Moving towards the end of summer; the deciduous trees drop their leaves in anticipation of the frosts, squirrels build up their hoard of nuts for the winter, the dormouse finds a nice warm teapot to hibernate in, and TomNine harvests his tomatoes.
Galleries added this month.
I added a bunch of links to language translators. In my view, they aren't very good, but maybe the translations from English are better than the ones to English? Anyhow, Geert complained about how difficult it is for non-English speakers to read English stories (he has to have a dictionary to hand). And he says that the stories in Dutch aren't the kinds he likes.
Stories added this month.
Movies added this month.
From September 11th, until December 31st, 2001, any payments made to me in buying videos from the:
will be donated 100% to the International Red Cross, in honour of the many thousands that died in New York.
There's a new video in the Kasie Cavanough shop, Christmas Crush. Eddie, the Toy Dwarf Superintendent halts toy production. Kasie Claus won't let the world's children be disappointed so Eddie becomes a petite prisoner of her powerful thighs. Kasie squeezes her miniature elf like he's a little stuffed boy toy!
One of Clara's drives went bad, which screwed up an unknown number of files. Clara does the data preparation, before it gets copied to the main web site each night.
So I switched over to Ethel, my fallback for this, no big problem. But then I thought, do I reformat Clara and put her back into action?
Then I remembered, good old reliable Diana, who used to fill this function in Maryland, but is now here in England as part of the move. Diana was sitting quietly on the floor, not even powered up. Very sad. So, I put Diana on the workbench, pulled out a 36, a 23 and two 4gb drives, and installed four stonking great 47gb drives (formerly part of Vanessa, the big News Server complex that I took offline a year ago). I took out the 10 mbit ethernet card and put in a 100 mbit, added three big cooling fans (those big drives run very hot), loaded Linux 7.1 and now I have a new data preparation server. Waste not, want not.
November 7th, Judy went down. On investigation it turned out to be the motherboard. So I swapped the load to Xenia, while I looked into it, and then I replaced the motherboard.
Then on the 8th, Jayne went down, followed shortly by Tilly. I don't know why, that's a bit of a coincidence. I got them both up very soon after I discovered the problem.
On the 10th, I rocked down to Watford to install five new servers; Nadia, Lizzy, Uschi, News2 and Ziggy. The last three are all refugees from Maryland, Nadia is going to be the primary server for Newsthumbs, with Tilly and Karen as backups. Uschi is backing up Jayne, and News2 is the backstop for News3.
Several disasters hit on the 21st November. I'd upgraded the server for chat and the Message Boards, and things were working well, and a bit faster. Then that server went down "Kernel Panic", which means it fails so suddenly and hard that it can't even tell me what was wrong. I think it's a hardware problem. After it happened for the third time in one day, I replaced the server. Plus I have a backup server, which copies the message boards once per hour, so if something catastrophic happens, not much will be lost.
Shortly after dealing with that, I realised that one of my News servers wasn't responding. Then I found several others weren't, either, then I found some of my servers that were. It was about half and half. All the newsthumbs servers had gone, all the others were up. And I guessed it might have to do with the Newsthumbs switch (a switch is a box that connects a lot of servers to one cable).
So I powered it off (I can do that remotely) and back on, because that often fixes a problem. But not this time. So I got someone in Watford to go and have a look at it.
It turned out that some monkey at the place in Watford where I co-locate my server, opened up my cabinet to check what was inside. And while examining it, his thumb pressed a button. Instantly, about half my servers were no longer on the internet, because the Newsthumbs switch had been disconnected from the rest of the systems. And he didn't notice he'd done it.
Fixing it, of course, was trivial. I just got the guy to press the button again.
Next time I go to Watford, I'm going to put a big notice on the cabinet. "Please make sure that the intrusion detection system is disabled before opening this cabinet". Maybe that will keep prying fingers out.
November 30th, Gabby went down. Lizzy was already there waiting to take over, and I don't think anyone noticed the short hiccup, Gabby and Lizzy do the Newsatron. But that's Gabby's last failure. I'm going to replace her with Daisy.
Julia bought a Mavica, so expect more from our red-headed powerlifter.
No changes. Stuff keeps coming in! Remember you can still check and search the three "Older servers"
Do you have an open mind to listen to new opportunities before you discount them?
Not when they arrive as unsolicited spam, no.
Patriotic Santa Claus!
Get your one of a kind, limited edition Santa wearing the Stars and Stripes!
Can I have one wearing the Union Jack please?
Use your CHAMPUS / Tricare with this supplement in lieu of a costly FEHB
plan and have better coverage at a fraction of the cost.
Gibberish. What's a CHAMPUS? What's a FEHB? If you're going to try to sell me something,
how about using language I understand?
This is not "spam"
Yes it is. If I had a penny for each time I've had a spam that says "This is not spam" ...
We strongly oppose the use of SPAM email
I'd feel more confident about that if you didn't spam me.
This email is sent in compliance with our strict anti-abuse
regulations. We are attempting to verify your email address.
This message is only a request to verify. It is not in any
way to be construed as a commercial message.
Yes it is.
