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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in HiRezFox Account Holders' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
8:11 am
Forum is down, backup forum domain is for sale too :)
Happy New Year :)

And we have our first glitch of the year, yay us! :D

The main forum is down with a 404 - The requested URL /viewforum.php was not found on this server. Unclear if we had a hax or something else went sidewise.

Note please I can do nothing to fix this issue, Canis & Co. will figure it out I'm sure.

Friday, July 12th, 2013
12:50 am
Tweaked timezone in Kathy's copy of the update script
I noticed that, after the move to the new server, something appeared to screw up the timing of the RSS feed's update.

As it turns out, something was passing along the wrong timezone, so I've hardcoded the timezone for GMT instead of grabbing whatever the server was in.

Note that this change may need to be copied to other comics on the site, at least if they use the RSS or Transcript versions.
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
3:30 am
Trouble accessing the websites
I am currently unable to access any of the web sites, ping the server or get to them via telnet on :80, so something Exciting is going on.

At this time, I'm getting site timeouts:

[i]The server at www.caspeed.com is taking too long to respond.[/i]

Same for 21CF and CO...

S:\>ping www.caspeed.com

Pinging www.caspeed.com [] with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),

mako@ubuntu:~$ telnet www.hirezfox.com 80
telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused

DNS is working but the VPS seems it's sitting on it's bit bucket.

I've pinged JamesB, hopefully he will be able to poke at it later Sunday.

Current Mood: curious
Monday, March 11th, 2013
6:10 pm
New server for HiRezFox
The decision has been made, and hirezfox.com will be moving to a new home.

In the past, the servers that either makovette or I used to host hirezfox.com, were completely owned and controlled by us. To make these servers work, a business class internet connection that could be configured with static IPs was needed. My relocation to rural Nova Scotia last October and the unfortunate passing of mammallamadevil a few weeks ago, has meant that in the very near future, neither Mako nor I will have access to internet connections that are suitable for running our own web server.

In September of last year, I started leasing a VPS (virtual private server) to take over the server duties for the websites associated with my home business and family. This server space will be able to host the hirezfox.com domain as well. Unfortunately, the downside is that the increased capacity needed to run the hirezfox.com web site will most likely mean an increased monthly bill. As to what the bill increase will be, to be honest, I don't know, and I won't know until I see what the increased load does to the system performance.

As we no longer completely own and control the server(s), there are some things that either are more difficult to do, won't work the same, or are just impossible. For starters, we have already discovered that some of the usernames that people had on the HRF server(s) will not be available on the new server. Allocation of a new username will change paths to home pages, and this may necessitate some minor changes to background programs (including the Autofox comic automation feature) that currently have absolute directory paths in their associated files.

Mention of the Autofox automation process brings up another point. There are many comics on the HRF server are still being rebuilt daily by the Autofox automation process, even though the comic story line is essentially finished with no further updates expected. In an attempt to reduce the cost of the server, I propose that we switch off the automation on these strips until such time as the strip story line is restarted. Yes, I know this is nickel and dime stuff, but every bit will help.

There appear to be many dormant user accounts. Running the lastlog command on the server reveals some interesting data on account usage, and has convinced me that I shouldn't bother creating accounts for all the current users on the old HRF server. If you need an account on the new server, contact me and we'll discuss it.

For the moment, whatever files are currently available as a sub-directory of the www.hirezfox.com domain will be copied across and will appear to all intents and purposes to be untouched. They may however be residing in a different physical location on the new server's hard drive(s), and without an account, you won't be able to edit/delete/add to those files. Any files that were not accessible as a sub-directory of the www.hirezfox.com domain won't be copied, and in a very short time (weeks not months), those files will be gone. Mako may do a full backup of the server before it is shut down and repurposed, but there is no guarantee that this will be done. In other words, if you really need those files, the ball is in your court, and you don't have much time to do something about it.
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
12:39 am
Some sad news
As most of you likely know, the HRF server has been generously located at Kerry O'Day's ( mammallamadevil's ) home and on her business internet circuit, since about 2008 or so.

