Happy Halloween, Everybody!

Info for Reclaim Halloween Radio, happening 8am-6pm ET at listen.reclaimrad.io. Image contains seasonal spooky imagery.
Putting this front and center, because we. Are. LIVE!!!

News from October 2023

The spookiest month of the year is drawing to a close, and we've been having a wild time here at Reclaim. But we won't keep you in suspense. Here's the news!

A man walks through the front door and gets surprised by a skeleton that's been rigged to fly at anyone who enters.
Whoa, Halloween already?!

Monthly Announcements

Welcome, Jason!

Kicking off this Roundup with the best kind of news, we want to give a warm welcome to the newest member of the Reclaim team, Jason Teitelman! Jason's joining us as our Customer Support Specialist, and we couldn't be more excited to have him on board.

The doors on a bus open, and the driver waves. Caption: "Welcome aboard!"

Breaking News: It's Halloween on Reclaim Radio!

Now – yes, RIGHT NOW – we're hosting a Halloween extravaganza here on our web radio station! We'll be bringing you sweet tunes and spooky stories all day, so tune in now and don't miss a minute. Here's the schedule for the day:

  • 8:00am ET - Halloween Tunes with Meredith
  • 9:00am ET - Scary Special: Jim & Maren
  • 10:00am ET - Pumpkin Hour with Maren & Meredith
  • 11:00am ET - Halloween Tunes from the team
  • 12:00pm ET - Old Time Radio Hour: the Scary Stories of Suspense
  • 1:00pm ET - Radio Roundup with Amanda & Pilot
  • 2:00pm ET - Halloween Tunes with Jason
  • 3:00pm ET - Scary Tech (and Non-Tech) Stories with Amanda & Jason
  • 4:00pm ET - Halloween Tunes with Taylor
  • 5:00pm ET - Fright Night: Tunes from the Infrastructure Team
Illustrative Halloween infographic for Reclaim Halloween Radio, giving the schedule (8am-6pm ET/12pm-9pm GMT October 31st) & location (listen.reclaimrad.io/).
Listen, this image is just too cool not to use twice.

November/December Flex Course - Open Publishing Ecosystems

It's almost time for our next flex course, Open Publishing Ecosystems! We've been patient so far, but we can't wait to share this with you. From November 28th through December 19th, we'll be hosting weekly sessions digging into various open publishing tools – what they are, how they work, and what they can best help you accomplish. Specifically, we'll be looking at HedgeDoc, Manifold, Docsify-This, and HAX, highlighting where each of these tools shine.

This flex course will be in the classic Reclaim style, with weekly video premieres where you can all take part in the live chat, and all resources for the week available after each premiere for anyone wanting to follow along asynchronously. It’s free for all to attend, so run, don't walk, to get registered on the events calendar.

A TV saying "Open Publishing Ecosystems", next to a stack of smaller TVs displaying the logos for Hedgedoc, Manifold, Docsify-This and HAX.
We can't wait to publish with you!

November Community Chat - Open Publishing & Why You Should Do It (Come To Our Flex Course in Two Weeks!)

And of course, the natural followup (precursor?) to that flex course: the November Community Chat will be all about open publishing. It's happening two weeks before the official course starts, and we figured that before we run a whole flex course on how it works, we should maybe chat about the "why".

On November 15th at 12pm ET, come tell us about the work you've been doing, what drew you to open publishing in the first place, and what it means to you. We're not talking tools just yet – we're talking goals, passions, challenges, and dreams. Y'know, the simple stuff. It's going to be a great time, so go sign up right now on the events calendar.

And yes, that's the real event title.

Foreground: A cat in a suit closes their laptop & gives a thumbs-up. Background: a cat naps on the floor. Caption: "Just publish!"
If it's a cat saying it, you know you gotta.

October Community Chat - Approaching Archiving in WPMS & DoOO

But hey, if you couldn't make it to the October Community Chat, no worries – we remembered to hit "record". We got to sit down with you all this past month for an awesome talk about archiving. How do you approach those kinds of projects? What roadblocks do you face? And what does it even mean to "archive" something anyway? All these questions and more were, if not answered, at least addressed, and you can catch the replay right here.

News from Infrastructure: Scalar Installer Update

Over the summer, Reclaim users have been reporting seeing a "database connection error" message or Installatron backup failures for Scalar installations in their accounts. We've had to direct users to reach out to Scalar for help with those errors.

However, we've been working with Installatron in the background, and they recently identified an issue with the Scalar installer code and suggested a fix. We then worked with one of the Scalar developers, Craig Dietrich, to update the Scalar installer. The fix for Scalar was pushed out across all servers last week, and we've have since verified that the update means you shouldn't see the error messages or backup failures anymore.

