Maintenance 7/17 10pm -> 7/18 2am

     Owing to a recent kernel upgrade pushed out by Redhat, Fridays maintenance will be more extensive, involving reboots of most of the Redhat based machines, including the physical host machines so everything will be interrupted for a period.  Most of the heavily used machines will be done after midnight and the less used or duplicated machines before.

maintenance

Website

     Based upon some feedback I’ve received from customers, I’ve increased the primary font size from 10pt to 12pt, the subheading font-size from 12pt to 14pt, and the main heading to 20pt to make it easier to read.  Old news posts will remain in whatever font they were posted in since there is no common place to change the fonts for all of them.

     Because some browsers don’t properly handle the CSS scroll directive, in particular Windows phone browsers, On the four pages that had fly-outs, I’ve also added internal links, for the four pages affected, so you can access that material.

     I am still working on tables so they’ll behave better when they exceed the squish limit on devices with very small screens.

Potential Maintenance Outage Thursday Morning

     Isomedia is where we have our equipment co-located. They will be performing maintenance on early Thursday morning that has the potential to cause an outage.


ISOMEDIA will be performing maintenance on our core network Thursday morning, July 16th, between 00:01AM and 02:00AM Pacific Time. This maintenance isn’t expected to be service affecting. However, there may be outages lasting 5-15 minutes.

All times are estimates based on expected outcomes of the work being performed and previous experience performing the same or similar work. There is always the possibility of some unforeseen bug, or problem, that could extend the maintenance time or cause a disruption in connectivity. Administrators will make every effort to correct the problem, or implement the back out plan quickly, if something does occur.

Cache that Works

     I did find a cache plugin that works well with the twenty eleven theme I use here (the theme is somewhat modified), and that is WP Fastest Cache in combination with Memcached is your friend.  The combination work well where content is mostly static, and when it is not you can tell it not to cache specific pages.

Cache Plugin that Works?

    It is so difficult to find a cache plugin for WordPress that works as advertised.  Either they corrupt the cache and serve garbage after a while or they cache pages like the home page even when you tell them not to and it breaks things, like the hit counter.


Webserver Upgrade Completed

     PHP on the web server has been upgraded from 5.3.3 to 5.6.10.  I am not upgrading to version 7 at this time because of severe backward compatibility issues that break too many existing applications such as WordPress.  Also installed with 5.6.10 is an opcode cache that hopefully will improve efficiency though I didn’t see any difference in page load times before and after the upgrade.  But it will allow me to use some cache plugins that would not work with 5.3.3.

     I will be upgrading PHP on the shell servers that have older versions as time allows.  This is mostly the Centos 6 and SL 6 machines, most of the others have reasonably current versions.

Web Server Maintenance 7/10 10pm-midnight

IMG_4899     Because WP Fragment Cache requires PHP version 5.3.6 or greater, and I want to use this on our website, I am going to attempt an upgrade of PHP tomorrow evening.

     Because of the integration of PHP with so many other components, most importantly mysql and Apache, there is a non-trivial chance of something going really wrong.

     To safeguard against permanent damage, I am going to take the web server down, image it, then perform the upgrade.

     If all goes well, I’ll take it down again and make another backup with the new PHP installed.

     If all does not go well, I’ll take it down and restore from the just made image.

     Either way, there will be two down periods lasting about 20 minutes each between 10PM and midnight tomorrow evening July 10th.