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Handling the Loads 890

On Tuesday, something terrible happened. The effects rippled through the world. And Slashdot was hit with more traffic than ever before as people grabbed at any open line of communication. When many news sites collapsed under the load, we managed to keep stumbling along. Countless people have asked me questions about how Slashdot handled the gigantic load spike. I'm going to try to answer a few of these questions now. Keep reading if you're interested.

I woke up and it seemed like a normal day. Around 8:30 I got to the office and made a pot of coffee. I hopped on IRC, started rummaging through the submissions bin, and of course, began reading my mail. Within minutes someone told me on IRC what had happened just moments after the impact of the first plane. Just a minute or 2 later, submissions started streaming into the bin. And at 9:12 a.m. Eastern Time, I made the decision to cancel Slashdot's normal daily coverage of "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters," and instead focus on something more important then anything we had ever covered.

I couldn't get to CNN, and MSBNC loaded only enough to show me my first picture of the tragedy. I posted whatever facts we had: these were coming from random links over the net, and from Howard Stern who syndicates live from NY, even to my town. Over the next hour I updated the story as events happened. I updated when the towers collapsed. And the number of comments exploded as readers expressed their outrage, sadness, and confusion following the tragedy.

Not surprisingly, the load on Slashdot began to swell dramatically. Normally at 9:30 a.m., Slashdot is serving 18-20 pages a second. By 10 we were up to 30 and spiking to 40. This is when we started having problems.

At this point Jamie and Pudge were online and we started trying to sort out what we could do. The database crashed and Jamie went into action bringing it back up. I called Krow: he's on Western time, but he knows the DB best, and I had to wake him up. But worst of all, I had to tell him what had happened in New York. It was one of the strangest things I've ever done: it still hadn't settled in. I had seen a few grainy photos but I don't have a TV in my office and hadn't yet seen any of the footage. After I hung up the phone I almost broke down. It was the first time, but not the last.

The DB problem was a known bug and the decision was made to switch to the backup box. This machine was a replicated mirror of Slashdot, but running a newer version of MySQL. We hadn't switched the live box simply because it meant taking the site down for a few minutes. Well we were down anyway, and the box was a complete replica of the live DB, so we quickly moved.

At this point the DB stopped being a bottleneck, and we started to notice new rate limits on the performance of the 6 web servers themselves. Recently we fixed a glitch with Apache::SizeLimit: Functionally, it kills httpd processes that use more then a certain amount of memory, but the size limit was to low and processes were dying after serving just a few requests. This was complicated by the fact that the first story quickly swelled to more than a thousand comments ... we've tuned our caching to Slashdot's normal traffic: 5000-6000 comments a day, with stories having 200-500 comments. And this was definitely not the normal story. Our cache simply wasn't ready to handle this.

Our httpd processes cache a lot of data: this reduces hits to the database and just generally makes everything better. We turned down the number of httpd processes (From 60 on each machine, to 40) and increased the RAM that each process could use up (From 30 to 40 and later 45 megs) We also turned off reverse hostname lookups which we use for geotargetting ads: The time required to do the rdns is fine under normal load, but under huge loads we need that extra second to keep up with the primary job: spitting out pages as fast as possible.

This was around noon or so. I was keeping a close eye on the DB and we noticed a few queries that were taking a little too long. Jamie went in and switched our search from our own internal search, to hitting Google: Search is a somewhat expensive call on our end right now, and this was necessary just to make sure that we could keep up. We were serving 40-50 pages/second ... twice our usual peak loads of around "Just" 25 pages a second. I drove the 10 minutes to get home so I could watch CNN and keep up better with what was happening.

We trimmed a few minor functions out temporarily just to reduce the number of updates going to frequently read tables. But it was just not enough: The database was now beginning to be overworked and page views were slowing down. The homepage was full of discussions that were 3-4x the average size. The solution was to drop a few boxes from generating dynamic pages to serving static ones.

Let me explain: most people (around 60-70%) view the same content. They read the homepage and the 15 or so stories on the homepage. And they never mess with thresholds and filters and logins. In fact, when we have technical problems, we serve static pages. They don't require any database load, and the apache processes use very little memory. So for the next few hours, we ran with 4 of our boxes serving dynamic pages, and 2 serving static. This meant that 60-70% of people would never notice, and the others would only be affected when they tried to save something ... and then they would only notice if they hit a static box, which would happen only one in 3 times. It's not the ideal solution, but at this point we were serving 60-70 pages a second: 3x our usual traffic, and twice what we designed the system for. We got a lot of good data and found a lot of bottlenecks, so next time something that causes our traffic to triple, we'll be much more prepared.

At the end of the day we had served nearly 3 million pages -- almost twice our previous record of 1.6M, and far more then our daily average of 1.4M. During the peak hours, average page serving time slowed by just 2 seconds per page ... and over 8000 comments were posted in about 12 hours, and 15,000 in 48 hours.

On Wed. we started to put additional web servers into the pool, but that ended up not being necessary. We stayed dynamic and had no real problems on all 6 boxes all day. We peaked at around 35-40 pages/second. We served about 2 million pages. Thursday traffic loads were high, but relatively normal.

Summary So here is what we learned from the experience.

  • We have great readers. I had only one single flame emailed to me in 24 hours, and countless notes of thanks and appreciation. We were all frazzled over here and your words of encouragement meant so much. You'll never know.
  • Slashteam kicks butt. Jamie, Pudge, Krow, Yazz, Cliff, Michael, Jamie, Timothy, CowboyNeal, you guys all rocked. From collecting links to monitoring servers, to fixing bits of code in real time. It was good seeing the team function together so well ... I can't begin to describe the strangess of seeing 2 seperate discussions in our channel: one about keeping servers working, and another about bombs, terrorists, and war. But through it all these guys each did their part.
  • Slash is getting really excellent. With tweaks that we learned from this, I think that our setup will soon be able to handle a quarter million pages an hour. In other words, it should handle 3x Slashdot's usual load, without any additional hardware. And with a more monstrous database, who knows how far it could scale.
  • Watch out for Apache::SizeLimit if you are doing Caching.
  • Writing and reading to the same innodb MySQL tables can be done since it does row-level locking. But as load increases, it can start being less then desirable.
  • A layer of proxy is desirable so we could send static requests to a box tuned for static pages. For a long time now we've known that this was important, but its a tricky task. But it is super necessary for us to increase the size of caches in order to ease DB load and speed up page generation time ... but along with that we need to make sure that pages that don't use those caches don't hog precious apache forks that have them. Currently only images are served seperately, but anonymous homepages, xml, rdf, and many other pages could easily be handled by a stripped down process.

