User talk:Slamlander

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Thanks for the work getting spells taken care of. I'd been meaning to get around to that for a long time, but reality always managed to intervene.

I don't have any experience with Imageshack and generally don't mess around with images, being both a highly non-visual thinker and fairly lazy. I don't see any reason why images couldn't be uploaded here directly, but it would probably be a good idea to talk to Impy before doing so. There are fragments from the strips that could be used for some of the templates, for sure. Two that come to mind are the dispel trap that Meji sets off, which could be used as part of Template:Gadget Header, and any of several excerpts from the Ian/Toren combat scenes, which could play the same role in Template:Spell Header. Go ahead and experiment. (Maybe set up a user sandbox? I have one for a "technology" article I was working on.) -- Graybeard 08:44, 23 January 2007 (CST)

  • Did you look over the prototype protocols page? -- Slamlander 08:57, 23 January 2007 (CST)
Only glanced at it. She Who Must Be Obeyed is off at a musical gig tonight, so I'll have time to look at it later. -- Graybeard 19:46, 23 January 2007 (CST)


Spam blacklists

Some other wikis where I admin have a "spam blacklist" feature. Phrases appearing on the blacklist cannot be used in articles, and if someone tries to make an edit that includes one of the banned phrases, the edit is rejected by the software. Any idea how to set that up here? The MediaWiki software used here might be too old to have this feature, or it might not. As I've said previously, I'm not a fluent MediaWiki programmer, so I don't know how to make the necessary changes. Can you? -- Graybeard 11:13, 24 February 2007 (CST)

The difference compared to Wikipedia is that there are lots of articles there that would have a valid reason to refer to Vi*gra, C*alis, etc. Here (as on the others I help with where there are blacklists) there are essentially none. It would be feasible if the software supported it, but you're right, do nothing that screws up the store. Let's revisit this once things are modernized. -- Graybeard 17:33, 24 February 2007 (CST)


I've reverted that user's changes, but I don't think that it's appropriate to block him/her/it yet. There's a difference between being a spammer and a smartass. Some of the latter eventually become useful contributors. Suggest waiting to see whether there is more vandalism. Repairing this one wasn't hard at all.

I'd prefer to leave sysop/bureaucrat decisions to Impy, although I'd be very much in favor of you becoming one. At the moment there is so little traffic that I can handle things like this bit of vandalism, usually fairly quickly as I'm able to check status every day except while traveling -- and fortunately my professional travel has been light recently. However, we're planning a big, extended vacation in late spring that will have me off-line for long enough that an active backup would be a good thing. I'll have a word with Hilary. -- Graybeard 23:41, 5 March 2007 (CST)

I see that Impy has now made you a sysop. (Good. Right decision.) As far as I can tell, you, she and I are the only admins who actually do anything these days, although there are a few others who helped in the past. We should probably try to arrange a dialog somewhere, somehow to make sure that we're doing things in a consistent way. I'm open to suggestions. -- Graybeard 09:49, 10 March 2007 (CST)


Any idea how to get the MediaWiki "CheckUser" function set up here? It would be useful in dealing with spammers. -- Graybeard 21:10, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

I see that. One week, for me, offline and we're getting clobbered. I'm still not done with the move and can't do much until I get sign-off on the old place. :( Slamlander 23:17, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

Archivist's Notes

Rather than including these notes in the articles themselves, I think they should be on the relevant talk pages, for several reasons, a major one being that if we take on the project that Impy e-mailed you and me about (you got that, right?), there is incentive to use the talk pages much more heavily than is currently the case. Let's get that started now. I can go through my other reasons -- there are several -- but let's discuss this first. -- Graybeard 08:59, 1 June 2007 (CDT)

I was thinking that too. Okay, leave Archivists Notes as TalkPage-only. That works for me.-- Slamlander 13:46, 2 June 2007 (CDT)

A Thank You Note

Good idea on the Order of Heretical monks and thanks for adding me on the list!

Elrond (also known as Pillaroforder in the forum)

I didn't know that was you. :)

Yeah, I started lurking here first, long before the forum, so I came up with a user name on the spur of the moment, only later did I start using Pillar everywhere. Elrond 04:06, 4 June 2007 (CDT)

6-character IDs

I have been keeping track of these, and they seem to be getting added at about the rate of 8 per day. I don't know why, but do you remember the scene in "Independence Day" where they've discovered the clock counter the aliens are using and are trying to figure out what it means? Similar queasy feeling.

Private mail to you will be coming shortly. For now, feel free to go ahead and block these (and thanks), but somebody can create 'em faster than we can block 'em. -- Graybeard 08:54, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

What we really need is direct MySQL and script access but I have the same reservations as with the upgrade, I don't want to risk breaking the store. Slamlander 09:03, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
  • Independence Day has arrived. You start at the top, I'll start at the bottom, and let's block these suckers. -- Graybeard 12:55, 10 June 2007 (CDT)
    • For the moment I have switched my attention to protecting the content pages themselves. This will be a lot quicker and works even when the enemy creates more spambots. Of course we'll eventually have to undo the protects, but that doesn't take long. Enjoy dinner, I'll probably still be here... -- Graybeard 13:44, 10 June 2007 (CDT)
      • I have also made Tau Wedel a sysop for now so that he/she can continue contributing to That Typos Thread. If you can think of others who are presently contributing, feel free to do likewise. -- Graybeard 13:48, 10 June 2007 (CDT)
  • Interesting. There are new 6LIDs getting created at the rate of one an hour or so. However, the protection of the pages seems to be helping. The last couple of spams have been put on incredibly obscure pages, and I have no idea how many others have been repelled. Protecting all the content, until we can get Impy to fix the .PHP, may be the most efficient path forward. -- Graybeard 18:26, 10 June 2007 (CDT)
  • Okay. Then I'm going to research how to batch delete these damned IDs from the Wiki. Banning these things is as useful as putting teats on a boar if we can't stop their creation. Slamlander 23:15, 10 June 2007 (CDT)
  • Creation of the spambots seems to have been stopped, at least for now; the server twiddle looks like it's working. To begin turning the wiki back on, it may now make sense to resume blocking the existing spambots. You said you worked on A-J, right? V-Z are also done, apart from any that were created after I turned my attention to protecting the content pages. If we can cover the ones from K to U, maybe we can risk unprotecting content pages again. -- Graybeard 08:45, 15 June 2007 (CDT)

Policy page

I've started a The Heretic Knowledge Vault:Policy page to help set up access/block/protection guidelines. These will become useful when the software gets upgraded to allow new security measures, and I think they should be informative even now. Please read and comment on the talk page (and change as applicable, since you have sysop access and can make changes to the content page itself, which is currently protected). -- Graybeard 10:31, 16 June 2007 (CDT)

There's an update to this in the works, involving new usernames. Please drop by the talk page and comment. -- Graybeard 22:18, 5 November 2007 (CST)

Return of the spambots

A couple more did stuff today; Elrond repaired the damage and blocked them. I thought we had taken care of the two that did the damage and don't understand why they were still able to edit. Meanwhile, take a look at the block list and see if you can understand what's going on. I don't, and I don't like what I see. -- Graybeard 09:32, 29 June 2007 (CDT)

Looking into it now Slamlander 03:53, 30 June 2007 (CDT)

OK, as far as I can tell, all the spambots have been blocked. Furthermore, on investigating what's happening with the block list, it's actually a good thing -- it just says that attempts to deposit more dung from the same IP addresses as the spambots are being caught and prevented. I'm still puzzled by the fact that Elrond had to fix those two, but oh well. I think we can now finish unprotecting the content pages so that people can edit, but the moratorium on new usernames is going to have to stay in place for a while. -- Graybeard 09:53, 4 July 2007 (CDT)

One more got through today -- and I see that about 40 were blocked. I would like to know, however, how the one escaped. Is there any chance that you might have saved a listing, back during the main spambot attack, of the 6-letter usernames? I'd like to see whether that one existed back then. Unfortunately, the current MediaWiki version doesn't seem to preserve the user creation log, which would tell us, presumably. -- Graybeard 23:17, 17 August 2007 (CDT)

Yeah, I just looked. The system is now under heavy attack but they're not even denting the gates. I think that one was the last leak. The problem is inherently one associated with dynamic IP assignment. No, I never saved a listing. IP-based blocking and filtering will become less and less useful as even more ISPs go to forced dynamic IP assignments. The only weapons we wil have left, going forward, are User ID blocks and capcha tests. Slamlander 02:59, 18 August 2007 (CDT)
Looks like that one just slipped through the previous blocks. The username count is still 790 as of this morning, as it was when we were fighting the spambot battle in June. So this wasn't a new name getting created, which is what I worried about. We really need to get a MediaWiki update so that the blocks can be done via blacklisting offending spam addresses rather than the spambots creating them; it would be nice to let valid new usernames be created again. -- Graybeard 17:03, 18 August 2007 (CDT)

Category redirects

Small problem. When you set up the redirect of Elves so that it points to Category:Elves, the nested redirect of Elf malfunctions. I haven't checked whether this is also true for Humans, Trolls, etc. I think these should be undone, and Elf, etc., put into the appropriate categories rather than merged with the category articles. Sorry to suggest undoing all the work you did on that, but there are reasons. -- Graybeard 17:03, 18 August 2007 (CDT)

That's actually easy to fix by unnesting them. --Slamlander 23:40, 18 August 2007 (CDT)
Already fixed -Slamlander 23:47, 18 August 2007 (CDT)

Mage classes

You might want to roll back the change of Battlemage to Battle Mage. The single-word names for the class is "canon," in that that's the way it appears in the actual comic, for example here. The corresponding change to Life Mage appears OK; I think I've seen it both ways in the comic, but the original reference was to the two-word version so may as well treat that as canon. -- Graybeard 08:31, 13 September 2007 (CDT)

  • sigh* Okay. Slamlander 08:36, 13 September 2007 (CDT)


You've had the WIP banner up on Category:Ensigerum for quite a while now. Gonna do anything there, or should the banner come down? -- Graybeard 22:00, 25 January 2008 (CST)

Sorry about that, I got buried in work-related emergencies. Slamlander 22:34, 23 February 2008 (CST)


The '>' character is intended to let the reader know which wiki they are in. Switch to the other wiki and you'll see that the '>' moves to Jordan's Lab. OK, but at least spell things right. That quibble aside, I like what you've done here; thanks. -- Graybeard 17:45, 8 October 2008 (CDT)

Imageshack images

It may not be necessary to go to the effort of resuscitating those. Impy has given the OK to upload images directly, now that they own the wiki, and indeed, it is preferred to do so, because that way the comment field can be used to show pointers to the original reference, put images in categories, etc. I've been gradually converting the covers in the Chapter timelines article, for example, to use uploaded images rather than Imageshack. However, if you do want to go to all that work, feel free. It's nice to have you back in the picture. -- Graybeard 16:42, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

The Imageshack images are mostly maps and other stuff. I know that the ones I owned are now in the wiki. I would like to get the rest of them there as well. Basically, remove our dependency on Imageshack.
I don't know how 'back' I am. I still have a lot of other stuff to do ;) This has been a tough year for me ;)
--Slamlander 09:33, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
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