Author - Web Developer - Educator
Found 6 results for tag "dns"
RSS Feed

Business Transition and Wedding Details

I thought this would be a good time to let everyone know about the recent changes/progress that have been going on. First, Shadow Development is going though a business transition (as mentioned in my previous post).

Shadow Development is transitioning from a "build websites for clients" to "designing, developing, and maintaining online services" (so, basically, a "software development company"), as the underlying reason since 2005 has been all along. Now, we're serious.

Shaking Egg...
I've replaced the main Shadow Development site with a shaking egg that I coded completely with CSS3


Out with the old office


As of August 31st, 2013, we have moved out of our office. Yes, the new office that we moved into in January, we have officially moved out. It wasn't because we were evicted or anything, it was just a combination of multiple channels combining their worst moments at once (we had half of our client base leave, invoices weren't getting paid to us, staff members were losing their motivation, increase in bill costs, etc). After crunching the numbers, it was better for us to leave the office and go virtual instead. The whole "working at home" thing is nice, but it has its drawbacks.

A "State of Shadow Development" press release should be released on the main site soon. Edit: Here ya go

code process


Over the past week, I've actually been doing a lot of work on code. I've revamped the Shadow Dev Beta Site, which has a whole new theme and concept versus its previous incarnations; I migrated the old Shadow Dev design to the Lunar Productions Beta Site, which worked out quite well, and I fluffed out some extra images to give the site some makeshift content to view; I worked on the wedding site a bit to get it up and going (I was inspired by WeddingWoo examples for a new concept, since the old concept was a bit...well, drab); and additional work here and there on various aspects.

Server Connection Confusion


Although, right now, I'm very confused at the main hosting server. Here's the rundown: last night at 3am, our legacy server at Website Source finally kicked the bucket (at our discretion), which means no more $200/qtr for hosting on a "maybe it's up, maybe it's down" kind of hosting environment. Although, about 5 hours ago, realized that the old legacy server was also handling the MX records for our mail. Once that was gone, well, so was our email accounts and forwarding. Therefore, I had to initiate a server system upgrade to the hosting files of the primary shadowdev.com domain in order to set up the new email accounts. (Yeah....that sounded like gibberish. - by the way, I updated the DNS records to have the MX records point to the new server, and I just received an email that was sent at 3:27AM today. 17 hours in limbo - wow!)

When I initiated a system backup to my local machine, my SFTP process stalled. I tried to connect via SSH, and I kept getting timeouts. I was furious since I basically had no "editing methods" for the server any more! After finagling for a few hours, I thought "what if I disabled the Wi-Fi on my phone and tried to SSH with that?" (from previous experience from a similar situation). I did so, and was able to SSH in no time! So, that just meant that the server wasn't accepting FTP (port 21) or SFTP/SSH (port 22) from my IP address.....again.

Basically, I can access the server via port 80, 8080, 10000, and others, but not 21 or 22, so I can't initiate a total system backup from my home, and I don't have any tunneling options since I only have access to 2 locations (my home and the server). So, I'm still chasing down a port 21/22 access error....

I've checked the iptables and even enabled a complete system access acceptance for my specific IP address. I made sure ufw wasn't enabled, as that was the problem before. I rebooted the server multiple times (that usually solves it). However, nothing was working. So, yeah, I'm still trying to figure that out.

The situation is as follows:
- The web server will not accept port 21/22 connections from my IP address, although the port is "filtered" (that's acceptable)
- Resetting my home router/modem does not work
- Restarting the web server does not work
- I can access the web server via port 22 when accessed from outside IP address
- I'm pretty lost with this situation

NMAP results

The Wedding Plan(ing)


To change up the tone a bit, I've been working on some wedding plans for me and Keat. With Keat in school taking 18 hours of classes (and working on homework every night), she doesn't have much free time, so I've been self-appointed with planning the wedding.....yay.... (for clarification, Keat is in her last year of school, so that's a little more important for her right now)
Save the Date