What happened on Tuesday was a terrible tragedy. I'm not a very emotional person but I still keep getting choked up when I see some new heart breaking photo, or a new camera angle, learn some new bit of heart breaking information, or read about something wonderful that somebody has done. This whole thing has shook me like nothing I can remember. But I'm proud of everyone involved with Slashdot for working together to keep a line of communication open for a lot of people during a crisis. I'm not kidding myself by thinking that what we did is as important as participating in the rescue effort, but I think our contribution was still important. And thanks to the countless readers who have written me over the last few days to thank us for providing them with what, for many, was their only source of news during this whole thing. And thanks to the whole team who made it happen. I'm proud of all of you.

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Handling the Loads

Comments Filter:
  • A request (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rosewood ( 99925 ) <rosewood@cha t . ru> on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:03PM (#2299068) Homepage Journal
    I know that a lot of shackers and other people on the net aren't christian or don't even beleive in God. Thats fine. Tomorrow (now today) you will hear a lot of people praying, asking you to pray, etc. This isn't the snickers comercial where they bring in a representative of every religion before the big game. It will feel weird. I feel that a week ago that if NBC was showing a service that someone would whine. Today, I ask ya just let it slide. When they say pray, interperate that as 'do what makes you feel comfortable. Please just be respectful like your mama would want you to be. But for today, just kinda chalk it up to all those people burned, crushed, flateneted, chocked, suffocated, etc. to death.

    Thank you
    • Well Said (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:16PM (#2299144)
      That was really well said.

      During my life I've always taken "bow your head and pray" as "shut up and look serious".

      And I thought Slashdot did a very good job this week. I woulda emailed Taco that, but I figured there was enough traffic over the Internet.

      Really good job guys. Between Slashdot and Drudge I felt as informed as a guy can be.
    • Re:A request (Score:4, Interesting)

      by zpengo ( 99887 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:32PM (#2299270) Homepage
      On behalf of all the people saying that we should pray, I'd just like to say that Yeah, that's what we meant.

      I almost wonder if this is a subconscious attempt from people to rally support for white Christian America. It's easy for those who fit comfortably into the majority to see this as an Us vs. Them battle.

      Those people, however, are hideous hypocrites; They are "Christian" in the same way that those flying the suicide planes were "Muslim"; i.e., only in that they happen to use that term to describe themselves. Any white Christian who starts seeing those of other ethnicities or religions as "Them" is not only a poor excuse for a Christian, but ought to be considered as bad as the terrorists themselves.

      • Re:A request (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Happy Monkey ( 183927 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:39PM (#2299323) Homepage
        They are "Christian" in the same way that those flying the suicide planes were "Muslim"; i.e., only in that they happen to use that term to describe themselves.

        Here [washingtonpost.com] are some such people.

        • Re:A request (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ChickenMaster ( 466305 ) <dougherty_6&hotmail,com> on Friday September 14, 2001 @02:10PM (#2299535) Homepage
          "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.' "

          A statement like this is meant to strike fear in the hearts of those people he "fingered" or people who may associate with them. Isn't that the core definition of Terrorism...

          Shame on you Falwell, for you are no better than those responsible for the thousands of deaths on Tuesday.

          • Re:A request (Score:3, Informative)

            by AugstWest ( 79042 )
            There's nothing quite as pagan as dressing up in robes, then chanting as a group to turn a wafer into the body of a man who died around 2000 years ago.

            Here, drink some of his blood.

            If God has reason to be angry with this country, it's because we continue to support people like Falwell and Robertson.
            • Re:A request (Score:4, Interesting)

              by ArticulateArne ( 139558 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @04:46PM (#2300220)
              To my knowledge, only Catholics believe in the doctrine of Transsubstantiation, which states that during the Eucharist, the bread and wine become the physical body and blood of Jesus. I think Lutherans believe in some kind of consubstantiation, which is like a pseudo-transsubstatiation, IIRC. Most Evangelicals, which includes Falwell and Robertson, believe that the Eucharist (usually called Communion in Evanagelical circles) involves only a Symbolic representation of the Crucifixion. And yes, the Crucifixion was an extremely violent, inhumane, unthinkably cruel act. But what Christians celebrate isn't the morbid violence of the act, but the love that stood behind the act, and the restoration of relationship that it brought about. &lt/pulpit&gt
        • Re:A request (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Theodrake ( 90052 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @04:10PM (#2300178)

          This reminds why I told my wife I don't like organized religion. I told her "I doubt you'll ever hear a statement like: an extremist atheist bin-laden follower today killed himself and 100's of others". She just didn't get it. She doesn't see how the hatred of the so called christians like the Pat Robertson's of the world can take us down the same path as the Taliban and the Bin Laden's.

          Remember it was the senior President Bush that said there is no place in America for atheists. I say, yes lets get the people behind the attacks, but don't destroy the very foundation of our democracy in the process.

        • Oh my uh... God!

          That article is absolutely infuriating!

          Those sons of bitches are a huge reason for why we've spent so much money supporting the Israelies with their talk of "We must help the Jews retake the Holy Land because it is prophesied".

          This terrorist attack was a direct result of our activities in the Middle East, activities that have been greatly motivated by religious concerns -- and they blame it on the secularization of America? These assholes were practically at the controls of the airplane, and they blame it on people like me who don't believe in their gods and wish for nothing more than for us to butt out of the Middle East's quagmire of endless religious battles?

          Oh, man. I've been trying to avoid casting aspersions on Christians during this event, but speech like that forces me to respond. Blaming "us" is so intellectually dishonest and tragically unfair.

      • Re:A request (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Rimbo ( 139781 ) <rimbosityNO@SPAMsbcglobal.net> on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:51PM (#2299407) Homepage Journal
        Any white Christian who starts seeing those of other ethnicities or religions as "Them" is not only a poor excuse for a Christian, but ought to be considered as bad as the terrorists themselves.

        Speaking as a white Christian...bingo. You just hit the nail on the head. In fact, it's that very attitude that allowed these terrorists to believe that what they were doing was somehow God's Will.

        Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all filled with references to people who, though they weren't Official Churchgoing Believers, represented God's will better than the average Believer. And an ongoing theme in both the Talmud and the Bible (I can't speak for the Koran, although I've been told Mohammed's teachings are very tolerant of other religions) is the failure of church leaders.

        It's ironic. All of these religions which these misguided fundamentalist-whacko "leaders" (such as Osama Bin Laden and Jerry Falwell) supposedly follow condemn the most the Bin Ladens and Falwells of the world, who use God's Name to mislead people, or cause people to commit terrible atrocities.

        • by AugstWest ( 79042 )
          Talk about irony.... I've been driving around with a huge flag on a pole duct taped to the rollbar on the back of my Jeep. It's amazing to see the reactions you get from people, from waves to peace signs to fists of solidarity, etc.

          But I pulled up in front of a store, and an older gentleman was standing next to his car. He saw the flag and started to say something to me....

          Then he looked me up and down. I have long hair, and a beard, and I wear sandals. HE scowled and got in his car with a Jesus fish on it.

          Now, if he actually had a statue of Jesus on his dashboard, he would've then been staring at a long-haired man in sandals, which would have been the ultimate irony.

          For some reason, it's mainly the Christians that have a problem with my appearance. I just don't get it.
          • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @03:18PM (#2299923)
            ... with reactions such as you describe. Christianity is (even more than Islam) an evangelical religion, in which there are strong pressures built into the belief system to convert others to one's own way of thinking, generally under the guise of "saving their soul." I have personally experienced this sort of pyschological assault from Christian sects ranging from Catholic to Mormonism (yes, they do qualify as Christian in that they worship Christ, even if the other sects won't claim them).

            I won't go into a long diatribe at the offensiveness of this mindset or this behavior, but rather reference it in order to point out that, as a genre of religion which is bent on conversion, i.e. selling their viewpoint to others, Christian sects tend to be obsessed with appearance as much as substance. Whether it is cloaked as "setting a good example to others," "representing your faith/church to others," or "demonstrating through actions what it is to be a good Christian," none of which are as blatent as the Mormon adage of "avoid the appearance of evil," the underlying message is clear: appearances are at least as important as substance. With a mindset like that, reinforced every sunday from one's spiritual leaders, is it any suprise that people who look even a little non-mainstream garner the reactions like you describe?

            We should kick ass and eradicate our enemies. Not in the name of God, not in the name of some religion, but in the name our our country and our people, which have been attacked and shall be avenged. Keep church and state where they belong, separate, and obliterate the bastards who committed these atrocities last Tuesday in the name of our secular, democratic instutions, leaving each of us to pray, and to grieve, in our own fashion, according to our own beliefs. And never make the mistake that just because someone doesn't share your beliefs, ethnic background, or skin color that they are in any respect less capable of grieving than you.
    • by cybrpnk ( 94636 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:56PM (#2299435)
      Folks, I've got a very very bad feeling and if it's true then the worst is yet to come and President Bush is going to need all the support he can get. The other day when he got off the phone from the mayor and governor of New York (neither of which I can spell), President Bush started speaking off the cuff (undoubtably to the horror of his PR people) and after rambling a little he said, "...I'm a likable guy....but I've got a job to do...and I'm going to do it..." and he said this with tears in his eyes. Several people in my office including me think they've decided to use a nuke and Bush is getting shook up about how HE is the one who is going to go down in history for authorizing it. This is a terrible burden for him, no matter what. He deserves your thoughts and support....
      • Correction (Score:4, Informative)

        by tedd ( 30053 ) <slashdot@NOspAM.deathcult.com> on Friday September 14, 2001 @02:21PM (#2299611) Homepage

        "I'm a loving guy. And I am also someone, however, who's got a job to do and I intend to do it. And this is a terrible moment," Bush said.

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,34322,00.html [foxnews.com]

        I hope you're wrong about the nuke.
    • by cybrpnk ( 94636 )
      Great job on coverage, but how about starting a thread where all the slasdotters can vent on WTC without going offtopic? We need it...
  • by WinDoze ( 52234 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:03PM (#2299073)
    Not only with Slashdot (did that REALLY say 2-thousand-something comments on the front page?!?!), but with CNN, ABCNews, the NY Times, and just about every other major news source I can think of. Tuesday afternoon was tough. By Tuesday evening all these sites were responding as though I was the only connected user. The server power that must have been thrown at some of these sites is staggering.
  • by Whyte Wolf ( 149388 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:07PM (#2299089) Homepage
    I've spent the last few days in something of a daze, waiting for the real ramifications of Tuesdays horror to sink in. Many of my collegues up here in Canada are not sure what to make of the events, and possible response, but we're sure it will be bad.

    That said, in all my experiences on the net over the last couple of days, it was Slashdot I came back to for my info feed/dump. Who had their site up and running in the face of the massive demand? Slashdot.

    CNN was there during the Gulf War. Slashdot was there for the start of this new era, and I'm sure will be there in the face of whatever is to come. You guys are just another indication of the strength the US can have in the face of adversisty.

    Thank you.

    • My only gripe.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shayne321 ( 106803 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:41PM (#2299333) Homepage Journal
      I want to thank the slash team as well for doing a great job of keeping slashdot up and running! It was my primary news source all day long when I wasn't able to get news from the "major" media sites.

      My only gripe is I think it was very out of place and a bit insensitive that right in the middle of this (around 12pm if IIRC) Jon Katz took this tragedy as an opportunity to post some rant about how technology led us to this evil situation we were in and how technology was changing the way people get news or some such. I'm normally not a Katz-basher, but I think this was WAAAY out of place and insensitive to the people that died that day. Not only that, but it was unnecessary noise while people were still scrambling to get to the FACTS of what was going on. We really didn't need some insensitive wanna-be journalist's opinion on technology, of all things, in the middle of all of this. Maybe it would have been more appropriate on Wednesday or Thursday, but (to me) it was out of line at 12pm on Tuesday. Not to mention the whole crux of his article was off base (people killed people Tuesday, not technology).

      Okay, I'll stop bitching now. Thanks again Slashdot, for stepping up to the plate and knocking one out of the park!


