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Website's silencing adds to holiday quiet

Although the days around Christmas and New Year's Day ring with the silence of vacation time, one community website has had its signal stilled with a planned misdirection. A visit to openmpe.org now directs readers to the hp.com website front page. This redirection cuts off the OpenMPE site from visitors, an effective denial of service.

But instead of bombarding openmpe.org with requests, the site has apparently gone offline through an inside job. Matt Perdue, the board member voted off the board in November due to his failure to issue an authorized payment, made a change to the website's domain name services registry on Dec. 23, according to the public records of whois.com. Perdue is the only person with access to changing the DNS information for the group.

Perdue didn't respond to our requests for information about the change, either through email or by phone. A call to his DNS registry contact which he lists for the URL rings a phone number which reports "it is not set up to receive voicemail."

The move that made openmpe.org unreachable came about one week before the group planned to start taking membership monies for the first time through its website. A $99 yearly option would make the Invent3K's shared 3000 programs and development space available for one year.

Not all of OpenMPE's web resources have been cut off. An OpenMPE News blog hosted at WordPress.com remains in operation today. What's more, the group's Invent3K servers just gained technical papers from the proceedings of the HP World conferences of 1998 through 2004.

Tracy Johnson, the treasurer who took over for Perdue and also acts as secretary, has been a leader in putting resources online via the Invent3K servers hosted by volunteers. In a message on the OpenMPE mailing list on Dec. 16, he announced the availability of some classic tech resources.

Just a few months back, Paul Edwards sent OpenMPE the Interex Proceedings that were put on CD on past years. After some programming effort, OpenMPE’s backup Invent3K machine now has these Interex Proceedings online.

It is now the third button on the top left. Keven Miller volunteered the majority effort on this one.

There may be a few articles unavailable because the original file names were not POSIX compliant. Not that the file names weren’t changed to compliant ones, but the original index has to be modified  to point to them. Those are needles in a haystack.

At the moment, the papers (mostly PowerPoint slides) can be downloaded from a central web page. The group can communicate using these Invent3k hosts (the primary server is at the Support Group offices in Texas) while it sorts out the website misdirection. There's also an OpenMPE listserv for announcements and discussions, the spot where former HP 3000 division engineer Mike Paivinen -- who was HP's liaison to OpenMPE for years -- first took note of the misdirection. The DNS records show a change to the openmpe.org domain exactly one week after the conference papers came online.