East of the Sun, West of the Moon



Filed under: Family — Erwin @ 7:22 pm

I’m sure the school district thought it was convenient to give the kids the day off for Halloween, after all that avoids the whole topic of celebrating this pagan holiday. It’s not so convenient for me though, working (or not, as mostly seems to be the case today) at home!

Giving in

Filed under: Site,Software — Erwin @ 6:14 pm

In case it wasn’t obvious already, I finally gave in and stopped running (90% of) my webpages at home on my internet connection and moved the content to DreamHost where I have a Sweet Dreams (a.k.a Level 2) account.

The one thing that stopped me from moving sooner is email. Thankfully DH provides the option to create custom DNS entries (A, CNAME, MX and TXT records) and also to select (one or more) MX servers other than their own, while keeping everything pointing their way.

This means that:

  • I no longer have to play redirect tricks to work around my ISP blocking port 80 (http).
  • I am no longer responsible for keeping the webpages up and running. If DH has a problem I can fuss at them, instead. 🙂
  • I can easily maintain the DNS and let them worry about redundancy of their nameservers. They seem to do a decent job at that.

Added bonuses:

  • They automatically provide Analog stats for all websites, something that I had never gotten around to.
  • I placed M‘s webcontent under a separate account (you can create multiple unix accounts that all share the same group) so she can upload content herself. At least, that’s the intention, it hasn’t been long enough that it has actually been an issue yet.
  • They have a fairly easy setup for adding/deleting MySQL databases, I may have some more fun with that.
  • If I would want to, I could set up endless number of email/webmail accounts. At the moment I still want to keep email under my own control, so I can use my whitelist filters that weed out most of the spam still, as far as I can figure.


  • I had to move the DNS to their servers, or risk having some hosts point in the wrong direction when DH move servers around (not that I expect that to happen very often) and basically avoid doing double the work keeping my data in sync with theirs after I’ve updated something via their webpages.
  • I noticed that even when I point the MX records elsewhere DH insists on adding mail.*, mailboxes.* and webmail.* entries for each (sub)domain in their DNS, creating needless clutter (call me a purist if you want). I may (after checking their KB) drop them an email about that, see if that can be cleaned up, or at the very least provide an opt-out checkbox of sorts.
  • If our internet connection is down I can’t submit new blog entries, I’ll have to write them and submit afterwards. Bummer.

Overall I’m happy with the move, here’s hoping it’ll stay that way.

Fixing pages

Filed under: Site,Software — Erwin @ 5:26 pm

The Spam Statistics page works again and the data will be refreshed again on a nightly basis.

On a partially related note, using the Run Before Job directive in Bacula‘s Job resources is a very handy way of making a local copy with rsync, after which you get the usual incremental, differential and full backups of your data. Now using that to create backups of my data at DreamHost, which is where I’ve moved my webpages.


Time of the season

Filed under: Family,Humo(u)r,Software — Erwin @ 3:52 pm

The Zombies - Greatest Hits Oh my, I do believe this year was one of the few times I was taken by surprise about last night’s change from summertime to standard time (in the US and Europe anyway). On the plus side, we got a relatively early start without realising it.

This could also explain why the backup software (called Bacula) kicked in twice last night, at 1:05 AM, assuming time officially goes back from 2AM to 1AM, unlike the 3AM to 2AM that I’m used to. Easy fix, I’ve rescheduled to run at 3:05AM from now on, that should avoid this kind of problem in the future. *crosses fingers*

Yesterday we did the last lawnmowing of the season, including gathering the leaves and all that fun, for half the yard. The plan is to do the other half this afternoon but I’m now wondering if we won’t get to as I just now heard some thunder and saw one or two lightning flashes! Not that we’d be bored, there’s always enough to do elsewhere. 🙂


Los Angeles

Filed under: General — Erwin @ 10:42 pm

Anyone reading this from the L.A. area?

Go to this site, buy tickets, and enjoy some good music. 🙂


Filed under: Site — Erwin @ 10:24 pm

I don’t have a paid account at LJ so I never bothered with it, but my friend Leah stepped in to help those LJers who are too lazy to go to keep track of a non-LJ site and created an LJ feed. 🙂



Filed under: Site — Erwin @ 8:26 pm

Updated the following websites:

That concludes today’s maintenance a.k.a sanitization of my DNS & web-content.


New place, same face

Filed under: Site — Erwin @ 6:15 pm

This is the first post from a new host and a new URL. The old URl with the port-number could not be migrated smoothly, so the decision to simplify life a bit was quickly made.

It’ll be a while before you, the reader, will actually see this posting, as DNS still points in the wrong direction. I hope to fix that within a day or so.

Linkage (23)

Filed under: Humo(u)r,Linkage,Software,Technology — Erwin @ 3:26 pm

Words cannot describe this one… just have a look (Hedonistica). 🙂

Breaking records… in the Netherlands:

Today, the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) index set a world record for data transfer speeds over an Internet exchange by achieving throughput of 100 Gigabits per second.

NASA is eavesdropping (New Scientist):

With half a century’s experience of listening to feeble radio signals from space, NASA is helping US security services squeeze super-weak bugging data from Earth-bound buildings. <…> So the new “through-the-wall audio surveillance system” uses a powerful beam of very high frequency radio waves instead of light. Radio can penetrate walls – if they didn’t, portable radios wouldn’t work inside a house.

Kevin Rose says he’s been using IM for 14 years:

It dawned on me a couple hrs ago that I’ve been using instant messaging for close to 14 yrs now – and aside from video conferencing and file transfer, not much has changed.

However 14 years would put the starting point in… 1991. Mirabilis, the creators of ICQ, was founded in 1996, 5 years later. AOL’s AIM was released in 1997. So either his memory is horribly failing him, or he’s including things like talk(1), which I wouldn’t consider in the same category as IM, unless your most important distinguishing point is that you’re talking realtime with a person and not delayed as with email.


Linkage (22)

Filed under: Linkage,News,Technology — Erwin @ 1:32 am

How crazy is this going to get (Ars Technica):

Disney thinks it has found a solution to the problem of leaked movies: additional encryption on the DVDs. Beginning this year, the studio will use copy protection technology from Cinea, a unit of Dolby Laboratories in order to stem the trickle of leaks. Cinea’s solution uses the combination of the S-View DVD player (that’s right—screeners will be getting new DVD players in the mail) and an additional layer of encryption which includes a code unique to each screener.

And what’s stopping someone from hooking the video/audio out into a TV capture card? Not much, unless this DVD player has its own display, but I can’t imagine screeners accepting the typical small screen size that that would give them.

Record breaking weather (New Scientist):

Hurricane Wilma was fast approaching Florida on Monday, after a weekend of pounding Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and lashing Cuba with rain. The weekend also saw the hurricane season’s record-breaking 22nd tropical storm, named Alpha, form near the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. <…> Alpha marks the first time the NHC has exceeded the 21 names it allocates each year for tropical storms in the North Atlantic. Any additional tropical storms will be named after further letters from the Greek alphabet. Wilma was this year’s 12th hurricane, tying the record set in 1969. Five weeks remain in the hurricane season.

How many years of unusual amounts of extreme weather like this will be needed to convince the people (and more importantly the politicians) that global warming could indeed be affecting the earth’s climate?

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