  • by pgrote ( 68235 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:08PM (#2299093) Homepage
    Slashdot did provide a very valuable service the day of the attack.

    Take into consideration that during the day at some point all major media web sites died.

    Many people found Slashdot as their only source of updated information that was staying up.

    This sentiment was echoed in pieces by Salon and Wired writers that mentioned Slashdot specifically as a site that had what people were looking for.

    You should be proud and satisfied that what you have created did provide a needed service. Thanks, again.
    • A huge part of this wasn't the news itself (which was sparse), but the fact that the Slashdot user discussions were where information was being placed in real time. As soon as something happened, someone posted it here. I just set my comments to "Newest First" and refreshed every few minutes, and I knew what was going on the entire time.
    • I noticed that San Jose Mercury News linked the Jon Katz article on their site for more information.

      Slashdot has been quoted by people before though. I have stopped being shocked when I see articles quoting comments from Slashdot. Whether one wants to accept it or not, Slashdot has gained a lot of respect over the past year and a half, and this is just one more feather in their cap.

      Kudos to the Slashteam.
  • by Rev.LoveJoy ( 136856 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:08PM (#2299097) Homepage Journal
    to CNN or MSNBC?


    This is a great writeup. It covers all the things you could have done on your end to make /. fly. I guess the only prerequisite that most of us have trouble with are the Phat Pipes you folks can afford.

    - RLJ

  • As a part owner of an internet developer/consultant, one of the more interesting things about Tuesday's tragedy was watching how various sites responded to the incredible load demands placed on them. Even watching the situation from the outside, it was clear that clear heads at Slashdot were doing something remarkable behind the scenes. Thanks for the insite into what was actually going on. I'll be passing this on to our staff, many of who came to rely on Slashdot's coverage on Tuesday morning.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:09PM (#2299100)
    It is not common for people to recieve thanks for the great service that they do for a community but I am going to go ahead and give you thanks for feeding us the information that I was not able to get through TV and the basically non-exitant other news-sites.

    I am normally a critic of /. and the editors but this entire week I felt that they did an extraordinary job of keeping us informed. For once I am going to applaud you.

    I got links to personal experiences on the tragedies, movies, images not seen on TV, and personal reflection on the entire ordeal by people that seem to have valid ideas (not the crap that you hear from most people about the attacks)

    Thank you again /. for making sure we got the news we needed.
  • other sites... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swright ( 202401 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:09PM (#2299101) Homepage
    Part of my job is monitoring various web sites. They aren't news related and the average traffic levels fell by around 60% - rising to 50% under average after a day or so. They're only just returning to normal.

    Thought y'all might be interested (the sites are generally eCommerce sites in Europe)
    • This seems to have been a Net-wide pattern; news sites got hard-hit, but all other kinds saw big traffic drop-offs.

      There will be a story up at Online Journalism Review [ojr.org] before long talking about that -- and about how Slashdot served as an ad hoc news portal in a way no traditional news site could.

      - Robin
  • by sphealey ( 2855 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:09PM (#2299104)
    I also congratulate you guys for staying focused on getting your jobs done under very difficult circumstances. I would estimate my own productivity was 25% of normal that day, along with most people I was working with.

  • At least for me, slashdot was the ONLY news source I had, no TV or radio in my office, and all of the usual suspects collapsed under the load. Thanks also to google for providing Cached pages from CNN, Wash Post, MSNBC, Etc. a little later in the day. And thanks to all the /.'ers that had personal reports from the area, that really helped to put a perspective on things.
  • Great Job, Cmdr Taco (Score:2, Informative)

    by Petrus ( 17053 )
    I was getting all my early informatins and initial links to working news sites from slashdot. Everybody in the office was surprised, where do I get working connection, since they could not get through any major news channels.


  • But I'm still stuck on it. Why is /. running a per-Apache-process cache? Doesn't that mean that it would be keeping 50 copies of the same data in memory on each machine? I would have thought that having a single-process cache at the front-end (something like SQUID) which holds on to a much larger cache and then passes requests to non-caching Apache processes would have done much better.
    • I would have thought that having a single-process cache at the front-end (something like SQUID) which holds on to a much larger cache and then passes requests to non-caching Apache processes would have done much better.

      Taco mentioned this in his conclusion:

      A layer of proxy is desirable so we could send static requests to a box tuned for static pages.
  • This is how the REAL pros do it.

    Slashteam, we salute you.
  • Way to go Slashdot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sentry21 ( 8183 )
    When I first heard about this, after being woken up to it, I checked CNN's homepage - which was down. I checked several other news sites, and the only working one was CTV News. Then I thought to check slashdot - lo and behold, it was the only other site I could get to. I posted in one of the discussions that ctvnews.ca was working, and by the time I had hit 'submit', it wasn't.

    Kudos to the Slashdot team for having the only satisfactorally working news service on the net. Combined with the people that made their own websites and posted their own pictures, and the people that mirrored news reports they COULD get to, it was an amazing triumph of technology. It's just too bad that this great moment in Slashdot history had to come at such a horrid moment in world history.

  • by tzanger ( 1575 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:12PM (#2299122) Homepage

    Could you please cache the stories in NESTED mode instead of threaded? When the site is being hammered I would imagine it is far better to have guys grab a single large, cached page than a smaller cached page and then have to try to have teh system survive thosands of clicks for more information.

    I really do thank you guys for this site and your decision to carry the news. I have a new respect for the amount of bandwidth you throw around with impunity on a daily basis.

    one final request: get search back online so I can get to the old stories! Google doesn't have them (even now!)

  • Good job keeping things up.

    I found Slashdot, BBC, and Boston.com to be the most available sites. ABCNews and CNN and Foxnews, etc, were all pretty much overwhelmed and unusable.

    Fairly quickly, CNN went to a simple static page with 1 image, and that helped them out quite a bit.
  • by ellem ( 147712 ) <ellem52NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:13PM (#2299129) Homepage Journal
    I got a lot of my news from Howard Stern and from you guys when I locked my office door and shut the windows.

    /. and Howard Stern had the best coverage -- I think that is just weird.

    But true.
    • I have to agree. When the big news sources (CNN et al.) got smashed with traffic, an amazing amount of responsibility came down to the amateur journalists [slant-six.org] of the world, who did a wonderful job of reporting what they saw on their own websites.

      Hats off to the webloggers and other people whose generally mundane daily updates suddenly became a source for an information-starved world.

