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View Full Version : Sorry, folks, unplanned site outage



Tom Westbrook
20-Oct-2013, 06:41
Due to a hard disk failure, we had a long-ish site outage. It should be all fixed now.

Data was restored from a backup taken about 1am Oct-9 PDT. Looks like the site went down about 3am Oct 9 PDT. Hopefully not much is missing, but if you posted anything after 1am PDT OCT 9, check to see if you need to re-post something.

Please post in this thread any missing data or other problems found.

FYI, it might take up to a day for all DNS servers to update with the correct site IP address (we pointed it to an alternate site to post the outage notifications). The effect to you is you might be unable to connect with all devices including users of Tapatalk.

winterclock
20-Oct-2013, 06:59
Great to see you back, I was really jonesing for LFPF! Thanks for sticking with itand getting back up!

BrianShaw
20-Oct-2013, 07:02
Welcome back. You were sorely missed. Was very sorry to hear about your server troubles. You were there one minute; gone the next.

CCHarrison
20-Oct-2013, 07:06
I missed you - welcome back LFPF

JBelthoff
20-Oct-2013, 07:07
Welcome back!

Ed Bray
20-Oct-2013, 07:15
Thank you, I am recouperating from Surgery and have really missed this forum.

jk0592
20-Oct-2013, 07:20
This forum was missed a lot.

billie williams
20-Oct-2013, 07:24
Welcome back. And many many thanks for the work involved in keeping this wondeful forum running. Well done!

pound
20-Oct-2013, 07:27
thanks for getting the forum up and running again!

cowanw
20-Oct-2013, 07:27
Ed, I hope all went well
I am surprised how much I missed LFPF

Fred L
20-Oct-2013, 07:31
ahhh, now my days can begin like they used to. so glad to this site back up and running !

Ed Bray
20-Oct-2013, 07:32
Ed, I hope all went well
I am surprised how much I missed LFPF

Thanks, part one seems to have been quite successful part two in a while will be the big test.

northcarolinajack
20-Oct-2013, 07:50
GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK!!

Jack

Daniel Stone
20-Oct-2013, 07:51
thank you moderators(and server tenders) who got us back up and running :)!

Sal Santamaura
20-Oct-2013, 08:04
Sorry, folks, unplanned site outage Tom, if you had planned it, the timing couldn't have been better for me. I spent all last week hiking and photographing at the Grand Canyon. No Internet access and, even if there was, no temptation to spend time here when I should have been burning film.

Thanks for everyone's hard work bringing the site back.

George E. Sheils
20-Oct-2013, 08:13
Great to see the site back up and running.

I missed it a lot.

AtlantaTerry
20-Oct-2013, 08:22
Having been in tech support for many years and a Novel network administrator I know the rock-in-the-stomach feeling when a network goes down.

You keep saying it was A hard disk failure. One hard disk? Really? You don't have a RAID subsystem? There must be more of a technical story to the outage than simply one hard drive that failed.

Good to have you up and running. Now go get some sleep, I'm sure you need it. :)

rdenney
20-Oct-2013, 08:25
thank you moderators(and server tenders) who got us back up and running :)!

Tom and our server owner deserve all the credit. Most of the mods were suffering withdrawal, too.

Rick "it was apparently a flaky (as in, intermittent) power-supply cable to the boot disk, which took out the boot disk, which took out the disk controller on the server" Denney

bracan
20-Oct-2013, 08:38
Longest week in my life!

adelorenzo
20-Oct-2013, 08:43
Woo hoo! Welcome back and thank you!

smithdoor
20-Oct-2013, 08:43
try a few others site just did not work for LF work
Hope ever thing goes good now

Good luck
Dave

photobymike
20-Oct-2013, 08:43
O'boy i was starting to get withdrawal symptoms .... the only place where people have a right to my opinion ....lol

Brassai
20-Oct-2013, 08:45
I was expecting to see another announcement, "Server still down, will be fixed by New Year's." So now it's fixed and I can put my cameras away and go back to reading posts here and buying more old junk on ebay. ;) At any rate, thanks for the hard work.

RHITMrB
20-Oct-2013, 09:23
You don't know what you've got until it's gone. I really appreciate the work done in getting the site back up and running!

Maybe it's time to invest in some offsite backup? Amazon Glacier is reasonably priced for the amount of data I imagine this forum uses. There's a decade's worth of collective knowledge gathered here and I'd hate to see that disappear.

