Behind the Curtain

I’ve painstakingly moved all of my web, streaming, and e-mail to another server.  I say painstakingly because it was actually two separate moves, but that’s another story.   The moves have made me take a closer look at the performance of the server and the resources that my sites use (seven, plus several others I host for other people).

It seems a shame to me that 98% of the traffic (just a guesstimate) in and out of the server is all hacker or spam related.   I’m basically paying for memory, disk, CPU and data transfer to support that.  If I only paid for resources for legitimate use, the illegitimate stuff would use it all up, not leaving anything left over.

The number one processor hog is the firewall system to protect the server from break-in attempts.  The number 3 spot goes to the spam detection system.

It almost seems like there are more cyber criminals than real-life criminals.  But I think its a distorted way of looking it at.  A single cyber criminal can make a virus that infects people’s computers so that he/she gains control of an army of computers. This army is then used to scour servers like mine for vulnerabilities or to send spam.  According to my server logs, most of the infected computers are outside of the US.  Just this morning I saw spam attempts from computers in Mexico and Brazil.

So my server spends most of it’s resources protecting itself from robot computers.

In spite of all that, it appears everything is running smoothly.  I’ve also added the link to the sidebar for my streaming radio program, which will resume in a week or two.  Hopefully that will run smoother as well.

Edited to add:  I will try streaming a live Road Trip show as a test, this evening at the usual time.

The Road Trip Hiatus

My weekly streaming radio program, The Road Trip, will be on hiatus until September.  I’ll be moving it to this website, and the links for listening will be added to the right sidebar.  I’ll make an announcement here when it’s ready to go again.

A blog note

I discovered this weekend that this blog didn’t view correctly on screen resolutions of 1024 x 768.  I am not currently using any monitors, desktop or laptop, that are that narrow.  But I know a lot of people still are.   The fault lies with the people that created the base theme.  When they added the date tags on the left, they were positioned with a negative Left style attribute which caused them to get cut off on 1024 screens.  And, there was no scroll bar to allow a viewer to scroll over to look at them.

At first I was going to edit the graphics to shrink the overall size down.  But looking at the work involved, and considering that most new computer monitors have a wider aspect ratio, I decided against it.  But I did enclose the whole theme in another <div> and made changes to the style sheets so at least the viewer has a horizontal scroll bar when using a narrow screen.

I’m happy for the moment of how the re-designed top banner area turned out.  I did it the hard way.  Just the topographic map is like 5 Photoshop layers.  It would have been a lot easier to actually write on a topo map and rip it out, then scan it.  But the control freak in me wanted control over every little detail, including what the map actually depicts. So every element is separate.  Even the ripped-out paper is just plain white paper scanned on a black background, the map image added in software.  I guess the whole project was more of an learning exercise.   And there was nothing better to do on the rainy weekend.