cvillenews.com is, after a ghastly week of fighting with Network Solutions, back up again. For those that care about geeky whining and pathetic excuse-making, continue reading. For those that don’t care, have a little patience and I’ll get some real news up here.
On Thursday the 6th, in mid-afternoon, I moved the server that cvillenews.com resides on, Tux. Tux is my main server — it hosts most of my websites, my DNS (think of DNS as a sort of an Internet phone book — it matches cvillenews.com to 126.96.36.199), a bunch of e-mail addresses, etc. I was moving out of my office to set up a home office, so the server had to go. I hauled everything into a car and drove it to my apartment, where I set everything back up again.
A consequence of moving the server is that Ntelos — from whom I get my connectivity via DSL — had to assign me a new IP address. So cvillenews.com went from being 188.8.131.52 to being 184.108.40.206. This is sort of like changing your phone number, to use a simplified analogy. I’d notified the proper authorities, notably Network Solutions, the registrar for the domain. Late Thursday afternoon, I left for a business trip, figuring that everything would be updated and ticking along happily by Friday.
It wasn’t. When I came back Saturday evening, nothing worked. That’s when I began a series of attempted updates to the domain name records on Network Solutions site, via e-mail, via fax, and via phone. They simply weren’t updating the DNS — their phone book — to reflect cvillenews.com’s new location. Thus, people typing the address into their browser got nothing, because 220.127.116.11 had been reduced to a bare ethernet cable hanging out of the wall in an empty office.
Yesterday’s telephone call with Network Solutions was particularly exciting. Ruth, with whom I spoke, explained to me that if the e-mail based update forms didn’t work, there was absolutely nothing they could do. She couldn’t help me on the phone. She couldn’t help me via fax. I couldn’t pay them to fix it. I simply had to keep resubmitting the change request until it worked.
Somehow, magically, it worked yesterday. Perhaps it was something that I did differently, perhaps it was something that Ruth did, perhaps it was the goat that I sacrificed to the gods of Media General. I’m not sure. As of today, the updated DNS entry is slowly filtering into DNSs around the world, and the site is gradually becoming accessible to more and more people. Ironically, it’s still not accessible to me via my Ntelos DSL, but I’m hoping that will iron itself out, too.
In any case, this sucked. I’m really sorry that the site was down for so long. (Though it was a nice little vacation.) The moral of the story for me is to never, ever, ever work with Network Solutions. I’ll be transferring all of my domains over to DirectNIC, with whom I’ve had far more luck. Oh, and there is a silver lining to all of this: moving the server was the first step in the Impending Upgrade(tm), which will involve some software upgrades to the site that will allow multiple moderators, discussion boards outside of news responses and a bunch of other fun stuff. God help us all if any other steps in this upgrade suck as much as this one did.