Major Software Update of Server (July 2023)

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DrSpooky
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Major Software Update of Server (July 2023)

Post by DrSpooky »

The server recently had a hard disk die after a power outage. It had been reporting recoverable errors and I had already been planning to swap it out. I had built a replacement disk with a much newer operating system. I had been doing dry runs so things would go smoothly which I put the new drive in the old server. Unfortunately, the drive failed before it could be a planned transition. The server ran automated backups daily and not much was lost. I put the new disk in the old server, loaded the data from the backup, and then began the process of upgrading the forum and wiki software. At this point, I think everything is back up and better than it was before. It has been about 2.5 weeks since the drive died after our power outage. Some highlights of hiccups and challenges:
  • The Fan Forum software upgrade required finding a utility to clean remnants of old versions. It took multiple fresh installs of the old database and conversion before I found this solution.
  • The wiki software upgrade was from such an old version that I had to upgrade through an intermediate version. The database is 2.1GB and there are ~50GB of images. It took multiple attempts and the sheer size meant it took time. The database upgrade script would run overnight.
  • Some wiki syntax changed and the core contributors to the wiki have been busy fixing issues. This all seems mostly resolved now.
Some benefits:
  • We are on current and supported versions of the OS, forum, and wiki software.
  • We now have https for secure connections.
  • Email notifications should be working for the forum and wiki again.
  • My experience is that the new software is much better at adapting to mobile devices. It looks much better on a phone.
I will remind everyone that the server itself was purchased in 2010. The hard drives have been replaced and it still works but it is now 13 years old. Eventually it will have to be replaced.

If you spot anything that needs attention, just speak up. And remember, running the server and Internet hosting, adding content to the wiki, moderating forums, etc. is all volunteer driven.
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migdd
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Re: Major Software Update of Server (July 2023)

Post by migdd »

Many thanks for all you do to keep this little community together, Joel!

Might you please post a link for those of us who might want to make a small donation towards that new server?
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DrSpooky
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Re: Major Software Update of Server (July 2023)

Post by DrSpooky »

migdd wrote: Sat Aug 12, 2023 6:29 pm Many thanks for all you do to keep this little community together, Joel!

Might you please post a link for those of us who might want to make a small donation towards that new server?
Blush. :)

Seriously, I want to get through this upgrade before looking at a new server. It's been 13 years but I think the one we are using now was about USD800 and the least expensive thing from that server vendor now is USD1600. I need to do some research.
sweetest punch
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Re: Major Software Update of Server (July 2023)

Post by sweetest punch »

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.
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Man out of Time
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Re: Major Software Update of Server (July 2023)

Post by Man out of Time »

DrSpooky wrote: Sat Aug 12, 2023 5:43 pm At this point, I think everything is back up and better than it was before.
I just want to put on record here my thanks to Dr Spooky and my fellow "core contributors" for the recent (and still ongoing) work on this recovery and upgrade. You never want a server to crash and die, but it has resulted in a new and improved Wiki and Fan Forum.

As the Dr says, we are all volunteers - no one is getting paid. So as sweetest punch reminds us, donations to help meet the hardware and hosting costs are very welcome.

Here's to the future of the Wiki and the Fan Forum.

MOOT
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DrSpooky
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Re: Major Software Update of Server (July 2023)

Post by DrSpooky »

If you have a setlist, photos, articles, etc. please make sure they get submitted.

We recently found a late 70s teen magazine that had EC and Nick Lowe in it. It wasn't included. I took it to work, scanned it, and sent it along.

It takes a village folks.
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