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Check in on Lanier79 alumn Kenneth Thompson on one of his radio talk shows on KAZI.

Graduation Candidates
1979 Commencement
Page 1   Page 2

Class of 1979

Lanier High School    
Austin, Texas


What’s the purpose of this web site?
This web site exists to support communications between the Lanier high school class of 1979 reunion organizers and class alumni. Alumni can tell the organizers their preferences about the reunion plans and the committee and publish schedules, maps, and so on.

Why not just use reunion.com or classmates.com?
Oh, now where’s the fun in that? All kidding aside, the commercial reunion web sites have their merits: they look slick and have some nice features. You can sign up with them for free but they really aren’t free to use since their whole point is to turn a financial profit. You’d have to subscribe to several of these sites to stand a chance of finding the most classmates and that can get expensive. We think that you should be able to locate Lanier alumni without having to crack a wallet.

How is this web site financed?
Like so many alumni functions, it is a volunteer effort using donated resources.

Who runs this web site?
Richard Petty manages this web site. His email address is: richard.petty@lanier79.com  




A word from Richard...

I wanted to set up a reunion web site back in 1999 for the 20th anniversary reunion but I got involved late in the plans, got busy tracking down missing alumni, and didn’t get around to it. Since I was on board for the 25th anniversary reunion from the start, I had the opportunity to create this web site in time for it to be useful. The web site went live on January 26, 2004, and a bulletin board was added on February 17th (suggested by Ann McCaffrey-Mechler).

The bulletin board ran for several years but when the web server underwent a major OS and hardware upgrade, the BBS software offered no migration path. The bulletin board has been supplanted by Facebook but I hope to re-publish it in read-only form one day since it contains some really great posts.

I figure there’s a 1-percent share of our population that might wonder what hardware and software was used in the production of this web site, so —yielding to this ground-swell of public demand— here’s the history of the setup for this web site.




Website Configuration from May 2016 to Date

Internet Host: Digital Ocean 

Status

Server Time
1:17 PM CDT

Last Reboot
25 days ago

System Load
0.04, 0.03, 0.05

Computer: KVM Virtual Private Server
Host CPU:Intel XEON E5-2630L (single core) 2.4GHz
Host Motherboard: virtual machine 
Operating Systems: CentOS 7 
RAM: 500-Megabytes
Storage: 20-Gigabyte Partition on Solid State Drive
Web Server: Apache 2 
SMTP Server: Postfix 
POP/IMAP Server: Dovecot 
Scripting: PHP and Perl 
Database: MySQL 5 
HTML Editor: Vim or BBEdit 
Graphics Editor: The GIMP 
Weather Source: NOAA 
Backup Software: host-provided 
Backup Power Supply: host-provided 


Time Warner/Spectrum started advertising that my home IP number was in a residential IP block and in May of 2016 it was necessary to move this server from my home to a commercial host. After much research, I ended up going with a co-worker’s recommendation: Digital Ocean.

The Digital Ocean virtual private server (VPS) for Lanier79.com is located in New York City. When updating the web site, I connect remotely by using SSH in a command-line terminal program.




Website Configuration from December 2011 to May 2016

Computer: KVM Virtual Machine
Host CPU: Intel XEON E3-1220L Dual-Core 2.20GHz 3MB 5GT/s 20W ($216.44)
Host Motherboard: Supermicro X9SCL+-F MicroATX 
Operating Systems: Scientific Linux 6 
RAM: 1-Gigabyte ECC
Storage: Image File on Software Mirrored SATA Drives
Web Server: Apache 2 
SMTP Server: Postfix 
POP/IMAP Server: Dovecot 
Scripting: PHP and Perl 
Database: MySQL 5 
HTML Editor: BBEdit or Vim 
Graphics Editor: The GIMP 
Weather Source: NOAA 
Backup Software: rsnapshot 
Backup Power Supply: APC Back-UPS Pro 1100 


Server Name: Tiffin

This computer case was purchased from Fry’s in north Austin. It's now on its second motherboard, a Supermicro X9SCL+-F MicroATX, installed in December of 2011. The CPU is a low-power server chip, a 2.20GHz Intel XEON E3-1220L Dual-Core (that’s 20-watts maximum, under a full load). It’s still powerful enough to transcode and serve up hi-def videos on a Plex media server, another virtual machine that hosted on Tiffin.

