Site Details


Some site statistics are here.


There is now a tutorial on making Ruby scripts used to maintain a WEB site like this one.


The site has had visitors with 21,949 unique ip addresses. and is now averaging over 3000 page hits per week.


Since 9/16 when I started keeping log files, the site activity has gone from about 100 page hits per week to over 1300. A significant portion of these are repeat viewers.


Site up and down 5 times due to stormy weather related power outages this weekend. Installed a UPS during the last power hit. Uptime to this point was about 17 days. Wrote scripts to eliminate the last of the database support. The hits using Java servlets are beginning to decline as search engines re-query the site and cache the html versions of pages. There are still people who have book marked the servlet pages.


I was screwing around with the DMA settings for the disk drive driver and managed to shut down the server tonight. It took nearly 10 minutes to bring back up. The command:

hdparm -d1 -X34 /dev/hda

was not a good idea. Uptime before this screw up was 72 days.


8:26am  up 54 days,  8:46,  1 user,  load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.00

I've been having a problem with MySql not closing sockets, they hang around like zombies and steadily increase in number. I would finally restart the MySql deamon to kill them. I upgraded to MySql 3.23.32 Ver 11.12 using the latest glibc-2.2-12 from RedHat this week. This version has recently been declared as 'stable' and seems to have solved the problem with open sockets.


The phototgraphs have come from 3 sources.
  1. Scanned 4x6 in. pictures taken with an APS cammera or some images from manuals using a cheap scanner.
  2. Kodak photo CD images from APS film.
  3. Digital images from a Canon S-100.

All photos were processed using PhotoShop running on Windows 2000. PhotoShop and Microsoft Money are the primary reasons I'm using any Windows software. The rest of the time, it is all Linux.


This site is hosted on an inexpensive ($500) eMachines PC running RedHat Linux. The DSL connection allows only 128K upload, so it can not stand much traffic. Some of the 912 data is stored in a MySQL database - hence the site supports data driven page content. I maintain this information using HTML forms based entry. I wrote the Java that ties it together.

Here are some of the hardware and software used for the site:
  • Our server is an eMachines eTower 500 using a 500 MHz Celeron with 128 KB cache and 96 MB of memory and a 20 GB hard disk. It runs headless, and is accessed through the local network.
  • RedHat Linux 7.0 plus many patches that were required to make it stable. This was not a good release. I had fewer problems with 6.2.
  • Apache WEB server 1.3.14
  • Sun's Java VM 1.3.0
  • Allaire JRun 2.3.3 Build 158
  • MySql 3.23.32 Ver 11.12
  • MM MySQL JDBC Drivers 2.02
  • FreeMarker 1.52
  • Ruby 1.62. Ruby is only used on my development machine to create the html files that are transfered to the site.


Internet access to the machine is screwed down pretty tight to reduce the number of successful hacker attacks. There was one nearly successful attack using a known ftp buffer overrun exploit. It occurred during a two week period of time that the ftp port was available for my brother to copy some files. It was solved by a combination of upgrades to ftp and removing access to ftp. We track and upgrade all OS security fixes.

-- Dave Hillman

Last modified: Mon, 17 Oct 2005


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