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Archive for the ‘General Announcement’ Category

Account Pruning in Progress. Email us to retain your account.

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

To all current members:

You must email AmbitiousLemon staff or your AmbitiousLemon member account will be disabled.

It has been nearly 2 years since we checked for unused account so we will be doing our regular pruning of unused member accounts. We have found that because our service is free, users don’t tend to notify us when they are no longer using our hosting. These unused accounts can collectively use significant resources. For the past few years we have occasionally requested that users contact us if they want to keep their accounts. This is another such request.

We request that you respond to this post via email in order to notify us if you would like your account to remain active. If you no longer need your AmbitiousLemon account an email letting us know would also be appreciated.

As part of this pruning, we will also be using some server log statistics to proactively identify unused accounts. If your account is disabled in error please notify us immediately and we will reactivate the account. A major characteristic our automated deactivation will take into account is whether the software is using out of date software that requires regular security updates (like WordPress). Please take this as a reminder to update all your software to the latest version.

Since some users do not keep their contact information with us up to date it would also be very helpful if you let anyone you know with an AmbitiousLemon account about this requirement.

Thank you.

A Call for Volunteers

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

We are gearing up for some big improvements around AmbitiousLemon, but it is going to require all hands on deck. We are an all volunteer team. That means that big improvements, like those we have planned, require the community to come together to make things happen.

We are looking for a group of volunteers to work on various parts of a larger project. The completed project will allow us to more easily expand the number of web technologies (particularly web frameworks) we support. The work will also involve the creation of a new control panel for our members (we currently use webmin/virtualmin). One of our senior volunteers will be organizing the effort.

The larger project involves a large set of different skills. We don’t expect each person to have all of these skills, just a useful subset and the willingness and time to help. If you have some of the skills listed below and have some time to donate towards making the AmbitiousLemon Community better please contact us.

Skills Needed:

  • *nix Administration
  • Interface Design Experience
  • Virtualization Experience
  • PHP Development
  • Experience with a couple popular frameworks (e.g. Django, RoR, Pylons, TurboGears, Catalyst)
  • Python (bonus points)

Please use the contact/support button on the top of the page to send us a message, or send email to jbanks@ambitiouslemon.com.

Final downtime update

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

At this time, we have completed our reinstall and have resolved all known issues with the server.

If your site is still experiencing issues that started on last Saturday, please contact us so that we can investigate the issue.

Downtime update

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

The major portions of our reinstall have been completed and we are working on some lingering issues now. If you are having an issue with your website that was not happening before yesterday please contact us so we can address it.

EDIT: Issues with the member site have been fixed.

Planned downtime update: Saturday, June 12th

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

On Sunday, May 30th Saturday, June 12th we will be taking AmbitiousLemon down for six to eight hours to reinstall the operating system. The server will go down at about 11:00 AM Pacific time and will stay down until we have full functionality restored. We have full backups of data stored on the server, so while data loss is a possibility it is very unlikely.

We have been working on resolving our intermittent downtime issues and have decided that our attempts to band-aid the issue have not been successful. For this reason, we are going to install a fresh build of Linux. In addition, we have seen some attempts to break into AmbitiousLemon. Rebuilding the server from the ground up allows us to add additional layers of security to ensure that future attempts have less chance of success.

One of our admins is has had a family emergency and will not be available on Sunday, May 30th. Accordingly, we are rescheduling our downtime to ensure the reinstall goes as smoothly as possible.

Update #2:
The downtime is being delayed again. We are delaying to ensure that we are in the best position possible to reinstall with minimal downtime and to ensure that the experience is as seamless as possible for our users.

Planned Server Downtime – March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26th, 2010

On Saturday, March 27th, I will be taking AmbiousLemon down for a hardware upgrade. I will make every effort to minimize downtime, but the upgrades will require the server to be offline for a minimum of one hour over the course of the day.

Hardware upgrades are complete.

Postgresql/Django issues resolved

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

We have received a number of reports on postgresql issues, particularly with Django sites. We are currently working to resolve the issues.

The issue centered around Python and Django being unable to access Postgresql. The issues were a symptom of our method of upgrading Python, which left older versions in place for compatibility, and pathing issues within Python, which made the install and use of eggs fail.

Once we determined the apparent underlying cause, we removed all older versions of Python and reinstalled it, along with all the Python eggs we use.

At this point issues with Django sites should be resolved. If you are still having issues, please get in touch with us.

Policy Change – additional sites must be approved

Friday, December 4th, 2009

As the years have passed it has become more common for individual AmbitiousLemon members to use more than what we consider their fair share of server resources (namely bandwidth and storage space). Each time we have identified a problem and contacted the member in question, the member has quickly dealt with the problem and apologized.

Despite the respectful nature of these interactions we have noticed a disturbing pattern. All of the sites that have caused excessive bandwidth or storage space usage have been created in-addition-to or as a replacement-of the site we had approved when the member was first granted AmbitiousLemon membership. None of these sites would have made it past our formal approval process. Often the site that was added was created for a friend of the AmbitiousLemon member rather than for the member him/herself; completely bypassing our careful review process for new members.

We’ve decided that this is unacceptable. While AmbitiousLemon members have always enjoyed the ability to add additional domains on their own as of today we are changing member privileges to block this ability. Our formal policy is that we allow an unlimited number of domains for each member, but each member must receive permission to add a new site or replace their existing site with something fundamentally different.

Furthermore while members have never been allowed to share their accounts, we are now adding language to our rules page to make this policy plain and obvious to our members. If you have a friend who needs an account, they will have to formally request their own account.

Please review our rules page to make note of these changes.


Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

We have been experiencing frequent intermittent downtime throughout the last 10 hours totaling about 2 hours in accumulated downtime.

We are still looking into the cause, but suspect it is related to the undiagnosed downtime from a couple weeks ago.

Kernel Upgrade

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

We are upgrading the kernel on AmbitiousLemon tonight, so there may be momentary downtime as the server reboots.

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