Both the virtual machine host and guest run Scientific Linux and the equipment is located in a tiny server closet under the stairs in my home. When I need to work on them, I connect remotely by using SSH in a command-line terminal program or a VNC session.

My desktop computer is a Mac running OS X so, for copying or editing files, I sometimes connect to the server by using NFS. I use rsync to transfer files to and from the servers. Finally, I use rsnapshot to automatically backup the website every night.

I edit this site’s HTML/CSS content by hand using a commercial text editor, BBEdit (a favorite of mine since the mid-90’s), but every other facet of this web site is produced entirely with free software. By the way, the version of BBedit that I use was released in 2007 but it features a helpful syntax checker and can open/save files via SFTP so I keep chugging along with it. For system administration-type editing, I just use Vim.

The operating system, Linux, is free. The web server, Apache, is free. The graphics editing program I use nowadays, The GIMP, is free (screenshot from 2004). Free doesn’t mean worthless, though. There is no better web server at any price than Apache and The GIMP can do most of what Adobe Photoshop can do.




Website Configuration from October 2010 to December 2011

Host Computer  
Computer: home-built
Motherboard: ABIT IC7-G
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 (CSIC)
Operating System: CentOS 5 (Linux) 
RAM: 1-GB ECC
Mirrored Primary Drive: 500-GB 7,200-RPM Western Digital / Samsung
Backup Drive: 300-GB 7,200-RPM Seagate SATA
Backup Power Supply: APC Back-UPS Pro 1100 
Virtual Machine Hypervisor: VirtualBox 
 
Virtual Machine
Operating System: CentOS 5 (Linux) 
RAM: 512-MB
Web Server: Apache 2 
SMTP Server: Postfix 
POP/IMAP Server: Dovecot 
Scripting: PHP and Perl 
Database: MySQL 5 
Forum Software: Phorum 
HTML Editor: BBEdit or vi 
Graphics Editor: The GIMP 
Weather Source: NOAA 
Backup Software: rsnapshot 
Server Name: Tiffin

This computer case was purchased from Fry's in north Austin. It's now on its second motherboard, a Supermicro X9SCL+-F MicroATX, installed in December of 2011. The CPU is a low-power server chip, a 2.20GHz Intel XEON E3-1220L Dual-Core (that's 20-watts maximum under a full load). It's still powerful enough to transcode and serve up hi-def videos on a Plex media server, another virtual machine that hosted on Tiffin.

Both the virtual machine host and guest run Scientific Linux and the equipment is located in a tiny server closet under the stairs in my home. When I need to work on them, I connect remotely by using SSH in a command-line terminal program or a VNC session.



The current server hosting the Lanier79 web site is a white-box machine named Tiffin. Located in Austin, Texas, Tiffin was built for around $650 (not including hard drives) and assembled, configured, tested, and deployed over a weekend. Except for the RAM, which was purchased over the Internet, all of the server’s components were purchased from the Fry’s store in north Austin.

Click here to see a photograph of the inside of Tiffin server, as it is configured today.

Two primary considerations during the construction of Tiffin were reliability and quietness. The Sonata II case was well regarded for its quietness; the included power supply is quiet and soft silicon grommets are used throughout. I hadn't given the CPU cooling system much thought but discovered an excellent Zalman CPU cooling fan. I keep it running at its slowest speed and its base is still barely warm to the touch.

Tiffin’s primary hard drive is composed of a pair of Seagate 160-GB hard drives mirrored to each other; one is an IDE hard drive and the other is SATA. I did consider purchasing a RAID PCI card to control the drives but I settled on using the hard drive mirroring software built into Tiffin’s operating system: You’ll never know the difference. If one of the hard drives fails, the Lanier79 web site will remain up and running and I’ll be notified of the problem by email. (This actually happened in September 2006.)

Tiffin’s operating system is a free clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux called CentOS Linux. The CentOS project is not a one-man-show like the WBEL OS used on Tiffin’s predecessor, Kayak. CentOS has much better support and more timely security updates than WBEL could provide.

Pic of Mobo.When I decided to replace the HP Kayak server, I did consider running the Lanier79 web site on the Mac OS X operating system but Apple, like all for-profit enterprises, provides no support for versions of its operating system older than two major revisions — and I plan on keeping the Lanier79 web site running for a long time. No version of Microsoft Windows was considered owing to its terrible security record and its scarcity of good free software tools.

