proftpd borked after portupgrade with mysql option

My gosh! Try to stay current but shoot yourself in the foot much?

portaudit does the wondrous job of letting me know port vulnerabilities each and every day … We like “0 problems found” to be returned in our daily email, yes? So when there is ports that need to be updated, I usually give it the ol’ portupgrade -aRr to cover everything.

In this last update, proftpd went and modularized everything. I noticed this because I have one server utilizing the MySQL version so as to easily handle virtual users and provide temporary accounts to transfer music files for the studio. So I figure how I have to update the conf file with the proper settings to get proftpd running. Finally when it is happy, logins are failing and I don’t know why. I find in /var/log/messages that there’s a chroot problem … Tracking this down shows that I need to update my FreeBSD version due to this security vulnerability that proftpd is detecting.

Now off to the make buildworld and some hours of compiling. Can’t just build the kernel. Blast!

Problems Update

Regarding Verizon.Net :: A change on the PF firewall’s rule set.  Forever the bridge was never in the ruleset and everything seemed to work just fine.  Finally, because of the proper testing environment, found out it was my own problem all along.  Added rules to address the bridge interface directly.  Those rules never seemed to have been needed before … or were they?

Regarding the Wireless Router :: I gave up on it as the MBP17 acted flaky since I unplugged the hard wire …  The MBP15 seemed okay with it and remained logged in to IRC room on #pf (which is where I was seeking firewall help) and I guessed at the bridge rule … It happened to work … Anyway, I plugged the cables back in and I think I’m going to try the router that I originally bought that fixed all the problems before …  Last resort is to buy Apple’s wireless router.

Now digging through all old email, etc and finding email addresses that I need to send an update to … It seems I haven’t sent a newsletter since 2007 .. Hmpf!  Well, no new is good news, right?

Sometimes I cause my own problems … really!

A quick update to let you know how Andy Reid and I are alike … I’ve goofed.

Number 1: I thought the Internet was slow from the new connection and called service to have it diagnosed.  All the while placing the blame on them, it was I who had coded in the firewall rules the throttling for the old T1.  After I changed the values to reflect the much higher speed that is now available, lo and behold it smokes now.

Number 2: While poking in the firewall I started thinking about my Verizon woes again and decided to try to tackle this once again since this problem of not being able to connect has plagued me through 3 or 4 Internet connections.  For the first time I was able to connect through my connection, but not through my firewall.  With my firewall “opened up” for the mail server, it still will not work over the bridge.  I can telnet to hotmail perfectly fine and then in the very next command watch telnet time-out to Verizon.net.  I feel that I’m closer to a solution though as I now have something to go by and it’s been my fault all along.  So I should take down my “Verizon Sucks” post?

Number 3: The post that’s gotten the most comments here was about the Mac and the Self Assigned IP.  While not everyone has used my solution, they’re thanking me for the posting of someone else’s solution.  That’s fine.  Since my solution was a Belkin router, when I started to move things over to the new location I bought the very same router.  Shortly into my Internet usage, the wireless signal would be lost after a certain amount of time.  Not the IP problem, just connectivity.  Weird.  I made sure that the configurations were the same with original router and this new one.  They were.  I couldn’t figure it out, so I hard-wired and it’s been that way ever since.  For some reason I went in the router recently and noticed the Firmware Update.  It was two releases behind.  I upgraded the firmware, popped out the network cables and have been wireless ever since.  Did the newer router come purchased with an older firmware?  I won’t know until I check  the old router, but if I were a betting man …

You learn something new everyday.  I’m not entirely opposed to admitting when I’ve done something wrong, but I sure thought in the first two cases that I was right.  The last here is an honest mistake I think …  What say you?

Rails is off track without Ruby …

So I’ve been doing my thing.  Trying to get the gist of it all and get things in place, working, etc … and then they start with this Rails 3.0 stuff that it doesn’t seem I can run …

What I mean is, developers seemed to have moved on to Rails 3 but I don’t understand how.  I decided, okay, it’s an RC (Release Candidate) so I’ll take the plunge and install it on a public server and start developing.  Welp, Rails 3 requires ruby 1.9.2 far as I know and I can’t get that installed successfully in a FreeBSD environment when the latest ruby is 1.8.7 (2009-12-24 patchlevel 248) (which currently has a UTF-7 encoding XSS vulnerability in WEBrick.) … sure 1.9.2 will install, but it doesn’t install a “ruby” binary, it’s called ruby19 and you have to symlink or copy it to “ruby” … Why?

