July
31
Filed Under (Humor, Sports) by Justin on 2006-07-31

Apparently our Carolina Panthers aren’t getting any sort of royal treatment by the Carolina team owners when they head to training camp at nearby Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. Offensive lineman Jordon Gross has apparently had to rent his own RV and park it on site, while the mean machine himself, former North Carolina Tarheel defensive end Julius Peppers has pulled a HGTV worthy makeover on his team-provided dorm room accomodations.

Prior to his arrival at camp on Friday, Peppers hired workers to install wall-to-wall carpeting in his dorm room on the Wofford College campus and also had a queen bed, a three-person sofa, a 52-inch TV screen and some lamps delivered to the room.

Maybe he’ll leave his decor for some incoming freshman to arrive to.

(0) Comments    Read More   
July
30
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2006-07-30

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

Hat tip: Brandon

(1) Comment    Read More   
July
29
Filed Under (Geekspeak, WordPress) by Justin on 2006-07-29

WordPress 2.0.4 has been released containing several security fixes as well as 50+ minor bug fixes. All users are encouraged to upgrade as soon as possible. If you’re a Mindstorm or YourOwnBlog.com customer, just leave me a comment here or at our Support address and I’ll get it taken care of for you.

(0) Comments    Read More   
July
28
Filed Under (Politics) by Justin on 2006-07-28

I hate to give the woman any more publicity, but I can’t help but point out her ignorance. I’m predicting that some property owners in Crawford, Texas will soon see some unofficial “tax cuts” of sorts. You see, Crazy Moonbat Cindy Sheehan has just purchased five acres in Crawford and I’m sure that the surrounding properties value will decrease, and the property taxes on those lots will go down accordingly.

“We decided to buy property in Crawford to use until George’s resignation or impeachment, which we all hope is soon for the sake of the world,” Sheehan said in a newsletter set to be sent to supporters Thursday. “I can’t think of a better way to use Casey’s insurance money than for peace, and I am sure that Casey approves.”

I can’t possibly fathom that Casey would approve – he died doing something that his mother is effectively making a mockery out of – fighting for our country’s freedom. Why not use that money to do something NICE for our soliders Cindy and make them feel appreciated?

(0) Comments    Read More   
July
28
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2006-07-28

Today, being the final Friday of July, means that it’s Sysadmin Appreciation Day. What does that mean exactly? It means instead of complaining to your IT guy that your email doesnt work, your printer won’t print, or your computer is tooo slooooow, that you should instead lavish him/her with gifts and other forms of appreciation. For other ideas, feel free to purchase something from here and in a few weeks I’ll let you know if it’s a good gift idea or not.

Thanks for the well-wishes, Boss.

(1) Comment    Read More   
July
28
Filed Under (Humor, Politics) by Justin on 2006-07-28

I remember either Brandon or Matt writing a post or a comment on a post about North Korean President Kim Jong-Il always being mad because he’s just having a bad hair day and he needs to be able take out his aggression in some way. I immediately thought of that remark and then laughed out loud when I read today’s Pearls Before Swine.

Sorry to either Matt or Brandon – I searched for 15 minutes before writing this post and couldn’t find where the comment was made.

(2) Comments    Read More   
July
27
Filed Under (House, Life) by Justin on 2006-07-27

Lucky for me, I’m not allergic to these. I think I have a total of five stings, but only two of them are painful. The one on my right knee is swollen like crazy (almost looks like two knee caps) and the other is on my left bicep. The one on my knee makes me want to cut my leg off though.

At least I have a hot nurse.

Lesson learned: Be caution when mowing around the tree in our front yard and get the safety switch under my lawn mower seat so that it will shut off when I come running off the mower towards the house while pulling off clothing.

(2) Comments    Read More   
July
27
Filed Under (Geekspeak, Linux) by Justin on 2006-07-27

I contemplated titleing this post “How to Totally b0rk Your Server”, but decided instead to go with a more informative one instead of an editorial one. The following is a story about how to totally trash a cPanel/WHM server environment and then get it back to stable in no time. In our case, it took us about ten hours, but YOU my dear reader can bask in our silliness and be back in no time, assuming you’ve found this post that is. And oh how sorry I feel for those who don’t. Anyhow…

As many of you may know, I work for a hosting company – Mindstorm Hosting and my major responsibility is to keep the server running smoothly and address customer support issues directly related to technical problems. We run a dedicated “unmanaged” server, meaning that our hardware provider is responsible for just that – the hardware – and don’t lend very much support at all in relation to software and stability issues. So yesterday, I was attempting to move our final domain that hosts our billing/helpdesk package over to our dedicated server and stumbled upon the fact that the Zend Optimizer wasn’t installed. A quick search on some popular cPanel/WHM forums yielded me this results: run the ‘/scripts/installzendopt’ and follow the prompts. OK, piece of cake. A few strokes of the keyboard later, phpinfo(); is reporting that Zend Optimizer 3.0 is now installed.

As I started tweaking the billing software, I noticed the server getting extremely sluggish. A few apache restarts later, its not much better, so I moved on to a full system reboot. Great! Things are back to normal now. Fast forward 30 minutes and things are pretty much dead – I can’t get access to a remote shell and any page requiring PHP is a red light. Another hard reboot later (thank goodness for remote reboot capabilities), I get shell access and begin watching running processes and ‘top’ to see whats going on behind the scenes. It didn’t take but a few minutes to find the culprit – PHP! The longer I watched, the more PHP processes appeared. At first, it was five using 19.9% of the CPU each, then it was ten using 9.8% each – yikes! For those not in the know technically, 100% CPU utilization is always bad – but its especially not fun in the web hosting business. On your personal computer, you’re probably the only person using it, and you can sit and wait for a minute for your machine to catch up – every minute that passes on a dead web server is hundreds and hundreds of unserved web pages.

OK, so now we’ve identified the cause of the sluggishness, so how do we fix it? Well, my instant fix was to run the command ‘killall -9 php’ which worked, but only temporarily, so I setup a cron job to run that command every five minutes while I sorted it out. My first instinct was to recompile apache/PHP now that Zend Optimizer was installed. This took about two hours via the WHM interface thanks to those stuck PHP proceses before the cron job was fired off.

But still no joy. Finally, I smartened up and reverted my php.ini file to the pre-Zend Optimizer one. It was as simple on my server as going into /usr/local/lib, removing the symbolic link created by Zend and renaming the php.ini-zend_optimizer.bak to php.ini, and restarting apache.

Bingo! We have a fully working server now. But I still can’t run ModernBill because it’s complaining now that Zend Optimizer isn’t installed. So what’s a server admin to do? Sleep. Thats what.

After a good night’s rest – I set out this morning to make it happen – without bringing the server to it’s knees. It didn’t take long after my coffee to find the critical difference between the server it was currently being hosted on and our dedicated setup. Everything appeared to be identical at first glance – a few different options enabled/disabled on PHP, but nothing related. Both machines were running Apache 1.3.36 and PHP 4.4.2, but then it jumped off the page at me: Zend Optimizer v2.6.2.

So I went over to http://downloads.zend.com/optimizer/ and grabbed the latest 2.x installer, extracted it, installed it, restarted apache, and ta-da!

If you’re reading this – it’s still running strong. If not – I’m fired.

(0) Comments    Read More