Here's what the plans are so far (and you can find more details at kk.shadowdev.com - the real domain will be acquired later, just so people checking it in September 2014 aren't cut off, and we aren't paying an additional fee for a year to have the site active for 2 months):

Rehearsal Dinner: Bogarts, August 30 (2014), 7pm
Status: We've been penciled in for 20 people

Ceremony: Lake Junaluska, August 31, 6pm
Status: We have talked to the coordinator, have the contract, now we are just awaiting "approval" from Keat's parents to move forward and submit the contract

Reception: Waynesville Inn, August 31, 7pm
Status: Everything is pretty much set, we just need to straighten out the food budget, get a quote on bringing in additional alcohol, and get the contract (again, Keat's parents)

Apparel:
- Keat has her ring and is paying for it
- I have placed an order for my ring, and should receive it in 3 weeks
- Keat and her mom are shopping for a dress (this is all her)
- My tux order has been placed, and I am paying it off
- Best Man has his own tux, but is getting some additional items
- Rest of Groomsmen need to be fitted
- Bridesmaids have been picked out, now for "Bride Discussions" (not my department)

Flowers:
- Quote has been received, and vendor has penciled us in for the day

Photographer:
- Quote has been received, details will be discussed in person in October

Music:
- Music selections have been selected, but waiting on professional opinion before finalizing (see next bullet)
- Musicians for ceremony have been ordered (friend of mine), quote received, details discussed this week
- Reception location is providing DJ

Print:
- Designed and received Quote for Invitations + envelopes, RSVP cards + envelopes, Thank You cards + envelopes, programs, road signs, Save the Date cards + envelopes have been edited. Need finalization from decisions and order placed

Guest List:
- After multiple, multiple versions, I believe we are at about 100 (115 with a 20% no-show rate, so 92-ish + party), however it seems to be a constant battle between her parents and us (my parents are okay, so far). Butter zone is between 100-125, as the Lake has 75 chairs +$3/additional chair, and the Waynesville Inn needs a minimum of 100 for the reception.

Budget:
- We are estimating a $12,000 total budget (let me explain: I am tracking the budget, which is split up in "Estimated" (what we expect) and "Actual" (what has been spent), and then it is sub-split into each party pay area: Keat's parents, my parents, and us. We're looking at $10k for her parents, $500 for mine, and $1.6k for the two of us)
- I'm also keeping track of all of the finances (what is expected, what will be paid, what has been paid, outstanding amount, additional fees, etc)

Travel:
- Quote received from local limo company, just need to inspect/place order and figure out payment system

Cake:
- Appointment is being made with local company for tastings (and possibly ordering, based on the high number of recommendations from others)

Gifts (what we will give the people in the wedding):
- Have been looked at and budgeted, but not ordered yet

Favors:
- Decision made, quote received, but not ordered yet

Officiant:
- Quote received
- Finalized on date
- Travel costs will be covered
- "Pre-marriage Counseling" has begin with a 126 question "Inventory" list (we both fill out questions about ourselves and each other, then discuss that with the Preacher)

Salon/Spa:
- Prices have been estimated, no decision has been made yet

Hotel:
- The Waynesville Inn is the plan, but one thing we did not expect to encounter was "higher hotel rates for the holiday." Yeah, big overlook on our part. The Waynesville Inn's "Group Rates" (if we can guarantee 10 or more rooms) would be $130/night. I'm hoping that other hotels around us can provide lower rates.

Wedding License:
- Will go in July 2014 to receive from the Haywood County Registrar of Deeds office. $60 flat, no physical/blood tests required.

Wedding "Day Of Schedule":
- Schedule has been planned, tentative timeframes have been scheduled, awaiting discussion from other parties and vendors of finer details

Dance Classes:
- Have contacted local dance groups/academies. Awaiting response

Website:
- Website has been redesigned (kk.shadowdev.com), new features available
- Online RSVP available
- Online donations set up/honeymoon somewhat planned

I believe that is it so far. So, yeah, I'm the "wedding planner" for this big event. I have absolutely no idea how the Bride is supposed to do all of this, as you better be damn well organized to keep all of this in order. I've been to some excellent weddings and some way-below-par weddings, and my expectation is for this day to be outstanding and (hopefully) I can recall it in 20 years (I barely recall my own high school AND college graduations since they were so hectic).

