Category: About This Site

Missing Twitter posts


The plugin I use for posting to Twitter managed to silently stop working after a recent WordPress upgrade.   It’s fixed now.  Thanks to alert reader TJ for telling me.  If you are picking up articles here through Twitter, you have some backlog waiting for you.

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IPv6 enabled for shiningsilence.com


This site, shiningsilence.com, is now available on IPv6.  Thanks to Markus Müller for getting me to actually complete the process.

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Short outage, sorry


I knocked my own server out of commission today – sorry!  I thought it was because I was experimenting with an IPv6 tunnel – but no.  It appears to be a long-running Minecraft server.  Once that was gone, it all got better.

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Wanted: a Mailman patch


One of the most-requested items for the DragonFly mailing list archives is reverse sorting by date.  Mailman, which is what’s being used now for archiving, doesn’t have a ‘native’ way to do that.  Has anyone seen a trick/patch to get that to happen?  I already patch Mailman to get the message date to show in listings.

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Server issues


shiningsilence.com suffered a disk failure early this morning.  I’ll take the opportunity to set up a new machine, given that my local backup drive hasn’t been mounted and my remote backup went offline, in a horrible coincidence.

The disk is up and limping, which is why you can read this, but I’m still rebuilding.  What motherboard/CPU/RAID/etc. parts do people recommend?

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Switching to dports software


I changed shiningsilence.com over from pkgsrc to dports over the last 48 hours or so.  Here’s how it went, in a series of bullet points:

  • I had to download dports source and build the pkg tool by hand; since this system was upgraded from DragonFly 3.2 to DragonFly 3.4, pkg wasn’t automatically present as it would be for a new installation.
  • I took the output of ‘pkg_info’ and culled it down to the applications I knew I used, and that formed my ‘to-install’ list for dports.  That worked in a very straightforward way.
  • It took so long mostly because of two things: I was also dealing with an email problem at my workplace, which usually took precedence.  Also, I had several applications that I had previously installed by hand and needed to reconfigure to work as a dports item.
  • Installing from binaries is really fast!  Really, the dports part of this was possibly the most brief.
  • The only thing I needed to compile from source was php, in order to get the Apache plugin.  I’m sort of surprised the option isn’t on by default.
  • Using ‘pkg search packagename’ is a good idea, because ‘pkg install’ can pick up multiple versions of a package.  e.g. ‘pkg install mysql-server’ selects mysql-server51, mysql-server55, and mysql-server56.  You probably don’t want to install all three.  Or even one, depending on your opinions.
  • Overall, it went more easily than I had expected, given it only had half of my attention.
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Pardon my dust


I’m switching this server from pkgsrc to dports.  No post while I fight with old, stale configs and etc.

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a pf question on VoIP


I have a pf question for anyone who is interested.  I have this setup in my /etc/pf.conf, to prioritize my VoIP link.  (this system also does NAT.)

extif="em0"
intif="nfe0"
ipphone = "192.168.0.101"
altq on $extif cbq bandwidth 768Kb queue { std, voip }
queue voip bandwidth 168Kb priority 7 cbq(borrow)
queue std bandwidth 600Kb priority 1 cbq(default)
nat on $extif from $intif:network to any -> ($extif)
pass in quick on $intif proto udp from $ipphone to any tag VOIP_OUT keep state
pass in on $intif from $intif:network to any keep state
pass out on $intif from any to $intif:network keep state

pass out on $extif tagged VOIP_OUT keep state queue(voip)
pass out on $extif inet proto tcp all modulate state flags S/SA queue(std)
pass out on $extif inet proto { udp, icmp, gre } all keep state

When I run this, ‘pfctl -s queue’ shows most of the data getting run through the ‘voip’ queue.  I unplug the ATA, I still see the number of packets going up.  It seems packets are getting tagged that shouldn’t be, but I’m not sure why.  Anyone else have a similar – but working – setup?

Update: it was the underscore character in the tag.  Everything matched it, it seems.  Removing that made it work as expected.

 

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Connectivity issues for shiningsilence.com


I have reports from some people not being able to connect to the Digest, and others who can.  If you can’t, please mail me a traceroute.  I thought it was from me messing with pf, but perhaps not…

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A favor with xorgs and DPorts


If you have a DragonFly 3.3 system with DPorts, can you install xorg, then ssh -Y from another machine to there, and see if you can remotely run an X program like xterm with local display?  I’ve done this twice on two different machines with DPorts and it won’t work.  xorg won’t write the security info to ~/.Xauthority, with ssh or xhost or whatever.   It’s driving me crazy.

(Yeah, slow news day.)

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Merry Christmas


Hope your presents are interesting this year…

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Outage fixed


The Digest was down over the last 12 hours or so – sorry!  Upgrading this system took a bit longer than planned.  I upgraded to Apache 2.4, and had to figure out all the config changes, and several packages didn’t like upgrading.

I’ve resisted upgrading for a long time, mostly because I think I could recreate the entire Apache 1.3 config file layout from memory.  For the benefit of anyone else, this checklist of Apache errors and corresponding modules helped tremendously.  Also, pkg_leaves is a great, if minimal, way to find packages you don’t need.

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Whoops


I lost Internet access because of Hurricane Sandy, and couldn’t get my machine to recover until I power cycled.  I think it’s because my external IP changed, and pf doesn’t seem to handle that well for NAT or just in general.  The recommended fix, putting the interface name in parentheses, doesn’t seem to work.  Anyone have advice?

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Down and up again


Whoops – shiningsilence.com may have been down for a while there; I was on the road for work and pf was confused by an IP change.  Sorry!  I’ll have more posts as soon as I get through the backlog.

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Do you blog? Write? Post? Tell me!


If you’re involved in application development or BSD development in any way, and you write about it somewhere on a personal blog or page or publication, please let me know.  (justin@shiningsilence.com)

My goal is to point out as much interesting development as possible, and I find that getting notes right from the people that make them is the best way.  Trade publications and magazines will skip over that stuff and go to the press releases, but that doesn’t work for BSD.  I’ve found better, more interesting writing watching Peter Hansteen’s blog or Trivium.  If you have someplace you write about technology, and especially BSD-related development, please point me at your RSS feed.

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5,000 posts; holy crap


This is my 5,000th published post.    This Digest has been running for approximately 9 years, so that’s an average of a post and a half per day, for around 3200 days.  Yeesh!

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Does this load for you?


I have one trouble report.  I need more, especially if you’re in Australia.

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New book review tag


I’m going to have at least 1 book review up next week, 2 if I can make it.  I’ve done this several times now, so I’ve added a ‘Book review’ category so that they all can be found together.

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+1 for the site


I added a Google “+1″ button to the site, over on the right.  Not that the site really needs it, but it tickles me that they’re using an old (but still in use) meme for this idea.  I’d link to places it was used on our own DragonFly mailing lists, but searching for “+1″ isn’t working too well.

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Ads off the page


I removed the Google ad off the sidebar; it was making me enough cash to buy a sandwich on a yearly basis.

I’ve replaced it with a link to my Amazon wishlist.  If you’re feeling generous, you can buy me a book!  If you aren’t, you can just keep reading, and I’ll keep posting.

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RSS changed!


If you can see this, the RSS switch worked.  Here’s hoping.

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RSS feed change for Digest


I’m moving the RSS feeds for the site to go through Feedburner, so I can see how actively they are used.  I’m putting in a redirect, so it should not (I hope) affect reading it for anyone, but this note is here just in case.

The new location for the RSS feed will be: http://feeds.feedburner.com/dragonflybsddigest

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Proper credits


Samuel J. Greear has been posting news while I was off somewhere in Lake Huron.  I didn’t fix it to show proper credits, for which I apologize.  He’s done a wonderful job, however, and his name is now shown correctly on his posts.

I now get to actually read the past week’s Digest for recent news, for the first time ever.

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Slightly less RSS


For some reason, the direct links to recent Digest articles wasn’t working on the DragonFly site’s main page.  I’ve disabled it for now, but there’s always the feed here, or Twitter, or Tumblr.

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BSD links plz


I did some cleanup on the various BSD links I have on the sidebar of this site; are there any sites I’m missing?  I’d like to be as complete as possible.  Please supply URLs.

(Be warned that some messages may not show up immediately because links in comments will rarely trigger the spamfilter – I’ll check for them.)

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Holy crap, 4,000 posts!


This technically is the 4,001st post.  The Twitter feed is read far more than I expected, too.

I’ll update the layout to celebrate.

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Back in action


Sorry – temporary power outage from high winds killed shiningsilence.com for about a day.  Back now!

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Hello, government!


I noticed some slowness when reaching this server, this morning.  Logging in, there was no heavy CPU or swap usage.   Looking at netstat, I saw the reason: the Department of Homeland Security was poking around.

More…

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How did I get there?


I didn’t set anything up with the Digest and tumblr… Please speak up, if you did it. (found via Google)

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Digest Twitterfication


Thanks to the urging and help of Matthias Schmidt and Saifi Khan, posts on the DragonFly Digest now also show on Twitter, as @dragonflybsd.  (well, except for this one, as it would be redundant.)

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shiningsilence.com issues


I’m suddenly having trouble with the machine that hosts this site (random crashes, hardware disappearing), so there may be some surprise downtime over the next few days until a replacement motherboard arrives…

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Eating fresher dogfood


Sorry for the downtime today – shiningsilence.com is now running DragonFly 2.4 and Hammer, so I’ll be able to complain testify first-hand.

