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Subnova's new server, Scythe, provided by HBO's Louis Wu, is now up and will be serving HBO and Subnova. Congratulations! Everybody go kick the new server's tires. Thanks Deimos Fawkes for the heads-up on HBO IRC.

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Rampancy wishes all Halo and Bungie fans everywhere a Happy St. Patrick's Day. Here's hoping the lean, green, and mean Master Chief gets a couple of green beers to go with his suit... and that he figures out how to get out of that suit when the time comes.

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Nof's site, Halo 2: Ninjas On Fire, seems to have reopened for business back in February, unbeknownst to us. Not much new since then, but the new design is nice.

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Deimos Fawkes of Subnova writes that their file and game hosting activities may have to be curtailed in the future due to financial considerations. More detail if we get it.
Emil at CobaltNova seems to be retiring-- we saw this a few days ago but weren't sure it was for good, since the news post was so short. However, it looks like it is.

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Hi everyone iam a long time halo movie maker and i have made myself a very good collection of movies, what iam asking form u guys if any of u know of a freeweb site wich will allow me to place the movies on would be fantsatic

Henley :)

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We've put up a Bungie Humor page where we've collected links to the Bungie-related comics and video series. Post a comment if we've missed one of your favorites.

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mrsmiley has posted that the new Halo Babies site has launched, and it looks like a real treat. (For one thing, it supports RSS, which always gets appreciated here at Rampancy as that's how we keep tabs on things in the Halo community.) James "Gholsbane" Wheare did the code from scratch.

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Rampancy would like to welcome agentCDE, who just became the 1500th registered user of the site since we added the option to use an account. Everybody say hi!

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Assistant Site Director Rams has put up his (second, by my count) resignation letter from Battleground: Halo, one of the longer-running Halo fansites on the web. While Viper is hedging his bets by holding a pool on Rams coming back again, the man himself says this is it, because real life is starting to infringe on the time he needs for working on the site. He will be replaced by Ecko. Be sure to give his letter a read.

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Blam-Halo.co.uk has their poll on what your favorite Halo fansite is back up, this time with IP and cookie blocking to prevent multiple votes. As expected, with the new restrictions in place, HBO is far and away in the lead.

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Take This Cron Job And Shove It -

Editor's Note: This is a little off-topic for Rampancy proper, and the full article will only be of interest if you're a fansite admin familiar with Apache and PHP. The upshot of it all, for Rampancy, is that the site should be performing now better than it ever has, and in the near future it should be much easier to navigate. Gone will be the days of linking to Rampancy articles by ID number; all common pages will have a name.

But if you're interested in how this longed-for feature finally got activated, as well as why the site's been such a dog this week, read on.

Earlier this week, I began migrating all of the sites hosted by Synfibers that were using the PHP-based CMS called Drupal from version 4.2 (and one site that was hosted on a modified 4.0 installation) to the latest and greatest edition, 4.3.2.

For the most part, the process was pretty painless. Unlike some previous upgrades, there were very few times I had to manually alter a site's database to get the new code tree to work, and most of the time these were mentioned explicitly by the upgrade script. The first day I did one site, and let it sit overnight. When everything seemed to be fine, I did five more sites the next day.

That's when everything seemed to slow down to a crawl, about every fifteen minutes or so. I thought it was the scheduled cron job that updates the database with XML newsfeeds and so on; I figured some of the newsfeed URLs were bad or had malformed XML, so I started weeding out the feeds, removing sites that had invalid XML or sites that didn't seem to have active newsfeeds anymore.

Then Verio tech support emails me, warning of dangerously high CPU usage in some Apache webserver threads, and suggests that it might be due to Googlebot. I thought at first it was again the cron jobs and that he just wasn't familiar with my usage of Drupal and the need for these cron scripts to be run frequently. However, as it turns out he did, and he had already dismissed the cron jobs as a potential cause because the times when they ran didn't seem to match up with the times when these high-CPU-usage Apache processes were spawning.

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Word from CobaltNova comes that the Halo Fan Site Awards 2004 have begun; a full list of all ten nominated sites can be found there, but the contest itself seems to be run from Blam-Halo.co.uk, so it's there you'll have to go to vote.

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We had some feedback on the Weapons section of the High Ping Bastard's Guide to Halo, in particular, defending the Needler and the Sniper Rifle. Don't get us wrong; we like the sniper rifle, and the Needler definitely has its uses. One reader pointed out that if a target isn't looking towards you, a whole clip of Needler rounds can take them out before they know what hit them, which is true.

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Deimos Fawkes at Subnova wrote today that the server outage that coincided with the appearance of the second Halo 2 Update in their forum is actually the result of hardware problems with their scavenged-parts webserver, and not a connectivity or bandwidth issue.

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It seems someone called either frop or John "Raider" has put up a new Halo site, inexplicably called Halo.Fropco. Thanks for the heads-up to CobaltNova.

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