Tag Archives: technical difficulty


I can’t type. I Just managed to delete my entire blog content dir and plugins. This means all of my images and any uploaded zips are gone.

Also, my company has recently had to make some dramatic changes that I’m still coping with. I am still employed, but I’m not much in the mood to continue with any of my previous article series at present.

On the bright side, this gives me an excuse upgrade to WP2.9 and dig through my 250+ post archive and clean things up.

Please excuse the mess while I unbork everything. Happy new year.

esme downtime, plans

I’d just like to point out that Esme’s current downtime is not my fault (18 hours and counting). Acius is the one who actually owns the account, so he’s the one who has to talk to the hosting provider about getting things back online. He’s well aware of the situation, but is apparently having problems getting in contact with hosting people to request assistance.

And the machine is down-down as far as I can tell. Binky can’t ping her (normally can), so it’s not just a case of apache and the mud going down at once. At the very least, networking is down, at the most… well, we’ve probably lost a great deal of work if that’s the case.

It’s funny, really. I killed myself this weekend working to get the mud back online – restoring from a 10-month-old backup I’d found. I started discussing mud-related topics with our playtesters again. I started cleaning up my todo list. I was all fired up to revitalize the project.

Then the mud goes down at 2pm yesterday afternoon. We had a newbie online at the time. Chalk up another player lost to faulty hardware.

The really fun part about the crash is that nobody knows why it happened. Nobody was doing anything on the machine. The mud was all but idle, just with the one newbie playing and me afking in my cave. I guess the web forums might have been seeing some activity, Sora gave me that impression. But… otherwise, nothing.


Maybe the machine heard our plans to decommission her in favor of moving services over to Binky and Tiff? Shrug.

Either way, this downtime confirms my intentions to move absolutely everything off of Esme as soon as humanly possible. While I’m decommissioning Esme, A’tuin is also coming down and some migration from the pair account will begin. All ancillary sites will be moving to Binky. Hopefully, I’ll finally even be able to bring Hedwig back online and make people’s old data available to them again.

DNS master, the mud, and the mud site will probably be moving to Tiff. I’d make her the DNS slave, but Binky’s already filling the role so nicely. The main simud.org mud site will be the only page hosted off of Tiffany… with the possibility of SIMud accounts allowing people some personal ~username style web hosting off of the machine. Yes, simud.org, not mud.simud.org. I’ll be attempting to eliminate that ugly splash page we’ve had up for the last several years…

Binky will be making regular backups of data to Tiff. Tiff will be making regular backups of some data back to Binky. I will be downloading some of each of these and burning them to DVD every month or so.

Tiff comes online Saturday. I hope to have some of these changes in place by Monday evening.

binky downtime

Well, Binky went offline for 50 minutes today, and it was entirely my fault. Well, the downtime was my fault, the duration of the downtime was not.

To make a long story short, I succeeded in telling the server to stop listening to the network. (I had committed some half-completed changes to the routing tables.) This makes remote administration… difficult. Thankfully, we should be a bit more protected from that sort of problem with the services that we will be running from Matt’s colo rack.

Since I was the one who broke things, the response on my end was immediate. I informed Harkins of the downtime, submitted a trouble ticket to the hosting provider, set my IM status message to let people know that I was aware of the outage, and then started hunting for a phone number to get in contact with the service techs directly (since the autoresponse I got from the trouble ticket said 12-24 hours).

The phone number thing didn’t work, I was able to find their billing line, but no number for tech support. There is only email. Not too pleased about that – and it makes me feel more justified in decommissioning Esme (who is also hosted by the same company).

Anyhow, after I’d given up on the phone issue, I finally got an email from a real live person. Five emails and 20 minutes later, the information was finally in the hands of the right tech. He followed my instructions for the fix and had the machine back up in 5 minutes. So, while not terribly accessible, their tech staff is at least competent.

When we came back up, Apache, Bind, and SVN were not running… but Mongrel was. This confuses me, since all four are started by the same script. I will have to look into that further.

Regardless, services are all back and I’m not going to mess with things like this again for a good long while (and not w/o verifying that I know what I’m doing on Hedwig or Vimes first).

rincewind kersplodiness

Last night, I was running around on RF Online, enjoying Rincewind’s “new” video card when the machine died on me again. All attempts at resurrection have bombed. I am expecting that I need to

Now, Rincewind has this habit. Every few months, he crashes catastrophically. He’s uncontested in the race for my most expensive computer ever.

My initial cost was something like $1,400 but after hardware failures during the first week (which waranties I was not able to redeem because the seller was based in Manhattan), my total cost to get the machine running was closer to $1,700. And those are 2001 dollars, back when I was earning $7/hr as a care provider for disabled folks.

Hedwig by comparrison was something just under $1,000 to get running if I remember correctly. Replacement parts over the last few years have only added up to $100 or $200 total.

Anyhow. Rincewind has acquired a new motherboard ($75) since then. And a new hard drive (300gb, 7200rpm, $150). And more ram (a gig, $100). And a better video card (radeon 9200, 128mb, $100) which I just replaced ($100). Total pricetag so far? $2,225 if my estimates are adding up correctly.

And that’s for a machine with a 1.4ghz processor. I’ve finally capped the AGP slot’s capacity with monday’s upgrade. The mobo can handle an Athlon XP 3200+ and up to 4 gigs of DDR400 ram… But a new processor to cap out the machine’s speed would run me $185 at Newegg right now and the memory would run $260 minimum for name brand stuff…

For the money I’ve spent on Rincewind so far, I could have built an Alienware… sigh.

Anyhow. We’re hoping that it’s hard drive issues (which the machine’s been plagued with in the past) and not the new video card that caused the problem. I’ll swap out drives and reinstall windows tonight to see what happens.


Ok, I’m all but done with my little break from the mud. Pre-req’s for my resuming work on the game:

  • The game & associated web page must be running off of Esme. A’tuin is fired.

Yup. Long list. I’ve compiled the latest driver on Esme already and am copying the lib dir over right now. Whenever that’s copied, I’ll hammer on it until the game runs – at which point I’ll prolly make a cleaner copy (shut down game and forums for a bit in order to guarantee a clean shift).

So, hopefully very soon not only will Walraven be back in active production… it will be in production on a much sturdier machine. Yay!


Well, it’s the 22nd and I’ve still not finished migrating the mud… typical. Worst case scenareo is that we make it happen on the 28th – when Acius arrives in town for a week 😛