Annotations should be back, and functioning, across the site now.

We’ve been having two problems. First, spammers automatically hit the Movable Type comment script many times over (without physically filling in the forms), which causes a load on the server, resulting in the site’s hosts,, disabling the script. I’ve now changed the name of the comment script and will keep on moving it periodically in the hope this will stop some of the automated attacks.

The second problem is that some spam isn’t being filtered by Movable Type. This means that (a) the spam appears on the site, and (b) every page hit by spam is rebuilt. When the site has a lot of comments, and is being hit by a lot of spam at once, this results in even more server load, and even more likelihood of disabling the script. To combat this I’m trying Akismet’s spam filtering, which is reportedly very good.

If spam still gets through we’ll have to start logging in before posting a comment, which shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. But if load on the server continues to be a problem, I fear the only solution will be for me to upgrade to a server that isn’t shared with other peoples’ websites, although I’d rather avoid that hassle and expense. Cross your fingers…!

Let me know if you find any problems.


dirk  •  Link

Thanks Phil! Appreciate your going through all this trouble to make the site work.

Lawrence  •  Link

Thank-you Phil, for going to all this effort to keeping the site going!

Paul Chapin  •  Link

If there is to be an expense, let us know so we can share it.

graybo  •  Link

Akismet is very good and works very well on my WordPress-powered site, catching several hundred spam comments every day.

Perhaps the spam would be more tolerable if it were more appropriate to the context? "Click here to see the naked slatterns"?

Mary McIntyre  •  Link

Phil: it is a small matter for us to log-in, and if it would be less trouble to you, I am all for it

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

noa faz mal to book in.

B Sparks  •  Link

Thank you for making this site possible...reading it is a fulfillment of a promise I made myself fifty years ago~one silly question, please. When S.P goes to his office and his work is related to the Navy and in the service of the King...but do we know what he is actually doing? Is he an accountant, or does he assign ships...or keep track of scheduling...I'm mystified.

Glyn  •  Link

In answer to B Sparks question - he doesn't assign ships to tasks (that's for the Admirals in the Admiralty). He is responsible for keeping the notes of the Navy Board's meetings and decisions, negotiating contracts for the provisioning of ships (food, beer, ropes, equipment), for paying the accounts and the wage bills, getting them repaired and deciding which dockyards to send them to, running the dockyards themselves. Among other things. In general bringing order to the navy - he will eventually institute systems of officer training for example.

If you can visit the Museum of London, near St Paul's Cathedral in the near future they have an excellent bookshop. It is currently selling a book of his business letters from a time after the end of the Diary, it must be on Amazon.

And if you ever get to the Public Records Office in Kew and become a temporary member, you can check out the actual letters that he wrote himself and see his handwriting.

B.Sparks  •  Link

Thank you very much thorough and helpful. I would like very much to see his actual letters and handwriting.

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