Early IPv6 adopter

Linuxgems is now IPv6 enabled.  I’ve been waiting for a couple of years for a VPS provider to support IPV6. My old favorite, SliceHost has been slow to roll this feature out.   This past month a couple of hosting providers made changes that made transitioning to a new provider an obvious choice.

First was SliceHost who emailed last week to inform me that their new parent company was migrating all their customers to Rackspace Cloud.  The notice rubbed me the wrong way, because I don’t appreciate the nickel and dime billing that cloud providers use.  (bandwidth, cpu hours, etc).  All said, I’d probably save a couple of bucks a month, but I’d also be on the hook for the costs of any slashdotting event, which, while extremely unlikely, I was not interested in dealing with.

So I looked at my second favorite provider, Linode, and learned that just this month they rolled out IPv6 in selected data centers.  That made the transition win-win.

Linode has been around for several years.  I looked into them when initially signed up for SliceHost.  Looking back, I wish I’d have gone with Linode.  They supported 32-bit VMs when SliceHost didn’t and now they are supporting IPv6, which Rackspace (SliceHost’s new parent company) can only promise is coming soon.

Transition was painless.  I signed up.  Then I opened a support ticket to enable ipv6 (which was literally answered within a couple of minutes).  Then I rebooted and the machine came up and acquired an IPv6 address.  I installed a couple of programs, copied over some source code, migrated the database, and boom we’re in business.

The DNS is going to start transitioning tonight.  If you are read this article then you’re pulling from the new site.


Now with dedicated resources!

We’ve upgraded from a shared hosting plan to a virtual private server.   A nice side effect of this transition is that the blog will have guaranteed cpu resources.  So things should be a bit snappier.  I’ll also have a shell login so I can play with Ruby for Rails or anything else that strikes my fancy.

The primary reason for the switch, however, was so that we can gain control of our DNS zone files.  This will allow us to do to cool things:

1) use Google Apps for domains to host @linuxgems email (goodbye backup concerns) and

2) set up SPF records to prevent modern email systems from accepting email that doesn’t legitimately originate from our servers. (goodbye spammers)

Is there a lower life form than spammers? I don’t think so.

If you are getting spam from an @linuxgems.com address this morning, they’re not really from us.  Somebody has been sending emails from various @linuxgems.com addresses that don’t even exist.  I know about it because all the bounces come to me and there have been dozens of them.

There isn’t a lot that can be done to avoid falsely being used as a from address on spam, but there is one thing I can do, and I’m going to do it:  As soon as possible I will be migrating to a better hosting company and setting up the appropriate DNS records to authorize only my IP address to send email.  I shouldn’t have to pay extra to prevent criminals from fraudulently using my domain in their emails, but I’ll do it anyway to put a stop to this nonsense.

My apologies to anyone that got a forged email today.

BlackBerry Curve is Linuxgems approved!

Recently, my Sprint contract expired and I found myself looking for a new cell phone.  I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching my next carrier and phone.  Here is what I decided:

  • Sprints “Everything” plans are nice, but to save money I needed a family plan plus data for 1 line, which you can’t do on Sprint.
  • 3G phones tend to have short battery life.  My primary needs were voice, calendar, and email,  so I don’t really care about 3G.
  • The T-mobile dash is a great phone.  I almost signed with T-mobile just for this phone.
  • AT&T is my preferred carrier for my part of the country.  I live in the city so most carriers would work for me, but my family warned me that in their area I might not get a signal with T-mobile.
  • The Samsung Black Jack II is being closed out in various places right now and you can get one almost for free.  This is great because the Blackjack II is a windows phone.  Windows phones are supposed to have really nice calendar functionallity.

In the end I settled on AT&T and a Black Jack II which I was going to get for free from Walmart.   However, I visited an AT&T store told them I wanted a BlackJack II for free (to see if they would match Walmart.)  Unfortunately, they had already sold their last Black Jack II, but they wanted my business so they made a ridiculous deal for me on a BlackBerry Curve.

I hadn’t really considered any blackberry phones because I figured they were more than I wanted to spend.  With the deal I got I happily bought the blackberry and it is wonderful.

The phone comes with some decent themes, including “today” themes that show you a couple of your upcomming appointments.  I wanted to see more than 2 appointments on my today theme, though.  After surfing the Internet for a bit I found a nice “today” theme that shows my next 7 appointments.   That is usually enough to get me through several days, so at a glance I can always see what my week is shaping up like.

Battery life on the Curve is pretty good.  If I surf the Internet a lot then it lasts about 24 hours.  If I just use it for phone,email,calendar stuff then I can get at least 2 days and could probably get 3.  (I haven’t tried yet.)  From what I’ve heard about smartphones that is pretty good battery life since some of the newer phones can only last from sunrise to sunset.

I’ve loaded an ssh client on my BlackBerry and used it to control a server.  In a pinch I could restart apache or stop a slow database query if I had to.