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Silverfir.net Semi-Scheduled Downtime

Silverfir.net is up for some big changes in the near future. Dan has ordered up a new system, and I brought a couple of 750 gb hard drives from nexus back from California  (although one of them is throwing errors and probably won’t be used). In the end, the yet-to-be-named server will take over the primary web serving duties for silverfir.net.

The switchover process will start tomorrow, when silverfir.net’s web service will go down while the current server, Frankenputen, is moved to Dan’s place, where it will be easier to sync with the new server. During this move, barring some sort of amazing in-car power and internet source, silverfir.net will be inaccessible. Most likely, it will be down for a few daytime hours tomorrow, so don’t be too shocked if you can’t access it for a while.

Frankenputen is Dying

My previous plans of retiring Frankenputen may have to be accelerated. Today, Frankenputen stopped serving for an unknown reason. I was able to resuscitate it by forcing a restart via the excellent Remote Insight console, but I’m beginning to wonder how much longer the beast will last.

Twittering

I’ve started twittering. For a long time, I had no interest in the phenomenon, but recently I’ve noticed that I’m not blogging as much as I want to, while I still have lots of ideas I want to write about. In a perfect world, a lot of these ideas would become full blog posts; however, until I rededicate myself to making that happen, my hope is that at least the ideas won’t die unheard — they can now live on as tweets. As Mark Cuban said, “Tweets are the blog posts you thought about writing, but didn’t feel they had enough substance.” (Hat tip Theo)

So, if you’re into that sort of thing, you can follow me on Twitter, or just occasionally visit my blog to see my most recent tweets.

I’m also considering a “daily digest” of my tweets as actual blog posts; there is a plug-in to do that.

Server Transitions

This summer will be a time of great transition for me. I will be finishing up with school (for the time being at least), going on several trips, and moving to the San Francisco Bay Area to start a new job. In addition to planning the trips, I have been thinking about the other aspects of the transition. One of these aspects will involve the moving of the servers that run silverfir.net.

Currently, the computer that runs most of silverfir.net is called Frankenputen (a well deserved name — it is literally a server scraped together by Dan from various ebay purchases). It is housed at my parent’s place, and it makes a lot of noise and heat (and probably consumes a lot of juice as well), so I thank them for being so long-suffering with the beast. Alongside Frakenputen is oasis, my old desktop, and what ran silverfir.net before Frankenputen, but after sf2, which came after wadi.

As part of this transition, I plan to move away from Frankenputen and transition entirely to nexus, the fileserver I currently use in my Seattle home. It is much smaller, quite quiet, and is, overall, a much more capable machine: it currently runs an Ahtlon 2600+, but will probably soon be a P4 2.8GHz. While it is not server-quality hardware, it is pretty, quiet, and small, which is really what I’m looking for.

Along with this transition will come some silverfir.net downtime, and probably a massive dumping of unused-but-still-available websites hosted on silverfir.net. This is just a warning that if you are looking to control your own website’s fate, and it is currently hosted on silverfir.net, you might want to evaluate your options and see if you want to stick through the transition period or not.

Google Appengine Sucks [Whoops]

It is an interesting idea, but it appears to be incredibly slow. Indeed, a few hundred add operations bring it to its knees. Lame.

UPDATE: See comments.

Nexus Upgrades On The Way

A few of these in the past few weeks:

This is an automatically generated mail message from mdadm
running on nexus

A DegradedArray event had been detected on md device /dev/md0.

Faithfully yours, etc.

P.S. The /proc/mdstat file currently contains the following:

Personalities : [linear] [multipath] [raid0] [raid1] [raid6] [raid5] [raid4] [raid10]
md0 : active raid1 sda[0]
732574464 blocks [2/1] [U_]

unused devices: <none>

Followed by the real downer:

This is an automatically generated mail message from mdadm
running on nexus

A FailSpare event had been detected on md device /dev/md0.

It could be related to component device /dev/sdb.

Faithfully yours, etc.

P.S. The /proc/mdstat file currently contains the following:

Personalities : [linear] [multipath] [raid0] [raid1] [raid6] [raid5] [raid4] [raid10]
md0 : active raid1 sdb[2](F) sda[0]
732574464 blocks [2/1] [U_]

unused devices: <none>

Led quite quickly to this:

1 x ($59.95) CASE ANTEC|THREE HUNDRED BK RT – Retail $59.95
4 x ($109.99) HD 750G|SAMG 7K 32M SATA2 HD753LJ – OEM $439.96

Which should be arriving from NewEgg sometime next week.

I plan to reuse former roommate Dan’s old motherboard and power supply in the upgrade. probably I will build a RAID 5 array from the four just-purchased disks and keep the good 750 that is still in Nexus around as a spare. The flaky drive will probably become available for cheap or free if anyone wants to risk it.
The new case will hopefully keep the new drives cool and comfy, lowering the risk of any future issues.

Theme Cleanup

I finally got around to cleaning up the Arcanius 2.0 theme a little bit, tweaking some little bits that were bothering me, and trying on moving the menu to the bottom. At some point, if I decide to keep the menu at the bottom of the page, I will divide it into two or three columns.