Updates: June 2001

June 30, 2001
I apologize for the extended server outages over the past 2 days.  Turns out there was a bad sector on the hard disk and this kept on generating errors.  I tried to use the scandisk that is included with Widows 2000 and it is utterly useless.  After using Norton Disk Doctor, I was able to get the problem fixed.  However, this took about 2 days of frustration and lost time.  Thanks for sticking it out..

June 27, 2001
This site was down most of this morning due to problems with my DSL line.  I called my ISP and the one person I talked to couldn't straighten things out so he wanted to open a trouble ticket.  I knew this wasn't going to fix the problem so I called back and asked for the technician that I had worked with earlier and knew.  Sure enough, this guy was able to fix my problems on the spot.  Turns out that my DSL IP number was entered incorrectly in their routers.  All he had to do was clean up some routing tables and we are now back online.  Sorry for the downtime, but it goes with the territory of running your own webserver on DSL/Cable.

June 24, 2001
I added some 3rd party Web server and FTP server software into the Server Software section.  If you have some recommendations for Web and FTP server software, please let me know and I'll add it to the list.  Also, I am looking for good email servers.  I have a really short list in mind, but would like to put down ones that you guys have actually used and recommend.  Drop me an email!  Thanks!

June 22, 2001
It seems like the Cyrix cpu in the webserver is running just fine.  It's been up for 5.5 days at the time of this update.  Another interesting stat is that since it's first publication on this site, the Network Card Roundup has been read 18,952 times.  Wow, that' s a lot of times.  Of course, I gleaned this tasty stat using Analog. It has some cool features that you might want to check out.

I recently became a notebook owner.  I got a killer deal from a friends and am now mobile!  Here are some stats:

  • Toshiba Satellite
  • Pentium 3 600/500 Speedstep
  • 192 Megs RAM
  • 6 Gig HD
  • 8x DVD/24x CD-ROM
I'm in the process of looking for a good PC Card/PCMCIA network card.  This week, Best Buy has the Netgear FA410TX on sale for $19.99 after rebate so I tried that out.  It doesn't seem to work too good under Windows 2000.  My file transfer speeds are really slow using IPX and TCP/IP.  I think it's because the drivers are still fairly new.  I'm going to have to find a different notebook NIC.

Getting a notebook as made me think of comparing several network cards for notebooks.  Ahh, but it's so much work!  Maybe later.  What I'm really interested in now is wireless ethernet or Wi-Fi.  I'm going to look into the current wireless technology and see if there is anything cool to be had.  Who knows, maybe the next thing I'll do is put the webserver on a wireless network.  Imagine that, a webserver that is connected with a wireless network AND running a Cyrix cpu.  Boy, I love this stuff. =)

June 15, 2001
Today is Father's Day in case you forgot.  It's a day to celebrate all fathers out there.  Happy Father's Day!

I did something weird today.  Did you notice the (This Site Powered by Cyrix) link at the top of this page?  I swapped out the CPU of my server and replaced the AMD K6-3 350 with a Cyrix 686MX PR200 (150 MHz x 2 = 150 MHz).  So basically the MHz my server dropped from 350 down to 150 MHz.  Do you see a difference in performance?  I don't think you should except for the possible exception of the online forums.  But I don't think you'll see a difference there either.

Why in the world did I choose to use a Cyrix CPU?  I dunno.  I kinda like saying my webserver is powered by Cyrix.  It makes people scrunch up their face and ask/scream "Why!!!!????".  This CPU has been my possession for many years now.  It's really stable and pretty fast (relatively).  And contrary to all reports, it ain't all that hot (temperature-wise).

When this CPU becomes too slow, I'll upgrade to the fastest Cyrix CPU which still runs on a Socket 7 mobo.  What is the fastest that can do that?  333 or 350?  I don't know, but I find another Cyrix when this CPU dogs out.

How many webservers out there are powered by Cyrix?  Now you know of at least one.  =)

June 15, 2001
Wow, today is a special day because our membership in our forums has reach 200 people!  This is really cool.  In response to this achievement, I am asking for emails on how to improve this site.  There is always a way to make things better and I want to know what things could be changed, clarified, reworded, expanded, reduced, etc.  I especially want to hear from people who didn't have much experience with this sort of material.  From  your feedback, we can make this website a resource for everybody.  All comments welcomed and requested.  Please take a moment and drop me an email!  Thanks!

June 14, 2001
Turns out nobody was attacking my site, it was just a network card that started jabbering like crazy to a switch in my LAN.  My network has been pretty stable, but sometimes, something goes haywire.

I'm right now in the middle of preparing for my USMLE Step 1 exam.  I'm in the library from 10 am to 10 pm almost every day.  You can check out the USMLE website here.  You can also download a 3 hour 150 question sample test and test yourself.  The real test is 7 hours with 350 questions.  Try it, it's fun!

