Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
Latest News Updated January 29, 2017
This is an experimental server which went online on Thursday, January 30, 1997.
Our first machine was a generic Pentium PC running IBM OS/2 Warp and Apache 1.1.1. We initially experienced some stability as well as DNS problems with this server. The problem was eventually corrected.
Until further notice, we are known as
technology.niagarac.on.ca on IP address
As of Tuesday, February 4, 1997, we are running Microsoft Back Office under NT 4.0.
Monday, February 17, 1997: replaced the motherboard in the server machine to increase availability and stability.
Thursday, May 8, 1997: Added LEDSign v2.7 -- we're Java enhanced!
Monday, May 26, 1997: Added Web Counter 2.6 -- "over one dozen served" and counting!
Friday, August 22, 1997: Upgraded to Apache 1.2.4.
Thursday, October 16, 1997: FreeBSD and Apache are very stable. Check our uptime!
Thursday, November 20, 1997: Our domain name is now aliased to technology.niagarac.on.ca.
Friday, January 30, 1998: Three operating systems later, we celebrate one year on the Web!
Monday, May 11, 1998: Upgraded to Apache 1.2.6.
Tuesday, March 2, to Friday, March 5, 1999: (Bad hardware strikes again!) Experienced operating system hard disk failure, after 179 days without a reboot. Replaced the disk and CPU fan, added hard disk fans, reinstalled FreeBSD 2.2.2 and upgraded to Apache 1.3.4.
Sunday, April 11, 1999: Upgraded to Apache 1.3.6.
Tuesday, January 4, 2000: Survived Y2K... Upgraded to Apache 1.3.9.
Monday, January 31, 2000: Three years on the web!
Saturday, January 20 - Monday, January 22, 2001: Due to another impending hard disk failure, we have finally migrated over to our new Sun Enterprise 3500 server (shown at left). Although FreeBSD remains an outstanding, rock-solid operating system, the crappy PC hardware just couldn't handle 24/7 service...
Monday, April 16, 2001: Our Sun
server was compromised by an unknown intruder.
The cracker (or possibly script kiddie) exploited a
vulnerability in the Solaris operating system and installed a
rootkit. For more details, visit the following
Friday, June 8, 2001: Discovered the intrusion embarrassingly late! Removed the Sun box from the 'Net and did a post mortem, which revealed, among other things, a 1.5 MB packet sniffer log file! Reverted to the ol' reliable FreeBSD server for a couple of months...
Thursday, July 26, 2001: Having been fooled once, I
closed a potential security hole in FreeBSD. For more
details, visit the following link:
Monday, August 20 and Tuesday, August 21, 2001: Installed Solaris 8 from scratch, recovered files and restored backups. Upgraded to Apache 1.3.20 and PHP 4.0.6. Installed firewall software. Our Sun box is back in business!
Saturday, February 16, 2002: Applied patches, upgraded to Apache 1.3.23 and PHP 4.1.1. During the process ran a stripped-down version of the site on a Sony PCG-220FX notebook running Slackware Linux. :-)
Sunday, August 24, 2003: After suffering a lengthy downtime due to the Northeast Blackout of 2003, fixed, patched Solaris, and upgraded to Apache 1.3.28 and PHP 4.3.2, PostgreSQL 7.3.4, and MySQL 4.0.14.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003: Just for fun, put up a new main page. Eventually, most of the site will move to this format.
Monday, May 31, 2004 to Thursday, June 3, 2004: Due to a "misunderstanding", our domain name was temporarily changed. It got changed back after much protest! After this debacle, I restructured the site and updated the main index and program pages.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005: Started to update the web
site content, due to the consolidation of this web site and
the (stillborn) Technology Division
tech.niagarac.on.ca) site -- beginning to undo
the damage caused over one year ago. :-)
October 2005 to May 2008: ??? [Webmaster's two children were born — sleep deprivation — not much time available for web stuff!] :-)
Monday, November 24 to Monday December 1, 2008: Upgraded to Apache 2.2.10; rebuilt PHP 5.2.6 with mysqli support. Upgraded and added PHP support to backup Apache installation — plan to keep site up in the future during P.M. cycles.
Over the next few months, a replacement server — Intel Core 2 Xeon class with six SATA disks running Solaris 10 — will be configured as a hot spare. It will eventually replace the Enterprise 3500 unit, which, of course, refuses to die. :-)
Tuesday, September 7, 2010: As we kick off the 2010 Fall term, I plan to upgrade Apache, PHP, and MySQL. Sun has been bought out by Oracle, and before that, Sun end-of-lifed Solaris 8. The backup machine is sitting dormant — I'm not sure whether to stick with Solaris or switch to Linux... And the College has both reorg'd and created a new brand, which I am slowly rolling out.
I have decided to go with Ubuntu Linux for the the backup server. Details of that ongoing project will be posted when I get around to it.
Thursday, August 16, 2012: After the venerable Sun Enterprise 3500 finally bit the dust earlier this month, we have a new server, running CentOS Linux. Still ironing out the bugs...
Thursday, May 16, 2013: The new server has been running for around nine months now. I power-cycled it after an unknown alarm condition (on the motherboard.) It has also been physically moved to where the old Sun box used to sit (and reconnected to the old cables.) Updated Apache and PHP to the latest versions.
Friday, December 20, 2013: The server has been *very* stable [knock on wood!] We installed a new UPS battery in early October, after the server went offline on a Saturday due to a very brief power outage. This morning, its electrical circuit was isolated; this afternoon, I updated Apache, PHP, and MySQL to recent versions, and added phpMyAdmin.
Monday, November 16, 2014: I updated Apache and PHP to recent versions.
15:49:32 up 118 days, 6:49, 4 users, load average: 0.01, 0.17, 0.23
Wednesday, September 29, 2015: I updated MySQL, Apache, and PHP to recent versions. MySQL will now be updated directly from Oracle's Community yum repository.
21:54:42 up 251 days, 5:31, 1 user, load average: 0.02, 0.23, 0.32
Monday, November 7, 2016: Two hard disk drives appeared to have failed around 3 AM on October 26! Thanks to RAID 6, all of the web site files survived. I was able to back up those files onto an external drive. Turns out that the drives had close to 40,000 hours of wear and tear on them — in a relatively warm server room environment.
Over the weekend (Nov. 5th and 6th), I built a temporary server from an old Dell Windows XP machine (now running CentOS), and rebuilt the main server, installing four new 1 TB drives (only one of the old drives was actually NFG). Re-installed CentOS, Apache, PHP and MySQL; restored databases, changed files and (most) missing files from existing nearline backups. This server was back in business just past noon (EST) today.
Monday, January 30, 2017: Today is our 20th anniversary on the World Wide Web. In spite of hardware failures, hacking attempts, and politically-driven efforts by other College departments to silence us, we're still here!
The School of Technology Studies provides facilities for students, faculty or staff to create personal World Wide Web pages. Some personal pages contain information about instructional, research, administrative, or public service programs. Other pages include personal interests, avocations, artistic expressions, and links to Internet resources. And sometimes, just plain old good clean fun!
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