News for February 2008

Radiation tri-blade 27.February.2008 » While laying in the sauna last night (where I had a great sweat going), I was thinking how pleased I am with the way things turned out .. with our move to the new VPS server (upgrade).

Finally Able to Relax + A Letter from the Inbox

SaunaThe site is more enjoyable to use, now that's much zippier. Both the blog and the forum are way faster.

And I like how the world of VPS contains such cool language. Consider, for example, the phrase, "Rad on VPS ala Xen." Sounds Ferrari-like, doesn't it?

Laying there (in the steam), I was thinking how many people have worked very hard to make all this cool software (such as MTOS) available .. that I get to play with!

The last few months have been hectic, trying to lower our usage of server resources. I upgraded both the forum & blog scripts. And when that wasn't enough, I had no choice but to move the site. Lunarpages kept threatening to cancel my account, so I had to do something.

Feel like I can finally relax. The move is complete. The site is stable. Nobody is threatening to turn off the lights. Plus these WiredTree support techs are great.

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Finally Able to Relax + A Letter from the Inbox

Radiation tri-blade 24.February.2008 » Biggest problem I had moving the site (to our new VPS server) .. was the blog not working. Readers could still view pages/entries, but the blog-interface (which allows me to create new entries) would not load.

Upgrading to Virtual Private Server (VPS): Hindsight

WiredTree Virtual Private Servers (VPS)Instead of launching the interface, the master script-file (mt.cgi) prompted a *download*. ("Would you like to download, open or cancel?")

That suk'ed .. cuz I make much use of the blog .. to help keep this home-page lean-n-mean.

(Tho I create these entries in Dreamweaver, cuz it's a far superior tool to what you find in the MT interface, far as web page creation goes. Then I copy-n-paste into MT. That's why the blog entries always come after you see it here.)

Normally I have a plenty of tools in my Troubleshooting bag-of-tricks, but this problem left me scratching my head.

I'd never seen this type of behavior. And neither had anyone at the Movable Type forums. (I use the new Open Source version of Movable Type » v4.1.)

Not being able to use the blog was a major bummer. Fortunately, I found an article that offered a solution .. even tho it appeared to address a different problem.

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Upgrading to VPS (from Shared Hosting): Rad's Rear-view Perspective on Virtual Private Servers

Radiation tri-blade 22.February.2008 » First thing I did after moving the site to a new server is .. find out if the move was really necessary.

VPS Upgrade Necessary? Dedicated Server Required?

You'll recall that Lunarpages support told me the site used too many resources to qualify for their VPS plan, and that I needed a dedicate server (something I found hard to believe).

WiredTree VPS Plans: 256 & 512-MB RAMSo now that we are here, I've been pinging the sppt techs at WiredTree, asking them exactly what resources we're using.

You can find all the gory details here » Resource Usage at New VPS Server .. but they basically said our CPU usage is "minimal."

Surprisingly however, they also said our allotment of memory would've already been exceeded .. had it not been for the free 128-MB RAM upgrade ( .. for which I found a coupon).

WiredTree offers two VPS plans. One comes with 256-MB ($49/mo), the other 512-MB ($89/mo). So it seems we already exceed the 256 .. currently using 270-MB, and the specs of our current plan (with 384-MB dedicated memory) are half-way between the 256 and 512-MB VPS plans.

WT offers incremental memory upgrades at a rate of $7.50/mo per 64-MB. So it seems my (free) 128-MB upgrade is worth $15/mo. Plus the coupon also provides a 10% discount .. equal to $5/mo. So the coupon is worth $20/mo (total) .. without which we'd be paying $65/mo.

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » VPS Upgrade Necessary? Dedicated Server Required?

Radiation tri-blade 20.February.2008 » Welcome to Chicago! .. "the Windy city." If you can read these words, you are resolving to the NEW server.

Welcome to Chicago: Home of the New Rad VPS Server

Chicago - Radified's new homeMy registrar says it's normal for locations to go back and forth between old and new servers for the first 48 hours.

This is Radified's first venture into the world of VPS hosting. We've always used Shared hosting before (way cheaper). VPS is definitely a step up in the web world.

I changed DNS pointers at 2:30 PM (Tuesday afternoon). My registrar is located down in San Diego, so I think the closer you are to San Diego, the faster you'll resolve to the new server. (Not sure if that's how it works, tho.)

The site was backed-up (at OLD server) at 8AM (Tuesday). So any posts made between then and now are lost.

I feel good about the move, having done considerable research, and getting everything I wanted. Moreover, I found a coupon online for 10% discount (paying $44/month instead of $49), so I even feel good about the price.

And we also got FREE 128-MB RAM upgrade .. with the coupon. (We now have 384-MB "dedicated" memory .. instead of 256.)

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Chicago: Home of the New Rad VPS (Virtual Private Server)

Radiation tri-blade 19.February.2008 » Moving the site today .. to our new server (physically-located in Chicago). You can read some of the details in this thread here » Heads up - Preparing to move the site

Moving the Site Today! (Wish Me Luck)

Allied Moving TruckThis is the final entry I will make at the old server. It will take a day or so for the new DNS to resolve. When I'm set up at the new server, I'll add a note to this page indicating so.

