I SSH between my many computers several times in the course of a day. Today when I went to SSH to my web server I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong. I could ping the IP address but SSH just didn't want to work. I tried restarting the SSH daemon and when that didn't work, I rebooted the entire box. After it still didn't work, it finally hit me: I forgot to renew my domain name and it was set to expire on July 17th! To confirm, I did a simple dig lookup:
; <<>> DiG 9.4.2-P2 <<>> xaero.org
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 46405
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 0
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;xaero.org. IN A
;; ANSWER SECTION:
xaero.org. 85511 IN A 126.96.36.199
;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
xaero.org. 85511 IN NS expired-domain-ns50.directnic.com.
xaero.org. 85511 IN NS expired-domain-ns51.directnic.com.
;; Query time: 0 msec
;; SERVER: 127.0.0.1#53(127.0.0.1)
;; WHEN: Mon Jul 20 13:08:14 2009
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 124
Oops!! Needless to say, I very quickly renewed my domain name and within a few short hours my nameservers were happily serving up DNS again. Thankfully my registrar provides a grace period for renewing expired domains so they don't immediately get thrown back into the available pot. Next time I'll stamp a sticky note on my forehead.
So over the past few days, I've moved my websites to new hardware. I got a used Sun Enterprise 420r and decided it was time. Pretty nice box: 4 UltraSPARC II processors at 450Mhz each, 1 Gig of RAM, and 72 GB of drive space. Of course it's running my favorite server operating system - FreeBSD. I considered and even tried to install Solaris 10 but it was being a PITA so I threw my hands up and just downloaded the FreeBSD ISO instead. In the process, I've learned how to move a site and minimize the impact of doing so (not that I have a heavily trafficed site anyways). For the curious, my old hardware was a PIII 800 with 512 MB RAM and 160 GB of drive space. If the day ever comes that I need more space I can always pop in another drive. I don't see that happening soon though.
Been experimenting with some fun stuff on the site, as you may or may not have noticed. First I've enabled comments, but you have to solve a CAPTCHA. Instead of a normal CAPTCHA though, I'm using a reCAPTCHA. The difference is pretty cool though. Instead of just solving a bunch of jumbled letters, you're actually helping to digitize books by "reading" words that OCR software couldn't solve. Pretty cool! Secondly, I've made my permalinks a little prettier. I'm considering changing my domain name too. Now that you can comment, let me know if you like this domain or www.xaero.org!
So I finally sat down and added something to the Articles section. Check it out!
As I'm sure you've no doubt seen, my site has a LOT more content. My old web site got taken down last year (long story) without me even knowing it, so I thought I was out of luck as far as my old content. But I happened to stumble upon a neat Google hack that allows you to see the entire contents of an indexed web site. In your search prefix a URL with allinurl: and Presto!, you've got everything. I've restored what I think is about 95% of the old site (for your reading pleasure) and managed to accurately post with the correct date stamps so enjoy.
Some might say I change my website more often than some people change their underwear... and they'd be right. I wasn't happy with the performance of phpBB and the admin interface wasn't terribly great.
So here I am now, using b2evolution. We'll see how it goes.
I've noticed an increase in the amount of junk comments posted to my web log so I will be immediately removing the ability to post comments. Instead, I’ve created a forum if you wish to leave comments. Note, however, that you will have to register a username to post comments. Sorry, but this is the only way to keep the trash that comes with spammers off my site.
At long last! I've finally found a CMS (Content Management System) that works! I think I'll stick with MoveableType and see how it goes. So far, so good.