David Lobato
20-Oct-2013, 09:30
Thank goodness. I was running low on these barrels, trying to cope!

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/55432652/Fanthorp%20Inn%20004%20800LFF.jpg

Toyo 4x5, HP5+, 135mm lens

Pete Watkins
20-Oct-2013, 09:47
Thanks for all your hard work.
Pete

Kimberly Anderson
20-Oct-2013, 09:48
Whew! If you need a spare cord, I'll pony up. I don't want that to happen again! :)

jon.oman
20-Oct-2013, 09:50
I missed this site as well! I'm glad to see it back up.

StoneNYC
20-Oct-2013, 09:51
Tapatalk works for me :)

StoneNYC
20-Oct-2013, 09:52
Thank goodness. I was running low on these barrels, trying to cope!

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/55432652/Fanthorp%20Inn%20004%20800LFF.jpg

Toyo 4x5, HP5+, 135mm lens

This is lovely!

Not a criticism, but was the camera crooked, or the floor under the barrels crooked? :)

Preston
20-Oct-2013, 09:56
Glad to see our forum back up again. Thanks to Tom and the techs for getting things rolling again, and preserving the stored data!

--P

ROL
20-Oct-2013, 09:57
Data was restored from a backup taken about 1am Oct-9 PDT. Looks like the site went down about 3am Oct 9 PDT. Hopefully not much is missing...

Good to know we only missed a few thousand of Drew's posts. :D


Thanks. This being at least the second server crash in my tenure here, would someone enlighten me as to how a crash specifically takes down the site? Is the server located in someone's closet? I imagine something like that, since a hosted site would keep running. How does this work for LFPF? Enquiring minds want to know.

Randy Moe
20-Oct-2013, 10:07
So good to catch up with friends.

Thanks!

gmfotografie
20-Oct-2013, 10:11
so great to see you again my friends... analog datas should be more stable ��

goamules
20-Oct-2013, 10:19
Good to see us back, thanks for all the time and dedication you spent to get it up again.

bob carnie
20-Oct-2013, 10:48
Hey were you able to disconnect Monty M ability to post here like I requested,, It will make for a much better site.

Light Guru
20-Oct-2013, 10:52
This being at least the second server crash in my tenure here, would someone enlighten me as to how a crash specifically takes down the site?

A server is basically just a computer that hosts files, websites forums etc. So basically any thing that could cause your own computer to crash could also cause a server to crash.

From what I have read the issue here was cable that connected the hard drive to the mother board in the computer went bad and thus caused the hard drive to fail. If it just been the hard drive that failed I'm sure things would have been up and running faster but then they still had problems after replacing the hard drive so things took longer.

It does sound like they are not running redundant hardware so that things like this don't effect the end user. With redundant hardware a second server would automatically take over then it detected that the main server was not performing its task.

Andrew O'Neill
20-Oct-2013, 10:56
Good to see all you guys again. I like apug, but I consider this place home. Thanks Tom, for getting it up and running again.

Jerry Bodine
20-Oct-2013, 11:02
Not a criticism, but was the camera crooked, or the floor under the barrels crooked? :)

Stone, looks to me like the lower barrels are vertical, but the upper barrels are placed on the lower ones in such a way that fingers can get under their edges to make lifting easier.

And, thanks to Tom et al, I can breathe again.

MIke Sherck
20-Oct-2013, 11:05
Very happy to see the site up again. I had a sinking feeling that you were experiencing my own private hell from a few years ago when in attempting to fix a failure of a disk drive in a RAID 5 array, a tech pulled a second drive from the array, thus completely breaking things in ways that should never of happened. Took us a week to get hardware on site, reconfigured and a terrabyte or so restored from backup. Thanks for all your hard work!

Mike

Nathan Potter
20-Oct-2013, 11:10
Tom and Mr. server, great thanks for your work on restoration. I suspect many here appreciate the break from the forum so we could do some serious photography rather than monitor staring.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

Professional
20-Oct-2013, 11:20
Welcome back!!!

Blair Ware
20-Oct-2013, 12:05
a welcome return to normalcy, thanks

Robert Jonathan
20-Oct-2013, 12:19
Glad the site is back up.

