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Question   v4.4 April 2002
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v4.4 April 2002
0.  Introduction.
1.  Huge mail migration update!
2.  Autoresponder start and end dates!
3.  PHP MyAdmin for all MySQL dbs!
4.  Pure IP guava!
5.  Your new data center!
6.  Conueries count May 1st!
7.  DHSOTM


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0.  Introduction.

Welcome to this special 10-year-and-one-day-anniversary-of-the-L.A.
riots-edition DreamHost newsletter! Unfortunately, since I was in 10th
grade when the riots happened, there isn't going to be a lot of riot
retrospective in this newsletter. None at all actually! That's probably 
for the best since everything I know about the L.A. riots I learned from
Ice Cube and Sublime.

So maybe we should pick a different theme for this April '02 newsletter.
I was considering maybe "silly customers" as the theme (e.g. we got an 
 email this month from a customer that said simply "Since the move from
DH1 I have been unable to access my POP3 email." The move to DH1 was
finished in September... 2000!) but of course NONE of our customers are
silly! Just HAPPY. Yes, very happy. So maybe this month's theme should
be Sublime. Or more specifically, sublime-inal advertising.


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1.  Huge mail migration update!

One thing that seems to have made a good deal of our customers un-happy
in the last month was our internal migration of most of our mail servers 
to a new mail system (Maildir, if you're interested). 

There were a number of minor unforeseen complications in the process
which resulted in various mail snafus that caused problems ranging from
 IMAP to webmail to SMTP. We sincerely apologize to all who were 
inconvenienced during the migration.

However, at this point we have successfully moved approximately 2/3rds
of our customers to the new system. Things are working smoothly now and
the loads on all our mail servers have been wonderful since the change!
We are planning on moving the rest of our customers about a month from
now. There will of course be announcements before the fact and this time
we'll try even harder to make the process a lot more invisible!

Now for some of the benefits of the new mail system (other than the main
one, stability):

  *  We support secure IMAP now! If you've been hankering for this, you 
can stop! Just set up your mail client to use a secure connection for 
IMAP and it should work with no other adjustments. The secure 
certificates we're using now will probably change at some point in the 
future, but that just means you'll have to click a button accepting the
new ones when that happens.

  *  Our new mail system allows us to do happy fast incremental updates,
which in turn means that changes you make to your mail setups will
generally take minutes (as compared to hours) to start working!

We know how unhappy mail problems make you guys... we hope this new
setup results in a lot less of them!


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2.  Autoresponder start and end dates!

Here's a new feature that was suggested by a non-silly, non-sad customer
of ours... you can now set a start date and/or an end date for when an
 auto-responder of yours should work! It'll then automatically turn on on
the start date and off on the end date! How does it work?

Simply go to the Mail > Autoresponders section of our web panel and 
you'll see the new (entirely happily optional) fields for the start and
end dates for an auto-responder when you go to create a new one or edit
a current one! ARE YOU GETTING HAPPY? (Ha, like that sprint 
commercial with the psychiatrist yelling "YOU ARE IN YOUR QUIET PLACE!")


########################################################################
3.  PHP MyAdmin for all MySQL dbs!

Here's another thing feature just below your level of consciousness...
we've just added (as a BETA!) a PHP MyAdmin (version 2.2.6, see
http://www.phpmyadmin.net/) installation that is automatically set up 
every time you add a MySQL HappyBase!

To access it, simply go to your mysql hostname (something like 
http://mysql.domain.com/) with your web browser! When a password window 
pops up, use the mysql username and password you've set up for access to 
the database and you're in! PHP MyAdmin is a light-weight, easy-to-use, 
web-based interface to EVERYTHING you can do to a MySQL database! And 
using it is free for everybody! However, there are TWO caveats...

1. This is still in beta testing as a DreamHost service. We make no 
guarantees that the service will work as expected, keep your database 
integrity intact, or that we'll even continue to support this into the 
future. We _expect_ that it will work as expected, it _shouldn't_ mess up 
your data, and we don't _think_ there will be any trouble that will 
require us to remove this feature, but yeah, YOU WERE WARNED!

