(this entry copied from my blogspot blog)
I don’t know why I’m writing this. I have nowhere to post it.
Last night sometime – late, I’m not sure when, but late, because readers first noticed it then – our server crashed.
Moronosphere.com is hosted by my friend Seth, on a machine he keeps at his house. This isn’t a service. I don’t pay for it. It’s something he offers me because we’re friends, because his lady Jen and I have been friends for well over a decade.
But this isn’t a commercial service. There’s no support. I’m on my own, I just get space and bandwidth free. No problem, most of the time, because I’m an old unix sysadmin type; I know how to install perl packages, I know how to hack into a mySQL database if I can’t find the password, I know how to configure a web server. In short, I can do whatever I need to keep MovableType running.
But, this being just some guy’s machine, I’m working without a net. There are no automated system backups. No striped and mirrored drives.
I know that. Sure. I do. And I make my own database backups, automated nightly. For months I’ve been meaning to figure out how to automatically transmit those to someplace off-site.
So last night, my luck ran out and the machine crashed; or more exactly, the data disk crashed, hard head-crash from Seth’s description. I used to work for Seagate building and testing disk drives, I know what this means. I’ve seen the carnage of a bad head crash.
We have no backups to speak of.
I don’t know what Seth lost. I know data was lost there. But my blog – almost all of it – is gone, wiped out. Nearly two years of work. Plus my Fiji blog from last year, and a blog I keep with stories I’m working on.
But that’s not the worst of it. The worst is that I host other people. Ray. Buck. Circe. Samsarra. A few others. I let them down by not keeping my backups, my database dumps, off-site.
Ok. All is not lost. The disk goes to a recovery place tomorrow, and in 5-7 days we hope to hear that the disk isn’t a complete loss. Fingers very much crossed there. And I may still have some of our old files stored in my home directory at work where I archived them after a previous database crash. That’s at least a year back, but it’s something.
There’s also hope that some of our work can be re-gathered from web cache servers out there; I have a few things archived on my laptop (thanks to ecto). Not every word of it is gone.
But I’m without a blog. That’s the thing that hurts right now. I write this and can’t share it. moronosphere.com is my home on the internet, and it’s a dead-end now. I can’t even tell anyone what happened. I shout at the empty space and not even an echo returns.
Seth, friend that he is, will get a basic web server up shortly, so we can at least tell the world ‘yeah we’re down’. He may decide to re-build his machine, he may not, I’m not sure; I may need to find new hosting, someplace where they can give me a unix shell access so I can do this right, someplace where I pay, but get the security of backups. What I’d really like to do is set up a co-located server of my own, but I’d need to charge people to host blogs, and it seems sorta silly