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The Sims Social

the sims social rip rest in peace facebook

Rest in peace, everyone.

Fanlisting: Schneizel and Lelouch Doujinshi

This is my favorite of the Shunaruru revamps. It looks the most simple, and essentially is, using only two images and one texture, but took the longest to make. This layout took 45 minutes to make, went through 9 versions, and uses 12 layers. The Schneizel and Lelouch dojinshi fanlisting was moved to Aizo.Schneizel.org/doujinshi and renamed Kiss From a Rose. While I have heard the original song, this one is named after Angela Aki’s version, which I prefer.

I decided to go with this coding to make all the Shunaruru fanlistings more uniform, but this is not the coding I originally used. You can see the first coding here. I had wanted the coding for this layout to be more simple, and not make all the coding the same just for the sake of it, if there was something that looked better for this layout. The biggest differences which I had trouble deciding on between this one and the one used is the join form, which I prefer the style of. I also had trouble deciding which navigation I liked more. Ultimately I did decide conformity was best, as I couldn’t get the “simple” style coding of this layout to the point where I thought it was better that way. I considered using just the style of the form on Kiss From a Rose, but thought it was too out of place.

That’s it for the fanlisting revamps for now. I tried starting a Kadota Kyohei (Durarara!!) revamp, but it wasn’t working for me, and still isn’t. And since I have such poor luck with Schneizel layouts, I decided to use my Subeta profile layout as the Schneizel el Britannia fanlisting layout as well. That one went really, really well, and I know I won’t be able to do something like that again (at least for a while).

Fanlisting: Schneizel and Lelouch Rivalry

This is the second fanlisting that was revamped. The Schneizel el Britannia and Lelouch vi Britannia rivalry fanlisting is now named I’m Your Villain and located at Aizo.Schneizel.org/rivalry. This layout took 28 minutes to make, uses 5 images, 1 texture, and 10 layers. I went through about 14 different versions before settling on this one. It is also my least favorite of the Shunaruru revamps. Up next, my favorite: Schneizel and Lelouch doujinshi fanlisting.

Fanlisting Revamp: Schneizel and Lelouch

When I was without internet a few weeks ago I decided to revamp some of my fanlistings, starting with my Shunaruru ones. Previously named The Demon and the Devil, the Schneizel and Lelouch fanlisting has been revamped with a new layout, and has been moved to a different domain. CodeGeass.org/aku to Aizo.Schneizel.org. Its two companion listings, rivalry and doujinshi also moved and got new layouts and names. They will be featured in upcoming posts.

Aizo’s layout uses five images from Code Geass, 3 textures, and 10 layers. It had around 5 different versions, and took about 20 minutes to make, not including coding. This is my second favorite layout of the Shunaruru revamps.

Website Alphabet

I saw this on Shirogane’s (of VDex Project) LiveJournal, and wanted to try it out for myself. These are the sites that come up first for me for each letter of the alphabet. I did this a few months ago the the site for H and I have changed. I’ve been meaning to post this for a while but kept putting it off. Today I saw that I hadn’t posted anything since SEPTEMBER and knew I had to post this now. New posts coming up soon, I want to add some new icons to the site, they’ll probably be from Yamane Ayano’s Finder Series (expect to see a lot of Asami’s glorious abs!), and maybe some Code Geass ones as well. There’s some new calendar images and Geass in Wonderland pics to edit.

a: animenewsnetwork.com
b: bit.ly
c: community.livejournal.com/yamane_ayano/
d: dragcave.net
e: eggcave.com
f: facebook.com
g: google.com
h: hpana.com (now hidemyass.com) *
i: idarionis.com:9500 (now imdb.com)
j: japaneuse.org *
k: kofk.de
l: lisabee.org/wp-admin
m: my.yahoo.com
n: netflix.com
o: oreno.imouto.org *
p: paypal.com
q: none
r: rosedragongardens.com *
s: subetahq.com
t: twitter.com
u: unicreatures.com
v: vdexproject.net
w: wqed.org
x: xtube.com (*ahem* NSFW – you have been warned)
y: youtube.com
z: zantarni.com

* I rarely ever visit these sites so I guess I just never go to other sites beginning with those letters.

What’s Going on Hosting Edition

So, I for the past few years I was hosted by Holdfire, a small company owned by Jordan Miskowisc/jordanriane of Ngametv. Generally it was a horrible host, the worst host I’ve ever had, and I was with Lypha. That’s saying something. There was a lot of downtime, she clearly did not know what she was doing, and was always rude to her customers. I’m not the only person who feels that Holdfire and its support was lacking. But they were cheap. Especially in early September. Supposedly sometime between the beginning of June (when Holdfire’s Twitter account stopped being updated) and then Jordan sold Holdfire. No one was notified, and if there was a new owner they clearly had less interest in it than Jordan. EditDNS which provided services for Holdfire was closing their users were encouraged to switch to their company. To let people know they were having scheduled downtime for their clients. Which of course affected their clients clients as well. Meaning me and all the other Holdfire users. So much downtime. Whoever was running Holdfire didn’t know/care about this. When I saw the message from EditDNS and realized that Holdfire could soon disappear due to the negligence of its owner, I began backing up my site. I made it in time, and luckily still had my birthday money to pay for a new host. It was between three companies, SharkSpace, WHB, and Beachcomber. I had domain monitors on sites I knew were hosted by them since the last time I was trying to decide on a new host. Then it was between four, SharkSpace, WHB, Beachcomber, and Holdfire. Clearly I made the bad choice there. I wasn’t even sure about my choice then either, which is why I set up the domain monitors, so next time I would be. All did well for the first couple years, then the first two started having more and more downtime. Beachcomber was the only one that was consistently up. And they had a half off deal. I couldn’t afford reseller hosting anymore, but I’m okay with that. This is even better in some ways since all my sites are together again instead of being spread out through several different accounts.

Before signing up I sent Beachcomber an email, just to make sure they were still around. Unlike Holdfire they don’t seem to have a forum, blog, or Twitter account, so there’s no way to tell if they’re still active. Just looking at Holdfire itself wouldn’t clue you in, but seeing that their Twitter account hasn’t been updated in almost 4 months is enough. I soon got an email back saying they were still alive and kicking, with an lol thrown in. A little unprofessional, but prompt. After signing up I soon got a call from them, which I was expecting. Most hosts call to confirm but most hosts are big companies who use automated systems. I had to talk to an actual, human person. I am determined never to do it again!!! Outside my family at least… At least there’s comfort in the fact that phone anxiety is actually pretty common. After that my account was set up within minutes. So far Beachcomber has had great uptime. But there have been some problems, the biggest being something to do with the way the server is set up. I’ve never had this problem with any host before, but there was some server setting interfering with WordPress and Enthusiast. It really, really drove me crazy, but eventually I found a solution to it, and now everything is working perfectly now. Though my IP was locked out for several hours due to my tinkering.

I have unpinned my status post, but I am still not done uploading everything. I had almost 24000 files to upload, which is a lot for a normal connection. With my borrowed wireless that has close to dial-up speeds it takes fucking forever. Some files I had to upload twice because the first time they didn’t upload correctly. I still have a few thousand at least to go, but I’ve got all my fanlistings up, as well as this blog, which are the important things. TFL and TAFL have had to deal with a lot of messages from me for the past year, what with all my internet and hosting problems. Hopefully now they will both be corrected.

My mother was wrong, and Cyndy was coming back tonight, not yesterday. So I’ll call her tomorrow and Monday, and hopefully, hopefully, hopefully I’ll have internet installed this week or the first week of October. The internet has been particularly shitty the past few days, not that it isn’t always. The way to find out whether internet is working for me is this: Is this internet not working? It’s not working. Is the internet working? It’s not working. “The internet is working” just means Comcast hasn’t set up their blockade, “The internet isn’t working” means they have. It doesn’t mean I can always actually get on. I really want to get internet before this connection goes down again. Because it is going down again. This has been happening since February and every time it happens again sooner, and for a longer period of time. I know the signs now and when the blockade is approaching, and the signs are here.

Oh, and I had to be responsible recently… I had money leftover after hosting and… I had to spent $36 on flash drives. *sigh* I’m getting 32 GB, but you don’t actually get all that. It would actually take 60 GB to backup everything I need to keep safe, but I don’t have that kind of money right now. Spending that much on two 16 GB drives that won’t even hold everything I need was hard, when I could buy a lot more other things for less, but it’s important.

And Irene Is My Mother’s Middle Name

I didn’t find out about Hurricane Irene’s path until yesterday. I knew there was a hurricane coming, but I just thought hurricane + August = normal. I know it was headed to the eastern coast until yesterday. It’s a good thing my plan to go to Maryland didn’t come to fruition. Randy has vacation time right now, and my mom and I had wanted to go to Ocean City. Randy didn’t want to, and they went somewhere in PA instead. Thank God for that! My father’s side of the family lives in Maryland, so I got on Facebook for the first time in a while yesterday to see what was going on there. The hurricane isn’t affecting us much here, we’re just getting clouds from it, and it’s a little windy. Central and western PA are getting some storms and rain.

