Diana the Valkyrie

Diana the Valkyrie's Newsletter - September 2006

A hard man is good to beat

August, 2006

New and updated Galleries

Galleries added this month.

The Library

Stories added this month.

Listen with Diana the Valkyrie

Nothing new

The Movie Theatre

Movies added this month.


Keeps on running. A new record was set on August 13; 245,010 pictures in 27 gigabytes! And on August 26, I started another new server.

Shopping Mall

Nothing new.

Down on the server farm

I swapped out a dozen servers a couple of months back; a few were failed CPU fans, but mostly, the problem was failed or failing drives. So, I send back 13 300-gigabyte drives to Maxtor for replacement under guarantee. Maxtor have always been very good about that - the guarantee is usually three years (they did reduce it, but they soon put it back again). I used one of the big drive cartons, that can take 20 drives, and waited for the response.

Half of the drives that came back, were "refurbished to Maxtor's specifications". Huh. I haven't had that before. Well, I have, but only very occasionally. Oh well, I thought, if they're to Maxtor's specifications, I suppose they must be OK. So I fixed the servers that had come back, and I used those refurbished drives in a few of them (I put four 300 gb drives in each computer now). And then I formatted the drives.

I immediately got a whole bunch of failures. Crash crash crash. As you'll have guessed by now, the refurbished drives were by no means up to scratch. I put them through the Maxtor drive test software, that you can download from their web site, and sure enough, they failed Maxtor's test. I think that's appalling.

So I called Maxtor. The lady I spoke to, told me that it was Maxtor's usual practice to use refurbished drives for warranty replacements. I know that isn't true, and I told her so, because refurbished drives are labelled as such. She insisted. I decided there was no point in educating her in the idea that experience trumps theory, and left it. Anyhow, all I'd wanted, was RMA numbers so I could send back the drives that had failed.

I got something better. I'm a Maxtor VIP, maybe because I buy so many of their drives, and I signed up for the Maxtor VIP Programme, but my username and password didn't work, and I thought, well, it's probably just a way for them to send me more advertising, so I didn't bother. It turned out, that the reason my signup didn't work, was because I'd put a space in my phone number. Silly me. And the Maxtor lady fixed that for me, because there is one great facility you get as a VIP, and that's the ability to get an RMA number without needing to run the Maxtor drive test and getting a failure code from it.

That's useful for a few reasons. First - some weeks back, I got a 9-character failure code from the drive test, and the RMA form only lets you put in 8-character codes, which meant that I had to make a phone call to Maxtor to get an RMA. It'll be nice to avoid that tedious phone call in future; tedious because I have to navigate through a phone menu that tells me a lot of things I didn't want to know (for example, it tells you *THREE* times that Seagate has bought Maxtor).

Second, I can get drive failures on formatting the drive, but then the drive passes the Maxtor drive test. Now I can return those drives without making the begging phone call. And thirdly, the VIP form lets me get an RMA for several drives at once; I don't have to fill in their form separately for each drive.

So - if you return a drive to Maxtor under warranty, and get a refurbished drive in return (it's labelled as such on the drive), then be careful to test it thoroughly before you use it.

And, on further thought, it's occurred to me that maybe Maxtor refurbish drives and sometimes don't put the "refurbished" label on, so maybe the lady who told me that I usually get refurbished drives, was right. So, I'll be testing *all* drives that I get as replacements, very carefully in future.

On August 7, I suddenly lost contact with all the servers at Watford, although I could reach the firewall. This means that either the firewall suddenly decided to block everything (unlikely), or the ethernet switch failed.

I power cycled the switch, and I could see all the servers. After a minute or so, I couldn't. So, it was the switch.

I got some stuff together, and rushed down to Watford, forgetting my tool roll. I replaced that 32-way switch, with two 16-way switches; they're *much* smaller, and don't have a mechanical cooling fan inside the box. And, of course, it was the fan that had failed.

