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Category Archives: Servers

Network Solutions is causing me headaches again.  Their Nameservers are “experiencing some latency issues” as the rep told me over the phone.  I’ll say.  A nameserver taking a full second or more to respond to a request is pretty dang bad.  People can still get to our site, but now OpenDNS stopped caching our domain because the nameservers aren’t responding.  So while customers can get to http://www.frontierlabel.com, we can’t in here unless I bypass OpenDNS.  I guess the important thing is that customers can still get there. 

So I’m thinking about making a nameserver switch.  I don’t like GoDaddy.  I’m considering DynDNS.com but never used them for anything but their free dynamic dns service. 

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We wanted to create and run some custom error pages for 404 and 403 server errors for our site.  The standard way to do this, it seems would be to create a .htaccess page for the site and configure httpd.conf to allow for it. 

However, after some digging around, I found that since I’m running more than one site on our server (virtual hosts), the configuration can be done via the sites virtual host configuration file.  Opening up this file in a text editor (I like vi for this purpose) allows you to manipulate this as well as some other configurations for the site.

Terminal commands would thus be:

cd /etc/httpd/sites

sudo vi sitename.com.conf

If you already have a custom 404 page (which can be changed in the “Sites” tab of the Web Service under Server Admin), you should see the configuration:

ErrorDocument 404 /WhateverYourPageNameIs.htm

Now, all you have to do is add another entry below this one formatted just like that for any other error code, in our case a 403 Forbidden error:

ErrorDocument 403 /WhateverYourForbiddenPageIs.htm

If you don’t already have a custom 404 document, you can add these entries just before the start of the module listings. 

If you’re running SSL on a site, you’d need to modify the config file for the SSL version of the site. 

Apple Insider talks about improvements in Snow Leopard Server. 

We here at Frontier are still running 10.4 Server as it has met all of our needs thus far.  However, I’m personally excited about some of the little things coming out about Snow Leopard and the Server version.  First, loading printer drivers on demand.  I think that’s an incredibly smart move.  With the amount of drivers for printers growing, it’s a welcome idea to load only the drivers you need when you hook up a printer to the computer.  I hope that this, in turn, will reduce the amount of bloated printer drivers (HP) that we see. 

The second is the increase in support for Sun’s ZFS.  While most people who use Snow Leopard Server out of the box will probably never use it, it’s good to see Apple increasing their dabblings in open source software that can provide useful, cutting edge technology to things like data centers, storage arrays, etc. 

Ars-Technica has a nice write up about these two things

Google posts the 2008 year in spam

So, it seems nameservers from Network Solutions have been having intermittent crashes.  I call to inquire and my phone is answered by a recorded woman telling me that “customers are experiencing intermittent difficulty resolving host names and email requests. If you are experiencing these difficulties, please continue to retry as most customers are able to successfully resolve their destinations after multiple attempts.”  I mean, I know you’re a big company and all.  But come on, Network Solutions.  That’s the best advice you can give?

Frustration++