07-Jul-2015

Ordered more memory
The updates of PHP and WordPress seem to require more memory: the blog loads slower, and paging has increased. This was expected – but not in this amount. So I ordered more memory to fill the system to the max. It will take some time to get it, and installing it means the system won’t be available for some time. I take the opportunity to install a SCSI card as well so I can hook up the disks directly to the machine, and get rid of the HSZ50 unit: the battery is gone so caching is disabled and access is now limited to 5Mb/sec; since I have only one controller board, it is of no use for clustering: I tried but it simply doesn’t work with the Workstations: these crash dramatically. Or does someone have left-over controller board, cache and battery units?

01-Jul-2105

Maintenance
The log of the maintenance job shows no real surprises:
PMAS statistics for June
Total messages    :   1552 = 100.0 o/o
DNS Blacklisted   :      0 =    .0 o/o (Files:  0)
Relay attempts    :    105 =   6.7 o/o (Files: 30)
Accepted by PMAS  :   1447 =  93.2 o/o (Files: 30)
  Handled by explicit rule
         Rejected :    725 =  50.1 o/o (processed),  46.7 o/o (all)
         Accepted :    323 =  22.3 o/o (processed),  20.8 o/o (all)
  Handled by content
        Discarded :    180 =  12.4 o/o (processed),  11.5 o/o (all)
     Quarantained :    183 =  12.6 o/o (processed),  11.7 o/o (all)
        Delivered :     36 =   2.4 o/o (processed),   2.3 o/o (all)

and in the logfiles, it shows just on 7th, 16th and 26th of June more relay attempts than usual; the files are 8 blocks (4K) in size, so not that big.

However, I have AkisMet running on the blog and that shows over 800 spam messages for June – just these few days, and almost 800 for today alone; however, it may be related to the installation of the new version of the software installed tonight.

Fot the blog: I downloaded a number of themes that I like on first glance, and installed them. It’s now a matter of determining which one will be applied. It may take a few switches in the coming weeks. For the time being, I customized the twentyFifteen theme that comes with WordPress. Next I encountered a number of issues with the editor screen when enabling the excerpt form: but this is admin only so I don’t bother too much – for now.

29-Jun-2015

Blog updated
FINALLY.
After I added extra definition to the configuration file, to block access other than my own; changed php.ini to allow the upgrade script to run for more than 30- seconds (gave it 10 minutes to execute), disabled the plugins and reverse to the default theme – recommended by WordPress – and applied the upgrade script, I have now the SYSMGR blog running on WordPress 4.2.2. There was one final thing to do to allow access: Change the basic theme because ” default” does not exist in this environment. Changed it to twenty-fifteen, for the time being, because the previously used theme is not compatible with this version of WordPress. I downloaded a few that seem to meet my requirements and of which the look and feel seem nice, but I still have to install them and than decide which one will be the next one.
Both plugins:L Askimet and Stats, need to be updates as well but that will be done later as well.

The Trips, Tracks and Travels blog will be upgraded soon – the same way.

05-Jun-2015

Latest news on PHP
Got two messages from Mark:
1. PHPWASD.EXE in the kit is no good.
2. He reviewed all kits and rebuilt them when needed – there should be no more mismatches any more.
To be tested tonight, or during the weekend.

Evening update
I downloaded the updated kit from Mark’s site and installed it. First, it didn’t work since PHPWASD: couldn’t access PHPSHR, and later, it seemed that the MySQL extension was missing. The reason was just a matter of file protections’, I had to change the n all, and edit php.ini to enable the extensions (PHP_MysQL.EXE in particular -PHP_MySQLI.EXE alone wasn’t enough for this version of WordPress) but now it works, though it looks to be a bit slower. However, I should NOW be able to update to WP 4.2.2. Fingers crossed :)
Evening update 2
Updating WP means: revert to default theme and disable plugins – after creating a backup (so if it fails, it’s easy to revert to the stae before the update)/ No it should be a matter of changing the logical (the second location should be where the new version of WordPress is stored, in my case WP42:), than restart the webserver (to remove any running PHPWASD images), and start the blog. It does start with the mentioning that WP version has been changed and that the database needs an update, It starts – and stops without a notice, somewhere in step one of the process.
So I had to revert to the state prior to the update, by simply restoring the database, change the logical back to the original version and restart WASD.
Now it’s a matter of finding out what is going on….
It may be related to the resource limits in PHP.INI:

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
; Resource Limits ;
;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

max_execution_time = 30 ; Maximum execution time of each script, in seconds
max_input_time = 60 ; Maximum amount of time each script may spend parsing request data
;max_input_nesting_level = 64 ; Maximum input variable nesting level
memory_limit = 128M ; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (128MB)

that may be too low, keeping in mind that this system is limited in resources…

Maintenance
It has been a few days ago that the maintenance jib has run. No surprises:
PMAS statistics for May
Total messages    :   1026 = 100.0 o/o
DNS Blacklisted   :      0 =    .0 o/o (Files:  0)
Relay attempts    :     88 =   8.5 o/o (Files: 31)
Accepted by PMAS  :    938 =  91.4 o/o (Files: 31)
  Handled by explicit rule
         Rejected :    387 =  41.2 o/o (processed),  37.7 o/o (all)
         Accepted :    197 =  21.0 o/o (processed),  19.2 o/o (all)
  Handled by content
        Discarded :    152 =  16.2 o/o (processed),  14.8 o/o (all)
     Quarantained :    185 =  19.7 o/o (processed),  18.0 o/o (all)
        Delivered :     17 =   1.8 o/o (processed),   1.6 o/o (all)

The number of relay attempts has been minimal this month: No file exceeded 10 blocks; there have been some, of course, but only three files were large enough (over 2K in size) to be examined: mail was sent from addresses 173.254.223.72 , |185.60.229.89 and 5.79.68.231; faked senders, no doubt, since From: was either empty, a (non-existing) user from grootersnet.nl (and I do know my users, and my address :)) of admin from a site that is not related to the address it is sent from.

04-Jun-2015

More tests on PHP upgrade
I got a reminder of Mark Berryman, to re-download the kits and install them.
I started with PHP 5.2.13, the one I testes two and a half year ago or do and found in not working. I still had a PHPWASD executable of that one – separate – because it became clear that there was a problem with that file – or with PHPSHR.EXE.
But this one wasn’t working either, I got “Ident mismatch with shareable image” again, so the kit wasn’t right. I tried again with the separate image, which appeared tp be from a later date, but the same happened.. Analyzing the images, it became clear that these two images were the same. Also it was proven there indeed was a mismatch between the programs and the shareable image. So I signaled this to Mark.

31-May-2015

More on PHP and WordPress upgrades
After yesterday’s mistake, I had to revert the activity from PHP 5.4 back to 5.2 – it is just execution of a script, without a problem.
First thing today was re-trying the blog with PHP 5.4. Setting this is no problem, PHP_INFO.PHP works – but none of the blogs do because of deprecated and non-strict syntax – but these wouldn’t be the biggest problem since I must have got them yesterday as well. To get them out of the way anyway, I redirected this logging to a file, but that didn’t solve the problem: the last error typically is:
PHP Parse error: syntax error, unexpected end of file in /sysblog/000000/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 734
The code does indeed miss the training end-tag:
<?php
else :
echo "<ul class='post-revisions'>n";
echo $rows;
echo "";
endif;

[EndOfFile]

So no ?> tag on line 734 (on EndOfFile line) which is in fact simply completely valid.

Yesterday there wasn’t a problem with this, so why there is today?? This means I have to revert to 5.2….
(I now know why. I didn’t close down PHP sessions so the current version still was 5.2, but unseen)

Second, I wanted to create a new blog using WordPress 4.2.2. I updated the file containing the database credentials, started the blog which introduced the 5-minute install. No problem – except that is stalls on step 2, the page doesn’t show anything except for a white rectangle, there should be a first-level header but it seems the page isn’t complete. No error message, nothing.
So I dropped the database (the right one) and recreated it (it must exist) but now I cannot connect to the database – as shown in the WATCH output….
Even on 5.2, it is a problem. Not really strange if the mapping is false….Once that was settled, I can get it running on 5.2 to start with. But it seems it doesn’t use wp-config.php, so take a look there: matter of protection: Should be readable. Once that is settled for all files, installation fails on the glob function – which is missing in this PHP version – now I remember why I wanted this upgrade….
However, the database does exist and tables have been created; some have been filled as well.
But now this is settled, I could retry re-installing the 4.2 version using PHP 5.4. But that fails – again, where PHP_INFO just works.
Tried it with 5.3, but that fails as well, but for no apparent reason: just a 500-error….And 5.2.13 (re-installed) runs into
Ident mismatch…
So I seem to be stuck with this version.
I could however try upgrading the blogs to 4.2.2 directly: Change the logical to use WP42 in stead of WP265.
But no. I need to switch to all defaults before and I forgot. So returned to the previous setting – with a typo caused NoService to appear! Even after repair, where Trips, Tracks and Travels have no problem…..
(As it turned out – after having saved last entries using mySql and save them into a file and restoring yesterday’s backup – it was just the cache of InternetExlorer that caused the problems….)