I had a bad night and morning on Thursday and Friday. I got two troubles from TFL saying my domain had been marked as an attack site. They didn’t say by who or give me any information about it. Google wasn’t blocking my domain, and I wasn’t getting any warnings from Norton. I spent 6 hours combing through every file and folder in my account and found nothing out of the ordinary. I submitted my sites to Norton and they marked them as clean. Finally, when Googling my domain I happened upon McAfee SiteAdvisor. McAfee itself didn’t mark the site as bad, but due to one bad rating by someone they consider to be a trusted, experienced reviewer (and who looks to me to be a spammer, due to the sheer volume of sites they review, and the fact they post the same review over and over again) they listed my site as risky. All the review said was “Reported http://www.malwaredomains.com/” I checked all of malwaredomains.com’s list and my site didn’t appear on any of them. And I don’t see how my domain could be mistaken for any on there because I didn’t find any similar ones. Maybe something I said pissed the reviewer off and they did that to get back at me.

I don’t think it’s right that McAfee let’s people ruin a sites reputation without confirming what they said is true. I also don’t think the kind of reviews that person leaves are appropriate. Doesn’t McAfee have rules for reviewing? Why are users allowed to leave one word reviews? Reviewers should be required to actually review. If they say something is wrong with the site they should have to say what is wrong, where it is, what they were doing. And all reviews should have to be unique. Users shouldn’t be able to post the same review for every site. McAfee is one of the worst anti-virus programs and their site is obviously unreliable. I don’t understand why anyone uses them, when there’s Kaspersky, and even Norton. Norton may not be wonderful, but it gets the job done.

I contacted McAfee to dispute my sites rating, explaining that no other sites had found any problems with my domain, and that my site didn’t appear on any of malwaredomains.com’s listed, and that it doesn’t seem like it ever did. When I got on later someone from McAfee had gotten back to me, and my sites rating was fixed. At least their reply was prompt, and they fixed the problem quickly, though it could have been avoided altogether with more stringent rules. People deserve to be protected from malware and bad sites, but site owners deserve to be protected from unjust attacks on their reputation as well.

I don’t know if McAfee was the problem or not, because TFL hasn’t gotten back to me (all the responsibility is on the webmasters to reply and get everything done quickly, not the staff). But hopefully all this is resolved now.

Kingdom of Knuffel

Kingdom of Knuffel
Kofk.de

( 1 ) ( 2 ) ( – ) eggs

Since I did a guide to the best adoptables/virtual pet sites, I have decided to get a little more in depth and review them. I’m starting with my newest account at Kingdom of Knuffel.

The site is quite nice looking. The graphics and art are very well done. KOfK is also smaller, and has fewer members, so if you are intimidated by the big sites like Neopets, or even Subeta, this would be a better option for you. Unfortunately, there ends the good qualities. This site requires an extremely high level of interaction and offers little in return. The sites currency is called food, food points, or fcs. You use it to by Knuffel, the KOfK’s virutal pets/creatures, clothes and items for your avatar, and material for quests. You earn food through posting in the forum, voting in forum polls, selling items (done through the forum, as there are no user stores) and original art, leveling your Knuffel or having them dig, submitting and getting comments art in the gallery, and rating and commenting on art in the gallery. There is only one game. Quite a few ways, huh? Not enough.

The food you earn from doing these things is miniscule. 4-10 through posts and voting on polls, and even less for voting and commenting in the gallery. You can only get food from the game once a day, and it depends on how well you score. Likewise, the amount of fps you get for leveling your Knuffel varies depending on how high the level is, but it takes 2500 food points to buy a Knuffel. You do not get a Knuffel when you join, you have to buy one from the Knuffel shops. After two and a half days I was able to buy my first Knuffel. It took 72 posts in the forum, probably half that number of polls, and voting and commenting on over 100 gallery items. This is that high level of interaction I was talking about. It’s easy for a dedicated newbie to get up to 72 posts in three days, but it’s not a realistic standard for year round, as there isn’t that much activity in the forum. The activity there is is mostly limited to the spam forum. A website the bases it’s currency around posting in the forum will always end up a spam central. Even the posts that are not in the spam board lack substance.

