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  1. #76
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    Hi Neil. Thanks for all your efforts.

    Funny, I clicked on that link you just offered us there but only got:

    "Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to www.crazyguyonabike.com"

    Of course, if it's not working.

    Rather than explaining it all here again, as you say, and since that link is inoperative, wouldn't it be better to simply copy-paste the content of that link here?

    Ignacio

  2. #77
    Crazyguyonabike
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignacioduran View Post
    Hi Neil. Thanks for all your efforts.

    Funny, I clicked on that link you just offered us there but only got:

    "Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to www.crazyguyonabike.com"

    Of course, if it's not working.

    Rather than explaining it all here again, as you say, and since that link is inoperative, wouldn't it be better to simply copy-paste the content of that link here?

    Ignacio
    Oops! Sorry about that. Ok, sure - here you go:

    So I woke up this morning to the joyful sight of 1786 emails waiting for me. They were all automated, from the various scripts that run every minute on the server. Apparently at some point last night after I had gone to bed, one of these scripts (the search index updater, as it turns out) started going nuts and eating up all the RAM (memory). I have a different script which watches for when this is happening, and it automatically reboots the server when memory gets down to a certain level. Usually this will fix random, sporadic issues with slow memory leaks in long running processes. But the problem was that after reboot, the search index updater script was run again as usual, and apparently whatever condition caused it to go nuts last time still existed, so it then proceeded to do the exact same thing, around in a loop, rebooting and freaking out, reboot, freak out, barf, rinse, repeat.

    So I have now disabled the search index updater script until I can find out why it's suddenly going off the rails like that - I haven't changed anything in there lately, so I have no idea what's going on yet. I am using a third party search index called Sphinx, which is very fast and good but somewhat opaque in terms of its inner workings. I'll have to see if I can replicate the issue on my home workstation. Being able to reproduce the bug is 50% of the way to fixing it, usually.

    I think this is not related to the hard drive issue that we had recently. That was hardware, this is (I assume) purely software. The RAID array is reporting optimal status. Nor is it related to the ongoing DNS propagation issues.

    It's weird that all this should be happening just in the middle of my house move. Almost enough to turn me from being an atheist into being someone who not only believes, but harbors a niggling suspicion that I'm being played with.

    Apologies for the further downtime - I think everything is up again, but obviously the search index won't be updated until I can find out why the update script was going haywire, and that may take some time as everything I own is in cardboard boxes, and I need to sort out my life somewhat before I can return to full time development. Sorry about that! At least the internet at the new house was working as promised when we got here (quite amazing - I don't think I've ever had cable internet 'just work' like that - so there you go, not everything is going wrong... touch wood).

    I'm getting rather tired of having to write "thanks for your patience", but it still seems to apply...

    Neil

  3. #78
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    FWIW, I am currently able to see CGOAB from my Windows 7 desktop computer, but not on my Acer netbook with XP. I have not yet tried the fix suggested above by StephenJubb.
    Last edited by Mark Hoffmann; 11-12-12 at 03:26 PM. Reason: to specify type of Acer

  4. #79
    Crazyguyonabike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hoffmann View Post
    FWIW, I am currently able to see CGOAB from my Windows 7 desktop computer, but not on my Acer netbook with XP. I have not yet tried the fix suggested above by StephenJubb.
    Hi Mark, try this for Windows XP:

    http://www.mediacollege.com/computer/network/dns.html

    Neil

  5. #80
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    that worked, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    Hi Mark, try this for Windows XP:

    http://www.mediacollege.com/computer/network/dns.html

    Neil
    That link gave me enough to successfully edit the 'hosts' file.
    I added:
    8.8.8.8 crazyguyonabike.com
    and it now works. Thanks!

    Mark

  6. #81
    Crazyguyonabike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hoffmann View Post
    That link gave me enough to successfully edit the 'hosts' file.
    I added:
    8.8.8.8 crazyguyonabike.com
    and it now works. Thanks!

    Mark
    Actually I don't think that's right. You're mixing up the address of Google's DNS server with the address of the crazyguyonabike website. Referring to the page I linked to previously, you would enter 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 into the section of the first pictured dialog which has the section entitled "Use the following DNS server addresses". If you wanted to use the hosts file approach, then the line would be something like this:

    69.59.196.178 crazyguyonabike.com

    Since the new ip address of my server is 69.59.196.178. I'm not sure what your hosts line would do, or why it would work.

    Hope that makes sense,

    Neil

  7. #82
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    "having to write "thanks for your patience", but it still seems to apply..."

    Cycletouring by its nature would I think generally attract patient people Neil.

