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Server Resource Overload

My Domain is too Busy – Server Overloaded

server resource overload iconI never though I would be saying this – at least not within 12 months of switching my site(s) to CMS. It’s only 12 months – nearly twelve months, since I installed Drupal for my main website, less since adding two WordPress sub-domain sites. Now my the shared server is having to push out more than 80 000 pages a month – or so the server stats show. And it’s causing problems!

It’s causing problems because my domain is exhausting available server resources. The most common resource exceeding limits is CPU – often hitting 100% utilisation. Memory is often going over the available share of 1GB – that’s right 1000MB – available for the domain. While maximum entry processes are averaging between 4 and 6, there have been several instances where the 20 limit was exceeded.

And I’ve been wondering why I’ve been battling to edit and publish content for the past 6 weeks.

server resources used by graphicline.co.za graphic chart

Server Resources Usage Chart for graphicline.co.za

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Is MWEB a Spammers Haven?

MWEB IPs used by Spammers and Hackers

mweb spam ips icon

Checking an IP record for 41.133.8.155 after noticing a minor offence this morning – the ubiquitous and quite stupid practice of adding “/undefined” to the end of actual URLs – brought up a list of IPs in the neighbourhood. All the IP’s included below belong to MWEB. (whois.domaintools.com IP lookup records.)

MWEB, a South African Internet Service Provider, has previously had IP’s under their control listed in several databases as a source of spam e-mails. According to Project Honeypot  a range of IP’s managed by MWEB is (or was) used by Spammers and Dictionary Attackers.

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New Shop Front for Graphicline Shop

Break to Renew Shop Front Page

new shop front page iconThe new shop front page finally got started today, after being a low priority for several weeks. I decided to take a break from the tedious work of capturing products today to do something about the front page of the website, which was looking tacky after changing the layout width.

First off a new sliding banner got set up with 1080 pixel wide images, 100 px wider than the old slider. The banner is also lower in height by 80 pixels. The change of the catalogue from WPOnlineStore to CartPress resulted in an increase to the width of the site pages, and the old banner looked very untidy.

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Trade Restriction Ends

Free to Trade After Three Years

Good News! The restriction of trade that formed part of the buy/sell agreement when I disposed of my share in a publishing business three years ago ended at 00h01 today…

Trade Restrictions Imposed by Agreement

trade restriction iconDuring the three years the restriction applied, I agreed not to trade in competition with two products produced by the publishing house in which I had been a partner. The first of these is a business to business directory called “The Printers Contact Directory” also known as “Print Contacts” in the past. This directory took the form of a small A5 (later B5 or close to that size) booklet featuring advertisements for suppliers of equipment, machinery, inks, paper as well as other supplies and services to the South African printing industry. This niche market booklet was/is produced annually and distributed free. This niche market directory included a website.

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Another Website System Update

Several More System Updates for Graphicline

A Public Holiday in South Africa today, and a good opportunity to undertake another Drupal system update for graphicline.co.za. Today’s updates included Drupal modules; panels, webform, options element, taxonomy menu trails, and the all important view module. Two theme updates were also completed during the process.

The entire update took less than 30 minutes, during which time the site was offline, in maintenance mode, for less than 7 minutes in total.

After completing the work on the system I took the opportunity to update the front page as well, adding “Find Out More” links using CSS classes for a better appearance. A few unnoticed spelling mistakes were fixed at the same time, and a few changes made to some wording.

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Memory Maker Elpida Bankrupt

DRAM Chip Manufacturer Files for bankruptcy

chipmaker elpidaElpida, Japans’s only manufacturer of DRAM memory chips is bankrupt. Elpida filed for bankruptcy on Monday February 27. Elpida claims losses of $5.5B and is unable to continue trading. Elpida had been struggling for some time in a market dominated by South Korean chip makers able to undercut prices, even a Japanese government emergency loan package from the Development Bank of Japan in 2009 failed to keep Elpida afloat.

Bankrupt Chipmaker President Yukio Sakamoto Stated:

Yukio Sakamoto, president of Elpida told news services the strong Yen was partly to blaim, coupled with offers from potential partners falling through.

“We have lost our competitive edge completely against South Korean companies as the yen has strengthened against the Won, our efforts as a single company alone cannot make up for the steep surge in the value of the Yen over the past year.”

“The company had been pushed into bankruptcy when offers from potential partners fell through.  We had been expecting various offers by today but what we got was not concrete.”

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Talking Shop with Mike Otgaar

Talking Shop – My New Blog

Talking ShopToday I posted my first articles on Talking Shop. Talking Shop or Shop Talk is the blog for my new newly opened PC Technology Store. It is not about reviews, at least this is not the intention. Product reviews are published using web site pages instead of posts…

Talking Shop is more about general computer industry related topics, possibly occasional announcements of special offers and new product releases worthy of mention. The first posts discuss the current time being a good time to upgrade a PC, and why I think it is better to ‘buy up’ when purchasing a PC system.

