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Rebuilding a server

Posted by ApochPiQ, 30 April 2006 · 115 views

I've finally gotten off my lazy butt and started rebuilding Milton. Milton was the server for my Tiny KeyCounter project, before one of the hard drives decided it was going to die.

One of the drives was the OS and actual site/database, and the other was basically nothing but a nightly backup image of the site and DB. I have no idea which drive failed - or even if one of them is still alive. I do know that the system is totally unrecoverable on whichever drive is dead, because I wasted several hours with fsck and family with no results.


So currently the easy part is in progress: I'm about 60% done with a reinstall of RedHat 8.0 on a brand new 80GB drive. I'm praying the install I've set up doesn't need CD number 3, because I can't find that disk.

Once the unpleasantries of a fresh Linux install are done, it's time to do a kernel update, pull the latest stable builds of Apache and MySQL, and get a running box going. From there I'll reconnect the drives and see if I can salvage any of the site; I'm assuming at this point that I won't be able to, and I'll leave the TKC project dead until/unless I ever decide I care to finish Version 2.0 of it.

Once the box is live, it'll be come the home of the wiki for the Epoch language project - provided one final piece falls into place.


A couple of days ago, there was a power outage. When the power came back up, the cable modem wouldn't connect. A few hours later, it finally got its act together. Now, I'm on a different IP range than I was before, and for some reason there are some serious problems connecting onto machines on my local network. I'm still not sure if that's because my idiot ISP has done something to prevent inbound connections (probably under the guise of being "for security") or if I goofed up my router settings somewhere along the line.

I really hope this isn't an ISP issue, because I can't afford to colocate this box right now, and it'd really suck to do a complete server build and find out I have a useless machine on my hands.


So... joyful grand fun, all around. IT is just the most excitingest field ever!




What is this project?

dynamic dns is the general answer, but the vast majority of cable internet providers block a few incoming ports at their end. Generally they want you to shell out for a business line, also your EULA should have all sorts of comments about running a "server" on a basic home line.

Conversly I wouldn't have gotten a colo if Verizon's FIOS was available at my apt complex. Was just as cheap as what I'm paying for colo. While the bandwidth wasn't dedicated, I'm sure I could've done more transfers a month for less.
TKC was really pointless: it counts the number of keys you type, and the number of mouse clicks you make. That's it. Completely and utterly useless data. It had around 6,000 active and rather fanatical users at its peak. I kept it running mainly out of perverse, train-wreck type fascination with just how obsessive people could get over totally uninteresting numbers.


To be honest I've been running open web servers off port 80 on this ISP for years. Never yet had a problem with it. I suspect the problem isn't that they suddenly locked it down, although it wouldn't surprise me. No doubt I'll end up having to bend over and take the "business level" service if it comes down to it, but I'll have to find some way to recoup the expense.

On the other hand, since I work entirely over VPN now, I get to deduct my Internet expenses from my taxes. So maybe paying a little more isn't such a bad thing after all... [grin]

Anyways, we'll have to see. I have to get the network driver crap sorted first (see recent post).

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