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Welcome back - new ISP connected
Posted by Magnus on 23 April 2002, 10:37 GMT

If you're reading this, your DNS has updated, and you are now looking at ticalc.org through our new ISP. SolNet is in the process of switching to KPNQwest as ISP, and ticalc.org has been moved to the new networks. This move have caused a short downtime due to DNS expiry for some users - but if you're reading this, your DNS has now updated.

We hope this will give you even better uptime and better performance. Let us know at webmaster@ticalc.org if you have any problems due to the new connection.

 


The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.


Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Tijl Coosemans Account Info
(Web Page)

Even better uptime? That's going to be difficult to achieve I guess. Last time I remember the site was down was quite a while ago.
Anyway, what kind of connection do you have now, still the same 4MBit/s?

     23 April 2002, 11:06 GMT

Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Magnus Hagander  Account Info
(Web Page)

Maybe I should've said that - no, it's upgraded to 12Mbit. However, there will be a few more machines hooked up to it than before once the migration is complete - but it should be more than enough.

     23 April 2002, 11:25 GMT

Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
tge82  Account Info

It's no wonder ticalc.org is so popular, especially because of its reliability. I tried going to calc.org a few times to see if they had anything ticalc.org didn't, and there was probably only one or two times I can remember it was up. It's down all the time!! (Like now--all I always get from that site are glitches and error messages.) I couldn't even get an account for a while until they fixed their system. You know what? I think I'm going to stop visiting that site.

     27 April 2002, 02:01 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Michael Vincent  Account Info
(Web Page)

True, but calc.org was up for years and years before recently...

     27 April 2002, 05:44 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
tge82  Account Info

I wonder why they're having so many problems now?

     28 April 2002, 03:29 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Chivo  Account Info

I think I read somewhere that calc.org is changing servers.

     29 April 2002, 18:51 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Hitoshi Koizumi  Account Info
(Web Page)

Why is it possible for Ticalc.org to change it's server without disappearing like calc.org? I'm really P.O.ed about that.
Ticalc.org new ISP thingie is great. I remember downloading a huge file... I think it was 83iview, it had an average of 9kb/sec. I know, it's very slow!!! But now I get 76kb/sec. Me luv new isp.

     4 May 2002, 20:16 GMT


Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
kEvinwElls  Account Info
(Web Page)

unlike clac.org, they have been down for a week! lol

     6 May 2002, 21:04 GMT

Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Rob van Wijk  Account Info

So that is what happened. I was already wondering if your servers went down for the first time in... well, a pretty long time.
Does this change anything for the users, except for "better uptime" (you're already very close to 100% :)) and "better performance" (never had any trouble with that either)?

BTW. Did you know that the KPN in KPNQwest is a Dutch company?

     23 April 2002, 11:12 GMT

Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Magnus Hagander  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yes. :-)

     23 April 2002, 11:25 GMT

Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Merlijn den Boer  Account Info
(Web Page)

hey but KPNQwest isn't doing very well.. hopefully this doesn't reflect on ticalc :)

     23 April 2002, 13:43 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Magnus Hagander  Account Info
(Web Page)

I was under the impression that it was mainly KPN that did bad, and not necessarily KPNQwest.

     24 April 2002, 10:34 GMT


Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
David Phillips  Account Info
(Web Page)

Is that company actually Qwest? I've never heard of them before now, but it looks like a very interesting arrangement. These types of mergers between multinational carriers could do a lot to change the internet for the rest of the world (i.e. outside the US). Would I be right in thinking that they essentially have zero peering costs with the US and Asia? I hate dealing with Qwest and similar companies as much as anyone else, but if it makes the internet cheaper for the rest of the world, then it could be very beneficial.

     23 April 2002, 14:30 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Magnus Hagander  Account Info
(Web Page)

It's a joint venture between KPN (Dutch) and Qwest (US).
They've also recently baught the eBone network, so they have a lot of good connectivity in Europe. And of course, Qwest has a lot in the US.

     24 April 2002, 10:35 GMT

Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
graphics_man_73-92+  Account Info

What is all the junk you're talking about? Its too confusing and what's the big deal about a new ISP

     23 April 2002, 11:13 GMT


Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
David Phillips  Account Info
(Web Page)

The university that ticalc.org gets it's internet access from is switching uplinks (ISP's). That isn't a big deal to the normal reader, but can be important to the site, and is interesting for those who care about what goes on with the site.

When you change uplink providers, you usually have to get new IP blocks (although they can be portable -- see www.arin.net). The Domain Name System (DNS) is what allows you to convert a hostname, such as www.ticalc.org, into an IP address. In this case, www.ticalc.org (a CNAME) actually points to ticalc.ticalc.org (an A), which points 62.65.69.3.

