Monthly Archives: March 2006

New Home

Even though cool uri’s don’t change, I’m in the process of moving to a new home at for reasons I’ll elucidate on shortly. The new site is already live (it looks just like the old one), and next week I’ll tear things down on After that happens, visitors who come here looking for me will be redirected the the corresponding page on the new site. Hopefully it will all be fairly seamless.

ICDSoft Rocks (not)!

Update: Shortly after this post, I stopped using ICDSoft as a host due to this incident. Read ICDSoft wrapup for details. In short, they contacted me privately in an an email that conveyed considerable distress over my post. While they claimed that they would never consider attempting to censor their users, they also chose that conversation to mention an unspecified terms of use violation that I might have made. While nothing more came of the discussion and there were no tangible consequences, I decided it was time to move on after that.

ICDSoft isn’t giving me $200 to shill for their hosting services but they are paying ten other lucky folks, according an announcement sent to customers on 3/8/2006 via the news section of their hosting control panel (bold sections are my emphasis):

March 8th, 2006 | A “Thank You” to our loyal customers!

Over the past few years, ICDSoft has grown steadily to reach more than 70,000 domains hosted. We fully recognize that a big part of our success is the words of recommendation sent out by our existing customers to other potential clients all over the world. We realize that these recommendations are the best advertisement we could ever have. For this reason, we have decided to extend our gratitude to our customers by rewarding the best reviews of our hosting services.

Such an undertaking was not an easy task however. We started out by seeking and collecting all the reviews of our services that have been posted over the years. An ever bigger challenge was deciding which were the best. All reviews were assessed with several factors in mind: the objectivity of the information provided, the writing style, the popularity of the web site it is posted on, and others. After a great deal of analysis, we have chosen to reward each of the following reviews with $200:


It is important to note that we found many other fantastic reviews, but could not reward them because the domain name of the poster was not provided in the review. We are also sure that there were many reviews out there that we simply could not find. If you have posted a review about our services, you can tell us about it through the “Submit a review” link on the left pane of your hosting Control panel.

We are planning to express our gratitude in a similar fashion in the future as well. Thank you once again for your support!

ICDSoft Team

They don’t explicitly state that they’re paying for positive reviews, but if you follow the listed links it’s clear that they’re not paying for negative ones. You’ve got to wonder if this is the first time they’ve done this, or just the first time they’ve made an official announcement about it. This site is hosted on icdsoft (so if it disappears next week you’ll know why), and they actually are a pretty decent value-oriented host. It almost seems odd that they would need to resort to astroturfing, but increasingly I find that no amount of moral turpitude will surprise me.

New Skin for the Old Ceremony

So the new site skin is up and I’m fairly happy with it. It’s based on Wuhan 0.4 (2010-10-17 update, the Wuhan website has long since disappeared, so no link is available), with a short javascript lifted from Gespaa. I made lots of small changes, most notably folding the menubar into the header image and switching the layout to a one-column format.

I’ve also enabled comments again. I turned them off almost immediately after starting the site when I had blog spam problems, but it has become increasingly clear to me that this site exists primarily in order to solicit feedback and it does a poor job of that with comments disabled.

If anyone finds the theme interesting, I’ve packaged it up to make it easy to use with WordPress 2.x. To install, download, unzip, upload into /wp-content/themes/, and select it as your default theme in the wp-admin interface. If you’re new to using themes in WordPress, check out the official theme documentation or leave a question in the comments.

Update, 4/25/05: There’s now a project page for the theme at where you can find more information as well as downloads for the latest packaged version.