March 23, 2006 Site Updated

We added some new content to the Weblog Improvement website for the first time since it was launched in November 2004. The new information on that site includes:

  • the methodology we use to build and enhance weblogs,
  • a partial list of our clients,
  • additional contact information.

This is the first in a series of enhancements to that begin to incorporate the design techniques that we first used on our clients' sites.

December 12, 2005

Mail Routing Problem Solved on

CTDATA customers whose mail service resides on may have experienced problems sending email to addresses in the domain. We corrected this problem a little while ago. Email that was in the srvb1 mail queue should have been delivered.

If your recipient has still not received an email you sent recently, please resend the message.

January 25, 2003

CTDATA Servers Temporarily Knocked Off-Line by Massive Internet Server Attack

Today from 3:00am to 1:00pm Eastern Time, CTDATA's main web and mail servers were off-line due to a routing problem that affected our colocation provider. At this time, we believe that the routing problem was part of the traffic surge associated with the attempted exploit of Microsoft SQL Servers that began at midnight. As Slashdot said:

...UUNet and Internap are being hit very hard. This is the cause of major connectivity problems being experienced worldwide.... This has effectively disabled 5 of the 13 root nameservers.

We apologize for any inconvenience this problem may have caused our customers, and we will update this story in the event that any new information about this incident becomes available.

November 21, 2002

Directory Service Interruption Results in Email Access Problems for CTDATA Customers

Dave Aiello wrote, "CTDATA customers, please note that one of our directory servers went down at around 3:00am Eastern Time today. We determined that the problem was associated with database corruption. Service was re-established when we restored the database from a backup copy of the directory."

"All email and user authentication services have been restored. If you are still having access problems, please call us at 609-918-9650. We apologize for any inconvenience that this outage may have caused."

November 20, 2002

CTDATA Provides Another Vital Service to USA Hockey Volunteers in NJ, PA, and DE

Earlier today, CTDATA rolled out the latest revision of the Officiating Membership Database for, the website that we operate for the Atlantic District of USA Hockey.

USA Hockey is the national organizing body of amateur ice hockey and in-line hockey in the United States. It is affiliated with the U.S. Olympic Committee. The Atlantic District is the regional administrative division spanning the states of New Jersey and Delaware, as well as the eastern half of Pennsylvania.

The AAHArefs Membership Database provides certification status for over 2,400 ice hockey officials in the Atlantic District. CTDATA has operated this database and the website continuously since 1995.

November 19, 2002

Concentrated Effort Results in Breakthrough on Critical Network Issues

Dave Aiello wrote, "Since CTDATA recovered from the network disruptions that occurred in the first week of November, I have been working overtime on clearing up some network management issues that inexplicably cropped up at the same time. Last night, I made these issues my complete focus and resolved the problem that was holding back most of the other changes."

"CTDATA still uses a substantial amount of proprietary (closed source) software in its infrastructure. One of the most frustrating aspects of this is that sometimes I can work endlessly on resolving technical problems, only to find that paying the cost to upgrade to the latest version of the software solves the problem. This is what happened last night."

"I spent all of the time I possibly could on our network management problems for a week. Almost out of frustration, I went to CompUSA and plunked down $200 for a box with a small manual and a CD in it. I brought it back to the office, installed it, and it solved the problem."

"My reaction to this is probably not what you expect. This does not make me think that proprietary software upgrade cycles are justified. I think it's unacceptable that I can't determine why the upgrade solved my problem. So, I feel more committed to getting Microsoft Windows operating systems and Windows applications out of CTDATA's infrastructure than ever."

November 14, 2002

Outages and Performance Problems that Affected CTDATA Customers Last Week

Dave Aiello wrote, "Last week, a number of CTDATA customers experienced complete outages on their email servers and websites as a result of an Internet service disruption between our colocation provider and a major telecommunications company. This was the result of a billing dispute that was entirely unrelated to CTDATA's accounts payable."

"I am extremely upset with the parties to this dispute, because their quarrel resulted in business interruptions for many of our customers, and indefinite responses from us to our customers regarding when their service would be restored. Our customers know that we haven't had a sustained service outage in a long time, and we work hard to maintain our reputation for dependability."

"The disruption lasted from mid-afternoon Wednesday, November 6, until sometime on Friday, November 8, with the exact restoration time somewhat dependent upon the client's network configuration. We apologize for the disruption and are instituting changes to our network configuration in order to avoid disruptions of this nature in the future."

Continue reading "Outages and Performance Problems that Affected CTDATA Customers Last Week" »

September 5, 2002

CTDATA Web and Email Services Restored to Operation

Due to a disk-related problem, email and web services for a number of CTDATA customers were interrupted yesterday from 7:30am to 1:00pm, Eastern Time. All services have been restored and appear to be functioning properly.

Any customers experiencing continuing problems should contact Dave Aiello at 609-918-9650 x 101.

April 4, 2002

Yahoo! Policy Changes Expose Registered Users to Spam, Privacy Violations

Last week, Slashdot and many other on-line news resources reported that Yahoo! reset the marketing preferences on all registered users' accounts. This means that registered Yahoo! users who had previously indicated that they did not want to receive spam (promotional emails) from Yahoo! or its customers (marketing partners) would begin receiving it anyway.

We reviewed the information that Yahoo! is storing about subscribers, and came to the conclusion that registered users may receive the following invasions of privacy, unless they take action:

  • spam
  • junk mail (via the U.S. Postal Service)
  • telemarketing calls

We urge CTDATA customers who are also registered users of Yahoo! to review their Yahoo! account information (for each Yahoo! ID, if you have more than one), and reset marketing preferences to protect your privacy. Read on for more detailed instructions....

Continue reading "Yahoo! Policy Changes Expose Registered Users to Spam, Privacy Violations" »

March 8, 2002

CTDATA Secure Web Services Restored to Operation

Due to a problem updating an expiring server certificate, some of CTDATA's secure web services were interrupted today from approximately 3:30 to 5:00pm, Eastern Time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.

January 22, 2002

Server Configuration Changes Temporarily Shutdown Mail Servers

Due to an unexpected problem on our primary mail server resulting from a configuration change, email service was interrupted between 9:00 and 10:00 am Eastern Time today. All services have now been restored. Customers, please let us know if you are experiencing continuing problems.

The best way to get in touch with us if your email account is not available to you is to call Dave Aiello at 609-844-1200 x 101.

November 29, 2001

CTDATA Internet Services Not Impacted by Excite@Home Bankruptcy

Dave Aiello wrote, "Although we have pointed out that CTDATA is a customer of Comcast Business Communications, we want to assure our customers that our servers are not connected to the @Home Network. We do not anticipate any disruption of email or web services hosted by CTDATA, regardless of the outcome of the bankruptcy court hearing, taking place on Friday."

"CTDATA's only exposure to the @Home Network relates to the manner in which our main office is connected to the Internet. Our office's broadband connection is provided by Comcast Business Communications. If @Home Network service is interrupted, we expect access from our office to be inconvenient, but, this will have no effect on our customers ability to access their mail or maintain their Web Sites. Please let us know if you have any questions."

November 27, 2001

Thanksgiving Weekend Brought a Number of Customer Service Improvements

This past weekend was a productive one at CTDATA. We finally cleared up a nagging disk space problem on the server where we host GCF's Corporate Web Site. We also updated the member database on AAHArefs in time for the annual officiating credentials expiration. All users of AAHArefs should be receiving new passwords over the next week. Finally, yesterday, we established a content syndication relationship between the RCNJ Web Site and the Rensselaer Entrepreneur Network. More information about that deal can be found in and Exchange Headlines on RCNJ.

August 3, 2001

CTDATA Back from Hiatus

Dave Aiello wrote, "Some of you may know that Kathleen Kuykendall and I were married on July 7 in Philadelphia. We spent our honeymoon in France, Italy, and Switzerland, and we returned from that excellent and refreshing trip a couple of days ago. This brings CTDATA back from a sort of hiatus that it has been in, at least from the perspective of new content posted to this Web Site and to"

"Our core infrastructure, our Web Sites and mail servers that serve our customers, survived my time away quite well. I would like to thank Martin O'Donnell and George Kuykendall, for keeping an eye on things to make sure that none of the components went down and stayed down for very long."

"Now, I plan to get back to work, to focus on meeting existing customer needs, and deploying new Web Services that have been on hold due to the amount of time and resources I had to personally commit to the process of getting married. Kathleen and I really wanted to stay in Europe longer than we did because we had such a wonderful time. But, since all honeymoons must come to an end eventually, I am looking forward to reading though my e-mail, getting involved in Slashcode again, and playing around with Java Server Pages."

June 20, 2001

Noticeable Perfomance Improvement at Seattle Co-location Site

Updating the problem report we posted yesterday, response time on our Seattle-based servers has improved noticeably. We have asked Martin O'Donnell to contact the ISP and to ask how they resolved the problem. If we receive any interesting information, we will update this story.

June 19, 2001

CTDATA Co-location Provider Experiences Network Problems

Martin O'Donnell, our associate in Seattle who does most of the work that requires physical access to CTDATA's servers, reported last night that the Internet Service Provider where CTDATA co-locates its servers is experiencing some sort of denial of service attack. This appears to be the root cause of a degradation of performance that began on Saturday evening.

CTDATA and its servers are affected because our network traffic must flow through the ISP's routers in both directions. At least one of these routers is currently being bombarded.

We understand that the ISP is working to resolve this problem, but has no idea when the problem will stop being noticeable. Until the problem is resolved, we expect access to resources on,,,, and smaller CTDATA customer sites sites to be degraded. Feel free to check back for updated information.

Update: Network performance has improved steadily since 7:00pm Eastern Time on June 19. Further information about the performance improvement will be posted here, as it becomes availabl

May 31, 2001

Clarifying what the "Search" Button Means on

Dave Aiello wrote, "I want to take a moment to point out a small change we have made to the page templates at As far as I know, we were the first Slashcode-based Web Site to place a search box in the top margin of all of our pages. That was picked up by the Slashcode Web Site itself when it started, our friends at Plastic, and a few others, so now it's standard operating procedure."

"We have a mechanism for reviewing the information people type into our Search boxes, and from the results, the following conclusions can be made:"

  1. Lots of people stumble onto our site because our content is so search-engine friendly.
  2. Some people who fall into the previous category haven't mastered the Back button on their browser.
  3. A surprisingly large percentage of those people notice the text box on the page they land on, next to a button marked Search, and conclude that they must be able to resume their AOL Search by retyping their terms into our handy search tool.

Dave Aiello continued, "Rather than confuse these wayward users further, we decided to change the Search button on pages to a button labeled Search CTDATA. We hope that our regular visitors are not annoyed by the apparent redundancy."

April 12, 2001

CTDATA Beefs Up Production Network Security

Dave Aiello wrote, "CTDATA customers, please note that we implemented an additional layer of security on our production network on Thursday, April 12. This security permits us to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic to a much greater level than ever before."

"Whenever network security is increased, there is a possibility that customers may experience temporary interruptions of network services. If you should notice any inexplicable network problems, you may be experiencing a side-effect of our upgrade which we did not find and fix. If that is the case, please send me an email at, and we will try to correct the situation as quickly as possible."

March 21, 2001

Network Monitoring Service Upgraded

Authorized Users of the CTDATA Network Monitoring Service please note that the underlying software has been upgraded to reflect the vendor's latest release. Contact Dave Aiello if you have any problems or questions.

March 12, 2001

CTDATA FTP and WebMail Services Receive Minor Adjustments

On the first business day since the big server move, our customers found a couple of configuration issues which were not identified during testing. They were that the FTP service was not responding, and that the Web Mail service would not allow messages to be sent. Both of these problems were fixed this evening. Read on for more details....

Continue reading "CTDATA FTP and WebMail Services Receive Minor Adjustments" »

March 10, 2001

CTDATA Internet Services Successfully Relocated

CTDATA's Internet Services were relocated on March 10, 2001. The equipment has been physically relocated, and the IP addresses of all services have been changed.

We have tested the Web Servers and Mail Servers by hand from two locations in different parts of the United States, and they all appear to be working. CTDATA's Network Monitoring Tools have been updated with the new IP address for each server, and the network monitor reports that all CTDATA services are responding. These tests give us a high level of confidence that the move has been successful.

FYI, the Web Servers and Mail Servers were down for most of the period between 2:00 and 4:00am, Eastern Standard Time.

Thanks very much to Martin O'Donnell for his help in making this cut-over a smooth one.

March 6, 2001

Planned Outage of CTDATA Internet Services: March 7, 2001

Due to a planned physical relocation of our server equipment, CTDATA expects that its Internet services will be disrupted between 1:00am and 3:00am, Eastern Standard Time, on Wednesday, March 7. A notice was sent by email to the technical contact people at CTDATA's customers yesterday.

The domains affected by this disruption are,,,, and

We hope that this does not cause too much hardship for our customers. If we find it necessary to change the time window for this disruption, we will update this article as soon as possible.

Update: Due to a bit of confusion between CTDATA and Network Solutions, we were unable to perform the move on March 7. We have rescheduled for Friday, March 9 at approximately the same time.

March 1, 2001

Seattle Earthquake May Affect Access to CTDATA Services

An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on the Richter scale occurred in the Seattle Metropolitan Area yesterday. CTDATA's internet service infrastructure is co-located in a building in downtown Seattle. Reports from our associates in the area indicate that most buildings and other physical facilities that had been built in the last 10 to 20 years survived the earthquake intact.

The facility where our Internet servers are located survived the earthquake. We also did not experience any immediate loss of connectivity as a result. However, there have been sporadic, brief interruptions overnight.

CTDATA customers should be prepared for this sort of disruption over the next few days.

If we receive any advance notice of impending service disruption due to repairs of carrier facilities in the region, we will attempt to make contact with our customers' technical contacts by any means necessary. Status information will be posted to the Customer Service section of this Web Site.

February 27, 2001

CTDATA Network Services Outage on February 27

Due to an operator error, network services to,,,, and were disrupted from approximately 8:00 to 9:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time. All services have been restored. We apologize for any inconvenience that this outage may have caused you.

February 16, 2001

Customers in Support Roles Should Register as Users of

Several of CTDATA's customers have individuals who serve as primary contacts when there are service outages or system enhancements. We recommend that those individuals register as users of the Web Site and subscribe to the Daily Headline Mailing.

The Daily Headline Mailing feature sends the headlines of stories posted to the home page in the last 24 hours. All customer service messages are routed through the home page, in addition to appearing on the Customer Service section page. Therefore, subscribers to the Daily Headline Mailing will automatically receive customer service advisories in a timely manner.

To register as a user, follow the instructions on the User Account page. Once customers have successfully registered, an email will be sent to them providing a password for the Web Site, as well as instructions for subscribing to the Daily Headline Mailing.

Why We're Paying Top Dollar for Our DSL Circuits

Dave Aiello wrote, "Although CTDATA uses T-1s to connect its servers to the Internet, the connections we have in our offices themselves are Symmetric DSL (SDSL). We use UUnet, a unit of Worldcom, as our ISP for DSL circuits."

"For a while now, we have considered switching to a less expensive ISP. But, we have decided not to do so, in light of the problems that Covad Communications has had collecting from ISPs that provide very low cost DSL services. This strategy is validated by reports on that the Santa Clara (CA) County Superior Court ruled that Covad was within its rights to deprive DSLnetworks of service because they failed to pay bills presented by Covad."

"There is no doubt that this will continue to be a major issue in the market going forward. We should expect Competitive Local Exchange Carriers like Covad to refuse service to other delinquent ISPs in the future. Some of those ISPs will not be able to come up with the resources to pay past due bills."

Continue reading "Why We're Paying Top Dollar for Our DSL Circuits" »

February 9, 2001

CTDATA User Account Password Policies

The other day, Mary Kuykendall asked what the restrictions are on changing user passwords on the servers operated by We decided to publish the password restrictions on email accounts under the and domains.

Since authentication for the AAHA Officiating Program Member Database comes from the same source, these restrictions also apply to that application.

Read on for more details....

Continue reading "CTDATA User Account Password Policies" »

February 6, 2001

Disable JavaScript in Email to Avoid Disclosure of Message Contents

In light of the reports circulating around the Internet regarding the major mail readers' mishandling of JavaScript in messages containing HTML, CTDATA recommends that all customers disable execution of JavaScript in Email messages.

Read on for more details....

Continue reading "Disable JavaScript in Email to Avoid Disclosure of Message Contents" »

February 2, 2001

CTDATA Web Mail Upgraded to Handle HTML Messages Better

Dave Aiello wrote, "Users of CTDATA's Web Mail Service please note that we upgraded from Endymion MailMan Standard Version 3.0.20 to MailMail Standard Version 3.0.30. The primary effect that this will have on you is that you will be able to read more types of messages that contain HTML than you could before."

"Although this upgrade will solve a number of display issues, it will expose other problems with the appearance of some messages. Now that the Web Mail service can handle more types of HTML-based mail, you will be able to open some types that retain the bulk of their embedded graphics on a remote server. Since we run our Web Mail over SSL, the secure server will not display those remote graphics for you. There is no planned work-around for this."

"Remember that we operate this Web Mail service as a convenience to our mobile users, and not as a substitute for your full-featured mail reader."

Continue reading "CTDATA Web Mail Upgraded to Handle HTML Messages Better" »

January 24, 2001

CTDATA Finally Implements Monitoring on its Internet Services

Last week, CTDATA took a major step toward improving customer service by implementing a series of network monitoring tools to alert our staff to Internet service outages 24 hours a day. This will allow us to quickly identify problems that affect our key services, particularly hardware failures, connectivity problems, mail server, web server, and database outages.

