Monday, February 16, 2009

Almost There

I hit something of a snag on the Map updates, but otherwise everything is working very very well. With three gigs of RAM, the box runs BITCH House, Classic3, and EXP 4 smoothly.

I have noticed a few oddities, like a stuck suit of armor with no bot inside of it and what seems like too many relics in the same area. Both anomalies were in Peak Monastery in EXP 4. I haven't seen that in either of the other servers.

The Map issue is strange. It was a cobbled-together hack in the first place and I'll be damned if I can figure out what I did with it to make it work. although I have a clearer idea now than when I started. The mistake I made was in hacking the GeoIP test routines around and not documenting anything I did. A real mess. Once I fix that and get the ipset code in place we're ready to rock.

There were a few successes in a couple of side projects: the kernel upgrade for BOT House and installing PowerDNS.

Back in January, RoadRunner decided to "enhance my user experience" by fucking around with their Domain Name Services (DNS). When a domain name can't be mapped to an IP address, a DNS server should return a "SERVFAIL" result code. That's the way it's designed.

RoadRunner decided to change that and send you to a search page (their search page) to be "helpful".

Well, I don't need that crap. I need a "SERVFAIL" response, so my only option was to ditch their DNS servers and use my own, internal caching server.

The problem was I only had one, an ancient PIII running Windows 2003. That works fine, but it's offline (patches!) there is no DNS. Plus, when the power goes out, that box is the first to go down. I needed a backup.

I have run bind before, but I never liked it much. Plus it's much more than I need. So I looked into what else was available for Debian.

First, there's MaraDNS, a very small and simple package. A little too simple for my tastes. Very limited in its abilities.

The other option was PowerDNS. It was very easy to set up in a cache-only mode. All you do is edit a few files and you're there. You don't even have to dig a root zone file, it just gets the latest every time it starts. No muss, no fuss, well-documented, and very fast.

Now I can bounce that old piece of crap Windows 2003 server with impunity without interrupting all the rest of the mission criticl crap going on around here.

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