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Month: January 2003

Search: Changes, Talks and Flames

[Robozilla and the ODP]Warning: extremely long post (2,838) words!

Well, a lot has been happening in the “World of the Open Directory Project” (a.k.a. DMoz) in the last couple of weeks.

First of all, because of server load issues the internal editor forums have been moved to a new server (yippee!) that authenticate with the main server to ensure only valid users can log in. Good idea, but it’s had a few teething troubles (boo!).

Secondly, to help reduce the load on the main part of the ODP, editors have been given a “special” port number on which to connect to edit (hopefully reducing some of the overloading issues on the Apache webserver) – all good. Except if you are behind a corporate firewall and they block that port number 🙁

Thirdly, the “mirror server” at (which is hosted by a fellow editor in Zurich, Switzerland) seems to have “taken off” a bit and is being used by a larger number of people now (mainly as it’s a lot faster) – it’s transferring around 19Gb of data a month.

Fourthly, the ODP staff members have managed to produce “a” copy of the RDF dump. The RDF dump is, in fact, a big big big file which contains the URLs, titles and descriptions of all the (nearly) 4million sites listed in the ODP. Due to a large number of technical issues, this dump hasn’t been correctly produced since September last year. The RDF dump is usually downloaded by organisations such as ‘Google’ to produces localised copies of the ODP (for instance the “PR enhanced” listings at the Google Directory). ODP staff have (this week in fact) managed to produce an RDF dump which is available via there’s only a slight problem. It doesn’t contain “catid”s (unique category identifier numbers) – this is because these numbers got “clobbered” during the technical problems and so ODP staff are having to manually correct these database problems. Hopefully they’ll be fixed soon – but at least the ODP search has now been updated (since that uses the RDF dump) and there is an RDF dump for others to download and play with (which I’m intending to do this weekend).

Techy: Server Downtime and Time

[Server Room]Sorry if you were visiting my blog between 7:45pm and 8:05pm today – I was performing a small server upgrade (to be specific, applying a patch to the Apache webserver) when something went wrong. It took me around 10 minutes to notice that Apache hadn’t properly restarted (I was doing some other maintenance tasks at the time so I hadn’t got round to checking it had came back alive correctly), than around another ten minutes to find out why it wouldn’t restart.

The problem I was getting was [crit] (98)Address already in use: make_sock: could not bind to port 80 whenever I tried to restart Apache. I disabled the Tomcat Jakarta server (as that was what I was patching as the previous version I was running had a security hole) as I don’t do anything important with Java on my server at the moment and attempted to restart Apache. Still no joy and the same error message. I do a netstat -lpn to try and find out which process is running on port 80 so I can kill it…. Nothing is. Aaargh! I then have a brain wave and think that perhaps when Apache was restarted it failed to shutdown properly. So I go into the Apache config file and change the “Port” number from 80 to 81. Start the server and success! (this also proves there was nothing wrong with the Apache configuration file). Change the port number back to “80”, restart the server and the flibblepenguin is alive!

Snippet: Sleeping…

*snippet* Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday, I got home, checked my email and was fast asleep (still in my clothes) by 8pm! Woke up at 10pm in time for “Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned” (that I want to watch), but before it came on at 10.30pm, I had got properly ready for bed and fallen back asleep. Woke up again at 4.30am, asleep 10 minutes later. Finally at 7.30am, I’ve managed to drag myself out of bed on this cold and snowy day…

Guess That Movie: XVIII: From Dusk Till Dawn

[Guess That Movie 18]Ooh, it seems round 17 was quite difficult, but new contestant “Dr G” managed to correctly recognise Sam Neill as Dr.Weir in a scene near the end of the 1997 sci-fi horror “Event Horizon[Order from] .

Sorry it took me so long to yes/no the guess (around 8 hours), but I was sleeping…

Have a go at the image though and see if, in round 18 of Guess That Movie, you can increase your scores! Go on – guess away!

A: From Dusk Till Dawn [Order from] Correctly guessed by Ph33r_m3

Games: Cat-a-pult

[Catapulting cats]Yes, I am still listing any fun games I come across on the internet here – I just haven’t found that many recently! If you come across one, please let me know so it can be announced to a wider population!

This link is NOT catlover-safe. After all, with a title of Cat-A-Pult and instructions to move the catapult/sling-shot left and right to aim, click+hold the mouse button to increase power and then release to fire and shoot the poor kitty kats through the doorways and windows isn’t exactly destined to go down well with animal rights supporters is it? Especially with the fact that if you miss the doorways and windows, the cats end up as big red blood marks on the wall!

Don’t try this at home kids! (Well, the game you can try, but don’t try it with Tiddles!)

My first time, I managed to get 500 points – then 0,0, 100, 150, 0, 0 and finally 700.