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Jim's Lab Notes
— Site News, Baseball Talk, and a Bunch of Other Stuff

Friday, August 16, 2013

We’re Back Up!

We are finally back up!

Starting a few days ago our server host, burstnet.net, began moving all their servers to another location. To let clients know, they sent a single generic message about the move to all their clients about a week before the planned migration. As they should have expected, the email they sent to me got filtered into my spam folder. Not unexpectedly, I didn’t see the message.

To make sure something like this didn’t happen they should have requested their clients respond to the email and, if they didn’t respond, BurstNet should have followed up with mail and a phone call. By doing so, at least they’d be assured their clients would know the migration was coming. Because they failed to do these things, I wasn’t aware of the expected outage until after the site went offline. Of course, even if I had gotten the message in my inbox, I’d still be extremely mad because their estimate was 2-4 hours of downtime. As you know, that estimate was well short of the mark. And that was just part of the problem.

As many of you know, the site went offline Wednesday night. I didn’t notice at that point because I am on vacation and not regularly checking bbtf.org as much as I normally do. This meant that I wasn’t able to contact BurstNet until yesterday morning to report the issue. Ultimately, though, it wouldn’t have mattered because all I received was generic messages over the next 30 hours which only made me angrier about the situation.

At this point, I’m exploring my options. As longtime visitors may recall our web host has experienced some issues over the years. Recently, though, their network has been fast and stable. Since our new servers came online in February I expect most would agree the site has been pretty responsive. At some point, though, every relationship has its breaking point. This mess is hard to look past. 

I apologize for the downtime and thank you for your patience and words of encouragement.

Jim

P.S., During the outage we tried to update visitors as much as we could on Twitter and Facebook. Although I hope I won’t need to use these things for a similar situation any time soon, I suggest you bookmark our Twitter: Twitter and Facebook pages.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2013 at 02:00 PM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 16, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4520408)
Jim - Thanks for your work getting the burstnet folks to get us back up and running and just generally your work keeping this place going. I can't imagine this was what you wanted to deal with on vacation.
   2. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: August 16, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4520411)
Seconded. I hope you can forget about this for the rest of your vacation.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 16, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4520418)
Thanks Jim. I didn't know what to think about politics without this site for two days! More seriously, I'm glad you were able to get it fixed in time for people to see where the softball game is tomorrow. Whew! Much appreciated.
   4. zonk Posted: August 16, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4520419)
Really sorry this spoiled the vacation and can likewise sympathize with messy data center moves... Been through a few myself, but at least in an enterprise environment - we'd generally have a conference bridge open the whole time and at least we always had a person from the vendor on to scream at.... which doesn't help the problem, but at least makes you feel a wee bit better.

Anyway, I'm sure every primate agrees that no apologies on your end are necessary - it was beyond your control... and if my boss only knew, I'm sure he'd actually want burstnet's contact information so that he can send a nice thank you gift basket for my increased productivity the last day and half!
   5. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 16, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4520425)
thank you, Jim, for the best site on the internet. have a great vacation.
   6. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 16, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4520427)
I'm glad everything is back.

I tried visting other sports sites to talk about race relations in America, Paradox Interactive computer games, musical tastes, and "star or not a star" reviews of actors, but everwhere else seemed pretty bothered by my actions.
   7. BDC Posted: August 16, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4520430)
Many thanks to Jim for his patience and grace and hard work. BBTF always makes my day better.
   8. smileyy Posted: August 16, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4520442)
I have a vested interest in recommending Amazon Web Services, but, uh, have you considered Amazon Web Services?
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 16, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4520506)
Probably best to eliminate this vacation nonsense, no? And whatever happened to the back-up site manned by the Primer Chimp? <sigh> Any compensation for the lost 2 days of my [baseball] life?

Well, stuff happens, glad it wasn't longer.



   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 16, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4520508)
Glad to see things return to their normal abnormality, Jim, and thanks for being so quick to respond to my e-mail inquiry about the nature of the problem.
   11. Publius Publicola Posted: August 16, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4520512)
I apologize for the downtime and thank you for your patience and words of encouragement.


Bah. No worries.
   12. base ball chick Posted: August 16, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4520519)
thank you jim darling boy for all your work

HUGHUGHUG KISSKISSKISS

(the others won't say that but i sure will)
   13. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: August 16, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4520536)
You should suspend paying them for 211 days


(Really glad to have BBTF back, definitely helps me get through the work day)
   14. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 16, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4520537)
I tried visting other sports sites to talk about race relations in America, Paradox Interactive computer games, musical tastes, and "star or not a star" reviews of actors, but everwhere else seemed pretty bothered by my actions.