When I got it home and dismantled it, I could see that the fan was making a grinding noise, and giving almost zero cooling. Replacing the fan would be easy, except that it's a 5 volt fan, and all the spares I have are 12 volt.

Maplin to the rescue! I got a 5 volt fan frmo there, so the 32-way switch works fine now, but it's not going back to Watford, I'll use it here, where I can fix it quickly next time the fan goes.

Spams of the Month

I'm not counting carefully, but I reckon I'm getting over 500 spams per day now. About 99% of that falls straight into my spam trap - the other 1% is a bit of a nuisance, but not too bad. Email without a despammer will soon be unusable - it might already be for some people.

The comments on the spams are mine, of course. 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!

By the way, if you're using StoneColdMail (which is free to web site members) then you won't see most of these spams, they'll be delivered into your "Spam" folder.

I now get about 1000 spams per day. My despammer works quite well, only a couple of dozen get through, and it's very rare that a real email gets into my spam folder. But I've divided the spam folder into two, one spammier than the other. The spammier folder, is for spam that meets all the criteria for spam, and also isn't addressed to me. That helps a lot, because ti do look through both spam folders, but I pay less attention to the spammier one.

Earn your Nursing degree online!

I find this quite scary. Surely a nurse needs some practical experience?


Most of the sponsorships now are by giving women server space and bandwidth, so they can operate their web sites without having to pay these fees. There's also photoshoots, which gets some revenue into their hands, as well as the traditional direct-funding sponsorship.

DtV Family web sites

It's been a busy month this month!

Site nameDescription
AOSlandArtwork by AOS
Gina BonfiglioPictures of Gina Bonfiglio
Vicki IngramPictures of Vicki Ingram

Here's the full list of DtV family web sites

The Clubhouse

In the Chatroom

Chatter of the month




Tom is outstanding again.

On the Message Boards

There's been a major discussion on my board, about the message board software. Once again, we're talking about the idea of changing to a different software package, possibly to YaBB (that's the package I put on Herbiceps and other sites). But I've also been changing the existing software to accomodate many of the things that people say they want.

Look here to see a new style of board, with threads, and multiple posts on the same page, and the ability to handle as many inline links as you want to have. The old style of viewing the boards will still be available when that version of the software starts to be used.

2167 posts this month.

Most posted Board of the month

Poster of the month



Politics and economics 933
Boomer's sports chat 544
Jett_-_Health_and_Nutrition 241
Female bodybuilders 102
Diana the Valkyrie's message board 59
Videos 37
Scooby's Femme Fatale Forum, for mixed action 34
Gods, goddesses and religions 29
Lift and carry 27
For flaming, insulting and abusing 27



Diana the Valkyrie150
Politics and sports. Steve and Zig head the list, with Politico not far behind.

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



Female bodybuilders 3756
Politics and economics 3257
Scooby's Femme Fatale Forum, for mixed action 3065
Videos 2877
Lift and carry 2569
TwoPossums TV and Pictures 2474
Wrestling 1956
Boomer's sports chat 1887
Sergeant Wick and PFC Kandor's Crush Camp 1638
Diana the Valkyrie's message board 1385



Politics and economics 11377
Female bodybuilders 9634
Lift and carry 7003
Scooby's Femme Fatale Forum, for mixed action 6666
Boomer's sports chat 4429
Videos 4149
TwoPossums TV and Pictures 4139
Sergeant Wick and PFC Kandor's Crush Camp 2801
Wrestling 2689
Boomer's celebrity flexing 2615
Hurrah! FBB is the most dicussed topic! Politics and FBB

Back Page

At last, a machine for wellie hurling

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

At the end of July 2006, there were about 927,000 pictures (74 gigabytes), 200 gigabytes of video, 10,600 text files (mostly stories) and a total of about 275 gigabytes. There's about 205 million pictures altogether in Newsthumbs, increasing at about 5 million per month.

To the Magic Carpet