they.com is now running on new hardware!
There was a happy congruence of tax refund check and Dell having a sale of 45% off servers, so the 8+ year old system (a sun netra t1 with a 900MHz ultrasparc IIi, 1G RAM and an external 30G drive) has been replaced (by a poweredge 2750, with 2 2GHz AMD processors, 8G RAM, and 6 160G drives with hardware RAID). After running for 7 hours, the new system has yet to swap memory to disk!
They have also made the switch from Debian GNU/Linux to Gentoo.
There will still be a few things to work out — for example, they have not decided whether or not to re-export the /docs/ directory (which they don’t think they will do again), and some wordpress upgrading differences have yet to be fully resolved. Also the installation of gallery2 seems to not want to display .3gp videos, so they need to figure out how to hack that back in again.
For now, though, they are just glad to have made the switch, because they can now re-enable spam filtering on the server, and now have virtual mail delivery (so that there are fewer hackable login accounts).
Oh, and since it doesn’t take over a minute to make a post on wordpress anymore, you can expect more frequent posting!
Here is the new server last weekend, while they copied over the gallery images to save bandwidth: