So I’m at work today and I need to prevent a directory of pdf files from being accessed outside of links on a specific page. Now to anyone who knows anything about Apache servers the solution is obvious, throw something together in an .htaccess file.
So I did. I used modRewrite to detect the referrer, and redirect any unauthorised requests. And because I wanted to make sure it was working (modRewrite is, after all, essentially electronic voodoo) I decided to redirect said bad requests to KittenWar. You know, like you do.
All well and good. I confirmed that the redirect was working, ranked some kittens, and then edited the .htaccess file to remove the redirect. Then I tested it again.
I got kittens.
I checked that I’d edited the right file. I had. I re-uploaded it, checking that I was uploading the correct file as I did so. I tested the link.
I deleted the .htaccess file off the server, checked the link to confirm it was broken, re-uploaded and tested it again.
I telnetted in and examined the .htaccess file on the server. No mention of kittens anywhere. I got the other guys in the office to test the link on their machines. No kittens. I tested it on my machine again.
Realising that it had to be a browser issue I closed Firefox and restarted it. Twice. I checked the link again.
It was at this point that I discovered that ALL attempts to access ANY part of the website were redirecting to KittenWar, which would seriously complicate any attempts to get it finished for the important meeting tomorrow. With no other ideas I uninstalled Firefox, then reinstalled it.
I rebooted, and reinstalled Firefox again.
More adorable kittens, mocking me with their adorable eyes and pink little noses.
Finally in sheer desperation I tracked down and installed an extension that would flush the DNS cache. I had no idea how an .htaccess file could poison my DNS cache with kittens, but I couldn’t think of anything else to try. I installed it, rebooted, ran it, and checked the link.
No kittens!! Finally!!
Then it was time for lunch.
Goddam kittens… ;D