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Uni Watch Site-Crash FAQ

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And we’re back.

As most of you know (and many of you e-mailed me to inquire about), the site was in various states of disrepair from early Wednesday afternoon until about 1 a.m. Thursday night — roughly a 36-hour outage. It would be fair to say that webmaster Johnny Ek, the tech-support reps at our web-hosting company, and I have all gotten muuuuuuch better acquainted with each other during that period.

You probably have lots of questions. Allow me to anticipate some of them:

What happened to the site?
We had a serious server problem.

That sounds so nebulous. Can you be more specific?
I wish. First of all, our web-hosting company kept changing their story regarding the source of the problem (although the running theme was that it was somehow our fault, when in fact it turned out to be their fault). Moreover, I’m not particularly tech-y, so most of those explanations just sound like gibberish to me anyway. The final explanation after they got us up and running again was that “the DNS ‘named’ service and the Apache ‘httpd’ service [had not been] running.” I don’t know what that means and, frankly, I don’t care. I’m just glad we’re back in business. (John, after reading this FAQ, just e-mailed to tell me, “What it means is that for 36 hours they were telling us we installed a lightbulb with no filament, when it turns out they were standing next to the switch, which was turned off.”)

This is the third time in the past seven months that a server problem has shut down the site. Isn’t that a lot?
Yes. Very frustrating. Embarrassing, too.

I go to all sorts of web sites and they always work. How come this keeps happening to Uni Watch?
Most web sites fall into one of two categories: Big corporate/commercial sites, which run on huge servers with lots of dedicated tech support, or little personal sites, which don’t get much traffic and therefore don’t put any strain on the server. (Most small blogs sort of straddle these two worlds, because they run on big commercial networks like Blogspot.) Uni Watch falls in between — with our 10,000-plus hits a day, we get much more traffic than the average personal blog, but much less traffic than, say, ESPN.com. And, obviously, we don’t have a big I.T. staff. When the site launched last year, we began with a fairly small web-hosting account. But as the site’s readership has grown, we’ve kept outgrowing our capacity. In other words, yes, it’s your fault. Kind of.

Over 400 of us have spent good money on memberships. Shouldn’t you use some of that cash to upgrade your server, or switch to a better web-hosting company, or whatever?
Yes, and I set that into motion yesterday. We’re now in the process of moving the site to a different web-hosting company, where we’ll have a higher-level account (dedicated server, more disc space, more bandwidth, more access to customer support). It’ll cost more, but it’ll be worth it. My repeated thanks to the membership orders that have made this possible.

Shouldn’t you have made this move sooner?
Probably. Sorry about that. Live and learn.

Will the switch to a new company affect the site in any way?
I’m told that everything should look and function the way it did before. I’m also told that there may be a period of several hours when the site goes dark as our domain name gets redirected to our new IP address (something to do with the federal agency that controls all that shit, but I’m not going to pretend to understand that). If possible, we’ll try to make that blackout period happen during the weekend and/or late at night.

This company you’ve been using until now — the one with all the server problems and the lousy tech support — sounds awful. Would you care to name them, so I know never to use them myself?
Why yes, I’d be happy to: I strongly urge everyone to avoid GoDaddy.com. If you’re already using them for any web-related activities, I suggest considering alternatives.

Don’t you wish you could just blame the whole thing on Nike?
Don’t think I haven’t tried.

 

31 comments to Uni Watch Site-Crash FAQ

  • Evan | September 7, 2007 at 1:23 am |

    Thanks for the update
    thats terrible that they kept giving u different explanations though

  • Dan | September 7, 2007 at 1:27 am |

    Yeah I was pretty bummed out when Uni Watch wasn’t working. It threw my whole routine off but im glad its back up and running.

  • John Ekdahl | September 7, 2007 at 1:33 am |

    36 hours of a company telling you it’s your fault because of something you did wrong.

    In the end, it wasn’t.

    Fun times.

