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Chit Chat

Created on Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:45 pm with 233 blog posts
I often think of stuff related to some of the Forum threads, but that may be longer in length, or off topic than a post would warrant. So thought I would try blogging extraneous this instead of putting it in a posting.

Government control of the Internet? in Reflection with 8 comments on Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm
What happened in London last night was awful in the extreme, and I feel very sorry for what happened, however what really worried me out of all of it is the cost tag there is going to be in loss of freedom on the Internet. Governments have always been salivating for trying to clamp on freedom and privacy of speech on the Internet, and what has just happened seems to be a good enough reason for the UK to consider measures for clamping down on Internet corporations for providing access to media accounts. When Prime Minister May did a press conference she made a direct reference to this.

I wonder if it is really going to solve the problem, as wouldn't it be easy for the terrorists who have become more and more sophisticated, to just start their own networks? Is it really that easy for Governments to control the Internet?
Travelling again in Forums with 9 comments on Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:00 am
Looks as though I'm in travelling mode again - flying tomorrow via Johannesburg to Dubai and will be staying in the Emirates for two weeks to teach someone the job I used to do. It's taken them a while to fill my position, and whilst waiting I've been doing online assignments for them over the last months and need to do a handover of a kind. Cross fingers I get paid for what I did.

Still - going to be interesting. I'm flying with the cheapest airfare I could find - Ethiopian Airways - so hope I'll land in one piece at Dubai Airport with all bags accounted for. Razz
My hosting and VPS collection - got to be nuts! :) in VPS with 4 comments on Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:53 pm
I never thought this would happen to me, but looks as though I've grown into a collector of hosting accounts and VPSs. Not out of greediness, but because of a passion to learn more about how it all fits together and experiment with new technology. I have four VPS accounts. Two are paid and two are free. That happened this year when I went for learning as much as I can about VPS.

I have eight shared hosting accounts. Two of the hosting accounts are paid, and six are free. One was because I wanted to learn how to work with DirectAdmin panel, another because I wanted to work with VestaCP a free control panel. The others were for testing. Every time I test an account I build a Website or more on it. So in total I have about 27 domains and websites that I accumulated over the last two years of my passionate learning. At some or other time I'll probably have to consolidate the accounts, but I like each and every one of my hosting accounts including the VPSs and I'm reluctant to let go of any of them.

VPS 1 is my first VPS and although the slowest one (recently improved though) I feel nostalgic about the VPS as it is the VPS where I learned to manage a VPS for the first time at end of 2014.
VPS2 is from a cheap paid provider who specializes in WEBUZO panel configuration - a free control panel with the look and feel of cPanel although very limited in comparison with cPanel.
VPS3 is an even cheaper host where I discovered that my ISP in the Middle East has a faster connection with Dallas in the US than with any point in Europe. It is ridiculously cheap and I don't think I'd like to give it up. I got it so I could load VestaCP on it and experiment and learn about VestaCP
VPS4 is a free VPS that I worked for post for hosting. It is my first KVM VPS and the speed is awesome. Location is Germany. My ISP seems to favour Germany and has great difficulty with France and England. It can be hit or miss with the two.

Am now wondering how I can find a system for managing my collection of hosting accounts. I've got an index of my domains written down with where they are hosted, but I think I need something better. Maybe a control panel of panels. A control VPS? Think
Post No. 22000 - Reflection on Numbers in Reflection with 17 comments on Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:22 am
So looks like this post number is going to be 22000. Chief spammer of Frihost. Razz Can't believe how fast time has flown when I first started a Forum account at Frihost. Feels like another universe and another life time.

I've always loved numbers at Frihost, and I'm still missing Bondings stats tool that bit the dust when he couldn't fix the coding after our move from the US Data Center to German Data Center in July 2014. It was so nice to be able to check the Frihost number of posts for every month and every year. Anyway, we seemed to have survived that too. And we're still here. And I'm still a number nut.

