Anything we can do to help keep MeFi up? May 24, 2004 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Anything we can do to help keep MeFi up? Because these frequent downtimes are annoying me. I need my MeFi in the morning more than coffee.
posted by johnnydark to Feature Requests at 7:21 AM (31 comments total)

1) Pay Matt 500K for the website.
2) Get it running on a high availability and failover web farm.
3) ???
4) Profit!!!
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:25 AM on May 24, 2004

Or, more seriously, no there is nothing. This is one of the most famous site's on the Internet and is fueled by a massive database of ambiguous text blobs. The common usage is for people to hit the reload button over and over.

But it's running on a box in some guys overheated closet.

Until MetaFilter gets a revenue stream closer to it's unlikely it will get better.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:32 AM on May 24, 2004

these frequent downtimes are annoying me

Get a hobby.
posted by eyeballkid at 7:34 AM on May 24, 2004

Until MetaFilter gets a revenue stream closer to it's unlikely it will get better.

How will bringing MeFi's revenue down to zero help anything?

(It's a joke - get over it.)
posted by deadcowdan at 7:48 AM on May 24, 2004

"How will bringing MeFi's revenue down to zero help anything?"—deadcowdan
But maybe Matt could have an IPO? Um, actually Salon has underpants revenue, they just didn't/don't have profit.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:53 AM on May 24, 2004

Oh dear - this ole chestnut brings out the red herring flavour doesn't it?
Yeah, for the last few days the server has gone kaput right after I've gone to bed around midnight, then I restart it when I get up around 8am. It just died again after being up for only twenty minutes, so it looks like I still have issues with the server to work out.
posted by mathowie at 9:58 AM PST on April 21
I don't need to port it to a new platform, I just need to work on basic server stability. I'm moving to apache and/or win2003 server soon, but have to boot some friends off the box that were relying on the old IIS install (and ASP). I swear things will get better in June, though if I can figure out why IIS 5 is killing itself every few hours, it'll get better sooner.

Who here has ever run a site serving about 3 million pages out per month running on IIS/MSSQL/CF?
posted by mathowie at 4:06 PM PST on May 7
crash, the server is running mssql, tables are indexed up the wazoo and I'm caching where I can. The server's got a ton of ram (4Gb of it now) and MS SQL gets about 2-3Gb of it to pool queries.

I have IIS set to restart itself, and in checking the event viewer after a crash, I'll see messages like "IIS crashed unexpectedly after 23 restarts" with no other flags or errors.

I'm going to start testing out apache on a different port this week, and if possible, start moving some stuff over to it sooner than June 1.
posted by mathowie at 3:30 PM PST on May 8
You know, I'm starting to think it could be a buffer overflow that is causing the crashes. I haven't applied any IIS hotfixes in months but I haven't seen any get announced on the technet bulletins MS sends me.

What's really surprising is that MS has re-architected their website and it took me almost 20 minutes to end find a security bulletin page for IIS, where nothing has been announced for months. I ran the baseline security analzyer thing and it only found one component out of date.

When I switch to apache, we'll know for sure if it was just random script kiddies killing the IIS process.
posted by mathowie at 6:13 PM PST on May 9
That was just the first 4 or 5 comments from a quick search of MeTalk
I wanted to get the formatting so that it narrowed sharply towards the end. But, as you can see, it's pointless, isnt it?
posted by dash_slot- at 8:02 AM on May 24, 2004

"Anything we can do to help keep MeFi up?" - No, not really. Reliability would defeat the purpose of DARPA's funding of Metafilter - research into intermittent reinforcement, and also the phenomenon of group convergence.

But in the morning, when you feel you most need Metafilter, you might try instead chant, or prayer.

Chant for for the reliability of the new configuration, and also for your Meta-lust to decrease. There is some research suggesting that prayer may actually have an effect at a distance.

Also, one less user in the AM will make things more reliable for the rest of us. We can take turns.
posted by troutfishing at 8:47 AM on May 24, 2004

Matt, work harder.

Everyone else, keep reminding Matt to work harder.

Me: cold pizza.
posted by Hildago at 9:22 AM on May 24, 2004

Anything we can do to help keep MeFi up?

