Archive for the 'Blog Information' Category

Servers, You Gotta Love them…

January 8th, 2009

My home network is more complicated then most. I host some web sites, my email servers, and various other ancillary services that the average person doesn’t need, or want to worry about. As an IT person though it behooves me to have a test bed to try out new things, without the risk of losing company data.

In recent years I have been using IPCop as the gateway between my home network and the outside world. Generally speaking, it’s worked just great. I rarely had to reboot it and the web interface was usable, if slow. The only draw back for me is that they don’t seem to favor low power machines. Sure, you could build a smallish computer using less then 100 watts and run IPCop on it but when you are talking about handing some basic routing for internet access and the like that sure seems like an insane amount of energy to be using 24 hours a day 7 days a week. IPCop was, as far as I can tell, designed to be run on old hardware; It’s for that computer you don’t use anymore but can’t throw away. I had been using it on an old PII 500Mhz setup and was happy to be re-using the machine. That machine though has finally bit the dust and needs to be replaced.

Moving db400971999 to a New Server

July 23rd, 2008

Some unnecessary blog information is to follow:

I have move Topslakr.com to a new VM. It was a mostly painless project once I wrapped my mind around what needed to be done. The problem was that Topslakr.com was being hosted on a fairly old version of Mandriva and I wasn’t confident that it was getting the updates it needed to stay secure. The solution in my mind was a move the site to a newer version of Linux that would get those updates and be supported for a longer amount of time.

The process wasn’t too bad. I setup a new VM running Linux and installed the LAMP stack that I needed to host db400971999, this included Apache, PHP and MySQL. Once that was done I created my database in MySQL and setup the permissions for the website to access it. I then download and put in place the latest version of db400971999. I didn’t bother doing any setup or configuration to it. I then exported my database from the existing topslakr.com using the WP-DB-Backup Plugin which is quick and painless. You choose the tables to backup and a minute or so later you are presented with a compressed sql file that you can save to your local machine.

Topslakr.com Format Change

January 9th, 2008

This blog is now more then a year old, quite a milestone for me. Typically I throw a blog up, use it for a few months and then take it down and replace it with something new, overwriting any data that had been there before. I’ve been blogging for years now but all I have to show for it is 12 months of content. If you are stalking me though you could look over at the wayback machine which seems to have a spotty record of me online since 2004. They are missing anything older than that as well as 2006. Somewhat odd…

Blog Downtime

December 17th, 2007

Had a bit of downtime this past week. It was totally my fault. As you may know from reading the Server Configuration Page, I run this webserver as a VM using VMWare‘s VMWare Server. Long story short, they released a beta of the next version of VMWare Server, VMWare Server 2.0, and I just had the try it out.

As of right now the software is working great. I screwed up the uninstall/install process of the software which caused me some unneeded headache but once I sorted out my mistake and got things rolling I’ve been pretty happy with it. I was a bit lost at first but once I realized all of the management had moved to a web interface I was able to sort out how to use it. It looks like the overall functionality has stayed more or less the same but the way you control it is much improved. It’s nice to only need a web browser instead of me having to VNC into the host server and control it there. That’s important because now I can have the VM host be an even more basic installation without a GUI. I can install the software from the command line and then control it via the web browser which leaves more server time for the VMs. Right.. well, this has been boring enough eh?

Server Woes: Part Two

October 29th, 2007

So, the site has been down a lot lately. Pretty crappy. I’m a cheap guy and have been putting off replacing my UPS for a while now. Basically, even though it’s batteries are old it has always had enough juice in it to smooth over the quick power glitches that happen from time to time. Recently it has failed at that task. I should also add that it was never designed to be used for servers as I’m using it. It was designed for desktop use, a single tower maybe a monitor and a printer…Not three servers, a Raid array and a computer converted into a router. As I type this I’m wondering if it is even really capable of providing enough juice.

Fact of the matter is about every 12 hours it just stops working. I don’t think it’s related to power problems, I think I’ve just managed to fry it. Basically, it just stops sending power through itself and starts beeping. To fix it I have to travel deep into the basement and power cycle it and then power back on all of my servers. It’s a hassle to be sure and every time it happens I wonder if this will be the last time they come back on.

Website Down Time

October 8th, 2007

We are back online. Seems we had a power issue and the servers didn’t come back online when the power was restored. Biggest surprise is that the Thecus N5200 came back online just fine… Didn’t see that one coming!

Topslakr

Blog Enhancements: Header Image Rotation

October 5th, 2007

For a weekend project I’m going to try and get an image rotation for the header working. CodeC11b set this up once before and I’ve been meaning to set it back up. I tried a few months ago but was unsuccessful. We’ll see if I have better luck this time.

The static image with the grass and tractor is great but I have a few other images I’d like to use and it would be a nice thing to keep adding to. I’m always out shooting new pictures and every once in a while I see something that would work pretty well for that sort of short wide format.

This post is basically an apology for anyone who stumbles across the page while I’m still working. I’m way to lazy to do any testing on an offline version of the site so all of my work will show up in real time as I do it. I learned to code HTML when I was in seventh grade and while I did that for a while I never caught the wave of PHP. With any luck I’ll be able to hack my way through it enough to accomplish what I’m trying to do… Wish me Luck

Trying to Keep Current

June 20th, 2007

I’ve been making some changes to the site over the past few days. The most obvious one is that I have setup the front page to only show a few lines of each post and to include a link to the rest of the post. Should make the front page a little easier on the eyes as well as the scroll wheel.

I have added a Who Are We? page to offer a bit of information about the authors on this site as well as a my motivation for posting. As of today CodeC11b has not added to that page though I hope he will shortly. I have also updated the Server Configuration page for all those interested in that sort of thing.

A New Blogger is Joining the Ring!

April 4th, 2007

I am pleased to announce that CodeC11b is coming aboard to do some blogging. Keep an eye out for some post from him in the next few days. I would also encourage you to leave feedback for him to let him know that he is inferior to me and if you want to call his manhood into question please don’t hesitate.

Topslakr