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October 29, 2003

SSH earns it keep

    A nine day work trip allows us to test out the usefulness of SSH-- and it has won great favor.  We were able to get on the Dragon server array, copy files we needed and monitor what was going on while we were away.  The pilot says we just reached 35,000 feet and here on the Iron Dragon and I are on our way back home.

October 14, 2003

Backups get better

    We improved the backup system by archive the webpages each night.  The system creates a compressed tape archive (.tar.gz) and splits it into CD-R sized chunks.  This is done through a Perl script that runs though Cron (the script itself gets backed up as well), which also dates the archive.  Now if we can just get a CR-R drive that automatically changes CDs, life would be great.  Unfortunately, systems that do auto changing are rather pricey.  Oh well, can't win'm all.

October 10, 2003

Indigo Dragon has an OS

    The Indigo Dragon finally has an OS installed.  We completed the steps in the Gentoo installation and the system is now functional.  We still need to install everything else-- Apache, MySQL, ext., but the first step has been completed.  Unfortunately with all the other stuff I'm required to do in life these days, I don't have the time!  But, the best things to thoughts who wait...

October 01, 2003

Happy October (:-

    October is a great time of year-- the day light dwindles, the air cools and the trees turn the landscape into a sea of reds, yellows and browns.  Halloween sits at the end of the month, marking a scary beginning to the cold months ahead.  And I love it!
    For this month, we've changed the banner to include my pumpkin from last year.  The face design was done by Tazz, carved by me and the pumpkin itself came from a cute little place in northern Illinois called the Pumpkin Patch.

October 01, 2003

September statistics are in

    Statistics for the month of September are in with a grand total of 169,405 hits for the month. daily averages

    Our busyest day last month was the 22th where we received 8,884 hits.  On the 23th, we sent out 1,347,238,912 bytes.

Have a look at the graphs

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.