There were a couple of problems on the site over the past few days: a few error messages appearing and 18th April 1661 failed to appear. Unfortunately web server upgrades coincided with me being on holiday, so I wasn’t aware there was a problem until now.
The old Further Reading page didn’t allow anyone to post their suggestions to it, so we were ending up with book recommendations scattered through the annotations. I’ve now created a new Further Reading section in Background Info, so if you would like to recommend something that isn’t already listed, feel free!
If you want to recommend a book but can’t see a page that’s right for it, do email me and I’ll add one.
It’s been a while and we’re probably due for a reminder about the content of annotations. There is a set of guidelines which you should be aware of before posting annotations, although I hope no one finds them so daunting as to be off-putting!
If you read Pepys’ Diary (or this recent news weblog) using an RSS reader, then you should note that the URLs of the feeds have changed. The new locations are all linked to from the other formats page. The old URLs should continue to work, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they break at some point over the next few years…
Those of you who have explored the Background Info section will have found the lists of ‘TrackBack’ links for each item; kind of an index that lists when each item has been mentioned in the diary. (See also this for how the lists are generated, and this for an attempt at explaining TrackBack.)
Many people have had problems accessing the site over the Christmas period. The web server was moved to a new (and temporary) location just before Christmas but it appears that many ISPs were very slow to update their DNS records, which point www.pepysdiary.com to the computer serving its pages. Anyone using those ISPs were therefore unable to reach the site, because their computers couldn’t find the new server.
Earlier in the year there was news of a dramatisation of Pepys starring Steve Coogan. It will be starting on BBC 2 on 16th December. There’s a BBC press release from September about it, but not much else that I can find on their site.
On Sunday there was a lovely article in the UK newspaper The Independent on Sunday that mentioned this site. It was in the ‘Talk of the Town’ magazine, which is only available in and around London but you can read qB’s original article here, or my scans of the story as it appeared: Page 1, Page 2. It’s one of those things that helps make this all worth while.
The server Pepys’ Diary is hosted on may be moved and/or otherwise reconfigured at some point in the next week or two. If so, the site won’t be available for a short time — possibly several hours, hopefully no longer. If there’s any further news while the site is down, I’ll post it to the discussion list, as that’s hosted at SmartGroups.
A couple of people have pointed out that the (fictional) diary of Pepys’ wife, Elizabeth Pepys, is being serialised on BBC Radio 7. I’m not sure that you can listen to previous episodes, but if you check the schedule you can hopefully work out when others are broadcast. You can listen live on the site.
As an update to the previous item… I’ve made a change that will hopefully stop at least some of the “spam” appearing amongst annotations. For a while… Hopefully I haven’t broken anything else, but let me know if you notice anything has stopped working!
I had a few emails recently about annotations posted where the users’ names linked to porn sites. These are “comment spam” and are an increasing problem on weblogs. I generally delete them when I check through all the annotations every few days, but this time they were apparently more noticeable!
The Telegraph has an article about a million word journal kept by a puritan minister from 1677 to 1691. A relatively small part, 40,000 words, was, like Pepys’ diary, written in shorthand which has now been interpreted. It’s due to be published in 2005.
It’s been suggested before, but the need for it has become more apparent as the diary goes on. I’ve created glossary category in the Background Info section for words that are used reasonably often, that need explaining, and that don’t have a more suitable category. “Link boy” is the only entry so far, and if you think of anything else (in past or future diary entries), just let me know. It should help cut down on anyone having to explain the same things too often!
In the past we’ve debated whether there’s a need for a more informal discussion space, aside from the diary annotations. While we didn’t reach a conclusion, I think it’s worth a go. There have been a number of off-topic annotations recently and I think we would all benefit from somewhere we can dicsuss things, or ask questions, that don’t fit anywhere else.
I’ve noticed recently that annotations seem to be drifting “off-topic” quite frequently. This can be interesting and enlightening but please do be aware that annotations should enhance the particular diary entry, not just now but also in many years time. The annotations about pasties and MAs have tended to stray rather off the beaten track, as have some of the parallels between diary events and today’s politics.