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netsperience 2.x
Drupal web development and other stuff

Accessing Pantheon via Google Public DNS on Ubuntu in VirtualBox for Local Drupal Development

I am working on a Drupal project for the Columbia University Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, and I was unable to connect to the Pantheon servers from the Ubuntu command line from home.

I have Ubuntu Linux installed in an Oracle VirtualBox, because the laptop provided by Columbia is pretty locked down and I don't have admin rights, but they installed VirtualBox so I could add an Ubuntu machine and configure it as needed.

It worked fine while I was on site, but now that I am working remotely I could not connect.

Pantheon support suggested that my ISP is unable to connect to their IPs in DNS, and I might be able to connect using Google Public DNS:

There are two steps in debugging the problem you are experiencing.

1. Check to see if you are getting an I.P. address returned when you run the following command, replacing “<xxx>” with your site’s UUID:


If there is no I.P. in the output then the ISP on the network you are currently on is failing to recognize the hostname of the database.

2. For some users that may fail so the next step is to test this command with name server, in this case Google’s I.P address:

dig @<xxx>
(ex:dig @

If that returns an I.P. address, this means that using Google’s DNS you were able to resolve the hostname. To resolve the issue you can set your DNS to use Google’s service and you should be able to connect:

It works fine, but the directions for a VirtualBox instance are a little different than what Google has posted in the instuctions for Ubuntu:

Ubuntu in the VirtualBox is using its eth0 wired connection to the host OS to piggyback on the Windows wireless network adapter.
I had to configure the Ubuntu wired connection (there is no wireless connection defined). The rest of the guide is applicable, and I changed Method: "Automatic (DHCP)" to "Automatic (DHCP) addresses only"
configuring Google public dns for Ubuntu in VirtualBox

My 1997 Halloween Surprise at GeoCities

Back in the day - about 1997 - I started experimenting with web stuff on GeoCities, the much maligned free hosting site that got so many people building web sites, many (including mine?) with horrendous design decisions. There was no support for server-side scripting with PHP or SQL databases - it was strictly HTML and later added JavaScript and CSS when they came along.

I created a secret surprise page that was linked to buttons that looked "afraid" and also by some pseudo-random replacement of menu links using DHTML so it was unpredictable. Back then, we had to detect the Netscape browser (also gone) because the first one did not have a Math.random method like Internet Explorer 3, so we had to use our own pseudo-random number generator scripts for it.


All these images
(except the animations)
tile evenly
on a 640x480 pixel desktop.

yes, they were optimized for a 640 x 480 pixel display, in glorious 16 bit color

My favorite images were the animated gifs I made of dripping blood and a jumpy spider

                     blood dripping animated gif                                                                   spider animated gif


are you netSperienced?a  netSperience  website
©2003 by  Randall Goya

My last update before moving to hosting that provided PHP/MySQL was in 2003

GeoCities closed on October 27, 2009 R.I.P.

Much of my old GeoCities web site was helpfully archived at ReoCities

Lou Reed as King Neptune at Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2010

On June 19, 2010 the legendary Bacchanal

Coney Island Mermaid Parade ushered in Summer

King Neptune and Queen Mermaid were Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson


Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2010 Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2010

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2010 Surviviors of BP Oil Spill

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2010 Jellyfish

 Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2010 Kids

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2010 Stilt Dancer


 View all my 769 photos (selected galleries to come)

More great photos by Chris La Putt at Brooklyn Vegan

play and share my video clips (2:27)

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

see and share this video on YouTube

Weird West New York, NJ - La Virgen y El Diablo

You may recall that a vagina-shaped scar on a tree in West New York, NJ is revered as the apparition of La Virgen de Guadelupe

La Virgen de Guadalupe en West New York, NJ

Last year, I took some photos of the patterns of wet leaves in front of the furniture store at Manito Plaza and symmetrically mirrored one of them to make a fall bg image for my web site.

wet leaves background image

Today I was sitting back and something caught my eye: El Diablo

El Diablo en West New York, NJ

This only appears when: 1) the original image is mirrored on x and y axes; 2) the mirrored image is repeated horizontally and vertically as a background image. The Devil is in the details... The original image only contains half of the devil face:

half the devil face

pssst - don't tell the Catholics at the tree on Bergenline Avenue - it could be bad for Manito's businessangry


My wife looked at it and said, "Silly, it's not the Devil, it's Buddha"

buddha outline

The human brain is wired to look for facial characteristics, and Hermann Rorschach is famous for his ink blot test that was designed to reflect unconscious parts of the personality that "project" onto the stimuli.

Errors and Inconsistencies on Google Plus

Social Networking sites like Google+ and LinkedIn are fantastic - but often they #fail in their UI/UX. I collect and report foibles on LinkedIn already. Here are some on Google+ (bet you saw this coming!) View my stream on Google+

Wrong info in edit profile

in edit view it says "you're not displaying this"

you're not displaying this

oh -- but I am -- when I click the edit link:

show circles

Coney Island Mermaid Parade is June 22 - and it has a Drupal site!

The 2013 Coney Island Mermaid Parade is on Saturday June 22

This year's King Neptune Judah Friedlander  Queen Mermaid Carole Radziwill!

Parade Web site:

And it's a Drupal web site!!!! cool

mermaid parade poster 2013

My photo gallery from the 2009 parade:

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