If you aren’t familiar with the phrase “eating your own dogfood”, here’s what it is.

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Downtime for the Digest


I’m upgrading hardware, so this site will be down for a bit today.  This is separate from anything happening with dragonflybsd.org systems.

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RSS information added


The main page of the dragonflybsd.org site now has a feed of the most recent 10 articles from this Digest.

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A million monkeys, or just me


There’s now a counter in the sidebar to this site (look under my email address) that shows how many posts have been made, ever.   Not necessarily helpful for you, the reader, but it makes me feel good.

Also, all those posts, back to 2003, are reachable via the archive page.

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Hardware suggestions welcome


This machine, shiningsilence.com, is having some issues.  I had to power down because of unrelated problems, and the system couldn’t find the kernel on the next boot, though the issue disappeared on the next boot.  That’s enough of an excuse to build new…

Any hardware recommendations?  I’m interested in hearing what chipsets/disks/RAID setups/etc. and/or hardware suppliers worked well for people.

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Network issues


My apologies, folks – the site is going up and down, along with my network connection.  It’s probably because of Time Warner (my network provider) trying and failing to correctly implement bandwidth measuring tools for their upcoming volume cap.   (I keep getting passed a private IP.)

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Testing; wishes


Testing software upgrade for this blog; pay no attention.

Fluff for the article: Dear Santa Claus: buy me this flash storage.  Most older men buy a sports car for their midlife crisis; geeks buy overpowered computer hardware.

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Shh


No post.  Very busy.

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Some statistics


This Digest turned 5 a little while ago, and here’s another milestone: this is post 3,001.  There’s 1,300 comments or so, too.

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Interregnum interrupted


Sorry about a week without posts!  I was in the wilds of Canada and without any Internet access, for probably the longest period for me since 1995.  It was weird.  Regular posts resume tomorrow.

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Permalinks fixed


Upgrading WordPress to 2.6 yesterday broke the direct links to articles on the Digest.  It’ll be updated in the 2.6.1 release of WordPress, but until then I’ve changed the links to correct for the issue.

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News sites, like this one, and not like this one


This post on the “gentrification of geek communities” is interesting, and somewhat relevant to what I’m trying to do with the Digest. However, the author seems to have more of a concern about which sites appear the most hip, rather than viewing them as secondary mechanisms for reporting on the actual news items found there. (Via)

Perhaps that’s the sign a geek news site has ‘jumped the shark’: when appearing on it is more exciting than reading the news articles present. e.g. the Slashdot Effect rather than the Slashdot News.

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Yay Dion


I updated this DragonFly system from 1.12.1 to 1.12.2 Sunday night, and PHP (and therefore this WordPress-based Digest) stopped working. Dion (dblazakis in #dragonflybsd) found the reason and fixed it, for which I am very grateful.

I had a number of posts I had made ahead of time, so there’s no actual gap in posts from when the server wasn’t responding.  Make sure you catch the past few days of articles.

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More links, please


I’ve added the various BSD-related links from an earlier story over on the sidebar to this site.  If you have more suggestions for BSD-related site, please tell me at justin@shiningsilence.com, or in the comments.

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Busy busy busy


For some reason, I’ve had more material for posting in the past few weeks than just about ever.  I’ve had a 2-3 day backlog of news all this time.  I’m not complaining, mind you, I’m just thrilled that there’s this much going on.

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At last, a conclusive correlation


According to Google image search, this very Digest has something to do with boobs. If this trend continues, I predict a significant increase in traffic. And disappointed visitors. (via Joerg Sonnenberger, who is apparently the common thread)

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1,000 comments is worth a post


I missed the actual event, but this Digest reached over 1,000 comments recently – thanks to the folks that read and give feedback. The 1,000th comment was on the 1.10.1 release post. Incidentally, there’s close to 2,500 posted news items here, since August 2003.

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Easier commenting now


I’ve removed some of the inconvenient antispam features (comments from new people are always moderated, http:// links get a post filtered, etc) and switched to different antispam software.  Email me if you add a comment and can’t get through…

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New site look


I’ve changed the theme, and added some elements to make this match the other DragonFly sites a bit more.  If I’ve removed a link you need, please let me know.

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2,000 posts!


The exact count stands at 2,003 posts with this one.  Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this may be the most frequently updated BSD-oriented news site in existence.

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Slight downtime, already done


A combination of software upgrades and me changing my apache config on shiningsilence.com led to some unplanned downtime this weekend – sorry!

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New ad supplier


I’ve moved to HiddenNetwork for the sidebar ad. HiddenNetwork provides ads for computer jobs, which I’d bet would interest most of the Digest’s readers. Some of them look tempting to me, in fact.

