last minute news

due to unknown (really weird) problems with upgrading apache to apache2 several services don’t work the way they should. among them the download manager (/dm) for together control center which doesn’t work at all. as i lack the time to fix it right now (my flight is in about 8.5 hours and i’ve neither slept nor prepared my luggage yet), there’s nothing i can do for it at the moment. eventually i’ll try to fix it from remote. if not, this site (i.e. some of its services) will be out of service for at least one week.

i am really sorry for these inconveniences and beg your pardon. rgds dan.

feedster and robots.txt

feedster now partially supports the robots.txt standard.

scott: regarding caching of robots.txt, i’d prefer

1st priority: “Expires” header
2nd priority: UTC rule as above

sounds reasonable (and not too difficult to implement) for
Feedster. If Feedster indexes a in a session-like
manner, fetching /robots.txt once per session as 2nd priority
would probably be reasonable as well.

(excerpt of my reply of july 19)

reasons: it’s more blogger friendly (handing over control of caching to them) and it makes more sense in modern (short-lived) times. regarding images: remember robots.txt addresses any kind of files (it specifies retrieval based on location, not content). if you plan to offer some fine-grained copyright handling in addition, robots.txt should always be respected nevertheless (it’s the only indexing standard we currently have).

what do you want to administer today?

i guess i should take a look at cfengine. i am not overloaded with system administration work at all (as i am a lucky guy running gentoo linux ;) but cfengine nevertheless looks like an interesting approach. large-scale system automatization is still one of the biggest advantages of unices compared with other oses. the thing i miss with them is a unified object-oriented (rather than flat) access structure (similar to snmp, but deeper and more powerful).

btw. iirc there once were rumors that ms will implement oo in their next major shell release.. i hope linux will have it sooner (though chances are bad ;)

Exchange Exchange with an Open Source Exchange

The (surprising) news has spread about a week ago. The OSS community finally has its own “Exchange server”: Opengroupware. The web site advertises it as “Why buy a Groupware server as a black-box when you can get an open one for free?”. Indeed. Need to check it out as soon as I find some time. I’d expect Opengroupware to be more reliable, safer and less error-prone than its closed-source commercial competitors. For free. Heh, if this ain’t cool :) Probably a top favourite for any best “OSS product of the year award”.

state of the nation

i haven’t had time yet to reconstruct the missing changelog entries. at least i now know for sure that all my server data from june 13 to july 10 is irrecoverably lost. r.i.p.

(maybe i should rather install an ordinary high-availability server in the basement instead of running such an innovative but delicate device)

yet another major server failure

urgh. this early morning (night) my barebone (o2) once again failed (i am not kidding, this is *real* though i’ve recently made some fun of “system failures” on this blog). looks like i’ve roasted my second hard disk (this time it’s a toshiba). that’s a gau. dang. conclusion: trying new things such as using a passively cooled, tiny, totally silent, environmental-friendly low-power server is inherently risky. atm, i would not recommend it (lex barebone) to anybody.

so i had to quickly replace my just installed 40 gb hdd (hitachi former ibm) of my vaio notebook with the previous 6 gb one (luckily i haven’t erased its contents yet). replaced the damaged 40 gb hdd of o2 with the equally sized one taken from my notebook. restored the latest backup using dd, sfdisk and rsync (went “relatively” smooth as from the last super-gau i’ve written down some walk-through instructions) and here we are again.

unfortunately, the last full backup dated from june 13 (need to lower backup intervals in cron as the specified sync points are often missed). this means, that i’ve lost all data since then (mail, blog, website, data repository, settings, updates etc.). among them some very important e-mail messages (please resend messages since june 13, thanks!). it’s a pity for the blog too (i particularly miss the second feedster entry and the interesting comments about it). i hope there’s something in google’s cache as i’ve recently just re-allowed google to cache /news ;)

nevertheless i will try to “restore” missing mails and blog entries, but chances to succeed are very small. the bios doesn’t even recognize the damaged/burnt hdd anymore. pretty bad thus..

as a first emergency measure, the barebone now runs cover-less (“cabrio” ;) to prevent overheating (i suspect the nightly running updatedb overheated the hdd). i will draw the necessary conclusions from the whole mess..

impolite feedster

unlike google, feedster doesn’t care about robots.txt policy files at all (i’ve forbidden indexing of /news, yet it did). netiquette doesn’t seem to count anymore.

the question that arises is whether this is

a) the result of missing (oldschool) experts in feedster’s dev team(?) or
b) intention

i am close to stop blogging under such conditions. notification of central changelogs such as is ok (it happens knowingly and actively), but i don’t want my random thoughts be spilled all over the net.