Just a Theory

By David E. Wheeler

Posts about failure

Blog Restored, Google Analytics, FeedBurner

My “Server Room”

My “Server Room”

Some of you no doubt noticed that this site was down for several days, starting last Friday and lasting until yesterday. Sorry about that. I had a hard disk failure of some kind on the ca. 1999 OptiPlex I was using. I’ve had a newer box (ca. 2005) to move to for a while, but lacked the tuits. With this change, I was forced to make the switch. Fortunately, a Debian install CD let me login to the OptiPlex and access all my files, so I was able to recover everything. I even managed to keep the file modification times the same, so feeds won’t show everything as unread (which I’ve seen many times when other bloggers I’ve known have switched providers or recovered from some catastrophe). Unless you tried to hit this site over the weekend or on Monday or Tuesday, you should notice no changes at all (except speed, the new box is a lot faster!).

Naturally, I took advantage of this opportunity to get my blog configuration into SVN via my Capistrano deployment system. Hell, none of this stuff was even backed up before (although I did back up all my blog entries about a week before this happened—but not comments, yow!). The new box is now properly backing itself up and backing up the Kineticode server, and I can make changes to Blosxom and configure and reboot the blog from my MBP. Yay! No more remote editing.

I’ve also upgraded my “server room,” moving out the gigantic 17” CRT and putting in the 17” flat panel screen I’ve had floating around. I also plugged a USB keyboard into my KVM, so I no longer have to move keyboards around when I switch between the Linux server and the G3 Mac server. Of course, now that I have large disks and Time Machine running on all the other boxes in the house, we don’t use the G3 anymore. So I think we’ll be donating it soon.

Another change I’ve made was to stop doing my own log analysis (the command-line tools are such a PITA) and switched to Google Analytics and FeedBurner for tracking visitors to the blog and its feeds. I’ve still got the old log files around, so I can see how things have changed since before the switch to outside analytics providers, but I’ll probably just create a report from them and then ignore them from now on. Too much work to track that stuff.

In the future, I’d like to switch from Blosxom to some other tool. Maybe Movable Type, now that it’s open source. It’s pretty well-regarded and written in Perl, so I could hack it pretty easily. What I should do is avoid writing my own Blog engine. Right? Right?!. In the meantime, I have other priorities, so I’ll be sticking to Bloxsom for a while.

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