Sorry the server was offline for ~30 hours, full story inside March 25, 2003 5:57 PM   Subscribe

Sorry the server was offline for ~30 hours, full story inside
posted by mathowie to Uptime at 5:57 PM (51 comments total)

Thanks to some newly uncovered holes in Microsoft's products, I had to do some hotfix upgrades over the weekend. They required a reboot when done, which I didn't do because the host, Jason, wasn't around to make sure the server came back.

Due to some faulty memory in the server, the machine doesn't always reboot on its own. In fact about half the times I do a remote reboot, it dies during the boot cycle and has to be physically restarted. I reboot only about once every couple months at most, and I only do it when Jason is around.

On monday morning, there was a runaway process (a dll-realted one) that was pegging the server at 100% usage of both processors. Whenever I'd kill it, it'd come right back and gobble up all the processing. I tried everything I could to fix it, but decided to risk the reboot, knowing that at worst, the site would be offline from that 9am or so until the afternoon when Jason got back home.

Due to an emergency, he didn't come back that night, and as a result, the server didn't come back until now.

I'm ordering some new memory now to finally replace the old stuff so it doesn't happen again, and I'm looking into getting some colocation space at a real server hosting place, so I can have people on call when weird stuff like this happens. So sorry all, and thanks again to Jason for putting up with this.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:02 PM on March 25, 2003


Is this a whole lot of nothing?
posted by Tarrama at 6:02 PM on March 25, 2003


now a minute ago there was nothing - now there is something :-) thanks matt
posted by Tarrama at 6:03 PM on March 25, 2003


Welcome back. I'll fetch the beer...
posted by bluedaniel at 6:04 PM on March 25, 2003


Hmmm. The server seems to have come back with a bad case of the adverts.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:11 PM on March 25, 2003


Well done, mathowie. Thank you.
posted by hama7 at 6:11 PM on March 25, 2003


Oh, thank you eyeballkid, I was already updating ad-aware. Yes, what's up with that?
posted by muckster at 6:13 PM on March 25, 2003


There are strips of ads in all of the posts, too. I was wondering why the alignments were so wonky.
posted by iconomy at 6:18 PM on March 25, 2003


OK...so how much can I donate to not see those ads?
posted by plemeljr at 6:23 PM on March 25, 2003


OK...so how much can I donate to not see those ads?

You mean that's not just some quirk that will disappear eventually? You mean those are PERMANENT?!
posted by hama7 at 6:25 PM on March 25, 2003


They're Google AdWords? If we must have them, could they come in a different color? White is so ... harsh.
posted by muckster at 6:27 PM on March 25, 2003


I don't know hama...I don't think that penicillin or amoxicillin can work on this outbreak.
posted by plemeljr at 6:29 PM on March 25, 2003


Please tell me you messed up and did April Fools a week early . . .
please?
posted by jeremias at 6:29 PM on March 25, 2003


OK...so how much can I donate to not see those ads?

Better question, how much can I donate so that no one needs to see ads?
posted by Dreama at 6:30 PM on March 25, 2003


OK...so how much can I donate to not see those ads?

Donate "127.0.0.1 pagead.googlesyndication.com" to your hosts file.
:)
posted by momorgan at 6:30 PM on March 25, 2003


could they come in a different color?

How about MetaFilter blue?
posted by hama7 at 6:30 PM on March 25, 2003


Is it ironic that an ad for "Clear Channel job secrets" is in the Clear Channel is evil thread?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:30 PM on March 25, 2003


I guess I really should not complain, but the new ads are not displaying properly in Safari.

And yeah, I know you have to pay the bills, but white is way too intrusive.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:30 PM on March 25, 2003


I'm used to them already, seriously.

*long "coming-from-a-print-background" rant about how, without advertisements, the NYT would cost $10, etc.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:35 PM on March 25, 2003


It looks a little better in the plain text skin.

I fear you may get some dirty looks from purchasers of mefi text-ads, however, as its effect on the viewer is washed out by the high-contrast Google Ad. (The opposite is the case, however, in plain text mode.)

