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1.2 The Site

Geek notes: dslreports.com is written entirely in modperl, creating the pages on the fly. We use the apache webservers, and mysql SQL databases, running on Linux.

See more about how the site is run: /aboutdsl

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-12-13 09:17:10

This is an early [2000] version of this info.
We really squeeze every ounce out of our hardware resources here. The site started out on an old Dell 2300 tower with two PII processors running at 450mhz and 1gig of memory, plus six 9gig SCSI LVD 10k RPM drives and two intel/etherpro 10/100 ethernet cards.

This was built over a year ago and, apart from a memory upgrade, has run like a champ since. It stands now as our firewall and miscellaneous random script machine.

We soon added a bunch more machines, several Intel 2150s rackmounts, with 600mhz to 1ghz PIIIs, 1gig-2gigs of memory and 18gig SCSI LVD 10k RPM drives. We also have several second-hand 2U high VA Linux servers of similar configuration. Our newest performer is a 1-unit high Dell with 4gigs of memory and 2x1ghz PIII CPUs. Currently, I think we have about 18 or 20 CPUs (9 or 10 servers), if you count them all.

Most CPUs are located in New Jersey, at nac.net. We last saw/touched the machines in November 1999. A few more are at UUnet webhosting.

All the machines started as Redhat 6.x, but with everything stripped out and the critical parts (Apache, modperl, MYSQL) recompiled.

Our current connection to the data-center switch at nac.net is 100Mbit.

The site is maintained over DSL, cable modems and SSH2.

Is this a lot of hardware? Doesn't sound like much! It isn't a lot by any standard. We probably have the highest dynamic page/cpu ratio of any site on the web. Any web business would be talking Sun Enterprise servers and large Oracle databases for our traffic.

Why not use PHP? PHP is designed to generate web pages. Perl and associated Perl modules are designed to do anything. So, since we are required to do more than just web pages, Perl is a better choice for us.

Why not use FreeBSD? It is claimed that FreeBSD behaves better at high load than Linux. We should have used it over RedHat. Unfortunately, FreeBSD SMP support was lacking at the time the decisions were made, so we are where we are -- and reasonably happy as well. Sometimes upgrading to new kernels is a lucky dip, but a stable configuration stays stable for months or years.

Note: The information presented above was originally posted by Justin in the year 2000. Much of it is deprecated at this point.

edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-08-25 08:37:01

Can I buy a copy of dslr forum software to run on my own site? Sorry, no.

Our forum software is custom written and is tightly integrated into the site. There is no easy way to extract just the forum software and make it available to others.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-12-13 09:17:25

The server load indicator (seen at the top right of the page) is created from monitoring pages shown per second. It is calculated dynamically from the last few minutes of activity on the servers. Each block that is lit indicates 1/6th of what we consider to be maximum efficient load.

The figure in brackets indicates how many pages per minute we are currently printing.

If the 6 lit blocks are replaced by the word "overload," our server may not produce all pages correctly, or may have some difficulty. In that case, please visit later when the problem has been corrected.


The web part of DSLreports.com comprises several servers located at a data center in New Jersey (nac.net).

Data centers usually have multiple connections (peerings) to the Internet.

From time to time, problems (failures, network attacks, reconfiguration, etc) at the data center can cause browsing the site to become slow, or even stop completely. In an effort to detect this, we continually monitor our own connectivity to the Internet for any temporary packet loss, so we can show this statistic in the form of an icon on the home page.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • This indicator seems to only display if you're using the vertical (site style) navigation, instead of the (default) horizontal navigation. (Is there any reason it couldn't just be positioned above the menuTABLE nav, which seems to be a generally empty space?)

    2012-12-07 06:30:57 (NoHereNoMo See Profile)

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-12-13 09:17:36

Deprecated function.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2013-04-19 16:21:55

I just tried to access a forum a few minutes ago, and I got this error:

"503 Request temporarily denied: too many requests arriving from your IP address. See this page for more information:"

On that page, you see this info:

About: request denied, error 503

Your current IP address has issued more than 60 page requests in a single 2 minute period.
Has requested/posted 25k bytes per second for 2 minutes, on average.