I'm also thankful for Google's cached pages. I was searching for advice on lenses, and although the site was down, I could still view the archives in Google's cache. Woohoo!

Kirk Gittings
20-Oct-2013, 12:20
Good job guys!

Racer X 69
20-Oct-2013, 12:34
Wow.

Guess they shouldn't have let me into the server room, eh?

Next time I'll leave well enough alone and try not to spill beer on the hard drive!

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h194/racerx6948/Forum%20How%20To/Homer2.jpg

lenser
20-Oct-2013, 12:43
Thanks for such a great job everyday, but especially in getting this site back up. I have been needing to feed my addiction for days.

gary892
20-Oct-2013, 12:47
I echo all the gratitude for getting the site back up and all the hard work you do to maintain it.

Much appreciated!

Gary

David A. Goldfarb
20-Oct-2013, 12:50
Thanks guys and welcome back!

Ginette
20-Oct-2013, 13:18
Nice to see the forum running again.
I had a forum in the past (an IPB one) and not easy when something goes wrong in the database.
Thanks to all who give time for running this ressource forum so well. :cool:

Delfi_r
20-Oct-2013, 14:20
I run some forums and I understand the problems to recover from database failures. Nice to see that all is running now!

angusparker
20-Oct-2013, 14:20
Having been in tech support for many years and a Novel network administrator I know the rock-in-the-stomach feeling when a network goes down.

You keep saying it was A hard disk failure. One hard disk? Really? You don't have a RAID subsystem? There must be more of a technical story to the outage than simply one hard drive that failed.
Good to have you up and running. Now go get some sleep, I'm sure you need it. :)

Agreed. Would be good to put in place a RAID with mirrored disk drives that then can switch over seamlessly. That's pretty standard. Missed the Forum!

Jim C.
20-Oct-2013, 15:16
The itchiness and the shakes are gone, thanks for bringing the forum back up !

Farside
20-Oct-2013, 15:23
I was amazed just how many google queries led me to the downed site - totally frustrating, knowing the info was here but inaccessible. Welcome back on line and you've been sorely missed this past week.

Sal Santamaura
20-Oct-2013, 15:48
I was amazed just how many google queries led me to the downed site - totally frustrating, knowing the info was here but inaccessible...You experienced unnecessary frustration. When a Google match appeared, you simply needed to click on the downward-pointing triangle at the right end of the green font second line. Then, click on "Cached" and you'd have been taken to Google's saved version of the page. Let's hope you don't need to know this procedure again anytime soon. :)

Jim Graves
20-Oct-2013, 16:02
Thank goodness. I was running low on these barrels, trying to cope!

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/55432652/Fanthorp%20Inn%20004%20800LFF.jpg

Toyo 4x5, HP5+, 135mm lens


Now, that's backup!

munz6869
20-Oct-2013, 16:17
'Yay'!!!!

Marc!

jnanian
20-Oct-2013, 16:56
hi tom

no need to apologize. we are fortunate that you folks
have donated time space expertise and (money)
to make this place exist.

its not said enough, thanks for all of it !
john

Jody_S
20-Oct-2013, 16:57
Glad everything is back up and running.

StoneNYC
20-Oct-2013, 17:07
Stone, looks to me like the lower barrels are vertical, but the upper barrels are placed on the lower ones in such a way that fingers can get under their edges to make lifting easier.

And, thanks to Tom et al, I can breathe again.

Ahhhh good eye! Makes sense, I actually like that the kind of tilted so it works for me anyway :)

Joe Ortola
20-Oct-2013, 17:10
Great to see the site up again. I was starting to feel bewildered to periodically see that the site was still down while making querries in search engines about large format items that referenced the LFPF site. When you don't have something is really when you miss it.

Wally
20-Oct-2013, 17:18
Thanks for coming back!

Tom Westbrook
20-Oct-2013, 18:15
On the technical questions, we are happy with things as they are. More "features" would lead to expenses, which we'd prefer to avoid. The data is all backed up to another location daily (last 7 days are kept in both places) and so far, after three other outages like this in the past decade, we haven't lost a thing. Our disaster recovery measures seem appropriate to the criticality of the data we store--no one is going to die or go to prison or go bankrupt if we lost all of it.