I'll post updates when I get some and can clarify a few things.


Tags:#wedding #office #coding #shadowdev #lunarproductions #dns #ssh

RSS Feed

First DoS - and on 4/20!

No, I'm not talking about the Windows DOS, I'm talking about a Denial of Service attack! Yes, between 10am and 1pm today, our company website, shadowdev.com was down. And the worst part is: all of our client sites (and 3rd party websites) that referenced information on our company website took forever to load because they couldn't find the information our site was providing. Here's the Pingdom report from today:

Uptime


Uptime for April 20

Not the best way to spend 4/20, but after finally getting a report from our server hosting company, it turned out that 7 users were accessing the Shell at the same time (with close to 500 requests each), causing the server to allocate all resources to the Shell responses and not allowing the site load properly.

I've never experienced a DoS attack before, but it is not something that I want to deal with again. The oddest thing was: the other sites on the server worked fine (aside from some longer loading times). Out company site was the only one not loading, which is why I thought it was originally a DNS issue. I don't want to say anything about our DNS provider (CloudFlare) since they have been great so far, but based on my experience, that's the only option I was left with in determining the error. The support from CloudFlare was extremely helpful and helped as much as they could, but when our Server folk told us the multiple IP's were the issue, that ruled out any DNS issues.


Tags:#dns #420 #dos #attack #cloudflare #pingdom

RSS Feed

Praise for CloudFlare!

DOUBLE UPDATE!!! I know I just posted an entry, but I was doing some in-depth analysis and found a major improvement since I switched my DNS records over to CloudFlare. I've posted some reports (by Pingdom.com) that monitor my main site, shadowdev.com, and give me more detailed results for how the site has been doing (server-wise, not user-wise - Analytics are for that).

Uptime

Uptime with CloudFlare

Downtime

Downtime with CloudFlare

Uptime Report

Pingdom Uptime Report

This isn't a sponsored post, but I wanted to say how happy I am with the CloudFlare DNS service. This is almost as good as my old server, when the uptime was 100% all the time, not between 20-90% depending on the phase of the moon, what hour it was, if the stars were aligned, and if I even found Wonka's golden ticket.


Tags:#cloudflare #uptime #downtime #report #dns

RSS Feed

Ketchup

Wow, has it really been over a month since I posted last? It seems like yesterday that I made my last post. Since then, it's been nothing but busywork and client jobs.

Here's a comic to help relate to my previous month+ of absence:
Dilbert

I won't bore anybody with the finer details of what has happened over the past month, but here's a quick overview (just to keep you entertained):

- last week was a week of bad luck: had a co-worker's computer crash (had to re-install A LOT of software and do a full hard drive backup since the backup manager wasn't syncing everything), had the roof of an office space collapsed and spewed water and insulation all over, the co-worker had to find an old copy of Office 2007 so his SBA software would work right (OOo didn't cut it, unfortunately), prepared for a client's Open House, worked at said client's Open House, had both of our PPT and SEO seminars (which went great, with the exception that our PR got out late (again) and the first attendee showed up before we did), had a confused conversation with a current client over a chart display, had a very odd sewer smell in the office all week (turned out to be a lack of water in the drainage system; finally solved that after playing the "blame game" with the building secretary), one of the units got a fresh coat of paint which made the whole building smell odd, our first marketing order arrived (YAY!) and a client got some custom t-shirts, Tokyopop shut down their US office (not relevant, but I thought it was important news to mention), switched our DNS servers to CloudFlare which made the response rate lower dramatically and the uptime much higher, helped a client with a business plan for a competition (after having to re-write most of it), had some confusion over a potential client website and the hosting issue, finally switched over 2 clients DNS records (one had a major pain trying to get her domain from her old provider), made a video for switching over DNS records for said (and future) clients, had a mixup of payment systems for a client (although they had an invoicing system from the credit processor, they wanted another one created from us; we got a call today saying they wanted to go with the credit processor's invoicing system instead of ours, which we are okay with), said client had confusion when issuing credit to organization payers, uploaded the financial reports for the past 4 quarters to the corporate site, had some SSH and FTP issues with the server (solved?), went to a new Thai restaurant in downtown, had a large influx of followers for both my and the business's twitter accounts, got a DM from George Takei on Twitter (YAY!), and that's about it for last week.
George Takei DM

