OESF Portables Forum

General Forums => News items => OESF Announcements => Topic started by: offroadgeek on April 10, 2010, 02:22:45 pm

Title: Recent Site Outage
Post by: offroadgeek on April 10, 2010, 02:22:45 pm
All - I wanted to first apologize for the recent outage with the site/forums.  If you've been around for any length of time you'll know that an outage like this rarely happens.

I want to make sure that everyone knows that Roy and I are still dedicated to the site and forums.  We know how important it is to the community, even after all these years.

If you want to know the details of what went wrong, read on.  Otherwise, please rest assured that the site and forums are here to stay.  We can't of course guarantee no down time ever, that just wouldn't be realistic.  We do appreciate how much knowledge that this community has built over the last decade (or more).  I also want people to know that the Roy is able to get a hold of me outside of the forums.  Also, even though I'm not on the forums much anymore, I'm still very much connected to them and I know when things go wrong.

The site/forums are registered with Dreamhost, and at one point they used to be hosted with Dreamhost as well.  Many, many years ago I had the site/forums hosted on dedicated servers to accommodate the bandwidth and usage needs.  It cost me a couple hundred each month and as you know I've been very deliberate about keeping annoying ads out of the forums (unlike many other forums).  My desire has never been to make money from this, just to provide a service to the community.  After a while Roy and I found out that we could leverage ibiblio (thanks ibiblio!) to host the site/forums for free.  I changed from a dedicated hosting plan with dreamhost to a regular shared server plan (to have the site/forums hosted on ibiblio, but the domain registration/renewals and DNS stayed with dreamhost).  For some reason I couldn't just "change hosting plans" with my dreamhost account, I had to create a new account, move the sites/domains/registrations/DNS over and close the old account.  This is where the problem apparently started...

I received an email a couple weeks ago (can't remember the exact date, but that's when the site went down) saying oesf.org has been deleted from the registry (as well as elsix.org, zaurususergroup.org and a couple other domains).  There was no explanation or anything... just that it was deleted.  I worked with dreamhost support to have them explain what the hell went wrong and apparently they didn't complete the move of the domain registration/renewls from my old (dedicated server) account to the new (shared hosting) account.  Because of this, the annual domain renewals for the last couple years had not been paid.  They never emailed me saying, 'hey, you have an outstanding balance' or notified me within the dreamhost control panel.  They didn't say anything for years!

Because the domain was deleted from the registry, it of course went down completely.  After working with (the largely incompetent) dreamhost support team (all via email, they have no phone support) they told me that I had to pay the past due domain renewals AND I had to pay $100 per domain for redemption, or wait 60 or so days for the sites to become available to re-register.  This to me was complete bullshit.  They didn't let me know that I owed anything, didn't let me know that the sites would be deleted.. no communication prior to them all being deleted.  Yet, I got the email saying that they had been deleted... so they did know how to email me (it's not like they had an old email).

I immediately paid the past due renewals (rightfully mine to pay) but told them that I would not pay for the $100 redemption fees for each domain.  I told them that because of their screw up (many) they should cover the costs.  Ultimately I got to a support manager and he agreed that they had made the mistake and agreed to cover the redemption.  I would have paid the redemption for oesf.org just to get it back online, but had I done so I wouldn't have any leverage to get them to reimburse me.

Dreamhost has fixed the account and the domain is setup for auto renewal (like all of my other domains).  I haven't been happy with dreamhost for a while now, and last year registered/created a site with godaddy.com.  In the near future, I will be migrating oesf (and my other domains) to godaddy.  Dreamhost doesn't deserve my business anymore.
Title: Recent Site Outage
Post by: fpp on April 10, 2010, 02:53:09 pm
Thanks for the explanation and your dedication -- we all had a nice good fright there for a while :-)

It also seems like a strange time for oesf to go down, just when Sharp came out with the IS01. which is the closest thing to a Zaurus successor in a while...

Fortunately there were some reassuring posts in the Pocketables forum dome days ago, and all is well again!
Title: Recent Site Outage
Post by: ptoki on April 10, 2010, 08:51:16 pm
Thank You for Your efforts to make oesf forums back to life!
Infortunately I could not find any info about what happened and sent a query to Cortez and ibiblio staff. I hope that did not made too much stirr.
Anyway I hope that forum members will comeback to find forums alive.

Once again: Thank You!
Title: Recent Site Outage
Post by: dz on April 10, 2010, 11:52:58 pm
Thanks for everything Mike   Good to hear that they paid for it all.
Title: Recent Site Outage
Post by: zmiq2 on April 11, 2010, 05:57:26 am
good to hear this explanation.

I myself has also moved to newer gadgets, but keep a daily eye on oesf, and I was sad it going out-of-business.

Title: Recent Site Outage
Post by: koan on April 11, 2010, 07:52:27 am
Thank you offroadgeek; I'm very glad to see OESF and ELSI back.
Title: Recent Site Outage
Post by: speculatrix on April 14, 2010, 05:11:54 pm
am very relieved it's back online!

I actually contacted dreamhost and asked them if there was a problem with the outstanding domain and if I could pay the dns renewal fee; they ack'd the ticket and put it in their high profile queue saying it would be dealt with urgently... and then diddlysquat happened. I chased it up a little later but nothing came of it, I guess because by then you were already on the case, but they didn't inform me; so I also conclude that dreamhost are useless.

At $job I use godaddy; provided you can overlook the cluttered overly bright web pages they are quite good. I asked them to add a feature to their "total dns control panel" (to add NS records for subdomain delegation), got a response to my req and they later added it and checked I was happy!

Title: Recent Site Outage
Post by: the_oak on April 15, 2010, 11:00:33 pm
I don't even have a Zaurus anymore, but still like to read these forums. I was really worried that OESF had left without a good bye. So glad to have you back! Like most, I have been hoping/waiting/looking for the ultimate Zaurus successor. There have been quite a few nominees lately. Looking forward to these forums growing and adapting to the changes in portable technology, and storing the wealth of past Zaurus wisdom.

Thanks for your dedication, and keep up the good work!!