Our generous server provider, Brian Reid, asked my to post his take on this:



The Large Format Photography Forum is hosted on a server in a commercial data center. The server itself is maintained by a person (me) who has decades of experience at running data center operations and maintaining servers. This server is a freebie. I bought it and installed it. The data center does not charge for its presence there and its staff do not maintain the server. I do.

RAID sounds tempting, but after managing thousands of RAID-based servers over the years, I have concluded that RAID reduces reliability. A RAID controller is just one more component that can fail, and because RAID controllers are engineered to squeeze every last drop of performance out out those busy electrons, they are usually right at the edge of failure even when they are working perfectly. I've had vastly more downtime from failed RAID controllers than from failed disks.

Even with a RAID controller, there are other components in the mix. Disks do fail, yes, but so do other electronic components, especially power supplies and fans.

If you need ultra-high reliability, you need at least 2 identical servers, preferably 3. Tandem Computer was issued patents a long time ago on the algorithms needed to do "nonstop computing" on redundant systems. Tandem was bought by Compaq which was in turn bought by HP. Those "HP NonStop" systems are what you use when it really really can't go down.

To get high reliability without using custom nonstop systems, you need to have lots of redundant computers and you need to have people watching them. That's only feasible when you have a large installation.

I've managed the Leica User Group server for 20 years and the LF Photography server for a bit less than 10 years. I try hard not to have excessive downtime. The recent server failure happened while I was on an airplane to see my dying father-in-law. My friends at the data center tried to fix it for me, but the problem was beyond what they were willing to do. It turned out that there was some sort of power surge that damaged the boot disk in a way that also fried that channel of the SATA controller. (Even on RAID-based systems, it is unusual to boot from RAID). I couldn't really autopsy the machine because I wanted to get it back into service, but my diagnosis is that there was a broken conductor inside the red (5 volt) wire supplying power to the disk. The insulation was intact, but the wire was broken. It took me 4 days to find and fix the problem.

In a commercial server environment I would have dropped that server into the trash pile, spun up a new server, and been back on the air quickly. But I bought that server with $1500 of my own money and I wasn't about to throw it away. I was stubbornly determined to fix it. I can fix pretty much anything in the world of broken computers, but this one had me stumped for days.

My stubbornness and my unwillingness to give up and buy a new server caused you guys a long delay. I apologize.




We will occasionally have outages of more than a day, but so far the ones we've had haven't been of sufficient impact to warrant charging for membership here or adding advertisement revenue, which would be required if we needed to invest in a high availability infrastructure environment. The infrastructure we have, thanks to Brian's generosity, works fine 99+% of the time.

munz6869
20-Oct-2013, 18:33
An admirable sentiment, and amazing generosity on Brian's part. Respect.

Marc!

Jody_S
20-Oct-2013, 18:39
Actually, it works pretty well, given the image-intensive nature of the forum and number of users. So thank you Brian for your generosity and hard work, and I'm very sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Given the completely non-critical nature of the forum, a few days away didn't hurt anyone or anything I'm sure.

RickV
20-Oct-2013, 19:03
Thank you to Brian and Tom (and all concerned) for their tireless efforts in restoring the site. This community is greatly appreciated by me and is a credit to those who work so diligently behind the scenes to make it the success that it is. Kudos.

tenderobject
20-Oct-2013, 19:47
thank you guys!!

Ari
20-Oct-2013, 20:30
Glad to have the site back, thank you for all the work put into making this place work.
Now, remember to feed those LFPF hamsters!

tangyimail
21-Oct-2013, 00:07
Great to have it back, folks. And thanks to the tech guys for their efforts!

Drew Bedo
21-Oct-2013, 04:51
Didn't realize how much I would miss this site. Welcome back!

mathieu Bauwens
21-Oct-2013, 06:21
Thanks for the time working to fix it !

Henry Ambrose
21-Oct-2013, 06:23
Thank you all for keeping the place running.

rdenney
21-Oct-2013, 06:25
Thanks, Tom, for posting Brian's message. I didn't want to post his name without his specific authorization.

