Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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The Joy of Being Slashdotted

OK, so, this morning I got an e-mail from an old university classmate, Andrew J. Lundberg, who was a grad student at JHU back when it was tiny (7 faculty, 45 undergrads) and I was one of said smart-alecky undergrads.
From: "Andrew Lundberg"
To: William Hsu
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 12:53 PM
Subject: Hi Bill, this is Andrew Lundberg (from jhu)

> I was pointed to you page today from a Slashdot response (regarding your
> Lord of the Rings movie). I thought I'd send you and email and ask how
> you've been doing.
> ...

"Well, that's nice," I thought, "it's always good to hear from old college friends."

Three hours later, on my web server:

3:55PM up 1:27, 1 user, load averages: 10.88, 16.43, 20.41

"What the frell?" I wondered.

Did a top resulting in:
80 processes: runnable, 7 sleeping, 1 on processor
CPU states: % user, 0.0% nice, % system, % interrupt, % idle
Memory: 55M Act, 8K Inact, 636K Wired, 1888K Exec, 41M File, 41M Free
Swap: 2000M Total, 2000M Free

370 nobody 6 0 2220K 1988K RUN 0:17 8% httpd
252 nobody 0 2236K 2028K RUN 1:38 8.9% 8.9% httpd
nobody 0 2220K 19% httpd
nobody 4 0 2220K 19K RUN 0% httpd
nobody 0 2220K 1980K 0% httpd
613 nobody 2 0 2220K 1992K 0:29 4% httpd
298 nobody 2 0 2220K 1980K select 0:50 3% httpd

Fifteen simultaneous httpd requests? Not likely even with the imminent BNJ release announced on USENET and in bayesnets.

So I went downstairs to the sysadmin to see whether it was a denial of services attack.
He directed my attention to /web/httpd/log/accesslog and /web/httpd/log/refererlog. Sure enough, almost every entry (out of about 1000 in a 2-hour period) consisted of:

<IP address> - - [26/Jul/2004:16:13:33 -0500] "GET /Tolkien/Movie/ HTTP/1.1" 200 19405754

The lightbulb went on as I re-read Andrew's e-mail and checked Slashdot - sure enough: we'd been Slashdotted here. It wasn't even a full article, just a follow-up to a "celebrity LoTR movie casting" thread on Slashdot.

The movie parody is by O. Sharp, famous creator of the Tolkien sarcasm page, and it's been there for over three years! I give it to you again, because I miss my server hanging and smoking. :-D

[16:44:27] banazir: We got a reference on Slashdot today
[16:44:39] burkhardt: ooo
[16:44:46] burkhardt: your server crashed yet?

:g: See? Tronkies know.

Oh, and one more thing: when you get Slashdotted, don't go proclaiming "Yay! I got Slashdotted!" to all your friends. Seems the Slashdot effect still isn't the most commonly understood referent in the vernacular known to many folks on IM and LJ. To wit:

(from the user icons of deire - attribution unknown but sought)


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