Glyn Thomas, one of our annotators, has been very busy putting together a walk through the City of London around places familiar to Pepys and readers of his diary. I know some of you have obtained copies direct from Glyn, but we thought it would make sense to put it on the site for anyone else. The 22 page document describes the route and plenty of background. You can download it as a 432K PDF. Many thanks to Glyn for his hard work on this - do let him know what you think! (glyn_thomas1234 [at] yahoo.co.uk)
The Story So Far section of the site is now up to date, providing a monthly summary of events in the diary. Hopefully this should help people who haven’t been with us since the start, who have to take a break from the diary, or those of us who simply need reminding of past events occasionally.
It’s been well over a year since I last looked at the traffic statistics for this site - to be honest I’m not overly concerned with getting huge numbers of visitors. Things seem to be going smoothly, with plenty of interesting annotations, and that’s what matters most.
I mentioned that I would be upgrading this site’s software so that a simple log-in would be required before posting annotations. This would hopefully help cut down on the large amount of spam appearing in annotations. Unfortunately, the software I was upgrading (Movable Type 3) seems to need a bit more work… rather than try and work round a few problems I’m going to hold off and wait for official fixes. I’ll post another message here whenever I next plan to do this. (If you’re really interested in the problems, there’s more here.)
On Monday I will be upgrading the software used to run the site, which will hopefully make it possible to stop the spam links to porn sites appearing in annotations (another few hundred appeared last night). Hopefully all will go smoothly, but this is an advanced warning that if you notice something broken on Monday, I’m probably already trying to fix it!
If you’ve been using the site over the past week you’re lucky if you’ve missed all the spam comments flooding the annotations. If the past four days are anything to go by we can expect around 500 of these to appear every night, even with the current safeguards in place. (For what it’s worth, I’m getting a similar number of spams appearing on my personal website.)
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.