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September 25, 2003

Blast sleep!

    It's too bad people have to sleep... worked resumed on the Indigo Dragon and the Gentoo install is well underway. 

September 24, 2003

The Indigo Dragon is born

    The generous donation of an AMD 400MHz and ATI video card bring me enough parts to build the Indigo Dragon-- my Gentoo Linux experimental box.  This box will be a more up-to-date Linux test box, which is a pretty good step up from the Green Dragon.
    In preparation for the Gentoo install, we needed to retrieve the 45 gig IBM drive currently in the White Dragon.  This meant the White Dragon had to come down briefly so we could do this.  Since our site is fairly busy, I want no downtime-- even if it's just a few minutes.  So, we did a good deal of work on the Azure Dragon, getting PHP and MySQL to run on that system.  The Apache config file was then updated with all the correct virtual host information, database information synced and the everything tested out.  When all looked well, all the major dynamic pages we're modified to specify no changes were allowed while the system was undergoing maintenance  We then switched the router to directed web traffic to the Azure Dragon and thoroughly tested our primary sites.  When all looked good, we could continue work on the White Dragon.
    The White Dragon was only down briefly-- just long enough to retrieve the extra hard drive.  Then back on it's feet and back to handling web traffic.  Good stuff! :)

September 19, 2003

Add player contributed comments ability to King's Quest walkthrough

    I wrote a new script that allows people to leave their own comments on the pages of the walkthrough.  The PHP and MySQL online documentation has a fetcher like this, and I thought it would be great for the King's Quest walkthrough.  Six hours of coding, and I created what I'm quite pleased with. 
    Unfortunately, I ran into a bug with Apache I wasn't pleased with.  It seems the rewrite engine doesn't work on the White Dragon and would cause segmentation faults each time a rewrite function was executed.  I needed to do a mass redirect since all the HTML pages became PHP pages-- and I didn't want the search engines to get 404 on all the old pages. 
    I did a lot of testing and searching on the net.  Apache and PHP using pretty much the same build configuration on the Green Dragon did not have this problem.  So, I guess I'm stuck.  I ended up adding about 100 individual redirect lines to the King's Quest virtual host directive.

September 17, 2003

Learned a little about CSS

    Matt "Rossie" Rose ( thought me a little about CSS and some things I can do to bring out the look in the Story Board.  It's been on my list of things to do, so I'm pleased.  Rossie has gone to school for web design and he knows a good deal about putting together sites.  Thankx Rossie! 
    Together with our good friend Zen, Rossie's latest project has been and it looks pretty good.  We've discussed using my story board script for BananaFunk.

September 16, 2003

More logs

    Sitting at 90,000 hits for this month-- not too bad for the halfway mark :)  For some reason, traffic has increased noticeably in the last week or two.  We went from just over 4,000 hits a day to over 5,000 hits a day.  We're not sure why all of a sudden, but it's interesting.
    I went and added individual log files for each of the virtual hosts on, which includes some 20 or so sub-domains and 4 root domains (,, and  We had added a log for the King's Quest walkthrough earlier and discovered it accounts for around 50% of all the traffic on our site-- partly because it is a larger site (i.e. a good deal of pages involved).  It also generates a large number of unique visitors.  Some other areas of our site draw more return traffic.

September 15, 2003

Green Dragon gets some run time

    The Green Dragon got some runtime today.  It's been one of the first days cool enough to boot this dude.  We did a lot of playing around on the experimental Linux box.  Learned how to use NFS so the Green and White Dragon could talk; got Samba working so the box talked to most of the network; and started to build Apache.  The original idea was to have the Green Dragon take the job of a backup server.  We've had some things we want to experiment with on the White Dragon, and the non-Linux machines don't do a great job of being a backup server-- no dynamic content.  Unfortunately, we realized a little latter the Green Dragon has a 1.5 gig hard drive, 200 megs of which were free.  Presently,'s public side is sitting at a cool 1.5 gigs.  The Green Dragon just isn't going to work as a backup box.
    Parted out is a donation from our good friend Pluvius-- an AMD 400MHz motherboard with RAM.  He have a power supply and hard drive to go with him, but lack a case.  We're thinking this may become an other Dragon in the near future, and become the officinal backup box.

September 14, 2003

Story board area comes to life

    Although not quite finished, the simi-functional Story Board script is running on  This will be a place I post a bunch of my own work, as well as allow people from all over the web to post as well.  The script is my latest creation in PHP/MySQL.  I'm pleased thus far with the table layout and how the script allows itself to be embedded in a layout template.  More work is needed to complete the script, but the story core components are there.

September 10, 2003

Work on the Secure Side

    Worked on the  It the moment, it's just a script to display some information about the encrypted connection used to secure the page.
    Worked on creating new certificates to get rid of the error specifying the certificate didn't belong to the sub domain.  Initially, I created separate certificates for each sub domain to be encrypted.  However, it isn't possible to run multiple domains on the same port with the same IP address.  The problem is, you have to do the encryption before information about the page request is sent.  So, we made one certificate with the assigned domain "*", which serves for all sub domains.

September 05, 2003

Created some scheduled backup scripts

    Playing around with Cron, I created some scripts that will back some of's vitals, such as the config file, databases and even the log files.  We regularly symphonize the Iron Dragon (the laptop) to mirror the webpage directory.  But since the addition of dynamic content, some of the data needed to have a complete backup of the website wasn't included.
    We made a shell script to archive (tar) and compress (gzip) data and place it in a directory inside the website directory structure.  Naturally then, when we symphonize with the Iron Dragon, these backups will be included.  Then, we setup Cron to call this script once a day.
    We also had Cron run Webalizer which generates statistical information about the usage of the site.  After the minor disaster on 8-23, we lost out log file (silly me forgot to copy that-- although it was on the list of things to copy!!).  However, Webalizer was able to continue it's incremental session and still give stats for the month of August :)  Good program Webalizer.