I regret to share the hard news that Kerry passed away from cancer this past Sunday. More information is available at Sue's LJ here: http://suerankin.livejournal.com/44776.html and also The Gneech's post here: http://the-gneech.livejournal.com/2121827.html if you can take a moment to read them.

At some point in the next month or two, the house will be cleared out and returned to the land lord.

This means that the HRF server will have to move.

I have decided at this point that I will move the HRF comic websites to a VPS (virtual private server) hosted somewhere in the cloud.

What does this means to all HRF hosted websites?
In the next 3-6 weeks, all the hosted websites must be moved prior to the internet at the home being shut down.

To make this easier:
If you have a link button on the HRF homepage here: http://www.hirezfox.com/ all your content will be moved automagically and it will "just work". No action on your part will be required.

To our visitors:
Hopefully with some help from the other admins, I am going to first move the core comic web sites and swing the DNS to point to the VPS. A day of or two of downtime may occur, so please don't panic if you get a 404 when accessing the site.

To our artists:
Please DO ensure you have a local to you copy of ALL your files, including html, css xml and so on.

To other folks with personal non-comic web space:
We may not be able to host your site any more. VPS's cost $US every month and are metered services based on bandwidth and on disk space usage. Please back up all your web site and content to a safe local to you system.

If you have content hosted on the HRF server that is NOT linked to on the home page, please triple check that you have local copies of all your stuff and have a Plan B handy in case we can not host your sites anymore.

Fellow Geeks:
Please remember DNS hosting is also required if you move your site away from HRF.

As always, please watch http://hirezfox.livejournal.com/ for updates and official news.

Saturday, August 18th, 2012
12:17 am
Adding transcript support to Autofox?
Kathy's been mentioning that she wants to have the Carry On archives searchable, as far as transcripts go.

I've a few ideas, and have even added transcripts to the first five Carry On strips, but I don't think the way I've done it is working very well.

I'm piggy-backing the caption mechanism in Autofox, but it's rather awkward setting things up.

Here's an example transcript for the very first strip:
Kathy: Huh - My friend Barb's going to get married...
Kathy: ...And she's asked me to be a member of the wedding party! Hee hee!
Walter: "Always a bridesmaid, never a..."
Kathy: Oh, shut up!
Kathy: Barb and I were best friends in school...
Kathy: ...She was so smart and popular, I really looked up to her...

I'm a little lost just yet on how this should happen.

Some method that does not require all the text to be on the same line would be great, and maybe even something that doesn't require HTML coding in the transcripts, like a modified version of MarkDown syntax.

I'm also a little uncertain just how much I'm allowed to play around with the Autofox source code.
I know I'll only be modifying a separate version of it, and will be leaving the original version alone, but still.

Any comments? Suggestions? Concerns?

Current Mood: weird
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
7:05 pm
Autofox with RSS support
I've added support to Autofox for RSS feeds, and with Mako's permission, have set Carry On to use the new version.
(to make sure I didn't disrupt anything else, I called the new version something else)

Note: For anyone on the Hirezfox servers, you'll have to ask an admin to switch you over to the new version.
(I can do it too, if asked. Much as it's the same thing with more options, I'm not going to upgrade anyone without their permission)

Additional Options:
rss_file: The name of the file to create an RSS feed in. If left out or blank, no file is created.
rss_title: The title to give the feed. This usually comes up as the feed name on most feed readers.
rss_desc: The description to give the feed. A short description is best.
rss_num_comics: The number of comics to put in the feed. Defaults to 5. Starts with the current strip, and shows the latest X comics from the archives.
rss_home: The URL that points to the webcomic's front page. This is because Autofox does not specify a system for naming the front page, and also allows flexibility for pointing it to anywhere desired. If not included, this will point to the comic's main folder.

