The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, July 11, 2003

If I didn't know any better, I'd think this was a Monday

Today was not a good day (you would think that after being grounded for a week after playing with matches, the Younger would have learned “Fire Bad!” but alas, he was again caught, this time with a lighter—I'm guessing in his mind, that wasn't a match).

Last night I received email from Mark informing me of DNS problems with both our primary and secondary DNS servers. The primary DNS server (which is maintained by my old roommate Rob) was no longer responding; no idea what is up with our secondary DNS server (which is maintained by our friend Kelly) and it was causing problems for Mark. I knew there was nothing to be done then about the primary server since Rob goes out clubbing Thursday nights and besides, the secondary DNS server was there.

Today, I started looking at the problem a bit more. One of the things Mark and I have been meaning to do, now that we have a new server, is register it as a name server; this was something that was easier to do a few years ago (with Network Solutions through email) but I've yet to find out how to do this with my current registrar. I finally got a hold of Rob around 3:00 pm and informed him of the problem with his server. Major problem: he wasn't in a position to check the server, and probably wouldn't for some time (hours at least). And I was still under the impression that the secondary DNS server was still working.

It wasn't until I was over at the GM's house (for tonight is D&D night) and I tried bringing up pictures from the 4th that I realized things might be worse than they appear. I couldn't bring up my site, or any site on my server. I then spent the rest of the time there tracking down the problem (partly because I host the game's website and manage the party mailing list, but partly because this could seriously affect email—my email!). I can rule out the primary DNS server—it's still down and there isn't much I can do so I start looking into the secondary DNS server and that's when i realize that Kelly must have moved his DNS in a hurry and forgot that he was our backup. It further appeared that his DNS was now being hosted by another friend of ours, Chris.

It was then that I learned that Kelly was out of town for the weekend. So too, was Mark, although I was able to talk to him and find out how to make the necessary DNS changes on Chris' box (long story short: Mark set up a system to allow Chris to make DNS changes and unless you know what you are doing it's easy to screw up the configuration). I then called Chris to get the root password to make the changes and informed that Mark told me exactly what to do, he relented (another long story short: Mark (and to a lesser extent, Kelly and I) help Chris run his server—he was just concerned that any DNS changes I made might break his system).

I successfully reconfigured the DNS server, although I did use the wrong files (outdated information) and it took several editing passes for me to clean up the information. All while the rest of the players were trying to deal with a trapped corridor in the dungeon.

Not a good day at all.

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