Category Archives: Announcements

TAPACOM general announcements

Wordfence discontinues their Falcon Cache

Last week, Wordfence announced that they were discontinuing support for their Falcon Cache and will have it removed from their toolset. So I wanted to give you all a heads-up about this change and how it may affect you.

Wordfence is installed on all TAPACOM client web sites to protect against intrusion. The Falcon Cache has been a part of the Wordfence suite of tools and it greatly reduces latency of web content by sending web pages to visitors quickly.

As a web site owner you normally don’t want web visitors to wait for your pages to show up on the browser. Analytics have revealed that when web pages take too long to load, visitors pack it up and take their business elsewhere. For this reason, caching tools like Falcon Cache have been important to anyone requiring reliable and fast content delivery.

Wordfence has posted a blog article explaining their decision to discontinue their caching tool. You may read it here:

The big question for you at this point is “Is there another caching tool that may be used to replace the Falcon Cache?”

The short answer: Yes. The Wordfence article provides a link to other tools to consider.

Do you need to implement a replacement caching tool? There are some of you whose sites experience sufficiently high visitor counts and your revenue would be negatively impacted by slow page delivery. And some of you may not have sites needing fast page delivery. Perhaps we should talk about your needs first. If we find that you need the speed I’ll do the testing and setup for you.

So give me a call and let’s talk.

FTP and Web File Manager Updated

The Rumpus file management software used by TAPACOM network servers has been updated to the latest version (8.0.1). There are a number of changes which should be noted. If you experience any issues or have questions about any service or function please contact me at:

Rebuilt Web File Manager

The Web File Manager (WFM) has been rebuilt from the ground up to be easier to use, more flexible, more efficient and include new features. Almost every element of the Web interface is now customizable right from within the  application, for example:

  • File and folder menus are now completely customizable, and the same menus are displayed in both standard and thumbnail directory listing views.
  • Setup wizards allow administrators to quickly define color pallets and basic options, and then individually fine tune the display of dozens of different elements.
  • Action buttons can be displayed in different styles, with more fine tuning controls, and in different positions within the interface.
  • Progress indicators have been simplified and improved, and can now be displayed for file downloads as well as uploads.
  • The data required to deliver Web interface pages is up to 50 percent less than in past versions, while being presented in a more modern, cleaner style.
  • For Drop Ship users, the new Web interface includes a drop ship history, allowing senders to view past shipments and easily copy/paste previous URLs for resending.
  • Users can now move files between folders, without transferring them to and from the server.
  • Video files can be displayed in a branded display interface which includes a “Download Now” option for permanent retrieval of the file.

SFTP Service

Rumpus now supports SFTP clients, in addition to HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS and WebDAV. User accounts and restrictions are applied just as they are in any other protocol.

New Event Notices

New Event Notice types can save text or XML files when users upload files. Handy for use along with Upload Center forms, this makes it easy to prompt users for information about uploaded files and record meta-data about uploaded files.

Auto-Complete Form Fields

Administrators can now create lists, which can be used in form text fields as prompts for users during data entry. For example, you might create a list of all the e-mail addresses of people in your company, and assign it as an auto-complete list for an “e-mail” Upload Center field.

Auto-complete lists can also be applied to File Request and Drop Ship mail fields, making it easier for local users to address messages sent by Rumpus.

Support manager added to TAPACOM site

I’ve added a support management section to the TAPACOM web site. Clients will be able to view client projects and tasks to track the progress of support requests.

The support manager will report descriptions of project tasks, dates and times and pertinent notes. Clients will also be able to submit requests through the support manager.

Clients will be able to use their existing passwords to view their projects.

TAPACOM is mobile friendly

Mobile use has become an important part of the Internet and requires web page layouts that are more useable. WordPress plug-in developers have created solutions to re-purpose traditional site layouts for the smaller screen space on smart phones. I’ve installed a plug-in that will do this for the smaller displays of the iPhone, iPod touch, Google Android, Blackberry Storm, Torch and other touch-based smart phones.

If you experience any technical or visual issues please report them to me. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Use this form to send me a message:

Moving mailing lists to Mailman

I have switched the TAPACOM Announcements email list over to the Mailman list server software. While the old list software, LetterRip, was perfectly functional, Mailman provides for more flexibility and a more robust feature set.

This change only applies to the TAPACOM Announcements list at this time. Over the coming weeks I will convert the mailing lists for clients’ lists to the Mailman server, too. But for now, your lists will continue to operate using the LetterRip server.

If you find any issues with messages from the new list server, please let me know, as it will help me to fine tune the Mailman server.

System and Network Update

Here is a list of the system changes that were started last month and will last for a few more days.

Early in February it came to my attention that our network access provider was sold to another company. This sudden change provided me with an opportunity to consider alternatives instead of contracting with the new network owner.

I am happy to report that I’ve elected to switch and migrate the TAPACOM equipment onto two new networks. I expect that the migration will be completed by March 15, 2011.

What this will mean:

  1. You and the public will not have access to your web sites during this period. When people visit your web site, they will see a Maintenance Mode splash screen.
  2. Email accounts have already been migrated. They should be functional. If you find any difficulties with your email please contact me right away. I recommend you contact me by telephone first (call 808-550-8554) and followup afterwards with an email. When you discover issues, please be sure to describe the symptoms with as much detail as possible.
  3. Most of you will not be able to update your web sites before I’ve completed the migration. I will let you know when your web sites have been returned to service.
  4. When your services have been migrated I will notify you and will ask you to test all functions: email, FTP access, mailing lists, contact forms, WebDAV access, webmail, web file manager access, etc. Please don’t delay and report to me any issues you may find.
    DNS (domain name service) records have already been migrated. Please check to see if your web sites are reachable, and if you find any issues, please report them to me right away.
  5. As mentioned above, TAPACOM services will be provided on two separate networks. This will help to strengthen uptime reliability by splitting services and also making them redundant. I’ll be implementing solutions for each gateway service to be a backup if the other network service is interrupted.
  6. Your web sites and other Internet services will also be on faster hardware. You may or may not feel any differences in throughput.
    Your web sites will also all be upgraded to current versions of PHP, MySQL and WordPress. These are more secure and provide a number of new web site functions.

The new web server will include many new services, including:

CALENDAR SERVER – Share calendars, schedule meetings, and coordinate events. With push technology, you can notify everyone about changes instantly.

WIKI SERVER – Collaborate and communicate through wiki-powered websites complete with group calendar, blog, and mailing lists.

ADDRESS BOOK SERVER – Access and synchronize contacts across multiple computers and the devices you own.

MOBILE ACCESS SERVER – Provides always-on, always-secure access to firewall-protected services from virtually anywhere in the world.

FILE SHARING COLLABORATION – Share folders and exchange files between Mac and PC systems without the installation of additional software.

These new services may well be worth implementing as a part of your online strategy. I’d be happy to review these with you and answer any questions you might have concerning your web sites and Internet services.