Month: April 1999

Some folks have noticed problems with cgi’s…

Fri Apr 30 11:27:00 PDT 1999 — Some folks have noticed problems with cgi’s on multihomed web sites. This appears to be a resource issue (specifically, file descriptors). We are currently optimizing Apache on Thunder to use less of those resources, which should be completed before 2pm. -Scott

Apparently, the recent news server OS upgrade

Fri Apr 30 10:36:10 PDT 1999 — Apparently, the recent news server OS upgrade has had a strange side effect: every morning around 4:30am, the server exits. We will wrap the server with a ‘service loop’ to prevent this from happening in the future, and then investigate the cause of the mysterious program exits. We regret this morning’s news incident, and will redouble our efforts to stabilize the system while maintaining its newfound speediness.

In other news: The new mail server, Buzz, experienced some pain this morning with its NFS mount to member home directories. The result: delivery of some mail this morning was delayed as long as 5 hours. We regret the delay, and hope no one was impacted. -Scott

We’ve had a quite few server issues that have

Thu Apr 29 12:41:50 PDT 1999 — We’ve had a quite few server issues that have affected customers in the past 24 hours. Here’s an overview:, aka crashed with a kernel panic last night around 9pm last night. Dustin was on the premises and rebooted it, and it was down for a total of about 30 minutes.

At 4am last night the FTP server got backlogged with lots of people in Japan downloading MP3 files from user ftp space, and the ftp server was failing to answer due to the large load. We’ve removed or changed permissions on the pirated music, and have sent warnings to the customers who were publishing this copywritten material. Please don’t do that, we prefer to sleep at night.

At 4:30am’s INN server exited, and Scott and I restarted it within 10 minutes – if you were reading news at that hour, you would have noticed, but most of you were sleeping.

At around 6am, a dialup user at another ISP tried to brute force guess the email password of one of our customers, and the resulting logged failures filled up our mail server’s disk drive to a point where new mail couldn’t be received. We have modified our disk use monitoring script so that the tool will page us before we reach the user full threshold – we actually had space, but only in the root reserved percentage, so new mail was backlogged. This modification to the paging system will prevent this problem in the future.

The mail server disk space issue has caused inbound email to be backlogged – we’re receiving a large volume of email now which was sent between 6am and 10am this morning. Sorry for the delay in receipt of these emails!

Lots of little issues – we’re on the job, and keeping things running here. -Dane, Scott, Steve and Eli is now offering free outgoing FAX…

Wed Apr 28 12:11:38 PDT 1999 — is now offering free outgoing FAX service to Santa Rosa and surrounding areas including Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Forestville and parts of Petaluma. If you’d like to send a FAX, visit our FAX page at for information.

You can FAX via email, or use client software to integrate with a scanner or other software. Use this gateway to FAX to businesses and individuals throughout the coverage area without being forced to go offline to free up a phone line for your FAX machine or FAX modem. Add email to FAX addresses to your address book so that you can send to groups of people, some of whom have email, and some who have only FAX, and all of them can receive the same group message by sending just one email.

Additionally, if you’d like to have a special direct-to-FAX email address, eg which forwards directly to your FAX machine, email with your FAX number and the address you’d like and we’ll set it up. You could use this easy to remember address if you’d like instant delivery of orders or other correspondence without being online. If you elect to do this, be sure to avoid getting this address on any spam lists! =)

There is also a service for free inbound FAXing, so if you’d like to completely toss your FAX machine out, check out Kudos to Steve Johnson for setting up’s new FAX gateway. -Dane

Our multihome web server ran short on file…

Wed Apr 28 12:09:55 PDT 1999 — Our multihome web server ran short on file descriptors last night at around 12:30am. We made some changes and did a couple reboots to try different kernels, so multihomed sites had a couple brief outages between 12:30am and 1:30am last night. -Dane and Scott

PacWest, the phone company serving the…

Sat Apr 24 12:51:21 PDT 1999 — PacWest, the phone company serving the xxx-0174 numbers will be doing a switch upgrade cutover on Sunday morning at 2:40AM. They expect downtime from 15-90 minutes for these numbers. For all customers served by these lines, we’ve got alternative numbers available, so please make note of them. We’d suggest using our POP finder to get a list of local access numbers for your location, and keep that on paper for cases like this. You can find the POP tool at:

If you haven’t changed your dialup number recently, it’s likely that we’ve got new recommended numbers for you which may perform faster than the number you’re using now. This is particularly true for customers dialing the xxx-0174 numbers, but it does apply to all customers. Do review the POP tool and note the numbers available for your area and give each of them a test run for speed. -Dane

Our news server disk drive filled this…

Sat Apr 24 22:47:28 PDT 1999 — Our news server disk drive filled this morning, and the monitoring software which is supposed to tell us had been halted and not restarted recently. I’ve cleared the disk space, and news is flowing in fast right now, but it’ll take a few hours for the backlog to clear up. Sorry for this oversight!

Additionally, to avoid the troubles that we’ve been having the past few weeks with the server filling, I’ve removed the group alt.binaries.sounds.mp3 which was filling with about five gigs per day of pirated music. -Dane