Allowing browsers to discover the feed:
Just creating the feed isn't enough to get web browsers to find the feed, you have to add a tag into the page's HEAD section to tell the browser where to find it.
Insert the following line between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags:
<link rel="alternate" href="[URL]" type="application/rss+xml" title="[TITLE]">
Note that you'll need to replace [URL] with the URL of the RSS feed file, and [TITLE] with the name you want to give your feed.
(I recommend giving it the same name as the rss_title you specified in the Autofox config file)

If possible, I also suggest putting a link to the feed on the webcomic's main page so readers can find it fairly easily if their browser doesn't.

Any questions, please ask here so we can all gain the benefit of the answers.

June 28: Added an option for pointing the RSS feed's "home" at any desired page, and a .

Current Mood: pleased
Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
12:29 am
HRF is Restored to Service
The root cause of today's issues was a likely hardware failure. I moved the two mirrored hard drives into the spare server and it booted up ok but was very slow to get to the login: prompt.

md recovered minor issues in the root partition, but the server was not on line and named was whining about file handles being set to 1024 instead of 4096 along with other stuff that indicated named was not working.

I set the hard and soft limits to 65K and based on an article about a kernel bug, did a yum update and re-booted again to pick up the latest kernel.

#service named status/restart and all went normally, but the box was unreachable by the outside world while still able to get to the internet itself.

I discovered the box got a IP address, likely from DHCP from the router it's plugged into. This meant it's static IP wasn't working.

I then discovered /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 had been whacked into some borked DHCP configuration, I'm guessing by yum.

I restored the ifcfg-eth0/.bak file, did an ifdown/up eth0 and...

On ifup, it whined about an invalid MAC address. WTF?

So back to ifcfg-eth0 where I found this beauty: HWADDR=00:19:b9:de:97:19

I'm going to find the brilliant idiot who's idea was it to have the interface MAC burned into a config file for no good reason and smack him with a Cisco switch.

I then did:


Did yet another ifdown/up cycle, restarted named and Excelsior!

If anyone asks why I hate linux, this would be a fine example :D

I will try to troubleshoot the original server in a couple weekends from now. Pray for no more hardware stoopid.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
11:38 pm
Server reboot
I have rebooted the server to run the -current kernel:

[root@www ~]# uptime
23:36:10 up 1 day, 10:54, 1 user, load average: 0.02, 0.04, 0.00
[root@www ~]# reboot

Broadcast message from root (pts/0) (Wed Jul 6 23:36:20 2011):

The system is going down for reboot NOW!
[root@www ~]#

It's very late and hopefully no one will be effected.

And it's done:

[allenw@www ~]$ uptime
23:41:12 up 3 min, 1 user, load average: 0.54, 0.55, 0.24
[allenw@www ~]$ uname -a
Linux www.hirezfox.com 2.6.18-238.12.1.el5 #1 SMP Tue May 31 13:22:04 EDT 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
[allenw@www ~]$


Current Mood: calm
Saturday, April 2nd, 2011
2:42 pm
New Carry On pages still created as root
In updating Kathy's site to point to the new forum location, I ran into the same problem I had last time I updated her site.

New archive pages are created as root, and therefore can't be modified by ordinary users, while pre-existing pages updated more-or-less "properly".

While I could go ahead and create a bunch of blank archive pages to prevent this behaviour, it won't fix the problem.

Any ideas on how to fully fix this?
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
11:53 am
Hirezfox POP3/POP3S server
Mako, has the POP3/POP3S server died on HiResFox? I haven't been able to connect for a while, and have resorted to rsyncing the mail files to my server.

I just did a port scan of HiRezFox, and I can't see any of the standard POP3/POP3S ports. Telnet also fails on both TCP ports 110 and 995.

What POP3/POP3S server are you running? I assume you're running Dovecot, but I'm not sure anymore as I can't seem to get useful responses to my interrogation via SSL.
Thursday, January 27th, 2011
1:26 pm
Carry On script errors
I've found a fix that simply and (fairly) elegantly solves the IE6 issue with the drop-down Other Comics menu, but now I've found that the error I'd found previously with the AutoFox script is now preventing this fix from getting updated into all the daily pages.

