New WebMail Soon

     We will be migrating webmail from SquirrelMail to RoundCube.

      The reason we are doing this primarily is because there is a responsive theme for RoundCube called MobileCube that allows it to work well on portable devices.

      The next version of RoundCube will be responsive by default so at some point the theme may change as it will no longer be necessary.  Right now we are using version 1.1.3, version 1.1.4 will be responsive by default.

      There are other reasons though, one of which is how it handles contacts.  Instead of a file with a proprietary format, it uses VCard format so it can interact better with other mailers.

     The downside to this is there isn’t an easy way to import the old address books, so, when the new webmail is up, you will still be able to access squirrel mail by using:

      Web Apps → Mail → Old

     Or by the direct URL

New Forum Software

     Forums has been replaced with new software, phpBB 3.1.6.

     I’ve run phpBB in the past but went away from it because it lacked support for responsive themes and was generally slow.

     MyBB had responsive themes but they turned out to be ugly and really ONLY looked okay on mobile devices.  On a wide screen they’d jam everything over in the left corner.

     MyBBS broke badly when we went to an all encrypted site.  For some reason enabling SSL broke a bunch of things on MyBB.

     The current phpBB is responsive by default, so now Forums will display properly on your cell phone, laptop, tablet, or desktop.

     In addition, phpBB 3.1.6 works properly on an SSL encrypted https site.

     The captcha is both easier to use for people and harder to use for bots.  Accounts are registered instantly by e-mail.

     Our current web server platform runs phpBB fast so speed is no longer a problem.

     From our main website, use Web Apps → Forums or you can use the direct URL

Out of the Office 3:30pm – 6pm’ish

     I’m going to be out of the office for a while as I have to make a trip to the co-location facility to bring up the old server.  It is an old Sparc SS-10 with no means of rebooting remotely when it’s hung.  I am going to run a few errands as well when I am out and possible get dinner so will be two or three hours.

Scientific7 Maintenance 11/21 10pm

     I will be taking scientific7 down for imaging tonight around 10pm (I will wait if it is actively in use at that time) for about 25 minutes.  I had intended to get to it with the other machines last night but problems with one of the host machines booting properly prevented it.

     There appears to be an issue with the version of systemd on these machines.  If it has only been operating for a while, it works correctly, but if it’s been up for a week or more, it often hangs during a run level change.  I am seeing the same behavior on my workstation which is also Ubuntu 15.10.

Maintenance 11/20 10pm-2am

      I will be rebooting some servers and taking others down to image them tonight.  The reboots are necessary to load a new kernel.  Imaging is necessary to have current backups in the event of a machine failure or corruption.

     Servers that need to be rebooted include all the host machines so everything will be unavailable for a brief period during this interval but not everything at the same time.

     Most outages will be brief (less than ten minutes) but the mail client server will need about a half hour of downtime to image it.

The 2038 Crisis – Only for SunOS server

     For older Unix’s and Linux’s that kept track of time in a 32-bit integer counting seconds since January 1, 1970, time would run out in 2038.

    I have experimentally determined that I can set dates out to the year 2262 (but not 2263).  It appears signed 64-bit nanoseconds runs out in 2262 so that is probably what the current kernels are using.

     The old Eskimo.Com shell server will need to be retired by 2038 if it isn’t dust before that time since no updates to SunOS 4.1.4 are ever likely to be made available to resolve the time issue.


     I had to say something.  Wind is picking up now and we’ve just had three power hits here.  My workstation survived, enough capacitor in the power supply to bridge the gap, but we may be in the dark yet.