I also have experience with RAID systems, and it's important to remember that RAID was not originally devised as a reliability strategy, but rather as a performance strategy to get more out of many disks that what was affordable to get out of one. By pulling successive chunks of data from an array of disks, one could read a number of chunks at the same time and then assemble them. Mirroring really only works with data disks, not with boot disks--when a boot disk goes, it often takes with it whatever might be needed for the system to function on the other disk. This was the reason I chose UNRAID for my backup storage server--they realized that disks these days don't need a performance improvement--systems are network-constrained not disk-constrained--they needed reliability. But that system doesn't boot from its array, though it does boot from a thumb drive. I had an outage recently when my parity drive failed, and it also took me several extra days to get it back up and running. And the reason? Yup. The power-supply cable going to the parity drive was intermittent. When I fixed that, I was able to get a new parity disk built and I lost no data. That is the same philosophy that Brian and Tom have employed, and why we have never lost significant data when faced with an outage.

The use of online redundant servers is beyond the scope of this forum, as I'm sure everyone can appreciate. But that's the only thing that would have prevented this outage. Brian and Tom have a rhythm going that they have proven is sustainable with the current arrangement, and an outage of a day or four every several years seems a small enough price to pay for allowing them to stay in tune with their rhythm year in and year out.

Rick "no apologies necessary" Denney

Jac@stafford.net
21-Oct-2013, 06:31
I also have experience with RAID systems, and it's important to remember that RAID was not originally devised as a reliability strategy, but rather as a performance strategy to get more out of many disks that what was affordable to get out of one.

Dating myself - used DNS Load Balancing (Round-robin DNS) in the old days.

Thanks for your good work.

Randy Moe
21-Oct-2013, 06:59
Right now this site is working better than Facebook, which is not taking posts.

:)

Sal Santamaura
21-Oct-2013, 07:38
On the technical questions, we are happy with things as they are. More "features" would lead to expenses, which we'd prefer to avoid. The data is all backed up to another location daily (last 7 days are kept in both places) and so far, after three other outages like this in the past decade, we haven't lost a thing. Our disaster recovery measures seem appropriate to the criticality of the data we store--no one is going to die or go to prison or go bankrupt if we lost all of it.

Our generous server provider, Brian Reid, asked my to post his take on this:


" Originally Posted by Brian Reid
The Large Format Photography Forum is hosted on a server in a commercial data center. The server itself is maintained by a person (me) who has decades of experience at running data center operations and maintaining servers. This server is a freebie. I bought it and installed it. The data center does not charge for its presence there and its staff do not maintain the server. I do....My stubbornness and my unwillingness to give up and buy a new server caused you guys a long delay. I apologize.


We will occasionally have outages of more than a day, but so far the ones we've had haven't been of sufficient impact to warrant charging for membership here or adding advertisement revenue, which would be required if we needed to invest in a high availability infrastructure environment. The infrastructure we have, thanks to Brian's generosity, works fine 99+% of the time.Brian, please do not apologize! We are forever in your debt for being the primary force (along with Tuan, Tom and the moderators) enabling our community's blissfully non-commercial existence.

It annoys me greatly when anyone complains about or criticizes this free resource. I felt compelled to clear things up when that happened during the outage:


http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=1556567

Thanks so very much for all you folks do.

John Fink Jr.
21-Oct-2013, 08:05
Great to have it all back and running. Thank you to all who worked to get it there!

AuditorOne
21-Oct-2013, 10:37
Great to see you back.

Robert Hall
21-Oct-2013, 10:52
Glad to have you all back. :)

SergeiR
21-Oct-2013, 10:58
Aye. Welcome back. We missed ya.

StoneNYC
21-Oct-2013, 20:50
I know this is opening a can of worms here, but is there any kind of plan for a paid membership?

Similar to APUG where they have member galleries that are only accessible by subscribers.

The reason I asked really has nothing to do with me wanting to have more money for the site so that it doesn't crash, Its actually a selfish reason.

Basically I really like the way APUG is very secure, mostly professional photographers are subscribers, and they are the only ones that can view those particular images, I like the fact that only those people can view my images that I'm not publishing it for the world to see or for Google to have in it's cache.

So... Yea... That's all I've got.

And of course plus it would ensure money would be there to support the site :)

SLVRGLTN
22-Oct-2013, 06:02
I'm glad you all got it back online one thing I noticed was that the Still Life 2013 Thread had 55 pages but now it's 46 pages of images and comments

Ralph Barker
22-Oct-2013, 12:02
I know this is opening a can of worms here, but is there any kind of plan for a paid membership?

Similar to APUG where they have member galleries that are only accessible by subscribers.

The reason I asked really has nothing to do with me wanting to have more money for the site so that it doesn't crash, Its actually a selfish reason.