For the purpose of server stability, we are forced to return a 503 error to further requests until the above counts reduce.

If requests continue at a high rate, then your IP address may be auto-blocked and every page on the site will return 401 errors (permission denied).

Why did you get this error?

Perhaps you are trying to POST a BMP image file and are pressing retry. BMP files suck. They are totally uncompressed and huge. Convert to GIF or JPG before you try uploading multi megabyte screen shots!

Perhaps your web browser tried to "archive" the entire page including all links.

Perhaps you have some additional software, such as Ad-Aware, AdShield or other newer service, that quietly requests more than just the page you wanted. Disable it or reinstall it.

Perhaps you just clicked very fast, page by page, in which case a short delay will return service to you.

Perhaps your IP address is a company proxy or gateway IP and for some reason, many users sharing this IP address are all trying to use dslreports.com.

What do you do now?

Well, you can wait a few minutes, and if that does not work, wait 20 minutes or more. Make sure you have disabled any extra software which may be causing multiple page requests.

If you persist in getting this error, then please email webmaster @ dslreports.com

Before doing that, access a unique URL that will be caught in our logs. For example: /your_login_name. In the email, tell us what unique URL you accessed, so we can find which IP we are blocking and why.

One solution to this problem is not to check "cache unlisted pages" if you are using AdShield.

A second cause is clicking topics too rapidly, as in your "favorite forums" page when trying to catch up. If this is happening to you, try using the "clear all" button at the top of the page to catch up with all your forums.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2014-04-01 14:04:18

It is not permissible to ask publicly on this site for donations of any type for any person, group, organization or cause without FIRST obtaining authorization from site management.

If you or someone else is truly in desperate straits, and you can clearly establish this through verifiable evidence (other than your word), you may contact a site moderator and discuss your situation with him/her. That moderator may wish to discuss it with others before a decision is made. Otherwise, we cannot allow posts that contain such solicitations, including those in posting sigs, to appear in any area of the site.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2011-08-22 07:33:36

The Good Way
    •You're helpful to other members.
    •You never respond to trolls or flame other users.
    •Your posts stick to the forum topic.
    •You never post for the sake of posting.
    •You remain reasonable when things get heated.
    •You know what it means to "agree to disagree."
    •You're polite, friendly and enjoy interacting with other people.
    •You ALWAYS say thank you.

The Bad Way:
    •You bait, flame and swear in the forums.
    •Your posts are frequently off-topic and your questions are unrelated or repeated.
    •You post "My Provider Sucks! Don't get them!" without saying WHY.
    •You like to see your name on the screen, so you
      •Reply to requests, already answered ...
      •Re-ask your question ... after only an hour ...
      •Start a new thread to answer a question ...
    •When asked for more information, you don't reply.
    •You ask the same question in multiple forums.
    •You re-open topics closed by moderation.
    •You NEVER say thank you.

from a post by Wheelert

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2008-03-02 05:38:53

This is a new site feature, just being implemented (Feb 2003). The purpose of the announcements feature is to target announcements at specific groups of users depending on their nature. For example, an announcement regarding DSLR email might be targeted only to premium members, since that feature is not available to basic users.

When an announcement is prepared and activated, those who are affected will see it at some point while browsing the site.

Use the "OK I got it" link to clear the screen. This marks it as having been viewed.

As soon as the announcement page interrupts a URL and is shown, it is marked as having being seen. There is only a 1 in 20 chance that announcements are shown on any page load, so not everyone will see them instantly.

This feature will be used sparingly so that it does not interrupt site users except on rare occasions.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-12-13 09:18:17

The system automatically picks up certain threads on the site that are "busy" and links them on the front page. The "tech" forums and certain others are polled for these threads. Some strictly "entertainment" forums are excluded.

If you are creating a topic that is probably NOT one for the front page, such as personal events (births, deaths, sickness, marriage, etc.), you should place [OT] or OT: in front of the thread title. This prevents it from being picked up and included on the front page.

If your topic has unintentionally appeared on the front page, and you don't think it should be there, you can ask a moderator to edit the title so it includes one of the labels above. This will cause it to be removed from the front page display.

by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2007-12-13 09:18:26