Websites n Stuff


You may or may not have noticed some disruption to Surface languages over the past two days.

I run the site on a Debian linux server rather than the more usual managed wordpress site.

I do this because it give me more freedom.

However, it also means that periodically I have to upgrade everything. I had been rather tardy doing this (previously using Debian 6) instead of the more up-to-date Debian 10.

The upgrade was a massive headache.

Substitute any word you want for headache.

I had to :-

Move from Debian 6 to 10

Reinstall Apache

Harden the server against naughty people.

Reinstall wordpress.

Reinstall php.

And the list goes on.

And on.

And on.

Finally, a new and improved, Surface languages is back and all is working as it should.

The massive benefit for me is that I can start working on the Polyglot People (currently non-functioning) part of the site.

You see the older versions of PHP (which I use as the backend language of SL), are lacking in some core functionality regarding encryption.

And I will need to encrypt passwords for PP.

But it was only when I started working on this that I realised that the older version of PHP that was installed on SL didn’t encrypt passwords to a decent standard.

Like DUH!

What was I thinking?

Meanwhile and back in the language world …

Let me tell you my news …

I have restarted my Italian language exchange. It had stopped for reasons which are various and distressing and that have no place on this blog. But rest assured that all is now well.

I have bought an audiobook of My Little Prince (il piccolo principe) to pass the time on the drive to work. I’l probably read it as well. Ditto with French.

I am continuing with my Croatian. Progress is slow but steady.

I am spending about 30 minutes concentrated study on Croatian six times a week, and most weeks have an iTalki  lesson.

Il piccolo principe is worth reading in any language, and I will at some point read it in Croatian. This will naturally be helped by the fact that I know the story well.

I love it.

And for you who are interested, here is a link to Croatian audio of the Mali Princ.

Besos, baci and pax.


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2 Responses to Websites n Stuff

  1. martin watts says:

    Good morning,
    many years ago I tried to develop something very similar to this which I called babel 500. I was just about to revisit the project which I think has demised on an old laptop. I speak spanish, English, Chinese and am revising my chinese for some work. I very much agree with much of your blog and “musings”. B1 in 5 languages would be a great achievement. The only language that TOTALLY defeated me on my travels was czeck. No idea why. I wrote a chinese vocab tester for myself early 90s as I was attempting to learn that in Taiwan – must have been in C I think. Anyway – how lovely to find your web site and see it all done and so much better than I could have. My hobby is kung fu and I have teach kids in our village kung fu and chinese in a sort of mash up class – songs and movement names using common words etc. – So I just feel a little like a kindred spirit and wanted to send my pax your way.
    Kind regards,

    • moonface says:

      Many thanks for your kind comments.

      I had a look around your websites which brought back happy memories for me.

      When I was young I spent several years practising a style of Chinese Kung Fu – elephant fist maybe although for the life of me I can no longer remember the name – which eventually lead me to Wing Chun which I studied for many years.

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