A fox and a warthog jump up and high-five. Caption: "Yeah!"

In Case Ya Missed It

Reclaim's stream game was strong this month as we hit one each and every Friday! The team covered a variety of topics, touching on everything from recent successes to live experiments to just some downright fun.

While technically not October, Taylor, Pilot, and Amanda kicked off the month's streams by chatting Pressbooks yet again in Pressbooks on Reclaim Cloud the easy way!. But, this time Taylor came to play, showing off his nifty new Pressbooks dependencies add-on in Reclaim Cloud. He wrote a handy tutorial you can find in our docs called Manually Installing Pressbooks, which shows you how to install Pressbooks on both Shared Hosting as well as in Reclaim Cloud.

Kermit the frog frantically types on a typewriter.
Real footage of Taylor writing docs, making add-ons, hosting streams... #NotEdited

Jim went solo on the next Friday's stream with his quick bit called Offloading Media for Large WordPress Sites. This is a quick and easy stream gushing about something that large WordPress sites of all sorts would find helpful.

The next stream, Reclaim had a little fun. For Friday the 13th of October we got spooky and got on to talk about our scariest tech-related stories in our special, Scary Stories to Tell in the Stream: An October 13th Spooky Special. Check it out... if you dare!

An 8bit GIF of someone sitting by a campfire in the woods.
It was so much fun to tell scary stories by the digital campfire!

On October 20, Taylor tackled the task of Making a Hedgedoc installer in Reclaim Cloud while Pilot and Amanda looked on in wonder. They were even joined by a surprise guest in the live chat: a HedgeDoc developer!

Don't miss our November streams, which will be happening at https://reclaim.tv/ at 10am Eastern Time each Friday (except the day after Thanksgiving!). And you can check out all of our previous streams at https://archive.reclaim.tv/! Here's the schedule for next month:

  • Friday 11/03: For the first stream of the month, it's a retrospective on our Halloween radio extravaganza and how we made it happen!
  • Friday 11/10: In honor of the (approximate) one year anniversary of our Hacks for Hybrid Working flex course, special guest Maren Deepwell will be hosting a HfHW followup stream!
  • Friday 11/17: Before the Open Publishing Ecosystems flex course starts on November 28th, check out our sneak peek stream about what to expect!
Three people watch a movie in a theater. On the screen, a robot spreads its arms in welcome, saying, "Join us!"
See you there!

Recent Blog Posts

October may have been a perfect storm behind the scenes here at Reclaim Hosting (trust us, it's been a long month), but even under such dire circumstances we did not abandon the blog. We are professionals!

A woman pushes her way through the crowd, saying, "Excuse me, trained professional coming through."
Scuse us!

First up was Taylor's post about migrating WordPress Multisite instances to Reclaim Cloud to follow-up on his stream covering this process.

Migrating WordPress Multisite setups to the cloud!
A couple of weeks back I did a stream with Amanda and Pilot where I showed off what I’ve been learning about moving WordPress Multisite and Commons in a Box setups to Reclaim Cloud. I’ve done a few CBOX Openlab migrations, most recently for SUNY Oneonta and University of New Haven, so I wanted to do…

Speaking of WordPress Multisite migrations, Jim wrote the low-key victory post "A Full Cuny Circle" before migrating Macaulay's Eportfolios to ReclaimCloud a tad too early. But the sentiment around CUNY's Instructional Technology Fellowship back in 2004 being ground zero for all things Reclaim holds true.

A GIF from Scooby-Doo of Scooby and Shaggy screaming on a rollercoaster.
What a rollercoaster of an October...

That said, Jim's "Highs and Lows" post highlights the importance of mindfulness when things get tough, resisting the urge to spiral when migrations are jettisoned on the shores of despair.

Thanks to Maren Deepwell's joining Reclaim Hosting this month, all was not lost and there's very much a sense of a new day rising at Reclaim. In fact, Maren blogged about "The start of a whole new chapter" in her work life after stepping-down as ALT's CEO after 10 glorious years of service. Be sure to read her blog, and if you are an organization like ours and looking to streamline your offering and pay closer attention to creating a healthy culture of work, look no fiurther.

The start of a whole new chapter: Day 1

Maren Deepwell's "The start of a whole new chapter: Day 1"

You know that moment when you update three distinct, yet equally complex, next generation applications on Reclaim Cloud and everything goes as planned? We knew you would, and Jim even posted about "Hitting the Open Source Update Trifecta" —tl;dr, containers change the upgrading game.