Give it another try: Update requires all specifics switched off and running the update script as administrator. Before doing anything, I backup the database, then switched to WP4.2 and ran the update script.It showed that a database update was required as well, I started it but that one – as wll – stoped on a fatal error: the glob() function being undefined.
Duh.
This is still PHP 5.2.6….
Restored it all: WP version and database. Wait until I get WP up and running using PHP 5.4 (or higher: I have downloaded 5.5 as well but I think it will have the very same issues as 5.4).

Informed Mark Berryman, perhaps he has something to solve the problems….

30-May-2015

PHP Upgrade
Finally, I got some time to upgrade PHP and WordPress.
First things first: Do PHP first; I already tried 5.2.13 but ran into trouble with that. The next versions were 5.3 and 5.4, and I decided to go for 5.4. The procedure to establish this version needed a slight adaptation but once done, all logicals were set properly. But running a PHP-script by the browser always ended in an error: Ident mismatch with shareable image – being PHPWASDSHR, referring to PHPSHR.EXE. I contacted Mark Berryman, who suggested to download the kit again, install it and see if that worked.
It did.
PHP_INFO nicely showed the information, and even the SYSMGR blog was shown with no problem at all. So I could do some blogging – and there it showed there were still some issues with starting the page to add a new post (new-post.php) or, from another session, managing posts (edit.php), but on reload, it all seemed to work nicely – even without restarting the server. Since I planned to update WordPress as well, I didn’t bother too much.
Next step was the installation of WordPress 4.2.2; I use the zip-container since my version of VMStar extracts the files in all uppercase letters; both however won’t accept dots in a name, except as delimiter to filetype, and replaces them by underscores. Luckily, WordPress doesn’t use underscore in filenames, so it’s an easy step to change them back to dots, using a small script (I found the original after this!). Next step was creating a new blog, but for some reason, it stopped in step 2. So I decided to retry after cleaning up.
Here I made a mistake. I dropped the WordPress database -which contains all blogs….

The last thing I could do was restore it from last nights backup and continue working tomorrow…

DNS issues on Helena
Apart from this: the Windows 8.1 Pro workstation suddenly failed to access the VMS box (Diana) by name. This effected all protocols: POP, SMTP, HTTP, TELNET, SSH…. Ping on the name (requiring translations) didn’t work either. As it turned out: The machine considered itself member of domain grootersnet.local – I set that up in the zone-file of BIND on Diana but never implemented it; however, Helena found should be within this domain, probably because the .local extension seems to be some sort of default (I’ve seen it else where and I recall having similar issues in the past). Bow I removed it from the BIND.conf file on Diana, including the files that describe it, and restarted TCPIP$BIND. After that, translations went fine again.

07-May-2015

Where’s the procedure??
In installed WordPress 4.2.1 – that is: unzipped it, it creates a [Wordpress] directory, renamed that to [wp421] and set the system logical to access it. But there is still some work to be done since with normal settings, unzip won’t store filenames with a dot in it, it’s replaced by an underscore.
Yes, I know I can get around it; VMStar is said to do the trick but my version (outdated…) writes the filenames all in uppercase…
I remember to have written a procedure to redo the transformation of dots to underscores, used it with one of the earlier update attempts. But I cannot remember the name or location, it’s not in the TOOLS directory where I would expect it to reside; not in SMAN:[INSATLL]…
Second, the downloaded version seems to have some issues, I see that 4.2.2 is available….

