Archive for December, 2006

Mabus, Redux

I wrote previously of my less than exciting experiences with Mabus Hosting. It’s been a week – seven days – and they still haven’t correctly installed the VPS I ordered from them. Well, screw ’em; I’m going elsewhere.

A long, long time ago I vowed to get the heck away from Fortress ITX, a corner-cutting bunch of webhosting goofballs if ever there was one. The VPS from Mabus was intended to be the escape route from Fortress and DedicatedNow, but that’s obviously not going to work out. (Hey, one can dream, right?)

Enter Easyracks, a well-respected Dutch IT company. I’ve always liked them, because they offer SUN servers; for my money, you can’t beat the build quality of a SUN machine, even if they’re behind the curve in terms of raw speed. Anyway, they’re having a heck of a sale on Pentium 3 (PIII) machines, and I’m picking up one to get away from the long and unpleasant experience that has been life with a VPS. EUR 15 comes out to be about 20 USD; not a bad deal at all for a PIII with 256MB RAM and 250GB of multihomed tranfer per month. For twice the price, they offer a larger HD and unmetered 10Mbit of transit.

Speeds to Europe are excellent, natch; speed to the U.S. is better than to some domestic datacenters. If you’re in the market for a server of modest power, one of these machines is a very attractive alternative to a VPS, without any of the resource restrictions that make VPSes inherently less powerful than true dedicated servers.

My second-favorite thing about Easyracks? They offer Debian. After the last year of kernel fiascoes with CentOS, I’m never getting another machine with that accursed operating system on it… but that’s a story for another day.

Published in: Geekiness, General, Meta | on December 17th, 2006 | Comments Off on Mabus, Redux

Design Considerations, Part 3

In past posts, I’ve written about the application considerations and choices for a new site I’m faced with creating, as well as plans – or perhaps goals – for the overall design of the site and it’s content, all chosen or guided with an eye towards performance. In this third post, I’m going to explore some decisions regarding server hardware and software, and the basis for those choices.
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Published in: Geekiness, General | on December 16th, 2006 | Comments Off on Design Considerations, Part 3

WordPress Flaws – My 0.02 USD

Despite being a fan of WordPress, there are a lot of things about the application that leave me less than thrilled.
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Published in: Geekiness, General, Meta | on December 16th, 2006 | Comments Off on WordPress Flaws – My 0.02 USD

Bad Poems From A Decade Ago – #1

I have boxes and boxes full of floppy disks from back in the day when I had a computer without a hard drive. Every once in a very, very great while I select a few at random and see what’s on them, for kicks and giggles.

An unmarked disk I came across recently contained a lot of homework and other stuff I produced in 1994-1995, my junior year in high-school. There’s a lot of pascal code (a language I haven’t coded in years), some assembly-language code (I language I can’t even read anymore), a bunch of files that appear to be bibliographies for English-class papers, and a handful of poems. Purely for personal entertainment, I’m going to post a few of these, with notes.

The first one is an angstful teenage love poem; consider yourself warned.
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Published in: General | on December 15th, 2006 | Comments Off on Bad Poems From A Decade Ago – #1

Some deals really are too good to be true… and some companies really are too bad to survive.

Consider Mabus Hosting. They offer what seems like a great deal for people needing to run small backup mailservers, nameservers, or things of that sort, with their $5/month VPS plan. They have a lot of seemingly happy customers, so I thought I’d try them out; I could use some space and bandwidth to store old backups and logs and stuff.

I’m underwhelmed. Literally.

They got me setup in an hour or so. It’s been three days, and they still don’t have me setup correctly, despite promises to do so. The resources on their VPS are less then stellar – 64MB maximum RAM (no burst capability, and no swap), 100 maximum processes, and 80 maximum open connections. Remember, kids – a VPS has a lot of artificial limits a real server doesn’t, and it’s most apparent at the bottom end of things.

In the case of Mabus, their network is interesting. I was pretty impressed when I tracerouted their IPs; Level(3) and Mzima all the way, from everywhere I was able to test from. That’s impressively quality bandwidth. From their VPSes is another matter – outgoing, it’s all Cogent, all the time, everywhere. For nickels per gigabyte of transfer, that’s about what I’d expect. Latency and jitter are about average to slightly below par.

Verdict? Unreliable support, harshly throttled (and probably grieviously oversold, if the rather optimistic OpenVZ system website’s guidelines are being followed) system resources, bargain (albeit multihomed) bandwidth, and a price that’s too good to be true. I never thought I’d find a worse deal than Redwood Virtual, but the world never ceases to amaze me. I’ll be looking elsewhere for backup space…

Published in: Geekiness, General | on December 14th, 2006 | 4 Comments »