There's also a whole lot of empty space in the 125x125 ad - at least the ones I've seen so far - making it look all the more jarring. Perhaps you can replace it with two 125x75 ads?
posted by PrinceValium at 6:37 PM on March 25, 2003


I'm really glad MeFi is back up. And while I don't like the advertising, I will gladly put up with it. I'll support anything that helps to keep this place going. It's one of my "desert island bookmarks" because I know that if something important is happening in the world, it will end up on MeFi. Yeah, I know, "NewsFilter!" Well, even a NewsFilter is a filter, and I'm thankful for the clarifying lens of MeFi to add perspective to the news items that are posted here.

Thanks, mathowie!
posted by UrbanFigaro at 6:41 PM on March 25, 2003


ads are fine but they do need to be in something other than blinding white... and it would be super cool if they didn't throw alignment off in 800x600 - a lot of people keep their browser that size even if their monitor res is much higher.

I fear you may get some dirty looks from purchasers of mefi text-ads,

yep, another member and i were going to take out ads next week so after i put my sunglasses on i thought hmmm this probably doesn't bode well for text ads.
posted by t r a c y at 6:44 PM on March 25, 2003


Put me on the donate-to-get-rid-of-ugly-white-ads list. In principle, I don't mind, in practice, aaaugh.
posted by furiousthought at 6:45 PM on March 25, 2003


Real Meficionados click on the ads.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:47 PM on March 25, 2003


I would, Miguel, but I don't need 7 copies of Bob Woodward's "Bush At War."
posted by PrinceValium at 6:49 PM on March 25, 2003


It's all a matter of training the reading eye, anyway.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:50 PM on March 25, 2003


I think they're ugly on purpose - exactly like classified ads in newspapers. After a while, you don't see them - unless you go looking for them. Advertising is at its most tolerable when it's undiluted and unbeautified.

I realize there are a lot of aesthetes here but MetaFilter is more than a beauty spot and the idea of prettifying the ads (i.e. making them more similar to the content; as the textads justifiably are) is much more compromising.

My only beef - which is probably temporary - is with the long, trailing white space. (Temporary?) It seems to do no good for the ad or for us.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:57 PM on March 25, 2003


Ach Miguel. According to your logic, it'd be even better if they blinked! And vibrated!

Classifieds look like they do so they can fit more on a page. And they're hidded in the back, with the escort services. These things make baby muckster cry.
posted by muckster at 7:08 PM on March 25, 2003


Here's what they look like in Safari (v60): 1, 2. (Please be nice to my bandwidth.)

I understand that the site has to be paid for somehow, and I'm all for that, but it would be nice if the formatting could be fixed.
posted by eilatan at 7:10 PM on March 25, 2003


Donate "127.0.0.1 pagead.googlesyndication.com" to your hosts file

I guess I could do that, but I would feel dirty doing it. I'm all for an ad-free environment, but bandwidth and new RAM costs money, which the ads help generate. I know there has been talk about a subscription where ads would drop from the screen, and I think I am quickly anticipating this.
posted by plemeljr at 7:17 PM on March 25, 2003


I realize there are a lot of aesthetes here but MetaFilter is more than a beauty spot and the idea of prettifying the ads (i.e. making them more similar to the content; as the textads justifiably are) is much more compromising.

Yeah, this would be the best solution - this and fixing the alignment issue t r a c y mentioned - but I'm not sure how negotiable the present appearance of the ads is. (Apparently you have to e-mail them at Google to find out.) I suppose I'd train my reading eye eventually, but those ads are really stark. I can live with it, but given the option I'd rather pay.
posted by furiousthought at 7:19 PM on March 25, 2003


what's up with the textads. Are those google adwords?
posted by chaz at 7:25 PM on March 25, 2003


What ads?
posted by konolia at 7:28 PM on March 25, 2003


What Dreama said.

One question: what are the real costs to run Metafilter and will advertising realistically support them?
posted by ed at 7:34 PM on March 25, 2003


Here's what they look like in Safari (v60): 1, 2

a couple questions for safari users (my tibook's hard drive died on friday and is in the shop):

Does the sideblog look ok on the front page of MetaFilter?

