Friday, Apr 28, 2006

Title: 1647

April 2006


Title: 1647

April 28, 2006
12:01 AM

In the previous rant, remember how I said things were going to get better?

Welcome to the better.

If you’re seeing this rant, it means that your ISP has finally propogated with the new ip address for Real Life. That’s right, I’ve finally changed servers. We’re now hosted under Dumbrella Hosting. (Yes, I know – I’m a member of Blank Label, hosted under Dumbrella. It was a good deal, what can I say?) Phillip has been amazing over the past few weeks getting things set up so that Real Life can make use of their system – hell, he did pretty much all the work of recoding the site with the new system’s tags. Dude’s a trooper.

Before I get into the new stuff, let me just address the server over the last couple of years. Ukyo has been graciously hosting Real Life free of charge these last few years, and I have to admit, it was a pretty sweet deal. Unfortunately, in this particular deal, I owned the hardware. If something broke, it was my responsibility to pay for it. Furthermore, I wasn’t a paying customer, so when the site went down because my hardware was crappy, I felt really bad about calling Ukyo up at 1:30 am and asking him to fix it. (even though he would gladly do so at a moment’s notice.) In the past few months, it just became apparent to me that I needed to find a more suitable home for Real Life, because even if I was cranking out comics every day without fail, it does me no good if the website is down.

So here’s what’s cookin’ at the new and improved Real Life website – honestly, not a whole lot you can actually see at the moment. Most of the changes are under the hood. We’ve switched away from a php based system back to an HTML setup, using some pretty sexy cacheing. But here’s the part that makes me jump for joy – I can finally upload comics ahead of time again! From now on, if I can manage to get my act together, I can do a bunch of comics and upload them and actually enjoy the benefits of a self-updating buffer. I’m sure most other comic management systems have this – I haven’t, for the last 2-3 years. It’s a BIG deal. But wait, there’s more. A few of the other features are things that i need to figure out how to integrate into the system – like a COMIC SEARCH. Yeah – there’s functionality for strips to be transcribed, and then that text can be made searchable. If I can figure out the logistics of it, I can also make it so that Real Life gets sent to your e-mail every day. And Phillip’s always thinking up new crazy stuff for it to do.

Rants have also seen a significant change in this move. Posting new rants is now more or less automated for me – I can log on, type what I please, and it goes where it needs to. Archive pages will have only those rants that are associated with the comic in question – rants won’t span multiple days anymore. The front page will show the last three rant posts, or if more than three have been posted in a single day, it will show all the rants for that day.

This setup will also see the return of the Real Life Store – only now, WE’RE running the show. Liz and I have worked out a setup where we will now be handling our own order fulfillment. Gone are the Vault Distribution days, where orders would be weeks late or lost entirely. Every order will now be coming straight from us – no middlemen. This also means we can start doing some more eclectic merchandise – things like signed books/posters, and high-quality prints of any strip you want. We’ve been brainstorming all kinds of new ideas, and you should see those show up shortly. The store is currently under construction by some friends of mine, so look for that in the coming month(s).

I’m also going to be making a few adjustments to our advertising model – We’re going to look into making the tower ad a bit more appealing to folks.

So, to use a cliche, pardon our dust while we make the move. There may be a few things here and there that just don’t work correctly, but we’re going to hunt them down and wipe them out very shortly. So make yourself at home, tell your friends and loved ones.

I’m back.

Title: 1647

April 28, 2006
12:01 AM

Now that we have the new server, we also have a new RSS feed and all that jazz. The good news? It shows strips AND newsposts now! So point your RSS reader of choice to, and that should do the trick.

Edit : Looks like we haven’t fixed the CSS on the single-rant pages yet… it looks funky, but it works. :P