Los Angeles Free-Net Information

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01 September 2010

At this time the majority of the issues appear to be with LAFN DSL users. I believe that the provider has all of their DNS servers upgraded now with the new addresses. There is a new issue in that the provider apparently has recently blocked access to port 25. Unfortunately this was done because of the rampant abuse of that port to spam users. If you are not able to send mail and your mail program is reporting it can't get to the server and lists its IP address as 75... (not 206...) then this is the issue. You will need to change the port number for outgoing mail from 25 to 587 or 26. Port 587 is the IETF approved port for submitting mail. Port 25 generally worked before, but it was not intended for that and that is now being enforced. Port 26 is an alternate port that can be used when there are SSL issues with port 587.

31 August 2010

There is an error for the entry for admin. It should be: admin.lafn.org

I corrected the earlier posting.

There is nothing more LAFN is able to do about the DNS system. We have told it to make the change, and it taking its own time doing so. However, there is one thing you can do to bypass DNS for the interim. Please note you have to follow the instructions correctly. Things just won't work right otherwise.

For Windows:

Go to Start and find and start Notepad.
Select the File menu and pull down to Open
Click on the Look in entry area and then search for your disk. In there will be the WINDOWS directory. Follow that down to System32 (or System64) then drivers then etc.
Change file type to all files.
In that directory will be a file named hosts. Select it to edit it.

Add into the hosts file at the end the following lines: www.lafn.org smtp.lafn.org mail.lafn.org admin.lafn.org news.lafn.org

Then save the file. You can quit Notepad at this point. Now you should be able to access all the services.

For Macintosh

Start Terminal (found in Utilities)
Enter: sudo vi /etc/hosts
It will ask for your password - enter it.
It will then display the contents of the hosts file.
Use the down arrow to move to the end of the file.
Enter: Cntl-A return
They type the listing above for the addresses.
Enter: ":w!" (without the quotes)
Enter: ZZ
Now you can quit terminal. The file is saved and you should be able to access all the services.

Its going to be quite difficult to respond to a specific individual since there is no way to identify any specific individuals here. To those who have LAFN DSL, those DNS servers are still not switched or are flapping. We have requested that be corrected by the provider, but no response as yet.

Resetting a router generally requires that you pull the power plug and wait a few seconds before powering it back up again. Some models have a power switch, but most do not.

Verizon's DNS servers appear to have picked up the new addresses. However, thats only a one time test. Another test shows they are flapping. Now I am getting the old values again.

Somewhere on the internet someone is reasserting the old values as authoritative. I have no idea who it is and don't seem to be able to kill it. As a result DNS is switching between the values. Now that the root DNS servers are no longer run by one organization but by multiple ones in various countries these problems are very difficult to resolve.

How to use nslookup on Windows:

Start and find Command Prompt or DOS Prompt. Run it.

Here is an example session:

C:\Documents and Settings\Doug Hardie>nslookup admin.lafn.org
*** Can't find server name for address Non-existent domain
*** Default servers are not available
Server: UnKnown

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: zoon.lafn.org
Aliases: admin.lafn.org

We are having serious authentication issues right now. Things work some of the time and not others. Don't know why yet.

30 August 2010

The Command Line is a program that is found somewhere under Start. Location depends on the specific OS you are using.

If dig does not exist try:

nslookup www.lafn.org

One or the other should be there.

If you are still getting the 206 address then all you can do is wait it out. I am currently on a connection through the CSU system and it is flapping between the two addresses. Not all of the master servers have picked up the update and thus if the local server goes to different ones it will get different responses. Most registrars are saying it can take 24 hours to completely converge. I have never seen it take that long, but this is longer than I have experienced before.

For those who can't wait, you can add the addresses from the system bulletin into your hosts file. That will enable the computer to bypass the DNS system. I don't have details on how to do that for Windows.

I am reposting my response as a separate item as it was too difficult to find in the chain.

The issue here is that DNS has not propagated to the ISP you are using. You can see this in the traceroute that was in one of the previous comments. It shows attempts to access 206.117.18.x which are the old IP addresses. The original test we made last week showed it took 5 minutes to propagate. Today its taking considerably longer. I have no explanation for that. Most DNS servers should have retried and obtained the new DNS values after 20 minutes. Clearly they are not following the refresh times we published.

To check on the DNS status enter the following command into either Command LIne (windows) or Terminal (Mac):

dig www.lafn.org

If you get then the DNS change has not reached you. If you get then the DNS update has completed for you. If you still can't access mail etc., then you will need to restart routers or computers.

The conversion is complete. You may have to restart your web browser, mail clients etc in order for them to pick up the new addresses. They tend to cache them. Our news feeds have not switched to the new addresses yet so we are not receiving any new postings yet. Hopefully that will happen soon. If you are using a router between your computer and the internet then you may have to restart it also. Typically they cache IP addresses.

The switch to the new internet service will be starting shortly. I will be switching the news server first. It affects the fewest users. Once that is completed and is working properly, then I will switch the outgoing mail/web server. That switch will take longer that the rest as it requires a system update in addition to the switch. After that the incoming mail/admin server will be switched. Hopefully this will all be completed by about 4 pm today.


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