  • Kyle Campbell | September 7, 2007 at 1:42 am |

    You think GoDaddy would spend more on their servers and less on crappy advertisements…

  • Marcus Ramsey | September 7, 2007 at 1:48 am |

    Yeah, threw the whole day off! I had no clue what any team was wearing yesterday. I had that “I forgot to brush my teeth” feelin’ all day. Kind of like when the TiVo goofs and I miss seeing PTI, drives me nuts.

    At least the problem’s gone and I feel like it’s all my fault for not getting a membership yet.

  • Jonee | September 7, 2007 at 1:49 am |

    Hey! Nice to be back.

  • Chris Coleman | September 7, 2007 at 2:05 am |

    Here is a uni-related comment: the Angels and the Indians both wore their dark alternate jerseys last night. I believe this happened earlier in the year against the Rangers. The Angels only wear their Red alternates when Kelvin Escobar pitches (doesn’t the starting pitcher determine what uniform to wear?) Anyway, you can see a gallery here.

  • Linus | September 7, 2007 at 2:12 am |

    You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

  • Luddite | September 7, 2007 at 2:15 am |

    I am a big blog follower, and completely understand (if not comprehend) the down time.

    Even though I have been following since day 1, I will now finally put my money in the till to hopefully add to whatever hosting site you hook your wagons on.

  • SQL | September 7, 2007 at 2:28 am |

    Saints dressed like ballet dancers last night…and played like ones too.

  • Cavan | September 7, 2007 at 2:37 am |

    The Portland Beavers name will remain the same.
    The team will unveil a new logo, color scheme and uniforms next season.

    http://www.bizjourna...

  • felix | September 7, 2007 at 2:46 am |

    I had to email Teebz just to make sure it wasn’t me having the problem. Ain’t technology grand?

  • Justin Simmons | September 7, 2007 at 3:00 am |

    I was freaking out, cause I couldn’t get my Uniwatch fix today! Anyways, I noticed that Junior Seau was named a captain for the Pats today. Which reminded of me of the C patch thing. I remember seeing cards of Seau with a CAPTAIN name plate on the front of his Charger jersey in the early to mid 1990s. It wasn’t just a C, but spelled out CAPTAIN. Does anybody recall seeing this?

  • JM Rempt | September 7, 2007 at 3:06 am |

    [quote comment=”141052″]Here is a uni-related comment: the Angels and the Indians both wore their dark alternate jerseys last night. I believe this happened earlier in the year against the Rangers. The Angels only wear their Red alternates when Kelvin Escobar pitches [/quote]

    well that’s just not true. I’ve seen them wear the red alts several times without Escobar. In fact, they wore them on Monday with Santana pitching.

  • NMK | September 7, 2007 at 3:44 am |

    Wow. My website is hosted by Godaddy, so reading this didn’t make my day…

  • Johnny O | September 7, 2007 at 4:23 am |

    [quote comment=”141070″]I was freaking out, cause I couldn’t get my Uniwatch fix today! Anyways, I noticed that Junior Seau was named a captain for the Pats today. Which reminded of me of the C patch thing. I remember seeing cards of Seau with a CAPTAIN name plate on the front of his Charger jersey in the early to mid 1990s. It wasn’t just a C, but spelled out CAPTAIN. Does anybody recall seeing this?[/quote]
    Why, yes. It was just on Paul’s ESPN column the other day. Here is a pic:

    Captain, my captain

  • Justin Simmons | September 7, 2007 at 5:26 am |

    Johnny O, thanks for showing me the pic, I feel like a jackass lol. I saw the ESPN update, I guess I just missed that one. Oh well.

  • SQL | September 7, 2007 at 6:37 am |

    canes new sweaters are up. They seem just appropriate for a team named after a natruel disaster.

  • Jon Stone | September 7, 2007 at 7:25 am |

    I’m not sure if this has been mentoned yet, but on the AHL website they have a gallery of the new jerseys that have been introduced so far.

  • Robert | September 7, 2007 at 7:40 am |

    1. I hate Go-Daddy. I took them up on their promise that even tech-idiots could get a little blog started using them. Well, I must be a tech idiot to the tenth degree, because I failed miserably. I hate computers so bad.

