You’re reading this on our new home server at web host ICDSOFT. We’re moved on  from our old home of 17 years.

Friday November 4, 2015

  • Most core Perl and PHP scripts are working.
  • Automated scripts up update site stats: in progress
  • Counts since 1999 are accurate, currently still being maintained manually.
  • New posts are working.

Wednesday November 25:

  • Got yesterday’s day of week right on entry title 🙂
  • Got the core site stats PHP code working on the sidebar (top)
  • Perl and PHP date-time functions work differently on this system. Look at the sidebar dates under SITE STATS. Sidebar displays are not being refreshed daily yet as there is a date dependency to get yesterday’s data. Currently working on that.
  • Have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Tuesday November 24:

  • Links to are working on this site. It may take longer at your ISP.
  • RSS has been disabled on the server. We we getting hundreds of thousands of RSS requests, which is the normal equivalent of one year’s page visits. Cause: undetermined.
  • ICDSOFT tech departments have been very helpful.  Their guaranteed 15-minute response time is real. Their responses are proactive, clearly and professionally explained, and very specific: all recommendations have worked on the first try.
  • By my count, this is my fifth site move, migration and conversion since 1995, including 12 years at the previous web host. There are always some problems and anomalies to work out, but so far I’m very pleased to be hosted by this provider.
  • We’ll continue to update this page as we test and bring utility features online. See below fortemporary caveats.
  • Department Links Now Work (Astronomy, Commentary, Computers … WRITING). We had a problem with this big “multi-site”Wordpress installation that I solved by “Upgrade Network.”
  • Sidebar Perl/PHP widgets will remain inop for a week or so as we bring the code online and reconfigure as needed.

As of Nov23 345PM PST, this front HOME page loads, but links (still pointing to the transferring domain) do not work.

There will be site disruptions and inoperative features as we bring the new site live. Although the transition has been relatively seamless so far, sidebar PHP widgets are going to be inoperative until we get the new PHP and Perl hit counters working again.

Thanks to you all for your support and readership over the years, and may we enjoy many more!


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Server Reboot February 9

Our host advises it will be performing a server update and reboot next Monday, sometime after 10PM Pacific Standard Time, lasting about one-half hour.

“This maintenance window will occur on Monday, Feb 9 between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. MST. It is estimated that the maintenance will take no more than 30 minutes.”

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Important Notice (topic closed)

Over the next few weeks, will be moving to a new server within same web host provider. There will be service disruptions.

I will have time to upload our existing files and databases and rough in the new configurations before  the switchover. I’ll concentrate on mail and this WordPress installation first. Most users just viewing this and other linked WordPress site pages probably will not notice many changes or broken links.

Temporary outages can probably be expected in some department-level Perl cgi services. Major apps accessible from the HOME page, like Quotes, Password, and Site Stats will be up and running. Some article, legacy HTML and photo links may have to be changed. Due to the overhead of syncing the new site to the existing site, I will probably not plan many posts during the transition. Some server file changes have dependencies that can’t be tested until the domain switchover to the new site.

The new server is reportedly faster, and should be easier to maintain. When it is live, the URL (address) will be the same; you will know you’re there because the front page site name will then display as 4.0.  Please see progress updates below. Thanks for your support and patience.






  • 04-30-2013: Progress in new setup and configuring server files. Est 40-50% complete.
  • 05-07-2013: Estimating 80% of the way to switchover.
  • 05-10-2013: Over 90% complete. Switchover should be in less than a week. At that time, DNS changes take 24-48 hours to propagate throughout the Internet. We will likely experience some downtime during this period.
  • 05-15-2013: Looks like it will be next  week May 20-24.
  • 05-16-2013: there was a site outage this morning of unknown duration. Dedicated server restarted successfully about 925AM PDT. This was not related to our coming domain switchover, which has not been triggered yet.
  • 05-26-2013: Considering the site to be stable and normal. We’ll resume posting new discovery, outages or bug fixes in our Site Status Log as we’ve always done.

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Saturday Server Outage

I was doing online testing last Saturday afternoon on a software enhancement for our site around 3PM PDT when the server connection timed out. My new program enhancements are still in “alpha”, so I suspected I may have introduced a program “loop”. This can indeed put a server offline.

I found I was soon unable to connect to other sites either. At about 4PM, I called my cable provider. Through their fully automated 😯 voice response and touch tone telephone maze, their system reset my cable modem and I was back online. But the site kept timing out for about an additional hour; access went back to normal thereafter.

This morning my web host provider sent mean apologetic message below (excerpted):

Continue reading

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Server Upgrade Thursday Feb 7

Summitlake’s website host provider advises us there will be a server platform software upgrade some time in the late evening of Thursday February 7, or early Friday morning. They are estimating a 9 minutes site outage as the software is upgrading.