If you have a look at the strip for Monday, June 21, 2010, you'll notice the drop menu works in both IE6 and IE8.

Contrast that with the very next day, Wednesday, June 23, 2010, you'll notice it doesn't work in either browser.

I'm thinking that the number of files not touched by the updater is the same number as the times the error I'd mentioned previously:
print() on closed filehandle TODAY at /usr/local/bin/autofox-spirit.pl line 707.

If anybody could provide some helps as to what might be going wrong, please let me know.

Current Mood: puzzled
Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
1:37 am
AutoFox script error in Carry On
I'm getting an odd error from the AutoFox script (run as autofox-spirit.pl) when I run it on either of the Carry On folders (both the "small rez" and hirez versions), but absolutely nothing when I run it on the other archives.
(and I have checked all the other archives)

It's this same line, repeated many times:
print() on closed filehandle TODAY at /usr/local/bin/autofox-spirit.pl line 707.

I've compared the configuration files, and there is no major difference between them, so I'm at a loss at the moment.
Aside from these error messages, there is no other issue with the script.
(at least, all the files that should be created/modified seem to be)

Does anybody else have any ideas?

Current Mood: puzzled
Saturday, September 25th, 2010
3:37 pm
Because yer smartz...
I thought y'all might like a brain teaser, since it's quiet over here raht nows...

We know that there's the periodic table of elements, and on that table the first two lightest ones Hydrogen and Helium are too light to stay upon the earth if released from a container or compound. On a recent science show, it was stated that we would lose virtually all of the Earth's hydrogen at this rate in about 1.2 billion years.

On Mars, the gravity is only 38% of Earth's, so... which elements would fall into the category of being too light to remain on Mars? :D
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
12:45 am
The Legend of Anne Bunny and some JavaScript
Hmm, looks like I forgot to mention the fact that I've updated Kathy's The Legend of Anne Bunny strip.
Backups are as they were when the entire site backup was made a month or so ago.

I've also added a little tiny bit of JavaScript to the templates that allows viewers to switch to the respective strip in the oppositely-sized archives.
(so if your anti-script addons start complaining, this is why)

Also, it seems as if even the online standards verification tool isn't perfect, as I found out that one of the HTML tables I used wasn't correctly terminated.
I found this out while trying to test the scripts in Firefox and Google Chrome, and have corrected it across all the templates I know of that had the problem.
(it's very annoying just how much Google Chrome caches pages...)

Current Mood: geeky
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
11:09 pm
HRF --down--
Hey guys just dropping a note:

Seems that hirezfox.com and all sites hosted there are down.

Tried connecting via console, and nothing.

tracert shows "unable to resolve target system"

and nslookup :
Server: 190-121-192-5.reverse.starnet.net.gt

DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Request to 190-121-192-5.reverse.starnet.net.gt timed-outn

Current Mood: confused
Monday, February 1st, 2010
8:55 am
Incoming update/reboot.
On the list of things I've completely failed to do recently, I realized despite multiple pokings, I never rebooted HRF. There have been a couple updates since the last poke, so I'm installing those now and sometime in the next 20 minutes will be rebooting the box.
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010
10:52 pm
pinging the webmonkeys
Kathy just posted this on TAC:

I tried to upload tomorrow's comic but Winscp3 tells me that my user name has expired and that the server has cut the connection.

I sent the two sizes of strips to Mako and JamesB hoping they can force them to load one way or another.

