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Old 11-08-12, 09:15 PM   #26
ignacioduran
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First of all, I'd like to express my support and thanks to Neil; thanks, man, as always!

And good luck and everything on your move to a new home and environment.

I was only able to find out about the current problem when I got tired of unsuccessfully trying to access the website and finally googled something like "crazyguyonabike website problem" and landed on the "http://5.9.19.51/" page, and from there I clicked on to this bikeforum.net website (good excuse to join, too), so it would have been better to put a redirecting thing to the entire crazyguyonabike.com website address, but I guess that would take time to kick in, too.

Anyway, glad to hear that things are under control. Maybe more people will decide to donate now. It's such a great website. Of course, I'm just another CGOAB addict! Thanks again!
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Old 11-08-12, 10:06 PM   #27
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Welcome to the Willamette Valley, Neil.

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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
Neil, thank you for the notice, and big thanks for all you do in providing such a wonderful site. It's time for me to make another donation!
Seconded and/or thirded.

If there were a link to a donation site posted, I could get that done right now.
Otherwise, I'll be contributing once you're back up and running.
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Old 11-09-12, 05:17 AM   #28
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Thanks for keeping us updated! I only discovered the site last week but it's had me hooked.

Have you got a temporary donation page or a paypal account so I can send you some money please.
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Old 11-09-12, 08:24 AM   #29
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Feel free to let me know I'm a crappy admin, unprofessional etc, I probably deserve it, but I'm just trying to fix what I regard as a critical problem as quickly as possible.
You are a crappy admin, unprofessional, and you are without a doubt et cetera.

Just kidding! Thanks for Crazyguy, best of luck in the new home.
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Old 11-09-12, 09:02 AM   #30
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A donation this red hot minute could be sent to Neil Gunton, Gen Del, Corvallis, OR 97333-9998. That might be quicker and more reliable than using his old address and trusting the forwarding process, seeing as he still has no address in Corvallis. Gen Del stuff is held a couple of weeks. If no pick up, it's returned to sender. Neil could call the post office to check for mail, thus saving him a wasted trip.
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Old 11-09-12, 09:15 AM   #31
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A donation this red hot minute could be sent to Neil Gunton, Gen Del, Corvallis, OR 97333-9998. That might be quicker and more reliable than using his old address and trusting the forwarding process, seeing as he still has no address in Corvallis. Gen Del stuff is held a couple of weeks. If no pick up, it's returned to sender. Neil could call the post office to check for mail, thus saving him a wasted trip.
If Neil is not philosophically (or otherwise) opposed, setting up a paypal account is probably the easiest for most people (including Neil himself).

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 11-09-12, 09:58 AM   #32
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If Neil is not philosophically (or otherwise) opposed, setting up a paypal account is probably the easiest for most people (including Neil himself).

Cheers,
Charles
I think Paypal is an option on the CGOAB site donation page. Any donations I've made have always been by Paypal.

Time for another one once the site is back up.
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Old 11-09-12, 10:16 AM   #33
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Thanks again for all the well wishes. I was hesitant to address the donations idea, because it just feels kind of crass to be asking for money while the server is down... like I'm blackmailing the community or something - "Hahaha all your precious journals are GONE! GONE I tell you hahaha, BUT WAIT, for a low, low price of the blood of your firstborn and a spare kidney (you really only need one after all), I might be able to get it all back online again! Call this number or else the puppy gets it". But since people keep bringing it up, I guess I should just address it: There is an existing paypal account that I have been using as the online donation mechanism on crazyguyonabike since 2006. You can send donations through paypal to neil@crazyguyonabike.com if you like - but please note that it's not necessary in order to get the server back! I'm not extorting anybody, and I feel just a little bit dirty for even talking about accepting money right now. But thanks anyway, I do appreciate the thought! And the cash, obviously, heh heh heh. Mexico here I come! Ehh, who am I kidding.

Incidentally, the "General Delivery" option is very interesting, but would probably just entail a bit more work for me, as I would need to keep going into the main post office in order to check to see if there was any mail waiting for me. If people prefer to send donations via snail mail, then it would really be better to just wait until I have the site back up, and the regular donations page is visible again (it will show my new address).

On the server front, the UPS tracking says it should be here by 10:30am, which would be nice. I need to figure out some stuff like power leads (I doubt very much the old place included any, and I don't know if the new place has them).