    • This reminds me of John Stewart's reaction on hearing that many people consider the Daily Show thier prime news source:

      "Don't do that!"
  • Thank you (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sulli ( 195030 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:14PM (#2299137) Journal
    I posted this elsewhere, [slashdot.org] but I'll say it again: this has been Slashdot's finest hour. The eyewitness accounts and individual stories have been so meaningful, and the readers have been great - almost zero harassment and trolling (a bit more in the last day) and very honest, heartfelt comments. Also great were the mirrors in the first day that many participants posted, to handle the excess load for the news sites; the many Red Cross donation links; the updates and corrections of the news; and more.

    Slashdot itself did very, very well in my experience. I experienced far fewer delays and errors than on other sites. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to keep it running. You've made a huge difference for thousands of people.

  • You guys have down a marvelous job.

    Although, being on dial up, getting into any site was a struggle [smile]

    as a secondary note, I have seen a few random reports of senseless actions. I trust that the Slash Crowd is wise and intelligent and educated enough to avoid this.

    One should never accept the invitation to hate, especially in conditions like these. it becomes a slippery slope.

    We all have exceptions that we make, for our favorite pet peeves and political causes. Even so, This is a big step to making things right. This does not mean that we do not take action to save ourselves and our friends. People may appoint us as their enemies, their opponents, even as their executioners. We should hate them for their lack of good sense, or for their own hatred.

    - - -
    Radio Free Nation [radiofreenation.com]
    an alternate news site using Slash Code
    "If You have a Story, We have a Soap Box"
    - - -

  • CNN's problems (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crow ( 16139 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:17PM (#2299155) Homepage Journal
    CNN's main problem was that they had canceled their contract with Akamai a month or two ago to save money. Akamai works by having servers at or near most major ISPs so that the majority of traffic is served locally.

    While the load was heavy, it wasn't anything Akamai wasn't prepared to handle.

    Unfortunately, Akamai's co-founder was one of the passengers flying out of Boston on a hijacked flight Tuesday. I have friends who work at Akamai for whom he was not just a boss, but a friend.
  • Some Good News (Score:5, Informative)

    by bahtama ( 252146 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:18PM (#2299161) Homepage
    A reminder and fyi, the current totals at Amazon.com [amazon.com] [amazon.com] are:

    Total Collected: $4,528,374.96
    # of Payments: 124408

    I think that is truly amazing and by the time you go there it will be even more. I donated my $100, did you? Even 10 dollars could help buy all these guys [time.com] [time.com] a cup of coffee, what's a couple bucks compared to the cause.

    • Re:Some Good News (Score:2, Informative)

      by wurp ( 51446 )
      And this is but a fraction of the money donated to the Red Cross. I donated directly [yahoo.com] ($250 - so there!) as I'm sure many others did. Note that this link is to their Yahoo store; you can get there even when www.redcross.org is overloaded.

      I'll repeat that more plainly...

      EVEN IF THE RED CROSS WEB SITE IS DOWN, YOU CAN DONATE MONEY HERE [yahoo.com] (http://store.yahoo.com/redcross-wtc/).
  • I didn't email you a thank you - partially 'cause I figured your box would be fairly full. But thank you. I do appreciate you keeping me informed better than anyone else was doing on the web.

  • Primary source (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anixamander ( 448308 )
    It was interesting to see Slashdot move from a secondary source to a primary source. Throughout the day, I would check it for updates that folks had posted, and to all those individuals who constantly posted working links. I spoke with my wife several times throughout the day, and as she was only familiar with the standard sources (CNN, MSNBC, etc) I was able to give her URL's that worked. While those kept changing throughout the day, Slashdot remained available and useful.

    Kudos to the slashdot team for their tireless efforts here...while work came to a halt everywhere, you guys managed to troubleshoot problems that would have given ordinary people fits on an average day. I am amazed at how quickly you adapted and improved, even though you no doubt would have preferred just to watch TV in saddened silence like the rest of us.
  • by bodin ( 2097 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:21PM (#2299189) Homepage

    There's no need to reverselookup just to be able to geotarget ads. Build up a reverse-database, and you are all set.

    See http://www.ipindex.net/ [ipindex.net] for an updated index.

    You just need country or so location anyway, right? I mean there are a lot of .com-domains in europe now, and that's when reverse-lookups does WRONG instead of looking at where the actual nets are allocated.

  • by Jayde Stargunner ( 207280 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:22PM (#2299193)
    First off kudos to Slashteam. You kept a valuable news source up and running while most people were too stunned to do anything other than watch, horrified, at the TV. Good work. You provided a valuable service to many people in this crisis.

    Also, to those who are getting down on CNN and MSNBC... From what I've heard, those sites are already tuned--and regularly do--serve around 45 pages per second...even with loads of media.

    Crashing them was likely no small feat, either. Likely every person with internet typed in the very familiar cnn.com or msnbc.com just on instinct. It probably didn't help MSNBC or CNN that the MSN and AOL/Netscape portals, respectivly, link to them directly.

    I was actually pretty impressed with how they handled the load...it was a little slower than /.'s recovery, but it was rather impressive given the HUGE load they were experiencing. First, they stripped down the page content to low-bandwidth versions, then phased in their site. I'm not sure about CNN, but MSNBC added static mirrors to their pool, and got Akamai servers to serve all their media. By around noon, both sites were running their normal full-content versions, even though they were probably still getting hammered to high-heaven.

    Personally, I give many thanks to all the techs for all the news sites who worked like mad to ensure that people were able to understand what was happening. It must not have been easy to work in conditions like that: especially considering the stress that was put on them.

  • One of the things that I noticed were that many of the major sites reduced the content size on their home pages to the smallest size possible. I know that the NYT, MS-NBC and other sites removed most all of their images and went to fairly small home pages with a few lines of text.

    I think it is a credit to Slashcode, the Slash coders and great up-front planning that Slashdot was able to handle the load as well as it did. I know that Slashdot was one of the few sites where I could get a collection of information when many of the other sites were down.

    Kudos to all of you.

  • Usually when something big happens, I instantly turn to the net and usually slashdot for the news links and especially for the reader comments, which usually give the best picture of whatever happened. I'm glad you guys were able to stay up.

