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Wednesday, June 18, 2003

June 18, 2003

And There Was Bryce...

After some minor prodding by some folks at one of the message boards where I reside, I was brought back to the land of Bryce -- a land where I haven't played for close to a year.

For those of you who don't know what Bryce is, it's 3D rendering software, where you can make all sorts of 3D landscapes, objects, animations/movies, and so forth. There's all sorts of stuff you can do with it, and it's quite a program. The only true downside is that the learning curve is kinda steep -- much like using Photoshop. Anyway, I made an animation the other day (of a 360-degree view of a bench), and now am working on a big landscape project...with many objects, trees, and landscape features. More to come about this when it gets closer to completion, but that's what I spent most of this day doing. smile

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

Monday, June 16, 2003

June 16, 2003

More configurations...

After realizing that some configuration changes were still needed with certain services on the network (such as sendmail, which was 99% of the configuration changes necessary), I have successfully now brought the network situation back into line. I discovered a miniscule (but somewhat major) weirdness in local mail. This before wasn't a problem, as I only had one server box. But, with two, I absolutely needed a DNS MX (mailserver) record. Without it, it wouldn't know which server to send to (unless specified in the address). So, for instance, sending mail to user@server1.bogus.domain would work, but mail to user@bogus.domain wouldn't. Once that problem was solved (simple addition of primary and secondary mailservers), I needed to configure sendmail on both machines to allow incoming mail for the bogus domain I have set up on this network.

But, after that was complete, things are working smoothly...and thanks to Fetchmail, I get mail from both servers without any problems...and can also send mail anywhere on the network. Woohoo!!!

Network Monitoring!

After some long thought about whether or not to try some sort of network monitoring tool, I decided to use a neat one called Nagios. This is the successor to NetSaint, which is essentially the same thing (just newer version and different name). While it was no easy task (it took several hours to get perfected) to set up, it seems the most powerful and straightforward monitoring (all-in-one) tool for my use.

Now, you might ask why I even bothered with something like that, since I pretty much monitor everything on the network anyway. Well, it's a little bit more complicated than that.

This allows me to (at a glance) check on statistics or generate statistics-like stuff for host connectivity, uptime, and also automatically notify me of problems. Furthermore, I can monitor outside hosts in addition to locals. What this means...is that I can monitor the status of mzonline.com (here), and get status notifications immediately if there's a problem.

While I wouldn't necessarily be able to do anything about it, since this is a hosted medium, I would at least know of problems and be able to cope with them myself (it does affect my email after all).

In general, Nagios seems to be working well for me thus far...and hopefully I'll figure out how to add more advanced monitors to the scenario.

In other news...

I was going to post all the first stuff above about configurations last night (and actually had a hell of a thing written up on DNS theory and such). But, of course, as I hit 'preview changes' (the first step in saving on the TWiki), Netscape crashed. As it was late...after 10:30...I wasn't going to bother with rewriting the bit...so I left it for tonight. If you see this post, it didn't happen again! smile

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

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