Ten Years of MZ Online!

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Saturday, February 22, 2003

February 22, 2003

The TWiki Upgrade is complete. Only took about four hours of time to get done, spread over about 36 hours, start to finish. From the looks of it, everything is working how it should...after some modifications. This kind if upgrade is anything but automatic. smile But, it worked and didn't take too long to complete.

The idea now (when I get a few minutes) is to install my hybrid news system to replace this archaic single-page thing. That, and finally get new/more pictures online.


This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/20/07

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

February 19, 2003

Woohoo! The server box lives...in glory! After really not all that much fiddling, I managed to get DHCP working! I believe there was a version difference in addition to the previously attempted setup which made the largest difference. But it works, and everything on the network (including the laser printer) now receives its IP address from the DHCP server. I've also left a few addresses open on the intranet so 'temporary' or 'visitor machines' (e.g. laptops and such) can magically plug in and work properly. They won't necessarily have the SMB connectivity of the more permanent machines, but they will be able to go online and also FTP things around the network. Hooray for me.

In addition to that, I managed to pretty much get everything else reconfigured with the server box. And with that said, it was time to get scheduled backups in place of the more important stuff (.conf files and user data) so we don't run into this server hard drive dying problem again, which also didn't take that long. As I don't have a tape backup system available, though, I did another semi-innovative thing: backup over SMB.

So what does that mean? It's pretty simple, actually. I made a mount point specifically for system backups. The only difference is that it's a network mount point (e.g. on my windows box). While the world is never perfect, this seems quite suitable for me. Mostly because 1) backup files are stored on a different physical machine, and 2) chances are if one machine goes, I'll still have the other. If for some reason there's an act of God which takes out both of my machines (which would have to be pretty severe since I've done pretty much everything you can do to prevent power sags/spikes and surges for the entire network), then I'll chalk it up as bad luck and redo it all over again.

With that said, I'm going to wrap up this post and work on the TWiki Upgrade.

This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/20/07

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

February 18, 2003

Again, another late update, but as I mentioned in the previous post, it was going to be after the 16th. smile Which the 18th is!

The State Festival Trip was again an overwhelming success! There were many excellent shows there this year -- and it was another fun trip. The hotel at which we stayed was also much nicer than last year, which makes the stay just a little more enjoyable. smile Fortunately, traffic was pretty good both days as well, so overall I have to give this years' trip high marks.

As of last night (Monday, 17 Feb) I finally got the server box back into working order (as it'd been prior to the hard drive failure). After over a half-month of dreading the times I walked away from the console (monitoring the logs for inappropriate connections), I got the firewall back into the 'robust' picture. Until yesterday, it was doing regular firewall things with some basic security on common ports, but was not as tight as I like to keep it. In some ways the server hard drive failure was a good thing -- it made me come up with a much better firewall setup than I'd previously had...even though that firewall rule set was a good one. It was also nice to get the DNS server operating correctly. Again it's caching queries...as well as serving the all-important intranet with its important DNS information (allowing me to type much less).

Today, I went to the UPS office in town to sign for my printer part I'd ordered. After having the printer for several months, I finally installed the 500-sheet lower paper tray on my LaserJet5, having received the paper stop piece for the tray (and actually having some spare time and the drive to move things in our "Office Room"). Even though I'd looked at the paper pick-up roller to inspect for wear prior to ordering the paper stop piece, I apparently didn't look close enough. While the roller wasn't completely worn out, it was worn enough to only work correctly about 50% of the time. So, I ordered the replacement (a mere $6)...which arrived last week. Since we were gone I had to go pick that up at their office today. Anyway, I installed it in about 20 seconds and then decided that perhaps I should inspect the memory banks of the printer.

I quick took the side panel off the printer to see what size RAM modules it required. Fortunately, it was what I'd thought I'd seen in there the last time I took it all apart (for cleaning) -- 72-pin SIMM modules...of which I have many lying around. The quest -- to turn the printer that currently had only 4MB of RAM into something much more. This really isn't that big of a deal for our Windows printing experience, but rather the Macintosh/Linux side...and the magic of Ghostscript. I was losing some of the print jobs (or the last part of them, rather) due to the lack of printer RAM. Anyway, after much fiddling with various modules, I managed to turn the printer from 4MB (2MB built-in, 2MB module) to 18MB (4MBx4 modules, 2MB built-in). Needless to say, the printer works better when printing from the server side.

On the other hand, I installed and am in the process of upgrading my intranet TWiki. The new version came out around the first of the month. There are some much-desired changes with it as well. So far so good. The actual installation and basic upgrade only took a few hours, but I have yet to merge the Preference and WebHome pages to include the new features. Although one of the server hard drives died, it wasn't the one with all the TWiki information from my past setup, so all that data was saved. Hooray for me. It was good to have my up-to-date calendar working again. Once I get my intranet TWiki upgrade complete and get some more time, I plan on upgrading the MZ Online Wiki. That, I imagine, will take a week or so...depending upon my time available. Merging the datafiles and other stuff goes quickly, but it's the merging of the preferences that takes some time. More about that at a later date, though. For the meantime, I'm still using the old December 2001 version. I imagine that with the change in TWiki version I'll also have good reason to implement my new MattNews system that I've mentioned a long time ago now.

As a last random thought, I also am hoping to take another stab at DHCP...especially now that the network is set up properly and firewalled properly. I was having a problem with listening only on one NIC when both were connected to the same source. Long story but it didn't work nice. It should be much better working now...I just need some time.

But anyway, this news post got to be far longer than I'd anticipated. Until next time...

This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/20/07

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