Wed Oct 17 15:25:01 PDT 2007

Power Outages on Weekend, 2007 October 20 & 21

Linux workstations in the Scientific Computing Lab may be offline from late Friday night, 2007 October 19, through Sunday, 2007 October 21, due to scheduled power outages. If you have trouble reaching a live machine through, try connecting to

The first part of The Claremont Colleges' power work takes place this weekend, as Southern California Edison relocates the Colleges' transformer to a new location.

During the work, the Colleges will be operating on their emergency power generators, which will take over at 7:00 AM on Saturday, October 17, and run until 7:00 AM on Sunday, October 18.

Because the workstations in the scientific computing lab are not protected by UPSs, they may not survive the transition if it does not go perfectly smoothly. If they go down, they will remain down until I reset them on Sunday or Monday.

As the Colleges will be running on generator power during this period, you can help reduce the load by turning off any extra power-using equipment in your office or dorm over the break.

Keep in mind that this outage is minor compared with the scheduled outage for the end of December, during which all power, including primary generator power, will be shut down for a number of days. Plans for that outage are being made right now -- keep an eye here for more information about the math department's plans for handling that outage.

Posted by Claire Connelly | Permalink

Mon Oct 15 10:08:00 PDT 2007

E-Mail Holiday Is Over

I'm sure many of you were enjoying the lack of new e-mail messages, so I have to apologize for fixing the problem.

On Friday and Saturday I made great progress towards allowing secure SMTP, IMAP, and POP access to our mail servers. Secure SMTP will allow you to use our mail server for outgoing mail without having a machine plugged into a physical port on the math network. Secure IMAP and POP will allow you to access your mail over an encrypted connection from any network location.

In the process, I added some lines to the configuration to turn on an additional port for sending e-mail. As it happens, the system works such that some ports are active by default, but defining options for a specific port causes the system to drop its default configuration for all ports.

I've fixed the problem, and will be modifying the configuration to define all the ports we will need specifically. I hope to have the secure ports up and running and, more importantly, documented, within the next few days. I will make an announcement here on the sysblog at that time.

The moral of the story? Never trust defaults.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but you're quite welcome for the break, however brief!

Posted by Claire Connelly | Permalink