Can you run rvm on a production server?  Would you?  Why?

In Rails defense, their website isn’t advocating a new release nor to install it, yet touts how many people are running it in production already …  Bah!  Cutting edge.

In other words, I think there’s just still too much stuff up in the air to actually try to massage Rails 3 into place before the rest of the world is ready for it.  I mean, Rails isn’t the only thing in my servers that use ruby …

… A couple hours later UPDATE: Ruby 1.9.2 Released

Verizon Sucks

verizonI see I have a lot of Verizon visitors and I figured I would express my displeasure with Verizon just for you. You should be flattered.

#1 reason why Verizon sucks?  I can’t send “verizon.net” people email from my mail server.  I spent an entire day trying to communicate this to Verizon support and I got absolutely nowhere.  The people with the accents kept asking for my Verizon email address or my DSL phone number no matter how many times I told them I wasn’t a Verizon customer.  I asked for the phone number for their NOC who handled their mail server.  Confusion.

Their web interface doesn’t work either.  I am not using my mail server to browse web sites and use their white-listing page.  My mail server is in a dark server room dutifully sending and receiving email 24 hours a day.  Fighting SPAM and Viruses and doing a damn good job of it, but Verizon won’t accept my email.  I receive the email from the nice web interface telling me that everything is okay, and when I reply to that email, my email is returned 7 days later never being able to make an SMTP connection with Verizon.Net’s servers.

I resorted to opening a ticket with my upstream provider, and they had no luck in helping me.  They suggested I reach out to Verizon customers and have them complain that they can’t receive email from me.  Can’t say as I know any Verizon.Net customers, nor could I email them asking them such a favor.  They were able to telnet to Verizon’s listed MX and issue simple telnet commands, so they assume that any of their IPs would be able to do the same.  Well I try from my mail server and other machines, and all I do is time out.  I just sent anther letter to my provider, but it’s Verizon that needs to provide me support.

Anyone from Verizon, please respond to this post and help me deliver mail to your customers from my customers.  Thanks.

#2 reason why Verizon sucks?  They advertise FIOS constantly on my TV, but it isn’t available in my area.  Comcast dominates the Philadelphia area and Verizon finally won against the powers that be to start installing FIOS in the Philadelphia area.  Where do they start?  In the suburbs.  If I could get FIOS to my location, my connection speed will increase 100 times and I will pay absolutely no more money per month for my connection.  That’s substantial for me.

I just got Comcast Internet installed at a new location and it blows away my high priced connection.  It is an eye opener, but Verizon has been teasing me for so long.  I need new copper run for my local loop, but an insider told me that they won’t run new copper, they want to install FIOS – well it’s not available in my area, and I have to deal with outages and bounces … That makes Verizon suck!

Bottom line, hey – Verizon, install me some FIOS and let me deliver email to your mail server, and we’re golden!  Thanks again …

FreeBSD and Phusion Passenger

If I don’t write this one down I won’t remember it, especially at this hour when I finally got it to work! I was having a devil of a time on the passenger-install-apache2-module … While it says it “found” everything, I guess it really didn’t … The Apache2 Portable Runtime stuff apparently needs directories to be found. Inevitably, this is how I got it to work:

setenv APXS2 /usr/local/sbin/apxs
setenv APR_CONFIG /usr/local/lib/apache2/apr-config
setenv APU_CONFIG /usr/local/lib/apache2/apu-config

Of course, I found those one at a time Googling all over the Internet and the last was found within the source notes at github … A bunch of what I found had nothing to do with FBSD … Anyway, so the result should look something like this when run:

Checking for required software...