05-May-2015

Maintenance
Nothing weird – of course.
But since the Vigor router has been replaced by the ‘official’ router supplied by my ISP, it may cause extra spam and extra ‘bad traffic’. So extra attention to be paid to all logfiles.
PMAS statistics for April
Total messages    :   2311 = 100.0 o/o
DNS Blacklisted   :      0 =    .0 o/o (Files:  0)
Relay attempts    :   1540 =  66.6 o/o (Files: 30)
Accepted by PMAS  :    771 =  33.3 o/o (Files: 30)
  Handled by explicit rule
         Rejected :    190 =  24.6 o/o (processed),   8.2 o/o (all)
         Accepted :    211 =  27.3 o/o (processed),   9.1 o/o (all)
  Handled by content
        Discarded :    128 =  16.6 o/o (processed),   5.5 o/o (all)
     Quarantained :    206 =  26.7 o/o (processed),   8.9 o/o (all)
        Delivered :     36 =   4.6 o/o (processed),   1.5 o/o (all)

Not bad indeed – except for the number of relay attempts; and these come from a (Chinese) site that I locked out for accessing the network. There were just a few others’, but the rest was of one user, most from domain sina.com but from different addresses, on one day from 163.com”. The next lines show the first and last of that day – and the number of entries from this user:
13-APR-2015 12:07:58.91|R|122.13.2.195|losw@grootersnet.nl|xiaonanzi11162@sina.com|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: xiaonanzi11162@s♦
...
13-APR-2015 12:52:20.59|R|122.13.2.195|cgruh@grootersnet.nl|xiaonanzi11162@sina.com|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: xiaonanzi11162@♦
205

19-APR-2015 16:27:30.33|R|58.251.146.197|xwu@grootersnet.nl|xiaonanzi11162@163.com|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: xiaonanzi11162@1♦
...
19-APR-2015 16:49:39.85|R|58.251.146.197|mrva@grootersnet.nl|xiaonanzi11162@163.com|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: xiaonanzi11162@♦
216

23-APR-2015 00:42:01.74|R|114.112.190.22|test@82.161.236.244|mtyndallo@yahoo.com.tw|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: mtyndallo@yahoo♦
23-APR-2015 15:15:52.57|R|91.236.75.224|smtp2001soho@yahoo.com|rk85r@freemailhost.ru|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: rk85r@freemail♦
23-APR-2015 22:34:53.54|R|157.255.16.36|wadfil@grootersnet.nl|xiaonanzi11162@sina.com|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: xiaonanzi1116♦
...
23-APR-2015 23:58:35.65|R|157.255.16.36|wacehl@grootersnet.nl|xiaonanzi11162@sina.com|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: xiaonanzi1116♦
806

24-APR-2015 00:04:02.21|R|157.255.16.36|ior@grootersnet.nl|xiaonanzi11162@sina.com|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: xiaonanzi11162@s♦
...
24-APR-2015 00:36:58.43|R|157.255.16.36|twycf@grootersnet.nl|xiaonanzi11162@sina.com|550 5.7.1 Relaying not allowed: xiaonanzi11162♦
271

13-APR-2015 and 14-APR-2015 are adjacent|, so the session started 13-Apr-2015 just after 22:34 and continued to 00:36 the next day. Over a 1000 attempts that failed…
DNS trouble?
There was another thing that was different with the router: From the start, I had port 53 opened – I cannot recall why – and I never had any problem, accept that occasionally. the DNS server, or the resolver, tries to send out a 20-byte UDP-package to some other system. This is blocked by the router as a [teardrop] DDos attempt so it won’t get out.
After the router had been installed for a day or so, this started again and more often than before. Now I got a message from my ISP that something was wrong: It could cause my DNS server to act like an open DNS server that could get involved in an DDOS attack.
This is weird. Since my DNS server will only handle internal addresses, and the resolver doesn’t get onto the Internet, instead requests the router to handle the request – and that will forward the request to the DNS servers of my ISP – as is setup in the handshake between the access points.
Apparently, my DNS server could receive requests from anywhere and loop back. So now port 53 has been closed – and from that moment on, I don’t get these messages any more. I’ll scrutinize the logs for some time, and add all requestors on the blacklist.
PHP and WP update
WAY overdue, I know. but updating this version won’t work. probably. So I’ll take another approach: Start a new blog, with the latest software versions of PHP and WP, probably database as well (MariaDB, a branch from MySQL that seems to be more stable and more reliable). If possible, this content will be imported directly, or I will have to do some work to get it into the new database. Well, if the structures are compatible, I may use the current database as well…

30-Apr-2015

Vigor Router restored
The broken Vigor router was sent to the supplier for investigation and repair. They updated the firmware but were unable to reproduce the problems. Nevertheless they decided to replace the hardware (though no longer available officially, they seem to have a number left on stock), as a precaution. Tonight, I restored the configuration and re-installed the router: a matter of a few minutes.
The connection to the LAN is now 1Gb – as it should have been before, where I found it was limited to 10Mb; clear sign something was wrong…. Secondly, it looks as if IPv6 is now properly configured as well: Set to PPP…