The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

How not to do a wireless caravan

When it rains, it pours, and this was no exception. Hindsight is always 20/20, so maybe if I explain how I XXXXXX up everything this trip it will save some other poor soul in the future the same character building experience …

“How I XXXXXX up the Wifi Caravan and CodeCon 03,” a short story of caution by coderman

A rather good primer on planning a wireless caravan and what could possibly go wrong. They, like us, had power problems due to inverters and well, then some …

Transcluding images

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this.

As I'm wont to do from time to time, I check the log files to see who may be linking to my site here and I see a bunch of references from; one of their forums.

Interesting, I think. I need to check this out.

Only you have to be a member of the site to read the forum.


I then check to see what entry they're pointing to, only they aren't linking to an entry, but directly to one of my images (well, technically, not mine but an image stored on my server).

On the one hand, the image is there on my server and anyone can link to it (or rather, include it in their page with a bit of HTML—it's not hard at all). That is, after all, one of the points of the web.

On the other hand, someone is using a image (I really can't say it's mine) directly from my server, which consumes bandwidth that I'm liable for. And for a page that I can't even look at!

On the gripping hand, it's not like this image is being sucked down thousands of times (it's only about 60 requests so far this month).

So while it may be well within my right to replace the image with something that says:

This pathetic wanker is stealing bandwidth and still has trouble tying their shoes.

That may be a bit harsh of a punishment for what, really, isn't all that much. And besides, I'm more curious as to what use the image was being used for, than upset over the use of the image itself.

But the site is (indirectly, and through no fault of the people who own the site) using bandwidth from my server, and it's to a page I don't have access to.

I wrote to the webmaster of the site about this, asking how the image was being used and not upset over its use (I was, to tell the truth, more interested in seeing the page in question). I received the following back:

From: <>
To: “Sean Conner” <>
Subject: RE: A link to an image
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 23:03:31 -0500

OK, I found the post on my message board that contained the picture you mentioned and deleted the link to the picture. There was a Happy Valentines Day thread going and someone had linked to your pic.

Not exactly what I was asking for, and i do feel a bit bad (I certainly hope the person who linked to the picture didn't loose access for what was intended as something harmless in their eyes).

But they did use my bandwidth for a page I couldn't see …

And that's not the only instance I found—this post-it note (from an entry about missing a delivery) was linked directly. I'm not as upset over this (as there were fewer hits on this image and I could view the page to see it in context of that page) but still, it would have been nice to have some attribution …


From: <>
To: “Sean Conner” <>
Subject: RE: A link to an image
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 23:03:31 -0500

Nah, no one got in trouble. There are lots of linked images on the boards. I was having the same problem with images being linked from my website til I turned on hotlink protection.

I don't feel quite as bad now ...

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

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