Archive for April, 2006

Boat Work

Im taking a well-earned rest after the code and caffine fueled last 48 hours or so of web hosting stuff to do yet more work, this time of the manual kind – getting our family boat, Burnaby, ready for the sailing season this year. For those who haven’t met our unique 27ft Vancouver yet, a few pics taken while on board are here. I will be staying on the boat for a couple of days so that tasks such as anti-fouling and small patch-up repairs can be done. I will be blogging and back in the computer world again soon though 😉

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Tomb Raider Legend in the shops

Yes, its finally here, Tomb Raider Legend (the 7th Lara Croft Tomb Raider game) has been released and is now on the shelves. As possibly one of the biggest TR fans (I even named my computer after the legend herself), I am not going to jump to any conclusions or make any assumptions. I have a copy of the demo, and will be taking a peek at it soon.

Due to workload I am having to refrain from buying the full game until work eases off and my next batch of exams are over, still, its one hell of a good thing to look forward to, after all, there are not many who would say no to a piece of the all new Lara Croft 😉

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phpBB 2.0.20 Released

A new minor version of phpBB 2.0 has been released. This fixes a number of issues and as an avid user of phpBB on many websites, not to mention someone who hosts many sites running the forum script, I advise everyone to apply this update for both security and functionality reasons.

You can grab the patch, code changes and full package on the phpBB download page

For those interested in the changlog, it is as follows:-

*  Prevent login attempts from incrementing for inactive users
*  Do not check maximum login attempts on re-authentication
to the admin panel - tomknight
*  Regenerate session keys on password change
*  retrieving category rows in index.php (Bug #90)
*  improved index performance by determining the permissions
before iterating through all forums (Bug #91)
*  Better handling of short usernames within the search (bug
*  Send a no-cache header on admin pages as well as normal
board pages (Bug #149)
*  Apply word censors to the message when quoting it (Bug #405)

*  Improved performance of query in admin_groups (Bug #753)
*  Workaround for an issue in either PHP or MSSQL resulting in
a space being returned instead of an empty string (bug #830)
*  Correct use of default_style config value (Bug #861)
*  Replace unneeded unset calls in admin_db_utilities.php -
*  Improved error handling in modcp.php
*  Improved handling of forums to which the user does not have
any explicit permissions - vanderaj
*  Assorted fixes and cleanup of admin_ranks.php, now requires
confirmation of deletions
*  Assorted fixes and cleanup of admin_words.php, now requires
confirmation of deletions
*  Addition and editing of smilies can no longer be performed
via GET, now requires confirmation of deletions
*  Escape group names in admin_groups.php
*  Replace strip_tags with htmlspecialchars in private message
*  Some changes to HTML handling if enabled
*  Escape any special characters in reverse dns - Anthrax101
*  Typecast poll id values - Anthrax101
*  Added configurable search flood control to reduce the effect
of DoS style attacks
*  Changed the way we create "random" values for use as keys -
*  Enabled Visual Confirmation by default
*  Changed handling of the case where a selected style
doesn't exist in the database
*  Changed handling of topic pruning to improve performance
*  Changed default forum permissions to only allow
registered users to post in new forums

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Who would be a webhost

Well, the nightmare of the past couple of days has finally ended today; I have managed to move over all of my affected sites to a new server and everything is ticking over nicely, with the added bonus of more space for expansion, a faster server,and generally a good setup.

Those here after support, please use my hosting website to request help on the forums. All should be well as I took time to do the transfers one by one. If there are any issues they will most likely be picked up on and fixed, if not, report them and they will be fixed just the same.

For those out there considering starting up in hosting, think carefully, and make sure you plan for all eventualities. And remember, even when you do make all the plans in the world, you have to be prepared to lose a few nights sleep every once in a while 😉

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After a long time without a club in my hand I got a round of Golf in on Wednesday. It was really nice, especially with the good weather, and by about half way round I was really getting back into things. While its amazing how rusty you can get after not doing something for a while, its great how quickly you can get back into it. I hope to get many more rounds in before my return to Leeds, especially on the days that permit the leaving of my coat/jumper in the car!

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Server move

In relation to the few postings over the last few days with respect to hosting problems, I have comissioned space on another server and am now in the process of moving accounts affected by these issues over onto the new box. This will include at some point but there shouldn’t be any downtime for all you avid readers 😉

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Critical Loads

Last night the load on the server that hosts went critical, so much so in fact that the server stopped serving web pages, and access was extremely limited. At this stage I have no idea what caused the high loads (and indeed is still causing slightly higher than normal loads), but I’m posting this so you are aware of why some of my network of sites went down last night, and that at this stage, nothing is certain with respect to uptime.

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DNS down

I just finished saying things had gone from bad to worse last night, but it would appear things have got still worse this morning as my DNS servers have also gone down. In fact I fear at this stage the only reason I can post here is because the IP for my server is cached on my PC 🙁

As gary said in his comment last night, it never rains but it pours.

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Webhost forum down

One of my webhost’s forums (yes, I don’t host all my sites myself) has been closed while “issues” are being resolved with some recent server moves with some of their other clients, but it is worrying for me because it shows they have had to close their main support arm in order to try and cope because they are being bombarded with requests for help with crippled sites after the move.

When they put the forum back online I am going to be asking them some serious questions about why they cut their customers off from them and other customers in this way, as the community is one of the most important attributes of their business. If they don’t provide satisfactory answers I may well be moving a few sites away from their servers.

Things really have gone from bad to worse today….

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Lara down

Lara went down in the early hours of the morning for as yet unknown reasons. Web pages are no longer being served, ftp access has ceased and I am unable to gain access via SSH. No outages on the ISP have been advertised or since reported, so I can only assume that a power cut or surge has taken out the box, and it failed to switch back on after the power was restored, and is hence now in an off and unreachable state.

I will continue to try to establish a connection via SSH in the next 24 hours, but if this fails then it seems likely that Lara will be offline until I return to Leeds and restart her. I will be returning very soon after Easter. Apologies to all who need access for work purposes, but unfortunately I am unable to rectify this situation remotely. A backup of all mission critical data was take early yesterday evening, so in the event of a more critical failure I will be able to restore data on my return to Leeds.

UPDATE: It seems there has been quite a large powercut in one part of Leeds, and the power remains out as we speak. This is not in the same area as Lara, but a surge may have caused the box to go down. Either way it looks like Lara will be down until I return to Leeds and restart her.

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