Earth Notes: On Website Technicals (2024-07)

Updated 2024-07-13 19:11 GMT.
By Damon Hart-Davis.
Tech updates: RPI3B again, 512GB found, MIDI albums, Referer no help...
Getting ready to upgrade the RPi server...

2024-07-11: RSS Plague

Maybe there should be a plague on both their houses / servers! (I am looking at you Google-Podcast and Podbean.)

% egrep rss/podcast /var/log/apache2/other_vhosts_access.log | tail
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:02 +0000] "HEAD /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/1.1" 503 3539 "-" "Google-Podcast"
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:02 +0000] "GET /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/1.1" 503 3859 "-" "Google-Podcast"
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:08 +0000] "HEAD /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/1.1" 503 3539 "-" "Google-Podcast"
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:09 +0000] "GET /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/1.1" 503 3859 "-" "Google-Podcast"
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:16 +0000] "HEAD /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/1.1" 503 3539 "-" "Google-Podcast"
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:17 +0000] "GET /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/1.1" 503 3859 "-" "Google-Podcast"
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:25 +0000] "GET /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/2.0" 503 388 "-" "Podbean/FeedUpdate 2.1"
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:27 +0000] "GET /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/2.0" 503 388 "-" "Podbean/FeedUpdate 2.1"
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:28 +0000] "GET /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/2.0" 503 388 "-" "Podbean/FeedUpdate 2.1"
[12/Jul/2024:16:07:38 +0000] "GET /rss/podcast.rss HTTP/2.0" 503 388 "-" "Podbean/FeedUpdate 2.1"

2024-07-10: RSS Referer

I was filtering 406 / 429 / 503 rejection of bad RSS feed bot on the Referer header being absent. But I have not seen one non-bot client using it recently, and some bots that do, so I have eliminated it as a screening test.

2024-07-05: MIDI Album ZIPs

I have just extended the sonification script to generate collated versions of all the auto-generated standard energy MIDI files (albums?) as ZIP files. I am creating a ZIP with everything, and separate ZIPs with just monthly/yearly stuff in them. In each case the ZIPs throw away the directory structure to be as simple to use as possible, eg for automated tools.

% ls -l data/consolidated/energy/col/

429s vs 503s

Both Podbean and Amazon respond in some way to 503s. Amazon also responds to 429s. Spotify and iTunes do not respond to anything.

So I am switching all 429 responses to 503 this evening.

I have also taken the opportunity to at least for now remove the special-case initial very harsh 503 case for very bad bots, and slightly extend one of the ex-429 cases, for some simplification.

2024-07-01: RPi3B Still Best

The minimum idle power of a RPi5 is apparently ~3.7W, which is more than I want to waste mid-winter, and my current processing power is enough.

I would like to start bringing up a replacement so that:

  • I can get onto the latest supported OS (eg for security fixes) and apps.
  • I have a backup in case of equipment failure (eg power supply failure as last time).
  • For more storage space (eg to accommodate more podcast episodes and sonification experiments).

On the storage point, I realised that I had not even used the 512GB card bought to be prepared a year ago!

So just a new RPi3B then, from Amazon, at ~£28 roughly half the price of the previous distress purchase.

I have just used the Raspberry Pi Imager v1.8.5 to burn to the 512GB card Raspberry Pi OS Lite (64-bit) ready to join the new 64-bit world!

OS customised settings for timezone Etc/UTC, GB keyboard, no WiFi.

That only seemingly took a couple of minutes to write and verify. Nothing like the ages (hours?) to boot an old Sun 3 workstation from tape!

The real fun is still to come to parameterise my Ansible config to set up the standby host in parallel with the main one, and allow a smooth switchover.

NTP traffic slowing?

A couple of manual samples with tcpdump suggest to me that NTP traffic is reducing. Maybe changing the DNS name was enough, for now.

~522 words.