I went to a Pavement site and MayonnaiseTalk.com to see if anyone wanted to discuss baseball, but apparently it doesn't work in reverse.
   15. Depressoteric Posted: August 16, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4520541)
Thanks for all the work you put in, Jim. Enjoy your vacation.
   16. TubaOnFire Posted: August 16, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4520549)
Thanks Jim. The internet was a dark and empty place without BTF.
   17. staring out the window and waiting for fenderbelly Posted: August 16, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4520557)

Thanks Jim, that must have been a huge hassle while on vacation. Also, thank you to the people that responded so quickly to my query on reddit/baseball regarding the outage.
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 16, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4520558)
foiled in my plans for internet baseball domination.

and i would have succeeded if not for those meddling kids!

   19. Obo Posted: August 16, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4520562)
Been here since the pre-registration days. Seems like a good moment to say: Thanks, Jim!
   20. Kurt Posted: August 16, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4520563)
Too bad, the last two days at work were the most productive I've had in a long time.
   21. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 16, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4520572)
I'll bet many here saw the sun for the first time in a long time yesterday.
   22. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 16, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4520587)
foiled in my plans for internet baseball domination.

and i would have succeeded if not for those meddling kids!


And Harveys remains on a roll (kaiser? onion? with or without mayo?) from Wednesday, I see. Cool!

   23. greenback calls it soccer Posted: August 16, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4520598)
My upcoming murder mystery will have a suspect whose alibi is that he was posting on BTF on the night of the murder, 8/15/2013.
   24. Wahoo Sam Posted: August 17, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4521061)
I have several web servers and do this stuff for a living, if you need some free advice, let me know.

Thanks for providing this website.
   25. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: August 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4521142)
Jim, it seems like a good time to repeat my appreciation for all you do to keep BTF going.

And one more thing - Happy Birthday!
   26. tshipman Posted: August 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4521146)
Jim, very sorry to hear that this happened on your vacation. I would agree that the site has ran pretty much better than it ever has for the last year or so.

Like the poster above mentioned, if you haven't looked into it, consider Amazon (but please have a lovely vacation first).
   27. dejarouehg Posted: August 17, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4521310)
this was just another example of how don't realize how important things are to you until you don't have them. all of a sudden the internet was significantly less valuable to me. thank you for keeping the site going
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: August 17, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4521332)
Nothing to add but to echo the thanks, and remark how much a part of my daily life this site is.

   29. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 17, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4521344)
During the downtime I thought about starting a steroids thread on the TCM movie site, but then I thought better of it.
   30. So Taguchi is My Sensei Posted: August 21, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4524448)
Huzzah! Glad the site is back online! Not to poke the bear, but server migrations happen, usually for good reasons. I don't know how they can be blamed that their contact ended up in your spam. Usually these places aren't staffed for calls or have the set up for robocalls, although they probably should. But then those costs ultimately get passed on to you. I've heard good things about Hostgator and Dreamhost, fwiw.
   31. TomH Posted: September 10, 2013 at 06:53 AM (#4537806)
Congrats on a) getting back up, and b) running a site so many of us enjoy.

That said, I'm taking a BBTF sabbatical. I'm disheartened by the "adult content" ads. No need to posit long moralizations, but I won't be around as long as they are there.
   32. Lassus Posted: September 10, 2013 at 08:17 AM (#4537822)
I'm disheartened by the "adult content" ads.

You know, I'm going to second this. For a long time, this site was easily viewable in office environments. Now, it's really not so much, which is a problem.
   33. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2013 at 08:28 AM (#4537827)
I'm disheartened by the "adult content" ads.


I'm sure this will change the moment I submit this but I haven't seen any "adult content" ads.

If at all possible we should avoid having them though.
   34. Guapo Posted: September 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4537872)
Not to speak for the Furtado, but in the past he has been responsive about dealing with annoying/inapproriate ads. Have you tried emailing him?
   35. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 10, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4537891)
There's a lot of ads for some sort of Evony-style piece-of-crap online game thing that promises adult sexy content.
   36. tfbg9 Posted: September 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4537905)
If you want an ad audience of porno-addict gamer nerds, you could do worse than BBTF.
   37. zonk Posted: September 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4537948)
Heh... I think we're the core audience for such ads!