Talking Less can be More:

Right now, I intend to keep most of the posts on Talking Shop short and sharp, limiting content to between 300 and 400 hundred words. I consider fewer than 300 bad for search engine ranking. More than 400 hundred words detracts from the purpose of  ‘Talking shop’ – brief quick articles that may be remembered by shoppers for PC equipment. Read the rest of this entry

STOP SOPA

STOP SOPA

My Sites are Joining:

My business website graphicline.co.za will be in maintenance mode from 12h00 to 24h00 UTC on January 18 as a form of blackout.

OTGAAR Computers and Technology will be blacked out

My WordPress based non-commercial sites will display the message above in support of the campaign to Stop SOPA. WordPress users can download Stop SOPA Widget which will automatically display the message during this time frame.

This blog will open to a special page

Add your website to the list:

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Computer E-Store by Graphicline

Computer Technology E-Store

New Computer E-Store Launches

I am happy to announce I am launching a new e-commerce website in January 2012. Otgaar Computer Technology will trade in a range of PC hardware components and software, and will build custom PC systems for gamers, graphic design and power users.

Otgaar Technology joins Graphicline among my group of business interests. Graphicline will be the branded site builder and site-manager.

The online shop will complement  our re-launch of our expanded Information Technology division also in  2012. After considering the work required to produce an on-line catalogue of products, there was no reason not to take the further step and produce a combined catalogue and e-shop.

Focus on Southern Africa

The e-store will focus mainly on servicing Southern Africa;  South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Angola, while the local trading division will focus mainly on the Johannesburg Metro, and a subsidiary outlet in Cape Town later in the year.

Delivery of goods will be via a reputable courier and small-freight company, rather than the Postal Service.

Product Lines:

Otgaar Technology and e-store will initially be offering a selected range of product from the following stables; Gigabyte, Intel, AMD, Powercom, Pinnacle, Sony, Epson, Seagate, Zyxel, Leadtek, Samsung, Transcend, Microsoft, and Adobe.

The brands were selected for their reputation for quality, performance and reliability. We also decided to rationalise our supply line, and are able to source the bulk of these products from a single distributor.

The IT Division will offer custom built PCs for mid to high end users, Laptops, and Servers, along with support and backup for our products.

Our Product Guaranty

Otgaar Technology provides the full warranty we receive from the manufacturer/distributor of the equipment; 3 years on motherboards and other items covered, and 2 years or 1 year where components carry a lesser warranty. (Terms and Conditions)

Our own workmanship is guaranteed for up to 12 months, depending on the work category.

A Good Time to Build E-store

The Christmas Holiday season will be a good time to create the website. The several slow weeks when most of our customers are on holiday will allow us the time to test several e-store options before committing to a live build. First decision will be the system; sadly from my point of view I don’t think it will be Drupal – too many version 7 plugins are still in Alpha, Beta or RC versions… The most concerning are the powerful ‘Views’ modules, that are required for so many Drupal functions. When are the contributors going to get stable releases – after version 8 is released in a stable production version? So I think WordPress or Joomla will be the CMS used.

I am very pleased to have this project at this time of the year – It has always been a good time for me to embark on major new projects. Time can be found to resolve basic teething problems, and make changes should these be required

Guide to Build WordPress Website

Step by step WordPress Website

A WordPress WebsiteA new website launched today – Graphicline on WordPress with a mission to provide small and medium business entrepreneurs with information about the modern technology available for their business.

SME Technology is a self hosted WordPress CMS site. Logically, the first series of information published will be a step by step instructional e-book about building the website. Interested viewers can follow the series as each step gets completed and published.

The series is aimed at business entrepreneurs with little or no knowledge about the technologies of web systems. If I am able to realise my goal, nearly anyone who is computer literate will be able to build a website for their business (or personal use). WordPress was selected for several reasons;

  • It is a powerful CMS that can grow with the website.
  • It is easy to use once set-up
  • The set-up process and maintenance of the system is also easy.
  • It is sufficiently versatile.
  • It is free Open Source software.
  • Entrepreneurs can try it out for themselves before making a costly decision, courtesy of  WordPress.com

I did not want to cover a more basic way of building a site. The point and click systems may be very easy to use, but are limited in scope. I believe the best approach is to start with something that can adapt to changing needs; converting a site from a more basic installation to a full featured CMS is both time consuming and expensive. The other top end applications like Joomla are too complex for a first-timer, and Drupal requires a high level of technical ability.

One of the goals for the site is providing information about top quality affordable business technology. Bearing our goal in mind, emphasis will be on Open Source software as far as possible. A future series will cover a premium grade ERP solution – OpenERP, a system that impressed me and is deployed within Graphicline. This is for the future however.

SME Technology fits in between this blog (written for a general audience) and the information content available on graphicline.co.za (intended for customers, and more technical readers).

First Chapter: Setting up the basics.

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