We’re not expecting any surprises. All your links to our site (and ours) should still work. We’re performing all the prudent backups.

We’ve already reviewed the list of applications scheduled for an upgrade. They’ll include the server software itself, software controlling the Summitlake “Write Us” button, and the databases warehousing all of our WordPress departments.

This is just a “heads up” advisory. If there are site interruptions anyway, no action on your part should be required.

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Server Upgrade Postponed

We received notice from WestHost today that the upgrade has been postponed, in order to cause as little inconvenience and downtime as possible.

Again, there is nothing for you to do on your end. We’ll post an update when we get a revised date.



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Server Upgrade Thursday 7/19/2007

We have a heads-up from WestHost, our site host provider, that they will be performing a major server upgrade this coming Thursday.

On your end, the transition should be seamless. There is nothing to do. URL’s, pages and the domain name remain as before. We expect that all pages, scripts, services and features should work as before.

On our end, there is little to do. We have already scanned most of our 9,299 site files. We found and updated two internal files that had dependencies on information that will become obsolete later this week.

As with any major upgrade, past experience suggests it’s always possible for there to be visible glitches as the servers are switched over. WestHost advises the changes will occur Thursday night (8PM – 10PM Pacific time):

The changes for the accounts will occur from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. MDT on July 19th. Downtime will not exceed 15 minutes.

As Friday’s a work day, we won’t be staying up too late to monitor events, but will check the situation during the day, and can work with WestHost to resolve any problems over the weekend, if need be.

Let’s hope for a smooth transition! Cheers,


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Sunday Updates

More site maintenance: we upgraded to the latest version of Perl, which drives all the custom scripts on this site, and at the same time we upgraded php and mySQL, which drive WordPress and the new phpBB forum … and in turn require a current version of Perl.

We have everything we think we need backed up, but?then we held our breath anyway.

Everything seems OK, but we’d like reports if you find SCRIPT ERROR notices on the site.

Right off the bat we almost had a heart attack, as the front page index counter stopped working, and so did AT A GLANCE stop. But, Oracle, the pushy little script that serves up the quotation at the top of the index page, was still working … hmmm. So Perl was working, but some scripts weren’t.

We kept our cool and looked at those scripts. At the very top should be a Perl path #!/usr/bin/perl, which tells the server executing the script?the location of?the Perl application we intend to use. Some of the scripts used an older notation #!/bin/perl, which used to work. A little birdie reminded us we had intended to convert all the scripts, but, as aliases had each notation work, there was no pressure to complete the jeb. Heh.

The above is all techno-babble, but fixing about 10 scripts (out of a few hundred) took a few minutes and should have us back in business. This could have taken days to find. I feel lucky I happened to think to?notice this right away. It’s the first thing I looked at.

We’ve checked WordPress (this page is a WordPress page), phpBB Forum, front page counter, front page AT A GLANCE, department Autolists, page counters. Everything seems to be in order. Let us know if you find glitches?



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Site Updates

Our host moved to a new server on the night of 5/11-5/12. We posted this on our “Site Status” page some days in advance. All pages seem to be working fine at this time, and no change is required at all on your part.

One noticeable difference resulted from the change. Our home page watch list “At A Glance – last modified” mostly displays last-changed file dates of May 11. This is is result of file copies our host evidently performed during the server move; we did not actually update all those pages!

You will see a few dates that are more recent. These represent files or folders we’ve actually posted or updated ourselves. The May 11 dates on the unchanged files will remain, though, until we have an apportunity for a new posting in that department.

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Site Updates

  • Recently we’ve upgraded a number of site engines under the hood, including PhP and MySQL. You won’t see that, but you should see snappier response from our “blog” engine, WordPress, which we use to power the Commentary and Computers index pages, and PHOTO Notes, and our own quasi-weblog, My Notes. Tonight we upgraded all four of these departments to WordPress 1.5, which features a better firewall and comment control. You can visit any of these pages in the same old way (the blue menu above is the easiest). You won’t see much visibly different, but we will gradually be turning Comments back on to see how it goes. You will have to register to enter your first comment, and then it will be queued for moderation. If approved, we’ll try to have first time comments posted within 24 hours. After that, no further moderation should be required.
  • For over a half a year at, most of our new posts now appear directly in our WordPress weblog format pages: My Notes and Photo Notes, in particular. Another way to see what’s new is to just go to the main index page. Look at the most recent post dates for each of our major departments.
  • We have a new story in Writing for any of you who are “Bear” fans. See C.Bear’s Universe for the very latest in Bear thoughts on life and leisure.
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