November 2006 Newsletter


This is a newsletter that you really need to read cover to cover! There are some big changes coming on the servers in the coming month – that may affect your site! Failure to make the necessary changes may make your site unavailable to users.

You may have noticed we are no longer supporting the Joint Support Forum, this is a decision we made recently (and new users haven’t been added in a long while). For the moment the tutorials page and email are the first points of contact, the new support desk will be launched in the new year once some minor issues with it are fixed by the developers.

cPanel Manuals!
I’ve lost track of the number of people over the years who’ve asked where they can find more information on cPanel, our tutorials and Google are often the first place people look. However I was recently alerted to a new book on Amazon entitled CPanel User Guide and Tutorial, it may be worth a look for those of you wanting something you can scribble notes in as well! (scribbling on the screen for online tutorials makes such a mess!)

Server Upgrade & Maintenance

Several of our servers are long overdue for a full security audit and kernel upgrade, we plan to schedule these for the coming week.

As such I’d like to schedule a maintenance window nightly during this week (16th – 20th October 0200-0400 GMT / 0300-0500 BST), short outages will be possible. Each server will be rebooted during this time and is only expected to be offline for 20 to 30 minutes, and not the entire duration.

Email from Nobody?

Every day we see hundreds of emails being returned which have been sent out from the user “nobody”. The user “nobody” sends out emails from PHP software when it hasn’t been configured correctly to give a correct return address. We’d like to stop this for two reasons:

  • It clogs up the mail server as the mailbox “nobody” often gets filled up very quickly and mail sits on the queue.
  • You don’t get your return emails to tell you whether an email address is invalid, often this results in the user being allowed to continue using your forum, or you emailing them in a mailing list when they aren’t a valid email address.

There are a few major culprits as far as software goes at the moment and these are:

  • phpBB – Consider applying the following modification or asking us for a quote to get it done for you. phpBB Modification.
  • Niche Portal Builder – We see many from this, We’re not sure if this one is incorrect configuration or a problem with the script. Please check with the vendor if you are using this software.
  • Custom Scripts – If you are using the php mail() function please ensure you are setting a valid from address in the headers.

This is something we’ll be checking up on in the coming months. Please make sure your website is in order today!

Your Responsibility!

It is your responsibility to ensure that all the software on your website is kept updated with the necessary version(s). Where there are security fixes/upgrades available you should apply these ASAP. It is often worth visiting the writers of your software and signing up to their mailing lists, remember if your account is compromised in any way, you are accountable.

If you are unsure about doing your upgrades, contact us. Often we are happy to perform them for you as a custom job.

Member Spotlight

I’d like to get back to spotlights on our members in newsletters as well as necessary information, so if you’d like to tell us a bit about your website and services, and what you do – get in touch!

Until next time!

Where hosting just got better…

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