For a very long time Bondings' post count stopped at 13 333. I was wondering whether he had made a conscious decision to depart Frihost Forum at 13 333. So thought to set mine at 22 222. At the time I set it it looked certain that I may never reach it as traffic was very slow and times uncertain. That was two years ago. But looks as though we may be getting closer - like 22 222 certainly looks doable now - unless something really drastic happens. Maybe I could look at 33 333 now - like that's a nice number too and even more impossible than what 22 222 looked two years ago. 11 000 posts? Wonder how many Frihost years that would take to do those in? Another 10 years maybe? Maybe impossible? Maybe definitely impossible. Very Happy
Conquering Vesta Control Panel - my new VPS in VPS with 0 comments on Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:53 pm
I felt quite good about myself last night. I've been studying VPSs on and off over the last two years, finding quite a number of Frihost members doing the same thing at a Forum that gives free VPSs for posts. I didn't bid for a free VPS, I was there mostly for the learning experience and it provided a wonderful opportunity for getting a good feel about the right price to pay for one, as well as good sources of VPSs.

At any rate, during a first try in December 2014, I had tried to install Vesta Control Panel, and horribly flunked the test then. I couldn't get the DNS to work and after several attempts of not being able to connect up my domain and finding the panel nice looking but hopelessly complicated, I had given up opting for the easier WEBUZO with all of its Softaculous scripts instead. Marching on almost two years from then, I tried again last night and I passed the test - that thrilled me to bits. I was able to install Vesta Panel - not effortlessly - but had a WordPress site up and running with domain beautifully propagated within 3 hours of installation. Granted I'd almost researched the "how to" to death for a few weeks before I embarked on the journey, but I felt a real sense of achievement when it was working. Almost all of the 3 hours was spent in configuring phpmyadmin with a few detours - but I finally discovered a patch for fixing things and felt good when phpmyadmin was working as it should. I still have one final lesson to pass, which is to get WordPress to download plugins without getting FTP requests, and then I'll be on my way. I researched that today, and may have found a solution for it.

Most people probably know that Vesta Panel is a free hosting panel along the lines of cpanel. Quite a number of people use it for setting up their VPSs. One can create hosting accounts with it if one wanted to, or use it to neatly organise all one's Websites. One can load all kinds of servers with it. My configuration was quite simple: Nginx + Apache, no FTP (I decided to go with SFTP instead), no mail server (I find it a security risk for panels these days), Bind DNS server, Firewall IP Tables + fail2ban (still have to set it up properly but thought that was necessary).

Initially VestaCP is not that user-friendly (for me anyway) as when one first looks at the panel it feels like cPanel and one wants to approach it like cPanel, but it works differently. Top part being a kind of navigation zone, and the bottom windows that correspond with the navigation links and where the action happens. So once one gets familiar with the "action windows", one learns to hover one's mouse in the top bottom area of the lower windows to discover the action links. Eventually it sinks in though. I still have lots to learn, but feel I've mastered a major hurdle.

Another huge discovery that I made was that my ISP in the UAE works faster with a VPS in Dallas, than in Atlanta, New York or Europe, Europe being the slowest. Like I used to believe that one's geographic proximity to a location is what makes everything slower, however now realize that that all depends on how one's ISP is configured to communicate with that location. My ISP is fastest with Dallas, slower with Atlanta by a few seconds, then Los Angeles by another few seconds, and markedly slower in London where its other location for this category of VPS is located. The Website for the VPSs had a cool section for pinging the speed in all of their different locations. I thought we were on a reasonably fast Server 1 at Frihost (and we are), but this felt like a nifty Volkswagen Golf in comparison. Cost is awesome, 7.95 US$ for three months for 768 vswap RAM (1 Core CPU), 500GB bandwidth and 20 GB disk space. Looks like little RAM by the norm of 1GB these days, but it works well. Comes with a self-managed OpenVZ panel for rebuilding the OS if one wanted to, rebooting, stopping and starting the VPS, resetting passwords, putting in support tickets etc. The rest, because it is self-managed is of course up to the person.

Felt really good as all of this started in 2008 when I first joined Frihost. I'm almost dead certain if Bondings had been still actively involved, we'd have been posting for free VPSs. So this is saying cheers to Bondings and the Frihost team including all of the great members who made this possible.

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