Tiffin server is located in a tiny server closet under the stairs in my home. While it does have a keyboard, mouse, and little video monitor connected to it, they are seldom used. When I need to work on it, I have many options but I usually connect to it remotely by using an encrypted command-line connection (SSH) or, less often, by using a full graphical mode by way of a software package called “Virtual Network Computing” (VNC). The VNC client program that I use on my Mac is called Chicken of the VNC; the VNC server program running on Tiffin is the one built into CentOS. When I’m messing around with the MySQL database I almost always use phpMyAdmin, a web-based graphical interface.

Finally, I use a free backup program called rsnapshot to automatically backup Tiffin’s 500-GB mirrored primary hard drive RAID array to a 300-GB backup hard drive every night.

Although I code HTML/CSS by hand using the commercial text editor BBEdit, every other facet of this web site is produced entirely with free software. The operating system, Linux, is free. The web server, Apache, is free. The graphics editing program I use nowadays, The GIMP, is free. Free doesn’t mean worthless, though. There is no better web server at any price than Apache and The GIMP can do much of what Adobe Photoshop can do.




Website Configuration from August 2005 to October 2010

Computer: home-built  
Motherboard: ABIT IC7-G
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 (CSIC)
Operating System: CentOS 4 (Linux) 
RAM: 1-GB ECC
Mirrored Primary Drive: 160-GB 7,200-RPM Seagate PATA / SATA
Backup Drive: 300-GB 7,200-RPM Seagate SATA
Web Server: Apache 2 
SMTP Server: Postfix 
POP/IMAP Server: Dovecot 
Scripting: PHP and Perl 
Database: MySQL 4 
Forum Software: Phorum 
HTML Editor: BBEdit or nano 
Graphics Editor: The GIMP 
Weather Source: NOAA 
Backup Software: rsnapshot 
Backup Power Supply: APC Back-UPS Pro 1100 


Server Name: Tiffin

The current server hosting the Lanier79 web site is a white-box machine named Tiffin. Located in Austin, Texas, Tiffin was built for around $650 (not including hard drives) and assembled, configured, tested, and deployed over a weekend. Except for the RAM, which was purchased over the Internet, all of the server’s components were purchased from the Fry’s store in north Austin.

Click here to see a photograph of the inside of Tiffin server, as it is configured today.

Two primary considerations during the construction of Tiffin were reliability and quietness. The Sonata II case was well regarded for its quietness; the included power supply is quiet and soft silicon grommets are used throughout. I hadn't given the CPU cooling system much thought but discovered an excellent Zalman CPU cooling fan. I keep it running at its slowest speed and its base is still barely warm to the touch.

Tiffin’s primary hard drive is composed of a pair of Seagate 160-GB hard drives mirrored to each other; one is an IDE hard drive and the other is SATA. I did consider purchasing a RAID PCI card to control the drives but I settled on using the hard drive mirroring software built into Tiffin’s operating system: You’ll never know the difference. If one of the hard drives fails, the Lanier79 web site will remain up and running and I’ll be notified of the problem by email. (This actually happened in September 2006.)

Tiffin’s operating system is a free clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux called CentOS Linux. The CentOS project is not a one-man-show like the WBEL OS used on Tiffin’s predecessor, Kayak. CentOS has much better support and more timely security updates than WBEL could provide.

interior of TiffinWhen I decided to replace the HP Kayak server, I did consider running the Lanier79 web site on the Mac OS X operating system but Apple, like all for-profit enterprises, provides no support for versions of its operating system older than two major revisions — and I plan on keeping the Lanier79 web site running for a long time. No version of Microsoft Windows was considered owing to its terrible security record and its scarcity of good free software tools.

Tiffin server is located in a tiny server closet under the stairs in my home. While it does have a keyboard, mouse, and little video monitor connected to it, they are seldom used. When I need to work on it, I have many options but I usually connect to it remotely by using an encrypted command-line connection (SSH) or, much less often, by using a full graphical mode by way of a software package called “Virtual Network Computing” (VNC). The VNC client program that I use on my Mac is called Chicken of the VNC; the VNC server program running on Tiffin is the one built into CentOS. When I’m messing around with the MySQL database I almost always use phpMyAdmin, a web-based graphical interface.

Finally, I use a free backup program called rsnapshot to automatically backup Tiffin’s 160-GB mirrored primary hard drive RAID array to a 300-GB backup hard drive every night.