- not much else happened in the past month, aside from getting some insurance quotes, WCU getting a new chancellor, offering remote tech support for some clients, received an email that was sent 7 months ago (talk about being lost in cyberspace), had a mis-payment of a license (which was fixed), participated in a ΠΛΦ ΩΖ initiation, had a hard communication with a client's old hosting service, attended my first MeetUp, uploaded a few videos of Niko and Chi, installed our first successful SSL certificate, got 2 new clients signed on, and worked on other client works (still have no time for other projects), wrote a few informational articles, and got a mini squishy fox!
Squishy Fox!


That's about it for the past month. I'll try to be better about posting on a regular basis and not every other month.


Tags:#dilbert #pilambdaphi #server #georgetakei #squishy #dns #ssh #ftp #sba #tokyopop #office #ppt #seo #pr #ssl #niko #chi #

RSS Feed

Server Issues and Bad Day

Well, the server file transfer is done, but there are a few DNS issues with the subdomains and the uptime. It is getting very confusing. That is why this posting is a day late. I'm working with the support guy, but I think either he's getting pissed at me or the server setup is so specifically confusing that it is causing issues.

Garfield

Yesterday had to be one of the worst days I ever had. I'm not quite sure what the issue was that made me have a totally "mad-at-the-world" mood, but I think it had to do with Chi scratching drywall and the Director's Cut newsletter (called "Hello World!"; appropriate, right?) I wanted to get out on the 1st. I stayed up till 5am writing it, then got about 3 hours of sleep before Keat had to be at school. I'm normally good on 3 hours of sleep, but I don't think that helped at all.

I woke up grumpy, which has been unusual since high school (when Mom would come in and say "Time to get up." "Time to get up." "Time to get up." / Me: "OKAAAAAAYYY!!!"). I was pretty much mad the whole day. Couldn't really work much. I got some emails sent, some files updated, and tried to work on the subdomain issue.

Keat didn't have her phone, so I left around 2:15 to pick her up. After I picked her up, it turned out that she was in a sour mood as well. We went to Wendy's to get some food, and tried to act civily. I think it helped a little, because we had some food and started joking around. Keat and I felt better, so we went to Ingles and got a copy of The Mountaineer, which contained an article about us. How exciting!

We came back to the office, I clipped the article out and posted it, and things got better. Keat approved the newsletter, took a nap, and I sent it off. I sent off a few more emails and tried to work on the subdomain issue again - no luck. Couldn't figure out the issue.

Keat had class at 7:30, so she got up and left. I watched some American Dad and tried to clam down some more. Keat got done with class and we went home, played with the cats, and went to sleep. There goes Wednesday.


Tags:#garfield #americandad #dns #subdomains #helloworld #ingles

RSS Feed

Good news Everyone! Server transfer is being finalized!