In fact, that winning streak led Taylor and Jim to move an existing instance of Mastodon running in a VPS into a Docker Container. And guess what? It worked, which is why both Jim and Taylor BLOGGED it:

Containerizing Mastodon on Reclaim Cloud | bavatuesdays

This time Jim does a well-deserved and well-timed victory lap on the back of all of Taylor's work :)

Migrating Mastodon from a Source Install to a Dockerized Install
Jim beat me to blogging it, but on Friday he and I jumped on a stream and migrated a test instance of Mastodon he has that he installed the manual way, over to a new dockerized install using my 1-click installer on Reclaim Cloud. Things went super smoothly and this should make future upgrades and m…

And Taylor was a blog star in October! Beyond the magic of migrating Mastodon, he also wrote about discovering the retro computing search engine FrogFind. And if you are looking for an alternative to Google for search, Taylor has yet another post about "Trying out Kagi Search." Bloggin' like it's 2005!

Trying Out Kagi Search
While I’m not completely averse to using Google stuff, I stopped using Google search a few years ago, just to make sure all of my data eggs aren’t just in Google’s basket. They already get my email, most of video watching, lots of work documents, and so many other things. For the last few years I’ve…

And to round out October is the Blog King himself (Cogdog who?) with a couple of posts about the upcoming Spring ds106 course "The Aftermath," more specifically the Dr. Oblivion course teaser trained by the ever brilliant Michael Branson Smith.

And then some details about this upcoming ds106 course, highlighting Jim's intentions of building out an entirely open source infrastructure to support the good Doctor as he spreads his wisdom across the virtual land:

Building Oblivion University in the Aftermath | bavatuesdays

Obviously still recovering from an October-induced breakdown, and possibly as part of a broader mid-life crisis, Jim is actually planning on migrating his blog to a store front in Trento, Italy—namely bava.studio. Yeah, we don't understand it either, but he is the idea guy, so we'll let him run with it.

Support Documentation

This month, we've been gearing up for some fun things headed toward the Cloud, so we don't have too much new documentation to share. Instead, here are some popular guides in our Knowledge Base!

Taylor wrote an awesome guide on Adding SSH Keys to your Reclaim Cloud account. Take a look if you need to connect to your environment through SSH.

A man types on a keyboard, checks his screen, and announces triumphantly, "We're in!"
Connection established.

If you're looking to add a new domain name to your cPanel account, we have the guide for you! We don't limit the number of domains in cPanel so this is perfect for anyone who may want to use a TLD with their projects. Check out Adding a New Domain to cPanel.

DoOO admins, do you see any users with a blank cPanel screen? You can help get them back in business quick with this Blank cPanel/cPanel Login Screen fix. Keep in mind this is geared towards Domain of One's Own admins with access to WHMCS while you work.

Two women stand next to each other. One says, "I feel like I should know this, but I'm drawing a blank."
Whoops, not that kind of blank!

And finally, we have some Installatron troubleshooting! If you're trying to install an application and see an HTTP 500 error, check out our guide: 500 Error When Installing Applications Through Installatron on Subdomains.

Staff Picks

Kicking off the staff picks this month, Pilot is here to get us in the Halloween spirit with a RetroStrange TV, which is a community-supported, 24/7 streaming TV station that shows public-domain or copyright free content. They are featuring Halloween-themed shows and movies all month, and the icing on the cake is that it's broadcast using Owncast, which we are big fans of around here!

An old-fashioned computer and monitor, displaying a pixellated 8bit ghost and haunted house.
Retro? Strange? TV? We're all about all of that!

Taylor's got a recommendation for a good calculator application across all the Apple platforms (yes, it even works on Apple TV): PCalc! It's super customizable, and has just about every option you could ever want. They even have a physics-based dice simulator app, if you enjoy playing tabletop games.

A skeleton rolls dice.
Roll them bones!

Next up, Jason brings us Text Blaze, which is a slick text-expansion tool that runs as a Chrome extension. Text expansion tools can be huge time savers if you find yourself typing a lot (who doesn't?)!

If you are feeling like a master of communication after Jason's recommendation, why not give your verbal communication skills a workout and check out this next web treasure from Pilot, the Speech Jammer! We dare you to speak a complete sentence with this thing turned on.

A cat with a cloud of smoke for a body floats across a black background.
Watch as your ability to speak goes up in smoke.

And that's all for this month, folks! As always, it's been a treat to share this month with you.

Dwayne Johnson says, "Until next time."

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Dr. Brian Oblivion