09-Dec-2018

Updates
Done some updates.
WASD and ALAMODE – which is related to WASD – have been upgraded to the latest version: 11.3, which includes OpenSSL 1.1.1a – and by that, TLS 1.3.
No issues here except that once again, the server wasn’t stopped when I restarted WASD. I created a small script that takes care of stopping the current server and start the new one – once the files are copied to the right directory; WASD upgrade does this, but ALAMODE needed to be relocated by hand: of course, now part of this script.
Second, I did an upgrade of the current theme (twenty-seventeen) and installed a plugin to have some control over the layout; I could do the same by changing the CSS file but this plugin offers more flexibility and control – and changes the right things. At least, once payed a (small) fee. However, done that causes the server to crash on one position in system space, though the virtual address is different; Also it happens in different scripts. This is an older version of PHP, maybe that could cause the problem – seen how a newer version behaves (7.2 will be installed as well, nice test).

But the seven day trial seemed to have done the job also. Tomorrow I’ll try PHP 7.2 (found the reason why other versions didn’t work because of “ident mismatch”…), it should work, and improve performance because it caches pages. We’ll see. If the problem with the plug-in is not solved, I’ll ask a refund.

And WordPress 5.0 has arrived – time to give it a try first.

06-Dec-2018

Just the usual
No surprises – except that the number of emails given by the reporting script seems a bit low:

PMAS statistics for November
Total messages    :   3032 = 100.0 o/o
DNS Blacklisted   :      0 =    .0 o/o (Files:  0)
Relay attempts    :    515 =  16.9 o/o (Files: 30)
Accepted by PMAS  :   2517 =  83.0 o/o (Files: 30)
  Handled by explicit rule
         Rejected :   1853 =  73.6 o/o (processed),  61.1 o/o (all)
         Accepted :    134 =   5.3 o/o (processed),   4.4 o/o (all)
  Handled by content
        Discarded :    306 =  12.1 o/o (processed),  10.0 o/o (all)
     Quarantained :    188 =   7.4 o/o (processed),   6.2 o/o (all)
        Delivered :     36 =   1.4 o/o (processed),   1.1 o/o (all)

No idea why – perhaps last reboot has to do with it.

Apart from thet, just the usual relay- attempts, by”someone”@grootersnet.nl to 1029mandaditos@gmail.com

5-NOV-2018 09:05:48.34 to 09:10:07.29 (230) from 23.254.201.188
23-NOV-2018 14:12:24.43 to 14:18:10.86 (234) from 142.11.210.213

There is something in the firewall that still allows these addresses (from Hostwinds.com) to the server. I have blocked them but I must have missed something…

Since Mark Daniel mentioned a new version of WASD (11.3), this will be installed some time this weekend. It may also be the moment to get on with later versions of PHP, but that will be after the update proved to be Ok.

And, as you will have noted, I changed theme :). Some updates will be done as well (an update, adding a few plugins to customize (and emove obsolete ones).
WP 5.0 is due to be released but I’ll test it before updating the blogs – there are quite a few changes in maintaining them.

29-Nov-2018

System moved
As mentioned, the Alpha system (and storage) have been taken off-line and off power, in order to install it all in a rack. It took less time – just a few hours – than anticipated. I didn’t have to prepare the location: the ‘table’ on which the rack and machines – in all about 150 Kgs – is sturdy anough to carry the weight, which save me lot of work and time. The action started at about 13:40 – system shut down at 13:48, and was restarted around 16:15; With one minor issue in startup: WCME was started before WASD – causing a failure starting WCME-overseer, because CGI-BIN wasn’t defined yet (this is done in startup of WASD). And the routine to define WGPAGETEXT – for the home page – didn’t work properly, strange since I have been busy correcting the previous errors…
Next action in this matter is installing the Itanium servers in the rack – all is prepared. I only need a 16-port switch to fit all connections

26-Nov-2018

Preparations for moving machinery
Now the rack has arrived and constructed, and power lines are (almost) done, it is time to move the server to a temporary location (within the attic – there is no more room elsewhere..) and have it run there, so I have space and time to make space (remove the current cupboard), install the rack and place servers in it: if that is finished the Alpha server will (once more) be shutdown, next installed in lace and restarted.
My aim (!) is to do this exercise next Thursday – so I have a full day, and there is no problem if the activity needs an extension.

It means everything will be black for some time. Or I set up a small machine – emulation, perhaps – to server an “Under Construction” page….We’ll see.

11-Nov-2018

Rearrangement in progress
I decided – quite some time ago – to rearrange the attic. The original workplace under the roof was a table 2.5 meters wide and 1.5 meters deep, causing the monitors over an arm-length from the edge of the desk. Too wide, especially for 4K monitors, to be easily readable. Second, under the window so I was looking against the sunlight in the normal working hours: after 18:00. The window needed to be shut if there even a light rain in windy weather, to prevent the hardware to get wet.
Also, there is quite a lot of old paperwork that is outdated, of no more interest, directly or potentially, so I could get rid of a lot of this. Keeping just the books and binders that I will need – or want to keep regardless usability. Mainly OpenVMS documentation (the official paper set and books on system management and programming), language references and some projects I am still working on, or use.

It also means buying some furniture, and a relay rack to store all hardware (finally…) Not a complete enclosure since it would be impossible to move it two stories up, and the ones that come as a DIY package cannot accommodate the Itanium servers – they are too short to handle the depth of these machines. Also, a relay rack offers a better airflow – important as the attic can be hot in summer. Probably, the newly installed air conditioner will be able to cope with that next summer….