DNS servers cache DNS entries for a certain amount of time, which is determined by the minimum TTL (time to live) entry of the SOA (start of authority) record. So if your DNS server is caching the old IP address, and the webserver changes IP's, then you would not be able to access the website. The solution to the problem is to set very low TTL values before the IP address switch. For example, if you normally have TTL values of one day, then it could take up to a day before people can resolve the new IP address. So at least a day before hand, you would set the TTL to a low value, such as five seconds. This would ensure that after a day, any (correct) DNS servers that cached the hostname would expire it, and get the new record with the low TTL. The new record would not be cached for very long, due to the low TTL. Therefore, when the IP address is switched and the DNS record updated, everyone should see the new website immediately. The TTL for the record can then be set to a more normal value.

     23 April 2002, 15:58 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
molybdenum  Account Info

Sounds like DNS is the mother of all peer to peer systems (gnutella, not napster nor morpheus)

     23 April 2002, 19:00 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Chivo  Account Info

Yes. Without DNS you would have to know the IP addresses for web sites. Those addresses sometimes change, as in ticalc's case, so DNS really helps by providing a level of abstraction here.

     23 April 2002, 19:26 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
David Phillips  Account Info
(Web Page)

Umm, haha, wrong. DNS is not peer to peer at all. DNS is a hierarchy. There are thirteen root servers (a.root-servers.net through m.root-servers.net), from which all queries start. For example, to look up www.ticalc.org, the DNS resolver (often called server) first asks one of the root servers who is responsible for the .org domain. Then the server responsible for .org gets asked who is responsible for ticalc.org. Then the server resposible for ticalc.org gets asked about www.ticalc.org.

For a more detailed, technical explanation, take a look at the first part of the FAQ for the djbdns package. djbdns is a complete package that provides a DNS cache (dnscache), authoritative DNS server (tinydns), DNS lookup tools, a DNS resolver library, and much more. If you wanted to setup a DNS server or DNS cache, this is what you'd use (because BIND sucks). The weird characters at the front of IP addresses in the FAQ are there because that's the format that the tinydns-data (generates the cdb database for tinydns) data file uses.

http://cr.yp.to/ djbdns/faq/orientation.html (remove the space)

Isn't DNS fun?

     23 April 2002, 22:51 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Magnus Hagander  Account Info
(Web Page)

I beleive that's only almost correct. The rootservers *know* of "ticalc.org", there is no "root for .org". They will, however, refer to the nameservers that know what "www.ticalc.org" is - they only know the domain exists but not what's in it.
Bottom line - the root nodes contain a little bit more than just top-level pointers.

     24 April 2002, 10:37 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
David Phillips  Account Info
(Web Page)

No, there are root servers for everything. If there were no root servers for top level domains, then everything would have to be controlled by the root-servers (ICANN). Top level country domains, for example, would be under the control of ICANN and not the current administrators.

Take a look at the following page:

http://cr.yp.to/dnsroot.html

The data file listed on that page is a listing of all the root servers for the top level domains. All of the ICANN servers are the same, but the others are different. The root-servers don't know about .org, only the ICANN servers do.

     25 April 2002, 01:45 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Magnus Hagander  Account Info
(Web Page)

Hmm. Ok. I rest my case - I missed when they changed that :-) They *used* to know about it :-)

(And the names are fairly similar)

Country domains have always been delegated. The "big ones" (org, edu, net, com ...) used to be in the root servers.

     25 April 2002, 09:38 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
henrik Account Info
(Web Page)

ticalc is not connected via a university, but via SolNET, which is the municipal network in Sollentuna Commune, outside Stockholm.

     23 April 2002, 22:42 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
henrik Account Info
(Web Page)

Universities in Sweden are connected at 1 gigabit now to a 10 gigabit link. A very, very long time ago anyone used 12 megabit at universities.

     23 April 2002, 22:46 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
David Phillips  Account Info
(Web Page)

Thanks for the info. I'd always incorrectly assumed that SolNET was a university, being that the About page points to www.edu.sollentuna.se, and I can't read Sweedish :)

     23 April 2002, 22:56 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Magnus Hagander  Account Info
(Web Page)

We're connected on the part of the SolNet network that is used for all the public schools in Sollentuna. Thus the "edu".

     24 April 2002, 10:38 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
lord_nightrose Account Info
(Web Page)

So who actually owns the computer where TICalc.org physically resides?

     25 April 2002, 19:07 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Welcome back - new ISP connected
Magnus Hagander  Account Info
(Web Page)

I own most of it. Some parts (I beleive today that's the SCSI adaptor and the motherboard+CPU combo) are contributed by other members of our staff.

     26 April 2002, 16:15 GMT

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