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December 02, 2005

Indigo Dragon back on-line

   The Indigo-Dragon returns as primary webserver, after nearly a month of downtime.  It failed on November 7th, right before I had to depart on a two week business trip.  The Cyan-Dragon was on stand-by and took over.  On the 23, the White-Dragon took over for the Cyan-Dragon, since the Cyan-Dragon's hard drive has physical errors.
   The Indigo Dragon has been outfitted with Debian Linux ( kernel), Apache 2.0.55, PHP 5.1.1 and OpenSSL 0.9.8a.  I wanted to get the 2.6 kernel running, but alas, no luck getting a good build and not enough time.  The Indigo Dragon also got a 160 gig drive, since we originally though drive failure what the cause of the problems.
   The Cyan-Dragon has been disassembled some.  We need the power supply and took a drive cable.  Since it has a dying drive in it anyway, some work is required before it can come back on-line.
   Having run on backup servers for nearly a month, I noticed how fast the Indigo-Dragon is by comparison.  A 2.1 GHz machine with 266 MHz DDR-SDRAM compared to the White-Dragon, an 850 MHz CPU with 100 MHz SDRAM.. world of difference.
   Pictured is Caleb when he had his mohawk.
Early Snow

Early Snow

  A good, but very busy day. The new RAM for the Indigo Dragon arrived today.  I installed the RAM and run Memtest86 on it and this time, it ran for 5 straight passes with a clean bill of health.  I booted the system and did some compiling to be sure the system was stable.
   I decided to not put back the CDROM drive into the Indigo Dragon.  We don't need it once the system has an operating system and it restricts airflow.  Hopefully, we can keep the temperatures down between the extra fan, no CDROM and the RAM with heat-sink.
   When I awoke today, it was snowing.  This is my first snowfall this season, and I decided to stop by Horace White Park here in Beloit to get a couple shots.  It was around 7:30am, quite overcast and therefore rather dark.  ISO 400 gave me the shutter speed I needed and the pictures pleased me.  I love winter :)
   PHP 5.1.1 just came out, and we decided we needed it.  As an experiment, we decided to play with "distcc", the distributed C compiler.  Since we have 3 Linux servers, we figured "why not spread out the workload?"  For work, we have a project that requires compiling the Linux kernel.. which is the job everyone notes using distcc is good for.  It worked well for compiling the kernel.  But it didn't work at all for compiling PHP :'(  Dono what the deal with that is.  Perhaps I have to use there method of making links to override GCC.
   Closeup for Crystal's ear, taken June of last year.
   Got some runtime out of the Indigo Dragon today.  Using Memtest86, I could see that the RAM was always failing in one region, between 0x0C000000 and 0x10020000.  Using the kernel option "reserve", I could create a memory hole for this location-- thus, making it unavailable for system RAM.  That's about 64 megs of 512 meg total, but that should be of little consequence as the system is just a web server.  This time, we compiled Apache and PHP without a kernel panic.  The system is now functional and ready to return to action.  I let the server run all day and it preformed without issue.  However, until the new RAM arrives, the White Dragon will be remain the primary server.
   Pictured are some dead leaves from March of last year.
  Decided to create a statistics page on system running status.  The program Motherboard Monitor (no longer updated) logs information into a CSV file.  We use to just display the averages and current data, but I wanted graphs.  So, here they are.  I started last night at about 1:00am while sitting at my coffee shop.  It's been awhile since I've written anything at coffee, so I'm happy about this.
   I ordered new RAM today for the Indigo Dragon.  This RAM has a heat-sink and hopefully will fair better in the small case.  I think heat must have killed the last RAM, since the computer will no longer run for more then 30 minutes before getting a kernel panic and halting.  It ran much longer then that prior to the last crash, so I think it has to be something that failed-- like RAM.  The new RAM will go into the system as soon as it arrives.  But the old RAM will be went back for warranty repair/replacement.  I just didn't want to wait for repair-- you get new orders much faster then repairs.
   Still no heat in the house, but it's in the 50ies outside and we don't really need it.  The Dragon's Den is sitting pretty at 69.4 degrees.  However, having heat will be a good thing, so we are still looking forward to having it fixed.
   Tonight was sushi night, and pictured is Tyson looking anxiously at our sushi platter.