Monday, 27 February 2017

Server Reboot

Every now & again new software needs installing to keep the server safe & secure.  Today is one of those days, so Support are going to be rebooting us to finish off the installation process.  We'll be down for a few minutes in the near future, but fret not.  We will be back.

Whilst I'm writing, last week we upgraded the method by which the users log into the forum to add an extra layer of security to the process, which is called SSL or Secure Sockets Layer.  It involves the protocol https:// where the S stands for SECURE.  More security is always good, and it also secures the critical backroom where we change the settings of the server etc. too, which is even better.  The main site is still served via http:// which is fine for now, but one day soon we'll be moving the whole site to https:// so our members can be confident that we take their privacy and security very seriously.

Who knows?  By the time you've finished reading this, it might all be over.  If not, go have a coffee or a tea.  Mondays always seem better with more caffeine. ;)

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Upgrading the server

We've not been offline for a while, so I thought I'd break the server.  No, not really, but we had a bit of a chug this morning, so I've been talking to support about updating some of the software that runs the database.  I was going to post an announcement, but they were too efficient and have started the upgrade without me, taking the server's web server offline.  I've been checking on the server stats since it went down, and we've got the lowest loading I've ever seen 0.02.  We usually hit around 2-8 on an average day.  The database is being processed to cope with the update, so we should be back up soon, although I can't give an actual timescale, as I don't have any experience with this particular task.  it'll take as long as it takes :)

Bear with us in the meantime, and please accept our humblest apologies if we've disrupted your lunch time browsing.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Slugs and things like them...

After our DDoS attack the day after upgrade, I'm sure we're all somewhat paranoid about the site being slow, and that's the case today.  The evidence on hand however points to a wider problem that's currently affecting parts of the UK and elsewhere, which has already been reported on by the Beeb and the like.  it's causing problems for a lot of sites, as yet again a DDoS attack has been used to target some big company and take their resources offline.

Bear with us (and everyone else affected) until we're back to usual speed if you're affected, and in the meantime I'll keep monitoring the situation to ensure that it isn't us! :)

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Upgrade Day!

Today's the day folks.  We're upgrading the forum to the new version today and once Invision start the forum will go offline until it's done.  There's a lot of new functionality coming, and we're really excited about it, but as my brain has forgotten more about running a forum than it ever knew, we decided to ask Invision do it, which is part of our service contract with them.  once they've finished their morning cuppa, they'll take the board offline and we'll have to think of something else to do until it comes back.

Remember - it's a new version of the software with lots of new features that will probably take a while to get used to it, so don't throw up your hands with woe.  Persevere, and you'll get the hang of it within minutes.  Feedback from some of the non-technical members we've asked to preview it has been overwhelmingly good.  Even people that are self-professed luddites :)

UPDATE 17:47:  We went offline a couple of minutes ago, so if you visit the forums you should now get the "offline" message. This is quite normal, and part of the planned shut-down of the forums while our Invision technician Mark Higgins gets on with doing the work.  A big thanks in anticipation to Mark :)