Monthly Archives: June 2005

Domain Registration

For quite some time I’ve been using GoDaddy as my registrar of choice. They usually have domains for $8.95/yr with occasional $7.95/yr sales. Last week a friend recommended that I check out RegisterFly which has slightly higher normal pricing but includes DNS service. He also mentioned that they often have deals and promos listed at their sister site TheFlyPaper which bring down the pricing. As an example they have domains for $7.99 right now or tansfers for $5.50 both of which are a pretty good deal, especially with the DNS hosting included. It may be something to check out if you’re in the market for a registrar.

Tales from the crypt — Hacking back then…

Do you know about Captain Midnight? It seems back in 1986 a satellite relay operator got a little bored one night and played some games with the HBO feed, in part because he was upset they had gone encrypted.

It was at 12:32 a.m. Sunday, April 27, that John R. MacDougall pushed the transmit button on his console and turned into Captain Midnight. “That’s when I hit it,” he says. “It was almost like an out-of-body experience. It was like I was there but I wasn’t really there.”

Read the full story at SignalToNoise.Net

Wasting time

A friend sent me a link to the “Click the Colour (and not the word)” game last week and I must say that once you get going it gets a little addictive.

Testing mailserver DNS records

The other day I needed to check on some DNS mail (MX) records and stumbled across the “Interactive DNS MX-verify” CGI page which checks to see your mailserver is accessible from the internet and taking SMTP connections.

Referers, downtime and caching

As you may have noticed the site has been down for a few weeks now. While it’s an eternity on the internet it flies by in realtime, especially when you’ve got so many other balls in the air. To make a long story shorter…

A few weeks ago I noticed the site was down with a “Forbidden” error. I thought the site might have been cracked so I created a trouble ticket with the host and made sure I had a recent file and database backup. As it turns out the site was disabled due to high CPU usage. Because referrer (or ‘referer’ as the standard spells it) spamming has been a growing problem I assumed the massive hits the site was getting was redlining the CPU and causing the problems. Because I was in the middle of CurrentJam I didn’t have time to deal with it so I setup a temporary page explaining the situation. Finally I got together witha few other people in the b2evolution forums. First, I did some rework on Ed’s referer recheck hack because I needed to do my development on 0.9.12 which was running on my dev server. After I got that working I whipped up the first version of the ReferThis! automatic htaccess generator. With some help we’re now up to build 3. Last night I turned the site back on with the htaccess file in place to limit hits from the bots but CPU usage was still too high for my host to be comfortable with. For the time being I’ve copied the site to another server and will be running it from there until I can bring down the CPU usage.

Thoughts on this are now revolving around some sort of caching system so I can serve semi-static pages to save CPU load. So far I’ve found this 2003 thought by the original b2evolution developer to be of some interest and the WP-Cache-2 project to be another good example of such a system. There’s also this 2002 early thought on the subject. Hopefully some other users will join me and help make this project a reality.