I've fixed up the server headers so that the 'newest entry' link and reader comments now take into account the latest dates that changes were made. This should improve things a fair bit, and yes, Salamander, that's exactly right – the server would have been sending back a 'Not Modified' header which indicates to your browser that it's OK for it to take it's cached version. So the system knew you had 9 comments, but because it told the browser nothing had changed the browser only showed you the 8. Hope that sort of makes sense 🙂
This is a 'performance' enhancement, because most of the spiders that try to grab the DearDiary pages for their indexes (Google and MSN/Bing being the largest) will send the 'If-Modified-Since' header. Given that there's over 1 million entries, and probably 98% of them haven't changed in 10 years, it seems silly to send the full page back to the spiders every time they visit. Instead, now the system says 'yeah, its still here, but it hasn't changed since you last grabbed it'. Which saves HEAPS of bandwidth, and processor power, and allows users to use that bandwidth instead of spiders.