The Spectrum

With all the action going on in TLF (and nothing to do during science class) I decided to scratch up a spectrum. I put it in word, took a photo of it and here it is. Please don’t be offended if I got it wrong. Nobody on the list is inherently evil. This is all from the way I know. There are some people on it I’ve barely talked to. I didn’t know what to call the split of people into following Kry or follow Drag, so I called it Kryist and Dragist. Please leave some feedback!
Mirari's Spectrum

Spam attack

This site has been spammed… I’ve deleted all of the spam comments… if you’re after cheap flights I suggest you go elsewhere! 🙂

I’ve got a couple of choices to prevent/reduce the comment spam.

  1. Make all commenters register – Registration is currently optional, I’d like to leave it that way.
  2. Moderate comments – Just great… no comments allowed unless I individually approve them!
  3. Install spam filters – An automated approach… but it may prevent legitimate posts.

The third option is actually the simplest one to implement, there’s quite a few plugins for WordPress designed specifically to reduce spam.

If you have trouble leaving a comment, email me or leave me a message on TLF.


Upgrade time

Looks like tomorrow is going to be a busy day for me!

Debian has FINALLY released their latest version… which means it’s time for me to upgrade, and that means that this blog will most likely be up and down numerous times during the day.

Short list of what I have to get done…

Backup my main Linux server and the two Xen virtual hosts.
Backup the blog

Upgrade the main Linux server to Debian 4.0 (Etch). I’m not sure how this will affect the Xen hosts 🙁
Upgrade the Xen virtual hosts.

Cross fingers and pray that everything still works!

Depending on how long this all takes, I may finally get around to replacing my current Linux firewall as well… and maybe add the gravatar support to the blog as well…


Most Active Ships: Ed. 5

I have come up with roughly the most active ships. This is not based on how often one logs in, but rather, what one does when logged in. (Just sitting in bunker and talking, like me, is not active)
Bestark … [B.M;MPE]
Canopus … [B.M]
Dragglett … [TCW]
Mirari … [MSS;SOP]
Vanguard … [VAN]
Wizard … [WWS]
Killer Cool … [NET]
Talon Jarsa … [MSS]
Krazy … [KRY]
Duks … [MSS]
Doc … [DOC]
Goat Face Killer (GFK) … [MSS;VRS]
Nimrod … [MSS]
Sniffer … [NET]
Bassbusta … [SOP]
Noise … [ISC]
Sick Society … [SS!]

Cookie-Monster 5 … [_A_]
Ubertrader … [TF3]
Mootpoint … [—]
Bestark … [—]
Direbmem … [BIC]

The Green Lantern … [UND]
note: not to my knowledge the AMC one, rather Underdog, on team MSS
Wrestlemania … [TGK]
Mirari … [_._]
note: tried to get it to look like something (hehe)
Chronoflux … [LIM]
The Masked Trader … [—]

Space Tyrant
Bestark … [—;MKS]
Ghost … [mog]
Mirari … [MSS]
Markus … [MKS]
Ray … [ST!]

If you have any updates, or I forgot you, post a comment and I’ll edit the list.

Three Cardinal Rules

Isn’t the web great? I decided to bounce around Ray’s site a bit after writing that last post, and for a laugh I thought I might visit Kirelli’s old website.

Out of curiosity (and a bit of nostalgia) I had a quick look at the manual and came across the following gem!

Three Cardinal Rules:

We have only three simple rules

  1. Play only your character, only the number of aliases explicitly permitted, and never, ever share accounts! The current limit is 16 players per person. This means that each person can play under 16 different names here. If a popup hint claims a different number, it is incorrect.
  2. Use no profanity or personal verbal obnoxiousness anywhere here — including the radio, the message base, and graffiti.
  3. Violate no applicable law in your use of this system.


How many of the SST cardinal rules have you broken?
View Results

Note: The TLR code base changes the ship limit to be only 4 ships!

New Poll!

After the overwhelming positive vote in the last poll, I’ve finally decided on what the next poll should be!

What's your preferred way to connect to TLR/TLF/ELF?
View Results

That’s right, it’s time to answer that age old question, which method do people use to play?

  • Telnet – The original interface… brings back memories of the good old BBS days
  • Web – The easiest way to play… minimal typing skills required 🙂
  • Client – Favoured by the DIY programmers… introduced by Ray in May 2001

Now it’s time for a quick response to THE anonymous voter in the last poll… if you don’t like the site, go elsewhere… ballot stuffing in a web poll is really not something to be proud of!


Tech problems!

This is starting to look bad for me… maybe Dragelet, Sivart & friends are correct about my technical skills 🙁

Basically, I managed to kill the LVM partition of my linux server.  I noticed one of the TLR tarballs had a corrupt inode, so I attempted to do a FSCK of the file system.

Big mistake!  The FSCK killed the ext3 journal, and blatted the root inode… everything now existed in the lost+found directory.

Not a problem I thought, I have a backup… of the database from 4 weeks ago… no file backup of the website though.  🙁

 Time for a bit of lateral thinking… the data I need is still on the LVM, it’s just been orphaned… so all I need to do is copy the important file structures off onto a new system.

Bingo, rename the existing LVM partition (so I don’t accidently blat it!) and create a new XEN linux server.  Mount the LVM partition within the XEN host, and selectively copy what I need over.

The tricky parts were:- 1) Remembering what packages I needed & 2) Importing the raw MySQL database files (otherwise 4 weeks of content was gone!)

Less than three hours later, this site is back up and running!

Tomorrow I’m gonna start looking into setting up a scheduled remote backup 😉

Maybe I should also chase up another HDD and set-up a RAID1 mirror… so many possibilities!

P.S.  The recent update to WordPress 2.1.1 appears to have eliminated all the Apache seg faults, another week of testing to confirm it’s gone, and I may be able to go back to my preferred theme!

Things are changing (again)

In case you hadn’t noticed, the theme on here has changed…

I upgraded the blog software earlier today, and it looked like everything was working correctly… themes, plugins, polls, avatars etc.

 I had just finished patting myself on the back for a job well done, and that’s when I noticed a formatting problem…

The results of the last round had decided to double space themselves?  I refreshed the page and the results were good again?

Ahh… minor issue, nothing to worry about, right?

Nope!  The next link I clicked on resulted in an IE error screen (something about loosing data connection)!  Multiple refreshes, same result!  After cursing at the computer loudly, the page suddenly appeared!

Time to check out the log files… locating the cause of the data connection losses is easy, the apache child threads are Seg Faulting (crashing)… but no indication of why?

So it’s time to do some fault finding… I begin the task of disabling various plugins and testing each combination to see if the problem goes away.  Everytime I thought I had finally found the cause, it would reappear!

Time for a break… played with the kids, had some dinner, watched some TV, bathed the kids, put them to bed.

I sit down in front of the computer and it suddenly dawns on me… the theme!

Turn on the default widget enabled theme, and Voila! No more problems!

Reenabled all the other plugins, and I’m still unable to break it again!

So for now, I’m stuck with this blandish theme… I’ll go theme hunting this weekend.

However, if any of my numerous visitors 😛 experience any problems, please leave a comment.