If so, please try shift-reloading this file. You might have a cached version of the old one.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:38 PM on March 25, 2003


I didn't see the ads until I logged in and refreshed. I figure it's about time Matt got some financial support. They're small and clearly identified as adverts, so no big deal. And new RAM sounds good, cause I was jonesing for MeFi really, really bad.
posted by theora55 at 7:38 PM on March 25, 2003


what are the real costs to run Metafilter

What's the price on my time and sanity? Keep in mind this doesn't amount to tons of cash, but it'll be nice to have some small steady money to pay for hosting needs in the future.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:40 PM on March 25, 2003


and for the babies!
posted by amberglow at 7:49 PM on March 25, 2003


Is it ironic that an ad for "Clear Channel job secrets" is in the Clear Channel is evil thread?

Ironic? It was fuckin' brilliant! I thought it was satire!

Then I read this thread. "What? Those ads are real?!" Hmm.
posted by Shane at 7:55 PM on March 25, 2003


That took care of it. Thanks. Silly me for not thinking to reload the stylesheet.

While I'm sad that there are more ads, I can completely understand the reasons why they're there. And at any rate, they're not blinky, animated, pop-up ones, so it's all to the good.
posted by eilatan at 7:57 PM on March 25, 2003


This is none of my business, but I'd be really interested in knowing how much bandwidth MeFi goes through each month. Can anyone say? Or at least a rough figure?

I'd estimate up in the 300-400Gb range, given it's mostly text, but quite a few visitors.
posted by wackybrit at 8:34 PM on March 25, 2003


Actually, I meant GB, not Gb, but I might still be too high.

300GB = 314,572,800KB (I think). Assuming the average session is 100k (since not every visitor will read numerous stories) that covers 3,145,728 visitors, and as far as I'm aware MeFi doesn't have 100,000+ visitors per day ;-)

So, given some thought, I change my estimate to,er, 30Gb, but with lashings of CPU time and load :-)
posted by wackybrit at 8:40 PM on March 25, 2003


looking at the stats so far this month, it appears the site is pumping out about 7Gb a day of bandwidth on just the www.metafilter.com site, so about 200Gb is used each month. Many months have been over 300Gb though.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:04 PM on March 25, 2003


I can't seem to log on to MeFi. I'm still logged in to MeTa so I assume there is some problem with the main page (cookies perhaps?)?
posted by gyc at 9:05 PM on March 25, 2003


Ha! It's not just me, then!
posted by yhbc at 9:11 PM on March 25, 2003


should be fixed now gyc.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:15 PM on March 25, 2003


looking at the stats so far this month, it appears the site is pumping out about 7Gb a day of bandwidth on just the www.metafilter.com site, so about 200Gb is used each month.

Wow, pretty amazing. Interesting info, thanks Matt :-)
posted by wackybrit at 9:38 PM on March 25, 2003


"so about 200Gb is used each month"

Yikes! That could run hundreds of dollars a month for hosting.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:41 PM on March 25, 2003


Thanks for giving back our MeFi, Matt. CNN was starting to carve divots out of my brain.

Looks fine in Safari on my G3 following reload. FYI, Safari v67 with tabbed browsing is now available here (scroll down center column) even though it isn't on Apple's Safari page yet.
posted by planetkyoto at 1:38 AM on March 26, 2003


Looks fine in Opera 7, at 1600x1200. But then, everything does.
posted by signal at 5:34 AM on March 26, 2003


looking at the stats so far this month, it appears the site is pumping out about 7Gb a day of bandwidth on just the www.metafilter.com site, so about 200Gb is used each month.

Sweet jesus, and that's like 99% text?

Something seems wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...

Suggestion (that I'm sure has been suggested and refuted before): make the front page show the current day only. I bet that would reduce your bandwidth usage by at least 50%, probably significantly more. So many people visit the front page over and over just to see today's posts.

The reasoning is pretty straightforward, the more frequent users visit more often, they are more likely to have seen older posts, so they are more likely to be loading 2/3 or more of the page every time for no use, etc etc. The less frequent viewers view less often, so would not be significantly impacted by having to hit an "archive" button to find old posts, etc etc.

Just my virtual $0.02 in lieu of a real $0.02 which I really should go do over at the donate page...
posted by Ynoxas at 10:07 AM on March 27, 2003


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