Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Site news July 2017

They say it never rains but it pours, and July 2017 could be a subtle hint that I should give up and walk away.

The Forum has proven/confirmed it is a dead, having no support from the few who were seen wandering around it (and the log showing its regular visitors are people who are very active on other forums, so can only be assumed to be visiting to poach material).

A single email enquiring about it, and its fate, would have been nice after hosting issues knocked it (and the whole domain) offline.

But for the fact that a number of Wiki pages link to threads within it, it would probably be gone this month, or replaced.

The Wiki was almost equally disappointing, taken offline by the same hosting issues, and despite an apparently healthy visitor/activity record, only ONE enquiry asked after its fate.

Probably not really a surprise though – it used to generate a steady drip of enquiries regarding its content, these died off recently.

However, the real issues of June 2017 arose from problems, caused by external services, ruining what had previously been an easily maintained web site that needed little intervention.

July 2017 issues

Two major issues affected the site, both outside our control.

First, hosting issues arose after a simple migration by our provider, not helped by a touch of unfortunate timing which meant that when we checked this was OK, we saw it was OK… only to learn later we had gone offline (thanks to a missing setting).

As we were busy elsewhere and not online for some time, that went on much longer than it should before we returned saw the problem, and corrected it.

Next, the shocking Photobucket debacle when they withdrew free image-hosting, at a stroke removing nearly all images in the Wiki, replacing them with a blackmail advert offering to restore them for a mere $400 per annum.

Although this Rupert Murdoch sales initiative had always been expected (by me at least, as Photobucket changed over the years since his business grabbed it), and we stopped using it for new images some time ago, it still robbed the Wiki of images hosted there in the early years, which will now have to be re-hosted. That job will take “More than 5-minutes”.

And finally, just to round the month of July off…

The Wiki, normally trouble-free and completely reliable (unless I am ‘tampering’), suddenly started generating a recurring error message about a deprecated function, generated a never-ending error log file, filled out web in a few seconds – and kept suspending our web hosting as it exceed our quota.

This ended up taking days to fix, as neither we nor our web host appeared to have changed anything (the usual source of such problems arising).

The cause is still not clear, although a new version of the relevant code was part of the fix.

Last straw but one?

But for the fact that this site is run for reasons not related to ‘Making My First Million’, or for the benefit of others, the problems of the past month or so would probably be sufficient reason to dump it. But that is not why it was created, or exists.

However, I have other reasons, so it’s safe, for the moment at least.

The Blog

Excluded from the above misery is this Blog, currently managing to survive 2017 as my best attempt at a PaD (Post a Day), and probably generating more interest than any other part of the site (other than the Flickr pic group, which even impresses me with its content).

If nothing else, the effort to get this to the end of the year will continue unaffected by events elsewhere.

You can help

With the issues we seem to be suffering at the moment, I can understand why there’s little contact these days, the site being deserted, and why even those who do get in touch seem to disappear.

On the other hand, there are (apparently) quite a few visitors to the site, and many are repeat visitors.

It would be nice to hear the odd word, instead of seeing everyone just look in and then immediately run away.

01/08/2017 - Posted by | Site News | , ,


  1. Just a quick note to say that I receive your daily blog posts by e-mail and thoroughly enjoy reading them. I hope that you’ll keep going with them. I’m sure that there are lots of other people out there who quietly appreciate your efforts. All the best.


    Comment by Colin Hunter | 01/08/2017

  2. Another quick note from me. I love your blog, being that i live, walk and cycle pretty much everywhere you go. I can’t help but think as i pass folk on the street that one of them is you. I can understand it must seem like you are talking to an empty room but if it any consolation, people are quietly listening. 😉


    Comment by Steven Johnstonm | 01/08/2017

  3. Thanks – I usually reply with “At least there’s one listener out there”… that’s been spoiled this time!

    Funny to see the thought about ” i live, walk and cycle pretty much everywhere you go” – I often wonder who I’m passing some days. The trigger for that is often a hunt in geograph for something I’d never take a pic of.

    It was spooky the other day, after the Tesco robbery, as I tried to find a pic (I’ve got one now though), and saw someone had virtually documented one of my regular walks in their set of contributions from the surrounding streets.

    It sounds as if I’m looking for ‘followers’, which is not the case (I’d use Facecrook if that was the intent, but that will NEVER happen). This is more of a hobby. I’m just sad that just about everyone who claimed to be actively interested seems to have evaporated, without as much as a ‘bye’.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Apollo | 01/08/2017

  4. Well, here’s another blog fan. I enjoy your varied observations the world around you, including both the high-profile and the really obscure and unnoticed (e.g. the orphaned pole!), and your take on events. I’ve never contributed to the wiki because, er, I can’t think of anything relevant that I know about, but it’s a great resource, often consulted.


    Comment by Allan Knaik | 02/08/2017

  5. Thanks Allan, and nice to see someone I recognise from way back is still around.

    But that kind of exemplifies what’s wrong – I can ‘see’ visitors but don’t seem to be able to inspire any sort of interaction, or even a little feedback (which would be nice, to give me a clue as to what’s good and what’s not).

    Funny you should mention the Wiki, but no need to worry, nobody contributes now,

    Thanks to Photobucket’s ‘help’, it probably won’t see much activity until the clocks go back, and we get some long dark nights that need something to fill them, due to the amount of time it needs spent on it now after their betrayal.


    Comment by Apollo | 03/08/2017

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