East of the Sun, West of the Moon

2005/10/31

Nuts

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.

Downsides:

  • 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.

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