Thursday, 9 July 2015

Times are changing

I'm doing an additional backup of the forum database as I write this, which seems to have slowed the forum to a crawl.  Why am I doing this?  because we're going to have to move our forum to the latest version of the software if we're to retain support from Invision (it is the way of things), so we've been looking into it for a few months now, running a backup server on the new version without bothering you guys with it.

One of the jobs left to do is convert the database to a different character set, which might not sound like much, but as we have over 1.5m posts, and the database is about 3.4gb, that's a fairly large job.  it's also a one-way conversion, which is why I'm doing an extra backup.

I'm over half way through the task now, so it shouldn't be long, after which the server should return to somewhere near normal :)


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Sloth - not the 3-toed variety

We're aware of the site being rather sluggish this morning, and we're looking into the reasons behind it.  We may have to reset the web server, one of the processes or the server itself if we can't get it to stop dawdling, so we might be offline for a few minutes while it reboots.

Meantime, try counting the hairs on your forearm to pass the time :)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Minor version upgrade

We're currently running an FTP upload to install all the files for a minor verison update that cures some of the problems that Internet Explorer users have been having.  IE breaks some accepted internet standards for some unknown reason, so their browser hasn't been working too well with the forum software.  IPS have written some new code specifically for them, so IE users that didn't get sick of nothing working should have a better experience from here on in.

While we're updating there will be the occasional transient error when you click something or refresh a page.  I've had a few already myself, and pressing F5 after a few seconds has succeeded in loading the target page that generated the error.  As soon as the software has finished uploading, I'll run the upgrade process after taking the forum down.

All being well we should be back up soon after unless I've screwed up, in which case I'll keep you updated here :)

EDIT: Apart from our posting toolbars disappearing temporarily, and the drop-down menus not working, everything went fine, and it didn't take long to get them working again.  One of the developers looked into what was happing, and it was an out-of-date cache file that was preventing these things from happening.  Now it has been deleted, we're good to go :)


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Lingering DNS issues

If your DNS service provider hasn't yet updated their records, you'll still be seeing our "We're moving" message on the old server, as it's been left switched on but idle while the new one beds in.  We're also getting some email bouce-backs while the DNS records for our email server propogate too, so if you're not getting notifiactions, be patient and they should clear up.

Meantime, if you're still not able to get in, and I believe there are a dwindling number of you, try any of the below if you feel comfortable with fiddling round in your settings:

1. Turn off your router and leave it off for half an hour, or more if you can manage it without getting all twitchy. That might force your router to update its own cached DNS records if it has them.

2. Go into your router’s settings and change one of the DNS server IP addresses to taking care to note down the previous number before over-writing it. Save changes and reboot the router.

3. Go into your computer’s settings, bring up the properties of your network card (wired or wireless), and in the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) properties, click Use the Following DNS Server Address and enter and click ok to save.

I’ve been deliberately vague with how to get into your router and network card’s properties because if you don’t know how to do that, you probably shouldn’t be mucking about in there. I don’t mean that in a condescending way, but if you were to cock something up, you might disconnect yourself from the internet completely. Also, I have no idea what hardware you’re running, so vague is probably more use anyway BTW – is one of Google’s own DNS servers, so is a very good backup to have anyway. If Google don’t update regularly, I don’t know who will!

Good luck, and see you on the forums soon :)