    Thanks for keeping on keeping on with the web challenges. CGOAB is a great asset and has become an international community of sorts. Nevertheless we users shouldn't forget it is run on a basis of good will and your personal dedication. Whenever you get it up and running smoothly again will be appreciated. Take it easy.
    regards Graham Smith Oz version

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    Actually I don't think that's right. You're mixing up the address of Google's DNS server with the address of the crazyguyonabike website. Referring to the page I linked to previously, you would enter 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 into the section of the first pictured dialog which has the section entitled "Use the following DNS server addresses". If you wanted to use the hosts file approach, then the line would be something like this:

    69.59.196.178 crazyguyonabike.com

    Since the new ip address of my server is 69.59.196.178. I'm not sure what your hosts line would do, or why it would work.

    Hope that makes sense,

    Neil
    What it does is where the local dns server has the old computer address it forces the computer to use the new address thus ignoring any updates not yet sent to the local dns servers.

  9. #84
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    woohoo! we're up in china!!!

  10. #85
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    Hi Neil,
    Just another shout of support for CGOAB and all the effort you've put out to this point. Thanks a million! Hopefully the gremlins will get worked out soon.
    As an aside, I didn't know that CGOAB was admin'd from Eureka... My partner and I spent more than 10 years in Arcata, then to Portland ( now Eastern Europe). Coincidentally I even lived in Corvallis for a year after college. small world I guess. I think you'll find Oregon to a wonderful place to live and cycle. And, yeah the rain won't get you down if you've lived on the North Coast, although OR seems to be gloomier when not raining, but there's better beer...
    Anyway, thanks again.
    ~Tyler

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    Actually I don't think that's right. You're mixing up the address of Google's DNS server with the address of the crazyguyonabike website. Referring to the page I linked to previously, you would enter 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 into the section of the first pictured dialog which has the section entitled "Use the following DNS server addresses". If you wanted to use the hosts file approach, then the line would be something like this:

    69.59.196.178 crazyguyonabike.com

    Since the new ip address of my server is 69.59.196.178. I'm not sure what your hosts line would do, or why it would work.

    Hope that makes sense,

    Neil
    Thanks for your clarification, which does make sense.
    The first pictured dialog box had me baffled, so I went for adding the line in the hosts file.
    Not sure why that worked, but it did at the time.

    Mark

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hoffmann View Post
    Thanks for your clarification, which does make sense.
    The first pictured dialog box had me baffled, so I went for adding the line in the hosts file.
    Not sure why that worked, but it did at the time.

    Mark
    Wow you learn something everyday. Setting www.crazyguyonabike.com to 8.8.8.8 in the hosts file forces the computer to ask googles DNS servers for the correct address, that or google gives the correct one.

    Amazing.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephenjubb View Post
    Wow you learn something everyday. Setting www.crazyguyonabike.com to 8.8.8.8 in the hosts file forces the computer to ask googles DNS servers for the correct address, that or google gives the correct one.

    Amazing.
    Yeah, that is weird. To me the line '8.8.8.8 crazyguyonabike.com' says 'the address of crazyguyonabike.com is 8.8.8.8', not 'use 8.8.8.8 as DNS to look up crazyguyonabike.com'. So your web browser would then try to resolve that domain, and see it in the host file, and then connect to 8.8.8.8 port 80 or 443 directly. But how would Google's DNS server know that what you are looking for is actually this other domain? Think about it... your computer just tries to connect to some port on 8.8.8.8, how on earth would the DNS server living at 8.8.8.8 know what you were really trying to do? Or does the hosts file on Windows not work the way I'm thinking it does? Is it Windows that's being smart here, or Google's DNS server?

    I guess if it works it works, but my mind has officially been boggled. Can anyone explain how this works to me? I'm honestly curious...

    Thanks,

    Neil

    Update: Ok, I played with the hosts file a bit on my copy of Windows 7 (running on virtualbox under Linux). I added the line '8.8.8.8 crazyguyonabike.com', and then confirmed that when I pinged crazyguyonabike.com, it was indeed going to 8.8.8.8. Then I tried going to crazyguyonabike.com in a browser, and it just sat there doing nothing (presumably because there isn't any webserver on the Google DNS server, or else it's firewalled). This is what I would have expected (I would have been very surprised if going to 8.8.8.8 brought up crazyguyonabike). Then I tried going to www.crazyguyonabike.com, and that worked. I confirmed that this was going to the actual ip address of my server, rather than 8.8.8.8. So I guess what this means is when you put a domain in the hosts file in Windows, you are not affecting subdomains, i.e. putting '8.8.8.8 crazyguyonabike.com' ONLY affects crazyguyonabike.com, not www.crazyguyonabike.com. If putting this in your hosts file suddenly made you able to see the website, then it's likely all you really did was make Windows notice that the hosts file had been changed, which perhaps makes it refresh its DNS cache. However this would not affect the remote DNS servers, which are the ones causing the problems. Anyway, I think I can see what was going on here, it's a somewhat esoteric and obscure, geeky thing to care about but I was curious!
    Neil
    Last edited by NeilGunton; 11-13-12 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Added update