This is currently the *NEW* server. It's 7:30 AM Pacific time right now. By tonight, hopefully, we should be done moving.

I'm on the steeper slopes of the learning curve, so it may take longer than expected. They sent me lots of "New account" PDFs to read ("Getting Started"). I stayed up 'til midnight, last night. Then my eyeballs started falling out, and I passed out (with the laptop still on my lap).

So .. as they say in the 'hood, "We up outta here." See ya at the new digs in Chicago. We're moving up in the web world. Our new host is WiredTree. I'm excited about the move. (Yes, everything is backed-up in triplicate.)

Radiation tri-blade 18.February.2008 » Been reading so much about VPS servers that my dang eyeballs fell out. Had to crawl around on my hands-n-knees and feel around 'til I found 'em, so I could pop 'em back in. (Hate when my eyeballls fall out like that.)

Think I Might've Found Our New Web Host (WiredTree)

WiredTree VPS Web Hosting, based in ChicagoBeen learning new words like Xen and OpenVZ. I could totally write a Rad guide to VPS. For example, here's a great post about how to move the site from Shared server (where we are now) to VPS.

First thing that needs to be answered is » Managed or unManaged? For noobies like me, with no Linux admin experience, they recommend a Managed VPS.

All things being equal (disk space, memory, bandwidth, etc) a Managed VPS cost about double what you pay for unManaged.

For example, the unManaged Link-3 plan at VPSlink that comes with 10-GB disk space + 256-MB RAM costs $25/month. The same plan (10 + 256) from Spry is fully managed. It costs $50/month. ($45 if you pay for 3 months.) Both are located in Seattle, part of the same company, and probably the most popular VPS host.

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Think I Might've Found Our New VPS Web Host (WiredTree)

Radiation tri-blade 16.February.2008 » Happy belated Valentines day. That's when I called our web host (Lunarpages) to ask about upgrading the site to one of their VPS servers.

Does Radified Really Need a Dedicated Server?

Peter Pan Flies to NeverlandThey informed me however, Radified uses too many server resources to qualify for their VPS plan, and that I need to upgrade to one of their Dedicated servers instead.

Much as my ego would like to believe we really need a dedicated server, I just don't buy it. So I've been beating the bushes, trying to find a new host.

At the top of my list is ServInt. They're based out of the northern-Virginia/DC area. Altho I'd prefer a server located here on the West coast, I have many fond memories of my weekend visits to DC, back when I lived in Pennsylvania. (Anybody been to Clyde's for brunch in Georgetown?)

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Radified Needs a Dedicated Server?

Radiation tri-blade 11.February.2008 » Was hoping to delve into the new Movable Type blogging software I installed last week (MTOS), and begin configuring it, ..

.. but I've been preoccupied with trying to rein in our ("excessive") use of server resources, since we were exiled to the "stabilization server," where all bad-boys are sent (banished).

Researching Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

Our resource usage however, seems higher than ever. The most-recent number quoted (today) was 8.46% CPU. (Limit = 1.0%.) So I've been researching more in-depth exactly what's involved in moving to a VPS server.

Virtual Private ServersVPS is half-way between "Shared" hosting (which we have now), and "Dedicated" hosting (where you have the whole server to yourself). VPS is sorta like the "condo" version of web hosting plans.

(Shared is like living in a tenement, all crowded together, while dedicated is like having your own house.)

Lunarpages VPS servers are limited to 25 accounts, so each account is allocated 4% of the CPU. They come with dual-Xeons, a dedicated IP, and let you do with them as you please.

In other words, they offer the benefits of a dedicated server at a fraction of the co$t ($45/month .. $40 if you pay for a whole year up front). So that's where we are .. looking at a move to VPS. (Thanks to Magoo for offering to administrate.)

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog III .. see here » Researching Virtual Private Servers (VPS) + SMF

Radiation tri-blade 01.February.2008 » Installed Movable Type Open Source (blogging software) last night. Woohoo!

Installed Movable Type Open Source (MTOS)

Movable Type Open Source 4.1I've installed previous versions of Movable Type a few other times, such as v2.63 (back in 2003), and v3.35 (last April) .. all with no problem. But this version gave me fits .. due more however, to server weirdness than the software itself.

Learned much in the process. Finally resolved my problems by uploading (to my server) the *entire* archived ZIP file (which I downloaded from the Movable Type site), and UNzipped the file ON THE SERVER (via cPanel).

This method is way faster than unzipping the archive on my laptop and uploading the (2,000+) files sequentially. Was a beautiful sight to finally see the MT installer appear in my browser window. (Hallelujah!)

I was up 'til 1:30 AM the other night/morning trying to figure out what the heck was goin' on. Still have lots of configuring to do, but over the biggest hurdles (installing MTOS + posting first blog entry).

So I've installed & used MT 2.63, MT 3.35, and now » MTOS 4.1 .. the first open source release. Looking forward to lifting the hood on this puppy and familiarizing myself with the full range of its power. Almost forget .. HERE's the new blog » Ye Olde Rad Blog III (based on MTOS 4.1).

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