Tuesday, November 22, 2011

High Tech Crossword

I think Mom wants an iPad. She's definitely enjoying the NYT Crossword Puzzle app on my iPad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Whalley Pl W,Seattle,United States

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wheeler St Kitchen

Nothing says yum like Butternut Squash Soup with a hint of curry, a Pulled Pork Shoulder Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Garlic Mayo, and a side of 'Slaw.

It was so rich, even I couldn't finish it!

I must say I'm loving living this close to so many great places to eat! :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:W Wheeler St,Seattle,United States

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge Cabin

Thought this was so cool in iMovie I made another video...this one I set to auto play in HD.

Grand Canyon - North Rim Lodge

I thought this was cool and I had to share.

I took this video on my camera (a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7) of when Mom, Dad, Terrie and I went to the Grand Canyon back in September of this year. I had uploaded the video and pictures to my iPad but here is where it gets cool. I took the video and imported it into an app called iMovie for the iPad. With that app, I was able to modify the video as you see and then upload it to a couple of movie sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. By the way, if you have a Google account, you have a YouTube account and a Picasa account so you can upload both your pictures and your videos and post them here from your smartphone (iPhone, Droid, etc.) or tablet (iPad, Android tablet, etc.).

Here is the video on YouTube...

Here is the video on Vimeo...

The Grand Canyon - North Rim from Dean Flaming on Vimeo.

A view of the Grand Canyon from the North Rim

Friday, November 4, 2011

Email Up and Running...

In case you didn't notice, Email is back up. The following is from the service provider.

I figured I'd share this as I could definitely feel their pain in this situation - having been in it myself.

Another Outage, Really? Yes, really. I regret having to write to you again so soon, but the latest outage of our IMAP/POP3 email was a very severe one that lasted for over 30 hours. After the last outage, we thought we had fixed the issues, but there were obviously some lingering, unforeseen bugs.

What Really Happened? Let's start from the beginning... A few months ago, we migrated all of our hardware out of a data center in San Diego. San Diego was where email was originally housed. Upon moving, we changed the structure and hardware that was handling IMAP/POP3 in order to make it more reliable and redundant.

We added new redundant switches, raid controllers, storage servers. Even the Ethernet links that connected these were redundant. After much testing, we decided on Oracle's OCFS2 filesystem, but that is where the trouble came, the one part of the system that could not be redundant: the filesystem. Bugs cropped up after the structure was put into production. We worked with Oracle to have them fixed, but their patches were no help. After the Nov 2nd's failure, they then proceeded to update our case to "Severe", but we never heard from them again.

After some trial and error, we were successful in getting the filesystem mounted in a read-only state. Instead of waiting for Oracle to figure out how to allow writes again, we began transferring the email to alternate hardware with a known reliable filesystem. The time estimates were made on how long it would take to move the data across the network. But email is a funny thing that way, the hundreds of gigabytes of data was not the problem, it was the shear number of tiny files being created on the filesystem. Some accounts had over 200,000 files that were only a few hundred bytes long. This is why our time estimates were so grossly incorrect.

We were in the dark just as much as you were as far as a time frame for when the data transfer would be completed. It was a long and painfully slow process.

Is IMAP/POP3 stable now? Yes, it is now structured the same way that it has been for the past 8 years. During those 8 years, we have never had any major outages, so we are confident that this solution is the right one.

So, what happens now? We have come to realize that managing email has become far more costly and time consuming for our small team to manage in house. We could hire more staff and purchase bigger, more expensive hardware, but this would in turn drive up our low prices and our customers would suffer. So, we realize that we should ultimately focus on what we do best, Managed DNS.

In light of this, we are joining forces with an email provider that has the time and resources to manage millions of email accounts effectively. They also have an uptime history of 99.999%, so outages are out of the question.

Does this mean No-IP will no longer manage my email? Not exactly. We will still manage your email, but another company will be maintaining the infrastructure of your mail. All support calls for IMAP/POP3 will still be directed to us. Mail forwarding will also be handled by the new company.

But what about my other Email Services: Alternate-Port SMTP, Backup MX and Mail Reflector? No changes will be happening to these services. We will still be managing all of them in-house and will continue to provide support for any issues that you have concerning these products.

What will the transition be like? Most importantly, will I still have all of my data? All of your emails, contacts, and calendar items will be transitioned as part of the migration process. The only difference you will probably notice is in the webmail interface, which will be different.

Will there be any downtime associated with this transition? Although we are still in the planning phase of this transition, we are hoping to have little to no downtime during this transition, and if there is downtime, it will be kept a minimum, during off peak hours.

We hope that you stick around with us. Email is going to be the same low price that it has always been, and it will now be backed up by a solid 99.999% uptime guarantee and honestly, you won't even notice a difference in your email, well except for the uptime ; ).

Email is important and that is ultimately why we have reached this decision.

The transition to the new service will be as painless as possible. There will be little effort on your end and we will be doing most of the legwork. At most, you will probably have to update a record or two.

You will be receiving information in the coming weeks with information about account migration.

In light of the recent outage, we are offering you a free month of email service, and have already added it to your account.

We thank you for your continued patience and for being a valued customer of No-IP. If you have any questions about anything, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Email Down

It seems email has been down by the service provider... No-IP has had several issues with email over the last day or so. For updates, see @NoIPStatus on Twitter.com or the No-IP.com Support page.