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Question   v1.4 April 1999
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v1.4 April 1999
Table of Contents 
0. Introduction.
1. Scheduled Downtime.
2. Introducing Console.newdream.net!
3. New Office Building!
4. Monitoring CGI usage.
5. Mailing list coming soon.
6. DHSOTM April '99.
7. Random quote(s) from newdream.net
8. New features and coming features.

0. Introduction.

        Well I'm glad that's all over with. Winter that is. Yup, the 36 inches of snow is finally starting to melt away
and our servers are beginning to thaw out after another wicked Los Angeles snowstorm. How we wish we were located
anywhere else in the world! Hey, at least while we were snowed in we turned our attention towards getting a lot of new
features released... but more about that later in the newsletter.
        I guess we shouldn't celebrate too soon though, since we now head into "April Showers" which will probably
result in flood damage throughout our new office building and just lead to months and months of dreary days with no
signs of reprieve. "It never rains in Southern California," they say. We say, "HA!"
        Oh yeah... we're kidding. It doesn't snow and hardly ever rains here actually. It is still April 1st right?
Just barely... in Hawaii maybe? So APRIL FOOLS!

1. Scheduled Downtime.
        In anticipation of massive demand we are upgrading our entire network infrastructure and server hardware, as
well as operating system, tomorrow April 2nd, from 9am to 5pm EST. This will most likely result in heavy downtimes, for
which we apologize, but for which we will be unable to compensate you. Again, it is still April 1st in Hawaii right?
Nyuk nyuk, okay we're sorry, we won't scare you like that again... we're just kidding of course!

2. Introducing Console.newdream.net!

       We weren't kidding about a lot of new features being released this month though! Most importantly, the
long-awaited console.newdream.net has finally been revealed in its infant state. What is it? Well, it's that little
area you see in the top right-hand corner of the Dreamhost web panel (https://secure.newdream.net/admin/ remember?)
starting today. It's also in that same spot of the Dreambook web panel (http://www.dreambook.com/cgi-bin/dbman) and if
you don't know what
Dreambook is we suggest you check it out at http://www.dreambook.com/.
       As nifty as this little console looks, what's even niftier is what it allows you to do. From the console, once
you've associated some other users (such as a Dreambook login or another Dreamhost login if you've got more than one)
you can switch between their web panels with a single button-click. Also, you get one advertising-free Dreambook
guestbook per domain you host through Dreamhost! There's going to be plenty of other interesting tie-ins like that in
the future as we add more services to our portfolio; 'tis just the beginning! Make sure to read all about it at

3. New Office Building!

       Just letting everyone know that today we signed the lease and got the keys to our new 3-story, 14,000 square
foot office building in downtown LA! We're pretty excited about moving in over the next couple of weeks and just wanted
to share the news. For now, checks, etc. should still be sent to PO BOX 312, Claremont CA 91711, but we'll make an
announcement when that changes. Yippee!

4. Monitoring CGI Usage.

      Something that can really bog down a server is a CGI script that runs out of control, not dying off when it's
supposed to and eating up gobs of RAM. Also just having one CGI script that runs many many many times, and perhaps
isn't very well written can slow a site down and put an unfair load on a machine serving many other users. We've
recently been dealing with a lot of CPU resource problems due to runaway user CGI scripts, and so soon we will be
putting a new section onto the web panel allowing you to monitor your CGI calls just as you can now monitor your
bandwidth usage and traffic reports. This option will only appear for CGI-activated accounts of course, and it will let
you see what scripts perhaps are being run more times than they need to be. 
     There are also a couple users (literally only two!) who use SUCH a high level of CGI scripts on their site that
they will have to begin being charged based on usage. We recommend getting a dedicated server if your site absolutely
requires a very large amount of CGI action.
     Also, we'd like to discourage the use of CGI chat scripts… as they are about the most server-intensive and
inefficient (as well as inelegant) way to do chatting. IRC is the best, and even using ICQ (if you don't know what
these are, try searching yahoo.com for them) or a Java-based chat server would be much nicer to the server as well as
faster and more enjoyable for your chatters!
      Another thing we'll be implementing soon is a system which requires you to register with us any programs that
will run persistently on the server at all times. Again, this won't affect 99% of our clients, but if you have some
kind of client-server application that runs on our server constantly, we'll be asking you soon to register it with us
so we don't automatically kill it with our new house-keeping scripts we'll be using soon. Remember, none of these
things are implemented yet, but we thought we'd give you a head's up for now. Make sure to keep checking those

5. Mailing list coming soon.

      Many people have wanted fully functional mailing list capabilities with our hosting services (a discussion list
rather than an announcement list) for a while now. So we've gone ahead and installed Mailman (see http://www.list.org)
and it's working as we "speak". However, we need to come up with a good pricing plan for it and make sure all the bugs
are worked out before we make it fully available to all as standard fare. The reason we chose mailman as our mailing
list software is that it has many features, works well, and has a built-in web management interface that should make
for easy list maintenance. Yet another thing for which to wait on the edge of your seat!
6. DHSTOM April '99.

      This month there was no Dreamhost Site of the Month because all the entries were so bad.

      No no no, just kidding again! What kidders we are! Actually, this was by far the best bunch of entries we've
gotten in the short but lengthening history of this prestigious award... and again there will be a list of everyone who
submitted their site at the end of the newsletter for the perusing enjoyment of all concerned. Everyone who submitted
their site except for the two who didn't mention their URL that is! That brings us to an important point... when
emailing in your submission to dhsotm@dreamhost.com, don't forget to include a brief description of your site,
stressing WHY your site deserves to win the award more than all those other poor souls.

       Anyway, this months' award goes to http://www.bloop.org/ not just because they have a pretty rocking site (try
going through the whole thing!) and a Dreamhost Rewards link (yay!) but because they wrote a bloody good reason why
they should win. It won't be repeated here but it definitely was an entertaining one, which caught the judges' eyes
(ouch!). So get on over to https://secure.newdream.net/admin/dhsotm/ fellas and pick up your gif! And everyone who
didn't win this month… submit again, because you can only win the award once but you can submit your site as many
months as you'd like (and each time get listed at the bottom of this newsletter... now with a circulation of close to
2,500 Happy Dreamhost Customers!)..

7. Random quote(s) from newdream.net

Most people can't understand how others can blow their noses differently than they do. -- Turgenev


Experience is what you get when you were expecting something else.

8. New features and coming features.

     Just a note that if you are a telnet user you can now change your shell from the "Domain and Login Management"
area. It won't update until the server reloads of course. If you're not a turtle and you don't know what your "shell"
is then don't worry about it, your default one is fine! 
      Also, we recently turned on disk quotas on all our servers as a stability enhancement (no longer do we worry of a
shared disk filling up when one bad user puts a gig of mp3s in their home directory!). You get a 5MB soft limit in case
you go a bit over your allotted amount of disk space. Every night if you are over your limit you will receive a little
helpful email reminder until you go back under or raise your limit. 
      We've also improved the domain registration link at the web panel to also handle domain transfers automatically
and it seems to be helping a lot of people. We'll be making a couple more improvements on that soon as well.
      Some new things we'll be adding is multiple passwords for protecting your stats (so you can let other people view
them without getting your ftp password!) as well as changing around the Add New Services section to be more robust.
We'll also be working on console.newdream.net now a lot and turning it into some kind of super-site! Woosh!

Other sites to check out from the DHSOTM contest for March:


Last updated: Jan 27, 2001.