Daily Archives: Monday, 17th Oct 2011

About those technical problems

Yesterday afternoon, I was just about ready to start a new post on this site – a book review, as it happens. I’d popped over to Amazon to get the linky thing that would give me the nice picture visible only to those visitors not using AdBlock[1]. Then I clicked my shortcut that normally brings me to the WordPress post editor. And not a lot happened. Eventually, Chrome gave up, and told me the site wasn’t talking to me, so there. A quick check showed Tiggercam, which is on the same server was also unresponsive. My first thought was that my virtual server was having a bit of a sulk, so I logged into the Linode control panel and rebooted it, which seemed to work just fine.

But I still couldn’t get to my own websites, dammit. Maybe the server’s really unwell, I thought. Time for some CLI TLC, then. Ah. No. Trying SSH timed out. Trying the Java console thingy on the Linode panel also refused to play.

So, I logged a call with Linode reporting what I’d tried so far. The reply came much more quickly than I was expecting, and told me that actually as far as they could see, it was all working. They asked me to do what I should have done in the first place, which was to do a traceroute and see where it was failing. And this is what I saw:

traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 72 byte packets
1 ( 0.797 ms 0.555 ms 0.493 ms
2 ( 10.366 ms 8.069 ms 8.308 ms
3 gate-geam-1b-ge110.network.virginmedia.net ( 8.286 ms 8.676 ms 8.282 ms
4 gate-core-1b-ae0-0.network.virginmedia.net ( 9.700 ms 8.143 ms 7.842 ms
5 manc-bb-1b-as2-0.network.virginmedia.net ( 15.990 ms 16.687 ms 16.178 ms
6 popl-bb-1a-as4-0.network.virginmedia.net ( 23.781 ms 21.376 ms 22.286 ms
7 * * *
8 * * *
9 * * *
10 * * *
11 * * *
12 * * *
13 * * *

For the less technical among you, that means that the connection to my site was failing on Virgin Media’s network. Hmm. So let’s have a look at the status page, shall we? Well, that seemed a bit reluctant to load. But not as reluctant as Virgin’s support forums, which didn’t want to talk to me at all. A bit of googling[2] showed that other people were also having problems.

So I left it to get sorted out, did some other things and kept half an eye on things until I went to bed. I’d expected it all to be sorted out by this morning, so I tried to load the site. This is what I saw at first:

Losing it

Losing it

Now that’s a site that’s lost all its images and most of its formatting. Bit of an odd time out really. A little later, it looked like this:

Getting it

Getting it

Well, some it was there, but pictures were still absent.

I checked the status page when I got to work, and at one point the estimated time to fix was an oddly precise 8:19am tomorrow. But it seems they managed to fix what was broken, and service has now been resumed, because when I got home, I got this:

Found it

Found it

All good fun, or something…

[1] Note: I don’t object to anyone using AdBlock while visiting Losing it, but all you’re missing is pictures of books and things that link through to Amazon. No other ads here, thank you.
[2] At the risk of sounding like an even older and fartier old fart than normal, can I just mention that it used to take months to get stuff into search engines, and that it’s actually quite impressive that you can now narrow a search to the last hour and see what people are currently complaining about?

Pilgrim Street Demolition – 17 October

This is coming along quite rapidly now – you can almost see through to Pilgrim Street from the rear. Will more of the buildings be taken down next? Will the old Bank of England be flattened? We’ll have to wait and see…

Weight and Stuff Report – 17 October 2011

Good, good, back down again today, and again just scraping below the psyhologicackle 100kg line.

The sun was out and the sky was mostly clear at lunchtime, so I went for a bit of a walk. First, I went to have a look at the progress on the Pilgrim Street demolition job. I took some pictures there which will appear in another post. Then I popped into the Laing Art Gallery, where I found myself utterly engrossed in the Mervyn Peake exhibition. While Peake is generally best known today for his Gormenghast books, he was also an illustrator of both his own work and much more. There’s some lovely work done for an edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, some lovely stuff for Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I didn’t have time to see it all, so I’ll be going back soon.

Today’s picture is a cropped one from today’s walk. Somebody must have tried really hard to do this: