It all started normally, but had no intention of staying that way.
Tania’s 11 year-old chihuahua Tinkerbell was staying with us for a short while. We knew that he had a relatively mild heart condition that was well managed by medication. I took this photograph last Saturday, the day he arrived.
And this one, when Tinkerbell was relaxing in the sun with Trevor, on Monday afternoon.
On Monday evening he appeared weak; and he was no better on Tuesday morning. We took him to see the vet on Tuesday afternoon. The vet spoke with Tania on the phone, examined Tinkerbell and, after consulting with a colleague and explaining to us what was going on, prescribed medication to aid what he called the dog’s cardiopulmonary insufficiency. Whilst the vet was writing the prescription and talking about a return visit in three days to make sure the medication was working, Tinkerbell went into a crisis from which the best efforts of the vet couldn’t revive him. Sad, sad day. Tinkerbell is with us no more. He will be cremated during the coming week, and I shall keep his ashes here until our next visit to Paris, or Tania’s next visit here, whichever comes first.
Telling Tania was difficult, especially as, less than an hour before I passed the sad news to her, the vet had expressed to her his confidence that the treatment would work.
Things settled down after that and, on Thursday, Clare set off on a ten-day visit to UK, to visit her family. She travelled up with Heather, who was driving up anyway, and appreciated the company. Clare will return by air next week, possibly together with her mother. To be confirmed.
Trevor and Ulysse have been behaving well, except that Trevor has been a tiny bit annoying. Every time I have picked and eaten a blackberry from the hedgerow, during our walks, he has barked at me, as if to say, “Where’s mine?” I responded by teaching him to get his own:
When I arose on Saturday morning I found that my blogs and another of my sites were down. A quick investigation showed that, as a couple of months ago, they had been hacked with some kind of code injection. The only sensible way to deal with this is a complete restore from the previous day’s backup, so that’s what I had Webhosting UK do. The only downside is that a the logo files uploaded by a couple of organisations to the IVAD site were lost. I contacted the people concerned, and their logos are now replaced on the site.
I had thought to move this blog to its own subdirectory, to make restoring it simpler. Although something many people shy away from, I had researched it and felt confident that it could go reasonably smoothly. It did. An hour or so later, I noticed the link to the site on my Gravatar profile page was broken. This is an automatically generated link that I couldn’t change. I changed a pointer on the blog, went back and checked the link, and found it to be okay. The next problem was that, although the link was okay, the blog wasn’t. I couldn’t get into it in reader or admin modes. It took five hours to have it working again, after copying stuff up and down between the server and my machine. It was almost 10pm yesterday evening before I could walk away.
Regular Sunday jobs are updating my Picture of the Week on the Hawk Conservancy Trust’s site, then this blog. I selected the images I wanted to use on the Trust site, resized and labelled them, and fired up Dreamweaver.
Dreamweaver wouldn’t load.
I checked on resource usage. Malwarebytes Antimalware was doing a full sweep, which is heavy on processor and disk. I closed everything else down and went away, allowing Antimalware to complete its job. It finished, having found no malware. Excellent. Back to work.
Dreamweaver wouldn’t load.
Being a long-time Windows user; I have used windows since version 2, released in December 1987; and having supported a number of other Windows users, I knew what I needed to do. I rebooted the computer and tried again.
Dreamweaver wouldn’t load.
I checked other Adobe applications. PhotoShop loaded normally, Acrobat Professional loaded normally, Lightroom loaded normally. Dreamweaver wouldn’t load.
I tried reinstalling Dreamweaver. It became stuck at about 30% done. I cursed a little. I also downloaded Microsoft Web Expression and openElement, as possible replacements for Dreamweaver. I have found in the past that truculent software can be made to work by downloading a replacement; much as many devices decide to work when they get wind that you are researching a replacement. Having downloaded those two pieces of software, I switched the machine off and went for some lunch.
On my return from lunch, I switched back on and, before loading anything else, ran the DVD to reinstall Dreamweaver. It installed cleanly. With every appendage crossed, I clicked the icon.
Dreamweaver loaded. Yay!
I prepared to start work on my Picture of the Week. The first job is to reference last week’s images, so I can update them to the Images of Birds of Prey blog. I browsed to hawkconservancy.org. Up came a blank page with, across the top, the words, “HaCked by Toxic Dz“. Great.
Looking on Filezilla, it was clear that the index file, index.asp, had been replaced. Also added were: index.cfm, index.htm, index.html and index.php, together with default.asp, default.cfm, default.htm, default.html and default.php. Simple job; delete ten files and upload one. I continued.
Once I had built the Picture of the Week page, I uploaded it, together with the relevant image files, and proceeded to check it. Browse to hawkconservancy.org, fine, select the competitions page - “HaCked by Toxic Dz“. Double great! Back to Filezilla, where it appeared that every directory on the site had received a donation of ten files, overwriting the actual index file. I recognise that I have more data on my hard disk than is on the server, probably by about 50% (I’m not aiming to count), but according to Windows, the web site comprises 28,121 files in 2,877 directories. Take 50% of that, multiply by ten files per directory, and this afternoon’s last (I hope) job is to delete almost 15,000 files and re-upload 673 – not every directory has an index file.
I neither know nor care who Toxic Dz is or what his/her motivations are. I can say that the html coding of the files posted to the site is rubbish, and the hack is simplistic and unimaginative – it looks like the work of a petulant child, and not a very bright one at that!
Is it at all surprising that I am keen to see the end of this week?
Let me finish on a positive note. My tutor was happy with my response to her challenge this week – Isolation – and I have submitted my last assignment on the Writers Bureau course.
À la prochaine