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Question   v5.2 February 2003
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v5.2 February 2003
0.  Introduction.
1.  Finished woody upgrade!
2.  DreamHost Dedicated Servers changes!
3.  We're Hiring?
4.  New Mailbox Rotation Options
5.  DHSOTM


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0.  Introduction.

I think every February newsletter I end up either talking about what a
short month it was and how it only makes sense that the newsletter is
going to be short, or else how it's my birthday in four days, and my
birthday is the best.

This time I'm going with birthday.

My birthday is the best! It's March fourth! Which is the only date
that's a command! And it used to be the date of the U.S. presidential
inaugaration! And it's a tricky birthday too because it sneaks up on
you because February is so short (now I've covered both topics!)..
always around February 25th or so I'm like "my birthday is in like two
weeks or something" and then one second later I'm all "I MEAN ONE!"

The other great thing about my birthday is PRESENTS. I can't really
think of anything I want or need, but I know I'm sure as sure going to
take everything I can get! In fact, I think the theme for this
newsletter is going to be "presents for Josh". This may just be the best
newsletter ever.

I would like to stress the purpose of this newsletter is to inform
Happy DreamHost customers about important DreamHost going ons.


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1.  Finished woody upgrade!

The first early birthday present I received this year was a group
present from our very own Happy DreamHost Systems Administration Team!

Earlier this month they finished upgrading ALL our hosting servers to
Debian woody (from potato)! I think we first talked about this in maybe
the January 1999 newsletter? No, just kidding, not that long ago. I
think it was February. HA, sorry, just a little good-natured jibing
fellas!

But seriously, that IS a great present! It means we've now got a lot
newer versions of all sorts of software packages on all our servers. 
More importantly, it means all our machines are now running the _same_
Debian version which makes a lot of things a poop-load easier to manage.

There may have been some small changes due to the upgrades that screwed
up some things on some of your sites temporarily. We apologize for that,
but don't worry, it's all in the past now! You shouldn't have to worry
about a major OS upgrade like this again for at least another 2-3 years!
At which point I'll have had another 2-3 birthdays!

(Hopefully)


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2.  DreamHost Dedicated Servers changes!

"I love DreamHost Web Hosting. Everything is so perfect. I'd really
like to give something back to Josh and the team, especially with his
birthday right around the corner. But what do you give the people who
already have everything? I'm stumped."

Does that sound like you? If so, you're in luck! Keep reading this
section for the *perfect* DreamHost gift suggestion...

Why not upgrade to a DreamHost Dedicated Server!

Just last week we more or less completely revamped our Dedicated Servers
site to make the offerings three times more attractive! We've dropped
prices, simplified the choices, and upped the power of the machines!
It's the perfect way to give US a gift at the same time you treat
YOURSELF.

Check it out at http://www.dreamhost.com/dedicated/servers.html

If you don't upgrade before March 4th, I will be _personally_ offended.


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3.  We're Hiring?

Heh, I hope that hard sell thing worked..

Well, in anticipation of all the new dedicated server signups we'll be
getting now DreamHost is hiring! Whoa, what time is it, 1999?

Right now we've got one position open.. it's for a Happy DreamHost
Customer Service Employee, and you'd have to work the "Graveyard" shift.

You don't have to be a goth to apply, but it'd help. Read all about it at

http://www.dreamhost.com/jobs.html

You better hurry and submit your resume if you're intereted though, we've
already gotten tons of qualified applicants, like this email guy:


        Subject: construction work

        hi i am available asap and have great handyman and construction
        experience.

        im young motivated and need work asap. ill do the jobs for a great
        price.

        call me at home... 818 *** ****

        thanks.

        eric


Geez, I didn't think the job requirements were that ambiguous! (But hey,
if somebody does need a great handyman, email us and I'll pass it along
to him.)

And here's a great idea for another birthday present for me.. offer to
do it as an unpaid "internship". That'd probably help your chances of
landing the "job" too!


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4.  New Mailbox Rotation Options

We just recently added a new feature to our "mailbox rotation" option,
available at the web panel's "Mail > Mailboxes" section or at
http://mailboxes.yourdomain.com/

Now you can choose to rotate your Inbox not only based on age of the
messages in it, but also based on how many. You can also set it to even
rotate messages that haven't been read. "Rotating messages" just means
moving them from the Inbox into some other email folder on our server.

The reason we added these features is that we realized recently one of
the biggest loads on our mail servers (and most likely one of the major
reasons they've been having problems) is people with very LARGE inboxes
who use POP (as opposed to IMAP or webmail) to check their email.
(Especially if they have it set to check every two minutes!)

In fact, after doing some accounting we found that just EIGHT mailbox
users (out of thousands) were using over 30% of the resources among all
our mail servers! All of those users had very large inboxes (either
lots of messages or a messages with huge attachments), were connecting
via POP, and were checking very frequently!

Although we've contacted these users and asked them to change their ways
we're also asking that everybody chip in if you can (what a cheap
birthday present!) :

   1. We strongly strongly recommend not using POP at all to check your
      email. If at all possible, change your email client to use IMAP or
      try using our webmail client (at http://webmail.domain.com/).

   2. If you absolutely must use POP, please change your settings to
      _NOT_ leave a copy of your messages on the server! If you'd like
      to keep messages on the server, IMAP is really the best protocol
      for you!

   3. If you REALLY need to use POP and leave messages on the server,
      please do not set your email client to check for new mail
      automatically more frequently than every 30 minutes or so, and
      please try to keep your inbox small. Either delete emails with
      large attachments, move them into another folder, or use our
      convenient Mailbox Rotation features!

Hey, these settings are in your best interest too! If you're keeping
large files in your inbox and POP-ing them everytime, you're just
wasting your own storage space, bandwidth, and time (re-downloading
large files each time you check your mail!). Make the switch to IMAP
today! Consider it a birthday present - to yourself!

What we may end up doing sometime soon is implementing some "forced
rotation" policy for Inboxes that we find are very large and read
frequently via POP. Dun dun dun!


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5.  DHSOTM

Annnnnnnnnnnd... the last DHSOTM (DreamHost Site Of the Month) before my
birthday this year is:

                    Spittin' Image Photography
              http://www.spittinimagephotography.com/

Photos of kids and pregnant ladies and some scenery! And the scenery has
no clothes on!

Go check it out and then add your site and vote for others' at:

            https://panel.dreamhost.com/?tree=home.dhsotm

(Then go paypal me some money for my birthday.)

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Still young,
Josh

Last updated: Feb 28, 2003.