Assuming they actually did include a working spare drive in the box (I asked them to purchase it a while back when we had another drive go bad, so it should have been sitting on a shelf all this time, but honestly, who knows), it might still take some time to get back online even once the server is plugged in. Reason being, the new hard drive has to be configured, formatted and re-added back into the RAID array, and then data needs to be mirrored from the other drive in its pair. Copying 150GB of data takes a little while. This is actually quite a risky period, since obviously the remaining "good" drive from the degraded pair will be getting read intensively and fully. If it fails too during that time, then we lose the whole thing - RAID10 can withstand multiple drive failures as long as they are within different pairs, but if both drives in a pair fail then it's hasta la vista. In any case I'll probably need to get all new drives eventually; I currently have eight of the 150GB 2.5" 10k rpm SATA, the only upgrade option I can see out there seems to be the 300GB version, which is something like $160 new, or $75 refurbished from Newegg. There are eight of these drives in the server, and we're at 70% disk capacity right now, so eventually I'll have to upgrade, or else get a new server (sometimes that turns out to be more cost effective, surprisingly - it seems that in my experience, by the time you get to the point where you need to upgrade, the industry has moved on to some new "standard" like SAS or whatever and it's cheaper to just get new everything with that, rather than upgrade the old hardware... seems insane, but sometimes that's just the way it is). Anyway, I'm not making any conclusions, these are just early thoughts.

Anyway, thanks again, I may be offline for a portion of today sitting in the datacenter with a crashcart nursing the server back to health, but I'll be sure to post later whatever happens.

Neil
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Old 11-09-12, 10:30 AM   #34
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Thanks again for all the well wishes. I was hesitant to address the donations idea, because it just feels kind of crass to be asking for money while the server is down... like I'm blackmailing the community or something - "Hahaha all your precious journals are GONE! GONE I tell you hahaha, BUT WAIT, for a low, low price of the blood of your firstborn and a spare kidney (you really only need one after all), I might be able to get it all back online again! Call this number or else the puppy gets it".
That's why you should have accounts in other names suggest that for you...

(I'm just kidding. ) Neil, thanks for doing all of this for everybody. I have spent many hours reading journals on your site (and even have your page linked from my home page below).

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 11-09-12, 12:41 PM   #35
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Neil,
I tried to visit the site a couple of times yesterday. Thanks for letting us know what is going on. Looking forward to when the site will be usable again! Keep up the good work.
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Old 11-09-12, 12:45 PM   #36
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its a great resource for people looking for ideas for trips, details of specific areas, or simply for entertaining reading.
thanks for all of your work
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Old 11-09-12, 03:12 PM   #37
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I have the server in my possession here at home now. First thing I did was to take out each drive to see which one had failed (I had the serial number from a logfile, and the S/N is printed on the outside of each drive). So next I re-inserted each drive, and powered on, just to see what would happen. Initially there was an audible alarm, and nothing seemed to be happening. I'm not sure what was going on, because there wasn't any output on the monitor either. But I powered down and up again, and then it seemed to be better. I then went into the RAID configuration utility, only to find that it was already rebuilding the missing drive! So it looks like reseating it fixed the "issue". This is something that I have had happen before, for whatever reason sometimes a drive can appear to go missing, maybe it gradually shakes loose over time, but just reseating it can fix the problem. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that these drives are "hot swappable", which means they have slots in the front of the server, and can be removed and inserted while the server is running. Maybe this removable aspect also means that sometimes the connection isn't perfect, but that's just a guess on my part. In any case, it seems like the missing drive was ok after all (at least that's how it looks right now). The RAID has finished rebuilding, and the system is now optimal. This is slightly annoying, since it's really something that could have been fixed very easily if the old datacenter had just bothered to spend 10 minutes actually working with me.

So anyway, the next step is to get the server installed at the new datacenter. I am currently waiting for a callback from them regarding network settings. Once I have that configured, then it should just be a matter of taking the server over to their office and installing it in the rack. Even then things won't be quite done yet, though, as I will then need to switch DNS settings over to point to the new address, and that can take some hours to propagate across the internet. But short story is, things are currently looking good - the server seems to be working, after an initial hiccup, and the missing drive has been reintegrated into the RAID array. But we're not online just yet. I'll post more later.

Thanks again for your patience,

Neil
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Old 11-09-12, 06:34 PM   #38
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Ok, the server is now online again. It will take a while for the DNS changes to propagate and expire from caches, but after a few hours (possibly sooner for some) you should be able to access the website again. Please let me know if you see any weirdness!