  14. #89
    djb
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    Neil, you are most likely aware of this, but here in Montreal the site was working yesterday without problems, yet today it is not. Just a heads up (although this must be widespread if it was recognized here yesterday).

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    Neil, you are most likely aware of this, but here in Montreal the site was working yesterday without problems, yet today it is not. Just a heads up (although this must be widespread if it was recognized here yesterday).
    No, I wasn't aware. I took down the temporary website yesterday morning, in hopes that this might somehow prompt the DNS servers to refresh their caches. The website is up currently, and lots of people accessing it, so if you can't see it then it might be something related to the lingering DNS propagation issue, or it could also just be a router or switch somewhere between you and the server which is acting up... but going by recent history, probably the DNS thing. If you know how to ping the server, can you try doing that and tell me what address it resolves to? You'd just start a command shell and type this on the command line:

    ping crazyguyonabike.com

    I think this utility is available on Windows, Mac etc, you just need to know how to start a command line (in Windows, you can just run 'cmd', I think).

    Anybody else here still having problems accessing the site? I was getting emails from people about not being able to get on, but those seem to have tailed off a bit, and it seemed like generally I'd get a followup the next day saying it was ok now. So I thought the issue was going away.

    Thanks,

    Neil

  16. #91
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    It worked for me not long after you got your server installed, then didn't work for me. It'd goto the maintanance page you had up. but now it's alright again. Thanks for keeping us up on your page! it really is an awesome site and I appreciate all your hard work on it ^^
    to every climb there is always the other side

  17. #92
    djb
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    Neil,

    I tried the ping thing (first time doing something like that) and the recurring thing that was coming back in the terminal window was this ip address

    69.59.196.178

    but in any case, I'm able to see the site so I guess its a moot point.
    Thanks for the reply.
    Again, I dont really follow this whole dns issue as I dont really understand it, but Im glad to be able to see the site again and I hope you arent hassled by this issue for much longer.

    cheers, David

  18. #93
    Crazyguyonabike
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    I tried the ping thing (first time doing something like that) and the recurring thing that was coming back in the terminal window was this ip address

    69.59.196.178
    Yup, that's the new address! But you already knew that... ;-)

    Thanks,

    Neil

  19. #94
    djb
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    Yup, that's the new address! But you already knew that... ;-)

    Thanks,

    Neil
    sadly, being the doink I am, I didnt reread the posts until now, and now see all the others putting that ip up already.....I had kinda just skimmed past that the other day, as it didnt really mean that much to me...now it does!

  20. #95
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    I tried accessing the site this morning and it keeps timing out, is everything alright for other people?
    to every climb there is always the other side

  21. #96
    Junior Member Al Cyone's Avatar
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    Unavailable for me too.

  22. #97
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    Ah, so it's not just me. thanks Al.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  23. #98
    Crazyguyonabike
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    The server went down this morning due to an audible alarm coming from the RAID controller. I spent the morning investigating what had gone wrong and getting the failed drive replaced. It turned out to be the same drive that had failed previously. As before, it actually came back up and was successfully rebuilt by the RAID controller, which I find a bit odd. The same hard drive works perfectly for a few weeks, then drops out, but rebuilds upon simply reseating it. To me, that sounds like some sort of vibration/connector issue, but one of the guys at the datacenter said it could also be a symptom of a drive that is gradually failing. So, I decided to just replace it with my new spare, and send it back to WD for replacement under warranty (I think we're still in that window, these are server-class drives with 5 year warranties). I'll see if the new drive performs without problems, if so then it probably was the drive. If the same thing happens again then I'll have to look at the connectors and/or drive bay hardware.

    Anyway, the server is back up again now. Apologies for the downtime, at least this time I was able to go in there quickly and deal with it myself. Hopefully it'll stay up.

    Thanks for your patience,

    Neil

  24. #99
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    Hey Neil, thanks for letting us know ^^ I really appreciate you keeping up the contact, and really love your site! I can hardly wait to go on tour and start putting in a journal ^^
    to every climb there is always the other side

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