What’s in a name?

Ah, that new blog smell.  Smells like… bleach?

Hopefully this attempt will last a wee bit longer than my previous ones, as once I have all the kinks worked out, this will be the main face of my website.

A personal website… seems so passe in the days of twitter/facebook/tumblr, etc.  When I took my first steps onto the internet however back in the late 90s, none of those existed. If you wanted a webspace, you had to either register at something like angelfire or geocities with their ~blah names, or for the elite of elite you could get your own domain name! (You also had to know HTML and we liked it that way! *shakes cane*)

Back in 1999, I was still in high school, and found a free hosting scheme that offered a domain to go with it.  Too good to be true?  Of course it was, but I didn’t know it then.  I looked for what was available, and as I had been using Starfox as a callsign in various games and such, I went wiht starfox.net.  Everything went smoothly, so imagine my surprise when a month later I got a bill from Network Solutions for $70 for 2 years on starfox.net.

After I paid it, I found that I actually had full control of the domain rather than my host, who I had expected to handle all that.  So I mentally shrugged my shoulders, and pointed it at a better free hosting service I had a site on, and moved on.  Like I said, having a domain was a big deal back then!

As time wore on, things changed, and my hosting bit the dust, so I moved it to another host.  In the early 2000s Network Solutions lost its monopoly on serving as a registrar as well, and I was able to move to another host for a slightly cheaper price.  To my surprise, I found out you could set up e-mail forwarding too!  Rather than having to tell people to e-mail <random letters and numbers>@<isp> I could tell them, “Just e-mail me at <blah>@starfox.net” and I’d know it would go to wherever I had my e-mail set up.  And time marched on.

My website evolved alongside, though in fits and starts.  I don’t have the original site anymore anywhere I don’t think, but it was some monstrosity using frames to make menus like magic, because frames were hot shit back in the late 90s.  At some point in the early 00’s I rebuilt it to use a floating table and css, around the time I was really into the Eldoran trilogy of anime, so I added informational pages on that.  Then it sat again for a few years, for another revamp around 2006-2007.  I was starting to really job-hunt at that point, and since I was using <name>@starfox.net on my resumes, I wanted to make sure it was too horrible if they ever visited it.

It stayed that way pretty much up until now.  Last year I started thinking about it, wanting to change it but with no idea what to change it to.  I checked with a coworker that had his own domain as well still, and he uses his just for a recipe website for his family and to host an Exchange server.  I considered a general re-do but I’m old enough now that the thought of recoding all that HTML just doesn’t appeal to me.

A couple nights ago, I was lamenting the fact that I really could use somewhere to write about stuff, either just to get it off my chest or to squee about(yes, dragons can squee), and I recalled that you can host your own blog.  Why sign up for LJ or tumblr, when I don’t know anyone on either, and can do this instead?

Thus, I spent a large chunk of today working out how to work with this and getting it set up in a staging area on a different webhost.  My current one doesn’t have SQL turned on, and I don’t know how soon they’ll get to it, so either I’ll move this to this new host I’m trying, or move it to the main site once it’s active.

Back to the blog title though.  Once I had this shiny new blog installed, I needed a title for it.  Then, I recalled how I got my domain in the first place, and decided to bring it back full circle.

Llewelyn Mistral, Starfox, Ikimasu~

As to the rest of what I’ve been doing, it’s a whole lot of computer junk.  As we all know, dragons hoard things.  Me, I hoard data.  And Transformers.  And Books.  And, well, to get back to the point I have a lot of data stored away on my PC, and there’s a famous saying about data and users:

“There are two kinds of users:  those who have lost data and those who will.”

I’ve got gigabytes of music and images, and terabytes of video.  (Hey, 2 Terabytes is still multiple terabytes!) A lot of my video has been adequately protected, as I’ve had a NAS for years now that I move completed series to, and as I have I’ve also burnt it to disc. Sure, my current NAS is more powerful(Synology DS414 with 8TB in RAID compared to a unRAID server with 4TB) and I need a lot fewer discs due to going from CD to DVD to Blu-Ray, but the point stands.  One thing I’ve never adequately backed up though is those images and music, and the unfinished series sitting on my desktop.

