Eskimo North Move

Last night, December 28th, 2012, Eskimo North moved from an Integra co-location facility to an Isomedia facility.

First off, I want to thank the crew at Isomedia that worked with us to make this happen successfully.  In all we managed to accomplish this with less than two hours downtime.

The primary reason for our move was cost, Integra’s old rate was 1.5x what Isomedia charges, and they had in November sent me a notice that the rates were going up another $50, but when the invoice came they were $673, and I’ve yet to get an explanation from any of my contacts there, making the new Integra rate 2.5x higher than their competitor.

Secondary reasons for that were service, the last time there was a commercial AC power outage, their generator failed to start and the UPS quickly drained and we were down for lack of power a number of hours.

Then there was the incident where they lost air conditioning in the facility, our web server went down and when I got there it was 108F in the building and when I called the NOC, they were totally unaware that anything was wrong.

Or while I was gone, and they failed to reach my son regarding payment and their solution was to shut our Internet connectivity off for a weekend, a fiasco that cost me a significant number of web hosting customers.

So those were some of my reasons for leaving.  That said, I’m impressed with Isomedia so far.  The facility is better lit, and instead of blowing hurricane force winds through the entire building they have air come up through the floor of the cabinet and exit out the top.  The lighting is much better.  And they have a nice thing they refer to as crash carts, role around carts with a keyboard and monitor that will allow most people not to have to bring one.  Unfortunately, we found the monitors couldn’t handle Sun video so we still had to bring a monitor for our Sun equipment, but it’s a nice plus.

The greatest thing though is the people, Robb and Martin and Eric, all of you guys are great and I really appreciate your attitude of partnering with your customers and commitment to find a way to get it done.


Eskimo North was started as a single line computer BBS (bulletin board system), back in 1982, running on a 2 Mhz Z-80 based Trs-80 model III with a whopping 48kb of RAM and two single sided 40 track floppy drives which held about 180kb of data, or 144kb on the system disk.

After getting involved with a project to port Minibin to my host driver and vice versa, it became a Minibin-derived room message system.

In 1985, when we went to a Xenix system, I looked for some way to provide similar functionality and for a while we ran an MMBBS (MicroMagic BBS) that was a Unix Citadel like clone, but it really never enjoyed much popularity.

Still, I liked and missed the old room style message systems because they seemed to promote more intelligent conversations than most other computer media.

I put up a phpBB forum here, which is a web based forum, at first it got some use but that died down.  I think the combination of the old server being painfully slow for PHP applications and spam and the fact that users couldn’t create forums all contributed to that.  The speed issue has been resolved and the spammers brought under control, so I’m hoping it might revive.

But, I’ve also added a Citadel BBS now and opened it up to the public, anyone can join, post, and create rooms (topics).  It can be accessed either as a web forum or you can telnet to it.

To access from the web go to

To access via telnet, type telnet

If you are coming in from Windows you can type the telnet command from the DOS command prompt.

There is a bug in the telnet portion that is causing it to not accept connections from MacIntosh machines, but there is also a work around.  If you’re on a Mac, connect to one of the shell servers.

If you telnet in to, you’ll get the old familiar interface very much like you used to get if you dialed in.  I haven’t created a bunch of rooms because I want you folks to create things that interest you.

To create a room:

If you telnet in, type .Enter Room and give it a room name.

If you access via the web, Select the “Advanced” options from the menu on left, then on the right under Advanced Room Commands, select the Create Room option.

The Citadel is free to everyone that doesn’t abuse it so invite your friends.  Spammers aren’t welcomed and will be ejected.

New Web Server

I’ve replaced our old UltraSparc machine running Apache 1.3.3 under Redhat 6.2, with a new sever running Apache 2.4.3 under Centos 6.3.  PHP has been upgraded to 5.3.3, MySQL 5.1.66, and Perl to 5.10.1.

This allows running modern applications like WordPress, Drupal (Drupal 6 works properly at this point, there is currently some issues with Drupal 7), the current version of SquirrelMail, CopperMine, and phpBB.

What you are reading here now is a blog using WordPress.  I used to blog using and FTP publishing to publish to my website here.  Shortly after Google ate Blogger, they discontinued FTP publishing leaving me and a lot of others in a lurch.

WordPress has available a Blogger Import module.  I used it to move my blogs from Blogger over to WordPress and get them back to where I could post, in the original locations.

The import module mostly worked.  I failed to import any links I had to video.  Otherwise I got my blogs back pretty easy, and, so can you!  To set up a WordPress blog, all you need to do is login to and cd to your public_html directory.  Decide where you want your blog to be, suppose it’s ~username/blog (blog in your home directory), cp the WordPress files to that location.  I’ve made that easy for you by unpacking a copy of wordpress into /misc/wordpress.

cd public_html

cp -a /misc/wordpress blog

Then with your browser, go to

If you do not yet have a MySQL database, request one from support.  That will happen fast now because I’ve scripted adding new users to MySQL so I no longer have to get my MySQL book out and try to remember how to setup the grant tables because it’s been six years since last time.  Now I just type ‘myadd username’ and boom, it’s done.

So once you have that, WordPress will inform you that you don’t have a config file, and offer to create one.  You accept, and will prompt for a database name, that will be the same as your username, which it will also prompt for, and a password.  If you already have a MySQL database, the password will be whatever it is, if you ask me to create one, include the password you wish to use.  Lastly, it will ask for the table prefix which by default will be ws_. The only reason you might wish to change this is that you have more than one WordPress installation (if you maintain multiple blogs as I do, that will be the case), then do something like ws_blogname_ instead of just ws_.

Now click the install button, then login to your new blog and begin customizing as you desire.  There are a gazillion themes to choose from and the majority have a great deal of ability to be customized.

As a general rule, you want to install the plugins you need and not more than you need because each additional plugin is that much more PHP code to load and execute and so slows the overall performance of your blog.

For example, to import a blog from blogger, you’ll need the blogger import plugin, but after you’ve imported the blog, you no longer need it so get rid of it.