* GNU C++ compiler... found at /usr/bin/g++
* Ruby development headers... found
* OpenSSL support for Ruby... found
* RubyGems... found
* Rake... found at /usr/local/bin/rake
* Apache 2... found at /usr/local/sbin/httpd
* Apache 2 development headers... found at /usr/local/sbin/apxs
* Apache Portable Runtime (APR) development headers... found at /usr/local/lib/apache2/apr-config
* Apache Portable Runtime Utility (APR) development headers... found at /usr/local/lib/apache2/apu-config
* fastthread... found
* rack... found

Sheesh!

Web 2.0 and oh, nice to see you …

Web 2.0: Gaetan sent an invite to my email address to follow him on twitter, so I signed up finally.  Honestly, I had actually been meaning to sign up with twitter and facebook … My older brother is terrified of facebook, he thinks Rupert Murdoch is after him … I’m particular in the information I share but let’s be honest, if someone like Rupert Murdoch wanted the goods on you, guess what?  He’s going to get you …

There are so many times that I think of something to blog, but I never get around to it.  I think of the situation, the story and everything, but then I don’t get to it.  Or, maybe the paranoia of what I would be posting and the opinion that may come of it, or too much information shared …  Blah, tough living in this day and age, isn’t it?  The age of immediate consequences from something you may post online.  The Internet is everywhere and immediate.  Anyway, here are the current events:

Hosting: There have been several instances in the hosting area that have devastated me. One, I had a disk crash on a machine that I never thought the disk would crash.  Like, I had it in my mind that that was a pristine machine and I didn’t have to worry about it.  It’s where all my stuff was and where I could just ssh in or sit at its console and update code on the fly … No backups.  Gone. Now I have everything important on RAID5 and my personal machines have Time Machine running.

Verizon is a huge thorn in my side.  My last mile is Verizon.  Verizon is copper.  Verizon wants to run FIOS (fiber) in Philadelphia.  Comcast rules the video market in Philadelphia.  Seems contacting politicians is the only way Verizon FIOS will come to Philadelphia.  There is nothing more than I want right now is FIOS to be in Philadelphia because my connection speed would greatly increase immediately.  How this affects me now is that Verizon doesn’t want to run any new copper, they only want to run FIOS.  I have had a terrible time as of late with my connection and this is the problem.  It happened the first time in May and was dormant until Christmas Eve, from then on it was daily bouncing until the last copper pair change.  Verizon has been on site over 3 times.  It’s too late, the customers that this affected the worst have already found other solutions.  Not cool Verizon, not cool at all.

Octane: Sound for Octane continues, but with almost every venue having house sound installed, I can’t rememer the last time I needed my PA.  For that matter, the last time I had the PA in the trailer, the trailer was burglarized for one bass bin and one monitor.  They took nothing else although much was in there as well as all the band’s gear that was strewn to just the outside of the trailer.  Makes absolutely no sense.  I still haven’t been able to sell the truck since replacing it with the van and trailer.  I should try that on eBay again.  While Octane remains booked fairly steady for a band in their position, there are weekend nights that I am sitting home.

Fosterchild: I have mixed Fosterchild a couple times since the lineup change and circumstances warranted it.  It was a welcome change from the norm.  Apparently we’re going on tour soon!

Out On the Town: I have started working with the paper again. This time I am doing the layout on the computer.  Another reason for my Mac purchase. (Still steamed about that one [previous entry], but I will survive.  I have rationalized some things away.)  Hopefully this will help with the ultimate goal of sitting on my ass the rest of my life.

Windows: I found out that MS Access doesn’t scale, or self sustain.  Don’t know how to put it, but left to its devices, a web site utilizing an MS Access database will cause ASP to hang on a Windows Server.  The database needs to be regularly reorganized.  I can tell you for a fact that this will not happen on any other platform.  Thanks again Windows!  Way to mess up everyone’s life on your server cause you can’t handle something and don’t report on it either.

Health: My health is getting better. I had my last cigarette September 27th, 2008 at 10:45pm.  This was right before Octane’s first set (acoustic) outside at The Whiskey Tango.  During the set, pressure mounted in the center of me chest and by the end of the set I was getting sharp pains.  I didn’t go out for a smoke after the set, I took it easy but sharp pains came and went and I generally didn’t feel right.  I was getting scared and I decided that I thought I should go to the hospital.  I spent the weekend in the hospital while they did all sorts of fun tests.  All tests were okay.  I then went back to have a camera shoved down my throat and that turned up acid damage in my esophagus, stomach and duodenum.  I was told to take 4 Prilosec daily.  The anesthetic for the tube test was wild, like snapping your fingers, test done and two and a half hours went by.  I haven’t smoked since and have started dieting and exercising.  I may get a Brazilian and wear a bikini or thong to the beach this summer?  … and everyone knows how I love the beach.

