Archive for March 16th, 2003

News: Silly Bus Driver

March 16th, 2003

[Bus attempting to go through a low bridgeI just came across this article on BBC news which made me think “Stupid driver”:

A bus driver crashed his double-decker into a bridge after asking two teenage passengers for directions.

Ok, I can understand him asking for directions if he gets lost – but I know that 99% of all bridges come with a “height restriction” sign stating the maximum height of any vehicles: hence if the sign says “13ft” a 14’6″ bus will NOT fit under it! He obviously wasn’t quite reading the road correctly whilst the “navigators” (a pair of teenage girls) were shouting out instructions to him – saying that, would you trust a couple of teenagers to give you the correct instructions?

The bus driver should have radioed or called into base and said he just didn’t know where he was going – at the very least the depo. could have provided him with accurate directions (I’ve noticed most bus drivers actually have a ‘route plan’ anyway)…

The phrase “Pride comes before a fall” comes to mind…

Guess That Movie: XXXIX: Alice In Wonderland

March 16th, 2003

[Guess That Movie Image 39Well, AntGrad made a slight return to correctly recognise that the previous Guess That Movie image was taken from “the ultimate disaster movie” Bean [Order from] amazoncom:B00007AJF7 (starring Rowan Atkinson). Ok, the film wasn’t as good as the UK ITV television series, but it was still a reasonable film.

AntGrad picked up one hundred points for that – but will he or Kymberlie manage to pick up any extra points for this image? It is open for all the rest of you to guess as well – you just have to leave a comment with your name (or an alias) and the name of the movie you guess that image is and I’ll judge if you are right or wrong…

Good luck!
A: Alice In Wonderland. [Order from] amazoncom:B00004R99L Correctly guessed by Super Beastmaster

Snippet: Server Downtime

March 16th, 2003

*snippet* As some of you might have noticed, my blog was down for around 36 hours starting on Thursday night (at 23:43GMT). Basically, the server that hosts the *.beebware.(|.com) family of websites and a few others suffered a partial hard disk failure which resulted in data corruption. Luckily, it didn’t affect the “user data” part: only around a dozen files within the Linux /var/ settings (IIRC). Unfortunately, these files are needed by Apache, SSH and several other “system critical” options which meant the server practically failed 🙁

I alerted our technical guys to it (as when any of the “system critical” things fail on my server, I get lots of email alerts and SMS text alerts which wake me up) and they managed to shut down the server before any further data corruption occurred. Everything on the server is backed up on a rolling 24hour backup processes, but it’s still a case of swopping out the broken drive, putting in a new drive and copying the data across.

Due to various problems, I was given an initial estimate of “sometime on Monday”. Aarghhh! Not good at all 🙁 So what to do? Well, I had a quick word with someone I know at 3050 Hosting who managed to set me up with an emergency 30 hosting package (which is a cheap web hosting package at just £30 per year) and I just needed to point all the DNS entries at the new server after I put up a temporary “holding page”.

Why didn’t I use one of the other Beebware servers? Well, a) I didn’t want the holding page to be in the same “netblock” as the main servers (as it could have jeopardised some of the search engine placement results) and b) they didn’t have enough spare capacity for the load that the sites hosted by this server require.

No sooner had the DNS changes started to propagate across the internet, when my monitoring systems indicated the server came back on line with less than 24hours downtime (it came back up at 20:40GMT). I had set a “DNS expiry time” of 24hours – so the DNS wouldn’t start timing out until at least 3pm on Saturday…

Anyway – that’s what happened, I’m still waiting for “total confirmation” to come back from the technical team that they are happy that the server is running correctly – but everything seems A.O.K. to me at the moment: but it’s just a case waiting for DNS to re-stabilise (I didn’t think it’ll be fair to do a “Guess That Movie” competition when only a few people could probably access it).

I’ll try and get “normal service” resumed shortly…

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