[simpits-chat] So what on earth has been going on at Simpits?

Gene Buckle geneb at deltasoft.com
Thu Sep 11 14:39:45 PDT 2003

I bet all of you are curious as to what has been going on over here at
Simpits Central.

Lemme tell ya. :)

It all started last week when the access log file for the simpits.org site
hit 2GB in size.  The problem comes in when you realize that the largest
file size in the ext2 filesystem IS 2GB.  Under normal circumstances this
shouldn't have been a problem.  At worst, the writing application should
just fall over and die.  But no!  Not the simpits server!  It's SPECIAL.

It decided to start eating device files in /dev. (note for you
windows-only users - this is a BAD thing - along the lines of randomly
deleting files in \windows\system32, but MUCH worse)

After it chews up a hundred or so device files, it starts to merrily chew
away at files in /usr/lib (see \windows\system32 == BAD) and

Now nothing that requires termcap (the code that allows most text based
apps draw to the text screen) works.  Shutdown doesn't work.  Reboot
doesn't work.  Mail stops.  FTP authentication stops.  Various other
services stop.  As part of the whole "stopping" theme, I stop and go
"WTF?!"  Why you ask?  Because the web server is _still_ working.  Not
only is it still working, but it continues to make additions to the main
log file, happily munching away at the file system because of some obscure
bug in a 3 year old version of the Linux kernel.

So begins the process of madly stuffing files from one box to the other
while the one box continues its gradual slide into the dirt.

After much scrambling and DNS twiddling and machine configuring and
machine upgrading and, and, and.....it's finally done.  Almost.

Two things remain broken.  FTP services are down until further notice.
All the FTP files will be made available (with descriptions!) on the main
website as I get the time to move them over.

The other broken thing is the Links database.  The old one didn't work
very well and I am going to replace it with a much better one.  however,
this will take some experimentation.  Please don't add any new links to
whatever thing you find there until I make an announcement about it being
generally available.

I did manage to save the forums!  Everything there should work.

If you find something on the website that doesn't work and you think it
should, please let me know.  There's a lot going on and I could have
easily missed something.

I thank you all for your patience during this disturbance in the Force. :)

Gene Buckle

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