The Whiskey Tango: I went back to work at The Whiskey Tango May 20th 2008 to fill in the open nights with Octane and to do the off nights.  Ronnie quit to go work for Spellcaster down the shore for the summer with more nights.  Since then The Whiskey Tango changed ownership and management and those off nights aren’t happening anymore.  Status there is up in the air right now.

Coding: I recently updated some old ASP pages I did way back in the day for the Bigg Romeo site.  That was fun.  I am progressing on new web development projects and I am very excited about that.  Also thinking of ways to further promote the hosting through a better interface.  The new trickles in slowly anymore and Verizon isn’t helping with the departed.  Here’s hoping FIOS comes through.  They are sure to support that endeavor more than they’ve helped me now, right?

OH! and the biggest thing about all of this is that anything new will be in a new location!  All the servers, routers, switches, computers, etc. will be moved to a brand new location.  We will be moving but still don’t know when yet.  I am hoping for A.S.A.P., but that’s me.

That’s all I can think of right now.  Any questions?

It’s my Birthday!

Forty one today, forty one today. I’m the same age as the Superbowl.

I’m surprised that I haven’t updated my site, my bLog since September … I guess I have poured much of my offline time into my online vLogs on the OctaneCrew site … I’ve found talking into a camera much easier than doing this typing thing, but once all the video is recorded, editing can become a lengthy process …

So what’s new since my last post in September? Happy New Year!

Web Hosting: Nothing much new in the hosting world. I’ve been trying to get hold of Savvis to renew my contract. Three years has finally come and gone in December, but getting hold of my account representative has been more than difficult. I finally got him on the phone about a week ago and haven’t heard back yet. This has been the worst response from Savvis to date. I think their sales force is not as professional anymore, or I got the one guy who doesn’t keep up on things … I got a quote from them about a year ago for $250 less per month, but I was told I couldn’t renew my contract until it was up. When talking to my rep last week, he tells me the price has gone up. If this is the case, I will be switching companies, no matter how much the hassle.

The main Windows server crashed beginning of October. The machine went on its merry way into Lalaland … I was able to put the drive into an external enclosure and suck off the data onto a new installation which made the switch fairly transparent to those who just use web services … The mail handled by FreeBSD kept flowing, and the registry infomation that the Windows products keep there was able to be saved so no renewing of passwords, etc was necessary … What a relief that was …

Octane: Much the same as they continue to play every weekend on the Philadelphia club circuit. They did have a highlight November 30, 2006 when they appeared on the Opie & Anthony satelite XM Radio show where they played on the “walkover” … a deluge of CD orders poured in that I dutifully got out in the post … They were just on again yesterday morning, and again, the CD orders are coming in from across the country …

The crew is starting fresh in that the crew that I inherited when I started with the band are all but gone. The last remaining guy has given notice and will be done as soon as he can be replaced or he gets sick of waiting for us to find someone. My son started coming out to shows and he has fell into duties that he’s never done before … Of course this means I have to do much more work than before … It’s not been fun the last couple weeks … Hopefully we’ll find some new crew that can get the job done as before …

Father-in-Law: My father-in-law Edward Walter Andrews passed away January 2, 2007. He was born in December 29, 1925 … He had a building of fluid in his chest a week or so before Thanksgiving and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. He never came back out of the hospital. I thought for sure that he would have come home. For my children and I, that was the last that we’d ever seen him … My wife went daily to visit him in the hospital … Again, I thought for sure he would get past this … He was a big burly cement finisher … Never thought that it would get the best of him …