Although I code HTML/CSS by hand using a commercial text editor, every other facet of this web site is produced entirely with free software. The operating system, Linux, is free. The web server, Apache, is free. The graphics editing program I use nowadays, The GIMP, is free. Free doesn’t mean worthless, though. There is no better web server at any price than Apache and The GIMP can do much of what Adobe Photoshop can do.




Website Configuration from November 2004 to August 2005

Computer: Hewlett-Packard Kayak XU/6
CPU:Two 266-MHz Intel Pentium II (CSIC)
Operating System: White Box Enterprise Linux 
RAM: 320-MB ECC
Primary Drive: 17-GB 10,000-RPM IBM Ultrawide SCSI
Home Drive: 80-GB 7,200-RPM IBM IDE
Backup Drive: 80-GB 7,200-RPM Western Digital IDE
Web Server: Apache 2 
SMTP Server: Postfix 
POP/IMAP Server: Dovecot 
Scripting: PHP and Perl 
Database: MySQL 4 
Forum Software: Phorum 
HTML Editor: BBEdit or Pico 
Graphics Editor: The GIMP 
Weather Source: NOAA 
Backup Software: rsnapshot 

 

HP Kayak XU

This Hewlett-Packard Kayak XU was a 1997-era minitower workstation which ran Windows NT while sitting on a desk at Motorola (now Freescale) in Austin, Texas. Street price for the low end version of this computer was $3,475. I purchased it and a monitor, together, for $150 several years ago. I added 256MB of RAM, a second Pentium II CPU, and new hard drives and used it as a personal Red Hat Linux workstation in my home.

As a server, it now runs White Box Enterprise Linux, a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and is located in a tiny server closet under the stairs in my home. When I need to work on it, I connect to it remotely by using a command-line terminal program, by forwarding X11 GUI sessions via SSH, by using a web browser and Webmin or phpMyAdmin, or by using VNC.

My desktop computer is a Mac running OS X so, for copying or editing files, I usually connect to the server by using NFS, Unix’s network file sharing system. It’s similar AppleShare or NetBEUI. Nice thing is that on my client machines I can work with the files as though they are on my local workstation. I use SCP or SFTP to transfer files—just for onesies and twosies. Finally, I use cron and rsync to automatically backup the website to another computer on my network every night.

Although I code HTML/CSS by hand using a commercial text editor, every other facet of this web site is produced entirely with free software. The operating system, Linux, is free. The web server, Apache, is free. The graphics editing program I use nowadays, The GIMP, is free. Free doesn’t mean worthless, though. There is no better web server at any price than Apache and The GIMP can do much of what Adobe Photoshop can do, too.




Website Configuration from January 2004 to November 2004

Computer: Apple G3 Minitower Server 
CPU:One 300-MHz Motorola PowerPC G3 (RISC)
Operating System: Yellow Dog Linux 
RAM: 256-MB
Boot Drive: 10-GB 7200-RPM IBM Ultrawide SCSI
Home Drive: 80-GB 7200-RPM Western Digital IDE
Web Server: Apache 1.3 
Outgoing Email Server: sendmail 
Incoming Email Server: Qpopper 
Scripting: PHP 4.3 and Perl 
Database: MySQL 3.23 
Forum Software: Phorum 
HTML Editor: BBEdit, Kate, or Pico 
Graphics Editor: The GIMP 
Weather Source: NOAA 

 

Mac G4 ServerThis Macintosh G3 Server was actually a 1997-era minitower workstation into which Apple slapped ultra-wide SCSI and 10/100 Ethernet cards, then sold as a server; it was an excellent machine, though. It ran Yellow Dog Linux, which was a version of Red Hat Linux compiled for the PowerPC microprocessor.

From January 2004 until July, this server lived on my fireplace hearth. During the time leading up to the 25th anniversary Lanier class of ’79 reunion in June and a bit afterword, this is the system that hosted our class web site, its announcements, chats, pictures, et cetera. I remodelled my home right after that reunion and moved it into a small server closet under the stairs in my home, where it has remained since. When I needed to work on it, I connected to it remotely by using a command-line terminal program, by forwarding X11 GUI sessions via SSH, by using a web browser with Webmin or phpMyAdmin.

To access files on the server, I usually connected from a remote machine by using NFS. I used SCP or SFTP to transfer files—just for onesies and twosies. Finally, I used cron and rsync to automatically backup the website to another computer on my network every night.

Although I coded HTML/CSS by hand using a commercial text editor but edited the graphics with The GIMP, a free open-source Photoshop-like program.