an alternative corner of the Internet since 1996

quick links

You're probably here looking for pictures of Matthew or Joshua, information about Ron, or directions to a site we host.

site news

24January2016 TWiki update

It would appear that TWiki.org actually has it together enough to put out updates that don't require 20 admin-hours to install!

26October2014 TWiki update -- it actually went well!

I think I've figured out the trick for getting the TWiki updates done without taking an entire weekend. Sorry that some of the pages were inaccessible for so long.

01July2012 another slow, painful TWiki update (5.1.1)

Ugh. After slogging through several agonizing TWiki updates, I finally had to shut the installation down as the site was under attack and I couldn't afford to take the days now necessary to update TWiki. I have the latest version up now, but a lot of features are broken.

C'mon, guys! I can compile a custom Linux kernel before breakfast, but an entire weekend isn't enough to apply a point upgrade to TWiki.

04December2010 updated TWiki to 5.0.1

I like the TWiki collaboration platform -- most of what you see here is based on it -- but they've never gotten their act together with updates. Every release (for, what, six years now?) they've said that they would automate the update process. Then every few months they release a new version. They say it fixes critical security bugs, and everyone must update right away. The best technique they offer for updating? Install the new version from scratch, then painfully, manually migrate years of accumulated content and changes into the new installation. Test, test, test. Inevitably, things are broken. I just spent five hours doing the latest upgrade, and I decided to just shut down three TWiki installations I manage because I didn't want to go through the exercise again. Oh, well. Perhaps 2011 will be the year they finally get an updater working.

03July2009 Web pages migrated to the new server

We've been running a new server since March. We moved email processing to it in April, which let us abandon the marginal process of trashing suspected spam and, instead, reject it at the source. We've now moved (non-secure) web services as well. The new server has 32 times the amount of memory, eight processors vs. one, and four times the disk space. You should notice a dramatic improvement in page loading times, especially on the TWikis.

28July2008 IMAP changes

Secure (SSL) IMAP

Secure IMAP is now available on port 993

IMAP folder changes

I had to change the IMAP folder structure to work around an old bug. If you're configured with an IMAP mailbox prefix of "mail/", you should probably change it to null. Otherwise, mail in your existing mailboxes might not be reachable. Known IMAP users have been notified. If you're an IMAP user and didn't get notified, please let me know that you're using IMAP (and switch to SSL!).

23March2008 email spam filter changes

We have changed the way we handle egregious spam. If you are a risleynet mail user, please take note of these important changes.

30July2007 Out(r)age

A network outage occurred while Surewest replaced my fiber terminal equipment. No big deal, except that they didn't warn me in advance that they were also changing my "static" IP address. That meant reconfiguring DNS information and changing the address of root name servers on 30 some domains. Service was out while I made the changes and they propagated through the DNS structure.


Migrated to TWiki 4.1


Another few hours of downtime while I moved the main servers (dull.risley.net and towerfour.risley.net) from their temporary DSL connection back to 10 MBPS fiber.


What happened?!? First, somebody unplugged the backup server at my office. Before I could go in and re-plug it, the main servers crashed. I've been wanting to move them for some time, since they're not very accessible, so I took the opportunity to do so. Alas, it took me and the Internet a couple of days to relocate the new machines. In the mean time, the web sites were down and some email bounced.


A TWiki web for my new son Joshua.


A security flaw in the TWiki software was discovered earlier this week. My attempts to apply the patch resulted in a system error and the TWiki-driven pages on the site (including this one) were unavailable for about a day. The latest TWiki release has now been installed and things seem to be working, but expect for minor operational anomalies (bugs) to crop up while the new release is shaken out.


Hosting a TWiki web for my favorite Italian chef and friend Rosa.


Added support for batch uploads and automatic "NEW"/"UPDATED" tags to the TWiki.


Moved the HD Team web site onto the TWiki collaboration platform.


We now support a much nicer web-based email system based on SquirrelMail. (The old AtDot email system is still available, too.)

You can now access your mail using IMAP (mail.risley.net port 143).


Viewing TWiki page diffs now requires authentication. This keeps spambots from overloading the server. If you don't know what this means, it probably doesn't affect you.


I tried to do some clever things with Apache rewrite rules to make the URLs a lot prettier on the risley.net and barefootwillie.com sites. Alas, I was too clever by half, and too busy to do thorough testing. As a result, the sites were ugly or downright unusable with most Windows browsers. I've reverted to the old, ugly URLs until I can get enough peace to fix the rewrite rules.


A faster server, a TWiki front end, Apache 2, Postfix MTA, SpamAssassin: all in preparation for the Great Migration when the heart of risleynet will be moving from a walk-in closet full of surplus Macintoshes to a pair of Mac mini sitting on top of a desk in my home office.

If you're looking for the old content of the site, it's largely still here (with the same persistent URLs) on my personal pages.


The new Postfix MTA is now on line. Mail users should have notice nothing except, perhaps, some increases in performance. There's a lot more power under the hood, though (mostly with regard to fighting spam). Interested users can find out more about the risleynet mail service.

Old archived news.

what is this place?

risleynet is probably best thought of as a hobby grown out of control. What started as a way to put a damaged PowerBook and a (at that time quite novel) DSL connection to some use has now grown physically (eight surplus beige-box Macs), in scope (hosting over a dozen domains and organizations), and in bandwidth (the old DSL has been supplanted by a 10 Mbps optical fiber connection) to an operation supporting an eclectic collection of worthwhile causes.

The early months were chronicled in a TidBITS article.

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Topic revision: r46 - 2016-01-24 - RonRisley
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