major.io words of wisdom from a systems engineer

Five years of rackerhacker.com

Today marks the fifth year that this blog has existed on the internet. I bought the domain on February 14th, 2007 and tossed together a quick WordPress installation (I can’t even remember the version now!) to hold my notes that I was gathering at work.

Birthday Cake

Photo credit: Will Clayton

At the time, I had recently parted ways with a very small internet startup and joined the ranks at

Rackspace as an entry-level Linux system administrator. The abrupt change from “top dog at the startup” to “wow, I don’t know anything about Linux” caught me by surprise and I was trying to stuff as much knowledge into my brain as quickly as I could. My teammates at Rackspace were eager to show me the ropes of wrangling servers and supporting customers.

As I mentioned already, the blog started out just as a place to stuff my notes from the things I learned at work. I figured that it would be nice to store it in a searchable format but it would also be great if I could link other people to certain posts if they needed more information to fix a problem. It was a way to retain knowledge but yet give it back to the people around me who needed it.

The blog has hit 456 posts (this one is #457) and it’s gone from a few page views per day to just over 20,000 per day. Here are the top five most accessed posts (since I’ve been keeping stats):

  1. Syncing an iPhone with a new Mac without hassles
  2. ip_conntrack: table full, dropping packet
  3. Delete a single iptables rule
  4. Increase MySQL connection limit
  5. MySQL Error 1040: too many connections

I’d like to send out a big thanks to the people who read this blog, add comments (or complaints!), and suggest new topics. You are the reason why I take the time to keep this blog going.