Basically I really like the way APUG is very secure, mostly professional photographers are subscribers, and they are the only ones that can view those particular images, I like the fact that only those people can view my images that I'm not publishing it for the world to see or for Google to have in it's cache.

So... Yea... That's all I've got.

And of course plus it would ensure money would be there to support the site :)

The idea of paid memberships, along with other revenue-generating methods, has been discussed in the past. The owner (Q. T. Luong) and the mods all agree, however, that the spirit of the site is better supported by keeping it free to all, and generally free of commercial interests.

StoneNYC
22-Oct-2013, 12:22
The idea of paid memberships, along with other revenue-generating methods, has been discussed in the past. The owner (Q. T. Luong) and the mods all agree, however, that the spirit of the site is better supported by keeping it free to all, and generally free of commercial interests.

What if after a year with your account along with X# of posts you get some kind of special "veteran"status to keep your photos only viewable to other veterans or something?

David A. Goldfarb
22-Oct-2013, 12:42
Fortunately there are different sites that follow different models and there are many options. LFF, APUG, the Rangefinder Forum, etc. all have their own characteristics and that's part of what makes them interesting.

aruns
22-Oct-2013, 20:35
Thanks for all the resources and effort put in by sponsors and volunteers.. Missed the site very much, glad it is back now. Thank you!

Ralph Barker
23-Oct-2013, 04:25
What if after a year with your account along with X# of posts you get some kind of special "veteran"status to keep your photos only viewable to other veterans or something?

Sorry, that isn't feasible without modifications to the vBulletin code. We generally avoid "tinkering" since doing so creates complications when upgrades and maintenance releases come out.

StoneNYC
23-Oct-2013, 05:12
Sorry, that isn't feasible without modifications to the vBulletin code. We generally avoid "tinkering" since doing so creates complications when upgrades and maintenance releases come out.

Ahh, that makes sense.

Oh well hah!

Brian Sims
24-Oct-2013, 00:04
Thanks to all who make this site possible.

One thing about us LFPers---we know how to wait: for the wind to die down, for the light to get right, for the wave to splash back just right, for the film to develop, and for the time to go reshoot the same thing with a better???. Waiting for the site to come back up was easy.

Sevo
27-Oct-2013, 04:09
We will occasionally have outages of more than a day, but so far the ones we've had haven't been of sufficient impact to warrant charging for membership here or adding advertisement revenue, which would be required if we needed to invest in a high availability infrastructure environment. The infrastructure we have, thanks to Brian's generosity, works fine 99+% of the time.

How about a volunteer driven backup solution? There must be quite a few users that are, like me, running LAMP servers of their own, with enough bandwidth and space to spare to carry the forum over a week or two without any extra expenses. If a list of the required software packages was kept in sync with all updates on the server, it should be fairly trivial to get a backup running within hours.

TXFZ1
27-Oct-2013, 06:59
Brian,

Awesome story of finding the server problem. Condolances to you and your family. Forums can wait as family is first.

Thank again,

David

Tom Westbrook
28-Oct-2013, 05:13
How about a volunteer driven backup solution? There must be quite a few users that are, like me, running LAMP servers of their own, with enough bandwidth and space to spare to carry the forum over a week or two without any extra expenses. If a list of the required software packages was kept in sync with all updates on the server, it should be fairly trivial to get a backup running within hours.

Probably not necessary, but we'll keep your offer in mind, and can ask for server space if it comes to that.

StoneNYC
30-Oct-2013, 06:58
If nothing else, can we make larger limits for the inbox? I'm constantly having to clear it out, and missing messages, I would pay to have a bigger inbox here, the limits are sort of ridiculous ... Please.

Emmanuel BIGLER
30-Oct-2013, 08:32
From Ralph Barker, moderator:
The idea of paid memberships, along with other revenue-generating methods, has been discussed in the past. The owner (Q. T. Luong) and the mods all agree, however, that the spirit of the site is better supported by keeping it free to all, and generally free of commercial interests.

Coming very late to this discussion, I support this policy at 100%. I send from overseas my best regards to the team operating this most valuable international LF photography forum.
As a moderator of the French MF+LF forum http://www.galerie-photo.info, I know the immediate and "epidermic" (as we say in French) reactions of forum members when an outage suddenly happens. (Due to particular circumstances, I do not dare to use the word "shutdown").

