Not dead, just sleeping. ^_^

Just a quick post to let everyone know I’m not dead. The past fortnight (and this fortnight too, in all likelyhood -_-) have been wildly busy at ActewAGL, as we are doing pre-safety week preperation with the new handheld system with which I’ve been involved in here since May.

So yeah, I’ve been absent from IRC, ICQ, MSN, YIM, TransACT and everything but ANU Anime Society and ANU Magical Girl Club.

(Oh, and I remained the secretary of the ANU MGC, and am now the president of the Anuas. Yay me!)


Webhosting made difficult

You’d think Apache’s mass domain support would make it easy to host a group of websites, some of which are owned by various different groups.

For example, I’d expect such support to work in the following style:

VirtualHost *:80

<VirtualHost *:80>
# Blah here... DAV support or something...

<MassVirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot /var/www/%2-/%1
# or even "DocumentRoot /var/www/*/%2-/%1" if I could be so lucky....
ServerAdmin webmaster@%2-
php_admin_value open_basedir /var/www/%2-/
ErrorLog /var/log/apache/%2/%0_error.log
CustomLog /var/log/apache/%2/%0_access.log

Which is to say, a MassVirtualHost tag which interpolates the requested Host into its arguments, and if DocumentRoot comes out sensibly, returns it. It’d have to come at the end, since Apache takes the first VirtualHost hit it matches, and obviously MassVirtualHost will match anything… (Unless you also allow some syntax for denying??? Oooh, there’s a thought)

OK, I realise Apache 1 doesn’t do this, but I’d have thought by the time they developed Apache2, someone would have noticed this deficiency….

Anyway, the Apache (both 1 and 2!!!) mass virtual domain support lets you interpolate two values… DocumentRoot and ScriptAlias. I mean, really! You can’t even make ServerAdmin default to something sensible… Actually I suspect it does anyway, as long as by sensible I mean webmaster@host….

I wonder if now’s a good time to look at the Apache2 source, and see if it’s even possible to get something like this implemented…

Or maybe over Christmas?

Long time, no sea, said the retired naval captain

Blah. Busy week. >_<

Had to withdraw from Project Yuka (and that’s the only mention it’ll get here for the moment) and that’s a real disappointment.

Am behind on my Uni stuff but catching up.

Watched PGSM Act.44.

Oh yeah, Anna is back in town briefly, had dinner with her last night. Indian (Flavours Of India) and that was really tasty. She’s well, in case you’re wondering. ^_^

Umm. Yeah, that’s about it.

Oh, I bought new jeans. I think stetchy denim is the weirdest thing I’ve ever worn…. But it’s comfortable. ^_^

I promise more frequent updates, but I don’t think I’ll manage “The good, the bad and the educational” daily… I’ll put up Japanese and/or Linguistics stuff instead, as it comes to mind.

今日の思う事: 2004年 8月 10日


Good news
The server seems stable. ^_^
Bad news
The tutorial to make up for the tutorial I missed on Monday, turns out to be during one of my two remaining lectures this week. (And the other lecture is for the same class, so a clash is unlikely)
Something new
Work expands to fill the available time. And the unavailable time. >_<

I don’t think this needs much explanation. Suffice it to say, I didn’t do this last-night ’cause I got home and was dozing off on the couch within half an hour…. This is at 11:30pm, which is unusual for me. -_-,zZ

Server sweet server.

Hopefully, with a new kernel, a new driver for the NIC, and 90 minutes of downtime, the server we live on (that’s we as in the websites. I’m not living in a sleeping bag in a 40 RU rack) should no longer be up and down like a yoyo.

The problem has been that for several months (since March, I think) the ethernet link would mysteriously stop getting and sending data. The link light stayed on, syslog and kern.log happily partied, but the server fell off the ‘net. Luckily, from a previous occurance, I had a cronjob which brings the link down and up (ifdown/ifup if you know your Debian) when the router is absent. This meant that downtime would generally only be 60 seconds long.

This held until last week when I realised the IPv6 stack (yes, we’re IPv6 enabled!) was suffering under this relentless onslaught of interface bouncing, and something was chewing up memory every time this happened (up to 20 times a day >_<) such that the all important 6to4-to-2000::/3 (ie the route for everything that’s not using 6to4) wasn’t being added. I only noticed this when I was setting up this blog, and noticed that there was a significant delay between me hitting the server access button, and actually getting a webpage.

So I called my co-location provider again, given that last time this happened it was caused by them (or their predecessors) moving this server to a different switch. They disclaimed any such knowledge this time, and said they’d look into it. (Still waiting to hear back. @_@)

Rebooting fixed it temporarily, and this weekend I decided it was time to update my kernel from 2.4.21 w/Debian patches to 2.4.27. I did that on Sunday night, rebuilt the scyld rtl8139 driver I’d been using, and off it went. Clean reboot, no problems, but the link was still dying!

So this afternoon I took it upon myself to flick the server over to the kernel-included’s 8139too driver. Needless to say, rmmod barfed since the module appeared to be in use by more than one thing, and so I vainly made it reboot on the off chance that would clear things up. Only the reboot died. After shutting down the daemons, so I couldn’t ssh back in and fix it at all.

A call to my co-location providers, a 90-minute wait of terror, and we’re live again.

The new network driver seems to have fixed the problem.

The only thing that worries me? I only switched to the scyld driver because that fixed the problem the last time this happened.

I’ll leave the cron job running, just in case. ^_^

今日の思う事: 2004年 8月 9日

Good news
Washed the dishes. Yes, this is news.
Bad news
Managed to sleep in and miss my classes again.
Something new
There are disadvantages to a DVD’s soft subtitles.

Actually, I only missed one class. If I’d hurried, and skipped breakfast and a shower, I could have made the second one. However, it is a tutorial which I’ll make up later this week. Hardly seems worth missing breakfast and being smelly just for one class.

Despite therefore having all afternoon (or at least most of it) available to me, I didn’t do the dishes until The Simpsons came on. Happily, it took less than 90 minutes, since there wasn’t much in there that needed heavy scrubbing. Although my curry saucepan’s looking the worse for wear.

As a reward (and to get me in a settled mood as I have to be at work at 7:30am tomorrow >_%lt;) I finally watched The Godfather Part I on DVD. All was going fine until my terrible sin of skipping the menus punished me by having no subtitles during the Italian-speaking segment in the middle. A bit of skipping around and hitting the ‘Subtitle’ button on the remote eventually yielded a setting where only the Italian was subtitled, not the English. There didn’t seem to be any subtitles for the earlier Italian-speaking scene, which reinforced my feeling that only certain key parts of the dialog in Italian were being translated, and the rest was left to the viewer’s imagination. That was a nice touch.

A less nice touch was that I forgot to check the running length on the DVD cover first, and my plans for an early night were ruined by the movie being 3 hours long, plus a half-hour break in the middle. That plus various going-to-bed delays indicates that I proably should have watched El Mariachi instead.

Still, at least tomorrow’s MGC night. And only one class to go to. But then there’s two jobs in the morning, and I’ll be very very tired by the evening, I’m sure.