time to go raise goats on a mountain

Yesterday, the provider that hosts one of my personal machines fell off the network for about 12 hours, and topped it with a power outage from which my machine didn’t come back up on its own. (Never heard why, hardware was fine when it did come up; suspect some mismanagement in the colo space.) The network that came back after the outage was materially slower than before, making it increasingly hard to actually migrate the remaining services off of that machine, onto the new one, which now had replacement fans.

I left, as you might imagine, quite a few voice mails on the tech support box, mails to the support@ address, and even a voice mail on the cell phone of the president of the hosting provider (he had insisted previously that I should call him if there were ever a problem). When I finally heard back from someone at the hosting provider, I was told that I could move my machine to their cabinet at 151 Front for improved reliability. They were doing this for me as a favour!

“No, that’s fine, I’ll take care of it.” Well, actually…they were doing this to reduce the load on the now-weaker uplink from the colo space.

“I won’t be running out of there for long, and I can keep the bandwidth down just fine for a few days, but thanks.” Well, actually…they were doing this because they were shutting that colo space down because their remaining colo customers didn’t need all that space.

“Cool, I’ll be done in a week or so and then I can remove the box entirely, don’t worry about it.” Well, actually…they need to be out of that space in 48 hours or they’ll have to pay rent, or something. I was unable to avoid mentioning that I’d been told I would need to give 60 days notice to cancel my own hosting, a few weeks earlier; I was weak in that regard.

So a wonderful friend of mine moved the old machine to some rack space he has, and then he and other wonderful friends worked all night to get the routing unscrewed. In the process, one of my new machines had to be rebooted, and my friends’ respect for my sleep trumped the possibility of calling me to help fix things when the services on that machine didn’t talk to the network post-reboot. Once I got up this morning, I spent about 30 mins figuring out what state the various bridges were in and then Google led me to victory in about another 30.

For a period of a few hours, I had no DNS service, as the machine I was using as a secondary DNS server was experiencing related but not identical failure; a failure of redundancy that I will soon remedy. That led to a bit of mail bouncing, if it was sent to shaver@off.net or shaver@mozilla.org, so please do resend if you were thusly victimized. My blog was also down for a bit, not that anyone is likely to care about that.

I’m not sure if it’s irony or demand creation, but the same company that I have now put behind me offers a high-availability network access service — clearly, I should have availed myself of it.

server switch

I finally got off my butt and moved my blog to the new machine that has php and mysql of appropriately recent vintage to actually run a supported version of wordpress; if you’re reading this, all went quite well.

is that the weather up there?

Lots of GDC stuff to blog about still, and the drafts continue, but I picked up a cold at the conference, and am just now getting over it enough to get back up to speed. Thanks, random person at conference!

measure twice, cut once

I’ve been looking at web-site metrics services and tools lately, for projects both personal and Mozilla-related. So far, the one that looks best is the Google Analytics system, but the privacy policy they use for it is the one for the web site, and that kinda sucks.

Anyone out there have recommendations for other such packages? I’m especially interested in the geographic-breakdown aspect of GA, the ability to export the data in usable forms like XML and CSV, and kinda the hosted-service aspect of it, especially for my own personal use. If the privacy policy were more, mmm, protective I’d certainly be willing to pay a reasonable amount in exchange.

Testing email posting

Just a quick test to see if I can get this whole post-from-Blackberry thing working. I’m trying to use postie for this, as well as the many wonders of UTW. [tags]meta, roaming, geekery[/tags]


Updating to WordPress 2, things’ll be a little ugly for a few minutes. [tags]meta, mozilla, wordpress[/tags]


I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time, but I’ve now finally made a change to WordPress as my blogging software of choice. I hope that none of you especially care about this, though I did have some fun playing with my theme. Hope it looks OK in IE! (Well, I kinda hope.)

No manual entry for raidhotadd

The machine I host this blog and various other things (like, you know, my mail) on had some trouble recently, probably related to the hydro-vault fire in Toronto a few days ago.

I replaced one drive, one motherboard, and two IDE cables. She seems happier now. Thanks to the EI Catalyst guys for their help and above-the-call support. (They’re much cooler than their web site would have you believe.)

Now, to catch up on the 5 hours of work I missed wranging with this silly thing.

sibling rivalry

It’s sort of a shame that apparently the “faux ban on Leaf jerseys at the Corel Centre”:http://ottawa.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=otleafjerseys20040316 won’t be in effect for this Saturday’s game against the Hurricanes, at which Tyla and I will be in attendance. I was looking forward to bringing a big box of pablum for the Ottawa babies.


I thought I had things fixed when I went to sleep (about this time yesterday, in fact), but there were still some issues to be resolved, such as:

  • reverting from “dovecot”:http://dovecot.procontrol.fi/ to @uw-imapd@, which grates on my soul, but which does allow my users to access their email, so here we are. dovecot will be great in the future at some point, but for now it’s really not the right solution for me, especially when I’m on a tight schedule.

  • a bunch of PHP and Apache-config infelicities that broke some users’ apps.

  • a forgotten @spamassassin@ installation, which bounced a bunch of email to “Mike”:http://neon.polkaroo.net/~mhoye/blarg/. It looks sort of like that was all spam, in fact, which would be a nice touch of luck.

  • some unknown problem with @procmail@ that bounced a bunch of Madhava’s mail, in addition to causing a much-less-critical misfiling issue with Phil’s. Confidential to the authors of @procmail@: if you continue to write software for part of a mail-delivery pipeline, please be liberal with your application of @strerror@, so that I have a hope in hell of figuring out why you can’t write to, say, @/var/spool/mail/enros@; many thanks.

  • a classic problem with PINE, which I hate so much I could scream.

  • a billion little tiny permission/group/missing-symlink etc. problems that consumed the rest of the time.

I did get SMTP auth working, though, against all odds, so there’s one bright spot.

Now I just have to figure out how to make up the 20 hours of work-time I missed this weekend so I don’t get fired.

I’m so tired.

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