September 23, 2004
Four days in the hole

Howdy loyal Cruft readers, I'm back.

Thank you for the calls and emails of concern, the entire Cruft family is fine and this site has made it's glorious return.

What happened was that on Sunday, a link to my entry about the Google Labs Aptitude Test got posted to the front page of Slashdot. Now for those that don't know, Slashdot is one of the most popular geek sites on the internet. I read it daily and so do hundreds of thousands of other people.

On Sunday night, these people started clicking on the link and the demand on the server that Cruftbox lives on got huge. This is called the Slashdot Effect or simply, being Slashdotted. The web host that runs the server that this site lives on had to take action or all the other sites and servers that they run would be affected by the Slashdot hordes.

After trying a few things, they simply removed the domain from the DNS server. A drastic step, but one that allowed all the other sites to be accessible. In laymen's terms, imagine that a hundred thousand people all had your address for a party and started showing up at your house. The police decided so shut down the party, so they simply removed all the street signs that told people how to get to your house. People drove around looking for your house, but could never find it. That's kinda what happened here. Cruftbox was here, but no one could find it.

The big problem, is that when the site was down, I could get no email and could not adminster the site. That was no fun.

Finally on Wednesday night, I got the web host to set things right and this morning, everything is in order.

In summary, being linked on Slashdot is great geek honor, but the consequences can be dramatic if you aren't prepared for it.

Posted by michael at September 23, 2004 06:44 AM