Thanks,

Neil
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Old 11-09-12, 07:34 PM   #39
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Neil,
Thank you, well done.
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Old 11-09-12, 07:47 PM   #40
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Neil, did you try running diagnostics on the drive? Each major manufacturer has a diagnostics utility. The only catch usually is that it can't be connected to a RAID controller in any RAID mode. And I don't meant SMART, but actual manufacturer's diagnostic. It could have told you if the drive has problems and it reads the drive's internal log of read/write and move failures.
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Old 11-09-12, 08:20 PM   #41
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Neil, did you try running diagnostics on the drive? Each major manufacturer has a diagnostics utility. The only catch usually is that it can't be connected to a RAID controller in any RAID mode. And I don't meant SMART, but actual manufacturer's diagnostic. It could have told you if the drive has problems and it reads the drive's internal log of read/write and move failures.
No, I didn't run any tests. The reseating "trick" is something that the old datacenter told me about, it's apparently something they have seen quite a bit. So when it just started rebuilding immediately after I took out all the drives and re-inserted them, I just assumed it must have been that reseating issue again. In any case, the good news is that I now have 24/7 access to the datacenter (I have a keycard and everything, oooh aaaaah) and a spare drive, so if anything does happen I should be able to fix it quickly.

Neil
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Old 11-10-12, 01:25 PM   #42
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I'm still getting the page with text about the problem (Sat. 11:30 am Pacific Time). Should I see the "real" site by now?

Thanks for your wonderful work, Neil!!
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Old 11-10-12, 02:14 PM   #43
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I'm still getting the page with text about the problem (Sat. 11:30 am Pacific Time). Should I see the "real" site by now?

Thanks for your wonderful work, Neil!!
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Hi Linda, sorry about that. I've been learning more about DNS TTL, which basically determines how long the various DNS servers around the internet will hang on to the old address. Most of them should clear within a day or so, but some might take longer... it's not under my control, unfortunately, as some of them apparently do not obey the TTL which is given by the authoritative server (i.e. my server, for my domains). It's kind of a random thing... can take up to 72 hours apparently, but I'm really hoping most people will see the change sooner than that.

Neil
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Old 11-10-12, 02:24 PM   #44
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I'm seeing the real site, and I was able to successfully log in.
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Old 11-10-12, 05:23 PM   #45
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Yeah, I'm in NYC and I can see the site now. Uff...
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Old 11-10-12, 05:40 PM   #46
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I'm in BFE and can't see nuttin'. :-(
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Old 11-10-12, 07:13 PM   #47
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I'm in Napa, Ca. and I can see + log in, though the (*cough* 1) journal I put on when I registered last week is gone.

Doh! Im awake, it was my profile I filled out (lol) it's been a long day...
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Old 11-10-12, 07:44 PM   #48
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Just to be clear, there was no data loss at all during this whole episode. The drive that went bad was part of a RAID array, which means it was mirrored by another drive, and so everything kept going. The bad thing was that if the other drive that had mirrored the missing one had then also gone down, then it would have been like the server just had the one big hard drive, which would have then crashed completely. But even then, I have backups on other servers which we could have recovered from, with minimal or even zero data loss (maybe a minute's worth of pic uploads, worst case).

The only real wrinkle here that affects people directly is this lingering DNS issue, which is something I can't control, since it's other DNS servers across the internet caching stuff they aren't sposed to. Unfortunately there isn't even any "prod" or hint I can give them to make them refresh; it's simply a case of they'll get to it when they get to it. Some of them apparently don't even pay any attention to the TTL value I give; I have been reading horror stories of some cases where a DNS server doesn't update its cache for months. But hopefully those are outliers, not the common case.

Might take a day or two for the DNS to update for some people, but I was hoping it would all be better within a day... if it takes longer, you could try changing your DNS settings to Google (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) if you know how to do that, it might improve matters a bit.

Neil
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Old 11-10-12, 07:47 PM   #49
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I just took a look and realized that it was my profile, not a journal entry (of which I have yet to make any) I'm slowly building my bike to tour on.

Thanks for having your site Neil, I'll definately make a dontation as soon as I can.
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Old 11-10-12, 11:26 PM   #50
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Might take a day or two for the DNS to update for some people, but I was hoping it would all be better within a day... if it takes longer, you could try changing your DNS settings to Google (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) if you know how to do that, it might improve matters a bit.

Neil
The propagation doesn't seem to have reached this part of Australia yet Neil. Probably slowed down by the reverse hemispheric polarity affect which so often gives us angst and causes water to spiral down our plug holes in the reverse direction

Well done in getting the show back on the road.

I look forward to getting back online and giving people essential advice on helmets and tyres as soon as possible.
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