Diana the Valkyrie

Diana the Valkyrie's Newsletter - April 2003

A hard man is good to beat

March

The crocuses are giving way to the daffodils, the weather is sunny and bright. I've started leaving my windows open during the day. The pigeons are doing their courting displays on the lawn, and the fox has persuaded the ducks not to nest here this year.

New and updated Galleries

Galleries added this month.

The Library

Ouch! One of my favourite web sites on the net has gone. It's the Aurora Universe.

I've created a new Bookshelf for my stories about The Weapon. There's four so far, Genesis, Exodus, Passion and Apocalypse. Each story is divided into handy-sized chapters.

New Bookshelf

The Pacifist writes in a "parallel timeline" to the traditional Aurora Universe.

Stories added this month.

Listen with Diana the Valkyrie

Sheila reads ...

The Movie Theatre

Movies added this month.

Shopping Mall

The Server Farm

There's about 30 terabytes of disk in the server farm now. To put that into perspective, the whole printed collection in the US Library of Congress is about 10 terabytes.

British Telecom wouldn't let me have the 2mbit DSL that I'd ordered; I'm too far from the exchange. But they let me have a 0.5 mbit DSL (that's the usual home product, 500 kbps). And it's a *really* low price. I added a DSL router for 60, and connected that to an existing computer, and that's increased my inbound bandwidth from 2.5 mbit to 3 mbit.

That might not sound like much of an increase. But I can do the same thing again and again. And each 0.5 mbit of bandwidth is costing me about 35/month (14 for the phone line and 21 for the DSL connection). If you compare that with the four-figure sums that a megastream (or a T1) costs, you can see why I find it attractive.

I bundled up a bunch of failed 160 gb drives, and sent them back under warranty. Imagine my delight when I got back a bunch of new 160 gb drives to replace them. I felt it was like getting drives for free, except it isn't really.

Disaster hit me on March 21. People started to report problems with video downloads. It took me a few days to realise that the problem was at my end, because I didn't get very many reports. But after a couple of days, I started the fault-finding process.

The problem only affects some people. I'm guessing maybe 10% or 20%. The symptom is that when you download a file, some minutes into the download, the TCP connection (the temporary pipe that the internet builds between your computer and my server) is broken. Your computer continues to try to download for a while, but eventually gives up. This seems to happen with any sort of file, not just video (that's what had confused me at first).

I'm writing this on March 31, and I still have the problem. The problem occurs on all my servers, as far as I can tell. So it isn't a server problem it's a problem with what feeds the servers. I've rebooted my firewall; no effect. I rebooted my switches; no effect. I'm going to replace all my switches anyway.

I've got my ISP involved, because I'm thinking the problem might be with their router or switch.

Progress is being reported via my message board

Cameras

The Mavica that was issued to Tex, has returned to Valkyrie Central.

The Newsgroups

Someone asked about the timing of the posting of each day's Newsthumbs; why is it so variable?

The number of pictures each day, is variable. It can be as little as 50,000 and as much as 150,000; currently, it's usually in the range 80,000 to 120,000 (but not always).

As you can imagine, it takes about three times as long to process 150,000 as it does to process 50,000. Processing starts each day at midnight, and it ends whenever it ends. It takes between 8 and 24 hours to do the processing (the 24 hours is for the extreme case of 150,000). Usually, it takes between 12 and 18 hours. So, it's finished between noon and 6pm, my time, which means between 7am and 1pm, EST.

Spams of the Month

I don't make these up. These are actual spams sent to me, which just strike me as funny. I don't include their contact details - go find your own spammers!

Virus of the Month. Each month, I get sent hundreds of viruses. I don't know which ones they are, I've stopped bothering to identify them. So I don't know what they might do to a Windows computer - but I do know that it's safe if you don't open the attachements.

Occasionally, there can be something amusing about the virus, and I'll summarise those here.

Invisible Ink Secret I.D. Kit

Woo hoo! And can I get a Captain Crunch Secret Decoder Ring, too?

Time Series Analysis Is Easy with Four Decades of Census Data

The price for CensusCD NCDB is $1,595 for the nation and $845 for a
single state.   This will include the Short Form version and a free upgrade
to the Long Form version when it becomes available (about 6-8 weeks).

Another baffling spam. There's people who will shell out $845 for a CD of US census data? And these people are going to buy it because they got a spam?

Experts Warn that millions of home & business computers may be exposed to a
Major Terrorist
Attack by Al-Quida or other Terrorist cells within the next few weeks if not
NOW.

The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

HGH Seal, Wear It & Forget It

I forgot it already.

flea and tick season is here

Whoopee, I've been looking forward to that all year!

Virus of the month

Nothing interesting.





Understanding the internet - where are you?

The internet is international. That's very hard for some people to understand. People are used to the concept of "neighbourhood", you know the people who live near you, and who share your culture and language. You don't know people who are distant.

The internet cancels that. Suddenly, everyone is a neighbour. The people you mix with, are no longer the ones who live near you, they're the ones that share some common interest; steam locomotives, or Etruscan vases, or Valkyries. Many of the assumptions that you're used to being able to make about people, just aren't true any more.

There are now 600 million people on the internet. That's a tenth of the world population; I'd guess that the main reason the other 90% aren't on the net is that they aren't wealthy enough to afford that luxury.

