it means you are using HTTPS that than HTTP.  The former is supposed to have a valid security certificate but it has expired [hosting company’s fault – not mine] but is perfectly safe and will work perfectly well with one proviso – some features may not work such as the Martin Scriblerus Blogroll. 

So, if I may crave your indulgence for a moment, I need a little help.

If you had any problems with the above, could you please leave a comment saying what browser you use, and more importantly, how you normally reach the site.  Do you use a link on another site, or a link in your bookmarks?  Do you just type in the address or do you use a feed reader?

In the meantime, I am making adjustments, which hopefully are on the right track.  Each adjustment though downgrades the site's performance.

A choice of the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea?

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Comments

Helping me helping you — 37 Comments

  1. I had problem 2 with Chrome "53.0.2785.143 m (64-bit)" on W10, but whatever you've done seems to have fixed it. I've almost always used http://www.headrambles.com typed in the address bar to find the site

    On the plus side, i enjoyed watching the code you wrote to update the latest links as it evolved. Particularly enjoyed when they all showed exactly the same unfeasable number of hours since the last update. Note to self – get a life….

    • The edit function just chucked me out with about 2.5 minutes left on the clock. It also insists on showing some punctuation marks and spaces as unicodes, and double-spaces paragraphs (presumably misinterpreting 0x0D 0x0A).

      • I see what you mean.  It didn’t chuck me out, but it does display the comment in raw HTML which some might find very confusing.

        Time to ditch that “feature”?

        • No, don’t dump it yet. The edit feature makes up for my lack of typing co-ordination, and it’s close enough to be fixable (not that I know how….)

          I’ve just checked another PC that runs Chrome “53.0.2785.143 m” on a 64 bit machine. This pulled up the 11th October post, but took todays offering on CTRL F5.

          • Ah!  I think that little hint narrowed things down considerably.  It looks like the browser cache settings are wrong [on the site/CDN, not at the user’s end]. 

            Okay, I’ll leave the editor in place, but I do get a nice sadistic feeling when I see other people’s typos….

    • I have made a couple more changes which have significantly downgraded the site’s speed, so maybe that has fixed things.  What I plan on doing is to get the site working properly and then re-introduce all the features I have disabled one by one to speed things up a tad.

      As for the blogroll thing, it was a mental challenge – I can’t find anything like it on the Interwebs [that works!] and I did it for the challenge alone.  Slightly more productive than Sudoku or Crosswords?

      • Yes, I start a few projects that way. Old engineers principle – if you want it and can’t buy it, invent it or do without. Don’t like doing without!

        Latest two toys are a trick PSU and a feature-specific Ethernet switch for panel builders. It worries the hell out of the company bean-counter when I do that. 😉

        • My logic ran along the lines of “no one has written a working version so it can’t be done” so the challenge was to prove them wrong.  Maybe my next challenge should be to turn it into a plugin and make a few bob out of it! 😈

          Bean counters are there to be worried.  It’s their sole raison d’être.

  2. Dear Grandad,

    I am a relatively new follower of your excellent blog, and I use rather antideluvian technology to access it (with one exception, more of which anon, which may make me an atypical visitor. However, I have no issues with the site at all. OS: Windoze XP Pro SP3. Browser, Firefox 36 running the NoScript and RequestPolicy addons (which are unforgiving of badly-coded Word Press sites). I access the site from a bookmark. But I get the same good result if I come in through a Search Engine or by typing your address into the location bar.

    I have also tested the site with my mobile – LG K4 running the latest version of Gobble Chrome. No issues either.

    So it would see you may need to dig a little deeper; not a task I envy, as WP is a HUGE collection of disparate scripts many of which do not work as they should (if at all), and any of which can break other scripts. The phrase ‘can of worms’ springs to mind! In any event, good luck and please take comfort from the thought that the vast majority of your readers can access your words of wit and wisdom with no problems at all.