I originally heard of HiddenNetwork from reading The Daily WTF, and then had a followup recommendation (good idea, Simon). Please let me know your opinion by comment or email.

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Digest by mail, too?


If there was a mailing list that had regular summaries of the posts on here, would it be useful to you? If so, would you want it daily? Weekly?

Ian R. Stephenson suggested this, and I’ve had more people than I expected agree.

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More tomorrow


I’ve been traveling, and not posting – sorry!  Back to a regular schedule tomorrow.

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Feeds finally fixed


The links for the old RSS/XML news feeds for this site now redirect to the new feed locations.

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Reminder on links


Please update your links to the RSS file, if you are using it.  I’ve configured the permalinks to hopefully be more reasonable.

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New engine


I moved from Movable Type to WordPress.  The original links to the XML and RSS feeds are broken, as are old links to individual stories.  This will be fixed soon, and then I’ll improve the layout from the current default.

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Shh!


Postings will be slow here for the next week or so, as my net connection will be intermittent.

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Comment closing


Since the only folks who comment on months-old stories are spammers, I’m turning off comments on older entries. This should only affect you if you need to tell me about L3v|tr4 and C1a|is, or frequently post garbled links back to your bizarre porn site.

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test


This is a test, to ensure I didn’t mangle the database connectivity. Ignore me.

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All better, mostly


shiningsilence.com moved from ports to pkgsrc, and rebuilding everything took some work – the website was down for a short while while removing/restoring apache, and search/comments have been broken on the site while moving from /usr/local/bin/perl to /usr/pkg/bin/perl. Everything seems OK now…

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Slow news


No news today. I’m busily trying to establish my need for a new video card.

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Under the hood


I’ve upgraded the software behind this site; it should make no real difference to you, the reader. Please tell me if you encounter something that’s broken.

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Cleanup, books


I’ve cleaned up the page; I’ve reduced the redundant references to archives in the page navigation, and added a book section that points at books on Amazon.com. This new book section has some permanent links (including my favorite programming book ever), and also links to whatever books have been mentioned here lately.

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Power line move


shiningsilence.com will be going down for a short period today, due to a repositioning of an exterior power line.

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Weekend Update


Or rather, potentially no weekend update. A friend of mine is getting married this weekend, so news postings may be slow. I’ll catch up early next week, if need be.

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Additional XML feed


This site now has an index2.xml page that lists full stories without comments. The original XML page listed just the beginning of entries.

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I heart electric issues


This server was down for a chunk of today; my house’s electric service (porcelain fuses from the 1920s) was pulled out and replaced. There will be another outage in the next few days as RG&E resets the exterior wiring.

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Oops, out


Due to a DNS change, shiningsilence.com was down for a while last night. Sorry about the lack of news!

Speaking of outages, this system will be down during the day on Monday, the 11th, because of an electrical system upgrade.

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First the house, now the street


The street where shiningsilence.com is hosted (my house) has been having electrical outages over the course of today; they’re lasting longer than my UPS can handle, so access may be intermittent if the power goes out again.

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Return to normal


I have a semi-functional electrical system and a partial network up, so regular newsposts should resume. Sorry about the extended hiatus – it wasn’t supposed to take this long!

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Resurrected


I’m all moved, or at least I have all my possessions boxed up in one house. I’ve got a partial network going, so I will attempt to get caught up on all the DragonFly news that happened recently, though it will take a few days.

I have additional electrical work that needs to be done in my house, so shiningsilence.com may have the occasional outage in the next week or two – I don’t anticipate it being for more than a few hours at a time, however.

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News slowed


Things have been quiet on the mailing lists for DragonFly, and I’m in the process of moving house, so news on this page may be intermittent for a week or two…

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Whole lotta posts


A semi-milestone: This is news item 1001. That works out to an average of 2 posts per day over the last 18 months.

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Power outage


shiningsilence.com was down for a good chunk of yesterday; a construction worker tripped a fuse in my house, and my UPS only kept going for so long… It’s obviously better now.

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Dogfood time


If you can read this, it means shiningsilence.com has now moved from FreeBSD 4.10-STABLE on a dual P2/333, to a single 1.8G AMD64 running on DragonFly stable.

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Short downtime


shiningsilence.com is moving to newer hardware, which means a change in IP and probably a short adjustment time as DNS updates come through. So, this site and mail will be unavailable for a little while, perhaps as soon as tonight.

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No outage after all


The system hosting this page, shiningsilence.com, won’t be going down this weekend after all. The new system’s motherboard has a broken IDE controller, so an RMA is going to have to happen first. Darnit!

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Downtime and upgrade for this site


shiningsilence.com, where the DragonFly BSD Log is hosted, is having a hardware upgrade this weekend, which means some downtime. Please be patient.

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