2. Your database password is NOT ENCRYPTED if you use this service 
without a secure certificate on your domain. That means anybody possibly 
sniffing your network could get access to your database! If this concerns 
you, you can contact support@dreamhost.com about setting up a secure 
certificate for your domain (additional fees apply!) which would solve 
this problem. This probably isn't _too_ big a threat, especially if 
you've kept your database access defaults (only open to dreamhost.com 
ips), but it's something to consider.

Please enjoy the new (beta!) service and let us know if you have any 
questions or problems!


########################################################################
4.  Pure IP guava!

DreamHost has finally come of age, Internet-wise! What's that supposed
to mean? It means we now have our OWN IP addresses assigned to us by
ARIN! That's right, we got a "/19" .. 8192 IP addresses all to ourselves
from now on! What does this mean to you? Not much! Why are we so excited
about it? We're dorks!

But actually, having our OWN ips like this is just going to make a lot
of things a lot nicer for our sys admins in a wide range of data center
activities! And THAT will result in less problems for you happy people!


########################################################################
5.  Your new data center!

What prompted us to get our own IPs anyway?  The upcoming data center
move, that's what! We're moving half of our customers in the next two 
weeks to a new state-of-the-art data center with even better network 
connectivity, redundancy, and room to grow! The rest of our customers
will be moved to that same data center in the upcoming months. Of 
course there will always be ample announcements and downtime will be 
kept to an absolute minimum (in the middle of the night on a weekend).

Just to PROVE we're going to give lots of announcements, here's a recap
of an announcement we just sent regarding the move. I know all you happy
people don't always read those. Fortunately you all read the newsletter.

--
This announcement is in reference to our central services migration which
was to occur tonight April 29th, 2002 from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am PDT. 
However, due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to push 
back our migration until tomorrow night.

So, we will be begin moving the majority of our centralized services on
April 30th, 2002 from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am PDT.  

Once again, this move should not affect your domain or users, but will
affect the following centralized services:

  1) Web panel - the web panel (https://panel.dreamhost.com/), and
  all id.newdream.net / domainitron.com services will be down during 
  this period, although we will have an informational placeholder site 
  up during this time.

  2) Webmail - webmail will be down during this move as well
  (http://webmail.yourdomain.com/).

Furthermore, our original date of May 4 as our main move date has also
been pushed back one week to May 11 from 10:00 pm to 3:00 (approximately).
 The main move will affect all services for your domain, including http
(web) and mail (incoming and outgoing) and databases.  We will be sending
out further announcements as this date gets closer with more detailed
information.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us
at support@dreamhost.com.
--

########################################################################
6.  Conueries count May 1st!

You may remember from last newsletter our cool new method for increasing
database stability for all our customers know as "Conueries". (remember 
http://www.dreamhost.com/conuery.jpg is an explanatory graph) Well, this
is just a reminder that starting tomorrow, May 1st, 2002, the "sunrise"
period for measuring conueries ends and we begin officially counting 
your usage towards your monthly allotment! This really only matters to
a couple dozen customers who are actually close to their allotment, but
maybe you should go check out how your usage has been at our web panel's
"Status > MySQL Usage" tab!

As a footnote, it seems like this new method for measuring MySQL usage 
is really helping us improve the speed and stability of our database
servers! Happy happy joy joy.


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7.  DHSOTM

This month's DreamHost Site of the Month is going to work a little 
differently than usual.

We were shocked and greatly saddened on Friday morning to hear that 
Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes had died tragically in a car accident in Honduras.

Lisa's official home page, http://www.eyenetics.com/ has been hosted
with us since its inception, and although she never entered it into our
DHSOTM contest, it definitely could have won had she. 

We just wanted to express our sincere condolences to her family and
friends, and offer this small tribute to her memory. Lisa's site is the
DHSOTM winner for April 2002. Please take a moment to visit the site 
as well as post on its message boards if you'd like.


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Sincerely,
Josh

Last updated: Apr 30, 2002.