Telstra/BigPond

BigPond Files Is No More

It is with great sadness that I just posted the news of the discontinuation of the BigPond Files service on the news page. The site will be formally shut down at the end of June.

Mammoth developed and deployed that site in around a month after BigPond decided to remove Linux ISOs from the old GameArena site due to disk space limitations. We did this back in 2003, and we have been faithfully maintaining all aspects of the site since then.

I handled most of the day-to-day issues of BigPond Files – processing file requests, making sure the latest versions of the more popular software packages were available, and support – and have done the best job possible to try to get as much cool stuff as possible available for BigPond broadband users.

While the site has never been hugely popular (it’s only linked in one tiny spot on the BigPond site and thus it’s pretty hard to find – it doesn’t even feature the ‘green dot’ that indicates it is unmetered!), it has long served a number of users interested in open source software and I would like to think it will be missed by these customers.

Thanks to all those users who supported the site – everyone that downloaded, submitted a file request, and sent through compliments and kind words about the service.

Once the site is gone, BigPond will be one of (the only?) major ISPs in Australia that does not maintain some sort of repository of open source software for its users.

So long and thanks for all the bytes.

BigPond Files / BigPond Games Networks Offline

Just a quick note for those who keep track of these things; the BigPond Files and Games (including GameArena) networks are currently offline with some network problems. They are being investigated as a matter of urgency.

Obviously it’s hard to post status updates on the websites while they’re offline but rest assured it’s a known issue and it is being actively worked on. No ETA as yet.

BigPond Billing Scam Email

Another good email scam, this one purporting to be from BigPond:

Dear Customer,

This e-mail has been sent to you by BigPond to inform you that we were unable to process your most recent payment of bill. This might be due to either of the following reasons:

1. A recent change in your personal information. (eg: billing address, phone)
2. Submitting incorrect information during bill payment process.

Due to this, to ensure that your service is not interrupted, we request you to confirm and update your billing information today by clicking here [note the link: http://tusdrei.de/futtern/telstra.com.au/members/myaccount/LANGUAGE/ECareServ/ID12549JDk23/Online%20Billing.htm].

If you have already confirmed your billing information then please disregard this message as we are processing the changes you have made.

Regards,
BigPond
Billing Department

It looks like the link has already been removed (and it is also flagged by Firefox automatically as a scam site), but I couldn’t find a lot of reference to this email with a Google so I figured this might help other people: it’s definitely a scam/phishing attempt.

How many emails do you send a day?

After reading this thread about the limit BigPond imposes on sending email on regular user accounts (apparently “it’s no more than 25 electronic messages in a period of 10 consecutive minutes and no more than 100 recipients per single message”) I got interested in how much email I send. I certainly feel like I spend all day reading and writing emails, but when I actually crunched the numbers for the last month, I was surprised about how low the volume was – only 286 emails in 30 days.

If anyone cares, this data came from hackily parsing the Outlook Express smtp.log file (which you can enable by going into Tools, then select Options, hit the Maintenance tab, and check the “Mail” box at the bottom under troubleshooting. The log file will end up wherever your .dbx files live – if you can’t find it just search your system for smtp.log.)

Ubuntu Repository Changes on BigPond Files

A few people have asked where the Gutsy repository has gone on the BigPond Files mirror – we swapped it over for the upcoming release (Intrepid whatever). Given more people seem to be on the older release (combined with the fact we don’t have unlimited disk space) we’re going to restore Gutsy, possibly at the expense of Intrepid, at least in the short term.

While we’re repopulating the mirror, please note there might be some issues with syncing from it – possible symptoms include 404s/missing file errors (this seems to be a semi-regular problem when the mirror is being updated off the masters that we’re still looking into).

Fedora Mirror on BigPond Files

We haven’t posted about it on the official site just yet as it’s still in testing, but it looks like we’re going to be full steam ahead soon on the BigPond Files Fedora repository mirror.

It’s not finalised, but at the moment the current setup seems to be working fine – if you’re a BigPond broadband customer running Fedora, you shouldn’t even need to do anything – it should automagically detect you and redirect you to the BP Files server for unmetered updates.

Ubuntu v8.04 is out

…and available for download for BigPond Broadband customers on BigPond Files.

At the moment I’ve just got all the major/popular ISOs up – i386 and AMD64 architecture ones. The SPARC, HHPC and PowerPC ones I’ll do a bit later (although if you really want them now, just hit the File Request page to let us know).

I believe there’s also a way to upgrade an existing distribution using the repository mirror (BP users only) we have, but I’m not sure on the process. (Update: Nathan has provided some instructions on the process on his site.)

Unfortunately given the release happened on a public holiday it caused a bit more havoc than normal; I underestimated the demand (which was HUGE, which is great to see) so for the first hour or so downloads were a little bit slow until I got another distribution server into the mix – then that got hammered as well.

I’m interested in feedback from users having performance problems; feel free to post details about your issues here and I’ll see if I can figure out a way to speed things up for you.

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