Prusak.com

Serving up my thoughts since 2004

Category: Helpful Stuff

Every now and then I come a cross a web site or software that I find truly helpful. Here are my picks.

WordPress for the iphone

Wouldn’t it be great if you could write posts on your blog from anywhere, even with no Internet connectivity?

Well I just downloaded the wordpress app for my iPhone and am writing this in the subway 🙂

Hopefully I’ll be writing more posts now.

Back from the Dead

Hi All,

I just found out today that www.prusak.com has been down for about 48 hours 🙁

I’ve been with my hosting provider – www.DreamHost.com – since 1999 and they’ve been rock solid so I never had any reason to setup any site monitoring services.

Also, I use Google apps for prusak.com email so that was working fine.

After 6 hours I finally got a reply to my urgent help ticket (they don’t have a number you can call for phone support) stating that:

Your domain is not pointed to our nameservers. Due to that, we cannot
update your DNS information if/when we need to change IPs (such as in the
cases of failing over pf services, moving apache instances, or
circumventing DDOS attacks).

Due to the sheer number of sites we host (700,000+) its not particuarlly
plausable to email our customers these changes, as <1% of our customer
base actually manage their own IPs.

Give me a break!

1 – It’s trivial to check which customers manage their own IPs
2 – When you do need to change IPs (which really shouldn’t be that often) I’m guessing only a fraction of your 700,000 sites are affected.

On a side note:
– I changed my DNS to dreamhost (so this won’t happen again)
– I signed up for a few free web site monitoring services. The only one which kept on sending me email while the site was down is BasicState.com (I figure I own them a free link). I’m not crazy about the user interface, but it works.

– Ophir

IMAP Backups

I’ve been using imap for my email for few years now. I can’t think of ever going back to pop based email. One issue I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while is backups. Just found this link which looks like a good solution (since I use thunderbird):

http://gemal.dk/blog/2004/02/19/backup_your_imap_mail/

What’s taking up your disk space?

In the Unix world, I’m used to using a utility called “du” to see how much space each directory uses. While looking for a windows version I came across this little gem: SC-DiskInfo – Analyse disk space usage

It gives you a very nice breakdown of subdirectory disk usage with nice graphs for instant visual feedback.

viewing jfax jfx files

A while back I settled on jfax as a service to get faxes. It’s free and it works. The main problem was that they want you to download their own viewer to view the faxes. The faxes are attached as .jfx files. After a little research I found that these are plain .tif files, and you can just rename the file from something.jfx to something.tif and then use any file viewer that supports tifs.

Hope this helps someone.

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