    I must admit though, the TV coverage, especially MSNBC, was excellent during the first day. Usually I avoid it.

    After a while though, the ratings grabbing kicked in and they added the graphics and the special music and the "let's get them to cry on camera" bits and I remembered why I don't usually watch TV news, and have come back to the 'net and slashdot.

    Anyway thanks Slashdot!

  • * Slashteam kicks butt. Jamie, Pudge, Krow, Yazz, Cliff, Michael, Jamie, Timothy, CowboyNeal, you guys all rocked.

    And Jamie rocks twice as much. ;o)

    My thanks to the lot of you. The Slashteam, and the /. community.
  • DNS & mod_gzip (Score:4, Informative)

    by drwho ( 4190 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:24PM (#2299206) Homepage Journal
    Everyone knows that you should turn off hostname lookups. I was wondering why slashdot would often be some damned slow first thing in the morning -- well there's why. Because the PTR record had expired overnight. Another way we suffer for advertisers. Oh well.

    static content can be stored and transmitted in gzip format, to be uncompressed by the browser (all modern browsers support this). HTML coompressed very well -- pages here end up averaging 28% of their original size! This not only saves slashdot bandwidth, but saves it for the end user as well. Some people out there are still using crufty old 28.8 modems, and need every bit of help they can get. Anyhow, do a search for apache mod_gzip and you'll find all you need to know.
  • Once again ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Buck2 ( 50253 )
    I received my first indication that something was happening in the world through Slashdot.

    I heard that the other sites weren't available, but I wouldn't have known this empirically since there were already so many quality posts, comments, and bits of information to sort through in the Slashdot forum.

    Any long term Usenet denizen will know what I speak of when I refer to that rare, but addictive, experience that seems to be only able to be brought by these forums of such spatially disconnected people, joined only by common interests. When, seemingly all of a sudden, someone writes something so perfect, so funny, so outrageous, so wonderful, so _different_, or so incredibly informative, that you all of a sudden feel justified for all of the times that you wondered why you just kept coming back.

    Slashdot did it again.

    BTW, perhaps the moderators have been out in force, or maybe I'm just getting old and much more interested in politics than before, but it seems that the quality of posts in the last few days have been much more thoughtful and interesting.

    Kudos to both the Slashteam and community.
  • I made the decision to cancel Slashdot's normal daily coverage of "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters,"

    If this wasn't "Stuff that Matters" I don't know what is.

  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs@ajsBOYSEN.com minus berry> on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:25PM (#2299221) Homepage Journal
    When I started reading this, I was disgusted. I was expecting something like CNN's ads after the Gulf war, touting the fact that they were the ones who got most of the scoops.

    By the time I got half-way through the actuall content (not the front-page piece) I was in awe of how much went on. Usually when a massive load spike happens on my watch, I try to get everyone's fingers out of the pie so that we have a good chance of the machines just doing their jobs. The fact that these folks were able to make emergency changes in real-time to compensate for the load is just astounding.

    CNN should be rolling out a Slash-based discussion forum for top stories. Heck, so should Whitehouse.gov!

    Thanks guys, and good luck with your ongoing coverage of News For Nerds, Stuff That Matters!
  • Irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:26PM (#2299227) Homepage
    Knock on wood, Taco -- saying stuff like this tends to be the perfect cue for your servers to crash an burn.

    Other phrases to avoid:
    - Boy, sendmail's been rock solid for months!
    - Hey, I've been driving years without a ticket/accident.
    - Wow, this economy is unstoppable!
    - I don't have to run in to apply that patch; what are the odds some script-kiddie will notice before Monday?
    - Alright! I'm worth millions in stock options!
    - Pft, what are the odds she'll get pregnant from just that one time?
  • Since I was at work, I had no TV, and no radio -- everyone thought someone else would bring one (it's a small office). So, I was stuck with no way to get any real data. Slashdot was the only site working, and the only place to get my news updates. At the time, I didn't think much of it -- this WAS slashdot, after all. I even directed my friends to it, saying "Slashdot has news and they are up." I really took the hard work for granted, though I wondered how you stayed up when CNN, MSNBC, and all other major news sites were completely down.

    CmdrTaco, thank you so much for the hard work that went into making slashdot the site it was Tuesday. I would have been lost without it.

  • Slashdot held under the tremendous load. Yeah, it was sluggish at times. It was sluggish when all the other sites were failing.

    I stayed home a little earlier on tuesday to watch the news. I didn't want to leave for work, but it wasn't really an option to stay home. I was really hoping I could keep up on the events with most of the major news sources being online.

    Slashdot served as a place of information. Many posters were pasting articles as they were able to retrieve them from sites as they opened up temporarily.

    All of slashdot team's efforts and the posters deserve a good deal of thanks.

    As always, keep up the good work.
  • Emergency Mode (Score:3, Interesting)

    by datavortex ( 132049 ) <datavortex@datavortex.net> on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:30PM (#2299265) Homepage Journal
    Rob touched on this in what he said above, but I also wanted to bring to attention this story [slashcode.com] that is of similar subject matter posted Wednesday on the Slash site. It's an idea for a slash feature to automatically do several of the things that the Slashteam did manually on Tuesday to keep the site alive. Things such as serving static HTML, disabling or changing the functionality of the search and other dynamic functionality, etc.

    I'd also like to throw in my public note of thanks to everyone who kept the site up on Tuesday. We thirsted for answers, and you were there to provide, as always. Your work and dedication are wholly appreciated.

  • by uchian ( 454825 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:32PM (#2299269) Homepage
    I first heard what was going on from Slashdot, and I had to turn the television on to believe it - it sounded too much for a prank story when I first read it.

    For me, the television was more important than Slashdot for recieving information on what was going as and when it happened.

    But for me, Slashdot has been much more important as a place where I could see what other people from all over the world were thinking about this tradegy. I hope that the different pesrpectives and posts which I have read have allowed me to more maturely handle how I feel about the situation than I otherwise would have been able to.
  • While everything else was crumbling, this was the only place to get info in the office here. I guess I surf too much, because more than one person came over to me in the first few minutes because they literally could not get to anything... CNN, Boston.com, washington post... DOA... that made you wonder even scarier things when you had no idea what was next...

    And I guess maybe I do surf to much cause I knew to go to slashdot and news.yahoo. News.yahoo held up for a very short time, and then it died too. I know it wasn't our proxy servers, cause I could get recipies and stuff. Slashdot was there, which is just amazing.

    Everyone on the crew deserves kudos. I never sent a thank you... I feel bad, you shouldn't need your boss to fish for one. Thing is, you are tops and like everything else that seems so seamless, you sometimes forget that it's people doing this stuff...

    So now I'm saying it. Thanks.
  • by Alomex ( 148003 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:32PM (#2299276) Homepage

    While my heartfell thanks go to /. for keeping this site up; others who are dissing the major news organizations must keep in mind that while
    Slashdot was serving 50 pages per second, CNN was peaking at about an estimated 50,000 hits per second.

    In light of this it was amazing that CNN was up at all, slow as it was.

    • Re: hits or pages? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bracher ( 33965 )
      is that hits or pages for cnn? I count about 60 images on the cnn.com front page. still works out to an impressive ~850 _pages_ for 50k _hits_, but not as impressive as 50k pages would have been... that's the whole point of the comment earlier about cnn dropping their contract with akamai. with akamai, cnn would have been serving those 850 pages, but never would have seen the 50,000 images requests...

      - mark
    • And CNN.com is served from a single PII 533MHz server! Totally amazing.

      Honestly, CNN's website will be composed of more than 10 times the servers that house Slashdot, possibly 100 times. The web server software will be serving static content, which is a lot easier than serving non-static content, even if the static content is larger (images, video). So 100x the servers plus 1/10th the work of Slashdot sounds fair to me...

    • by Kiaser Zohsay ( 20134 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @02:16PM (#2299576)

      Props to Taco and team, not only for their hard work keeping the site up, but for this behind-the-scenes look at what it took to do so.

      CNN was peaking at about an estimated 50,000 hits per second.

      I also noticed after CNN came back up that they seemed to be in a sort of stripped-down static-only "combat mode". A talk with the guys behind CNN's site during the height of Tuesdays events would make for a great slashdot interview.

    • by Datafage ( 75835 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @02:24PM (#2299627) Homepage
      That says nothing about the quality of code/administration, CNN has incredibly more money than /. for boxes and bandwidth.
  • by MouseR ( 3264 )
    I'm based in Montréal.

    Data routes to most US news site was either non-existent, or too painfull to use.

    By the time I found a local news site that had goo info on what was going on, I had read most of the (shocking) first details of what was going on on Slashdot. I actually learned about it on Slashdot, which is when I checked-out washingtonpost.com, as posted by a read (by then, CNN, ABCNEWS, CBS and MSNBC we already down).

    I followed most of the developments on slashdot until I could get a BBC QuickTime stream of their newscast.

    As far as I'm concerned, as a end-user of SlashDot, I didn't notice the load from your servers.

    Kudos for a job extremely well done.
    • I'm based in Montréal. Data routes to most US news site was either non-existent, or too painfull to use.

      Montreal traffic is usually routed through a NY City peering point. This might have compounded your problems.
  • You guys did what the Internet was designed to do: Maintain communications in a time of crisis. Well done! Amazing that most of the other so-called "news" sites had their pants around their ankles for most of the day...at least where the net was concerned.
  • by Samus ( 1382 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:38PM (#2299313) Journal
    ...but since slash has the db independence layer, has anybody done comparisons between postgres and the different mysqls(table handlers)? And also between the various other commercial dbs?
  • Thank you, Slashdot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Legion303 ( 97901 )
    I don't ordinarily turn on my TV in the morning, but even if I had on tuesday I would have seen nothing. The cable was out. If it weren't for Slashdot, I would not have heard about this incident until much later in the day. My thanks to the Slashdot team.

    This next part is slightly offtopic; I'd like to not be modded down because of it, but by the same token I'd like to not be modded up either. Not that that will sway anyone. :)

    The feds found evidence linked to the hijackers that strongly suggests they used MS Flight Simulator to practice dry runs on buildings. What I want to know is, where are all those hypocrites who were pointing fingers and suing game makers for games like Doom and Quake after the Columbine incident? They seem strangely silent on this point. Could it be because MS Flight Sim is (all together now) JUST A GAME?

    I know it's offtopic, but I felt it had to be said.


  • We were discussing how well /. stayed up just last night and how other news servers seemed to melt. thanks.n you guys gave us people with no tv a valuable news source.

    What also impressed me were the people who put up pics/videos/news stories on their own servers to help people get news, even if they only had a dsl connection. Of course these sites soon got /.'ed as well...

    So that led me to a new feature idea for news sites like this:

    - People 'donate' a section of their web site to be a mirror for overloaded news stories.
    - Whenever a link is /.'ed these sites replicate the site and store the data on their server.
    - Slashdot keeps track of what sites have replicated and changes the url each time it serves a page with that link in it. That way the orginal site is now spread across 100's of dsl connections instead of one.
    - After a set time (say a week?) the mirrors then delete the site from there servers and deregister their site from the mirrors list.
    - Of course all this could be scripted with no input from users. All the /. admin would need to do is add some form of switch to say 'mirror this link' and the process would be put in place to start the morroring process.

    And then you have your own distributed news network that handles major news stories with out getting slashdotted as much.

    \well it sounds like a good idea...any comments?\
  • Wired had an article [wired.com] about tech news sites picking up the slack, and mentioned that Slashdot was getting up to 60 hits per second. The next part confused me, though:

    "That is substantially less than major news sites. The Lycos news network -- of which Wired News is a part -- receives about 115 page views per second each day."

    I can see how the entire Lycos news network can get that much traffic, but did any one site get hit that much? I haven't heard any other news site statistics.
  • by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `hsan.nosaj'> on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:45PM (#2299358)
    I've read a few reports about how the Internet failed during this disaster since almost all news sites were too busy to respond. I disagree with that. Slashdot was here, as well as things like IRC.

    On the channel I've frequented for years I got more up to the minute information than anyone in the office. Everyone was wondering where my news was coming from, especially since it was so accurate. While some people were sitting around watching CNN we were discussing and talking about what was going on with people very close (too close) to the events.

    This doesn't even take in to consideration email. With cell phones and land lines too congested people were sending emails back and forth to get word on loved ones or just to talk about the events.

    I think the Internet did a great job.
  • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:45PM (#2299359) Homepage
    While the television remained my primary news feed, Slashdot was my primary web feed. It provided the community side of the equation: a finger on the pulse of the world and, particularly, America.