Have a look at some of the mails in your Junk mailbox.
posted by i_cola at 9:32 AM on May 24, 2004

June is bustin' out all over!
The sheep aren't sleepin' anymore!
All the RAM that chase ewe-sheep
All determined there'll be new sheep
and the ewe-sheep aren't even keepin' score!

People, people - if we pull together, we CAN make it to June!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:33 AM on May 24, 2004

I need my MeFi in the morning more than coffee.

Apparently, you've never tried my home-roasted coffee.
posted by adampsyche at 9:34 AM on May 24, 2004

That must be the first mefi'd Kenny Rogers song--ever....well done, dfleming! (i guess)
posted by amberglow at 10:15 AM on May 24, 2004

I recommend everyone put together a hard-drive prayer wheel mantra to help restore MeFi to health. Which each of us contributing a prayerwheel at 4800 rps, we should be up and running well in no time!
posted by kaibutsu at 10:23 AM on May 24, 2004

But maybe Matt could have an IPO?

But, google-style, the registered users should get the preferred stock.
posted by bingo at 10:35 AM on May 24, 2004

I have an apache test install, which often works when IIS is dead. I still need to work on getting the subpages to work though (none of the comment pages work).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:29 AM on May 24, 2004

Nice one dfleming!
posted by Lynsey at 11:45 AM on May 24, 2004

posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:02 PM on May 24, 2004

posted by dash_slot- at 2:49 PM on May 24, 2004

While you wait for matt to fix the server (hint: how much load comes from seeking in the archived posts ?) tune on howard stern or buy crash davis mefiagra.
posted by elpapacito at 4:34 PM on May 24, 2004

Where are the bottlenecks in the current system?

Anything I can do to help? (phpilfer is ready, but I'm meaning coldfusion stuff or a front end mod_cache)
posted by holloway at 5:20 PM on May 24, 2004

I've got apache running now, let me know if you find any problems at

That will eventually move to port 80, putting IIS to sleep forever (hopefully by this weekend). If you find MeFi down in the next few days, try the 8080 port to see if Apache is staying up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:44 PM on May 24, 2004

Mat, how do we form internal links with port 8080? I mean, the front page shows well at, but what about MeTa, AskMe and posted threads? (Dumb question? Sorry...)
posted by dash_slot- at 6:01 PM on May 24, 2004

Ah, ok - all internal MeFi links are It's just the MeTa & AskMe arent.

posted by dash_slot- at 6:05 PM on May 24, 2004

Apparently, you've never tried my home-roasted coffee.

MefiCoffeeSwap, anyone?
posted by tittergrrl at 7:08 PM on May 24, 2004

Matt - I know you are already doing, and have long since done many things I'm not even aware of that have brought this site into existence. I implicitly trust that if anything within your power can be done for it, it has been done, or will be done as soon as humanly possible. I sincerely hope you don't often have to agonize between having a life and responding to the sentiment this thread represents.

But if there really *is* something we can do, don't hesitate to make it known. At this point I honestly have no clue whether money is really needed or what. It would seem that your time is the most valuable commodity in the equation. Obviously I can't replace your entire income to free your time up, but if several hundred smackers here and there really can impact uptime, help with hardware costs, bandwidth, a new air conditioner for the closet, whatver, please, please say so.
posted by scarabic at 7:50 PM on May 24, 2004

dash_slot-, it's just a single test site. If all goes well, I'll try testing out metatalk and ask metafilter later this week.

Thanks for the offer scarabic, but I think when we switch over to the new server next week, things should be peachy.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:13 PM on May 24, 2004

Cool. I hope when the time comes you'll let us know what the new platform is and how the various pieces fit together. I'm curious.
posted by scarabic at 11:41 PM on May 24, 2004

Cheers matt. You do a grand job!
posted by dash_slot- at 8:17 AM on May 25, 2004

Matt, the scripts for the spell checker and comment controls (B, I, link) are not being included on the Apache server.
posted by yerfatma at 9:50 AM on May 25, 2004

This port 8080 Apache deal is like 101 times as good as that other one, so far.
posted by attackthetaxi at 4:43 AM on May 26, 2004

Man, I ignored this thread 'cause I figured it was just another complaining-about-downtime rant. Now I glance through it and find that there's been an Apache test server which I could've been using! I gotta read every single comment on the site more carefully.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:03 AM on May 27, 2004

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