Working Daze

Today had to be one of the shortest working days I ever had. Before I get into the day's activities, I received an email from the support guy yesterday (Monday) at 1pm saying that the missing databases were up, and he could move the subdomains for me. I sent him a list of the subdomains I needed moved (send around 1:30pm). I also found out that accessing PHPMyAdmin was tedious (see previous post), and sent another email around 8:30pm. On to Tuesday:

Everytime my alarm went off (at 9am, 9:30, and 10), I checked outside to see if the "Inspector People" were here yet. Luckily, they weren't. I got out of bed around 10:30, got dressed, unloaded/loaded the dishwasher, did some last minute cleaning, put the cats in the bedroom (with litter, food, water, and scratchers), and left the apartment just before 11 to get Keat to class. After dropping her off, I arrived at the office at 11:45 and booted up. The server transfer was supposed to be completed Monday night/Tuesday morning, so I wanted to check on it. Well, it wasn't exactly finished. A few of the sites weren't even transfered! I received this email at 12:15pm today:
It seems like all the sub domains are redirected to one of the sub net of shadowdev.com. I think you can log on the control panel and add them. Most of them don't have any content. you know where they redirects to. It will be easier that you add and set them up on the httpd.conf file which locates at /var/www/vhosts/shadowdev.com/conf
..and this about the PHPMyAdmin access:
I am not sure if you can access to phpMyAdmin in the other way. That is how i usually do which i have to log on the control panel and do it.
I sent in a response saying that I actually completed the subdomain transfer (which took about an hour), and asked about the shadowdev.com transfer (send at 1pm). Also, I checked the other domains to see if they were transfered, and found out that only 5-6 were transfered and the rest were not. I asked support about what was going on (at 1:15pm). This was the first time I was a little suspicious about my support guy's education and training. I mean, not to stereotype anybody, but when the support email says:
Hello,
 
Thank you for your email.
 
The reason i did not switch them because there are so many sub domains attaching with a couple of domains. I just switch them all to the new server now. There might be a few setting which are not configured properly (old configuration). Let us know if you need root password so you can easily configure the php files. This the full path where each domain locating: /var/www/vhosts/ This is where the website content locates: /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/httpdocs

...you know there has to be something up. My webhosting company hasn't really been the best webhosting company in the world, especially with some of the previous support requests I sent in the past. However, this is the only company that gave me a good price for the services I needed. Other companies were either lacking in equipment, software, or too-high price.

Anyway, I finally found out that the shadowdev.com domain was transfered (or so I hoped), and I downloaded the PHPMyAdmin software to its own subdirectory on the server. After loading the setup domain and fixing a few requirement files, I had quick and easy access to PHPMyAdmin, just like the old server. It's not exactly the same, but it's better than the 5-step process. You think that the support guys would know that. Oh well.

I left the office around 2:15 to pick up Keat, we quickly picked up some gas and food, and went home. It turns out that the "Inspector" guy had been there, and left a little 1" strip on the counter saying "Maintenance was in your apartment today performing the semi-annual safety inspection. Thank you for your cooperation." I guess we passed.(?)

We let the kitties out and about, and they love the clean(er) apartment. Keat and I actually sat down and watched Date Night (which was good; 8/10 overall). Afterwards, I worked on fixing server migration issues and found out that either the hosting company's servers were getting confused, or the worldwide DNS servers were getting mixed records, because wheverI would go to a site (for example: shadowdev.com), it would either load the old server or the new server (the sites on the new server have "New Server" comments at the top of the main index page so I could tell the difference, but end-users couldn't tell). It got really confusing when I had to upload or edit certain files to fix specific errors (hence: the "finalization" process).

Keat took a small nap while I did that, and then I cooked dinner. Afterwards, she woke up and we caught up on some of our Hulu episodes while eating, and by the time we realized it, Tuesday was over and December was here.

On the lighter side, I found out that Yanni (my favorite New Age artist) is releasing his first instrumental album since 2003, and it comes out in February. Maybe early Birthday present for myself? That'd be nice.

Along with the server location confusion, the top-level domains (like shadowdev.com) point to the new server, while subdomains (like dev.shadowdev.com and kp.shadowdev.com) point to the old server. I'm not an expert on server setups, but that gets really confusing, especially since the DNS records were never manually modified for remote subdomain locations. I'm posting this entry on both servers so both have the most updated records no matter what the DNS/cache servers say.


Tags:#server #workingdaze #inspection #support #dns #phpmyadmin #yanni