Over the first 10 days of monitoring, we have achieved 99.82 percent accessibility to our most important servers:,,, and The servers themselves have been up and running continuously. The 24 minutes of downtime that we show on our reports are Quality of Service outages. In other words, server responses took longer than they should have.

We hope that our servers continue to run this smoothly, and that there are no serious data communication problems ever again. (Yea, right. As if....) But, if outages do occur, we believe that we are in a much better position to address them quickly than we have ever been before.

December 19, 2000

Technical Problem Disrupts CTDATA-related Web Sites

A technical problem in our Denville office triggered a disruption in Web Services on the CTDATA, Rensselaer Club of New Jersey, and the Atlantic District Officiating Program Web Sites. These sites experienced some impairment on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

November 5, 2000

Changes to CTDATA WebMail Interface

Over the weekend, two changes were made to the Web-based mail interface that we run on For details, read on....

Continue reading "Changes to CTDATA WebMail Interface" »

October 12, 2000

Headline Mailer Repaired on and

The headline mail services on and were inadvertantly broken during an upgrade that took place last Saturday, October 7.

The problem has been resolved, but few headline mailings have been made this week due to a reduced volume of stories on both sites.

Continue reading "Headline Mailer Repaired on and" »

September 6, 2000

CTDATA Internet Services Disrupted Due to Facility Move

CTDATA's Internet servers are located in Seattle, Washington. Due to a planned facility move that took place 12 hours earlier than scheduled, CTDATA Web and E-mail service for all of the domains that we host was interrupted for about 12 hours. Please read on if you would like further details.

Continue reading "CTDATA Internet Services Disrupted Due to Facility Move" »

August 22, 2000

Mail Interface on Fixed

A number of friends, relatives, and some visitors from Slashcode had tried to register as users on this Web Site. Although the database portion of the user registration process worked, the e-mail message that was supposed to be sent out automatically by the Web Site (providing the initial user password) did not.

We finally fixed the subroutine that sends e-mail in our implementation of Slashcode. Now, we are using the Mail::Sendmail Perl Module, just like Slashcode 1.0.7 and 1.0.8 do.

Continue reading "Mail Interface on Fixed" »

August 8, 2000

Serious Flaw Documented in Netscape's Java Implementation

A number of Web Sites, including Linux Today, have pointed out that a potentially serious flaw in Netscape's Java implementation has been discovered. Netscape Communicator Version 4.74 (the most current we know of) and earlier, as well as all versions of Netscape Navigator on the following platforms are vulnerable: Windows 95/98/NT/2000 and Linux.

CTDATA customers that use Netscape browsers will be notified when a new release of Netscape Communicator is made to address this problem. Until then, we suggest that you read and understand the documentation associated with this vulnerability, and explain the problem to any fellow users who you feel may be at high risk but would not know it.

July 31, 2000

Fixed Mechanism for Attaching Comments to Stories

An Anonymous Coward posted a comment to our New York Area Fails to Hit 90F in July for Second Time in a Century article, identifying yet another incompatibility between the Slash code and our SQL database.

We fixed the problem and the comment now displays itself in the way that it should have originally. Thank you AC!

July 24, 2000 Stumbles on Sunday

Steven Vore of Mumble Daily was the first person to report a glitch at since we implemented the new Slashcode-based architecture.

hmm, it may just be me, but right now (~2048 eastern, Sunday evening) some parts of the site appear sick :-) I get a lot of
"[an error occurred while processing this directive]" in various places, and when clicking on the "Also by dave_aiello" link I get
a whole bunch of fun messages.... just thought you might like to know, in case this wasn't expected

Well Steven, it was really that we left a database running over the weekend without an automatic way to dump its transaction logs. We probably won't be doing that again. What's that you say? It doesn't happen with mySQL?

July 22, 2000

What is the Customer Service Section of

The Customer Service section of our Web Site will contain announcements that are aimed at CTDATA customers.

Initially, these announcements will be geared toward small businesses that have contracted with CTDATA for hosting of their Web Sites or electronic mail services. Over time, we hope to be able to use this section to communicate with customers who use our Content Management tools.

July 21, 2000

Mail Server Reconfiguration Notice-- Mail Client Changes May Be Necessary

Dave Aiello wrote, "Many of you received an e-mail from me on Monday, July 10, explaining that our mail
servers were attacked by people attempting to send SPAM (junk e-mail) through
them. We have corrected the problem and increased the security of the mail

Continue reading "Mail Server Reconfiguration Notice-- Mail Client Changes May Be Necessary" »