There is also very little to do. Despite its original copyright date being listed as 2007 the site is devoid of interesting activities. Posting in the forum, feeding/playing with Knuffel, the quests, and the sites lone game are virtually the only things available. The quests don’t seem in any way fun, and the are really only available to established members due to their expense. Ah, the expense. This is the most expensive site I’ve ever come across. Everything costs more, and you get a lot less money for your efforts. Items in the shops cost even more than the Knuffel do, with prices up to 9000. Selling Fairy Coins is the easiest way to make money, earning 6-8k per coin, and the easiest way to clothe your poor newbie avatar. Fairy Coins are earned through donating to the site. But remember, everything costs more here, even the FC. Every € 1.90/$2.50 gets you one coin. So you would have to donate $5 to get just two coins. This site is even more expensive than Neopets! Even VDex Project, which gives donation points per $2.50 gives 2 for each. Treasure Trove, the “FC Mall”, if you will, is where you spend them. It’s a good thing the items there only cost one FC each.

If you are interested in the attitude of the staff, the admin has a rather ignorant stance on ad blocking.

“People who use ad blockers (and do not contribute to the costs by donating) on KOfK are people who expect starkad and me to spend around 200 hours per month working on the site and paying hundreds of $ by ourselves, without being willing to contribute with something as small as “looking” at a ad banner. Quite selfish if you ask me. If all people had that attitude KOfK could not exist.”

Um, no, I expect not to get a virus from your site. Now, understandably, most site owners do not like their users blocking ads, but completely ignoring the #1 reason people do it (the safety of their computers), and making generalizations about them is rude, and yes, ignorant. If it keeps a site I like online I can tolerate ads. What I will not tolerate is having my computer destroyed by viruses, and unfortunately a large majority of them come from ads. Oh, yes, you can “report” an ad if it has a virus in it, but by then it is too late. Even the best anti-virus program can’t stop everything. I’ve lost many irreplaceable files and had computers rendered useless due to viruses, and I do not have the money to buy a new computer every few months, or pay hundreds in repair costs. Yes, I get it. You pay a lot to keep the site you choose to run online. I paid a lot for my computer, and I choose to keep it as virus free as possible. I don’t think that’s selfish.

The site has been online since 2007, and there appears to be no evolution. It is still small, there are still very few members, and there is still nothing to do. In 2010 there should be more real interaction, especially from a site that requires so much attention from its users. If Kingdom of Knuffel ever wants to get out of this rut the owners need to start thinking outside the box.

Kingdom of Knuffel does have potential, and it’s sad seeing it squandered. Those oh so costly items are well made, like all the art on the site, and the Knuffels are attractive. A good looking site like this should have new members coming in droves. The problem site needs more content, new features, and a better money system. A good new feature would be to allow users to see who clicked their Knuffel allowing them to return clicks, and a new way to earn fp could be getting food points per unique Knuffel interacted with. Both would give incentive to click more Knuffel, and encourage more user interaction. Adding more ways to earn fp, as well as adjusting the fp rate would make the site altogether easier, particularly for new members. Without new members and a motivated staff a site cannot grow and cannot change, and the sites that don’t grow and change are doomed to be left on the wayside while better, more innovate sites pass them by. It appears the site will remain stagnant in the months to come, as the webmasters appear content with letting things remain as they are.

Final verdict: Don’t bother. Kingdom of Knuffel is a waste of time as it is now. Even if you do get ahead, or have plenty of money to donate, in a few weeks you’ll have nothing to do. The shiny newness will wear off, and you’ll move on to something better.

Belief-O-Matic Religion Quiz

I found this quiz through the Duggar/Quiverfull/fundie snarking forum Free Jinger. It’s Beliefnet’s Belief-O-Matic. You answer a series of 20 questions and it tells you what religion your beliefs are most similar too. I didn’t understand all the questions, some were a little too… theological for me, but I did end up scoring in my own religion first, 100%. I’m a Presbyterian, so a liberal Protestant. I scored Seventh Day Adventist last at 24%, whatever that is, but my $cientology score wasn’t low enough for my taste, at 22 with 38%. So, what religion are you, or supposed to be?

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (98%)
3. Unitarian Universalism (95%)
4. Secular Humanism (79%)
5. Neo-Pagan (77%)

6. Reform Judaism (75%)
7. Baha’i Faith (73%)
8. New Age (73%)
9. Mahayana Buddhism (64%)
10. Theravada Buddhism (63%)
11. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (58%)
12. Orthodox Quaker (55%)
13. Taoism (53%)
14. New Thought (52%)
15. Sikhism (51%)
16. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (51%)
17. Nontheist (50%)
18. Jehovah’s Witness (48%)
19. Jainism (47%)
20. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (42%)
21. Orthodox Judaism (42%)
22. Scientology (38%)
23. Islam (35%)
24. Hinduism (31%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (24%)
26. Roman Catholic (24%)
27. Seventh Day Adventist (24%)

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