Happy New Year! / Janurary Update


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Happy new year!

With 2013 now here and the fact that we’re all still alive, we can focus on things other than holiday stuff. Back to the grind.

What’s up with me?

It has been sometime since I’ve blabbered on about some sort of update. I thought about making a video one but at the same time I’m not sure that people would enjoy my YouTube being cluttered up with rambling non-sense. So I shall just sit here and write about it instead, practicing reading and writing English 😛

Me personally, my phone has been busted, however I finally did get a new one that I just need to finish flashing over to cricket. My current phone is over a year old, so it has most decidedly had a great long life. Actually what’s funny is I realized a fundamental flaw with the android OS. VOLUME OPTIONS! The volume up button and power button broke on my phone. The power button isn’t as bad of a nuisance because I can plug the phone into a charger and it will boot. However, the volume, oh my god what a monkey and football situation. When you look at the sound settings in Android you’ll notice one key one missing. CALL VOLUME. Yes, the only way you can adjust the volume of an in-call or speaker phone call is to use the hard buttons on the phone. Even hitting the volume down and attempting to drag the volume bar up within the dialog doesn’t work. Just a huge pain in my ass, I can’t talk on the phone most of the time because I’m either in a place too noisy, or I’m driving which is really too noisy. Mashing the face of the phone into my inner ear was only getting me headaches so it was time for something else.

My buddy gave me his old Droid incredible for Christmas, which is actually in very mint condition. It had previously been reported lost, and then he found it after getting a new phone. Since Cricket doesn’t use the same lost phone database as Verizon and Sprint I am going to flash the phone to Cricket and activate it on my account. Very nice. I haven’t had the time to sit down and flash it as of yet, but that should be within the next couple of weeks or so.

Work has been mildly paced, hopefully with more business coming in soon. Once I have the logo for work, and some cards I can hand out I’ll go ahead and put an ad up here on DoogieLabs. I think I am going to change my services page around as well here soon, after a few other things are done pertaining to the server.

Things need to be done with the server?

Oh yea lots of things and stuff. I have been asked about hosting more websites on the server again, and this is most exciting news. I am glad to create something that can be of use to everyone and not just me. Up until this point all the sites were kind of piled into the same http root directory, so the sites were kind of visible to each other and not in their own container. A couple of weeks ago I attended a SEO meeting which was full of very good information. Thinking about the way a search engine caches a site, and the rules that it follows in an attempt to catch those who are trying to bend the system to their will. It has made me realize more than ever I need to setup the apache virtual hosts directive, and put each site into it’s own container. I have already started doing this and the DoogieLabs site is actually done. It was the first to be converted over from the old system.

To the end user the only thing that makes this change evident is in the way the address bar presents itself. For example, if you visited doogielabs last week you may have noticed that the url said icebox.doogielabs.com/doogielabs in the address bar. That was because I turned of URL masking on my doogielabs.com domain name and the true server address was revealed. This week, with the virtual hosts directives enabled in apache doogielabs.com appears correct and as it should in the address bar, and this is with URL masking still disabled. This allows the user to see a full link in the address bar, and it can finally appear correct. I guess I didn’t mind this for my site, but for other sites it looks a bit silly having the re-direct, especially since Victoria’s Hair Studio doesn’t have anything at all to do with doogielabs other than me hosting a site. Google and other search engines look at the URL, and because it would have went back to icebox.doogielabs.com, Victoria’s hair would have gotten dinged in the search engine results because it looks like a “shell site” that is actually related to DoogieLabs, even though it’s really not.

IF YOU ARE A REGULAR VISITOR, PLEASE CLEAR YOUR COOKES, CACHE! MAKE SURE YOUR BOOKMARK POINTS TO DOOGIELABS.COM AND NOT ICEBOX.DOOGIELABS.COM/DOOGIELABS!

This is important because what’s essentially happened is the site has moved to another address, Its real address that it should have been at in the first place. After all the other websites are moved over, I will disable the icebox.doogielabs.com root folder which will effectively break hard links to other sites like Area51. Since doogielabs.com is the first VHOST in the apache configuration, visiting the icebox.doogielabs.com address in your browser will default it to the DoogieLabs page instead of loading the apache “It Works!” default test page.

So yeah hopefully I’ve explained that well enough for everyone to understand. I think the DoogieLabs site is actually faster now as a result of the change, I look forward to user feedback on this too actually, so if you do notice a speed difference please let me know.

I did complete one modification on the V880 / Icebox server. I purchased 10x 500GB Hard drives and upgraded my main HD array:

It has been working a treat, I am finally free to store whatever I want in one place. 3.6TB of storage isn’t much to someone who does video production, or downloads an insane amount of movies. I am neither of those, I need an archive for my projects and my media. 3.6T will last a long time, and when I finally get that all filled up I am sure the 1 Terabyte FC-AL drives will have come down in price quite a bit. This is the 2nd time I’ve bought a large quantity of hard drives off of eBay, and have had great success. Both times I figured one drive would come DOA, or a drive may fail shortly after purchase so I snagged 1 extra drive. This 2nd batch of drives finally came with a failed disk, just one, and it would have passed preliminary testing because it wasn’t immediately apparent that it was bad. Just had a few bad sectors.

Icebox wasn’t the only server that got some love. I have finally setup CUBE, the ultra enterprise 3000 as a backup server. In the event that Icebox is down for hardware maintenance or some other hard failure, I will be able to put up CUBE and it can serve a page to anyone requesting data from the server and read announcements and news as to how long the outage would occur for.

Right now, there are no planned outages for the next few months, so if the clean power holds out we may have a chance at cracking 100 days up time. (I have been bad about rebooting a lot lately and not just letting it remain up.) For some reason Solaris always finds something it wants me to reboot for, hopefully I can overcome that habit 😛

There is a new video coming this week. I am still not complete shooting the rest of it, but the biggest majority of it is already edited. Another addition to the vintage computing museum.

Anyways, this has all been a bit ramblotronic so I’ll shove off for now and go have a drink. First night out in a while.

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