Anyway, and as much as I certainly hope Jim doesn't object to me posting this -- the ads in question are all Flash based and if they bother you, Firefox has a Flash meter that basically disables Flash content until you click each object to activate it. I'm pretty sure chrome and most other browsers have something similar.

Since I hate Flash on principle, this is what I use.
   38. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 17, 2013 at 06:20 AM (#4575661)
This is a random question, but did the college football thread get closed and not replaced?
   39. zonk Posted: October 17, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4575705)
This is a random question, but did the college football thread get closed and not replaced?


I think so...

Though, with the Cats pooping the bed the last two weeks, I no longer care like I did when I first noticed it...
   40. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 13, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4638064)
33. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 10, 2013 at 07:28 AM (#4537827)

I'm disheartened by the "adult content" ads.



I'm sure this will change the moment I submit this but I haven't seen any "adult content" ads.

If at all possible we should avoid having them though.


It's been a few months but yeah I'm getting some pretty dicey ads now too. Not necessarily "NSFW" but not entirely SFW either.
   41. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: January 13, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4638087)
It's been a few months but yeah I'm getting some pretty dicey ads now too. Not necessarily "NSFW" but not entirely SFW either.

Same here. They appear frequently these days.
   42. BDC Posted: January 13, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4638110)
getting some pretty dicey ads now too

I'm getting "Add a line to your plan for just $45" and "Bank anywhere with checking you control." Either that's code for something NSFW or my profile rates very low on the kink meter.
   43. Publius Publicola Posted: January 13, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4638112)
I think everyone is referring to the ads for video games that have pornographic content.
   44. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 13, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4638126)
It's not just video games. At least I don't think it's video games. For example right now I have "meet our fun, sexy and intoxicated members" at the bottom of my screen. Incredibly, the pictures on this are actually not that bad. I had a "meet Japanese ladies" one earlier too.

I know some sites use tracking data to tailor the ads to the viewer but nothing I do at work should be generating these sorts of ads unless loose women are particularly attracted to the banking industry. Sadly, my experiences in life suggests that no, they are not.
   45. Publius Publicola Posted: January 13, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4638133)
I know some sites use tracking data to tailor the ads to the viewer but nothing I do at work should be generating these sorts of ads unless loose women are particularly attracted to the banking industry.


Must be due to all the trojan horses transmitting the porn surfing habits of the BTF membership.
   46. Guapo Posted: January 13, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4638143)
For example right now I have "meet our fun, sexy and intoxicated members" at the bottom of my screen.


That's just the announcement for this year's BTF softball game.
   47. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 13, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4638227)
I've definitely seen a lot of those "adult fantasy game" ads in recent months, here and elsewhere. I assume they're targeted ads due to me doing various searches related to video games and not ads that appear to everyone that visits the particular site; though an ad like that on BTF isn't real out of place with the user base it's pretty funny to see an ad zooming in on a scantily-clad cartoon rear end while I'm looking at a couple different recipe blogs I frequently visit; pretty sure those sites don't draw in a lot of the 18-35 male demographic those ads are looking for.

Edit: What annoys me are the occasional ads at the bottom of the screen that are some kind of fake news video, they sometimes play automatically with the sound on.
   48. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4678493)
I'm having a problem the last few days where I get logged out in the middle of posting & stuff like that. The site has *never* remembered my login credentials if I turned of the machine or quit the browser (or at least it hasn't in a year or more), but now it logs me out essentially at random. You all have missed at least one good joke and one caustic jibe as a result of this.
   49. Knock on any Iorg Posted: March 28, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4678503)
When you log in are you checking the box that says "auto login for future visits"?
   50. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4678544)
Hey! It's actually back! I guess they can start the season now.
   51. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4678545)
Not that it's any of my business, but when you're down for a week because your service provider just threw everything into trucks and "migrated" from Pennsylvania to wherever just so they could stay one step ahead of the lessors attempting to repo the servers, you may want to look for another hosting service...
   52. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4678550)
The phrase "you don't wish for water until the well runs dry" has been very applicable to me the last few days.
   53. 'Spos lost the handle trying to make the transfer Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4678551)
Thanks Jim.
   54. A triple short of the cycle Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4678556)
Hooray for Baseball Primer. Thank you Jim Furtado.
   55. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4678562)
What....what is this place?
   56. Baldrick Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4678563)
Yay! It's back!
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4678564)
I think it was that Harvey Keitel stare on Twitter that did it.
   58. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4678567)
When you log in are you checking the box that says "auto login for future visits"?