UNITED WE STAND. Wear your American Pride. We are making FREE American
Flag Pins available to all Americans. (Just pay $2.45 shipping and handling)
This is the internet definition of the word "free", meaning "costs money". In this case, free = $2.45.
I've had a lot of spam trying to cash in on September 11th. Here's my favourite:
... Osama Bin Laden Toilet Paper ...
Only $9.99 per roll ...
We currently have ten running; Nicole Bass, Andrulla Blanchette, Sheila Burgess, Christine Envall, Marilyn Perret, Julia Santana, Peggy Schoolcraft, Larisa Hakobyan and the Iron Valkyrie.
We're also sponsoring individual events, and funding athletes to go to events with grant dollars.
The Valkyrie Playoffs. We did an audition, and you can see the pictures of the thirteen women that we shot. And now the fun starts, because you can vote for your favourite (members only). And it's worth voting, because A) the winner of the vote gets a full fee-paid still and video shoot ($$$ in her hands), and B) we get a lot more pictures of her on the web site.
Voting will continue till December 31, and then I'll announce the winner.
We're sponsoring Roseanne Blackburn to go to the Canadian West Naturals. Roseanne plans to turn pro in the sport of boxing sometime in the latter part of 2001. Check out her Galleries on this web site.
Your email address is like your phone number. When folks communicate with you, they send things to your email address, and if those things don't get to you, that could leave you with all kinds of difficulties. As you can imagine, I get a lot of email, and I always answer (unless there's no point in answering, such as when someone emailed me to do something, I did it and told them, and they just thanked me for doing it). So, you can imagine that I sometimes send emails that fail to arrive. So, how can things fail to get to you, and how can you fix that?
As the internet gradually becomes more and more important (the surface mail folks are starting to suffer from loss of business to email, and I'd guess that the Christmas card industry must be very very scared), so it becomes more and more important for you to maintain your communications.
It's *remarkably* difficult to get an email address that you can rely on. The services that offer "free email address for life" don't tell you that "life" means "as long as we're willing to provide a free service". Nor do they emphasise the limit of the mailbox size.
You should assume that whichever ISP you're with now, you won't be with for ever. They might go out of business, you might move, you might get fed up with their service. And the "free for life" email addresses don't do it, either.
Some ISPs are willing to forward emails when you move on. But I wouldn't bet on it.
If you register your own domain name, and do your own DNS, then you can have a stable email address for as long as you want. But that's a lot of trouble to go to for an email address. I think my best suggestion is to keep a list of the people you send emails to and people you've given your email address to. And then, if you do change address, at least you can tell everyone.
I just used Google to search the web for the first eight numbers of my credit card (put it in quotes, so you search for something like "1234 5678"). It didn't find anything. That's what I was hoping for. Worth checking, though :-)
If you get a WAV file in your mailbox, probably from someone you know, think twice before you click on it. There's a virus that's common right now (I'm getting sent a dozen emails with that virus per day). This is BadTrans virus. Whenever I get an email with a virus, I email back to tell the person whose computer sent it about the bad news, plus how to get rid of it. Because my mailer is running under Linux, I don't get affected by these, but I like to help folks who are. Here's details on the thing
As a firm rule, I never run (or click on) attachments in emails, whether EXE, SCR, PIF, WAV, or anything else. Running something when you don't actually know what it is, is like finding something in the road and putting it in your mouth. Sure, it looks like it comes from my friend Jim. But actually, it comes from Jim's computer, and Jim might have no idea that a virus on his computer is emailing out copies of itself.
New Message Boards:
|Diana the Valkyrie||3115|
Mrk just edges out Bratty Pam, Boomer edges out Jabber, and the TKO Kidd and MC are a bit ahead of the Valkyrie.
Most posted Board of the month
Poster of the month
|TomNine takes the biscuit with a well-tended board||Jabber has weakened again, posting only just over twice as much as big200, his nearest rival.|
Mavis is counting the number of times the message list is checked for each board. This gives a very different picture from the one above.
Most listed Board of the month
|There's something about photos that people love.|
If you're ever caught short in Australia, you'll be glad that you have a copy of this
If you hammer your thumb while pounding nails, here's a useful source of things to say. But before you visit the swear-o-tron, check the sound level on your computer.
Ever wondered what the web was like, way back at the dawn of history? Have a look at the Internet Archive. Here's my site in January 1999
And this is my favourite site this month. Hundreds of 78 records digitised and playable. Wonderful!
I checked the site statistics that Sandra counts up each night.
At the end of November 2001, there were about 437,000 pictures (23 gigabytes), 60 gigabytes of video, 5100 text files (mostly stories) and a total of about 84 gigabytes.
On Vnews, the Current Newsthumbs server, there's the NewsThumbs, which is 4.0 million pictures in 276 gigabytes and 7 million text files, a total of 292 gigabytes.
Newsthumbs is now 80 million files, 2.2 terabytes. We might just get to 100 million files by the end of this year.
There's now four newsthumbs servers.
|server||Million pictures||gigabytes||Million Text files||gigabytes||Million total files||gigabytes|