    Kindest regards,
    The Young Elderly Gentleman

    • Welcome, Young Elderly Gentleman!  So it looks like you are one of the silent majority [of people who can see the site and not those who find it distasteful].  All information is helpful as I’m working on the principle of elimination.  What is driving me mad is the intermittent nature of the problem that only seems to affect a minority.   I have a strong theory that the problem lies with browser caching but why does that only affect the few?

      I agree about WordPress and non-conforming scripts.  I have a policy of using as few plugins as possible, confining them to functionality and those that are demanded by my more irritating visitors [I don’t know why I put up with them…]. 

    • Hi,

      I’m also using XP, SP3. I’m browsing via the latest Firefox. No problems at all, even when I switch to my VPM. I’m using no Firefox add-ins, BTW.

  3. Blimey! All very testicle. I know how to turn my computer on, no probs. It’s got a button on the front which I press, and lo and behold, it loads all the gubbins and off we go!

    Not having my previous problems still, via my bookmark it takes me to the current page. So that problem has been solved. I’m using W7 64 bit and the latest version of Firefox, or I assume I am, as it’s not pestering me to update at the mo. I still have variable situations regarding a ) the fact that my username / email always used to be pre-filled in the boxes, but for some time (except for a brief spell) the boxes have been blank. And b ) when I post a comment I get taken back to the top of the page and my comment isn’t visible. If I then refresh the page, my comment appears. But again, that has been variable. I’ll comment again after I’ve posted this to let you know if it appears or not.

    • I do tend to get a little testicular at times?  All in a quest to keep the customer satisfied. 

      This thing you have about forms filling in…  Check your settings – Preferences -> Privacy -> History, and select Firefox will: Use custom setting for privacy.  Is “Remember search and form history” checked?  I presume it is otherwise it would never work.  Mine is checked, but the form fields are blank until I start typing – first letter usually gives me a few options.

      The delay is a big mystery, and I confess I am a bit stumped.  It happens to me but very rarely.  My Admin side of the site crawls along which can be bloody irritating but then I sincerely hope that no one apart from myself ever sees it.

  4. Yup. Posted, and no comment visible. Refresh the page, and there it was. And this time, my username and email are pre-filled in.

    Don’t ask me, mate. I only use the fucking things – I haven’t got a clue how or why they work.

  5. Partly good partly bad , went as I usually do to HR.com , took me to undertakers post .

    Week via Captain Rantys page, and http://www.nourishingobscurity.com/ and on hte side bar could see your lastest post so clicked and ended up here , the site HR via NO took me to undertaker post .

    Using windows 10, chrome , ad blocker.

    Hope this helps. PS from NZ in hte South Pacific so may take a while or go via a different route , 

    • Thanks Murray [and welcome!].  Ranty’s site [and any Blogger/Blogspot site that uses their “live” blogroll will bring you to the latest post as the link is a specific link to that post.  Nourishing uses a plain link that points to the base of the site which [if the browser is holding a copy of a previous visit] can display out of date information.  This is looking more and more like a browser caching problem!

      Distance these days apparently means nothing [unless you are ordering something from China when it seems to travel by tramp steamer?] 

    • I noticed that yesterday.  I reinvigorated it.  I also switched it to English(UK)  [it didn’t have an English(Irish) version] to stop it false flagging all those perfectly correct spellings that Americans always get wrong.

  6. I have a strong theory that the problem lies with browser caching but why does that only affect the few

    I suspect that may be one issue, but not all the issues, for, as you suggest yourself, it it *were* the primary issue a lot more visitors should be affected by it since most users have little idea of how the web works or what caching is (other than passing dud cheques—oppsss—what a giveaway!) 😉

    FYI, I clear Firefox’s cache, cookies and history each time I exit it, which, on average, is about every hour or less when I’m online. But I know plenty of people who never clear any of these. Indeed, one poor chap I know was driven frantic because he swore blind a particular article he was interested in hadn’t been updated in weeks, when it had. I think he was using some version of Internet Exploder, and as I haven’t used that for at last a century, I couldn’t help him.

    I do hope you get it sorted, but please don’t let it distract you from posting your rambles, which are a delight to read.