The fact that a web site & forum is owned by one person, namely here: by Tuan Luong, simplifies things.
Tuan does what he wants. Of course, my understanding is that he listens to the moderators and to the users, but as strange at it may seem, Tuan is not in a position where a popular vote could decide against what he things best, or most funny, for HIS web site ;)

StoneNYC
30-Oct-2013, 08:37
From Ralph Barker, moderator:
The idea of paid memberships, along with other revenue-generating methods, has been discussed in the past. The owner (Q. T. Luong) and the mods all agree, however, that the spirit of the site is better supported by keeping it free to all, and generally free of commercial interests.

Coming very late to this discussion, I support this policy at 100%. I send from overseas my best regards to the team operating this most valuable international LF photography forum.
As a moderator of the French MF+LF forum http://www.galerie-photo.info, I know the immediate and "epidermic" (as we say in French) reactions of forum members when an outage suddenly happens. (Due to particular circumstances, I do not dare to use the word "shutdown").

The fact that a web site & forum is owned by one person, namely here: by Tuan Luong, simplifies things.
Tuan does what he wants. Of course, my understanding is that he listens to the moderators and to the users, but as strange at it may seem, Tuan is not in a position where a popular vote could decide against what he things best, or most funny, for HIS web site ;)

That's fair

And you're right.

What if there were just a "member only" gallery, at least the person would have to go to the process of setting up an account to steal work rather than just use google LOL :)

The email thing, well, I guess I'm just used to gmail amd APUG and not having to delete anything lol.

I'm spoiled :)

Ralph Barker
31-Oct-2013, 05:04
. . . What if there were just a "member only" gallery, at least the person would have to go to the process of setting up an account to steal work rather than just use google LOL :)



Actually, that is largely what we have now. Non-members (and members who aren't logged in) can only see the thumbnails of images that are uploaded to our server. Externally-linked images are, of course, visible, though.

StoneNYC
31-Oct-2013, 08:27
Actually, that is largely what we have now. Non-members (and members who aren't logged in) can only see the thumbnails of images that are uploaded to our server. Externally-linked images are, of course, visible, though.

Oh, hah! Well now who's the idiot! (I am) I didn't realize, I'm never signed out... Haha!

analoguey
30-Sep-2014, 12:24
was there an outage a while ago?

Ralph Barker
1-Oct-2014, 03:43
was there an outage a while ago?

Yes, in October of 2013.

BrianShaw
1-Oct-2014, 06:13
I couldn't get to the site yesterday, but that may have been because I was in a meeting and had no internet connectivity. Would that be considererd a site outage? If so, it affected many sites since I could not access any at all.

David R Munson
1-Oct-2014, 06:52
I've had a moderate amount of trouble with the site recently, but I suspect that it's entirely due to my being in China, where the amount of control exercised over what one can access is absurd.

analoguey
1-Oct-2014, 07:17
I couldn't get to the site yesterday, but that may have been because I was in a meeting and had no internet connectivity. Would that be considererd a site outage? If so, it affected many sites since I could not access any at all.

I couldnt access it yesterday for about half-hour. Other sites were working.

Jim Cole
1-Oct-2014, 09:53
Yes, yesterday early morning for somewhere around one hour, I could not get in.

Randy Moe
1-Oct-2014, 10:32
Yes, it was definitely down for an hour, I checked APUG where we usually announce this, but I didn't bother, and neither did anyone else, did they?

BrianShaw
1-Oct-2014, 11:19
Nope. Maybe folks finally have come to the realization that they can live without one online forum for a while. Or are they just lazy?

analoguey
4-Oct-2014, 05:29
Yes, it was definitely down for an hour, I checked APUG where we usually announce this, but I didn't bother, and neither did anyone else, did they?

I did pretty much the same thing. Last post was in 2013 - so I wondered if it was just me. Then I re-checked and was reading something else until I saw it back on again about an hour later.

I suppose the next time, I'll just drop a note anyways.

Ralph Barker
5-Oct-2014, 08:04
The system backup process sometimes extends into early business hours, depending on which time zone you happen to be in, so the forum may be virtually unavailable, even though it is still "up".

analoguey
5-Oct-2014, 08:27
Aha. Yes, that makes sense - the software might decide not to service any requests.