Since I’d known him, he didn’t work … Already retired … He did keep himself busy though … You couldn’t keep him away from tinkering with something … When I was dating my wife, he’d help with the car if there was a problem, or I should say the “report” of a problem … Like my wife would mention that I was having a problem with my brakes … While sitting there waiting for her to come out of the house, out he would come, “Problem with the brakes?” … and you would want to blow it off and say yeah, but I know about it and I am taking steps to rectify the brake trouble. “Pop the hood.” … oh no, well, I will humor him … He checks the brake fluid level and stuff … “Need to bleed the brakes” and then we spend the next 30-45 minutes bleeding brakes and it’s fixed … He wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to fixing things … While the brake bleeding went well, sometimes everything didn’t go as planned …

Once we moved into our house, there were things around the house that were broken and I would sometimes come home to find my father-in-law working on things … I would ask my wife why he was here, and she would say that she told her mother of the problem and he came over to fix it … So, sometimes the fix would be quick, other times he would explain to me what the problem was and make frequent trips to the hardware store getting what was needed and trying the next steps on to fix the problem … While we may not be able to use whatever he was fixing at the time, eventually he’d get the right thing from the hardware store and off we’d go …

I guess I should have mentioned that he was hard of hearing, so in these processes, you would say something to him, and his reaction wasn’t always such that you’d know if he heard you or not … It could have been lack of hearing or determination, not sure which so that added to part of the mystery … He would sit at family gatherings and be in his own little world … While everyone is discussing something at some length, he’d blurt, “Th’say it’s gonna rain tomorrow.” or he’d comment on a sports player playing on the team that was playing on TV … He was a Philadelphia fan …

Although very silent while in the family gatherings, you could catch him beaming at his grandchildren … Not knowing what was going on in his semi-silent world of his head, but he was entertained by his grandchildren … From across the room, he would make gestures to catch the children as they would fall … Ah, he was a character … My wife would laugh when telling me of things that her father would do … He was a price watcher, often going to 3 different supermarkets to catch the sale at each one … Often times, haggling on prices when prices aren’t for haggling … Being concerned with parking spots on a street etc … Having conversations with people and when they’d gone lean down and ask, “Who was that?”

My kids have lost their Pop and we took the kids to the viewing, mass, interment and luncheon … While the 8 year old broke down at the end of the viewing, the 5 year old was just about at comprehension … There was debate on whether the children should have attended and I was adamant about them going … They hadn’t seen their Pop since before Thanksgiving and never visited him in the hospital with all the tubes in him … They needed to see him sleeping in his casket and laid to rest … They did want to visit him in the hospital, but my wife also expected him to come back home as well … I still can’t believe that congestive heart failure won him over as well … I fully expected him to live forever …

Well, that sums up my major life since my last post. If anything else comes up, I will update.

It’s more than a mail server

So, I attempted to upgrade my mail server … it didn’t work …

Actually, it started out as an idea for me to start another mail server from scratch … I wanted to create a test email server so I could learn more about all the interaction that goes on … As I was researching this, I determined from my reading that it would probably be very simple to upgrade the existing mail server … You know, the one that’s serving thousands of actively live email addresses, whether email is stored on the server or forwarded … I have upgraded plenty of servers in place and have never had major issue … This changed yesterday …

Normally what I’m upgrading is PHP … They update PHP on a pretty regular basis, and it ain’t no thing to cvsup to the latest ports and deinstall, reinstall to the latest and greatest … but with the mail server, this is a bit different … there are many dependencies … I can usually handle this very well too … I can backtrack failures or Google errors and find a fix …

Up until yesterday, I have always paid a consultant to work on my mail server … Email is not something to take lightly … It is the most exploited thing on the Internet … Too much SPAM and Viruses to think that I could handle all of this on my own … So for years now, I have had someone else do the thinking and I do the tinkering … Because of all the tinkering I’ve done myself, and I’m pretty proud of myself that I setup authoritative name servers and an inline firewall all doing multiple amounts of graphing, etc … I thought that I was at the point where I could handle the email server on my own …

All that seemed to be required was that I bring the ports tree up to current and then compile the new programs … Since this was something I wasn’t familiar with, I figured I would let portupgrade have at it and upgrade all the ports that needed upgrading … That’s why it had sounded so easy to me … I also figured I had all the time in the world to do this as the active system would remain active until I rehashed and restarted the services … Not the case …

First thing to fail, the MySQL server … When it’s portupgraded, it stops the MySQL server … So that was the first problem that immediately ceased mail flow … I started the “new” MySQL server and all seemed well … but then things just degredated from there … Now it was a race to compile the programs and get everything in sync once again … The phone kept ringing, but I didn’t have immediate answers … I wanted to try to fix it before I talked to anyone … One hour became two … Then two became four … I didn’t have much sleep, so I was purty tired …

Once I got to the point that everything was finished compiling, out of the hundreds of ports that were checked and upgraded, there were three that didn’t make it … cronolog, fastest_cvsup and maildrop … Two of those stopped the operation of webmail as well as normal mail flow … cronolog stopped apache from operating and maildrop, well, it’s a mail server so something called maildrop was probably pretty important, eh? So I attempted to deinstall, reinstall those programs … When they didn’t work (and maildrop took some time to fail) I Googled to find answers … Those answers were not readily found … I suppose in retrospect, it’s because maildrop is probably not as popular as PHP or apache …

So, I am dead in the water … I could continue to tinker my way through and make it work, but there was two things going against me … The major one, there was a bunch of people that wanted their email … After all it was a Monday, and Monday is the most important (busiest) day … Man, when I screw something up, I do it right! The second thing was, no matter how I got it working, I would not feel confident that it was done right … That’s the most important thing to me … Again, email is something that I don’t think should be messed with or taken lightly …

I resort to turning my mess over to the consultant … Now normally I book time with him … We schedule a time and I open up the firewall, etc and we get it done … Him proceeding with the necessary steps and me babysitting in case he needs to restart the machine or something goes goofy … There’s been only one time that I can recall that I actually had to help him … Most things just worked when he did them … Anyway, by the time he straightened out what I had brought the mail server to, it cost me $200.00 … I figure it probably cost me more due to the fact that people couldn’t get their email … but it’s working now, and that’s all that matters I guess …

The problem is that I don’t understand the mail server … There are many programs working in concert to facilitate the flow of mail and in that process weed out the bad mail and forward the good … The good thing is that I understand the mail server more after this experience … Where I left all of the thinking to the consultant and Mr. Bernstein, knowing the steps in which to rectify the situation I have a better understanding of what’s going on … The other problem is that the mail server isn’t just a mail server … It’s a web server, and imap server, pop, smtp, etc and a bunch of applications talking to one another again, to facilitate the flow of what is to be determined as good email …

This brings me back to the beginning … I am going to set up a parallel mail server … One that I can break and not affect the masses that depend on the mail server … In doing this, I will be able to learn more about all of those applications that work together to stop the bad people on the Internet … There are many ways to do this, and I would like to get more of them in place … The more I can do on my own to figure out how to make it work, the better off I will be in providing this for other people as I will actually know what’s going on … That is becoming more important to me as the cost of running the mail server starts to hit my wallet more … While it’s all Open Source programs, they’re getting much more sophisticated since the baddies are getting that much more sophisticated … I don’t want SPAM … I want to stop it … I could certainly pay someone to make that happen, but that goes beyond the scope of a working mail server … That goes into to custom stuff, and that’s what I want to pursue …

If you’re someone that relies on my mail server for mail, sorry about yesterday (Monday, September 18th) … I had nothing but good intentions in bring the mail server up to date on the applications processing the mail … portaudit was informing me of application that contained vulnerabilites, and I wanted to get them fixed … I just didn’t want to spend the money for a simple portupgrade … Well, now I know that all things that may seem simple aren’t always so simple …

This goes back to things I have said in the past, and they certainly ring true by this example … It may be very easy to set something up … There are many people out there setting up hosting servers that are all encompassing and selling cheap hosting on them … $1/mo., etc … They’re very easy to put in place, either by paying someone to do it or by using a basic understanding of server setups … Where the important stuff comes in is in the ability to maintain that server/application … Vulnerabilities pop up all the time … Microsoft and Apple have facilitated an automatic update feature to solve this … Every once in a while, my iMac tells me, “Hey, you need to update this piece of software!” and I do it … The Microsoft guys, I manually check on a regular basis, sooner if I know something is up, and that’s due to having one machine that still checks and informs me if there’s something going on …

