Forums Archive -> VectorStar News

An overall update 2003-09-02 21:38:09
by lmbedore
Here's an overall update on the status of things around VectorStar as of late. I'm sure many of you are interested in our stability problems recently, as well as whatever-the-hell-is-happening with that user management and new user signup system that I've been promising for the last 2 years...

First, the stability problems.
Vector, the file server and overall core of our network, has gone through an amazing amount of bad luck, as well as so many hardware changes that it's not really the same box I built 6 months ago. It has gone through: a power supply, two motherboards, 1.5 gigs of RAM, a RAID card, a SCSI card, two tape drives, and one hard drive. The majority of the outages we have suffered have been because of Vector crashing.

We've had Chester (the mail server) crash on its own twice, apparently due to some very obscure and rarely-occurring bug between VIA chipsets and Promise FastTrak RAID cards in Linux. There are two ways by which the kernel could access the drives, one of which could easily break the RAID set (not the best of driver designs), and I think this is at the heart of the matter. When we get money and time, we'll be replacing those Promise cards with 3ware cards, thus resolving the issue.

Power outages have been very frequent as of late. Storms and power flickers are to be expected this time of year (I think we average 1 or 1.5 inches a day of rain), but our UPS hasn't been up to the job of handling the flickers. Only last week did we discover that the batteries in our UPS blew up, spraying battery acid all over the internal electronics of the unit. We are running off a backup unit (Thanks Jeff & Jeremy!) for the time being, until we figure out what to do with our acid-soaked UPS.

The Administration System:

Yes, work has still been plodding along on the administration system. The core front-end (and its back-end pieces) as you all will know it... is complete as of today! There are a few basic administrative functions I need to write (so we can modify user accounts from within the system) before it goes live. I have the better portion of the hard stuff written - one or two full, motivated days of programming (read: 16 hours of coding) should be all it needs to get rolling.

The new user administration system is specifically dependent on two back-end pieces of the administrative functions mentioned above. It should be relatively easy to write once the guts are all running. the last and hardest part is going to be email notification for new user signups. Since we killed CGI-to-email capability (yes, even for ourselves), there's been a task on my board to create a new CGI-to-email interface that fits into our mail system. That task is going to require some serious attention.

Well, that's all the updates I have for now!

Re: An overall update 2003-09-04 11:51:04
by stale
There's just something about coming home to find your roommate on the couch, with a laptop and a beer, coding away. Laird's got the skeelz and you all best recognize!
Re: An overall update 2003-09-05 10:20:19
by marasmus
In other news...
Since we had to cannibalize Apathy in order to get Vector running again, I decided to build up a replacement for Apathy. It will be a Dual 1.2ghz PIII Tualatin box. It will be mean. It will be fast. And I don't know what we're going to do with it yet. :)
Re: An overall update 2003-09-05 16:46:46
by toby
1. Tic-Tac-Toe 2. World Domination
Do you want to play a game? 2
Can you name the movie this came from?
Re: An overall update 2003-09-05 17:45:36
by Marasmus
Why are you speaking?
Re: An overall update 2003-09-07 03:57:59
by jamm
you guys are still rocking about everything, how do you do it for free?!?!
Re: An overall update 2003-09-08 09:23:46
by luuvmuffen
Hmmm Sounds like the awesome 80's flick Wargames
Re: An overall update 2003-09-08 12:29:42
by Creampie
jamm we hore out ur mom
Re: An overall update 2003-09-11 16:16:15
by Anonymous
we do it for free cause the guv'ment says it's illegal to pay for our "services" anywhere but las vegas....
OH, you means our INTERNET services..... oops!
Re: An overall update 2003-09-18 17:46:02
by ibor132
nice, always good to hear of improvements to the already teriffic service.