Worst. Tech. Week. Ever.

For every good weekend, there is an equally bad one. Last weekend rocked. This one, um, did not.

Preface – My laptop is at the Apple Store being repaired. This means my computer with all my best toys is not available for use.

For those who have been following my twitter whining, here is the full story.
1) Yesterday I noticed starstryder was no longer googlable (is that a word), and asked for ideas
2) The wonderful Stuart Lowe noted that if I did a view source, many naughty and pharmaceutically related words appeared.
3) I realized I’d been hacked. As had my university computer (growl). Astronomy Cast was safe.
4) I restored my theme, removing all google ads and stuff, on this site and upgraded wordpress (this site is privately hosted.
5) I upgraded Astronomy Cast for good measure. This totally broke the site. Dead Dead Dead. I can’t repair it and cried via email to Fraser. I tried every trick I know – and I know many. Ugh.
6) I went into campus (where I have now been for 8 hours on a Sunday) and upgraded my work server to 10.5. This broke *everything.* Blue screen of pointer only. I reduced myself to the command line and fixed it. I then updated everything, fixed permissions, and reconfigured the server.
7) Part way though this I began to understand why Wil Wheaton’s original blog is still toast.
8 ) After getting my office and starstryder.com servers fixed, I looked into why I wasn’t in google search and learned I’d been officially banned from their index (joy). According to Google “We’ll review the site. If we find that it’s no longer in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines, we’ll reconsider our indexing of the site. Please allow several weeks for the reconsideration request.”

At this point, I probably need to crawl under the bed and cry, however, instead I’m going to work on a programming project that I should have completed hours ago.

Worst. Tech. Week. Ever.


  1. John Meadows
    Sep 7, 2008

    Ouch! What a string of bad luck!!

    After that mess, you deserve a string of good fortune!!!

    Hang in there!

    John (An Astronomy Cast fan)

  2. Freiddie
    Sep 7, 2008

    Get some rest. And maybe fix the problems tomorrow.

    I’d say lot’s of people got hacked and removed from Google’s index. It happens. I hope they re-add your site as soon as possible. (Of course, you may want to be more up-to-date with WordPress, since WordPress is a *prime* target for hacking, just like Windows.)

    Astronomy Cast sure looks broken… 🙁

  3. Pamela:
    What a bummer! Grrr!
    The HTML source here and at Astronomy Cast looks OK now, though. I hope all your files on the laptop are retrievable and your email access is unbroken. Dunno how we managed before email, really!

    Macs are usually fairly untouched by viruses, but I guess hackers are a different thing…

  4. Beth
    Sep 7, 2008

    Yuch! Our Macs are usually not bothered by hackers and viruses, but I’m not hosting blogs on them.

    I hope the technical side of your life gets back to normal quickly.

  5. Josh
    Sep 8, 2008

    Ugh Pamela <> I’m so sorry that sounds terrible.

    I currently have a fleet of bloodlagos (that’s the rabbit equivalent of bloodhounds) hot on the trail of this hacker.

    Hope all is well with you now ‚ô•


  6. Matthias
    Sep 8, 2008

    After that you deserve a Big Black Cup Of Coffee. And praise to the Geek Girl!

  7. Yoo
    Sep 8, 2008

    Hope you have a much better time with computers next week …

  8. Paul Duffield
    Sep 8, 2008

    I feel your pain. Computer problems are the worst problems because you CAN’T ESCAPE THEM Oo
    Hope the silicone god smiles on you next weekend 🙂

  9. Christopher Sisk
    Sep 8, 2008

    Hang in there. We’ve all had weeks like this.

  10. Robin Smith
    Sep 8, 2008

    I hate computers.

    Is there a way your faithful minions can influence Google and help get your blog re-googlized?

  11. Daniel Fischer
    Sep 8, 2008

    If you google “Star Stryder” *now”, the first link you get is http://stryder.sl.siue.edu – yet this one doesn’t work! While http://www.starstryder.com works fine and is, e.g., forwarded as usual by the Bloglines feedcatcher.

  12. Nicole
    Sep 8, 2008


  13. Christine P.
    Sep 9, 2008

    Sorry to hear of your tech woes. Hang in there!

    *offers a big cyber-hug*

  14. Syed Moin Doja
    Sep 9, 2008

    hang in there, and i second Paul – computer problems are really a BIG headache, they just drive one crazy trying to fix them. and like Robin said cant we all do something to influence Google or make them reconsider their -“allow several weeks for the reconsideration request.” – stance ?

    12.06 a.m
    Calcutta, India.

  15. Freiddie
    Sep 9, 2008

    Hey, your blog’s back in Google!

  16. ccpetersen
    Sep 13, 2008


    I just upgraded my wp to avoid the sql injection attacks…

    Been following your twitters off and on (when I remember to turn twitter on)… i added you to my follow list…


  17. Elaina
    Sep 26, 2008


    I have former classmates from the big C who work at Google. Are you still having problems?


  18. –ëPATAH
    Jul 27, 2009

    –ü–æ–∑–Ω–∞–≤–∞—Ç–µ–ª—å–Ω–æ. –ß—É–≤—Å—Ç–≤—É–µ—Ç—Å—è –ø–æ–∑–∏—Ç–∏–≤ 🙂

  19. –≠—Ö… –ü–æ—Å–ª–µ –ø—Ä–æ—á—Ç–µ–Ω–∏—è –¥–∞–∂–µ –º–Ω–µ —Ç–µ–º–∞ —Å—Ç–∞–ª–∞ –∏–Ω—Ç–µ—Ä–µ—Å–Ω–∞.


  1. Sphaerula » Twitter for Week of 7 September 2008 - [...] turned out that Star Stryder’s site had been hacked, and Google had banned her site because of the keywords…

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