The last bit of news today is that several of you have been asking about a graphic from this website so you can link to us.  I'd be ecstatic if you just put a text link to our site, but if you must have a graphic, you can use the banner ad that I made in the Site Info section.  If you choose to put it up (for whatever reason).  Please let me know so I can personally thank you (personally, not in person!)  You guys rock!

June 13, 2001
For those of you looking for a small and simple counter for your website, check out Fast Counter  Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.  They also email you a summary stats on a weekly or monthly basis.  Not bad for free.

For some reason my incoming activity light on my router has been blinking incessantly for the past few hours.  Are we under attack?  I'd better go investigate.  For the rest of you guys, make sure your computer's security is airtight.  I cannot stress this enough.  Do it - because any hole you leave open WILL be exploited.

June 12, 2001
Just a note: if you have a question for me, it's better to post the message in our online forums than directly emailing me since I can only check email once or twice a day, but I check the forums every few hours.  Thanks.

June 11, 2001
We have a new site in our Member Sites section.  Check out what our latest website run on cable come has to offer!  If you would like your site added to the Member Sites, please drop me an email.

June 10, 2001
Today I added three new diagrams to the Diagrams page.  These three new diagrams are actually pictures of standard networks that are NOT connected to the Internet.  This kinda defeats the purpose this website, but the pages include info on which network setup they can morph into when they eventually do get Internet access.

June 9, 2001
Last night I performed an emergency operation on my server.  Turns out the power supply fan died.  I rigged the fan to run at 5 volts in order to keep the noise down and I haven't had any heat problems even with the slower fan speed. Last night when I felt the side of my server, it was pretty hot.  The server still worked just fine, but it was hot.  I thought that my room was just hot.  A few hours later, I took a look at the power supply fan and found that it had stopped.  I replaced the fan with the exact same fan: Nidec Gamma w/ variable speed thermosistor.  Great fans.  It's strange that the fan died, it was working for only 3 years which is short for a Nidec quality fan.  Even good products go bad I guess.

I also went to watch Moulin Rouge which I enjoyed quite a bit.  I felt like it was a semi-awake-dream-state-direct-feed-to-my-brain type movie if you know what I mean.  And I know you do.

June 8, 2001
Today I found a link that you might find very interesting.  It's an article by Steve Gibson documenting his Denial of Service attack on his website.  It reads like a movie script:  Getting hacked by a 13 year old, exchanging emails with the hacker, reverse engineering the hack bots that flooded his site, meeting with the big boss who made the hack bots in a secret lair, it is truly surreal.

I guess one thing you should take away from the article is that if GRC.com can go down, so can your own webserver hosted at home.  It's a great article, long, but great.  Read it here.

June 7, 2001
Regardless of which webserving software you choose to run on your webserver, you will most likely generate log files.  However, to the unaided eye, these log files are just lines of text without any meaning.  You need a log file analyzer to make sense of it all.  One of the most popular tools for this is Analog.  It works on almost every operating system and can mine useful info from your cryptic log files.  Analog generates customizable reports. There is a lot of documentation but you'll still have to sit down with it for a good couple hours in order to find out how to get the info you want.  But it's worth it.  Did I mention Analog is free?  I love free.

June 6, 2001
Today's fun topic: Network Bondage!
Network bondage refers to the binding of network protocols (TCP/IP, IPX, Netbeui)  to particular services such as "File and Printer Sharing".  In order to make networking easier, Microsoft by default binds every protocol to every service.  This makes things easier for the average user, but creates huge security holes that allow anybody with some network knowledge to potentially have full access to your computer.  Do you want to share your hard disk with the whole Internet?  I didn't think so, but there are tons of people out there that have their computers wide open for the taking.  The solution?  Only bind the protocols to the services that need them.

This is a huge problem for people who have their computers directly connected to a Cable or DSL modem, but even if you have a home DSL/Cable router, you're still vulnerable.  I can't do justice to the subject, but there is a great article out there that will explain everything you wanted to know about network bondage and how to secure your network.  Network Bondage Article at GRC.com

June 5, 2001
Here's something pretty cool.  It's the Cobalt Qube 3 - an All-In-One server appliance that can handle Web, FTP, Email and more.  It's all setup and ready to go.  This would be perfect for small businesses who need reliability and don't want to fuss with hardware and software.  The only bad thing is that it can't do virtual hosting (run several websites).  I wouldn't mind having one of these boxes sitting on my desk.  It's really cool looking!

I also found a website that is all about the Cobalt Qube.  It's called Qube Quorner and their site is actually hosted on a Qube 2 (not the newer Qube 3). Check out it.

And to answer your question, Cobalt came out with the Qube way before Apple even had a twinkle in their eye for their version of the Qube.

June 1, 2001
It's already June?!!  Wow, time files doesn't it.. Nothing much going on except I did a little work in the Network section.  Feels like I'm in high school working on a rewrite of an essay that I've been staring at too long.  You know the feeling.