    • It’s interesting that you clear all caches while you are one of those not affected?  It still remains my strongest theory, and am in the process of removing any coding which may affect caching. 

      don’t worry – I’l keep on rambling even if people can’t see it because they are stuck in the past.

  7. Still defaulting to Oct 11.

    Using Firefox 10.0.5 on Mageia 2.6 (old, but it works). Bookmark used is “http://headrambles.com/”. Adblock off and cache cleared.

    Using a different computer (no sound so not used for browsing), Firefox 45.3.0 on Mageia 5 it works properly.

     

      • Interesting that on a new browser [i.e. one you presumably haven’t used recently] it works, where on the other it doesn’t?

        New theory emerging…  It’s the cache all right, but there may also be a cookie set somewhere that is screwing things up.

  8. All is well from my side, access via pc, tablet or phone each with a different ISP. 

    Unlike FrankC Name and email boxes work fine. Chrome browser on all devices

  9. Grandad,

    Windows 10 Anniversary edition, yeah I know, Firefox 40.0.1 with Sage News Reader add-on.

    From Sage, clicking on any title in your feed list takes me to that post.

    Posting comments doesn’t seem to be a problem other than when spell checking it occasionally reverts to HTML. Oh, and if I compose a comment in a text editor and try to paste, another little window pops up and I have to paste into that.

    So no real problems for me at all but as some folk seem to be having problems it’s quite possible I’m doing something wrong……

    • Wordpress by default hates text to be pasted in from another application [and a good thing too – ever see the source of a Word document?!].  By pasting into that little pop up box, WP strips all formatting and reduces it to plain text.

      I ike your logic – you must be doing something wrong because you don’t have a problem?!!

  10. We get some of these problems over at ISAC. Search the WordPress fori. Some of this a regression from a problem they had in 2012. Hope that helps.

    Yes fori is the plural of forum. Honest…

  11. I usually pop over from Mr. Puddlecote’s site, but that can be problematic itself (his blog roll can get stuck for long periods). That’s what happened yesterday, so I just popped in off a bookmark – and it came up with an old post.

    As many of my favorite bloggers had taken time off yesterday, I thought nothing of it. 

    This morning I clicked on Mr. P and it all worked hunkus dorus.

    I use windows 7 and the browser is Chrome.

  12. Just tried it via my bookmark. Got me to Bodies & Undertakers.

    Back to Dick P. Got me here.

    The comment bit doesn’t fill in name or email.

  13. Ho Kay…  Many thanks for all the replies.  They have at least shot a few theories in the head and eliminated quite a few possibilities.

    I am convinced [rightly or wrongly] that the problem lies with caching.  However, you lot have given me a new idea, and that is that cookies are involved too.  [Not content with talking about money, I’m now talking about biscuits?].

    I checked the cookies for HR in my browser and there are dozens of the damn things.  A lot of them are set by the comment editor so this could be the root of some problems.  There is a distinct possibility too that there is a cookie setting cache limits.

    Could someone out there who is still having the problems [and who knows his or her cache from a cookie] try something for me?  Try deleting the headrambles cookies, then clear browser cache, and let me know the result?

  14. I tend to get here direct from bookmarks, so no referring links etc, just straight to the home page. When getting the ‘you are banned’ message the other day I can confirm this was happening simultaneously on two different devices: a Win7 (cough!) OS with Firefox, and also on Android using AdBlocker browser.

    There seemed to be some sort of timer thing involved – if I refreshed immediately the banned message would reoccur but if I left it for 30 seconds or so I’d get in ok. A quick refresh after that would then re-invoke the problem again. Problem hasn’t reappeared over last couple of days and site running fine, so all good?

    • The “You are banned” message would have appeared on all devices attached to a local [business or home] network, as it would be the external address that was blocked and all devices using that network would apparently have the same address. 

      It appears that that particular problem isn’t quite the problem it was once though?

  15. I couldn’t understand why there had been no post since 11th October. Herself hadn’t reported your disappearance, so I assumed there was something technical. I cleared the cache on my Chrome browser this evening and you reappeared.

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