New infrastructure at Language Log Plaza

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Sometime early Sunday morning, the disk drive on the venerable Language Log server began having problems, and the process that hands out .html pages hung. I was able to repair the disk, as I have before, and things worked for a few hours, but then the same sorts of things began happening again, and fsck and I were unable to persuade the file system to return to normal.

Unfortunately, all this happened just as I was scheduled to leave for a conference — I'm now in Florida, and won't be back until Thursday. So I've taken the opportunity to do some things that I should have done long ago.

First, moving to a newer machine. The old server was a 6-year-old Dell desktop PC, running an antique version of Linux, and sitting in an unused corner of a group office at IRCS. Chad Jackson at the LDC was good enough to procure a new machine, install Ubuntu 7.10, and set it up in a more stable physical environment — but also with a new IP address. If you're reading this, then the DNS changes have propagated to you, or you've linked to us as or

Second, upgrading the content management software. Since June of 2003, we've been running with Movable Type 2.64, using the first non-hideous default theme that I found out of the box. It's worked fine, though the posting interface was kind of clunky, and it couldn't cope with non-ascii characters (unless they were encoded as 'é' or '天' or whatever), and it didn't offer full rss feeds (or at least I hadn't figured out how to do it), and …

So for new posts, we'll move to WordPress 2.5. The new machine will still be known to the world as (as well as, so all the URLs to old posts should work, as "Incall and outcall", "Latte Lingo: Raising a pint at Starbucks", Tighty-whities: the semantics", and all the 5,000-odd others.

(The index page as of 4/5/2008 is here.)

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