Status Report

File 770 was conspicuously missing in action after posting the Hugo nominees yesterday.

My internet service provider says there was no denial of service attack.

Nor was it a bandwidth issue – the plan I was on had unlimited bandwidth.

Frankly, I don’t understand the explanation but it amounts to the system thinking I had maxed out a different service metric. The solution was to upgrade. That’s why we’re back on the air. (Hooray!)

Every silver lining has a cloud, unfortunately. When they migrated my files to the new server, they lost everything after April 22. Tech was unable to say why.

I reconstructed all the lost posts using Google cache files. But I couldn’t make the new posts use the old permalinks, so if you want somebody to find them, send them the new link. And unfortunately the comments aren’t there, because these are “new” posts.

132 thoughts on “Status Report

  1. @Jenora Feuer – hey I’m not looking to get even that “fancy” with multiple or over-time undo function, I just want the technical equivalent of going back in time like five seconds to undo whatever change I just did to the site lol like “all those files I just overrode with the wrong “new” files, please undo THAT” ha ha

    But I get what you mean, the programs that do allow undo (and even multiple undo) are unsurprisingly the same programs know for being big memory/space eaters, like any of the CS programs, I am looking at you Illustrator and Indesign ahem lol

  2. all those files I just overrode with the wrong “new” files, please undo THAT

    Oh, good lord, I did that to a friend at one point, though we managed to recover afterward. (A friend who’s pretty heavily involved with the SFWA now, in fact.)

    Basic situation: I was heavily involved in a number of MUDs/MUCKs in their heyday. (For those not familiar with MUDs, think classic Infocom text adventure game turned into an MMO, with commands so anybody with the proper permissions can create their own objects and puzzles.) I was logged on to two at a time through a client (tinyfugue) that kept track of which data came from which ‘world’ so you could swap back and forth between them quickly.

    One of the two was a machine where I had been doing a fair bit of building, and I had logged a sequence of commands that would finish redescribing one of the structures I had built through alternating ‘move’ and ‘describe’ commands. I sent the list of commands to the remote server, then switched over to the other machine where my friends and I were involved in some role-playing/story-telling.

    Unfortunately I didn’t realize that, by default, the command I used to send the building commands sent them to the currently active world. (There was a switch to change that, but I hadn’t realized that was the default.) So the moment I switched worlds, I started moving around and re-describing the rooms on my friend’s MUCK because I had the permissions to do so, having been a builder there as well.

    Panic ensued while I looked for a way to at least limit the damage.

    I was forgiven, but I still remember that moment of panic twenty years or so later.

  3. @Jenora Feuer – aaaaaaaah I feel your pain lol While I’m wishing for tech magic, I could also use a smart program that sees me about to do something wrong and un-undoable like overwrite the wrong files and sends me a pop up “Hey smartypants, are you SURE you want to do this? If you do, then [bad end result] will happen”

    That sweet feeling of pure “I CANT UNDO THAT” panic, nothing like it ha ha Reminds me of a coworker of mine who was trying to move files from our site dev area to the correct domain folder, he either wasn’t looking or his finger slipped so the files went into the main root folder instead of the subfolder and for ten tense minutes, our company website was suddenly a bakery selling very delicious looking cupcakes ha ha

  4. @rcade thanks for the link. At first glance I think a lot of the data, for instance the comment posters ip, doesn’t get sent in the email. I’ll poke it a bit more, but may run out of time.

    @Sunhawk, Jenora Feuer With great powe comes great prospects of panic.

    Ticky try two. I confirmed, I really did, please send me some emails.

  5. At first glance I think a lot of the data, for instance the comment posters ip, doesn’t get sent in the email.

    A lot of fields in WXR are optional. WordPress will import them if included and leave them blank otherwise. I’m pretty sure wp:comment_author_IP is one of them.

  6. Cat:

    “Also, if needed, I live in the US and will be driving to MidAmeriCon II.

    Can we have books in the park? I think a few copies of Godstalk wouldn’t go amiss…”

    Yay! Would it be possible to order things to your address or send you money so you can order? If you want to mail around this, Mike can exchange mail addresses with us.

  7. A pity about the comments going AWOL, but I’m very impressed by an ISP that manages to restore Meredith.

  8. I could also use a smart program that sees me about to do something wrong and un-undoable like overwrite the wrong files and sends me a pop up “Hey smartypants, are you SURE you want to do this? If you do, then [bad end result] will happen”

    The problem with that one is ‘warning fatigue’… if you keep getting warnings about things you actually meant to do, you start to learn to just click on the ‘go ahead’ button without actually thinking about whether or not this time was the exception.

  9. @Jenora Feuer – oh yeah, that’s why it would need to be more than an automatic “are you sure?” dialogue window, it’d have to be smart ie able to look at the larger context of my actions, tell the difference between an “oopsie” and an OH JOHN RINGO NO

  10. Meredith! Hi!

    I am loving all the bench/park ideas. The decor is going to be wonderful. In addition to what’s already been bought and suggested, may I add that we need

    – a large number 5? Or V? Big, with a nice brass-look finish.
    – cat(s), possibly Siamese, maybe a Timothy.
    – maybe a big “SJW”, to match the 5.
    – cat pictures, because we like them and in honor of Filer Naomi Kritzer.
    – brackets! (Interpret as you will) Labeled with Kyra’s name and avatar.
    – print out the avatars of everyone who donates and put them somewhere.

    Looking forward to the pictures.

  11. At a previous job one of the web developers republished the whole site with all the paths set to hard c:\path\blah.html rather than relative ones. To add to the fun the site ran on a Linux server so the paths were doubly bogus.

    Of course we had a staging server so these sort of things could be checked and caught. The web crew had decided that IT were stuffy and slow however and decided to just deploy stuff directly so they could look all efficient…

    I should also point out my middle name is Sam, making me ISP. I can’t claim credit for restoring Meredith though.

  12. – print out the avatars of everyone who donates and put them somewhere.

    I’m especially fond of this one.

    However, I’m conscious that we’re creating a lot of work for unspecified people to do, and as the Atlantic Ocean means I for one am just an Ideas Man on this, I wonder how many filers are definite attendees and volunteering to do some boring legwork? We don’t want to overload people’s time (or cars!)

  13. Peter J: A pity about the comments going AWOL, but I’m very impressed by an ISP that manages to restore Meredith.

    Well said!

  14. @Mike Glyer: I’m only getting some e-mail notices, e.g., I didn’t get the comment via e-mail that you quote directly above me. Possibly you’re not getting this (I have no idea). And LOL at the “ISP that manages to restore Meredith” bit from @Peter J. 😉

  15. P.S. I’m unsubscribing from comments in this thread (and later, others, probably) and will check manually – too confusing to get only some e-mail notices. 😉

    I’m surprised no one else seems to be reporting the issue.

    ETA: Hahaha, I have to await a notice to find the unsubscribe link, methinks. My brain isn’t up to this.

  16. As this seems the time and place for unsolicited WordPress tips, I would recommend Mike look into adding a caching plugin to avoid this mess happening again.

    The one I am familiar with is wp super cache. Using one of these means that the load on the database is greatly reduced – as yesterday showed, WordPress all by itself doesn’t cope very well with a sudden busy period.

    PS thanks to everyone for all the discussion, and especially all the book recommendations. I don’t often comment, but this blog made it onto my ballot as much for the community as for Mike’s writing and links. Not that the writing in unappreciated either, of course.

  17. I’d foolishly assumed the emails were a known problem and didn’t mention them, but to confirm: I’m having similar issues, roughly half of the posts don’t generate emails. I’ve been assuming it was some sort of mail server hangover that would shake out sooner or later.

  18. @IanP – ahahhahaha I love it! XD Yeah all the times someone said “don’t bother testing it, just go live” and had that blow up in their face… good times! Except actually terrible times because guess who is usually tasked with fixing the now-live site so must go as fast as possible before any site visitors complain *snort*

  19. @ Mark-kitteh

    However, I’m conscious that we’re creating a lot of work for unspecified people to do, and as the Atlantic Ocean means I for one am just an Ideas Man on this, I wonder how many filers are definite attendees and volunteering to do some boring legwork? We don’t want to overload people’s time (or cars!)

    I suspect we’re still only at the brainstorming/wouldn’t-it-be-cool stage. At some point, probably much closer to the event, we would need to have a “here’s what I’ll bring to contribute” thread. (E.g., since I’ll be flying in, I doubt I could manage the “mini-book exchange” furniture, but I could certainly help bring library contributions. Similarly, someone might at that point volunteer to cover the “guest book for recording one’s favorite reading” aspect.) I think if we break it down to individual “here’s what I’ll do” tasks, we’ll find that anything without a volunteer probably doesn’t actually need to happen. I don’t mean that in a negative sense — just that there are far more cool ideas than actually need to be implemented.

  20. This discussion has been great and brought back so many good memories from when I helped out IT or tried to teach engineers to pay attention to IT directives. Thanks everyone. 😉

  21. @Mark (Kitteh): Thanks for commenting; I was starting to think I was the only one with e-mail notification issues. Rather than be burned again, I’m just not using the subscribe-to-comments system for now. It’s either that or go crazy(ier). 😉

  22. I was holding back on donating to the Park(s) because I wanted to donate to Mike for his increased hosting costs. But I haven’t seen Mike say he wants that.

    Is that a Thing? Or should I go ahead and maybe toss some money at Hampus to help pay for the gnomens?

  23. Oooh, a sundial with a gnome as a gnomon. That would be epic….

    (edit to correct spelling)

  24. ULTRAGOTHA:

    “Is that a Thing? Or should I go ahead and maybe toss some money at Hampus to help pay for the gnomens?”

    I’m perfectly able to throw away money muself, thank you. 🙂

  25. ULTRAGOTHA: I was holding back on donating to the Park(s) because I wanted to donate to Mike for his increased hosting costs. But I haven’t seen Mike say he wants that.

    Is that a Thing? Or should I go ahead and maybe toss some money at Hampus to help pay for the gnomens?

    Go ahead and donate to the gnomens.

    The ISP service is around $24/mo and I can handle that.

    My thinking is: someday I may want to ask File 770 readers to support something, and I don’t want to go to the well and in the process dry up help that might really be needed down the line.

  26. I respect that decision, but also point out that that’s only a few dozen of us donating $1 a month via Patreon.

    We’ve met our goals with the parks and I already donate a bunch of time to MAC2. Once we decide what we want in the parks, I’ll pitch in for part of that.

    I REALLY want one to be Ancilary Park or Ancillary Bench. I’m sure we could talk Leckie into posing for a photo!

  27. Mike, I’d be in for a Patreon. $1 a month is no burden at all to me, and it does not even begin to approach the value I get out of this community in terms of book and story recs, companionship, thought provocation, and snark. 🙂

  28. Well, all those browser tabs I had with the last page of all those comment pages that went away–have gone away. My browser crashed. Sorry. I hope you can reconstruct most of the comments from people’s email notifications.

  29. @Mike Glyer
    Another Patreon at $1/month is very doable for me. You can always set up a separate account and bank it for when you need it. It would also give us a way to do one time donations when we want to thank someone or help someone out.

    I still want to do something for all the filers who ran brackets especially Kyra. Gift cards to their favorite online bookstore seems like a useful thank you.

    No pressure of course. Just some thoughts.

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