So, I want to get to know my mail server since I have been working on a control panel of sorts that is keeping track of many things for me … The more I update it, the more things are revealed that I was unaware of … This is just things that people were able to get out of me for free since I wasn’t paying very close attention … The more I got this working, the better handle I got on things, and with the mail server also keeping a database, I want to tap into that and merge that into the control panel … If something can be queried, it can be updated and eventually I will be able to get my application running the entire network … I work on this as time allows … The more and more I work on it, the more and more I get to a hands off solution … But I digress …

Back to School

Well yeah, I haven’t posted in a while … Sometimes I would think about when something in particular came up that I thought would be a neat topic to discuss, but I just didn’t get a round tuit … I think I used to have one, but I don’t remember where it is … and yes, by my standards, I have been busy …

The vLog … I have been creating vLogs for the OctaneCrew site … Got into this when monitor guy Alex started it, and I thought it was a much better way to share thoughts than typing up a storm such as I’m doing now … Then light guy Dave made a vLog of which he’s the video guy and he set our standards much higher … I have got into some pretty interesting video editing …

Octane has been working and working and we just came off a fun weekend … They played 3 all original shows … Friday they opened for Staind, Three Days Grace and Soil at The Electric Factory … Sunday they opened for Three Days Grace and Blackstone Cherry at House of Blues in Atlantic City … Saturday was an extended set at The Grape Street Pub in Manayunk … I guess in all instances I was on some pretty neat boards … Staind travels with the PM5D and HOB has a 5K … Grape Street has an A&H ML something or other … HOB sounded awesome …

Have been watching Eagles preseason … They look good … I remain, as always, optimistic and I will leave it at that …

Saw the season premeire of House last night … Still a good TV show so let’s see where they take it this year … Lost starts October 4th …

October 5th is the date I am supposed to be able to renegotiate my T1 contract and you can bet your booty that I will be on the phone first thing in the AM … I have been paying a T1 cost that is outrageous and was locked in three years ago … They would not renegotiate the contract until this one was up … I am in the process of determining if whether since they did this to me that I ought to switch providers … My opinion was that since the price dropped a couple hundred dollars per month that they should have renegotiated me at that time … Instead they told me that I had to wait and there was no recourse but to pay the contracted amount whether I stayed with them or not … Meaning, I could drop them at anytime, but I still owed them the contracted monthly payment … Funny thing is, one of the prices I got about 8 months ago was from them so I attached that email and sent it to my account representative saying that those two should talk … They stuck to their guns and continued to extort the additional money from me …

I cleaned up my hosting database substantially … All the domains that I no longer hosted I removed from my database … All the billing history, all the customers that no longer existed … While I tried to collect from them, it never happened so I decided to strike it up as a loss and to concentrate on those people that are part of the program and do pay as scheduled etc … I wrote a bunch of code in the last week to straighten out my DNS according to my domain database and removed all the discrepancies and found some things that were not right … Sometimes people get things by me, and this code stops that easily by painting a very clear picture of what’s going on … I need to expand this into email and actual disk residences, but DNS is certainly going to stop the traffic …

To sum up those last two paragraphs, with the T1 pricing and the coming and going of hosting customers, hopefully this will once again even out … I have been paying a lot of money to keep a connection active that isn’t necessarily supporting itself … For whatever reason, those people utilizing the service have chosen to stop what they’re doing or go elsewhere and I don’t claim to know exactly why … I can only assume … First, I can assume that someone else is cheaper … I have tried a 1&1 site for a little while … I have even started moving my domain registrations to another registrar … The second thing I could think of is service and where I try to be awesome in service, there are those times that my SmartJack got wet or I have had things such as my DNS server crashing … All interruptions were fixed as soon as possible, but for the 1 year uptime, that 1 hour makes all the difference … So what you were up 8,760 hours, that one hour was when I *really* needed my email … I changed the DNS servers at 1&1 and am pointing everything to me … I didn’t like 1&1’s interface etc, and I don’t like their junk mail … Back to the original reason I started hosting, to be able to do things my way …

Anyway … that’s an update on what I’ve been up to, maybe I will be able to get back to posting here regularly? That would be special …