LWN.net has been running on the same server for several years, generously
donated to us by the folks at Rackspace.com. This server ran on a mighty
1.3 GHz CPU, and, while it was up to the task most of the time, it was
clearly beginning to show its age. Perhaps more amusingly, the server has
retained the same RHEL 2 operating system it came with. So, for all
these years, LWN readers have been getting their bleeding-edge kernel news
from a machine running a kernel which claims to be version 2.4.9.
Those days are now done; LWN has moved on to a shiny, new, dual-core
processor at a new hosting provider. For the time being, the extra
computing power will be dedicated to making the current site faster; over
the longer term, we hope to add some of the more database-intensive
features that have been on our "to do" list for years.
As part of the upgrade, there has been a small change to LWN's format; we
have added a third column on the right of the main content. The main goal
was to move advertisements over there and to get them out of the content
itself; that, we hope, will improve the LWN reading experience.
There are a couple of new account configuration options which tie into the
format change; it is now possible to set the maximum and minimum width of
the central column. The maximum width preference replaces the hard-coded
maximum which LWN has used for a while; people who like to read really long
lines of text will now be able to do so. Others (like your editor) who
don't like to see the real content of the site squeezed too tightly in a
narrow window can set the minimum value and prevent that from happening.
Of course, if you set the minimum too high, you risk pushing the right
column out of the window entirely and missing important communications from
our advertisers; we know you wouldn't want to do that.
Various other changes have been made as well, but most of them are not that significant. Hopefully it all adds up to a better LWN. There's probably a glitch or two left; please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org should you find one.
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