First thing this morning the load average on louvin was up over 6. Bad news. As I watched it steadily dropped back down to 0.05ish. Which is normal. The only thing I could see running was about a dozen index.cgi processes under httpd, so perhaps someone was banging pretty hard on the web server at that particular moment. I seriously need to consider moving my site over to a mod_perl or PHP based site, to help performance.

Turned off SpamAssassin till I can research more how I might use it. It eats up a lot of memory doing nothing right now.

A couple more Apache config tweeks. The user public_html/~user feature is turned off by default in version 2, so enabled that for my ~karpet/ urls. Also needed to tweek my templates for perm links on my blog to explicitly include the index.cgi part of the url. Definitely time to move to a mod_perl solution. Maybe Catalyst would be up to the job.

I’m going to spend a couple hours trying to get new hard drives added. So I have rerouted traffic back to dellpc in the meantime. When I’m all done, I need to blow all the dust out of the Gateway and move it back downstairs to its basement home. I’ve been working on it up here in my office and it’s damn loud with 5 hard drives spinning and all those fans.

Several attempts witht the Seagate 9g scsi3 ST19171WC (80pin) drives failed to work. I tried both the internal scsi bus and the Adaptec scsi2 PCI card, both with the SCA adapter (68pin->80pin and 50pin->80pin). In all cases the drives failed to spin up. Tried several jumper settings, especially the ME/MTR jumper (which toggles the spin up time for the drive). No luck. Finally just gave up. These drives were cheap, 7200rpm scsi drives I bought as a case of 10 for $100 about 4 years ago. They worked ok (with SCA adapters) in my old Mac G3. The spin up issue was real there too but I fixed it with some SCSI toolkit software that I can no longer recall (FWB?).

So I moved on. I may either junk the drives or find someone who can use them. If you can use them, send me mail.

I got the external scsi drive to work, an older Seagate 9gig scsi2 drive. 20/MBs isn’t that fast, but it’ll do. Created a partition with fdisk and then this one-liner to create the ext3 filesystem:

mke2fs -j /dev/sdd1

And then edited /etc/fstab to mount at /opt2.

Don’t know yet what I plan to do with this extra 9gig, but I guess my overall goal is to run all my old scsi drives into dust so I can justify getting either (a) new bigger scsi drives (>36g) or (b) going the full IDE route with a IDE PCI card and some beefy 300g drives. This Gateway server has all kinds of scsi support, but the drives are just so expensive, and not really worth the cost now that IDE/ATA drives are so fast and cheap. At least for my applications (small low-traffic web/mail/file server). I’ve got one open IDE bus slot (slave on the primary bus) for when my next scsi drive dies. After that, I’ll look into the PCI card controller. In the last 5 years of this machine, it’s only lost 2 drives: one of the original 9g scsi drives, and a 40g IDE drive I was using as a backup drive. Those both crapped out in the last year, so I figure the other drives are due to die on me.

Would like to figure out how to send my named/bind logging to a separate log file. Just haven’t yet found the magic lines for my /etc/syslog.conf file (or maybe directly in /etc/named.conf).

Noticed at last reboot that my GRUB settings for ide-scsi are now deprecated. Apparently that’s a 2.6 kernel thing. So I’ll keep the old settings if I need to boot in 7.2 (2.4 kernel) and just update my new FC4 config. Here’s the new GRUB settings (thank you google):

title Fedora Core (2.6.15-1.1830_FC4)
        root (hd1,1)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.15-1.1830_FC4 ro root=/dev/sdb2 hdd=ide-cd
        initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.15-1.1830_FC4.img
title Fedora Core (2.6.11-1.1369_FC4)
        root (hd1,1)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4 ro root=/dev/sdb2 hdd=ide-cd
        initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.11-1.1369_FC4.img
title Redhat 7.2
        root (hd1,0)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz ro root=/dev/sdb1 hdd=ide-scsi
        initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.20-28.7.img

Oh, and I notice that RedHat conveniently aliases /etc/grub.conf to /boot/grub/grub.conf. How nice. I discovered that by accident when mindlessly typing

vi /etc/grub.conf

and then realized as it opened that that was the wrong location. Guess others have done what I just did. 🙂

Found out I was wrong about that extra NIC I had lying around. Just popped it in, rebooted and configured. Full 100/Mbps, full duplex. So I left it in; now have two NICs. Will be fun to play with that in future (and one less card sitting in drawer).

[root@louvin network-scripts]# ethtool eth1
Settings for eth1:
        Supported ports: [ TP MII ]
        Supported link modes:   10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full 
                                100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full 
        Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
        Advertised link modes:  10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full 
                                100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full 
        Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
        Speed: 100Mb/s
        Duplex: Full
        Port: MII
        PHYAD: 32
        Transceiver: internal
        Auto-negotiation: on
        Supports Wake-on: pumbg
        Wake-on: d
        Current message level: 0x00000007 (7)
        Link detected: yes
[root@louvin network-scripts]# cat ifcfg-eth1
[root@louvin network-scripts]# ifconfig eth1
eth1      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:10:B5:0D:B0:25  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::210:b5ff:fe0d:b025/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:242 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:7 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:14984 (14.6 KiB)  TX bytes:528 (528.0 b)

All external traffic is routed to, so if I need to do any internal LAN transfers that might chew bandwidth, I could now use the alternate card for that. Not really a performance worry since I get such little traffic, but still, geek fun.

Ok. Time to clean this machine out and move it downstairs and get on with my life. Lots of housecleaning to do before my family returns this evening.

One more thing: I’ve been doing all this work to the melodious sounds of KCRW Music via iTunes radio. Great station in my hometown of LA. A really nice Johnny Cash 4-part tribute I heard yesterday as part of their pledge drive.


Looks like the high load levels from Apache are due to web robots hitting my site in rapid succession. Seems to be related to the spammers who were abusing my webalizer logs in the referrers section. I have turned off the referrers reporting in webalizer; still would like to figure out a way to deny httpd response to those abusers.

Learned a new command for the bash shell: hash -r (same as rehash under t/csh)