I looked at the web site statistics recently. My server logs each hit, and I can make a fair guess about which country people are in when they're surfing. It's about 2/3 USA, 1/3 Europe, and some from other countries. But then I looked at the stories that people are reading, and I got a surprise. The Italian bookshelf is in the top ten. I wouldn't have guessed that. I looked further; German, and Dutch are in the top 20, and the top 30 includes French and Spanish.

This means that the story section of the site is being heavily used by people whose mother tongue isn't English; they naturally prefer to read stories in their own language.

And I would guess that the same goes for the pictures and video only more so; language is no barrier there, so the non-Anglophones are probably very heavy visitors.

Assumptions we have to stop making:

Assumptions we have to start making

Internet Cleanup Day

Pundits are saying that more people than ever will be affected by this year's Internet Cleanup Day. The reason for this, is that many people who have recently joined the internet, are still not aware that each 1/4 the Cleanup Spider is sent round to all computers connected to the internet at 9am on that day. The Cleanup Spider deletes all files that haven't been accessed since the last Internet Cleanup Day, thereby keeping the internet free of files that no-one wants anyway.

There was considerable controversy last November, when it was proposed that the ICC (Internet Cleanup Consortium) should also program the Cleanup Spider to delete any porn found on the computers it accesses. Objections included that of "freedom of speech" and "property rights", but the idea actually foundered on the inability of the ICC Committee to agree on a definition of "porn" that would be accepted in every country that the internet reaches. The only possibility would have been to treat as porn, anything that anyone regarded as porn, and it was felt that this would wipe out about 90% of the net.

More recently, it has been suggested that the Cleanup Spider should also seek and delete obscene or vulgar words on the net. This measure was strongly opposed by the "Citizens of Scunthorpe" committee, and after considerable debate at which much strong language was used, the idea was tabled.

If you do not want your computer to be cleaned by the Cleanup Spider this year, please remember to be disconnected from the internet at 9am on Internet Cleanup Day.

Sponsorships

We currently have several running; Nicole Bass, Andrulla Blanchette, Sheila Burgess, Christine Envall, Marilyn Perret, Peggy Schoolcraft, Larisa Hakobyan, Steph Parks.

We're also sponsoring individual events, and funding athletes to go to events with grant dollars.

We're also doing free hosting and free bandwidth for many of our sponsored women. Bandwidth can mount up to a large bill when you're running a popular web site.

And we've sponsored Heather Foster, Kara Bohigian, Priscilla Ribic, KerryAnn Allen, Linda Cusmano and Jodi Miller.

The Clubhouse

We had a troll on the message board. A troll is a posting that is done purely to raise a rumpus. The troller doesn't believe what they're saying, they're just trying to stir up trouble, and then watch the resultant confusion.

I'm pleased to say that the members of this web site are capable of spotting a troll, so it had very little impact; most people just ignored it, and only a few commented.

In the Chatroom

Chatter of the month

Member

Posts

lament2syn6637
manc19735764
alphacentaurian5637
tre13134915
pamela694772
boomer4444694
mikeac4154
shanice823610
Diana the Valkyrie3196
GrappleJack3032
drop1122736
hiram20002711
TomNine2294
mit192372246
jabb63282245
gman2922193
fistman2117
amzfan12038
hj46321891
buffy189761791

TKO is way ahead this month, but manc and alphacentaurian aren't far behind.

On the Message Boards

This month, we had 3975 posts to the boards.

Most posted Board of the month

Poster of the month

Board

Posts

Diana the Valkyrie's message board 557
Politics and economics 360
Sergeant Wick and PFC Kandor's Crush Camp 246
Boomer's sports chat 186
TomNine's Tussling Tenement, mixed wrestling sessions 172
Vi's Versailles Salon - gods, goddesses and religions 153
Female muscle 142
Female bodybuilders 139
Punch and Judy, the board for two-handed fighting 137
TwoPossums TV and Pictures 129

Member

Posts

Diana the Valkyrie207
american1158
tre1313149
steve333122
zig563114
Imezgoing63100
max042898
davex94
boomer44489
billwick71485
My board exploded with posts; there's been a few issues that have been causing much posting. And it's me again, probably because of the heavy debates on my board.

Board access

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

Most read Board of the month

Board

Posts

Fistman's Finest photos 15274
TwoPossums TV and Pictures 12762
TomNine's Tussling Tenement, mixed wrestling sessions 12075
Female muscle 11648
Female bodybuilders 11534
Feats of strength 8562
Scooby's Femme Fatale Forum, for mixed action 7988
Rugman's Real Encounters 7175
Boomer's celebrity flexing 6834
Lift and carry 6802

Board

Posts

TomNine's Tussling Tenement, mixed wrestling sessions 32269
Fistman's Finest photos 28701
TwoPossums TV and Pictures 27386
Scooby's Femme Fatale Forum, for mixed action 25095
Female bodybuilders 22226
Sergeant Wick and PFC Kandor's Crush Camp 22015
Female muscle 21779
Diana the Valkyrie's message board 21526
Feats of strength 17123
Rugman's Real Encounters 16289
Fistman's Photos, followed by the Twopossums TV and Videos board TomNine has returned to his rightful top position.

Back Page

Have you ever wondered how much you get inside the package?

You might like to see The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest, one of the best April Fool's jokes ever.

I checked the site statistics that Sandra counts up each night.

At the end of March 2003, there were about 612,000 pictures (34 gigabytes), 88 gigabytes of video, 6900 text files (mostly stories) and a total of about 122 gigabytes.

To the Magic Carpet