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News and Comment February 2012

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7 February (Part 1) - No conspiracy, just a cock-up

This website runs on a facility situated somewhere in Docklands operated by a friend I have known since the Internet began. On Saturday his server suffered a few short term outages and on Sunday morning the decision was taken to update the firmware on one of the Cisco routers. I was speaking to my friend while he did the job. At the 89% mark it hit a serious problem and subsequently it was found that the server’s operating system was corrupted. It was necessary to completely rebuild the server software and restore a huge amount of data from backups. My mail system was unavailable for 25 hours, the web pages took 45 hours to come back on line and it was a further two before I was able to update the website again, the latter being very frustrating because you were unable to see anything later than last Friday’s entries.

Being reliant on a small company for service has its risks, but on the other hand I am not charged for the web space nor are limits imposed on the size of the site or the bandwidth consumed.

Thanks to those who phoned to ask what was going on and the rather larger number whose emails (several suggesting that Bexley council had sabotaged something) arrived when that service was restored by around mid-day yesterday.

While nothing could be published I took the opportunity to redesign the site menu which is stuck too much in the past with too many references to pages that have been unchanged since September 2009. The menu and associated systems can only work on line and local off line testing is not easily possible. Rather than take the whole site down while the new system is tested it will be introduced later this week on the Home page only at the outset. Things could get messy for a while until the snags are sorted out.


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