Update 2011-07-14: EWR is now back online with new internet service and revamped server garden.
Update 2011-04-26: The unrelenting rains we’ve had this spring have just about fried the Bell’s local legacy trunk lines in this area and I cannot keep a DSL line sync’d up for more than a minute or two at a time. Since EWR and its network, even when down to one cpu, has multiple programs running, these sync outages leave many connect sessions hanging, and the router may or may not be able to re-establish a fresh PPPOE session and restart the ftp sessions. The end result is that EWR cannot, at this time, maintain the EWRWxAlert system when the network is unattended. For a while, forced restarts of the router were successful in re-establishing the sessions, but the sync stability has now gotten so bad, that even this technique is hit and miss. Therefore, until I can have lines replaced or change broadband service, EWR will only be operational when I can manually restart connect sessions. I regret any inconvenience to regular users. Where possible, the EWRWxAlert system will be in operation as weather occurs, and if I am able to manually monitor the system.

Well, it seems I’m getting off to a good start at the beginning of this year’s thunderstorm season. The cell that just rumbled its way up from Lake huron *should have* triggered email alerts to subscribers both on the southwestern Ontario list and the GH-GTA list. But it didn’t. Well, it actually generated the alerts and they went to the first email address on each list, which is the EWRWxAlerts archive, then ended its distribution. It seems that some of the changes my ISP made over the winter to reduce spam in their email handling, also changed the way in which address list delimiters are seen in a distribution list. Long story short, it saw the first address in the list, but ignored the rest.

I’ve now edited the list files and tested them, and subsequent alerts should now flow as expected.

This would be a good time to point out that the alerts received by the EWRWxAlert archive are immediately flipped out to Twitter, and so if you are a Twitter user, follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/EWRWxAlert/), that way you’ll get the alerts anyway if the emailer doesn’t find you. Also, the manually output Evironment Canada warnings also go to Twitter, but those are not tied into the email system (no way to do that at the moment).

I also have to mention that I am having *severe* issues with Bell’s DSL line again, and I may have to abandon it in favour of the local cable supplier, which is not my first choice, both from an expense perspective and a service perspective. But in the end, a dead broadband connection is of little use in the internet trade. Canada desparately needs to get out from under the CRTC and allow strong competitive broadband services. Bell’s self-serving interests in being the content provider as well as the distribution network is not working, and Canada’s broadband internet service continues to fail, as the physical distrbution network continues to deteriorate under Bell’s care.