My Apache administration skills are something that I am working on – ongoing. Furthermore, any IT / Web / Linux admin worth their salt should have somewhat of a handle on DNS and on Apache. I have somewhat of a handle on both, though like most things I am not an expert :), rather I am always a professional generalist (always getting a little better at everything…). So when a client came to us with a scenario recently I had to do some searching around to figure out what the best solution was. I am not stating that this IS the best solution or best practice however it is working well for us and I would love to hear some ideas, if you have them, on how you would have solved this.

So basically our client built a site. Let’s call it However, after this site was around for several years and garnered some decent traffic they realized they really wanted it to be called and they were rebuilding the thing anyhow. That being said, they didn’t just want to outright drop “” as, hey, that is getting some traffic and people think of this client as both “widgets” and “cool widgets” so they would really like to keep both names but always redirect to

Working on something well outside of my experience range recently (typical…), namely Cisco switch administration. In particular, I was working on a Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch which apparently doesn’t have quite as robust of a user-friendly web-gui as I would have liked. A couple years back I setup a SPAN port (aka Mirror port) on this switch as we were setting up Snort IDS for the network here and needed a sniffer port. Fast-forward a year and our network configuration has changed and we no longer need this to be a SPAN port and I couldn’t remember how I set it up (or how to take it away).

I know very little about the Cisco Command-Line interface but after Googling around to five different sites I was able to speculate/guess what needed to be done.

Google Authenticator, and (all?) other rotating-pin multi-factor authentication systems, rely on the clock on the token device (in this case your smart-phone or tablet) and the authenticating system (in this case the OpenVPN server). If the clocks are different by more than a few seconds or so, it will break your authentication. (more…)

Working on some performance tuning for MySQL today. Here are by far the best resources I have found:

Best General Tuning Guide:

Expanded point from that Guide:

I ran into an issue when I adjusted a log file size (MySQL wouldn’t start), this was the fix:

In my case MySQL was running on a dedicated VPS with 2 Gb of Ram so I had quite a bit of room to work. If you are on shared hosting or even a VPS sharing space with Apache your numbers are going to look different. This was, of course, an effort to fix performance on a Drupal site that was running really really rough even though it has low traffic. The tuning helped a lot but I still have a ways to go.

Anyhow, thought I would pass the helpful links along as anyone searching for MySQL Performance tuning should be finding this stuff first imho.


String Overrides is a phenomenally versatile module that will make your life MUCH easier if you are administering a Drupal website. The basic premise is this…

There is a “string” of text on my website that I need to replace with something else. I have used it a few places, here is a particular use-case: