21 Feb 2002 hoffman   » (Apprentice)

Seems like getting back to this diary might be a good idea. Now that I'm doing tech stuff full time I have so many threads going on I can barely keep straight what I've done and what I need to do.

Looking at my last post, I was just putting together my first real Zope server. I got the thing running on Debian on the blue and white G3. It worked great using Squishdot and ZWiki with the teachers through the summer. They took to ZWiki particularly well. I did a major revision to the site at the beginning of the year when I switched to the Zope Content Management System (CMF). That was a little rough, and frankly made things less effective, because there were now too many things to do, instead of just having a simple choice of weblog stuff and wiki stuff.

I eventually gave the Mac to the music teacher, which was probably a mistake, but it was a gesture of goodwill, since she was new and there wasn't actually any musical equipment in the school. So I moved over onto a Pentium (350mhz-ish) box with a scsi card and Red Hat, which I'm more comfortable with.

That worked fine. Then we got a few new motherboards with Pentium 4 1600mhz's to replace some that fried themeselves, so we put one of those in the webserver. As Zope 2.5 and CMF 1.2 have come out recently, I figured I'd do a ground up reinstall. I have also been playing at home with two source based distributions, Sorcerer and Gentoo. I've got Gentoo running on my desktop box, but I decided that Sorcerer would be perfect for the webserver, because it gives the administrator the most transparent control over the system.

Aside: Sorcerer vs. Debian

Debian and Sorcerer are similar insofar as they don't provide the kind of graphical configuration tools that Red Hat, Suse, and Mandrake do. I think what has always given me trouble with Debian is its community aspect--which seems bizarre to say. The thing is, there is a whole learning curve for the lingo and traditions, like stable/unstable/testing, woody/potato, the peristence of really shitty tools like dselect. I know it all makes sense once you learn it, but that's something else to learn.

Plus on the P4, recompiling everything locally with optimizations seems to make a big difference

So anyhow, I've got the Sorcerer system mostly setup, and I'm feeling good about it. It is blazingly fast and doesn't have anything running that I don't need. I've been working on getting iptables running properly. Sad to say my boxes have been pretty damn insecure up to this point, but it looks like I'll have a proper packet filtering system running here momentarily.

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