Anyway, if there's no update, it's not for want of trying...
Friday, December 25th, 2009
12:33 pm
Updates on hirezfox
Hey guys, there's a good ammount of pending updates in the server... i'll post the list here and please feel free to review and ask anything related.

kernel x86_64 2.6.18-164.9.1.el5 updates 18 M
kernel-devel x86_64 2.6.18-164.9.1.el5 updates 5.3 M
acpid x86_64 1.0.4-9.el5_4.1 updates 24 k
bind x86_64 30:9.3.6-4.P1.el5_4.1 updates 986 k
bind-chroot x86_64 30:9.3.6-4.P1.el5_4.1 updates 44 k
bind-libs x86_64 30:9.3.6-4.P1.el5_4.1 updates 890 k
bind-utils x86_64 30:9.3.6-4.P1.el5_4.1 updates 176 k
cups x86_64 1:1.3.7-11.el5_4.4 updates 3.4 M
cups-libs i386 1:1.3.7-11.el5_4.4 updates 195 k
cups-libs x86_64 1:1.3.7-11.el5_4.4 updates 191 k
device-mapper-multipath x86_64 0.4.7-30.el5_4.4 updates 3.0 M
expat i386 1.95.8-8.3.el5_4.2 updates 77 k
expat x86_64 1.95.8-8.3.el5_4.2 updates 76 k
expat-devel i386 1.95.8-8.3.el5_4.2 updates 132 k
expat-devel x86_64 1.95.8-8.3.el5_4.2 updates 129 k
firefox i386 3.0.16-1.el5.centos updates 12 M
firefox x86_64 3.0.16-1.el5.centos updates 12 M
glibc i686 2.5-42.el5_4.2 updates 5.2 M
glibc x86_64 2.5-42.el5_4.2 updates 4.7 M
glibc-common x86_64 2.5-42.el5_4.2 updates 16 M
glibc-devel i386 2.5-42.el5_4.2 updates 2.0 M
glibc-devel x86_64 2.5-42.el5_4.2 updates 2.4 M
glibc-headers x86_64 2.5-42.el5_4.2 updates 591 k
java-1.6.0-openjdk x86_64 1: updates 27 M
kernel-headers x86_64 2.6.18-164.9.1.el5 updates 1.0 M
kexec-tools x86_64 1.102pre-77.el5.3 updates 555 k
kpartx x86_64 0.4.7-30.el5_4.4 updates 426 k
libtool x86_64 1.5.22-7.el5_4 updates 667 k
libtool-ltdl x86_64 1.5.22-7.el5_4 updates 38 k
metacity i386 2.16.0-12.el5_4.1 updates 2.1 M
metacity x86_64 2.16.0-12.el5_4.1 updates 2.1 M
nscd x86_64 2.5-42.el5_4.2 updates 165 k
ntp x86_64 4.2.2p1-9.el5.centos.2.1 updates 1.3 M
openssh x86_64 4.3p2-36.el5_4.3 updates 287 k
openssh-askpass x86_64 4.3p2-36.el5_4.3 updates 40 k
openssh-clients x86_64 4.3p2-36.el5_4.3 updates 448 k
openssh-server x86_64 4.3p2-36.el5_4.3 updates 273 k
samba x86_64 3.0.33-3.15.el5_4.1 updates 16 M
samba-client x86_64 3.0.33-3.15.el5_4.1 updates 5.7 M
samba-common x86_64 3.0.33-3.15.el5_4.1 updates 8.8 M
screen x86_64 4.0.3-1.el5_4.1 updates 571 k
system-config-lvm noarch 1.1.5-1.0.el5_4.1 updates 681 k
xerces-j2 x86_64 2.7.1-7jpp.2.el5_4.2 updates 3.1 M
xterm x86_64 215-8.el5_4.1 updates 410 k
xulrunner i386 updates 10 M
xulrunner x86_64 updates 10 M
xulrunner-devel i386 updates 3.5 M
xulrunner-devel x86_64 updates 3.5 M
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
12:11 pm
Email ... SMTP ports and settings, etc
Ping makovette and tegeran.

Can either of you guys pass me details on the settings for sending mail via the server.

With the demise of WebMin, I need to set up my email system to send mail via the server, and I'm having no joy getting the send function to work.

I've probably got the port totally wrong. I've tried all the standard secure and unsecure send port options, and while some appear to partially work, I've been unable to send anything.
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