Saturday Server Outage

I was doing online testing last Saturday afternoon on a software enhancement for our site around 3PM PDT when the server connection timed out. My new program enhancements are still in “alpha”, so I suspected I may have introduced a program “loop”. This can indeed put a server offline.

I found I was soon unable to connect to other sites either. At about 4PM, I called my cable provider. Through their fully automated 😯 voice response and touch tone telephone maze, their system reset my cable modem and I was back online. But the site kept timing out for about an additional hour; access went back to normal thereafter.

This morning my web host provider sent mean apologetic message below (excerpted):

On Saturday, February 20th at approximately 2:20 p.m. MDT, the server your account is on experienced some hardware failure as a result of an annual fire system inspection at our Data Center (DC). An inadvertent release of Inergen was triggered in the DC environment. The release was triggered by an actuator that was not removed as required in the DC’s pre-test checklist … The mistake was triggered by an error from a vendor …

It’s entirely possible our site was hit by outages at two different providers simultaneously. Connectivity has generally been so reliable this would not be remarkable except for the coincidence.

Many of our postings here at are aimed at “niche readerships”: astronomy, computers and science, cameras, civil rights and even scripting issues. That’s one of several reasons why we have so many different Departments. We also provide balanced content for general readerships: Photos, Outdoors, Writing, Humor, Recipes, and more!

Now we have proof can truly be considered a “hot site”!

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