Welcome to SoAustin.Net

Guitar leaning against sign: SoAustin.Net

SoAustin.Net is a community of Austin-area independent cultural groups, artists, Web writers, musicians, and community organizations.

SoAustin.Net provides a Web presence for local artists and community groups. We offer affordable Internet services, tailored to the needs of individuals and small groups. We do not cut corners on quality or performance. In fact, our service includes some features not commonly offered by consumer-grade Internet or low-cost hosting providers. We care about our service as much as you care about your artistic endeavors, small business, or nonprofit group.

SoAustin.Net is operated by Mark Linimon and Chip Rosenthal. We are local Internet professionals, music fans, and frustrated guitarists. Not necessarily in that order.


Network connectivity issue resolved

There was a network connectivity issue yesterday (Thu, Aug 1) that impacted some users. The problem is that a router connecting our data center provide was dropping packets larger than 1494 bytes. Computers typically are configured to generate packets up to 1500 bytes.

(The maximum packet size is controlled by the MTU setting on your computer.)

The problem appeared to be happening at or just before the router at 4.59.118.6 (PEER-1-NETW.edge9.Dallas1.Level3.net).

Not all users would have seen the problem. It was an issue for users on the Time Warner Cable network in Austin.

Server updated

The server operating system has been updated to Debian Linux release 6.0. Let us know if you see any problems.

Server has been migrated

All soaustin.net services have been migrated to a new server.

If you are using the old physical server name (lefty.soaustin.net) for anything you should switch too one of the generic service names:

  • www.soaustin.net - all web services
  • mail.soaustin.net - all mail services
  • ns.soaustin.net - DNS services

Mailbox archiving implemented

Mailbox archiving has been implemented. This does two things.

First, for all users, your Spam folder will be purged of messages older than 90 days. For more information on how your Spam folder works, read this article: Spam Divertion Implemented

Second, for users that are not actively using their soaustin.net mailbox, messages in your main inbox older than 180 days will be removed, compressed, and saved to a file in your home directory named something like Maildir-archive-2010.gz.

Note that the year in the filename is the year when the archiving was done, not the year of the message. A message from 2010 archived in 2011 would be saved to Maildir-archive-2011.gz.

If you have accessed your soaustin.net mailbox in the past 90 days, then you are considered an active user. Your Spam folder will be purged of old messages (as described above), but no other changes are made. All other messages are retained, without archiving.

IP Address Changes

The IP addresses for www.soaustin.net and mail.soaustin.net have changed. The old IP addresses will continue to work for the time being, but will be de-supported in the coming weeks.

If we got everything right, you should not notice any of these changes. If you see any problems with mail or web, let Chip know.

Spam Divertion Implemented

We've had spam tagging on our mail system for some time. The system identifies which emails it's pretty sure are spam, and tags them as such.

Tagging is nice, but for many of our users it meant a flood of spam (albiet nicely tagged and marked) mixed with their regular mail. Some of our users use the "filtering" feature of their mail program to divert those messages to a folder where they didn't have to see them. Even still, that can be a colossal waste of time to do all that processing.

To solve these problem we've implemented a new "spam diversion" feature. Now, your tagged spam messages will be diverted to a separate Spam folder. You won't see the spam messages unless you go looking into that folder. (Which you should do from time to time, to make sure valid emails aren't getting caught. If that happens please let us know.)

You can access your Spam folder one of the following ways.

  • You can use the web mail facility.
  • If you use IMAP to access the mail server, you will now see a newSpam folder on the server. Subscribe to it.
  • If your name is Mark, do: mutt -f imap://localhost/INBOX.Spam

Old messages in your Spam folder will be purged periodically. The retention time for spam messages will be at least 30 days.

Secure Certificates have been Updated

Another year, another secure certificate update.

The soaustin secure certificates have been updated. These certificates are renewed annually, and used for secure mail and web communications.

So do not be surprised if your mail or web program issues an alert the next time you try to connect to mail.soaustin.net or secure.soaustin.net. If you tell it that you want to accept the certificate, then the error will go away (until next year).

For the extra security conscious, here are the fingerprints for the new certificates:

secure.soaustin.net -
B6:E2:7D:90:54:A2:78:99:DD:77:DD:54:05:1F:A3:D7:33:F5:CF:CA

mail.soaustin.net -
66:AE:82:B8:93:51:C6:0F:6E:24:AB:01:D0:C3:63:5B:E5:7F:9D:13

Secure Certificates have been Updated

It's that time again.

The soaustin secure certificates have been updated. These certificates are renewed annually, and used for secure mail and web communications.

So do not be surprised if your mail or web program issues an alert the next time you try to connect to mail.soaustin.net or secure.soaustin.net. If you tell it that you want to accept the certificate, then the error will go away (until next year).

For the more security conscious (who don't like blindly accepting certs), here are the fingerprints:

  • secure.soaustin.net - 34:20:AF:19:C8:19:EC:8B:D7:93:9E:CC:14:51:9A:DA:B8:B5:75:C3
  • mail.soaustin.net - 47:CE:E7:3A:E8:18:50:D6:CA:DD:A4:4B:76:73:8F:42:8F:D7:6C:4F

We've Recovered from Server Failure

The soaustin.net server suffered complete failure middle of last week.

We've relocated to a brand new server in a brand new data center.

The system was loaded from backups made on Aug. 22. If you made any changes to your web site (or other files or services), you will need to recreate them.

Other than that, everything should be as it was before (maybe just a little bit zippier). Please let us know if you encounter any problems. Send email to: root at soaustin.net

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