I used to, but it didn't do anything, so I quit bothering.
   59. AROM Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4678569)
Thanks Jim. Not having this site around has been frustrating. Not as frustrating as I assume it must be for someone who depends on this site for income, but still tough. Glad you're back.
   60. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4678570)
That was the worst April Fools' joke ever.
   61. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4678571)
JIM JIM JIM JIM JIM JIM!!!

Seriously, I can't imagine how frustrating this must have been for you. Thanks as always.
   62. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4678573)
Thanks Jim.
   63. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4678574)
I'm having a problem the last few days where I get logged out in the middle of posting & stuff like that.

If you were posting in the last few days, you were hallucinating. You should probably either review your drug habits, or seek psychiatric help.
   64. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4678581)
Fancy, he posted that comment on the 28th, the day this thing went down. That was an interesting comment, as I've seen at least one other person mention problems looming in those last few days
   65. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4678582)
Hooray!!! Thanks, Jim.
   66. spike Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4678583)
If you were posting in the last few days, you were hallucinating

errr...."Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:42 PM"
   67. Morty Causa Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4678584)
63:

Check the date of his post. It may have been the last lonely message a la On the Beach.
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4678587)
What'll be interesting will be to see if BTF causes Firefox to crash repeatedly, as it was doing many times a day before the shutdown. No other website was causing this, but it was only happening on Firefox.
   69. Obo Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4678589)
Thanks Jim.
   70. Obo Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4678590)
Andy: Same problem here. Think it was flash-related.
   71. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4678597)
Hooray for BBTF and Jim. I take it from the original date of this thread that this is the second time Burstnet has done this now? A wise man once said "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...you can't be fooled again."

The one positive (or negative) of this whole thing is that I learned how to use Twitter.

What'll be interesting will be to see if BTF causes Firefox to crash repeatedly, as it was doing many times a day before the shutdown. No other website was causing this, but it was only happening on Firefox.

It was also doing this on IE. For several weeks.

   72. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4678599)
Hooray for BBTF and Jim. I take it from the original date of this thread that this is the second time Burstnet has done this now? A wise man once said "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...you can't be fooled again."


Yep. Maybe it's something like a restaurant that serves crap food but always does good business, just because it's so cheap.
   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4678600)
What'll be interesting will be to see if BTF causes Firefox to crash repeatedly, as it was doing many times a day before the shutdown. No other website was causing this, but it was only happening on Firefox.

Andy: Same problem here. Think it was flash-related.


But then why didn't it affect Google Chrome?
   74. Obo Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4678605)
But then why didn't it affect Google Chrome?

It was a firefox-specific flash problem.
   75. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4678608)
If the Flash widget was served by an ad, it's probably best to run AdBlockPlus and pay Jim some money every so often to compensate.
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4678610)
If the Flash widget was served by an ad, it's probably best to run AdBlockPlus and pay Jim some money every so often to compensate.

I don't know whether it's relevant or not, but Firefox was crashing both when I activated Adobe Flash AND when I didn't activate it. Or is this one of those godawful "Shockwave Flash" deals that are the kudzu of the internet?
   77. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4678618)
I have seen some ads that are served by Flash widgets, so my thought was that perhaps one of those was badly implemented and causing crashes or related trouble. I often wonder where some of these comments come from on here when I'm not seeing the ads that others can see.
   78. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4678621)
What'll be interesting will be to see if BTF causes Firefox to crash repeatedly. . .

I'm blaming BBTF for crashing my iPad on Friday. None of the normal restoration methods worked, had to take it to the Apple store to revive it, although my "outage" was much shorter than BBTF's hiatus.
   79. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4678657)
But then why didn't it affect Google Chrome?

FWIW, Chrome's Flash is built-in to the browser and not a plugin, which seems (maybe counter-intuitively) to make it a bit more robust.
   80. Chris Fluit Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4678658)
Hooray! I'm so glad that BBTF is back. It was like a huge hole had been excavated from my heart. Thanks for working so hard behind the scenes on all our behalf, Jim.

   81. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4678659)
My boss was wondering why my productivity was so high the last few days.
   82. dirk Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4678666)
yay! i can finally enjoy myself in the john again! i now consider baseball season officially underway.
   83. Zach Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4678694)
Here I thought the site was going onto hiatus for the off-season (of movie threads, WWII re-strategizations, and Pavement appreciations) and would pick up again next November.

Thanks for all the work you do, Jim.
   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4678697)
But then why didn't it affect Google Chrome?

I had problems with Chrome as well. But mostly from work.

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