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Chris

What's been going on with the website then?

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So, what's been going on over the past week? No doubt most of your have noticed the absence of functioning Xenonauts / Goldhawk sites most of the time, and broken forums even when they were up. Unfortunately, with our sites down and forums not working, it wasn't exactly very easy to communicate what was happening (unless you follow me on Twitter).

The long and short of it is that our hosts, Dreamhost, apparently suffered a RAID failure on their server and lost a lot of data. This was a shared hosting package so a LOT of sites were affected and though they set about restoring the sites from backups, the backups were obviously quite old (hence the old forum badges earlier today) and the volume meant it took a long time.

Added to that, their backup server clearly wasn't up to the job - that's why the sites were down so much and you kept getting timeout errors. Even when our data had officially been migrated, their servers couldn't handle the load put on them so we were still getting timeouts. They seem to have that under control now, so both the Xenonauts and Goldhawk sites are up and hopefully should be for the forseeable future.

There was a bunch of issues regarding our databases, too. This was why the Goldhawk forums weren't working even when the site was up. I've now fixed this - Dreamhost had a "restore backup" function I wasn't aware of, and though the backups only go back 5 days (ie. to a point where the databases were still not working properly), restoring one of them seems to have made the forums work again. I have no idea why that is, but I'm not complaining. A similar trick has brought the wiki back, and seems to be letting our bugtracking software work (most of the time) too.

We also have access to our SVN code repository again, which means we can carry on developing the game (it is on the same server although a different domain). After a few days without SVN access, our coding progress slowed down dramatically as it's basically impossible to collaborate, so we're very pleased about that.

Finally, my email has been a bit up and down thanks to me shifting the DNS servers for www.xenonauts.com from Dreamhost to Bluehost and back again. It should now be working, but if any emails to me have bounced in the past few days then that's why. You can resend them now and they should get through.

Looking forward, we're going to continue to use Dreamhost until we finish development on Xenonauts, then move to a more dedicated and reliable solution. Dreamhost, for all of its faults over the past week, works almost all of the time. It's not the fastest and the massive downtime did not amuse me much, but I know how their interface works and migrating several sites and all the associated databases, domains, developer tools etc is not a small task. I'd rather just get the game done, at which point we can bin the dev tools and make the process much easier.

So that's what's happened over the past week. Hopefully there won't be another re-occurence of it, but if it does then I'd advise checking my Twitter feed and reading my sweary messages about what's going on to keep yourself informed.

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Heh, sneaky way of getting a lot of twitter-followers ;)

Nice with an update though :)

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We also have access to our SVN code repository again, which means we can carry on developing the game (it is on the same server although a different domain). After a few days without SVN access, our coding progress slowed down dramatically as it's basically impossible to collaborate, so we're very pleased about that.

So not much work got done over the past week?

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remember when you said that being the boss meant having to get up in the middle of the night to fix the servers? on one hand i am pretty envious of you for going through this and getting all that experience, on the other hand it seems to be very frustrating, i guess i am neutral overall to the prospect of getting up in the middle of the night, and trying to get the website going over a week or so.

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Some experiences are less worth having than others, I think this was one of them.

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I definitely concur..

Not great when your primary server crashes -- our company went through that a couple years ago. One of those 'backups appear to be good until you actually need them' kind of things.

It really sucks, and I'm REALLY glad you have gotten things up and running again. My primary concern, was that having the sites down could result in loss of income, and give folks who haven't been following the development builds the impression the project has gone belly-up.

I hope that things continue from this point on, without further major interruptions.

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:confused::confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

well if it doesn't go belly up then problems are inevitable, and therefore as long as problems keep happening (at an infrequent rate hopefully), the company will continue to exist.

although anyone that is familiar with legalities of owning one's own business knows that even well after a company goes belly up problems still crop up, which the owner needs to attend to. it is the reason most large companies that go belly up sell themselves off to some other company. it is why some game companies don't want their old stuff that can't demand money being given away, so that they will have assets in which some other company might spend a few bucks to buy their company if need be.

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We also have access to our SVN code repository again, which means we can carry on developing the game (it is on the same server although a different domain). After a few days without SVN access, our coding progress slowed down dramatically as it's basically impossible to collaborate, so we're very pleased about that.

Which is the reason that everyone should use git instead of SVN. Distributed Version Control Systems don't have that problem. ;)

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