A Connection That Doesn’t Suck

We’ve had our T1 for a few weeks now, and it’s been a wonderful step up from the satellite travesty, albeit at a very high price. It still doesn’t download like a $50/month cable modem, but it does upload symmetrically. We’re getting some of the cash back by dropping our co-located server in Virginia once I finish repatrating the vast Richards web-empire. I get to sysadmin at the actual keyboard, and I can give Lisa a Samba connection, something she moans about if she has to use FTP, let alone the command line. Still, I’d take a cable modem and rent on the server in a New York nanosecond, if only we could get one out here in the boonies.

The limited bandwidth does present something of an issue for our very large Gallery II setup. We’re going to deal with that by hosting all new images on Flickr figuring that views of the older images will dwindle. A Flickr pro account costs $25/year. The cheapest possible hosting for our images would be that a month.

We’re running both Google Adsense and and Amazon Omikase (“let them choose”) ads on this site. I find it extremely telling that Google gives us about 7 out of 8 good, well-targeted ads, ones that I’d click on myself, while at least half of what Amazon pushes are Gothic/Metal/Death and Taxes CDs that I would have to be paid to take away. It’s no surprise that Google sends us bigger checks, more often. It’s barely a fraction of our connection charge, but money in instead of money out.

In between moving domains home, I’m trying to figure out how to get OpenGroupware actually installed and running. Lisa would like us to run MS Exchange Server because she is still an Outlook addict, and we (yes all two of us) could use it. However, it’s thousands of dollar, it basically needs a full time admin, and like nine geeks out of ten, I think Outlook is the second worst mail client in the world, beating only Outlook Express. But we still need that shared calendar and todo list and address book. OpenGroupware iss an astroturf open source project. The code was open sourced by its original closed source developer who is hoping to get free maintenance help while still charging for support themselves. It’s an honest living, so no hard feelings, but the result is a good app that’s virtually impossible to install. They want to sell me a 700 euro CD that will bring up a complete small business server on whatever box I have gathering dust. I want to download the RPMs to install on the box sitting in our DMZ serving this journal. I will win.

If it was just the 700 quid/thousand bucks, it would be worth paying, much as it would bug me. But there’d still be ten hours of work, a box I don’t have and thus would have to buy, and maintenance and electricity. I can bring it in for the $2500 actual cost of their way.

Yes, I know I could just pay ten bucks a month each for hosted exchange server, but I’d have to run Windows and use Outlook.

By the way, Fedora 7 rocks, and Firestarter is a nice little semipro app for configuring a firewall. By semipro, I mean that you have to know inbound from outbound, and TCP from UDP, but not the niceties of the 5(?) different chains in Iptables or the specific syntax ( -j? an option named ‘j’!, huh?). If you’re doing your own sysadmining it’s perfect. Try samba to your web server in the dmz. It gets blocked. Allow outbound samba on the firewall. It’s still blocked. Allow samba from the firewall (only) on the webserver. It works, it’s safe, and your users don’t have to bother their pretty little heads. Be warned that the dhcpd.conf file it spat out was trash, but dhcpd is easy, or just use static IPs.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted July 9, 2007 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Its scary how much of this I remember from college and how much I still can interpret….

    All the best from here in the Southern Tier again, hoping that things continue swimmingly up thar in the boonies. Christabel and I talked about a vacation up your way this year but between money and other considerations its not looking like it will happen. Hopefully next year.

  2. Posted July 9, 2007 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    >OpenGroupware iss an astroturf open source project. The code
    >was open sourced by its original closed source developer who is
    >hoping to get free maintenance help while still charging for support
    >themselves.

    This is patently FALSE. OpenGroupware.Org IS based on released proprietary code, but it a full fledged Open Source project with multiple contributors/developers and an active third-party community (see GroupDAV & zOGI).

    >It’s an honest living, so no hard feelings, but the result is a good
    >app that’s virtually impossible to install.

    What is hard to install? Installing OpenGroupware on openSUSE takes about 5 minutes.

    >They want to sell me a 700 euro CD that will bring up a complete

    FALSE. You can use ZideLook (commercial) in conjunction with the Open Source server, just license ZideLook.

    >want to download the RPMs to install on the box sitting in our
    >DMZ serving this journal. I will win.

    You can do that. Feel free to join the mailing list and ask questions.

  3. Frank
    Posted July 10, 2007 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    >>This is patently FALSE. OpenGroupware.Org IS based on released proprietary code, but it a full fledged Open Source project with multiple contributors/developers and an active third-party community (see GroupDAV & zOGI).

    No contradiction.

    >What is hard to install? Installing OpenGroupware on openSUSE takes about 5 minutes.

    On Fedora it would be very lucky to take only 10 minutes to get from the Fedora 3 instructions to correctly configuring YUM to get Sope and OGO build 1.1.7 out of the Fedora 6 repository. And where is the list of which packages one actually needs?

    >>>FALSE. You can use ZideLook (commercial) in conjunction with the Open Source server, just license ZideLook.

    TRUE. Skyrix is flogging “Instant OGO” all over the site, and it costs 690 Euro. I never mentioned Zidelook.

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