    Thanks to the Slashdot crew for scrambling to provide the best possible service during a time when many other people were in emotional and occupational shutdown.

    And thank-you to the people who form this community. On the whole, the discussions have been remarkably insightful and rational.

    I'm hopeful that this web community is representative of the American population, and that we will see your political and military leaders taking sane action. This tragedy could all too easily throw us into devastating war with continuing long-term consequences.

    I'll also take this opportunity to apologise for the several postings where I lost my head. While most of what I've written has attempted to educate a broadly ill-informed public as to why this attack took place, and to preach sanity in dealing with the attack, I have also lost my head in responding to some of the more dreadfully ignorant folk. For that, I am sorry: I should have been more patient and tolerant.

    In closing, I'd like to assure our American friends that this has been a global tragedy. The outpouring of support, and demonstrations of grief and sorrow, have encircled the globe. Every nation mourns with you, and every nation feels a sense of shock and loss.

    You are not alone.
  • Light Mode (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rho ( 6063 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:46PM (#2299367) Homepage Journal

    In the future, you might consider making the "HTML Light" mode the default mode under heavy load.

    Granted, it doesn't alleviate the DB problem, but it does limit the images sent down the pipe.

    (more ideas pulled out of the ass) Perhaps another Apache instance or a Perl script (horrors!) to watch traffic and to ratchet the options down as traffic increases, based on a weighted system (level 1: no sigs, level 2: drop journals, level 3: no search, ... level N serve only static HTML)

    This is an interesting problem, and I'm impressed with y'all ability to handle it.

  • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <ed@membled.com> on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:46PM (#2299373) Homepage
    Couldn't the switch to static pages happen _automatically_ if the database goes down? The only difference to most users would be inability to post comments.

    Hmm, that is actually quite a problem (though still better than just having the site go down). Maybe a 'comment spool' where the comments can be saved as flat files, ready to be inserted when the DBMS comes back up?

    Anyway, kudos to Taco and the gang for keeping Slashdot up. Three million pages in 24 hours... how does that compare with the really big sites like Yahoo, AOL and CNN?
  • by Kallahar ( 227430 ) <kallahar@quickwired.com> on Friday September 14, 2001 @01:48PM (#2299383) Homepage
    On a similar note, network traffic over the backbones increased from the normal 40% utilization to an 80% utilization Tuesday. (Sorry, can't remember the source). The article also said that traffic to search sites such as Google did not increase.

    What this means is that people already knew where to go for the information, people know to look to certain sites for information. When MSNBC, NPR, CNN, and all the other sites failed I came here, and from here found a link to shoutcast which in turn led me to people who put up audio feeds from CNN - my only way to get the information while at work.

    Thanks guys,


  • All things considered, it might not be a bad idea to get cable at slashdot headquarters. It might have been invaluable earlier this week, and who knows, when CT took the time to drive home he might have gotten distracted and hit in a car accident. Or not, but the chance was there.

    Also, most local stations were simulcasting from CNN, FoxNews, CBS, ABC, etc. Twice through Tuesday I used paper clips as antennas to catch so-so signals from local stations.

    Also, cable'd let you guys watch Toonami at work.

    Oh, now I see why you don't have it. CT and Hemos watching anime all afternoon... :) (That and cable's 0wned by evil conglomerates, I guess)

  • by Tonytheloony ( 462274 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @02:02PM (#2299467)

    this is a little offtopic but It has something to do with the WTC towers event.

    First I wish to say that I sympathize with all americans and families of those that died in the terrorist attack.

    I'm a french citizen and wanted to say that this kind of event nearly took place in Paris in 1994. At the time a large airplane (can't remember if it was a boeing or airbus) was hijaacked by a group of algerian islamists.That plane had departed from Algeria. The terrorists requests on board the plane were very vague and unclear. The french air force was hesitating to shoot the plane down, which would have been a very difficult decision to take.

    Luckily the plane which wasn't meant to fly to Paris didn't have enough fuel on board and had to land in Marseille (south of France) where the GIGN (~SWAT) took control of the plane. At the time the government didn't explain the reasons for this hijaacking and we never got any explanations from the terrorists themselves.

    Later the interior minister Charles Pasqua admitted the plane was headed to Paris to crash on the Eiffel tower. Maybe he was wrong but this does seem suspiciously comparable to what has happened in New York 3 days ago.

  • by kjj ( 32549 ) on Friday September 14, 2001 @02:44PM (#2299724)
    I was wondering if Slashdot was going to stick with "google search" indefinitely or is Slashdot going to bring back there own search engine. I really hope the regular Slashdot search comes back. Google just doesn't cut it when searching for something specific. I wanted to go back to a story about a benchmark and review of DDR motherboards used with Linux. So I tried the following search: linux ddr motherboards
    and this is what I got:

    Slashdot | Pentium 4 Under Linux
    ... Under Linux, I would not buy a P4 ... Re:Why didn't they use DDR RAM on the AMD? by Splork ... someone
    out there selling G4 motherboards with standard form factors and ...
    www.slashdot.org/articles/01/07/15/209215.shtml - 69k - Cached - Similar pages

    Slashdot | Linux Intel Chipset Comparison
    ... it in march, and i run linux on it, and it performs ... Re:Athlon Motherboards... (Score:1)
    by Diabolus (troy ... until we start seeing DDR mobos hit the shelves (any ...
    www.slashdot.org/articles/00/12/18/056248.shtml - 46k - Cached - Similar pages

    Slashdot | AMD Athlon Multi-Processor Under Linux
    ... on several single-CPU motherboards; check your favourite vendor's ... Quake3 demo benchmarks
    under linux on the following boards ... with 256 meg ddr sdram running at ...
    www.slashdot.org/articles/01/07/12/1838238.shtml - 101k - Cached - Similar pages

    Slashdot | Intel To Drop Rambus Exclusivity, Support SDRAM
    ... problems with the newest linux kernels - but widespread - well ... the cost of producing
    motherboards and chipsets, but ... need two seperate 400MHz DDR channels to get ...
    www.slashdot.org/articles/01/07/26/1153225.shtml - 89k - Cached - Similar pages

    That is just the first few but I looked through a number of them and I couldn't find the story I was looking for.

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