Friday, June 27, 2008

HTTP to HTTPS Forwards Please

Why do some sites that require a secure connection not automatically forward you to the secure site? How hard is it to do? Not very! (with Apache at least)

 #How about a simple .htaccess file in the webroot?  
 #Force SSL for example.hwarf.com  
 RewriteEngine On  
 RewriteBase /  
 RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on  
 RewriteRule ^.*$ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [R,L]

Hopefully some sites will pay attention to this. I'm not mentioning any URLs.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Time Warner Cable / Road Runner - The Rip Off

After 6 months with Time Warner Cable's Road Runner Internet service at home I was hit with a nice surprise. Month 7th would cost me $70.95, instead of the $44.95 that was/is advertised on their site. For some reason my location does not get their standard pricing. While my initial service was great, below I've identified some issues I have with Time Warner that has led me to cancel my account.
  • Their 800 Number - Whenever I try to call their customer support number I have to call at least five to ten times to get through. For some reason I keep getting a busy signal. Annoying!

  • Hold Times - It takes about 10-15 minutes to get someone on the phone. I really wish I would've bought a speakerphone.

  • Getting Bounced Around - During my first of three calls I was bounced around to three different operators that could not help me. However, before I reached the third person I was conveniently lost in phone-space and had to call back.

  • Lack of Logic - There was no good explanation as to why the Road Runner service costs so much more in my area than someone who lives a couple miles from me.

  • Customer Support Staff - While the staff was very nice, they were unable to help me. It was quite frustrating having someone tell me, "I agree that $70.95 is ridiculous and I have no idea why it is priced that way. I can understand why you would want to cancel."
As of next week I will no longer be a Road Runner customer and have since signed up with the Windstream Greenstreak service. The biggest disappointment about their DSL service is that they claim I only qualify for 3Mbps service. After living with 7Mbps and 15Mbps for the last year and a half, 3Mbps is going to feel pretty slow. I guess no more streaming HD movies from the iTunes store to the AppleTV.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Googlebot and FreeDNS from afraid.org

Back on January 8th I canceled my Dreamhost account and began hosting my site off of my cable modem. Only receiving ~15 hits a day I figured I might as well save myself $120 a year. So I chose freedns.afraid.org to host my DNS. They were free and had all the options that I wanted, including working with Tomato.

After the switch I noticed that my traffic had declined dramatically, down to ~1 hit per day. So I starting doing a bit of investigating and found that Google was no longer crawling my site and had deleted my previous results. Logging into the Google Webmaster Tools I found that Google was having DNS issues connecting to my site. Well, after pulling my hair out for an evening I found that FreeDNS was blocking the googlebot from crawling my site.

Solution: I have switched my DNS provider to ZoneEdit. ZoneEdit offers similar features to that of FreeDNS. Now Google can access my site again, but I'm no longer in the results for some searches. I guess it will take some time. Yahoo and Live search were totally unaffected by FreeDNS.

So this is a warning to all people using FreeDNS and want Google to crawl their site.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Installing Netbackup Enterprise Server 6.5 on CentOS 5 / RHEL 5 withSELinux

It took me almost a whole day to come up with this solution. This should get Veritas Netbackup Enterprise Server 6.5 up and running on a CentOS 5 / RHEL 5 box with SELinux enabled.


HOWTO: Server

  1. Install a couple of dependencies:
    yum install compat-libstdc++-296 xinetd libXp 

  2. Make sure that the hostname is set correctly. This is very important.

  3. Temporarily disable SELinux:
    setenforce 0

  4. Untar the installation files:
    tar xvf NetBackup_6.5_LinuxRedhat2.6.tar.gz
    tar xvf NetBackup_6.5_ICS_LinuxX86.tar.gz

  5. Start the installation:
     ./NB_65_LinuxR_x86_20070723/install
    .....
    #ICS Directory: ./NB_65_ICS_1.4.37.0_LinuxX86/


  6. Fix SELinux:
    chcon -t textrel_shlib_t /usr/openv/lib/*
    setenforce 1


  7. Start Netbackup:
    /etc/init.d/netbackup start

HOWTO: Client

  1. Untar the installation file:
    tar xvf NetBackup_6.5_CLIENTS2.tar.gz

  2. Start the installation:
    NB_65_CLIENTS2_20070723/install

  3. Fix SELinux issues:
    chcon -t textrel_shlib_t /usr/openv/lib/*

  4. Start the client:
    /etc/init.d/nbclient start