    2. The (s)Aints looked terrible in those stripeless black pants last night. While I am generally opposed to NFL teams wearing pants that are any color other than white, silver, gray, gold or yellow, I understand that some teams are going to wear other colors.

    If they must do so, can’t they at least put stripes on them? Otherwise, they look so bush league.

  • pr9000 | September 7, 2007 at 7:41 am |

    I use godaddy for domain registration, b/c their prices are great. but that’s as far as i’ll ever trust them; i’ve heard too many horror stories like this.

    either way, sorry you had to go through it, paul. i’ve been through this kind of stuff before, and the vagaries of DNS make you want to scream.

  • zach | September 7, 2007 at 7:51 am |

    In other news…Sharks new jerseys anyone?

    Home

    Away

  • bighokie09 | September 7, 2007 at 7:53 am |

    [quote comment=”141121″]canes new sweaters are up. They seem just appropriate for a team named after a natruel disaster.[/quote]

    not really other than the piping, it’s pretty much the same jersey, I kinda dig ’em.

    Nice to see the website up, it makes class bearable (Wait… did i just write “dig ’em”?).

  • Gretchen | September 7, 2007 at 7:54 am |

    I spent years working at Yahoo! and other corps and believe me many resources go towards just maintaining the site. While we were planning new properties we’d also estimate traffic and do a x10 or x20 and plan on load balancing across several server hubs across the country.

    Web hosting companies are not all the same and the cheapest ones with the most gimmicky names tend to have the crappiest support. And like shitty auto mechanics they bank on you not knowing enough to call them on their bullshit. Do research, get referrals. It can still be a crapshoot but there’s a better chance you’ll get the service you want.

    Non-sequiter…What is the breakdown of men and women in UniWatchland? Am curious…

  • DrBear | September 7, 2007 at 7:56 am |

    Welcome back … although your site apparently needs a move. Ah well, you’re not the first to make a wrong decision after being distracted by a girl with big bazooms.

    It wasn’t quite as big a disaster as the new NFL logo, but close.

  • zach | September 7, 2007 at 8:04 am |

    More on the Sharks uni front…I don’t like where this is going…

    Le Sigh

  • jesse | September 7, 2007 at 8:12 am |

    This was posted Wednesday before the sight crashed;

    Was [Florida International coach Mario] Cristobal on the 86 fiesta bowl team that lost to state?

    No, I believe he played for the early 1990’s teams that won both games of a home and home against PSU, and an assistant coach on the team that lost to Penn State in 1999.

  • Dane | September 7, 2007 at 8:38 am |

    I caught a glimpse of the Negro League uniforms that Baltimore wore last night. I would have paid more attention to detail, but the next TV was airing The Peyton Manning Show.

    http://espn-i.starwa...

  • bobwool | September 7, 2007 at 8:47 am |

    Why are both MLB teams ALLOWED to wear dark jerseys for the same game? I would think there’d be a rule against that for sake of the umpires and fans.

    Saints solid black pants leaking into solid black socks – awful (just like their second half effort)! I think the refs would prefer a contrast at the knees between the pants and top of the socks to help determine when a player’s knee is down.

  • Dwight | September 7, 2007 at 9:05 am |

    My $.02, but I think I speak for all of us – that as bad as it sucks not having Uni-Watch to check 25-200 times per day, in no way should you (Paul et al) be embarassed – we “get it” in more ways than one.

  • Jason G. | September 7, 2007 at 9:16 am |

    [quote comment=”141181″]My $.02, but I think I speak for all of us – that as bad as it sucks not having Uni-Watch to check 25-200 times per day, in no way should you (Paul et al) be embarassed – we “get it” in more ways than one.[/quote]

    I’ll second that sentiment. Especially considering some of the troubles you guys have had with the company you’ve been using until now and how you’ve documented those problems. At no point yesterday did I blame any one other than said company.

    [quote comment=”141058″]Saints dressed like ballet dancers last night…and played like ones too.[/quote]

    I’ll second (or third, fourth, fifth…) this sentiment as well. Helmets should always match either the pants or the jersey. They also had the aforementioned problem of black pants/socks. Terrible look all around. Especially when put next to the Colts classic look.