Far too easily distracted

I’ve been a little more “out there” than usual recently, so there haven’t been many posts and the short version of what happened is, basically, that things just got on top of me. It doesn’t help that there’s been something literally getting on my nerves for the last week either; the fan bearings in my web server’s PSU appear to be close to completely shot so it’s making one hell of a racket, something that isn’t particularly conducive to writing, coding or indeed trying to think! I don’t want to just shut down and swap parts in case something goes south in the process, so I’m in the process of putting together a “stunt server” that’ll step in and keep things ticking until something more permanent is sorted.

Things should start returning to “normal” this coming weekend, assuming I don’t get even more caught up in either Carmen Sandiego or High Score Girl – I suspect it’s just me who gets excited seeing footage of Viper Phase 1 in the latter’s opening titles – on Netflix than I have been the last couple of days.

Assorted outages

Regular visitors – all five of them since it’s apparently gone up – may have noticed that the server this website lives on has been having what I’ll charitably call a few “stability issues” of late… in fact it’s been less strong and stable than the current Tory government and that’s really saying something right now. Part of the problem has been metric bucketloads of automated brute force attacks on the admin account for at least one of my WordPress installs, hitting the login page so rapidly that Apache basically eats all of its available resources and crashes out. Since this hammering started the server had its RAM upgraded, configurations were tweaked, the login pages at least partially concealed, lots of passwords changed and Cloudflare set up to hopefully smooth out at least some of the incoming crap.

The attacks are still ongoing right now although less frequent than before, but the prolonged game of Whack A Mole with my anonymous nemesis – overselling things somewhat perhaps – means that the other outage today is, well me. I’ve not really had a decent night’s sleep for three days and forgot to eat at least once, so I’m taking this weekend off in part because I haven’t been playing any games but mostly because I need some rest. There are a couple of pluses at least; I’ve been putting off upgrading the server for ages because I loathe modifying hardware when it’s “working” so that’s done and, because the machine itself is sat in our front room, I’ve watched quite a bit of classic Doctor Who whilst on babysitting duties.

In other news, I seem to be cycling over to “demo mode” at the moment although there’s a good chance that’s just sleep deprivation or a lack of caffeine talking – more news on that one either way as it happens, as they say.

Do you smell something burning?

Actually it’s not quite “help, the server is on fire” serious… but the boot drive on my primary web server finally coughed and died at some point last night and, because the damned backups weren’t running for over a month without me being alerted, I’ve had to restore from an older backup of the database and that meant losing a couple of posts.

Anything that runs from flat files like the Cosine website will be fine (although it’s hiding at the time of writing) but the websites I host with forums will lose a month’s worth of posts… they’re not very high traffic though, so it shouldn’t put people out too much and some might not even notice! “Normal” services will resume after much running around the house between workstations and servers whilst muttering darkly to anyone who’ll listen. Or as he’s more commonly known, the cat.

As a slight update from the morning after (as it were) the hopes about getting the flat file based websites up and running easily didn’t quite pan out and there seems to be a time out issue accessing the domains from the same connection that the server is on… at least I’m hoping it’s limited in that way and not “customer facing”! I’m also having no luck getting Xampp to talk to an outgoing SMTP server which would make it impossible to get the forums back up and running; the clunking sound you might be able to hear is my head colliding repeatedly with a monitor.