I’d been saying for years that I wanted to set up rsync between my desktop(as I run Linux) and the NAS, but I finally decided enough was enough after doubling my space and put my time where my mouth was.  Some fumbling around in the terminal and some testing, and I’ve now got rsync set up to allow manual sync, so all that’s left is to automate it sometime this week.

Kinda ironic that on my vacation from working with computers, I’m using the time to work with computers, eh?

As I said though, I have a tendancy to hoard data and there had been years of cruft building up in some of those.  Music, I’d always kept semi-organized to make it easy to find songs, but the images and documents folder had slipped away from me as I got lazy with keeping up, so part of my time since going on vacation has been spent re-organizing my file structures, to coincide with getting real backups going.  The majority of it has gone to the images library though.

When I first started I had thought “Gee whillikers, it shouldn’t be too had to tag everything to find easily.  Thanks, gThumb!” and so when I started going through I started tagging.  And tagging.  And tagging.  And then I began to get a real grasp of how many files 16000+ actually was.  So, I decided to say screw it, and managed to categorize everything adequately again by folder, with one exception: my anthro art folder.

When I started collecting furry art, I originally had kept a folder for each artist, but at some point along the way between then and now I thought I’d switch to categorizing in folders by content.  I already had enough by that point that I got burned out on it and stopped halfway through, and then basically left it there for years, while I just added images to the “new” folder instead.  With this shiny new tagging system I thought I could have my cake and eat it too, and use artist folders with content tagging, but that was before I realized how much work it was going to turn out to be.

Now, I’m back in the situation I was before; half in one scheme, half in the other, but I don’t want to stay there this time.  I already deleted some garbage I had thought was neat back when I was 16, but there’s still several thousand images to sort through.  I really would like to tag it all, but I don’t know if the effort is really worth it.  I could just blow most of it away and start anew, except a lot of it is actually good art objectively, and some of the places I got it no longer exist.

And then there’s the video.  Because of the NAS move, my HTPC(which runs XBMC) now has an outdated database.  All the links to the various files i had shared out are at a different address, so I’ve got to load it all back in, once it finishes spending the next several hours purging itself.  However, this does provide an opportunity as well.

Super Sentai.  Kamen Rider.  Both franchises that have run for many, many years in the Land of the Rising Sun.  The way I(and most in the toku fansubbing community) view them is a bunch of loosely -related separate series.  After all, they all have their own stand-alone stories, and the only crossover is the yearly VS movie. Just like anime, right?

Well, there’s no toku equivalent of anidb, so for XBMC to load the data, it has to scrape it from tvdb instead.  The administrator there, rather than treat it like the rest of the world, instead sees it as multiple seasons of the same single series. So even though one year might involve using super-science switches and cosmic power to the next year’s magical rings and circles, all they get in the system is a single blurb about how it all started, and the only difference is the season poster.  What, you want to watch GoGo Sentai Boukenger?  No, what you really want to watch is season 30 of Super Sentai, since started in the 1970s.  What’s that, you mean Kamen Rider Kuuga doesn’t involve a successor organization to Shocker?  NO WAI!

Now, there’s two trains of thought i can use to deal with this. The first one, which I had been using, is to create nfo files for Every. Single. Episode. to organize it as separate series.  A lot of that can be automated with the right tools, but it’s still hours and hours of grunt work, even with that.  Or I can take option 2 and go with what he wants, since I know better and can still find it if I want to.  I have to admit, I’m seriously considering the latter option, especially as it’ll make it easier if I have to move devices again or load XBMC from scratch again.  Even though it’s just different ways of naming things, it still grinds my gears.

And I guess that brings the whole dragonwall full circle.  (Hey, if BBB can have bearwalls, I can have dragonwalls!) From the meaning of a domain name, to how to name folders for file archival, to how I want to name some TV series in my media manager.  A name may just be a label, with only the importance we assign to it, but that label still carries meaning regardless, even if we’re the only ones who’ll ever see it. And… I think I lost my point again.  I blame it on it being 1AM already.

So I’ll leave it at that and go find bed before I end up with a face full of keys.

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