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Why You Should Never Become a Webmaster


Here’s the long and short of it.

1. The server did Something Odd. Not the comic strip, an actual Something Odd. This Something Odd involved it cutting all ties between it and the database where the site is served from. This is what is technically known as an Incredibly Goddamn Heinous Incident or IGHI in the technical vernacular. This has been fixed and I’m hoping will not reoccur.

B. The contests broke. This is because the contests also need database loving. Without database loving they wither and die. These have been fixed. They took a long time to get fixed because finally Elizabeth D. pointed out they were broken and I didn’t think about them in the melee of the IGHI. Everyone tell Elizabeth thank you.

III. My internet service provider (and others’) is having a problem getting to our server. This is a separate problem from the IGHI and is simply a PITA because for about ten minutes I thought the IGHI had returned. If you are experiencing slowness that is probably something net-region-wide. I’m right now on an Earthlink dialup to publish this because Comcast support wants to send out a technician to see if there’s something in my wiring that would keep me from going to a particular data center. And it’s my lines that are affecting Scott in Florida as well apparently. Fun.

So for the moment I think we’re okay. We plan on resuming normal service later today (Thursday). For now, I’ve spent the last 20 hours fighting the Interwebs and on this rare occasion, I welcome sleep not for the rest but just for the oblivion of it.

P.S. Take a page from Elizabeth’s book. If something’s not working, please e-mail me and let me know. I may not respond immediately because I may be getting killed by psychotic pygmies or something but I do read all my e-mails. And I do want the site to freaking work. So if something’s wonky, don’t be shy. I don’t bite. I only gnaw. A bit.


  • Holy crap, that’s a whole lotta awful. Gracias to Elizabeth and to you too for doing all the hard grueling work. You run a good bit of internet here! Thanks for putting out the awesome on a regular basis and for struggling with the robots to keep the spice flowing when things go wrong. Good luck getting it all sorted, especially the internet service (just remember it’s always your fault). Did you try turning it off and then on again?

  • FF: Yup. I also checked to make sure the damn thing was plugged into the power outlet. Too many years of tech support have taught me to check the obvious shit first, even if they’re highly unlikely, because there’s nothing worse than the shame of realizing that it was something Really Dumb and Simple. :)

    The slowness has cleared itself up, though. Which leads me to believe it was some clogging elsewhere in the Interwebs, since I didn’t do anything else to my network after last night. Either that or it was sunspots. Whatever works. (Knocks on formica.)

  • Widge:

    Damn, if it’s not off and then on again then my knowledge is pretty much tapped. My favorite tech support suggestion is keeping the router a million feet away from anything electric (including lamps, the computer it’s hooked to, etc) and encased in carbonite because if a lamp is nearby it’ll send router death beams to kill your signal. Lamps hate the internet.

    I once had a ticket in for a repairman to come out, only to find I’d accidentally sawed a wire through someplace. I replaced it and got a call the next day (before I could cancel and apologize) telling me they were sorry and they’d fixed it from their end.